Updates from March, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • The digital citizen 12:40 pm on March 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crowdsourcing, Culture   

    The Culture of free: Crowdsourcing 


    A lot of conversation is happening around crowdsourcing these days. In case you don’t know, Crowdsourcing is a neologistic compound of Crowd and Outsourcing for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.

    A great example of a crowdsourcing project are the Huffington Post, in its early days.

    But can crowdsourcing be a reliable way of doing things in the future?

    Everyone active on Twitter must have noticed the large number of self proclaimed evangelists and coaches. These guys are usually amateurs, trying to break it into the industry of their choice by posting stuff they have read on various blogs and other industry sites. They will get involved in anything that becomes available that needs some help free of charge.

    However these people cannot normally offer anything to these projects, as they lack expertise and experience. In fact it is my belief that the project is likely to cost more at the end that it would have had it gone to contractors from the very beginning of its existence.

    But the worst is tha skilled individuals remain in the dark. People who chose to charge, because they deserve it, miss out in this culture of free. But this is also the culture of compromised quality.

    Many will argue that crowdsourcing have given talented and passionate individuals the opportunity to shine and opened the doors to employment and creativity. I will not disagree. But this number can’t be but small and it can’t make up for the damage it causes.

  • The digital citizen 8:23 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Location based services,   

    How can Location Based Services boost business? 

    With the launch of Foursquare in the UK, everyone in and outside twitter is talking about location based services (or LBS).

    In case you wonder, Foursquare is a location service based social network that tells your friends where you are once you have checked in. You might be able to do a lot more than that but I could not tell, as I haven’t had a descent go at it but, as more of my friends join, I will write a review here.

    Some other LBS are aka*aki, Plazes, Loopt and Brightkite

    The reason I am really interested in LBS is because I really think that businesses can really benefit from using LBS and here is how:


    Almost everyone with a smart phone has used an LBS to find a restaurant, supermarket or petrol station in their area. Everytime one of us is using the service, it collects valuable information about us, such as favourite food, shopping habits, if we have a car etc. It will not be long before LBS are in a position to suggest local activities or shops using information gathered from our past searches. This information will then be available to businesses anywhere in the country or the world where the user is, making LBS able to display relevant suggestions. So next time you are lost in a new place, you won’t have to look for restaurants and touristic activities; they will find you.


    LBS with social elements, like Foursquare allow businesses a extra level of interaction further to relevancy and here is how. Say for example that the data collected so far about strongly indicate that you are a fan of pizza, Pizza Hut can then interact with you when you are close to a Pizza Hut restaurant, by letting you know of the pizza or the offer or the day or by allowing you to book a table or place your order to minimise the waiting time once you get there!


    The wealth of information of course will have a huge impact on mobile behavioural targeting. So far we can only target a relevant audience by displaying ads on mobile sites that we assume this audience browses. However, the more we know about a user, the closer we get to being able to more precise about the advert this users sees anywhere in the mobile web. For advertising purposes, LBS is in some way acting as an IP address.

    If social media help businesses strengthen relationships with the consumers, LBS can initiate relationships. But where social media interactions quite often stay in the web, LBS can instigate real ones. Although loyalty and retention both depend on the very direct relationship, AKA customer service.

  • The digital citizen 3:00 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Huffington Post, online, paid content   

    Paid for content: a recipe for failure 

    As the digital world is divided on the paying/non paying for online content debate, the real world is not really that divided. About 91% of the population have said it clearly: they are not paying.

    And they shouldn’t. The internet was created to enable the free and fast exchange of information and its free nature is the reason behind the internet becoming the people’s medium.

    Here are some reasons why people will not pay:

    The internet has given people options. In the past we had to rely on a few sources to get information and analysis. Nowdays, there are millions on online sources we are visiting to get the information we need, not necessarily the good old press turned online titles. The Huffington Post recently overtook the Washington Post  in unique users, but did anyone either know off or was in a position to predict that a blog could achieve this level of popularity a few years ago?

    The internet has also made us more demanding when it comes to free. We reacted to the high prices of music and chose piracy. Eventually, the record labels had to admit defeat and compromise their trading models in order to survive. The same kind of reaction is expected when major UK titles, such as the Times Online, implement the paid for content, although this might not include piracy to that degree necessarily. All this model could possibly achieve is giving the change to smaller but equally good sites to shine, as people will be looking for alternative sources to get their informations. And, as the swift towards the free will increase, there will be more advertising income available to the smaller sites, which they can invest to get hold of the required resource to sustain the success of their sites.

    Piracy is easy online. What would happen if tv channels opted for a paid for model for their online content? Be 100% sure that people would find a way of getting this content for free, whether this would be by legal or illegal means, and they should not be held responsible for that. If publishers have made the mistake and granted people certain rights, then these rights cannot and should not be taken back. I am not supporting piracy but paid for content encourages it.

    It is true that many online titles are losing money and it is not the free model which is responsible for that. It is rather the fact that these titles failed to capitalise on the amount of people visiting their sites daily by means of advertising. It was their own lack of flexibility and innovative thinking that drove advertisers away from them. They failed to see how the internet was changing and the efforts to adopt a more social face failed as they seemed as forces efforts to be trendy rather than sincere efforts to engage with their audiences. By charging for content that can be obtained elsewhere will only make things worst for them, as they will start losing the advertising income which, until now, they had taken for granted.

    Is there a solution? Well, my opinion is that there is only 1 industry that makes big cash from the internet, and this is the internet provider industry. What makes it ironic is that the industry would not be booming if there weren’t for this great online content.

    Also, for anyone who works in the online advertising industry, they would know by now that the cost per thousand model does not work for anyone. I tend to commit most of my budget to whoever agrees to work on my agency’s cost per engagement model, as this is an indication that the publisher will work harder for their money. There is a need therefore for brave trading decision moving forward. And the time has come for publishers to prove everything they have been claiming regarding their audiences.

    Finally and most importantly, online can’t be allowed to become the scapegoat for the years of faulty business by the publishers. But still, I can’t wait for their panicking reactions to people looking for (and finding) the same quality in free environments.

  • The digital citizen 11:58 pm on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: funny, media agency   

    Media buyer vs media owner 

    We divert our calls to voicemail every Monday morning. We ignore emails. Often we are rude and we have a good reason for this. We are the media agency people and they are the media sales reps (usually representing small sales houses).

    This video give an insight into the media buyer – media owner relationship. Enjoy!


  • The digital citizen 11:09 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: service, , strategy   

    Social media is King but it is not God 

    Have you ever thought that Dell, Whole Foods and all those great examples of social media campaign implementation have a very important thing in common: Great Customer Service?

    It takes time and patience for your social media campaign to drive the anticipated engagement with your audience, but only a moment for your bad, rude, uneducated customer service assistant to reap everything you so patiently sown.

    So before employing a social media guru or expert for your social media strategy, invest the necessary time and effort in improving your product and service. Once this is done, add a lot of honesty, proactivity and expertise and you are guaranteed that you have solid grounds to build a social profile that people will trust. And as you will learn in the process, no social media guru can engage better with your audience, as no one knows your product and your audience better than you do. People want to engage with the real you and not with a strategy.

    Here is a great presentation on why a social media strategy (alone) will not save you. Enjoy and comment.

  • The digital citizen 1:36 pm on September 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Business,   

    Business is people. Social media is people. Social media is business. 

    The man is a social animal, Aristotle said.

    For a business to flourish you need people. People to buy your product.

    Social media boomed because they offered an easy, fun and FREE way of communication. (They also offered freedom of speech)

    Businesses should engage with social media to be heard. This is where the people go. And they should do so democratically, by way of dialogue.

    We have entered the economy of social. Let the numbers speak:

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