Friday, 31 August 2007

power to the people!!!

A group of students who have created a protest group on Facebook to petition HSBC to reverse its decision to stop free overdrafts…have succeeded!

I believe the Facebook group of over 5,000 students is a great demonstration of the growing maturity of Social Networking sites like Facebook and how they are being viewed as more than just time wasting recreational platforms.

I was riled yesterday when I listened to an interview on Radio 5 Live with a chap called Peter Mooney from the Employment Law Advisory Services. The debate was about whether Facebook should be banned from all work places due to employees wasting work time on the (admittedly) addictive site.
There’s no doubting that Facebook as a site is used for recreational purposes in the main, but it’s also a vital platform for networking within working industries. There are tons of work related groups on Facebook and these groups facilitate important sharing of work related knowledge, ideas and the odd networking beer/coffee meet too.

I hope the HSBC protest group news story will now help the likes of Peter Mooney (""Why should employers pay for the privilege of allowing their employees to access Facebook, MySpace or Bebo from work computers whether in an employee's lunch-time or not?") realise the importance of sites like Facebook in connecting people for serious work-related or cause-related matters!

…anyway back to throwing sheep at Martin!!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

my blogs bigger than yours

After reading an article about "what virals can do for your brand” on Marketing Week I stumbled upon this amazing viral on You Tube.

Im not sure if it actually was created by “Scott” and “Brad” but I think its genius, I love the up yours tone of voice to the entire thing. I have a sneaky feeling it was created by someone in the industry though.

I wish I could wheely like that.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Wrangler Launderette

Sorry its been a while, its taken me this long to sort myself out after V. Festival!

Staying on the festival theme, this was sent round the office today. It’s a novel idea from Wrangler to set up a portable Launderette that pitches up at festivals. Festival goers can drop off their muddy clothes for cleaning, you don’t even have to hang around and miss bands, as once your clothes are cleaned, Wrangler then send you a text message to let you know your washings ready to pick up…genius.

This is the sort of simple, yet brilliantly clever brand idea that can genuinely add something useful to someone’s festival experience and I think it rocks!

Thursday, 16 August 2007


Ive just been reading Amy Webb’s blog post about a really cool new visualization tool from IBM called “Many Eyes”.
Many Eyes allows you to upload any data sets to the site and the tool will take that data and visualize it for you in loads of different forms.
She has used George Bush’s State Of The Union speech as an example and visualized the speech text into a Tag Cloud, the sizes of each word represent the number of times that word was mentioned during the speech.

There seems to be a lot of talk about data visualization online, my mate Sam posted this on the Hyper blog. It’s an application that allows you to visualize your emails in your inbox by creating images from nature that represent the category of the email. Very cool but also very far out and not quite sure what the use would be at this stage other than pimping your inbox?

Wouldn’t it be cool if data could be uploaded from audio recordings of brainstorms, idea sessions or conferences at work into an easy to use Tag Cloud visualisation that can be shared with colleagues afterwards?
This could be an easy way to organise, store and share thoughts with large groups of colleagues, instead of cobbled together scribbles on note pads?

How many times did I use the word “cool” in this post?

Monday, 13 August 2007

Left it till late...again

So, the first game of the new season kicked off on Sunday and what a game it was!
Although we were appallingly bad during the first half, the drama and the fight back at the end was amazing.
This spirited performance was exactly what we needed and in my view we would have walked away with a draw from this game last season, the difference is that this season we seem to be playing with far more desire and the kids have grown in confidence. Hleb needed to score a goal like that, hopefully this will give him the confidence he desperately needs to shoot more often rather than passing in front of goal.

A quick word about the atmosphere, I thought it was great yesterday and I really liked Elvis’s The Wonder Of You being played as the team runs out on the pitch, it’s a perfect song for a football club's anthem!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Frank Lampard TV anyone?

Im not sure what to make of this really.
As an Arsenal fan, Frank Lampard is never really spoken highly of by me and by the looks of things his new mobile TV channel is not going to change this.
“Frank TV” is launching today and is going to be available to Orange mobile phone customers.

I find the likes of MUTV and Chelsea TV excruciatingly painful to watch and I must stress this is NOT (purely) because I’m an Arsenal fan but its because they just don’t have enough good content to warrant an entire TV channel dedicated to one team. How many interviews with Man Utd’s head physio and grounds keeper can you watch in one day?!

It’ll be interesting to see if Frank TV is well received by Chelsea fans and if this will open the doors to other players starting their own TV channels.
Can you imagine…”Joey Barton TV…this week Joey takes us through his favourite curry recipes”, I for one cannot wait!!!
Thanks to Emma for the link!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Brand Bravery

Sorry it’s been quiet for a while on here, it’s been manic at work and I havnt had time to blog.

I watched Panorama’s documentary last week on the “phenomena” of kids filming real street fighting between other kids on their mobile phone and uploading the fights to “specialist” fighting sites like and video sharing sites like You Tube. Admittedly the footage was shockingly brutal and graphic but most of all, the scary part was knowing that this was all real.

Then came the interesting dilemma that “Blue Chip” advertisers such as Orange and BT were seen to be advertising on the very sites that were hosting these fight scenes. These advertisers obviously do not want to be associated with content like this and it’s understandable that they have taken their respective Media Buying Agencies to task about their appearance on these sites.

Since this documentary was screened last week, Vodafone (and many other brands) have announced that they were going to pull all advertising on Facebook due to the fact they were serving ads on the BNP’s Facebook group pages. Again, this is understandable that huge brands like Vodafone do not wish to be seen anywhere near right-wing neanderthals like the BNP, they have far too much to lose.

However, im starting to wonder how much brands will now start pulling back and feeling nervous about communicating within these powerful new sites.
For years now, clients, agencies and publishers alike have been extolling the values of “Web 2.0” and how we must all embrace this movement towards the “Democratisation of Communication” and how significant the empowerment is that these types of sites have handed to consumers.

With this in mind, im starting to feel like what’s the use in moving forward with brands to embrace this cultural change if at any point there is a whiff of controversy clients demand to be removed form these amazingly powerful platforms and run back to their “safe and warm places”? I don’t really understand why the likes of Bebo have created “Brand Safe Areas” within their community? I think this takes away the entire meaning of brands integrating within real communities and building a real relationship with its users based on transparency and truth. To me it reeks of half hearted communications and a poor way of using a very complex online environment as just another media “touchpoint”.

I think what im trying to say is that, of course Vodafone don’t want to align themselves with the BNP but if a brand wants to enter the brave new world of Web 2.0 they may just have to actually be brave and come to terms with the fact that consumer empowerment means that not all areas of the web can be totally controlled or sanitized at all times.

PS – Does anyone else find the Panaroma tone of voice excruciatingly painful and very Brass Eye!?? “Hi! I’m Jeremy Vine and this is controversial…”

PPS – 3 days to go until the start of the new Season Woooo Hooooo!!!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

think free

Mashable! has just posted on this great service called Think Free.

its a nifty service that allows you to create Word, Excel and Power Point documents that are totally compatible with Microsoft Office without having to pay full whack on the official software from Mr Gates and the best thing the service/product is totally free.

whats really cool is that this service has been built as a widget for Facebook that allows you to share any documents that you have created with your Network.

i like this but whats really interesting is that business/work orientated brands like Think Free are using a Social Networking site like Facebook to promote and seed their service. I really think this demonstrates the growing maturity of sites like Facebook and i'm sure we will see more business orientated applications and tools being created for social networks in the future.