Archive for the 'Social Networking' Category

How my online consumption is changing

Time is finite and is becoming more valuable to me every day.

I’m finding myself using my handset (an iPhone) to keep up with news via my RSS feeds (which I’m still a big fan of) and for casually grazing on Twitter for interesting insights & articles.

I use Reeder 2.0 for reading blogs & Tweetie 2.0 for Twitter.

I’m a paid up member of Pinboard (I got in early when it was less than a $1) rather than delicious for a number of reasons, one of them being that anything I favourite on Twitter automatically gets picked up and stored on my Pinboard account for future reference. Additionally, I can store stuff on Pinboard as something to be read later or as public; All very nice features.

I have a posterous account, a Tumblr account and this blog.

I am beginning (admittedly slowly!) to separate my own personal thoughts to just this blog (hence the lack of updates since they generally take longer to write). Comments I want to make on an article, video or image that I read, watch or view to my posterous blog and a general ‘river of interesting things’ to my Tumblog.

I generally auto-post to Tumblr and Twitter from Posterous, but I’m still playing around with auto-posting in general and haven’t found a sweet spot. On that note I’m looking into which is like a cross between Twitterfeed and Yahoo Pipes on Steroids. It looks really cool, just haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with it properly yet.

I have added my starred items RSS feed from Google Reader to my Tumblr account. I tend to ‘star’ anything that looks interesting in my RSS feed, particularly when I’m on the underground and have no signal.

If I read something that I’d like to comment on, then Reeder gives me the option to email the article and I’ll email that to my posterous email address, creating a post there. Depending on what tags I associate with the email that post will auto-post the same article to both my Tumblr account & my blog here…keeping up? ;p

If there’s something I read while I’m out and about using Reeder I can do one of 3 things:

I can email it to my posterous account and it will auto-post it to my blog and Tumblr based on the email address I use. (For more on how posterous works have a look at the FAQ section on – It makes posting stuff really easy.)
I can star it and it will automatically appear in my Tumblog.
I can choose to Tweet it or send it to pinboard. Sending it directly to pinboard keeps it private, sending it via Twitter broadcasts it and then it gets picked up by pinboard and stored publically.

So that’s about it. I’m still tinkering, but I’m managing to keep on top of things mainly traveling to and from work. I’m still limited by not being able to work well off-line when I don’t have a signal, but I’m getting there and keeping my fingers crossed that it’s a feature of the upcoming iPhone 4.0.

Twitter being used in the classroom

Posted via web from rickwilliams’s posterous

Best Buy: A social media case study

Best Buy: A social media case study

by Robin Grant in News on 28 May 2009 at 17:10

Best Buy

Amongst the famous examples of Dell, Ford, Zappos, Skype and the like, Best Buy may not be the first company that comes to mind when thinking about which companies using are using social media well.

They’re also not the sort of company you would immediately assume would be ahead of the curve in terms of social media – they’re  the world’s largest multi-channel home electronics retailer (similar to  Currys or  Comet in the UK) who have recently made moves into Europe with the acquisition of 50% of Carphone Warehouse’s European stores (and with rumours they may go further than that).

However, in reality they’re as advanced as any of the examples I give above – let’s start with a short introduction from Best Buy’s Chief Marketing Officer, Barry Judge:

And then move onto this presentation from Gina Debogovich, Best Buy’s Community Manager:

It’s also worth finding out more about Best Buy Connect, Blue Shirt Nation (a community for Best Buy Employees), how they use customer reviews, their recently launched API and looking at how they use their own forums and Get Satisfaction to support their customers.

Let’s finish with a 4 minute video

looking at Best Buy’s internal use of social media followed by a 20 minute interview with Best Buy’s CEO Brad Anderson talking about the issues in detail:

Posted via web from rickwilliams’s posterous

Another Car, Another Social Media Marketing Campaign

Nissan has launched a marketing campaign for its Cube that incorporates Cube-themed iPhone apps, games, videos and ringtones to prove just how hip it is to be square.

The Cube Mobile Hub site gives Cube owners and enthusiasts the chance to bond over a car that Nissan says is designed for interacting, all while disengaged from the real world, poking away at a tiny cellphone screen.

It’s yet another example of automakers using social networking to sell their cars, and it comes on the heels of similar campaigns by Ford and Honda. Honda recently launched a microsite where people can virtually drive the new Insight and learn more about the dirt-cheap hybrid.

Nissan is hoping that the mobile site will convince potential buyers that the slab-sided subcompact is just as essential to the mobile lifestyle as text messages, Twitter and Facebook. “We envision owners using their Cubes as one of their essential mobile devices, connecting with friends, sharing music and sharing fun,” Nissan marketing exec Christian Meunier said in a statement.

Nissan says the Cube features a “socially oriented lounge-style interior.” At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, we think it might be a perfect place for five friends to text each other.

We visited the site Mobile Hub and everyone seems to be having a lot more fun than we are. Our favorite feature might be the forthcoming iPhone App called “Cube Party Roundup.” The objective of the game is to gain points doing things that we thought only happened in commercials for cars and liquor: Drive around a city picking up friends, dates, and “ice, music and other items,” all in preparation for a big party.

Posted via web from rickwilliams’s posterous

The Apprentice Predictor

I’m going to try this tonight – Wednesdays, BBC One, 9pm – In light of recent interviews with Antony Rose who is responsible for the iPlayer and the industry news that Adobe Flash is coming to TVs and set top boxes it seems inevitable that this kind of value added service is going to end up on the TV rather than the laptop.

It all depends on the UI though. It may just be easier to keep the 2 seperate unless TV remote controls turn into mobile handsets…or vice versa…

Posted via web from rickwilliams’s posterous

Linqia launches as a social network marketplace

Here’s how Linqia works.

If you have social networks on one hand and potential commercial partners on the other, Linqia is design to be a marketplace where the two can meet for sponsor partnerships or whatever. One of the partners it’s been working with has been Nike which has a new shoe for golfers. It needed to reach social networks, so Linqia worked with its agency on a test run of how to promote the shoes inside its test-bed of social networks. In real time the agency could see the response in the networks and just pay for results.

Linquia’s business model is that it gets a revenue share on the deal.

In December it launches its technology to enable the real-time transactions between commercial entities and networks, but for now it’s on a recruiting drive to fill out its marketplace of social networks.

Read more @ Techcrunch UK

Posted via web from rickwilliams’s posterous

RedBull + Facebook Connect

Red Bull Connect Redbull USA have released Redbull Connect. Insead of creating their own login and community they are tapping into Facebook’s using Facebook Connect (formerly Beacon).

Login | Facebook
Users can sign into the site using their Facebook username and password and leave comments on the posts that have been written.

Red Bull Connect

Red Bull Connect
A pop up then appears asking whether you’d like your actions to be broadcast on to Facebook’s newsfeed as a one liner, a short or a full description or not to broadcast it at all. This is then submitted to your newsfeed on Facebook and your Redbull USA activity is broadcast to all your Facebook friends.

It’s early days, but the lure and seamlessness for brands seems too great for this not to be taken up by others.

For brands who’ve been invested and experimenting on Facebook via Pages, this feels like the natural next step. It will be interesting to see what other brands do. turns to widgets

fliplogo was launched in February 2007. Today Conde Nast, which owns, announced that it was reversing its strategy saying that Flip will be “reshaped as a flexible web application designed to live on social networking platform, starting with Facebook.”

Translation: “We give up.”


From the above you can see that at its peak was getting over 400,000 monthly users, so what happened?

I think there are a number of reasons:

  1. The campaign money ran out – social communities need to keep going far longer than your average campaign timeframe otherwise the time invested by your audience will turn from advocacy to distrust.
  2. There weren’t enough clearly defined success criteria to guage whether more investment should be made in maintaining it.
  3. The ‘niche’ they were going for (teenage girls) wasn’t niche enough. It was too big a market segment to succeed.
  4. was born out of a print culture – they couldn’t conceive of simply building an application – which is what they’ve ended up with, so they created alot of editorial that people didn’t read or interact with.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens…


Facebook as an intranet

Sarena Software, a company with over 800 employees and offices around the world have made Facebook their intranet.

Google’s OpenSocial API

Google’s announced OpenSocial, an API which enables applications to be wrapped in a universal API which allows them to work across a number of different social networks. And all I can say is so what?

Google’s OpenSocial API is just a common Google-sponsored widget format for mini-applications. One which Google owns the control on. Sure, anyone can write an app using OpenSocial, but anyone can write an app on Facebook too. It looks just as proprietary as the Facebook system it more or less copies.

What’s crucially missing from this solution is openness – What OpenSocial offers is a way in which any application can be wrapped in a container API. That container API is tweaked and made to fit with each of the different social networking solutions out there. This means that the code in the app doesn’t need to change; if the app needs a list of my friends it just calls:


If my app sits on my Hi5 page it will get those friends one way and if I have the app on my MySpace page it’ll get my friends another way. The app itself doesn’t care how that happens – that’s the Container API’s job.

The Container API has not been mentioned, it’s the elephant in the room. With access to it I could create a social network on my blog…or Nike could sign up to it and ensure that already popular social apps could fit into their site furniture on their domain, rather than having to fit into another social network’s furniture e.g. Sponsored pages on MySpace. Powerful eh? You can appreciate why it hasn’t been mentioned given the speed at which they’ve released OpenSocial this is clearly an aspect of the API which needs a little more thought and consensus.

It’s the 1st question to ask when considering a brand such as Nike and whether they’d want to sign up to OpenSocial in the future, and that’s the most exciting thing about Google’s announcement of OpenSocial – It stops us from chasing functionality and concentrating on the basics, WHATEVER the social network happens to be.

The conversation is finally moving towards the root of social networking, and I’m all for that.

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