Moving day February 14, 2010Posted by David Gillespie in blogging.
Tags: Add new tag, Feed Readers, RSS, Tumblr, Wordpress
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An oh-so-short note to say I’ve just finished moving this blog to a new location. I’d love you to click here; it will add the new RSS feed into your current reader, and you only need to do it once. I decided to move as WordPress wasn’t quite giving me the flexibility I wanted, and the new platform, Tumblr, simply facilitates easier expression. As those of you who’ve been with me for a while will know, this revolution we’re in right now is driven by the increase in expressive capabilities; it’s not the technology that is interesting, but what people do with it.
Thanks for your time, and as always I look forward to continuing the conversation at the new Sw’ei Industries blog: Notes From The Revolution.
All the best,
I could never take the place of your man May 11, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, conversation, strategy.
Tags: Ford, Ford Motor Company, Scott Monty, Southwest Airlines, Twitter
When I made games, every now and then I’d see a project underway where all the code was written by a single individual. That individual would invariably write it in such a fashion that it was only decipherable by them. This became an issue when the project got sufficiently far along that there wasn’t time to re-write the core code (it became, in other words, “too big to fail”. Har har). The company would then be in an interesting position – they could fire the programmer and lose the work, they could assign someone else to work along side the programmer who would no doubt have the most miserable job in the whole building deciphering and documenting the spaghetti or they could…? I don’t know.
I was thinking about this as I reviewed the top 100 brands on Twitter. Upon investigation there should be a massive asterisk which leads you to “In April. Over a few days.” – but this is not the point. The list itself is a collection of the usual suspects, and where possible their Twitter name is included and linked to.
What I find interesting here is at #21 Ford appears. Not just Ford though – Ford’s social media evangelist, Scott Monty. Nowhere else on this list does an individual appear alongside a company listing, in fact nowhere else does an individual appear at all.
We can assume, at some point, Scott won’t work for Ford. This creates an interesting dillemma wherein an individual not tied to the company potentially takes the good will built up with them when they leave. We’ve seen this previously with community managers, but it has for the most part remained within the confines of tech companies. Less risky strategies have been seen from the likes of Southwest Airlines where they encourage their employees to blog and engage in social media, but do a good job of tying it under a single site.
Personally, I’m a big fan of putting a human face on this sort of initiative, in fact I don’t think it works without it. It will be interesting to see however how it plays out once Scott no longer calls Ford home.
I really believe you can’t pay someone to engage, you can only reward them for it. In this case, the reward is a job.
But this is why you can’t just pull in the new recruit from the marketing team to take up the mantle. If they don’t already engage, they’re not going to do it because of a paycheque, not in a way that resonates.
Because that can’t be bought.
Postcards from the edge January 5, 2009Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, work/life.
I think this is what they call coming up for air.
So it’s a little less than -10 outside, though the sky is blue and I am warm as I sit banging away on the keyboard from Cafe Latte, a cute little coffee shop run by an old Italian couple who emigrated a long time ago to teach sociology (him) and engineering (her) at a university in Edmonton. Funny how things work out.
In the rush to get off the island, I missed a few things which I need to rectify. I wanted to thank Julian Cole for a great time in Sydney, and for being the fine human being that he is. Scott Drummond who is one of my best friends and biggest sources of inspiration, because of rather than inspite of his incredible fro. Also the man who is primarily responsible for this little site of mine, Simon Chen, someone who was endlessly encouraging of my meager efforts in the space and who taught me a valuable lesson; that it was almost impossible to be too opinionated.
As I move from the Australian marketing community and start to ingratiate myself with the Canadian one, I’m noticing a few things as I walk around town:
- Western culture is western culture.
- It’s remarkable how different things aren’t.
- It’s not the thinking that is lagging in Australia, it is the clients (who are slowly but surely catching up anyway)
- The world over the problems are the same, we just pronounce the words differently.
I’m enjoying having the time to breathe right now, it’s something I didn’t do enough last year, though it’s possible I was just waiting on the right air to breathe in. In the words of the great philosopher F. Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Happy new year everyone.
You can’t hurry love August 18, 2008Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, music, web 2.0, work/life.
Tags: Blogger, George Bernard Shaw, last.fm, Leo Tolstoy, Oovoo, Pandora, Seesmic, The BeeGees, TypePad, vimeo, Wikipedia, Wordpress, YouTube
We’ll get to the stuff I was talking about yesterday in due course, it ain’t goin’ nowhere baby. And what I have on my mind is much bigger than that.
So I was reading this piece on movement through the web which touches on notions the web having made creativity itself more accessible – mind you it does this in a fairly esoteric fashion wherein a bunch of stuff does straight over my head).
It got me thinking about how the advent of blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, TypePad etc. gave people the ability to express themselves, or at least opened other avenues to express themselves. if like me, you believe creative is not a department and we’re all inherently creative as a by-product of being human, then that’s pretty exciting.
YouTube, Vimeo and a bunch of other video services (such as Seesmic and Oovoo) have allowed people to express themselves in a similar fashion via video. What I’m thinking about though is something that enhances people’s ability to express themselves musically. Yes we have Last.fm, Pandora, what have you. These all function around recommendation engines, I’m interested in tools that allow people to make music more easily.
I hear you saying “But I can’t read music.” You know what? Most people with a blog couldn’t spot the difference between a verb and an adjective without the help of Wikipedia, I’ve played guitar for 15 years, I’m less good at reading music now than I was when I was 13, which is much more than The BeeGees ever could.
The issue is this: people love to construct barriers to entry. They love to put up walls around things they have achieved in a move towards exclusivity; if everyone can do what I do, then it isn’t actually an achievement.
How does that relate to blogging? In terms of raw self-expression, blogging has enabled more voices to be heard than any other publishing medium in the history of the world. The individual impact may not carry that of Tolstoy or Goerge Bernard Shaw, but that makes it no less valid a form of expression, and the collective voice is far greater.
Being a musician myself, I’m wondering how music can be made more accessible – not the acquiring of other people’s music but the actual creation. Maybe part of the equation of putting value back into the 4 megabyte files everyone is downloading is sharing more of the experience of creating them in the first place. Maybe that will only serve to drive down the value further, but as the perceived value continues to approach zero, what do we have to lose?
I’ll happily acknowledge this post is a complete shot from the hip, but I really believe theres something in this.
My only question is: where to from here?
Tags: Adspace Pioneers, Gaping Void, Hugh Macleod, Julian Cole, Marketing Magazine, XKCD
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I am currently crunching out my latest column for Marketing Magazine’s…hmm…September issue I think, I tend to lose track. So my thoughts are preoccupied with telling the offline marketers how to get the conversation started while delivering a few home truths, we’ll see how that goes.
But I’m also grinning ear to ear as I type this, so much good work out there this morning, and rather than talk about one thing, I want to point you in a few directions.
1. Gaping Void – a recent post from Hugh Macleod which really hits home for me at the moment:
It’s good to be young and full of dreams. Dreams of one day doing something “insanely great”. Dreams of love, beauty, achievement and contribution. But understand they have a life of their own, and they’re not very good at following instructions. Love them, revere them, nurture them, respect them, but don’t ever become a slave to them. Otherwise you’ll kill them off prematurely, before they get the chance to come true.
2. My good friend Julian Cole has a social media framework which is a great piece of thinking, it should be read and pondered and then executed. No questions.
3. Lastly, because I’m in a goofy mood, XKCD. It is a regular web comic, often bizarre, rather amusing.
OK, back to the column. Happy Friday everyone, let’s go light on the marketing today and put a little bit extra into the stuff that really matters. Deal?
Twitter; the new talkback? January 30, 2008Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, digital strategy, web 2.0.
Tags: e-cbd, Global Neighbourhoods, radio, Shel Israel, The Black Swan, The Cluetrain Manifesto, Twitter
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A good friend just asked me if I really thought Twitter was going to take off, and I guess around that are a host of questions on the value it offers to its users. Maki has some great thoughts on ways it adds value to its users (thanks to Jennifer Laycock for the link), but one thing that just occurred to me as my friend asked the question and I glanced at my laptop to see the conversations roll past is that it seems to operate the same way talk-back radio did (or does for those who still listen to radio).
My Dad pointed out to me years ago the things the talk-back guys were discussing were invariably the things that made newspaper headlines the next day. In the same fashion, the conversations on Twitter revolve around other newsworthy pieces of information. They may not make the front page of the New York Times, they may not even make the front page of the New York Times website, but they will invariably make it up on somebody’s blog, read by any number of people from one to a million.
In this fashion, I love Shel Israel’s notions of global neighbourhoods. I am not American but I am about as interested in the US election as a foreigner could be, and because of this I can discuss the goings on today in Florida with people actually State-side and engage in a discussion about it; I doubt there’s an audience for US politics large enough on Australian talk-back radio to make it worth anybody’s time to take the subject on. It also reminds me of something I think I read in The Black Swan, but I can’t quite remember; you can have only three readers for your blog, but those readers are the presidents of America, China and Russia, your influence out-games the raw numbers…there’s more there I think…
So with the understanding that a blog readership, no matter how small can have a significant impact on the (on and offline) world around the writer, and for a percentage of those posts to have origins in conversations on Twitter, then I think there is a role for it to play as a topic is started by The World™, discussed on Twitter, generating a blog about that discussion which incites further discussion and winds up any number of places. Or as James Governor ironically pointed out (via Marshall Kirkpatrick), if markets are conversations then Twitter is money.
*After-thought* I went back over to Twitter to think some more and saw a note from Loic about Seesmic. If Twitter is the start of a new talk-back, Seesmic is where it is going (additional thoughts on that as I get more into the service…)