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Indie 2.0: Inspiring a Generation of Artist August 2, 2011

Posted by billyburnettgbc in blogs, conversational PR, Facebook, Journalism, kindle, new media, print media.
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As you may recall, in a previous post I talked about how filmmaker Kevin Smith announced he planned to market his next movie, Red State, using just social media and entirely without studio support. He has since not only made back the cost of the movie, something several recent summer blockbusters have failed to do, but also launched an internet radio station, filmed a pilot for a new TV talk show and started work on his final film, Hit Somebody.

The story of Kevin Smith is enthralling, but what’s more exciting is that it is far from unique. As far back as 2004, the British director Franny Armstrong made the eco-documentary The Age of Stupid, pioneering “crowd-funding”, a method whereby the financing (£450,000) was raised by selling shares to individuals and organisations, who all received a pro-rata share of the profits.

Now with the decline of the printed book and the rise of the eBook, supported by recent announcements by both Borders and Penguin books publisher Pearson, many authors are self-publishing and promoting their latest page turners.

For example, Toronto writer Blake Northcott decided to launch a Kindle version of Vs. Reality, a “comic book-inspired urban fantasy novel” on Amazon.com. During the nine months she spent writing the comic and movie blog, she amassed a 16,000 strong Twitter following, more than 1,700 personal Facebook friends and 4,500 page views providing real-time feedback on her work. To put that into perspective it’s more than Image Comics, the world’s largest independent comic book artist publisher.

Even those authors that still have the financial and marketing support of their publishers are realising the opportunity around social media in promoting their work.

John Green’s latest book, The Fault in our Stars, recently landed the number-one spots on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. This isn’t particularly strange – expect the book won’t be published until 2012. Using a variety of social media tools, including Twitter, Tumblr, community forums and YouTube, he has created a community around his work and unprecedented pre-orders have followed.

This presents a conundrum for any artist. Consider the extra blood, sweat and tears that self-distribution requires; engaging with followers via social media instead of getting that final chapter done, which is surely self-defeating, but also becoming an intrinsic part of the marketing mix which was traditionally handled by the publisher.

Thanks to social media however, artists across the globe are writing their own rules about branding and fan engagement.

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The beautiful (and highly social) game June 14, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Facebook, Twitter, Uncategorized, video, YouTube.
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by Sophie

Now that the whole nation is well and truly immersed in World Cup fever, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how we’re keeping ourselves up to speed with the latest updates and news.   It’s been two years since the latest major football tournament (Euro 2008) and oh how the media landscape has changed in this time.  More traditional forms of communications have paved the way for apps, videos, fan pages, Twitter feeds.  So for all of you that haven’t already dumped England off at the first hurdle, here we take a look at three of the best ways to follow the beautiful game:

1. On the 1 June, the FA launched their biggest campaign to date in an effort combine the public’s enthusiasm for football with actual participation.  This has included a Facebook app where users can create their own Official England Shirt and then post it as their profile picture.  You’ll have to move fast to get the number you want though. 24 has been taken by Stuart Pearce, 25 by Ray Winstone, 30 by Stephen Fry and 67 by Nick Clegg.  Other numbers include 66 by the Bobby Moore foundation, 2012 by The Olympics and 2018 by Back the Bid

2.Twitter has launched their official World Cup Tracking page.  Twitter staff select the most interesting tweets using the hashtag tool and algorithms.  You can also view the latest country updates by clicking on the flag of choice.

3.Video had to feature in this list – so here you go!  If you’ve missed any of the action or fancy a cheeky lunchtime watch of any of the games go to Footytube.  It’s not completely new for the World Cup – you can watch league teams (even smaller ones) in action – but they have a dedicated World Cup page so that you can make sure that you’ve always got some good footy knowledge to share down the pub at the end of the day.

So, great news for us – these are just three of the many ways we can stay up to date with all the action via social media.  Check out Mashable’s Social media hub here

 

 

Not so great news for our players where the teams from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Holland, Germany, Argentina and England are forbidden to use any social media tools including sites like Twitter! Shame, would have been interested to see what Green would have tweeted after Saturday’s match.

Facebook – We love you, we love you not, we love you… May 26, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Facebook, Online Reputation, social networks.
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Despite being somewhat of a media darling in 2009, where the introduction of even the most basic of features were salivated over by the press, Facebook has come under heavy criticism over the past few months. This has predominantly been around privacy settings, though the odd security scare has also hit the headlines, which has resulted in Mark Zuckerberg announcing plans to roll out simplified features from 26th May.

Although this is likely to be met with a several hurrahs and pats on the back from people stating the power of social media has once again influenced power over an organisational strategy, I must admit I don’t really care and truth be told, I doubt 90% of the people on Facebook do either. Privacy settings are rarely a concern for the man on the street and he definitely doesn’t read the terms and conditions, as demonstrated by GameStation, so why all the fuss?

The fact is that more than we love to see someone succeed, we love even more to see them fail and this is especially true when it comes to brands in the internet age. What will be interesting to see is whether Mark and the rest of his team will be able to turn up the marketing charm, something they haven’t had to do much of previously, and get the media back on side.

David vs Goliath Starring Google as David With guest appearances from Facebook and Twitter in the role of Goliath February 12, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Facebook, Google, social networks, Twitter.
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In the online world Google is undoubtedly seen as a giant among mere mortals, but in some arenas this is far from the case. I am talking about the social media scene where Facebook and Twitter are leading the way and Google is running along behind trying to keep up as best it can.

The weapon Google has chosen in place of the traditional slingshot is Google Buzz, a new add-on for Gmail that, as they put it, will ‘Go beyond status messages’. Users of this new service will be able to share all types of info from photos and videos through to websites within the existing Gmail service.

Using their existing email system may seem a strange option as platforms like Twitter and Facebook have made their mark on the world by moving away from emails and using instant messaging and other quicker forms of communication. By integrating with Gmail, Google gains instant access to 176 million existing email subscribers, some will just see this as another email add on and not a threat to the social media status quo but others may see this as a sleeping lion, waiting for Google to yank its tail and start a social media revolution.

With a host of failed attempts at social media in their past including Orkurt, Dodgeball, Jaiku, and OpenSocial some may think this latest effort is destined to failure. But I am also sure that a few years ago people would have laughed at you if you asked when they last Tweeted and who their celebrity doppelganger on Facebook was.

Google certainly doesn’t look like they are ready to give up on the social media scene just yet and even if they are the David of the piece for now I would not be surprised if a growth spurt and promotion to Goliath is not far off.

Who will pay? November 18, 2009

Posted by kewroad in 2009 predictions, blogs, conversational PR, Facebook, Google, information technology, Journalism, new media, Online Reputation, Uncategorized.
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Murdoch has created a lot of storm recently talking about how consumers will have to pay for content.  In this Sunday’s Observer, there was yet more discussion about how even in the good old days of printed newspapers, customers never paid the full price anyway – so why does Murdoch think they will now! And then later in the week, the editor of the Times shed more light on how he expects readers to pay for the digital edition of the Times.  Good luck to them. Now, the founder of Digg, is suggesting that news aggregation sites have a contribution to make.  So it’s definitely all still up in the air, in terms of how it’s all going to work financially.

In the meantime, it’s goodnight to another printed publication, 25 year old Media Week but welcome to it’s new online presence..let’s hope they can make it pay.

So in this revolutionary world we currently live, the winners will be the ones able and prepared to change their business model and make it work financially.

Sue Grant

Facebook ‘gifting’ and virtual goods January 9, 2009

Posted by kewroad in Facebook, gifting, Second Life, virtual goods.
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I’ve recently learned that ‘gifting’ on Facebook is creating major revenue, rumoured to be millions of dollars a month. I found this revelation surprising as I’ve never bought any gifts on Facebook unless they were free. I just can’t imagine spending my hard earned cash on something as intangible as virtual gifts on the internet. For many (me included) the idea is downright ludicrous.

As more users join social networking sites, interactions among users within social networking sites have become more bizarre. For example, poking and superpoking are common pastimes on Facebook. Gifting, giving friends virtual gifts on Facebook, has become increasingly popular since it was unveiled in 2007. Initially many thought that the idea wouldn’t catch on because it was too expensive ($1 per gift) and the gifts were virtual, i.e. not real and therefore meaningless to users. But the idea was successful, with people sending friends gifts ranging from the thoughtful (a piece of cake or a cupcake for birthdays) to the ridiculous (kick me post its, handcuffs and toilet rolls).

On the same topic, virtual goods on Second Life is another market creating major revenue (in the billions). I recently read an interesting article all about the Second Life virtual goods industry. People actually spend money on furniture, clothes and food for their avatars (a computer user’s self representation or alter ego) on Second Life. One may mock the concept but somewhere out there, there is a multi-millionaire who has made his/her fortune from the virtual goods industry. The market is estimated to be worth “approximately $1.5 billion and growing rapidly.”

I generally find the idea of a virtual world difficult to fathom, but it’s very real for some. Second Life even has its own home-grown scandals related to the virtual goods industry. An article in BusinessWeek discussed “a program called CopyBot, which lets anyone copy virtual goods without paying for them, got loose on Second Life, angering the folks who have made the place not only their second home but their main business.”

During a recession, one would think that sales of virtual goods would decrease but according to reports, that is not so. “Digital good sales within IMVU are still going strong,” said IMVU CEO Cary Rosenzweig. According to an article in Virtual World news, “In IMVU, members buy credits which are then used to buy digital goods. Credit sales are still strong. In fact, so far in October, our growth rates have actually accelerated, whether compared to year ago, or month-to-month. Over 90% of IMVU’s overall revenue is from the sale of virtual credits used to buy digital goods…Because our virtual credit revenue is strong, so is our overall revenue.”