Monthly Archives: April 2008

How To Communicate


This is Brett Hurt Founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice whom I met today at Internet World.

Now the interesting thing I thought about Brett is that he knows how to make friends, engage with people, seemed to be open minded, and generally enjoys interaction with new people, he doesn’t foolishly judge too quickly, which always gets my interest every time.

To give you an opposite example.

The first exhibitor I walked up to at IW today was an older gentlemen representing a company concerned with CRM, you know, management of customer relationships (cough cough), and as it happens I have had CRM on my mind for a project recently. So picture this, I had a Nikon around my neck, was wearing torn jeans, a t-shirt, slightly unshaven look, and my usual blue glasses, a normal day for me then, (as you can see here) nice eh?.

So, as I say hello to this grumpy old guy, first thing he does is starts to look me up and down and begins asking me questions to validate myself (no shit),

  • HIM: “how many employees do you represent then”

  • ME: “I’m a web strategist, one of my clients has global representation”
  • HIM: “show me a card then”

blah blah (insert longer story here), really boring me already dude.

So it got to the stage where I couldn’t give a fuck how good his software may have been, the mere fact he made a judgement call on my appearance along with his decision to try and assert me to validate myself to him (like that’s going work), was enough for me to just politely fuck-off in the other direction.

Now, moving on to Brett.

Brett on the other hand, you see, took an interest in a potential conversation with me and found out that I might post some pictures of the IW event onto Flick, the fact that hey this might be a really good moment for a Blog post to come from it, a moment captured where people interact with good outcomes, a memorable exchange.

Brett pulls his shirt open revealing a green t-shirt and says “put Bazaarvoice loves osborne” on it. I have no idea what that means, but it is of little significance. It’s a message, it’s a reach, it’s an enagagement to someone, a client, a prospect who knows?

Job done for me, I couldn’t refuse this attitude, it’s perfect, and goes to show that if you think you are above your station (the first guy) you might need a reality check. The internet is not all about suites and boots.

Go visit BazaarVoice.

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Trattoria Dopo Teatro

Tomorrow evening is the Social Media Mafia “sit down” dinner in NYC.

The event is taking place at the Trattoria Dopo Teatro at 7:30pm, tomorrow (April 24)

125 West 44th Street

Looking forward to seeing you for big eats and some drinks, and plenty of geekery.

Send me an SMS tomorrow if problems: +447824776785 send me one anyway :)

Facebook Chat

Facebook chat will aid in the reduction of publishing on the platform: Discuss

So Facebook rolls out a chat application this morning, I log in to find a list of “online friends” ready as potential victims for me to pounce on for synchronous chat!

I don’t know about you, but I do like live chat, I mean hell I’ve used it as a business platform for about 8 years, chatting with clients and students all over the world, it’s always been my office. I remember using Yahoo! extensively with students for 4 years, as our “virtual classroom”, and even added away messages like “this is my office knock first”, or “I’m in the garden making fireworks”, poor attempts and installing a sense of go away I am busy right now.

So I’m comfortable with chat.

Already today I chatted with Jeff, Maz, Daniel, Ben, Matthias, kfir, CJ,

I do prefer though the time one has in email, the reflection time, to ponder and to measure, chat removes that and of course demands immediate attention.

Regardless of how you feel about chat itself, do you think it might actually decrease the amount of publishing on the platform itself? If you can instantly contact and ask a friend something, why would you publish, notes, forums posts and various bits and bobs?

What’s your thoughts?

Mobile Phone Web Site: Cell Browsing

I’ve (as in my web development company) just finished a BETA mobile site for a client .

I’m not sure about you but I find myself more and more using my smart phone for staying “connected” when out and about. I have a Nokia e61 which is basically my mobile computer, in fact I very rarely use it as a phone in the traditional sense, I have a another device for that.

The main sites I use on my phone are Twitter, Gmail and Facebook. Armed with those three sites I can cover most of my day to day communication addiction needs.

Now and again I might pop into YouTube (really cool service) for a distraction and often I’ll sneak a look at BBC too, actually as I start to think about it I use more than the initial three sites I mentioned.

What is interesting though is that there are a staggering amount of web sites without an optimised mobile version for us “out and about” type people. Just try your favourites on your phone and see what utter nonsense comes up, you’ll be surprised.

If you find some good sites please list them out below in a comment, oh and also have a look at my client mobile site, let me know if it works or not on your phone?

[edited, content removed]

Appreciate it.

P.S. you can screen shot and add html in the comments.

Re-Publishing Content

I’ve decided to re-publish some of my older work from the 90s and early parts of the 00s. I was Blogging, like many of us were, before Blogging existed.

It seems to make sense to put things on this central blog now.

Today I re-published a paper I wrote in 2001 which is an evaluation of a pilot course I ran for my company Audiocourses.com. As I re-read the text it amuses me how much of what I was saying in 2001 is brand new to a lot of people today in 2008, why is that? I’m not sure exactly, possibly I will claim I am pioneering, possibly I will claim I adopt VERY early, before ideas are born, whatever it is I’m not sure.

Here is the paper: Course Evaluation

Note one interesting and amusing aspect is that I mention SAE, the largest provider of media education in the world, which is now a client of mine.

Funny how things work out.

I’d be happy to answer any questions about the paper, through comments.

Social Influence Measurement

I just read Will McInnes Blog concerning MeasurementCamp and my brief thoughts are as follows:

A superb idea indeed and more importantly the correct format IMHO, structure is needed, probably more so when overt hierarchy is missing (though it exists covertly).

Sadly I heard about this late, not sure how, I just did, so I couldn’t attend. However, had I been there (and I do hope to come to the next one), or one of them, I’d have suggested a branch or “gravitating crowd” invest a significant amount of time in some thorough research of the psychological/sociological nature.

There exists decades of academic research into “social behaviours”, numerous models for how “social influence processes” operate, and in my personally limited research these are widely varying models, suggesting that not ONE model is proven as “correct”, I can think of at least four.

It just seems to me that until that “nut” of conceptualising “social influence” is understood, choosing ONE model, and the measurement of it, will always be aimed at a “moving target”, if you will.

I’ll attempt to disseminate my research on this as I go along because it does fascinate me how many people seem to dive head-first into it, as they want to believe it is true – influencing that it.

UPDATE 15.04.08: I asked a psychologist friend Jo Jordan what her thoughts were on this (she commented below). Jo also helped my thoughts greatly on this topic by drawing pictures of my thoughts, I have posted them below.


Figure 1.1 Pre Social Media


Figure 1.2 Adoption of social media by many advertising agencies


Figure 1.3 True representation of the complexity of social media processes. Note that the community nodes may start as being the same singular community though as they are organic and constantly changing they naturally morph into different communities (with different perceptions), with different processes with time.

Take some time to look at these diagrams, Figure 1.1 is the easiest to understand, most simple, and the method by which advertising has worked for a long time. Figure 1.2 is where I think a lot of agencies are currently operating, almost using social media as a “bolt-on” with no “feed-back” loop, and also the potential to derive a crude metric based on purchases, proving the source of influence is registered. Then Figure 1.3 clearly indicates a complex system of organic processes, each highly dynamic, and each two-way dynamic node contains multiple models of influential process, depending on ones school of thought (belief) for influence reception (there are many models as stated previously).

It is with these further thoughts we are heading towards a more “process” oriented metric which rather than looking at the outcome (as in traditional above the line metrics) we instead study (or measure) the relationships in the nodes.

This post is now a work in progress.

UPDATE 14.04.08: I’ll be adding a resource list in this post as they are collated

Social Influence Measurement Resources

Web 2.0 in Edu – Strengths and Issues

I am chairing an Edu panel at Podcamp NYC April 26 with the title of “Web 2.0 in Edu – Strengths and Issues”

We have Hilary Mason and Joyce Bettencourt joining us and we are looking for another two or three academics/support/admin/manager types, hopefully people with some opposing views and in various roles within a large institution, or operating within strict IT policies, or cultures opposed to change.

The event is informal with the panel being an interactive conversation with the participants (audience), where we will dig into positive and negative experiences with the aim of sharing good practice.

If you are interested please do email me.

I have a head full of both issues and strengths but let’s use this space for anything that immediately springs to your mind, in terms of the title. So what do you think the strengths are and what do you think the issues are? What can you share about this that I can take with me to NYC?

UPDATE : 18.04.06 – Christine Cavalier is also now joining us on the panel.

UPDATE : 18.04.08 – I was directed to a large collection of lWeb2.0 inks on shambles, which I have also listed here as some of these are so good I wanted to ensure they were in my site’s database links tables (I can use them site-wise). In addition I will more than likely update this list from time to time.

Photo Credit

New Business Cards

I got a mass-who-sive box through the mail today from CJ containing my new uber-minimalist business/networking cards, matching the lime theme on this ‘ear’ blog. I can’t even remember how many I actually ordered, but the box is GIGANTIO and rammed with even smaller little plastic cases with a gazillion cards in, I like it, makes me feel important!

As you can see we are sporting a very stylish minimalist embossed concept on the front, and a delightful twirl of the card will reveal some further details about moi, including me email addy and “dog n bone number”.

I also love the way the cards have a few lines on the reverse, for making some notes, like an appointment, a web page, another phone number, another contact etc.

I think that’s part of it you know, part of why I love these new cards. I love the space on the back that enables me, or anyone else, to write things about our delightful moment of interaction, almost like a node of some kind, a contact for other people, pretty smashing stuff! I’ve used any old scrap of paper in the passed, whatever was laying around, but this is far better.


The cards were not the cheapest in town, I mean who do you think you are dealing with here? No, no, not cheap but worth every penny to me for giving CJ the power to organise it all for me, and get them churned out. You should go speak with her if you want it all taken care of yourself, she will work with you until you are totally happy and then some.

Official Press Release Concerning Me

A few weeks ago or so I posted a blog about ,what it is I do (thanks for all those wonderful comments by the way). And this morning the “official” press release came out concerning the same.

I wanted to let you know of that one too on my blog. It is interesting how these things are stated in the press and various channels, and I think the release, whilst using very bold language, is actually true, so I’m happy about that.