Tag Archives: social media

Rockstar Disambiguation

Have you heard the term “Rockstars” used time and time again in relation to people on the Internet, particularly in the social media scene?

You have?

Me too, and you know what, it pisses me off no end. So this is my disambiguation post to state the use is plainly wrong when applied to wannabe practitioners of user generated content.

Terribly sorry people but if you want to know what a real Rockstar is watch this video.

If you have Rockstar needs go learn to play guitar, snort some coke and practise your stage diving, oh and pick up some tattoos on the way.

In the words of Scott Weiland (he’s the singer above) “don’t attempt to stand in a man’s shoes when you haven’t walked his path”

Scott’s history

How do you feel about the phrase?

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Social Media Club: Devils Advocate

Apparently I have been nominated to be on the Social Media Club Interim Board.

I’m not really into begging for votes, or asking for the popularity contest cup, in fact I detest that. However, this might be a really good thing to be included in from a devil’s advocate stance.

If you read my blog semi-regularly you’ll know I am one of those who likes to probe and seek some proof and sense of balance, particularly in social media circles. Fact is I am not a fan of evangelising in any niche at all, I find that self-perpetuating nonsense to be very dangerous and lacking in critical analysis.

SO, if you think I’d bring a balanced view to this area and would be of use as a sobering force, please do go ahead and vote me in, I’d relish challenging some of the evangelists, balance is needed in order to bring about a strong group of thinkers, you always need balance.

Vote for Hambly


Chinwag Measuring Social Media

Yesterday I attended the Chinwag.com event “measuring social media” chaired by Jim Sterne of Web Analytics Association with a panel comprising of:

Alex Burmaster – European Internet Analyst, Nielsen Online

Alex did a fair amount of pitching to begin with, and to be frank didn’t really give too much insight into what Social Media actually is. He enthused a great deal on how Nielsen has tools for measuring online conversations but lacked any real solutions for the crowd, he warmed up towards the end.

Robin Grant – Client Services Director, 1000heads

Robin started reasonably well and enthused on the power of Social Media although again didn’t really give any big insights to what it actually is and how you can use it. Little too much assuming I thought, although certainly a fan of Social Media.

Will McInnes – MD, Nixon McInnes

Will was the “gem” on the panel for me, he told it straight by stating “humans are slow and computers are dumb” (or was it the other way around?). Anyway he was basically stating that we cannot measure conversations, you cannot apply numbers to people’s emotions and cannot readily understand a conversation with a metric. I have to agree to some extent. Read more on his blog

Ankur Shah – Co-founder, Techlightenment

This guy was also enthusing well and was also “bigging up” the use of their Socialistics programme, based on collection of data for analysis.

I’ll state up front that I didn’t learn anything new from this event, ok sure it was great to network and meet new people, and some old friends, but in terms of the panel content I learnt nothing.

Why is this?

I think this is two-fold, firstly I am neck-deep in Social Media myself, much of that stems from running a virtual company for 8 years, I have had to build virtual communities and use social tools to engage with that community. Therefore I know first-hand what is needed, what talents and skills are appropriate and what works or doesn’t work. I’d say I was just as knowledgeable as anyone on the panel, certainly in terms of experience.

Secondly, the panel assumed that everyone in the audience knew what Social Media is, how it operates, what you need to do to get it to work for you. However, given that the majority of the audience were in fact PR agencies, I can tell you I am convinced that not a great deal of people do actually know what Social Media is, or more specifically how it can operate and work. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant, or expert-like, I’m just saying this is not new to mew.

One of most poignant questions of the evening was put by the Chair who asked “if you were given the job of Social Media Marketing Manager for Vauxhall, what’s the first thing you need to do?”. I immediately twittered this question and got the following answers:

@audio – Hi Chris, my first tool would be ears to listen. :)
Samantha_Grant at 18-02-2008 20:15

@audio demographics on target market and their media habits.
injenuity at 18-02-2008 20:07

@audio a thick skin?
GJD at 18-02-2008 20:02

@audio a super-high speed internet connection and great computer?
TamK at 18-02-2008 20:00

I like a lot of those tweets, and thank you for them because you proved my point. My answer to the question was simply “build a community and call them to action”.

It sounds simple when you look at it in print, but not one person mentioned that very important fact, in fact the very cornerstone of Social Media. Now regarding how to derive a metric from your community, I’m not sure about. Perhaps a call to action on a vote, an act, will in fact yield a metric. For example if 25% of my Social Media community act on a call to action, I do in fact have a metric, numbers, something for the CEO to consider. I know that’s not measuring engagement, connection, depth of experience, blah blah … but it is a number which CEOs “get”.

The dialogue went onto asking if we need an open source form of social media metrics, some kind of industry standard that we can all work towards, personally I’m not convinced of that either, but I could be persuaded.

I think to sum-up Social Media is currently a buzz-phrase, I’ve been socialising with my prospects for years, it’s not suddenly something new to me, though I understand it is for the traditional advertisers of this world. I also think that the strength of Social Media in terms of advertising will be the ability to extract highly detailed profiles of people in “the community”. Taking Facebook as an example, if the platform is sexy enough people will tell you “everything” about themselves.

Once we have highly detailed profiles of prospects we will be able to sell that data to be used to target individuals with specific information we know they will be pleased to hear about. This goes back to my argument around the Android Pocket Spy.

Of course the further we delve into asking our community to put forward detailed information about themselves the further down the privacy road we stumble.

Will you mind being profiled so deeply? Will you enjoy receiving targeted SMS notes about products in you geo area? It will come, believe me.

Social Media Is Based On Mafia Mentality

As I see that title I am now wondering how I can now justify it, but let me give it a go.

Firstly, let’s rid your mind of the romanticised stereotypical view of the Mafia; so that means you have to forget about horses heads in beds and machine guns outside of illegal underground casinos. You also need to rid your mind of anything criminal in fact, for my argument to work. So forgot about baseball bats and Las Vegas sand and lime too.

No, what I am talking about here is a mentality that, and we’ve all experienced this first hand, of something bigger and better, something worth much more than money, where money may actually be the by-product of the system.

The system of favours

The movement (loosely organised, and part of Folksonomy) of social media works by providing services that people want, typically information, or a bloody Dig, or a comment here and there, or something much bigger such as brand loyalty! People naturally migrate to providers and connectors of information and when and IF profit is made it is born out of a good relationship of those services and word of mouth endorsements.

If I help you in some way we have started to build a relationship, I have provided for you, without charge, something you want or need. In return you also provide for me or someone else in the social media family. This generosity is what builds trust, it is the currency of the movement.

If you assume money is the driver in this, you do not get the point, money will taint and in fact cheapen the exchange, the relationship. As I said money is a by-product of the favours and money WILL come if you play the game and focus on the exchange and relationships.

As an experiment (well and a bit of fun) I have now started another Facebook Page, called the Social Media Mafia (*update). this is an invite only group (you are free to request entry), where the members will have to have a “sit down” to approve newbies. The Family also now has an associated Social Media Mafia Website which the members will “take care of” very soon.

I’m chuckling a lot here :))

So, do you understand what I am trying to connect? Please tell me your thoughts.

Update: 30.05.08 I changed the Facebook link to point to a Page rather than group.

MediaCamp BUCKS 07 – you coming?

I would like to make you aware of event which may be of interest to you.

Media Camp Bucks 07

This is a new-media event taking place Sat Oct 20, Buckinghamshire UK, hosted by a not-for-profit organisation of which I happen to be the Founder, known as the ACHUB. The organisation has been active in putting on new-media events, concerned with sharing knowledge, practise, resources and social networking tools.

So what is Mediacampbucks07?

It is an “unconference”, a term which loosely implies that the participants themselves, i.e. YOU, run the day, YOU, interact and YOU, embrace the sessions. There is no “expert” talking to you for 40 minutes, the sessions are more like brain-storming sessions where you are encouraged to engage.

Bucks New Uni are kindly sponsoring this event to take place at the Technology Centre on the main High-Wycombe campus, and I cannot thank the University enough for this sponsorship, the facilities are great and it is a progressive move, and already the new-media community are buzzing about it,
people will be walking away back to industry having gained an awful lot.

Already many professionals have registered to attend and take part, including bloggers, web design companies, ad agencies, Internet TV people, SecondLifers, HR people and even Microsoft, and not just

The best bit, it is GRATIS, not a penny required, well your lunch and drinks aside!

We have also secured some additional sponsorship including Chinwag (the UK’s leading community media company for the new media industry, which will help pay for some goodness.

To register simply visit the mediacampbucks07 wiki and add your name, and if you fancy running a session add yourself to that too.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with me through email, more than happy to answer, if your business/institution is interested to sponsor do get in touch.


Chris Hambly


What stops you from making a comment on a blog

I must admit today I read a blog post concerning some feedback surrounding a recent advertising campaign taking place here in UK, and I gathered some quick thoughts, added them into the comments box, and then paused…. …. ….

I paused for a time and thought, “hmmm actually I won’t post this comment”, and I still do not know why I stopped.

My comments were around the idea of “yes, that’s a great campaign, I love it, but how about extending the conversation now?” I had tons of ideas for how this campaign could be a massive viral hit, and I mean a lot, but I didn’t post.

I wonder if it was because I am soon to be operating in some of these waters myself and not yet part of that specific community I was reading, I wondered if I should introduce myself in a slightly different way first, albeit virtually, before being the guy with shit-loads of ideas, I’m sensitive to cultures it seems?

Why do you not post comments, are you mean with your link-love, are you mean with your associations, let’s say you are considered an influencer, do you stop and not comment due to not wanting to attract attention?

Are you starting out, do you feel each and every one of your words might be jumped on, pulled apart, or do you feel shy, do you feel not worthy?

What stops you from commenting on a blog post?

Does Social Media Cost Your Company Productivity

Does Social Media Cost Your Company Productivity?

An interesting one this, as I read the latest report concerning social networking sites and a loss in productivity, from Peninsula, a UK employment law firm.

The report mentions that “233 million hours are lost every month as a result of employees “wasting time” on social networking.”.

I’ve not read the full report but apparently 3500 or so companies were included in a survey, which is a fairly sufficient number to extract some meaningful evidence.

I’m presuming that the national average hourly employee rate has been used as a method of arriving at a final figure of £130m (about $260M USD) lost per day, in terms of productivity (not those companies in the survey, that’s the national figure).

Sound like a lot to you? Hmmm, well before we all get scared and start running to the IT department to switch off Facebook access, let’s give this some perspective.

Loss of Productivity

Facebook and various other social media networks are by far “small-fry” when it comes to a loss in productivity, of which in many cases has been in existence since time began. Some of the areas where losses take place might surprise you but include the following list I have cobbled together:

• World Cup cost the British economy almost £4 billion in lost productivity.
• More than one-third of UK executives believe their organisations are being “
paralysed” by ineffective middle management, cutting productivity by at least £220bn every year.
• Bad hiring costs UK businesses billions in lost productivity
Lost productivity, lost millions – New research shows that the UK’s largest organisations are spending a huge amount of time getting to grips with desktop applications.
• Time-wasters cost £88bn a year in lost productivity
• Rugby World Cup to cost firms £461m in lost productivity

You can find out for yourself very easily by doing a google search on something like “productivity loss uk” and find hundreds of examples which are far higher up the leader board than the cheeky ole Facebook example, which include sick days, lateness and various other human conditions.

Balance is needed

Companies should question their own structural losses far sooner than jumping on the band wagon of social media bashing, and blaming their employees.

In addition, companies might also consider investing in some quality research to assess the extent at which social networking actually makes for a happier working environment, with satisfied employees, the argument of course is can more work per hour be achieved?

And you?

Are you in a position where social networks are frowned upon in your environment, does your very inefficient manager (costing the company thousands per year) question your usage?
Have you embraced social media as a manager, why, or why not?