Friday, December 11, 2009

Are you lurking here?

Recently I have found myself in conversations with various folks working in the communications industry chatting about how they working on campaigns to get people to be more personally involved with their brand and or marketing campaigns... post a note on their blog or website, shaping a radio station playlist, uploading photos as part of a promotion, following a brand on twitter, join a facebook group in the name of a brand etc etc

All good stuff in this rather modern age of consumption and online socialisation, but the big question looms large - how far will people go in the name of social type involvement with a brand? Naturally the first consideration is about how much they like or possibly even love a particular brand... I am a little loathe to spend time with people that either I don't like very much or don't have much in common with. (no big surprise there!)

But what has been really niggling me is how to work out the potential level of involvement. Not all people are the same... some people are loud and opinionated, some are silent types and keep their opinions to themselves, some people like to make their own path in life, some prefer to follow the crowd. So how do these things vary when comparing behaviour in the analogue world to the digital world?

There are a few good theories on the debate...They aren't shiny new by any means but nonetheless, worth sharing. 90-9-1 is a good rule of thumb simply stating that some people participate more than others. researcher Jakob Neilsen calls this participation inequality. The theory goes that:

  • 1% of the online community are CREATORS of content, happy to start things from scratch like websites, blogs and networks

  • 9 % of the online community are comfortable as being EDITORS and chipping in or adding to ideas, forums and posting comments

  • 90% of the online community are more comfortable LURKING, reading or observing than having to make a contribution.

Forrester have also developed what they are calling a 'social technographicss framework that poses a different set of participation statistics around populations based on their data which is based on a way of looking at this area. Check out their 2009 tool to get a breakdown based on a few demo inputs

So in getting back to the question, asuming you havea good idea to start with, you can apply a framework like Forresters and get a rough idea of the number of participants you can expect.

I quite like the recommendation from around ways to make participation easier which I have stolen below... this is the abreviated version so check out the site for the full lowdown.

  1. Make contributing easy for everyone.

  2. Encourageediting over creating - blank pages are scary.

  3. Reward participants.

  4. Go easy on the rewards, but certainly bake them into the process of participation.

  5. Identify both power users and up and coming users.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

which learning style are you?

A sharp little video from a bunch of interesting ethnographic research folks called Point Forward.

I like their simple framework for referencing 4 basic learning styles across the innovation process.

Key question is whether we are very good at ensuring we have the 4 different learning styles in our organisaton to help us move through the innovation process.

Innovation as a Learning Process from Roger Shealy on Vimeo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

iZine for the iPhone

I remember when Ezines were all the rage... not sure if this is still what people call online magazines but this is a beautiful example of an Izine... yup, magazine for your iPhone.
Check out the video...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It was back in January that Burger King kicked off their whopper sacrifice campaign rallying whopper lovers to drop 10 friends on Facebook for a free burger.

This week the New Oxford American Dictionary named its word of the year as UNFRIEND.

Blimey, who would have thought we would find ourselves with so many friends through our myriad of networks we'd have to start scaling back on them!

Yesterday I noticed on Linkedin that my network update referenced one of my contacts as reaching 300 connections which is known as the Double Dunbar! This refers to Robin Dunbar an anthropologist who proposed that we are only able to maintain a network of 150 connections before things start to break down... you know, you find it too hard to catch up and stay in touch in any meaningful way. So my Linkedin contact has double the amount of people in their network they can 'properly' maintain a relationship with.... Question is what constitutes a maintaining a relationship in a Linkedin context or any context for that matter? How many people in our network are like 'rainy day' contacts... ? Is there a point where we simply need to sacrifice quantity for quality?

Recently I have also been UNFRIENDING myself from the abundance of e-newsletters I seem to have oversubscribed to as well. in an average day, I seem to find myself on the receiving end of somewhere in the vicinity of 30 daily newsletter updates (and that is just on my work email). Assuming I spent an average of 5 minutes having a read of these, that would be 2.5 hours in my day! I know I am not alone here either as just this week I have had this conversation with a few friends who are all claiming the same need - to unsubscribe from their over abundance of emails updates, UNFRIEND the ones that just don't make the cut anymore and reclaim their day.

There has been a lot of discussion from thinkers like Tim Ferris (the 4 hour week) where he has 17 posts on email detox as well as a video of the celebrity tech blogger Robert Scoble talking about how he gets throgh 622 RSS feeds as well as tens of thousands of emails!

Make unfriending your friend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A few thoughts on innovation

thanks to Tim from Dynamic Horizons for this thought provoking number.

All I want for Christmas is a Playstation EyePet

Speaking of reality, or lack of it. I’ve been babbling on about augmented reality finding its way to our shores (or NOT finding its way). Well, guess what… IT’S HERE AND IT’S BRILLIANT!

Introducing the Playstation EyePet. I stumbled upon this on YouTube, but I hear from a secret source that this is launching here in only two weeks!!

Tickle him and he laughs, poke him and he jumps, roll him a ball and he chases it. EyePet is a responsive virtual pet that reacts to your every move, providing entertainment and fun for the whole family.

First, you bring your little virtual pet to life – explained to you by a scientist, who also explains how to set up your Playstation Eye camera. Then the PlayStation Eye camera watches your interactions in front of your TV and relays that image onto your screen where the EyePet itself lives. This allows you to then interact with the pet as if it were scampering around the table or floor space in front of you.

This little augmented reality critter reacts to your movement, interacting with you, as if you’d just brought him home from the pet shop (or zoo…)

All of this is made possible by the power of PS3 which has enabled EyePet’s developers to create incredible graphics and animation. Not only is he cute, but he’s smart too.

Go Playstation. And to all you parents out there, start saving, Christmas is only around the corner… Check it out...

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fun Theory

Even car manufacturers can leverage fun.

The Fun Theory, is the latest campaign by Volkswagen via ad agency DDB Stockholm.
It's not just about proving consumers with fun, but provides them fun in exchange for socially responsible actions. This reward has seen a marked increase in people caring out the action.

Check out the video's of a set of subway stairs transformed into a walking piano and a ‘never-ending’ bin that manage to change people’s typical behaviour for the better.

The latest one is the series has just been uploaded - check is out

And all of this with barely a reference to Volkswagen.

I wonder if there is not some big learning's in this for charities & governments?

Sort of related is a TED video by Rory Sutherland

He talks about how advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. He's point is that changing the perceived value is as powerful as changing the real value.
He is very entertaining & funny (adding some perceived value), but also has some real value in his content. Worth sparing the 10 mins to check it out here: