Archive for March, 2009

Chuffed

Very happy to see that the lovely Mike Butcher had included me in 'Celebrating Women in Tech' post, in
commemoration of Ada Lovelace day.  I was very honoured to be listed among such talented, inspirational
women.

Of course you’re on Twitter right?

Interesting blog post on E-Consultancy about which digital agencies are using Twitter and perhaps more importantly which ones aren't and why.  As Chris Lake says, "I was perplexed to discover that many agencies haven’t yet bothered, and I’m not sure what message that sends out to the client-side."
His research showed that very few of the top 50 UK agencies were regularly twittering as an agency. 
The article has prompted a huge number of comments, mostly from agencies defending their position plus lots of people making the point that the reason agencies don't have a specific account is because Twitter is about people not companies. 

My take – yes of course, Twitter is about people, as I've said before that's exactly why it's so popular.  But it's not as simple as saying there's no place on Twitter for brands or companies, otherwise why do accounts like @overheardatmoo work so well? Because there is still a person behind the brand.  And that's the key.  I really do believe that as long as your tweets have personality there's no reason why you shouldn't tweet as a company or brand but you have to have something to say.  And you have to want to do it.  I wonder if some of the reason digital agencies aren't tweeting much is because the individuals who feel comfortable with Twitter already have their own accounts and they don't have the extra time, or inclination to try and run another one.

It was like Totally AWESOME

Sxsw

Hmmm, I have been seriously slack in blogging in the last couple of weeks.  Nine days out in Austin meant I was somewhat distracted (although lame of me not to blog I mean it's practically the law at SXSW).  Anyway, I'm pleased to report that it exceeded expectations, interesting talk, great people, lots of fun. OK so I know it was my first time and I probably sound a little giddy (maybe next year I'll sound more jaded) but now I really understand why it generates so much buzz.

So highlights and lowlights?
Well, it's best to have the bad news first right?

  1. As the lovely Vero points out so eloquently, it became apparent pretty quickly that the organisers had screwed up by not making it clear what level the panels were aimed at and some were really pretty basic.
  2. The venue is fine, huge and souless but hey, that's OK but they really need to sort the catering out- a rank wrap and coffee for $18 – yack.

Um, I can't think of anything else bad.  Now the good news.

  1. Great speakers and a fanastic range of subjects mean that you have a huge choice of potential panels.
  2. The people, the people, the people.  It's great to be with like minded folk who don't mind if you stand staring at your iphone for 10 mins instead of speaking to them.  Particularly big shout to the digital mission crew, a lovely bunch of folk.
  3. Parties, free beer – what more can I say.
  4. Speaker highlights: Kathy Sierra, Gary V (who was worth going to watch for the astounding hero worship he receives from his fans – GO GARY, you're AWESOME). And of course the British 'anti-panel' #kebab. It was juvenile and silly but hilarious and a refreshing change from all the earnest talk about social meeja.
  5. And finally, wi-fi that worked despite the fact that thousands of people where blogging, twittering and probably uploading a gazillion gigabites of data per second.

But you know you've been bitten by the SXSW bug when you realise that there is just no way on earth
that you won't be there next year.

5 things I love about Austin

 

Austin

*pic by Kumar

  1. The huge number of independent coffee shops with personality and attitude – the opposite of Starbucks.
  2. Wholefoods, quite simply the best store ever.  Please open more in the UK.
  3. Book People, quite simply the best book store ever.
  4. Everything is automated.  The toilets flush by themselves, the paper towels come out on their own.  You need never do anything for yourself again!
  5. Friendly people, in every store.  You get very used to the British attitude of aloofness/rudeness/"why are you bothering me by coming in my shop" and you forget that it's actually quite nice to be treated well.

ps.  however, the weather sucks (well at the moment anyway)

It’s off to Austin I go.

So on Wednesday I fly out to SXSW which I'm hugely excited about but I'm also feeling a little, well, overwhelmed.  I mean jesus, I can't believe how much there is going on.  I can just see myself wandering aimlessly from panel to party, dazed and confused and worried that I've just missed the most important/useful/fun bit, while I watch celeb bloggers get trashed.  But no, I am determined to get the  most out of it.  I'm most looking forward to a) some of the panels – oh I know it's supposed to be all about the parties and call me naive but there are some fantastic speakers so I don't care if that makes me square b) connecting with some great digital folk including lots of people from the UK who I know are making the trip out there.  Along the way I will try to blog, tweet and not lose my iphone or sanity.

Wish me luck.

Watch your back Twitter……

This is no doubt number 68931 of many posts to come about Facebook's latest rejuvenation including real-time updates, filters and so on.  At first I thought, "oh come on, how lame, what an obvious imitation of the higher form that is Twitter".  But then I caught myself and got a grip.  The fact is that Twitter, while growing fast in popularity is still miles behind Facebook in terms of usage – both numbers and demographic.  Facebook has been widely adopted whereas Twitter still often feels like a tech/PR/social media echo chamber. 

Twitter is great, it's fast, responsive, feels like a real conversation but if you knew nothing about it, were completely plugged into Facebook and then you picked up the Facebook real time updates too – why would you bother with Twitter?  What more could it possibly give you?

Of course the Twitterstream was awash with chat about it tonight.  I had a brief conversation with Charles Arthur among others and this tweet exchange kind of sums up how I feel about it.

5 vows for this week

Illness (tonsillitis) laid me low for a couple of days last week, so I'm still playing catch up.  I thought a good old list would do the job of helping me feel as though I am in control, so here goes – my resolutions for this week:

  1. To be uber efficient and get through all my scheduled work before flying off to SXSWi next week.
  2. To take a proper look at CoTweet which looks really interesting, allowing you to run multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously, (although I may have made a bit of a balls up by getting a beta invite and changing my twitter name afterwards – more on that later).
  3. To not sink my time into arguments about Twitter lists – totally inconsequential in the scheme of things.
  4. To try and look after myself, eat well, etc, last few months have taken their toll.
  5. To write some rather more interesting blog posts – I'll be blogging for the fine folk at e-consultancy while I'm away and I expect they'll require a bit more than a lame list….

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