Archive for May, 2009

It’s not all bad

Us Now should be required viewing for cynics (and I count myself in that).  It's so easy these days to believe what we read about how bad everything and everyone is, how we're all fighting amongst ourselves and darkness is around every corner. I have kids. Which means it's inevitable that I am even more sensitive to how bleak things have become.

And then something comes along that restores your faith, lifts your soul and makes you remember that for all the bad folk, there are many more good folk.

Us Now reminds us that social networks have the power to bring out the best in people. Of course it's not all cookies and cream – it's important not to be naive but hey there are lots of good people out there and social networks have made it easier to find them. They interest you and challenge you, they know stuff that you want to know, they help people they've never even met.

At the beginning of the film they mention mumsnet, a site that is very close to my heart.  It was probably the first social network I joined.  In 2001 with a newborn that wouldn't stop crying, this forum was, without exaggeration, an place of immense refuge.  I talked to amazing people, had challenging and at times, difficult conversations, witnessed horrendous trauma and stunning intelligence and wit.  It helped me diagnose a (not life threatening but severely debilitating) condition in my second child – when the medical profession had dismissed me.  Of course, that kind of support network isn't particularly new but the internet has made it so much easier.

So despite the horrible stories, Us Now reminds us to lift our head from the gloom.  Watch it and glow.

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.


Dilbert is still the best comic strip by some way.  Loved this one.  Must ring true of so many PR and social media measurement reviews.

These days…

Everyone is a social media expert
Everyone can tell you how to 'leverage the power of Twitter for business'
Every agency offers digital marketing services


Most clients still seem confused
Very few agencies are able to talk about campaigns they've actually delivered (rather than just clients we've worked with)
There's a lot of repetition of ideas that are presented as original thinking

This week I was privy to an astounding project where a client was about to spend a six figure sum on a social media project that had no clear objectives, no solid research behind it and was generally a complete bag of washing.  I'm obviously naive – I thought the industry had moved on.  Obviously there's a long way to go.


illustration by Al Barr