Ad creative as a revenue stream? Simples

The fact that Comparethemarket.com’s Meerkat iPhone app is charged for rather than free is quite cool. That it is in the UK’s top grossing list on the iTunes store shows it is a revenue stream for the company in its own right.

That brand/creative/franchise is clearly taking on a life of its own… Other brand managers take note – advertising creative done this well can become a business opportunity in it’s own right.

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Book news: cover, US launch in June and other bits #webshadows

Off to the printers!

It’s official: Me and My Web Shadow: How to Manage Your Reputation Online is in print production right now… H’rah!

Here’s a shot of the cover that the publisher shared with me…

US publication date is now June

Me and My Web Shadow’s US launch is now set for June, pushed back slightly from May. The reasons for this are all good – and the US publishers sound really positive about its chances.

(If you want to pre-order a copy in the US, it’s a steal at Amazon for just over $10.)

UK launch events

Contrary to my dreams of publishing glory, large and lavish launch parties are a thing of the past. I shall be celebrating the launch in Brighton with a knees up no doubt, but there are also plans afoot for some events in London – an iCrossing client event – and further afield. If you are interested in running a joint event or in having a Me & My Web Shadow briefing/primer at a regular event you run do let me know.

Review copies and competitions

If you are a journo or a blogger I have a handful of review copies available in the UK. Once these have run out, the publisher has promised me some for a competition, so I’ll do a prize draw!

But if you can buy one and expense it/write it off against tax/think of it as an investment that’s even better – it’s just under ?9 and you will boost the sales rank in Amazon (currently 112,000 – though we hit the heady heights of 19,000 on Thursday). Think of it as a slightly pricey vote in the X-factor finals of the Amazon charts with a free?entertaining?and informative book gift for every supporter… ;-)

The web shadow of #webshadows

Ironically the web shadow of #webshdadows the book is quite slight at the moment, so in the spirit of the book marketing maestro, Seth Godin, I’m practicing what I preach and establishing the book’s network presence.

Naturally there’s a Facebook group and a Twitter profile now – hurrah! Please follow/fan/connect, if the mood takes you…

The end of Facebook quiz spam?: Facebook continues to add privacy enhancements

Facebook yesterday added a welcome feature to its privacy controls: the ability to control who sees different types of content you share via applications.

The example Facebook’s blog used was sharing a greetings card via an app like someecards – maybe you don’t want everyone in your network to see your hilarious design.


Perhaps it will also mean that people will be more likely to be selective in their updates about quizzes and social games like the massively popular Farmville. While many enjoy these Facebook apps, the stream of updates drive other people nuts and can become what one colleague of mine refers to as “functional spam”.

This development’s another good reason to invest the time in setting up different groups for Facebook friends, one of the approaches discussed in the sections on managing networks of contacts in Me My Web Shadow. While some people keep their Facebook network closed and restricted to friends and family, many of us have networks that include colleagues and acquaintances that we don’t want to share *everything* with.

This is a good move from Facebook: I hope there will be further development in making privacy controls easier to access, use and understand.


OH: Political dirty tricks merchant bragging on a train

In a further blow to the credibility of the Lib Dem campaign, Mr O’Brien read out a series of Twitter postings by Daily Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire, in which Maguire relates overhearing on a train a man boasting that he had “got Evening Standard to claim Lab has secret plans to shut Kingston Hospital.”

A second Twitter update from Maguire says “Train bloke now boasting the hospital scare story cooked up at his kitchen table. Very proud of Facebook following”.

Having posted his photograph, the man who was apparently so proud of having ‘cooked up’ a regional NHS review into ‘secret Labour plans’ to shut a hospital was later identified by Maguire as Lib Dem activist Dan Falchikov.

 

It’s not just social networks where people have the illusion that public spaces are private…

This case shows that people can invoke an imaginary privacy bubble in the real world too. The Liberal Democrat activist bragging about his antics on his mobile was having his conversation reported live on Twitter by a Daily Mirror journo.

There’s also a sense of grim satisfaction attached to this story of an inconsiderate “I’m on the train!” loudmouth getting his comeuppance.

In this case the hapless braggart was unlucky enough to be sitting near a Daily Mirror journalist who was posting what the man was saying and then his photograph. But many people like tweeting similar things – one friend of mine likes Googling loudmouth fellow passengers and identifying them while they are on the phone.

Give it a couple of years (months?) and facial recognition technology combined with cameraphones will mean that this process can happen even faster. Before someone has finished their “confidential” phone call the person two seats away can have posted their side of the conversation on the internet – maybe even the video too.

Loose lips, eh…

Via @johnniemoore – On Twitter, naturally

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Q: What’s the number one thing people want their browser to do?

A: Block ads.

Sometimes it’s worth reminding ourselves of the simple truths about online media and marketing.

Like the fact that, given the choice, a lot of people don’t want banner ads, pop-ups and other sundry promotional interruptions getting in the way of whatever they are dong.

I was reminded of this when Google kindly turned on the ability to add extensions for the Chrome browser on Macs today.

Number one on the list of things I could download to improve my browser was Ad-Block

And down there at the bottom you can see another version. Half a million unique users that don’t see a thing…

Banning LinkedIn in banks?: Regulators can’t move at web speed..

If you’re a registered broker or work for firm that sells any sort of investment products, you’ll want to think twice before blurting out anything that could be construed as investment advice on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has updated its guidelines for interpreting the rules that govern how brokers present advice to the public to cover online social networks; and, in some cases, the guidelines rely on social network monitoring and archiving technology that doesn’t even exist yet.

The new guidelines have two broad effects on the way financial firms use social media. First, the new rules attempt to take the traditional distinction between marketing a brand and hawking specific investment products, and to enforce it in online venues that sport a constantly evolving slate of features and functionality, and where the lines between the personal and the professional—or, the personal and the promotional—aren’t always clear.

If large organisations are challenged when it comes to adapting to the complexity and rate of change that the social web brings about, what chance do regulators in industries like finance and pharmaceuticals have?

As we can see in the Ars Technica post quoted above, they know they have to do *something* however, and in the case of the Canadian Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that means effectively having to put in place rules about what technologies and behaviours * might* emerge on social networks.

Wow.

The other big challenge is making a distinction between people’s personal and professional presence and activities online. In one case, someone has been told that they have to delete their LinkedIn profile as it is clearly professional communications, but Facebook’s OK as it’s seen as personal.

This is of course, a nonsense. Work/life divisions blur all the time, and especially online. I may not use Facebook for business, but plenty of people do – and any regulator (or employer interpreting the rules) will it difficult to define personal/professional differences by platform.

As ever, the danger is that businesses and whole industries will lose out on the benefits of connected, digitally literate people working in them if their instinct is to clamp down on the use of social media.

New norms and ways of behaving will need to be worked out. It won’t be quick though…

Posted via web from Antony’s posterous

Nice quote about writing from Alain De Botton…

Writing opens up the otherwise unusual prospect of being violently disliked by strangers & training oneself not to mind. Via twitter.com

One of the rules I put up front in Me & My Web Shadow is “Get a thicker skin”.

It may be fewer people than read one of De Botton’s books or articles, but publishing a modest blog post or even a comment can be a challenge when you’ve never done it before.

Sometimes, even if you have done it before.

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Lovely network analysis visualisation of the US senate

BARACK OBAMA’S visit last week to the Republicans’ issues retreat in Baltimore was a pretty daring move. To envision how daring, it’s useful to take a look at this visualisation of the Senate’s social graph over the past 19 years, posted back in May by Andrew Odewahn, an information-design expert.

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