Social Whisper

Archive for November 2008

Its going to be a bit of an emotional day today. Two of my favourite people are leaving! Not only are they amazing, more importantly they are my tea buddies, so as well as missing out on the valuable banter I have to either being a tea drinking loner or start recruiting for replacements.

So in dedication to two amazing people I though I make todays random Friday post about them – enjoy!


Also known as Dave, he is one of the most intelligent people I know. He is probably best described as a heppersquirky English gentleman with a passion for China, tea, Flicker as well as a bit of Drum and Bass! He’s leaving to join Jing Tea which basically is going to allow him to deal with China and drink tea all day long!

Heppers is my main source of inspiration with a constant stream of useful links, new bands, and generally cool stuff that’s going on that I should really know about. He has also patiently had to ensure my many rants and taught my the very valuable lesson of to go and get a cup of tea before sending outrageous emails to people when they are being complete muppets.

Heppers love you to bits and going to miss you loads – can’t believe your going, but its totally understandable as your new job is perfect for you!


Although her real name is Claire she is only know as the sweens – a bit like Cher and Bono ( as they are Sweeneyknown by a single name not that she is like them in any way!). As well as working with her we have also lived together and so I can safely say that I have never met anyone so amazingly weird!

Her new blog ‘Sweens Dreams‘ is just an example of what goes on in her head! This may be partly caused to the copious amount of Stella consumed – honestly she is a machine, I would love to meet anyone who thinks they could out drink her on the stuff!

She’s moving to Canada tomorrow to ride a moose and find a pet bear (as long as immigration let her in!) so its all ending today. As one of my best mates I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with out her – sweens I’m going to miss you so much! – Champagne Tuesday’s can never happen without you!


I found an interesting post that was brought to my attention yesterday on the e-consultancy site. About a month ago they wrote a story questioning whether Nokia was running a suspicious SEO linking campaign or if someone was out to sabotage the brand with excessive linking.

The full article is here which outlines the possible scenarios that were considered surrounding this activity, but to summarise it turned out to be their digital agency I Spy.

But the nature of the article wasn’t what caught my attention, it was the first post in the comments mistakessection from one of the directors at I Spy. Within an hour of the post being published, I Spy had responded and owned up to the mistake while making it clear that the activity had been done by themselves and not Nokia. He also mentioned that there were processes beingput in place to avoid this from happening in the future.

I think that this is a great example of not only an agency practising what it preaches but also dealing with the issue immediately and head on. By admitting responsibility and apologising it immediately stopped the speculation which could have been damaging for both I Spy and Nokia but also demonstrated their professionalism and awareness in the online space.

mortar boardCompared to other forms of digital media such as display and search, social media isn’t yet as  accountable, and as it is still in comparison, in its infancy there are less learnings and studies around the subject.

It was therefore great to find this article from Shiv Singh which provides an overview of some of the current thinking in academia surrounding Social Media.

Not surprisingly the research shows that people are most likely to join a social network if they have friends that are already members, but also if those members are closely involved in that network.

Many of the studies looked at the power of influencers in the social media space and what makes certain networks and communities thrive compared to others, as well as which factors are key for the longevity of these communities.

Although research from Duncan Watts suggests that key influencers aren’t any more influential than any other people, and that it is actually down to how susceptible the information as to how successfully it is spread.

While I think that Duncan Watts’s findings may have the potential to become more applicable in the future as our lives become more integrated online, I think that there is still an important role in social media campaigns to identify the influencers in communities that you want to connect with to gain a deeper level of trust and integrity surrounding your message.

Since I have begun posting about Twitter it feels like the world is now revolving around qwitterTwitter with every where I look another Twitter anouncement. A post on Engage PR introduced me to Qwitter, a tool that allows you to see who is no longer following you, so basically when even your friends are bored of you.

be a magpie

Techcrunch also announced today the possiblilty of monetising your Twitter through a company called Be-A-Magpie. I’m not sure how successful this will be as although from what I’ve gathered the majority of Twitter users use Twitter to share links and information, I’m sure that people will quickly become bored and find the majority of adverts irrelvant however targeted.

But I will soon find out! I have signed up to Twitter to give it a go! You can find me @socialwhisper. I’m still trying to get to grips with it so any advice/ suggestions welcome!

CookstrNow we’re officially in a recession and my shameful bank balence is unlikely to be boosted by a pay rise any time soon, I have been spending more time improving my limited cooking skills in an effort to save money, be more healthy and aware of what is actually going in my food.

My creations are mainly soup based as I don’t think it is possible to destroy anything that you basically puree to a pulp once you’ve cooked it but that is all about to change! One of the latest articles on Cool Hunting is about a new website that has been created by Will Schwalbe and Katie Workman called Cookstr.

Its a site that contains millions of recipes, many of which have never been published. Not only that its is possible to search for recipes by food type, chef, even your mood, there is even a ‘surprise me’ option if you’re looking for some inspiration.

I know that this has no relation to social media or blogging but it does mean we can start giving the big G (Gorden Ramsey not God!) a run for his money while also saving a bit of money, and my mate Dave won’t have to keep re-writing his recipies for me everytime I lose them!

This weekend I have decided to behave myself, mainly due to actually having no money which rules out a lot of options but that after a few too many glasses of vino at lunch yesterday I decided that to try and redeem my conscience by spending the weekend sorting my life out.

I was catching up on some of my reading and found this post on The Bad Pitch Blog which I must have missed when it was first published that nearly made me want to go running back to the world of PPC to spend the rest of my life buried in an excel spreadsheet. The post is about Carol Blymire who runs the ‘French Laundry at Home‘ blog and how she deals with bad blogger outreach by responding to the emails while also cc’ing in the emailers boss and their clients.

Firstly I can completely understand why she must be utterly fed up receiving millions of untargeted emails and pitches, and I know it is nothing new to make examples of people who get blogger outreach wrong but this seemed quite extreme.

I always worry at the best of times when running an outreach campaign for our clients that we might accidentally upset someone – especially if they then feel the need to share it with their readers and friends. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do but even outside of work I hate upsetting people and spend hours afterwards thinking about it and going over the situation again and again.

I don’t believe that any of our campaigns would ever cause that level of upset as we do a lot of research when targeting bloggers. While I try to gauge the best way to approach each blog depending on the tone of the blog etc and may not always get it spot on, what we are speaking to them about should always be relevant to them.

I’m sure that as I continue in this role the ‘Fear’ will diminish and that when I receive emails back from bloggers I wont have a stomach churning fear that they are emailing me back to suggest that I should start looking for a new career. Until then I will always be grateful for the blogs that give advice on how to avoid these situations.

I know I have already used my random post allowence for the week but this was just too good not to share!bra

A Japanese online lingerie company have started selling bras for cross-dressing men and have instantly become a hit with over 300 sold since they were launched 2 weeks ago.

They’re avaliable in Black Pink and White and at only $30 each a bargin. Come on boys you know you want one!


November 2008
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