This blog is now a year old

I've been away for the past week. Ostensibly I was on holiday but spent most of the time in Sussex with the in-laws nursing a soar throat and runny nose - all with little or no access to t'ternet!
Anyway, during that period my blog - it transpires - is now one year old! How did that happen?
I accept this is not my most profound post on the issue of social media but it is one worth observing. More profound stuff to come later but I just added this as a milestone.
Will there be a two year celebration? You know, I am just not sure as things seem to be moving so quickly now. We will see.
What do you think?


Further to my earlier post...

Further to my earlier post I've just come across this on Facebook's Wensleydale Appreciation Society.

See? This stuff does really work.

We take PRide in our work

I’ve just spent the past week co-ordinating GREEN’s entries for the annual PRide Awards and for the first time we have entered two campaigns in the social media slot.
They are Wensleydaleblog and Beat Blue Monday. It’s interesting to revisit campaigns for awards – as we seldom have the time to look back and pat ourselves on the back but even I was surprised how bloody good they were.
Beat Blue Monday was conceived and driven on virtually no budget at all and co-ordinated by the excellent Simon Collister – who is sadly no longer with us. The campaign – to raise the issues surrounding depression on the saddest day of the year – revolved around a blog, with other social media tools like Flickr and a forum.
What was most exciting looking at it again was just how much buzz we created online with thousands of people around the world blogging about it. Most intriguing, however, was the amount of cuttings we generated in the deadwood media.
Meanwhile, with The Wenselydale Creamery (the site is having problems at the moment so you might not be able to access it) we had the first client who whole heartedly embraced the idea of blogging and social media. This campaign used the blog, podcasts, Facebook, Flickr, online competitions etc – and generated oodles of deadwood media coverage.
One thing we did not envisage was the creation of online communities who love Real Yorkshire Wenselydale Cheese – there are two on Facebook (neither of them created by us).
Meanwhile, we have visitors to the blog from Canada, US, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. Bizarre! All for an English territorial cheese.
From past experience our best campaigns never win an award – we usually pick up a couple but they are usually on behalf of a client who has dumped us. No one has dumped us this year – so who knows.
Meanwhile, given the debate about the decline in blogging at TWL and Simon Says it's good to see that a blog can still stir up an interesting conversation.


Measuring social media

Hats off to David Brain at Sixty Second View and Edleman’s attempt to create a Social Media Index that goes beyond the simple measurement of blogs.
David and his team have attempted to take in the spaces that really make social media rock – like Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Del.iciu.os. They are making some pretty broad assumptions but given that measuring the influence of social media is a bit like trying to eat soup with a fork – they have done a pretty good job.
Read more here.


Talking to some nice people about social media

I’m with the Yorkshire arm of Chartered Management Institute at the Community Learning Centre at Kettlethorpe High School, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, doing a presentation on social media. So this is a live blogging session and people around me in the audience can challenge anything I say. Bring it on! I might add something on Twitter too!
Writing this is seems a bit old school – but yes, a lot of people still don’t use all the social media tools we have been using since blogs were created more than five years ago. Therefore, I am in evangelist today – again!

As usual I am amazed at the ignorance about social media and its possibilities in business – but these are a great bunch of people and are currently setting up their own blogs using Blogger as a platform as I write. Do you remember your first time?
By the end of the session, hopefully I will have explained the issues surrounding Web2.0, blogs and stuff like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc and convinced some marketing professionals that social media is something they cannot ignore.
I will post and update in a few days time…


Cut out the bad words

When I was a journalist there were certain words I hated in a press release and I’ve been thinking about this all week – following a recent comment about the fact that you cannot “polish a turd”.
Good writers should avoid the following words at all times – especially those operating in PR where any press release should deal in facts and facts alone and stay away from PR bullshit. So here’s the Greenie Guide to Bad Words. If you have any of these in your press releases delete them now:
No product or service is ever the First; Biggest; Best; Latest; Ground-breaking; Cutting-edge; Leading-edge; Unique… add more as you please
No CEO is ever “delighted”; “over-joyed”; “over the moon”; “pleased to announce”; “pleased to be associated with…” … add more as you please.
Other bad words, for me at least, also include “utilise” – what’s wrong with “use”?
This might sound a bit smug – but I think people who are uncomfortable about their writing try to pad it out with jargon, or self-inflating verbiage which is just a waste of time.
My advice is stick to the facts and tell it like it is.

I love this

Click on the image to read in full...

Five lessons learned

Five things I discovered this week:

  • Some people will never change – even when you explain the blindingly obvious to them, they will never concede a point. Stay away from them.
  • Most people mean well, even when they make mistakes. So I now try to congratulate people on their failures.
  • Tax bills can come down as well as go up. This week mine came down. Result
  • The things that you think are important don’t mean a damn to other people. So get over your self.
  • Gordon Brown will probably be a very good Prime Minister. I now feel confident in the Labour Party again.
What did you learn this week?