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Author Archives: Gez

Battleground Google: Labour vs. The Sun

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Today’s announcement that The Sun will be supporting the Tories in the next election has effectively marked the beginning of what will be a lengthy election press campaign. But, unlike ‘79 and ‘97, this battle will be won and lost not in the printed press, but on the web.

Google-bullet

The Sun has drawn first blood with the sensational headline “Labour’s lost it”. The online version of this article is juicy enough link-bait to already hit the first page of Google for the search term “labour”.

Search returns for "labour"

There it is, at the time of writing, in fifth position (not counting news results). Ouch.

As well as associated articles, dossiers and microsites also to be found on the sun website, they are also using PPC as part of their attack strategy.

The terms labour, labour party and labour conference all bring up one of the following ads linking to the topic dedicated Feeling Blue section of their site.

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And they seem to be pre-empting a response by buying up their own name.

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It’s not been all one way traffic, though. Labour were pretty quick to respond with their own ad that plays on a pretty emotive anti-sun topic: Hillsborough. I took this screenshot this morning:

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The gloves are off.

However, Labour don’t seem to be buying as many or as broad search terms. If they want to compete, they should be buying up all the search terms the Sun is and directly attacking the paper on its own turf. That could require some deep PPC pockets. In fact, as I check now the ad isn’t showing. Has the budget dried up already?

The US presidential election digital campaigns demonstrated the importance of rapid response to on and offline trending topics. In particular the paid search campaigns for both camps had to respond quickly and effectively to online buzz and breaking news. Eric Frenchman, the guy in charge of John McCain’s PPC has blogged about using search for political or news rapid response.

So now it’s the UK’s turn and although I hope the tactics might not get quite as… dubious as in the American election, I think Search and social media will be two areas where the battle will be viciously fought.

Interesting times lie ahead.

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Update: It seems Labour didn’t have anything directly to do with the Hillsborough ads, the Telegraph reports. The ads stopped showing around 2 the afternoon. Either there was a very small budget allocated or they were pulled. Over enthusiastic supporters or plausible deniability? Either way it’s a shame, I’d have liked to see a real scrap!

Acrossair iPhone 3GS Augmented Reality browser

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One of many Augmented reality iPhone apps that are in the pipeline. I really think that AR represents the future of mobile location-based services.

I want contact lenses with this ability so I don’t miss a drop of metadata that might whizz by!

The future according to Microsoft

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I can’tbelieve I missed this post from Steve Clayton when Microsoft’s Business Division first unveiled this production from Microsoft Office Labs.

It’s Microsoft’s vision of how we will be interacting with technology in 2019 and it’s called… “2019″. I bet MS’s skill at naming things won’t be any better by then.

**update**

Ross has brough this to my attention.

Lulz

How to lose your job with Facebook

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how to lose your job with facebook

Here is a priceless example of why it’s really important to remember who you add on facebook.

Maybe just as important is to remember why you use Facebook/linkedin/Twitter/Whatevr.

If you use it for work or professional networking, don’t add “Stinky Dave” from uni and certainly don’t comment on his video of his dog trying to have sex with his neighbour’s cat.

Facebook does have settings to allow you do choose which content you share with whom. But it’s complicated and tricky to stay on top of it.

My advice is to use one SocNet for friends and one for work. And never the twain shall meet.

Proposition 8 – The Musical

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I’d like to write a concise, informative and amusing comment piece about the events in California surrounding proposition 8. Thankfully, those chaps at Funny or Die beat me to it in this video starring Jack Black and John C. Reilly. They say pretty much everything that needs to be said… in the style of an am-dram musical.

“Prop 8 – The Musical” from Jack Black

Excellent. You can follow the furore on Twitter by looking at this twitter search.

Kutcher wins – the video

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Further to my last post, Ashton Kutcher has won the race to a million followers. In true web2.0 style he live streamed his victory experience on ustream. 

more about “Kutcher wins – the video“, posted with vodpod

KutcherVSCnn.com is the app that delivered the news. He also raised a lot of money for a very good cause, so good on him.

Ashton Kutcher vs CNN – should I care who wins?

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At the risk of sounding like Social Media version of someone’s grandad, do you remember the days when Robert Scoble was top of the Twitter charts? Do you remember? You kids don’t know this but at the time his 25,000 followers were blamed for service outages. 25,000 was a lot in those days and Twitter couldn’t handle the load of all his followers looking at his updates at the same time on Twhirl. You won’t remember Twhirl. It was like those “Tweetdecks” that you kids use now but more green and with smaller text.

Ah May 2008. I remember it like it was only last year. How things have changed since then.

The battle for 1,000,000 followers is on.

Currently, the CNN breaking news twitter feed is Top of the Twops (not ‘arf) with 967,979 followers. Hot on the heels of this broadcasting giant is one man who likes to tweet. So which wit, which philosopher, which inspirational human being is deemed so important by the new Twitter masses that he or she has 959,259 followers and is challenging a global news corperation?

Ashton Kutcher.

(Note to self: try, really try not to be snooty)

So now Ashton, aided by Electronic Arts, is campaiging for followers so that he can overtake CNN and win the race to the big one oh oh oh oh oh oh.

Says Ashton:

“When I saw that I was approaching a million and that CNN was too, I thought this was really significant for social media. For one person to have the ability to broadcast to as many as people as a major media network, I think signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social news outlets.

“Because with our video cameras on our cell-phones, on our picture cams, with our blogging, with our twittering and our posting and our Facebook accounts we actually become the sources of the news, and the broadcasters of the news and the consumers of the news. We have the potential on this day to turn the tide.”

Ashton Kutcher’s stance as the ‘everyman’ is a bit galling. As one YouTube commenter rather crudely put it:

He’s not the “everyman” you c**t muffin. He’s a fu**ing celebrity. His dumb face is all over every printed media.

Quite. Thanks to interestingperson121 for that quote. I added the asterisks.

I do like the fact that Ashton Kutcher seems to care about social media as well as the promotion he gets out of it. He obviously does all his updates himself and he also gets involved with video blogging on Qik and YouTube and… well I admit it: I dislike him a lot less then I used to. At least I don’t have to watch him acting when he’s on Twitter.

But I don’t really agree with him that his having 1,000,000 followers is a triumph of social media. It’s still a single source broadcasting to many. So it doesn’t matter if that source is CNN or Ashton Kutcher. In fact, if I had to pick one as the only twitter stream I could follow I’d plump for CNN. They really do have a lot of content. That’s why they are a news network.

The point is I don’t have to choose. I can follow as many people as I like and get content from them all. Whether it’s the BBC or a mate from work doesn’t really matter. I pick my crowd from which to source my wisdom.

And you know what? It goes two ways. I can tell people stuff I find interesting. It might be stuff i’ve found on the web or even thoughts that have formed in my own brain.

That’s many to many broadcasting. Throw in a dollop of conversation and that’s social media.

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