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The world is obsessed with Facebook

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Last month, Mashable presented a very neat infographic demonstrating that, especially in the USA, Facebook is becoming the kind of internet portal that AOL and Compuserve dreamed of being in the 90s.

It was a bit tl;dr though so some bright spark made it into a snazzy video.

Et voila…

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.

David Cameron prepares to get the YouTube treatment

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On Friday, David Cameron will be grilled by the users of YouTube. It’s part of the Al Jazeera World View series being run by YouTube which last month saw Barack Obama give a frank but less than earth-shattering interview.


If you haven’t seen World View before, the system is probably as you’d expect: YouTube users go to the World View microsite and submit questions in video or text form. You can also vote on which existing questions should be asked. The questions that get the most votes get asked – apparently with no form of censorship or regulation. Users currently have less than 12 hours to submit their questions.

It’s a nice idea, and I’m all for crowd sourcing but I can’t help but be reminded of early 90s Newsround Press Pack interviews, where an enthusiastic but ill-informed teenager would ask a cabinet member what their favourite colour is and what they thought of Brother Beyond.

Of course there are a few contributions from the inhabitants of Crazyville but I can’t see them getting an airing. I think this one from a young chap who seems to think this is an oportunity to ask the PM for a shout out. (Name and email removed)

Will you make a video, For me. . .Saying, Hello ****** ******* from plymouth in devon, Thankyou and send it too a private email adress *******************

***** ***** Royal Marine Cadet.

Good work keeping that email address private, Private. Also, this isn’t Babestation (whatever that is). What kind of video is he expecting if it isn’t suitable for public viewing… *shudder*.

Crazies aside, if there really is no intervention, why are all the questions so perfect for the politician? I’m browsing the top questions for Cameron and they are mostly relevent but bland and likely to allow the interviewee to say exactly what he wants. Is the voting system geared towards presenting questions that give the politician an easy ride or are crowd sourcing systems innately geared towards the bland and predictable?

Unfortunately I think it’s the latter which is why I’d rather see Cameron being put through the wringer by Paxman or another hard-nosed journo with a desire to see someone squirm.

Incidently if it’s Cameron squirming on YouTube you want, look no further.

The CSR, Foursquare and me

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So the coalition is currently defending the proposals set out in the spending review. The people up and down the land are having their say on how they will be affected and asking why all the cuts couldn’t be focused on people who aren’t them. Well now it’s my turn. There is one particular cut in the military budget that I find very upsetting.

The HMS Ark Royal, for years a literal flagship of the Royal Navy, will be scrapped as soon as possible, 4 years before it was due to be decommissioned.

Why am I upset about this? Because I am the current Mayor of the HMS Ark Royal on Foursquare.

When I joined Foursquare on the day it was launched in Manchester (thanks to a tip off from @martinsfp) I could wander around becoming mayor of all I surveyed. Now that there are thousands of Foursquare users in my city, I’m down to a paltry 6 mayorships. And then Cameron comes along with his budget cuts and cruelly dispatches 16.6% of them.

I’m considering a march on Parliament.

Google’s playable Pacman logo

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Call me a total geek if you will but one of the many things I love about Google is their habit of creating custom homepage logos to mark anniversaries of historic occasions. Today, they have gone a step further.

To mark the 30 anniversary of the classic arcade game Pac Man, Google have developed a fully playable version of the game and used used it as their logo. The brilliant playable logo is developed entirely in HTML5. No flash required.

It’s interesting timing, considering the recent spat between Apple and flash purveyors Adobe. Are Google subtly taking a stance?

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, it’s likely the case that Google, as they always do, wanted to do something cool for no particular reason other than to be cool.

I particularly like the fact that the phrase “I’m feeling lucky” has been replaced with “Insert Coin”. Nice touch

News from the Withington front line. Voters turned away.

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I’m glued to my telly at the moment watching the election coverage. Reports are coming in all over the country of polling stations overwhelmed by voters. My constituency, withington is not only a vital marginal seat (labour/lib dem) but also one of those that has had voters turned away.

Personally I had no problems voting. My polling station was fairly quiet at 6pm. However, a friend of mine, @mikeedge who voted at the more central Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South station, West Disbury witnessed queues all evening.

After deciding the queues were getting longer not shorter he took the plunge at about 8.30pm.

Mike estimated there were 150 people queueing when he joined. It took approx 45 minutes to get through these people. 3 people per minute.

As he left after 9.15pm the queue was longer than when he joined, about an hours queue at the pace he experienced with more people arriving.

The BBC is reporting more than 200 people were turned away from Withington as a whole. No indication if this is at multiple polling stations or just one.

Some constituencies are blaming large numbers of students turning up without polling cards or without having registered but although Withington has a significant student population this situation was not observed at the Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South polling station.

In such a critical seat, this story could run and run. We could be the Florida of the 2010 UK election.


Or not. Incumbent Lib Dem MP John Leech held withington and actually extended his narrow lead from the last election.

Social Media tsar’s criminal use of twitter.

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Sharing is good right? Well not always. As with all parts of life, a huge part of any organisation’s social media strategy is knowing when to shut the hell up.

Labour’s so-called and much lauded social media tsar,  yesterday committed a potentially disastrous gaffe when she tweeted results of postal votes for the upcoming election.

Kerry McCarthy (@kerry4MP) is the twitter evangelist who was responsible for training up Labour politicians in the art of teh interwebs. Oops.

Under the Representation of the People Act it is illegal to reveal details of votes cast before the polling day as it may influence those yet to vote. Avon and Somerset police are now investigating this potentially criminal act.

Other twitter users pretty quickly realised something was amiss and let Ms McCarthy know. Blogger Darren Bridgman was first on the scene.


After briefly trying to defend her position, and presumably consulting with those who know better, @Kerry4MP deleted the tweets. But as we all know, news travels fast and word had got out. Here was her response to the BBC.

On hearing the results of a random and unscientific sample of postal votes, I posted them on Twitter. It was a thoughtless thing to do, and I very quickly realised that it was not appropriate to put such information in the public domain.

“Quickly realised” but not quick enough. At its heart, this is not a social media error. Kerry McCarthy made a simple mistake. She should have known it was illegal to share that information with the public and not done it. This error could have been made when talking to a journalist or writing a press release but in this case she is not only the source of the information but the editor and publisher. What this incident proves, if more proof be needed, is that in this world of instant communication, you have to be really sure of your message and in control of the information you choose to share.

#goals4haiti : Fundraising through social media

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With their new found wealth and a great squad of players, now is a good time to be a Man City fan. It’s not always been the case though – I remember cold weekday nights watching City vs Stockport County at Maine road in the aptly-named Gene Kelly stand – a temporary prefab of a stand, so-called because the lack of shelter provided meant that supporters were often left “singing in the rain”.

One thing that has always been constant with City, and I’d like to think more so than other clubs, is the strong community spirit felt between supporters. So when I saw the below tweet last week from Denise (aka @doc1online) who is a fellow City fan and previous attendee of KMP’s inblackandwhite seminars, I felt the urge to respond.


For those who don’t know, 70077 is the official SMS number set up by The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to raise money for aid to Haiti following the earthquakes. The Disasters Emergency Committee brings together the leading UK aid agencies including the Red Cross.

First of all, I thought this was a great idea to support a great cause and raise a bit of cash for a country that really needs it. But with my Social Media marketing hat on I knew that what we really needed to gather interest on twitter was a hashtag.


So I posted this tweet. I wasn’t happy with the hashtag I came up with, #cupgoaldonate. There are two rules to bear in mind for a successful hashtag. It should convey the main purpose of the tweet associated with the tag and it should be as short as possible to allow for addition comments by users who reweet/quote the message.

#cupgoaldonate is too long and doesn’t include any reference to Haiti or DEC which should be the main focus of this activity. I also didn’t want to restrict this to just Man City supporters because hopefully, Man Utd and even other supporters of Carling cup teams or other competitions may wish to pick it up.

Thankfully, a follower called @bluemoon82 delivered the goods and came up with #goals4haiti. From then it only took a few well placed and retweetable messages to high profile and relevant twitter users such as @mcfc @kaiwayne and @decappeal and we were away.

The sting of City going behind was eased when I thought of the money being raised for such a good cause and the last two donations I made for the City goals – believe me – made me even happier.

You can follow and tweet to the hashtag again tonight in the second leg and please do take part. Remember – text GIVE to 70077 to donate £5 every time a goal is scored and tell your friends by retweeting the below message or just by following this link and updating your status.

I’m giving £5 to Haiti @decappeal for every goal scored in the Manchester Derby. Text GIVE to 70077 to donate #goals4haiti

I’ll do a follow-up post after tonight’s match with a round up of the campaign and my thoughts on what is interesting to a fundraising marketer but for now, I’m just going to ask you to get involved. Tonight and for the final – whoever gets through…