Would you be honest?

Nice little experiment from Honest Tea. If you came across a store where you were expected to be honest, and pay a dollar a bottle, would it work in your town or country?

Now is the time to start your company…

According to an article over at FastCompany, now is a good time to start a company. The article depicts the current trends and examples of the current profiles of entrepreneurs, far more people are sticking to their current jobs while only the “wild-eyed” ones are sticking to their guns and embracing the obstacles that didn’t exist a few years ago when creating a company.
While some are providing auditoriums with speeches that include the common “the Chinese word for crisis also means opportunity”, the braver and more operational ones are taking advantage of the current situation to start their own company and hopefully become the next Microsoft, LinkedIn or Facebook…

Fox News caught falsifying footage

Over at the great Huffington Post is an article about how Jon Stewart explains in his traditional humorous fashion how Fox News falsified footage (unbelievable of course ;) ), to give people the impression that a GOP rally was far bigger than it actually was.

Love the ending with Comedy Central’s own version also using unrelated footage! :)

Working too hard is not that efficient

Working too hard is not that efficient… in the long term

At a time where people are worried about losing their jobs and working all hours god sends to stand out from the pack in a positive manner it seems that they may not be providing their company with the best of themselves. Obviously if your company is short staffed and still has as much work they may not be so interested in the article over at FastCompany. But may be worth reading so at least you are aware ;)

Examples from Flickr and Facebook are provided to illustrate the misconception that getting people to work their socks off may not be providing you with the best results in the end!

Make sure you check out this great video from TED, Stefan Sagmeister is a world renowned designer who explains how every 7 years he takes a year off to pursue personal areas. He also indicates that structuring his time off was probably one of the most important parts in a successful sabbatical year. Furthermore this time often allows him to be a better designer and provide his clients with a better quality service once the sabbatical is over! Better still take the time to view the video see for yourself.

How many narcissist Twitterers does your product need?

…so Fast Company says in their article:
Attention Marketers: 80% of Twitterers Are Narcissists” (check out the illustration ;) )

Two Twitter happenings caught my attention. 1) The seismic effect of dear young Miley Cyrus deleting her Twitter account in order to “have a life”. 2) It seems to be a revelation for film studios; Twitter may affect box office results depending on the film, hey, they seem to be understanding what Twitter actually is!
It’s a global word of mouth booster, which kind of means that, yes you are not under the spotlight, you are under multiple spotlights, to the extent that everything is amplified at will. When a film is good, guess what, people talk about it, and I will trust (or avoid in some cases) a friends comments on a film far more than any journalist. Twitter just allows people to spread the word to lots of people quickly, maybe even people will tweet while watching the film…
So people that have thousands of followers, just cry out ‘narcissist’ for me, and are invariably comprised of celebrities telling people they have just been to the shop! The exception is the 20% that actually have something interesting to say, and funnily enough, don’t always have thousands or millions of followers.
A few articles about the Miley Cyrus Twitter account being deleted event also pick up the fact that Twitter is not really extensively used by her current target population / fans.

But the main thing is that the companies like Twitter, be they Facebook or Myspace have taken the same approach as Google:
- We will provide you with the tools and you (can) create the content.
- A footnote says “oh and by the way we’ll make money from selling adverts on your pages so don’t worry the service is free!”

‘Giving’ these tools to the crowds has changed the channels advertising agencies and marketing departments are used to. Listening to people who discovered the internet (and the web etc.) 2 or 3 years ago and explaining it to either of the above is at the moment like the blind leading the blind.

I’m astonished when I hear people saying that the social media technologies allow companies to engage the consumers. I think companies will find that social media technologies have given consumers a real voice. A voice that can get very loud. So if you are trying to sell a product that is not bad and your marketing team is promising to make it a success this is where the global word of mouth effect (like Twitter) may be waiting to bite you and any ‘engaging effect’ may only last a few seconds…

Sure you could find (or pay) narcissist Twitter gurus with millions of followers to say your product is great. But wouldn’t it be better to make your product around what consumers want. Not everyone can take the Apple stance of saying we don’t do user testing we make great products…
If you take a look at the article on All Facebook about Honda’s attempt to sway people towards the new Accord Crosstour you’ll see that the idea of using tools in a concealed fashion makes people think you believe they are tools! The big no-no of course is to try and erase comments perceived as an attempt to silence people. Being open to feedback (criticism) is in my opinion the sign of a company that is really trying to provide customers with the best possible service / product. Hey there are millions of companies that still pay enormous amounts of money to get customer feedback rather than using the web.

The social network with systems like Facebook have unleashed the word of mouth. Creating an interesting and valid buzz around a good product will unleash the crowds. Try to trick them and you will be drowned by the wave of mistrust. The same people that are creating the above events like the Accord Crosstour are often the same that complain the Facebook, Twitter et al. aren’t raking in the money because they do not understand the systems and are unlikely to understand their potential if used properly…

Joel Cohen, Warner Bros.’ executive VP and general manager, tells the Sun: “We may be putting too much weight onto the Twitter Effect. But you can see Twitter’s benefits as a communications tool that spreads the word about a film, and the negatives have yet to be proven.”
Source: econsultancy.com

Legal note on retouched photos: call for legislation in France

An article in “Le Figaro” discusses a move in France by Valérie Boyer to request a legal note be added to photos that have been modified. Although this request is specifically with regards to photos that depict very slim to skinny women, specifically the fashion industry, other bloggers provide interesting arguments for this to be a general request. When photos are used in the news, in a completely misleading manner this type of annotation should be required to avoid it, check out this article over at 10 000 words.

The below video is part of “Le Figao”‘s article:

Obama, Content Management and Enterprise 2.0

A very interesting video presentation from AIIM that discusses various interesting topics including that of how Content Management and Enterprise 2.0 helped Obama win the presidency:

This is the explanation provided on the blip tv site (weird player I must say but hey it does the job):

Re-recording of John Mancini’s keynote presentation at the Info360 show. The focus was on applying lessons in the use of E20 technologies in the campaign as reported by Garrett Graff in Infonomics magazine (http://www.infonomicsmag.com) and by SocialMedia8 on Slideshare to any E20 or social networking implementation.

Living the blogging life; ups and downs

I just came across a post on Jeff Atwoods ‘Coding horror’ site (can’t even remember how I ended up there), and a post about blogging, more specifically the reactions you can get from irate people. I’m not sure his recommendation to ignore people is ‘the’ solution but it’s an interesting point of view and account of his own experience with flame wars and irate people with comments like “I stopped reading your blog years ago“! Interesting read, especially for people that blog themselves…
PS: Sorry I remembered he has a good review of the Dell XPS M1330 and I had recommended this laptop to a client, Anne-Sophie, webmaster of the Adecco France website and reminded me she was also happy with her red laptop!

Client and vendor relationships played out in the real world

Carrying across the types of situations that occur between clients and vendors (in the B2B world) to real world, everyday situations, now that could lead to some funny situations, couldn’t it!
I was perusing my dear Mr Marks blog and came across a link to Mr Potter’s blog where I found the below video.

What is actually even funnier/more interesting is to read the comments on YouTube, there are 520 and counting at the moment…

The Lion Cub from Harrods

a_lion_called_christian

Below is a multipart documentary about John Rendall and Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke who purchased a lion cub from Harrods in 1969. They brought the cub up in Chelsea, London near Kings Road. Following a chance encounter with Virginia McKenna of the 1971 hit film ‘Born Free’ they were able to envisage taking the then young lion back to Kenya to release him to the wild.
It is a moving and true story that is well worth watching. The story has become a web phenomenon with the video having been viewed on YouTube by an estimated 50 million viewers worldwide!

Part 1

Part 2a

Part 2b

Part 3a

Part 3b

Part 4

The last video from above was the video that became viral on the Internet in 2008 (added is the encounter between the student that put it on YouTube and consequently met John Rendall and Ace Bourke).

Here is the extract from the book that was then published to relate in further details this extraordinary story about the two men and their lion cub:

a_lion_called_christian

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.
A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up–fast–and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.