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Showing posts from August, 2008

Great Quotes #6 - The Internet

The Web changes the very roots of the relationship between the customer and the organization. The customer, not the organization, is dominant on the Web. Thus you must put the customer's needs at the absolute center of everything you do if you want to be successful.

-- Gerry McGovern

The Hype Cycle

I've thought for a while that South Africa is still in the first date stage of Web 2.0 / Social Media adoption. Dipping the big toe, makin' small talk - call it what you will. Companies are experimenting with social technologies - and starting to come to terms with a new way of thinking.

This adoption philosophy is particularly interesting when you compare it to Gartner's Hype Cycle.


So, where are we? 3000 blogs doesn't make hype. But it points towards pretty exciting things if we haven't hit the crest yet...

3G Card Spam

Got my MTN HSDPA card the other day. Very nifty gadget. But imagine my surprise, when this brand new unit, with a brand new cellphone number and SIM card - got a message today.

Name:
Number: +2783775800009400
Content:
CONGRATULATIONS you have won an INFLATABLE BED from HOMEMARK. Call 0114306000 with ref no :2003.Prizes excl P&P.T&C apply.Reply NO 2b removed.
Time: 27/08/2008 10:44:18

Release the hounds! What the hell is this!? I have NOT given this number to anyone. I don't even know what this number is... Yet the spam starts.

My theories, and none of them are pretty:

1. MTN sells their subscriber database.
2. HomeMark Spammers are guessing cell number combinations (not a completely whack idea considering our 40 million odd combinations in this company).

If I get time to track this down, I'll update the post. I would be extremely disappointed if MTN was selling their subscriber database.

Any thoughts?

Some Olympic Blogging

Found this interesting... yet another example of social media being considered a viable facet of a marketing strategy.

Lenovo has sponsored this portal for athlete bloggers at the Olympics.


Site is well designed. Lots of bloggers writing content. Some local representation. A Twitter feed. And also, an interesting approach. Seems like the site aggregates content from athletes' personal blogs, Flickr feeds and then tosses in the Twitter stream as a content promotion tool and personality behind the portal. I like it. You'll notice, browsing around, that every post links back to "original article". Any theories?


Now. The gold medal question. IS IT SUCCESSFUL!? 207 Twitter followers. Hmm. That's not the only measure. Wonder what the traffic has been like?

Background info from the press release if you're interested:

Lenovo is a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Torch Relay, providing more than 30,000 pieces of computing equipment to manage the oper…

Jail4Bail - Social Media Supporting a Good Cause

It's not often that South Africa's Social Media community mobilise to get behind a good cause... which is odd, because although the community is small - we have proved over the years that a little viral seed can go a long way.

In that regard, please go have a look at this cause (raising money for autism) and see what you can do.



Coverage on Zoopy:

Autism Executive Director of the Western Cape Gerhard Pieterse has locked himself in a jail cell in an attempt to not only raise R1 million for autistic adults and children but also in a bid to raise awareness about autism. Executive Mayor Helen Zille came to say a few words and to make a donation towards the R1 million autism fund.
Follow the campaign on Twitter.

Or just contact Rafiq. Not even linking. You know who he is. :)

What the Web 2.0 crowd still has to learn...

DISCLAIMER: I am part of the Web 2.0 crowd!

I had a very humbling experience at FNB today. Mike Stopforth wrote recently about the phenomena of the "Web 2.0" crowd starting to invade the business world - both as entrepreneurs and corporate bunnies.

My experience today proved that this is indeed a critical step in the future of the "social web" making it mainstream in South Africa. The corporates have a lot to learn from us, and funnily enough (ego aside), we have a lot to learn from them.

Today, I met with FNB Online, who are responsible for the website and other front end projects. Watch this space - redesign tweaks coming this weekend!

Like a typical 2.0 obsessed strategist, I climbed in with my theories of "conversation economy", participation, talk with customer not talk at them. Blah blah. Sometimes, when you're in such an exciting industry - it's hard not to sock it to the 1.0 guys...

There were a couple of things I learned in that meeting which…

Segmenting the FaceBook. A guide for South African businesses.

I've been fairly cynical of some South African businesses recent forays into the world of Social Networking. Specifically FaceBook. It's a helluva cluttered environment to play in - with an audience that ranges from 12 to 70, demographics from pink to purple and work sectors from rabbit hunting to banking... Cutting through that clutter takes some fairly deep strategic and creative thinking.

Once off campaigns, in my humble opinion, are doomed to fall victim to the noise.

I've asked this question before. How can you measure the success of a FaceBook campaign? If it's an application... Do you measure total membership? Fans? Fan interaction? Engagement? Sales conversions? Or are we merely creating more empty online spaces for vacuous conversation?

In order to better understand the beast that is FaceBook - I took a look at their Ad Segmentation tool. The little app where you can drill down, "demographically" and geographically into your required audience for the te…

Sexy banking...

Interesting to see Cowboy readers voting on "Can Web 2.0 make Banking Sexy?". 60% YES. 40% NO. Pretty mixed results that - which to me shows both threat and opportunity. Like most big companies, it's hard to control ALL touch points - and bad customer experiences do happen. Perhaps people don't expect sexy from their bank?

Just hark back a couple of years to the heady days of 20 Twenty. That was sexy banking. And perhaps the "social" approach, when combined with intelligent thinking and tangible value to end customers...

Yowsers. I sound like a corporate already.

I have learnt some things in my virgin career at FNB. As sexy as you want your bank to be - you want your money to be there when you hit the ATM. Above all else. Now that's a delicate balancing act.

New poll is up...