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Showing posts from February, 2010

Template designers - some help please!

So I need a bit of help putting a better design face on all my personal web properties / projects. It's time. Blogger is nice and simple (remember people, content is king) - but I need to be a bit open minded, especially with some of the new trial projects. I've been playing with a lot of that platforms recently: from Tumblr to Posterous to WordPress... It's a funny realisation - of course it's easy to throw up a site, but it's very hard to do ANYTHING that the template doesn't allow without diving into CSS. Monetisation is also often harder than you would expect.

So here's what I need help with:

Web properties:

www.onebigwidget.com (holding company for consulting/training/case studies & links into all projects)www.andyhadfield.com (you're on it, personal blog and thoughts on the digital industry)www.extremepotjie.com (upcoming project, potjie recipes, outdoor living and 4x4 content)www.joumeme.co.za (upcoming project)allscrubbedup.blogspot.com (medic…

Don't Be A Passenger! An electric car and a South African movement...

This is a little uncanny, as I just popped out mails to a group I was working with recently on how to start a movement. How to change a culture, make a difference, mobilise a generation.

And then these guys come out. Well, good on 'em!

Our conversations all hinged around this video. A JWT campaign to "light a fire" under the Indian people. It became wildly successful and even ended up in a reality show (yeah, go figure). It's powerful stuff. Take the time to watch it.


So, Elize from (the agency behind Don't Be A Passenger I presume) got hold of me a couple of hours ago to chat about the campaign. While this site / campaign / movement / call it what you will - seems to be leveraged off an electric car project, it's got all the trappings of ideas that us (and probably many other South Africans) have been playing around with for a while.

The premise is simple, as these things usually are... Take a tiny bit of time to make a difference.

The video is great, well p…

Social Media requires speedy, flexible teams...

A quick informal Veynerchuk video on how the speed of business, especially social media, requires business to develop similarly paced teams.



Here's the trick: social media is tantalising and terrifying, all at the same time. It presents huge risk, having that "guest book" revealed to the world. And as we're seeing in South Africa, the primary engagement that customers are having with brands is around service failure. So don't get involved if you can't fix the service.

Then ask yourself... Do you want to REALLY have a conversation with your customers? Or are you just creating a service channel. Service channel is fine, but that suggests a different strategy. Conversation is also fine. It's more expensive, it's more risky but the long term benefits are self evident.

Just don't go into a conversation methodology with a service approach. You'll spend money and waste time.

I do ask myself: what was the last CONVERSATION I had with a brand. Can'…

Aggregating and giving context to wine commentary on Twitter (Developer Wanted!)

I'm going to give the open model of web innovation a try. I've had this idea floating around for a while since I started the Twitter Wine Reviews. I'm not sure that it's a full time, call the VC's type idea. But it's niche, it's sexy. And it would make a really cool project.

So let's put it out there. I've posted this to IS Labs, always wanted to try the startup incubator that Justin Spratt and co. started. Please go vote it up if you have a moment.

I'd welcome any kind of commentary, thoughts or offers to develop (make sure those come with one or two cool examples of quick stuff you've done before).

Without further ado...

IDEA SUMMARY: Display wine reviews and conversations from Twitter and aggregate postive / negative language and scores to produce a recommendation engine. If successful, look to build community features off the back of the data stream.


POSITIONING: Wine information for the man in the street. For the guy or gal that can't de…

BUSH HID THE FACTS... and other weird Windows things.

Weird. I refuse to repeat the chain email, because, well, it's a chain email. And don't even ask what made me read it. But these two things were rather odd.

1. You can't create a folder on a Windows machine with the name "CON". Code issue?

2. Open Notepad. Type "Bush hid the facts" without the quote marks. Save the file as anything. Close Notepad. Re-open.



Haha!

(Hat tip to Sam Mendes from filling my mailbox with this crap!)

TRENDS 2010: Digital Strategy in Four Easy Steps.

I do get tired of the frantic “trending” that occurs at the beginning and end of every year. Hence, I tend to sit back, take it all in and try give a summarised, more considered view a month or so later. Call it cutting through the clutter, if you will... So, without any further ado, here are four very simple direction markers for your digital strategy in 2010. They're not rocket science - but good strategy never was.

1. Congregation and community: the expectance of engagement:
In the increasingly fragmented world of brands and messaging, we're going to see more and more people grouping themselves into niche communities around content and utility that is immediately relevant to them.

The long tail of the Internet provides the perfect platform for small groups of people to share their interest in specific topics or services. Look at the growth path of any popular FaceBook group to understand the trend: zero to hero overnight, and then wane away slowly as the “next thing” comes a…

Wine sites and communities on the Interwebs...

So I've been playing around recently with a couple of business ideas around wine and the Internet. Due diligence (read lazy browsing over a Merlot) dictates some research. So here are some of the gem's I've found for your pleasure.

Mr Wine on the web has to be Gary Veynerchuk of Wine Library TV. His New Yorker personality and penchant for cheap wines that taste great (bring thunder to your life to quote a phrase) has done wonders for accessibility. It's kinda like my Twitter reviews. 140 characters of man-on-the-street don't-have-no-fancy-palette stuff. Except he's more famous.

His stint on Ellen was great - licking rocks and eating dirt is a... humorous... take on palette training.




There are also a couple of active wine communities out there.

CrushPad allows you to gather together and make your own custom wine. Veynerchuk used this to create the world's first community wine.

Snooth is a wine search engine, community and collection of wine widgets for rating…

Setting up for SXSW

Setting up email posting to see if Lynette and I can live blog the upcoming SXSW experience.

Can we survive Austin using naught but an iPhone and a BlackBerry?

When Steve Jobs doesn't think...

So they sit down to think of a name... and iPad is what they come up with?


Doing it for the lols perhaps?