Archive for April, 2008

How Was Your Read And Comment Day?

April 29, 2008

What Read And Comment Day?

Yesterday was Read and Comment day, where you have to make an active effort to comment on blogs and join the conversation. It was suggested by Chris Brogan, and true to form, he even left a comment here as well. Read and Comment day also inspired me to encourage people to strengthen their links to people on Twitter, especially the weaker links.

My Report

I put aside an hour last night to really go through my Google Reader (learnt how to use it yet?) and properly digest blog posts and comment. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of when I first started blogging in January when Prof. Netley advised us that we should comment twice as much as we post to establish a presence and drive traffic. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I forgot that along the way, but Read and Comment day really reminded me how important it is not just to create my own content by blogging, but to add value to others’ content as well.

How About You?

Have you found yourself commenting less than usual? Something holding you back from joining the conversation? Go post a couple of comments today. You’ll feel great!

My Conversations

All great topics, especially if you’re into social media. Why not read and comment on them (or right here) yourself?

Follow Up: Ogilvy’s Open Room – Too Harsh On The Companies?

April 28, 2008

Going through the name cards I exchanged from tonight’s event, I count four from Ogilvy, one from SMU and Nadia’s. (Note: no companies)

Looking around the blogosphere on ping.sg, there are four posts from Jean, Ian, Ridz and Plaktoz (for now). Now I don’t mean to go back to flogging a dead horse, but there is little to no brand coverage. The blog posts are either on the fellow bloggers they met, or the stuff in the goodie bags.

I don’t know about you, but I think there are bigger and better products to get people excited about and posting images (and generating media about) than collaterals in goodie bags.

I don’t mean to be critical or harsh on companies. But I think if you’re paying money to engage an agency to do your PR/marketing/advertising/whatever, and they do something like this (certainly with people like John Bell and Brian and Tania who know what they’re doing), then you really need to make the most out of it and bring some value back to the office.

Report: The Open Room Launches!

April 28, 2008

The Open Room was held today at Ogilvy with the tagline “where brands and bloggers connect”. I was one of the privileged bloggers to be invited, and I have to say I had a blast.

John Bell (who I had the honour of talking to for awhile) kicked it off with 12 points on the Code of Ethics for blogger outreach. Needless to say with my recent issues with journalist-blogger relations, this struck a chord with me and I have to say I think Ogilvy has got it spot on.

The Open Room was a great event for me as a blogger. I got to meet people I met previously from Social Media Breakfast: Singapore like Sheylara, Supriya, Jean, Ridz, Rinaz, Nicholas, Michael Netzley and Aaron, as well as some bloggers I know of online but never really met in person like the Tech 65 crew, Ian on the red dot, Sabrina, Plaktoz and Nadia, as well as a ton of people from Ogilvy. (I’m sure I’ve missed people out, let me know so I can add your link!)

The one thing that I felt was replicated from the IDC Conference was that the companies involved seemed a little unsure about what to do when meeting bloggers. We were identified clearly by our magenta tags (they had green), but yet the two groups never really mingled. I don’t think this is the “fault” of anyone in particular, just that this new social media space and community marketing concept are something corporations are just figuring out right now. I definitely hope this changes soon. I don’t want to be pitched by companies at events like these, but it would be nice to talk to them and find out more about them.

Y’know, start a conversation, have a relationship. Like real people.

For example, I was checking out the new Canon models (because my sister took my camera), but there wasn’t really anyone there I could talk to about it. In fact, most of the “green tags” were gone by 6:30pm. (Probably considered as overtime for them).

I think the issue here is simple: Bloggers have taken a step forward. Companies like Ogilvy have taken a very important step forward by organising something like The Open Room. Now the companies, the very people who the bloggers and agencies are trying to help and engage, need to take that step forward and be a part of the conversation, part of the community too.

After all, at the end of the day, for the bloggers it’s a blogger social event, but the companies should at least go back with something to show for it, be it a new blogger relation or a referral. Because otherwise, the time was wasted wasn’t it?

Edit: Forgot to insert the picture, but we got some swag from the event! Nice touch I must say. Anyone needs the PSP case? I don’t have one so feel free to ask for it. Don’t even think about the Nokia N-gage thumbdrive though!

Big thanks to Brian and Tania for inviting me, looking to future events!

Do You Really Know Who You’re Following On Twitter?

April 27, 2008

I’m in the midst of revising my Twitter guides and got a little inspired by Chris Brogan’s “Reading and Commenting” day (which is tomorrow, by the way).

How many people do you follow on Twitter? How many of them do you actually know? Do you know what their interests, passions and niches are? When was the last time you sent them something meaningful or of value, instead of the usual noise?

So here’s what I’m proposing: This week during your small pockets of time, go through the list of people you’re following and figure out how you can add value as a Twitter friend. Maybe it’s commenting on their blog, subscribing to their blog, or sending them a link relevant to them.

Because really, at the end of the day it’s not how many people you follow, but your relationships with them.

Quoted In Today Newspaper On Twitter!

April 25, 2008

The article’s out today! I thought it’s pretty good. Hopefully more people will read it and get onto Twitter.

That said, I’m going to be a little cautious about Twitter. Steven Hodson blogged about some of Twitter’s troubles, financially, bringing us back to harsh reality that you can have the best product in the world in the Web2.0 space, but you better have a monetisation plan. Frederic from The Last Podcast updated us a couple of days ago about how Twitter has rolled out ads in Japan (which makes sense since they are so big in Japan)

All the financial worries plus the recent downtime over the weekend and Twitter’s lead architect leaving makes for a slightly worrying future for Twitter. Here’s hoping they can pull their act together soon.

Follow me on Twitter: @uniquefrequency

Updating Blogroll: Who’re My RSS Readers?

April 24, 2008

I noticed that after I posted how to use RSS, the number of people subscribed to the blog increased by a decent amount (up around 50%).

My blogroll has been sorely neglected since I first put up the blog, so if you’re someone subscribed to the blog and want to be added to the blogroll, let me know who you are either via email (uniquefrequency[AT]gmail{DOT}com) or comment below.

Maybe tell me a little more about yourself and what you’re into. That way if I stumble across information that may be relevant to you, I can pass it along.

If you’re not a subscriber, not to worry. If you’re involved in this niche of social media, community marketing, web2.0 etc, I’d be happy to add you to the blogroll too. Drop me an email or comment and leave some similar information.

At the end of the day, I really want to know who the readers are and who this community is made up of. So make yourself heard!

Blogger-Journalist Relationships Done Right

April 23, 2008

After what happened last week, I was quite pleasantly surprised to get a very considerate sms from a reporter this morning, saying he was concerned about disrupting me and asking for a good time for him to contact me.

A few things done right:

  • He knew who I was, definitely had read my blog and referenced things I said in context both on my blog, Twitter and at the IDC Conference.
  • He had clear questions and obviously had done research on the topic.
  • He did not seem to just want to hear a quotable soundbyte, but just asked questions and answered. (Note: It doesn’t matter to me if he got off the phone thinking I utterly wasted his 5 minutes and didn’t give him a good soundbye, the point is that doesn’t come across to me)
  • He offered to send me a draft of what his phrasing of what I said would be via email

Again, it’s not that I’m some big shot in the space, it’s just the other party being nice and well…. a human. Not just someone digging for information or a soundbyte.

Unlike the previous two reporters, if this particular journalist asks me in future to recommend him a blogger in a different niche, say food or technology, I will definitely be more than happy to do so because I know he will treat that person with courtesy and respect that I think anyone should get.

Here’s hoping more journalists learn from these experiences.

Facebook Chat: First Impressions

April 23, 2008

Looks like most of us got Facebook Chat today. I see people like Brian on it (and Twittering about it from @litford), Kean Hean and Estee the Geek Goddess as well.

Here’s a little screen shot of how it looks (click for larger image):

I was excited to get on Facebook chat because the number of people on Facebook means it’s a great way to stay connected and get to know some people who’re your “Facebook friends” a little better.

One thing sorely missing is the ability to add multiple people into a conversation. I feel it’s a shame that I can see everyone who’s online right now on the right hand side, but can’t add two or more people into the same chat room so we can catch up together.

If that function gets rolled out soon, I can definitely see my time on Facebook increasing dramatically.

If you want to find me on Facebook, search for Daryl Tay. I’m the one from SMU (obviously!)

What Would Life Be Without Twitter?

April 22, 2008

I’m a huge fan of Twitter, but it’s been wonky since Saturday and today it just got too much.

I was happy to take it as random downtime, and wait for it to get back to normal by tomorrow. Until I read something from Bryan Person:

My friend Jack Hodgson is convinced that Twitter’s death is coming, and that we should start preparing for it now. It’s nights like tonight that I really think he’s onto something.

What? Twitter’s death? Life without Twitter? No way!

Death or no death, people around the blogosphere are beginning to notice. Dan York also weighs in on how we have come to rely on Twitter, while Frederic and Paris Lemon approach the issue the same way I do. For the tool that enables conversation and for people to stay connected, Twitter sure isn’t communicating much about what is going wrong.

It does make you think how this affects organisations who have invested time into Twitter like @downingstreet (for the British Prime Minister’s office) and @deltaairlines as a means of keeping in touch with the public? A loss of faith in Twitter? Migration to another platform?

If Twitter does go down, who will you turn to? Scoble thinks it’s FriendFeed. I’d go for Facebook Chat, if only they’d implement it for me already.

Which Companies Should Be Interested In Social Media?

April 21, 2008

Final point from my post-IDC Conference thoughts: Are companies interested in social media? If yes, are there some companies who are better suited than others to be involved in social media?

Maybe the bigger question is: Can companies afford not to be involved in social media? I mentioned a couple of days ago that for some companies (eg NTUC, Singapore’s Target) can probably afford not to because, well, that’s not where their target demographic is.

If you are interested in social media, are you suited for it? If you do have a product and it’s good, the benefits are there. Favourable reviews on Google that money can’t buy, brand advocates and a permanent presence on the internet. I only own a printer by HP. But by their blogger outreach programme as well as my positive Snapfish experiences, I’ll keep that brand in mind the next time I’m in the market for a PC.

The question these days doesn’t seem to be “how to” (ie how to use social media) because companies have been hearing a lot about that. Rather the question is “who has”? Who’s taken this big jump into the social media landscape? Have they benefited from it?

I don’t know a lot of case studies locally, but I’m relatively surprised from the few that I do. When first learning about social media, I thought it would favour the smaller players: not a whole not of specialised knowledge required, can be done with a relatively small budget, less concerns over control etc.

But we’re seeing with HP and Starbucks and Microsoft and GM (who will spend 1.5 billion on online advertising, a different story.

Wayne commented that it seems to be happening around the B2C businesses involved in technological products and it also seems to me that it favours the companies with the bigger pockets. Does that mean that the other industries or smaller companies are left out? Absolutely not.

I’d like to hear a little bit more on the case studies you may know of (locally or not) of companies who are actively using social media and what kind of companies they are. Who do you think is a fit? Who’s not? Let me know.