Would You Dare to Work Here?

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this video from Dare Digital in London. I love the way the story is told – the facts, the quirks, the humour. I love the self-deprecating style and the understated narrator. And I love the way that it draws us in and then gives us a call to action – and works across platforms (in this case from YouTube to Facebook).

Perhaps, most importantly, for a business attempting to attract young creatives (but the same applies to anyone), it does so in a way that demonstrates the company’s culture while remaining on message (you see, it can be done).

Would you want to work for a company that sells itself like this? Do you feel you get enough of a sense of the business culture to fit right into the business? Or equally, does it appear that you would not fit (perhaps you don’t own a checkered shirt).

Give the Gift of Water #BAD10

Today is Blog Action Day, a day where bloggers from around the world come together to support a single cause. This year’s cause is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhoea, dysentery and other illnesses. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

And you can make a change in this situation.

For the Age of Conversation 3, we have partnered with charity: water – one of the non-profit partners associated with Blog Action Day. This means that the profit from every book purchase will support the UN’s effort to bring clean, safe water to millions of people.

So what can you do?

  1. Buy a copy of Age of Conversation 3 for each of your customers – they’ll love it and they’ll love you:
  2. Make an additional donation at our charity: water page
  3. Insert the Blog Action Day widget on your blog

Don’t forget to become a Fan of the Age of Conversation on Facebook.

A Cup of Chaos #48: Smell Like a Monster

You know you’ve moved from a good idea to a pop culture moment when Sesame Street does a parody of your work. This take on the @OldSpice guy is hilarious.

Oh, and today’s Cup of Chaos is brought to you by the word “on” and the number 4 million.

The Conversation Prism 3.0

The social web is a rapidly changing and evolving space. Every week that passes brings a new player – a new feature or function – and sometimes, a completely new way of conceptualising the web.

To get a sense of how much things have changed over the last couple of years, take a look at JESS3 and Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism from 2008. Fast forward to today and the Conversation Prism circa 2010 is more complicated. Not only does it include the middle section on user behaviour (part of v 2.0), but it includes new groupings of social technologies that encompass social curation, social commerce and “nicheworking”.

So when someone asks you about a strategy that will help their business engage with conversation on the web, show them a copy of this chart. Show them where the points of interaction could potentially occur and then ask them what type of consumer behaviour they are wanting to impact.

Who said social media is simple? Oops, that would be me.

Are You Ready for Blog Action Day on Friday?

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Last year, Blog Acton Day was a massive, global initiative, bringing together thousands of blogs around a single, social topic. This year’s Blog Action Day is due to happen this Friday, October 15. Thus far, almost 4000 blogs have been registered from 125 countries – reaching 28 million readers.

To support, Blog Action Day, all you need to do is register your blog and write a post for this Friday. Water has been selected as a globally appropriate topic because:

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.

There are many topics that you can choose to write on. Check out the Blog Action Day site for topics and details – or simply write on a topic of your own choosing. You can also sign the Blog Action Day petition or raise funds to build water wells in developing countries through charity: water.

BUT – if you are looking for a topic – I’d love to have you support our push for The Age of Conversation 3. The profits from the sales of the book go to charity: water – and will have a direct impact on the lives of people living without adequate water.

Time to Improve Communication – The Hills Shire Council Pulls a Swifty

reservedland One of the the things that I liked about moving to the leafy Hills District of Sydney’s north western suburbs was its history and its environment. Known as “Sydney’s garden shire”, the Hills Shire Council’s website proudly proclaims its focus on “lifestyle” and “heritage”. Reading the details, it seems like a wonderful community in which to live. The surrounding area was the site of the colonial government’s third farm, established in 1801. You can picnic in what’s left of the Government Farm not far from where I live – it’s a small chance to engage with colonial history in our local area. There is, however, very little in the way of colonial buildings or structures in this area – it was predominantly farmland and orchard, so was easily converted for suburban development.

So when we moved into a house bordering 14 acres of undeveloped bushland, I was excited. This land contained remnants of the original native bushland (and habitat) – and provided a welcome relief from the suburban development that has seen Castle Hill and its environs transformed from orchards and farmlands into its current state in a matter of decades. It also provides an important source of shade and a place for the passing breeze to be cooled on its way through the valley.

For miles around, you can see the towering gum trees behind our house. They are home to a number of threatened species – bats, cockatoos and small marsupials. It is a sanctuary for native animals and attracts bird life from miles around. I’ll admit I feel a little spoilt.

But over the last couple of years, this local reserve has dwindled in size. Development had been approved on the vacant 14 acres and was going ahead. Even though our property bordered this area, the Hills Shire Council had not bothered to inform us of the development. They had published it on their website, and I guess, considered they had done their duty to inform the community. Luckily our next door neighbour had noticed – just in time – and pulled together a group to protest. I felt like the council had pulled a swifty – but perhaps it was just a lack of communication. A lack of community consultation …

An environmental impact statement showed that the endangered species needed to be protected, and accordingly a small section of the land was set aside. It has remained under management protection since then – fenced off by a six foot high fence and not accessible at all. It’s a very small, isolated block of forest. Recently a development proposal was submitted that seeks to incorporate this remnant forest into a single block of land – with construction permitted at the far end of the block. This time, thankfully, we did receive a letter from the council asking for our input.

But while looking into the proposal, we stumbled across another proposal by council. They have a plan to replace the current six foot high wire fence with a steel, colorbond version. So rather than being able to glimpse the forest through the fence, we’ll be confronted by a wall of steel. It will substantially increase the reflected light and heat in the immediate area and it will prevent ground based wildlife (such as frogs) from seeking refuge from the scorching summer sun. Again, we were not informed of Council’s intention. Was this an oversight? Was it on purpose? Again, we feel like council has pulled a swifty. Almost. We have until tomorrow to respond, which we intend to do.

But for an institution which claims to support lifestyle and heritage and aims to attract new residents and new businesses to the area – the Hills Shire Council is severely lacking in adequately communicating its intentions to local residents. It’s one thing to publish information – it’s quite another to communicate and engage a community. While I hope that council does not proceed with the fence, I also hope that they find a more adequate method of communicating with local residents.

Note: on the Google map above you will be able to spot the vacant 14 acres. However, a large proportion of that land has now been consumed by new development.

The 10 Most Popular Topics on the Web

The web has been a geek paradise for decades. There are massive sites focusing on technology and gadgets, places you can buy everything from desktop computers through to TVs and blogs/platforms dedicated to “tech stuff” in all its forms. So you’d think that technology would be the most popular topic on the web, right? Interestingly, in this episode of MonitorChat.TV, the first tech topic represented in the list comes in at #2 – gaming. But, by a significant margin, the most popular topic on the web is … health. And it seems this is universal.

Health remains the #1 topic in all of the surveyed countries. And – importantly – it’s not just “information” that we are seeking. We seek the input of others – of those in our social networks. So if you are in the business of health and you are not yet considering the social dimension of your patient, supplier, partner and practitioner base, then you may find your competitors leaving you behind. Interesting times indeed!

Oh and if you want to see the other eight topics, check out the video.

Lifelounge Urban Market Report 2010

For the past seven years, Lifelounge’s Urban Market Research (UMR) in conjunction with Sweeney Research, have been compiling the definitive guide on the lifestyles, interests and passions of 16 to 30 year old Australians.

The research seeks to encapsulate the values, behaviours and attitudes of the young adult market segment, focusing on the core interest areas of music, sport, fashion, entertainment and travel. It also evaluates how communication, finance, sex, health and society influence behaviour.

Released today, the UMR reveals:

  • Music is no longer the major defining factor for young adults
  • Surf brands no longer reign
  • Email is on the decline
  • Brands that deliver “street cred” is no longer enough, people are looking for “supercharged consumer sovereignty”
  • Pause and absorb time – is prized as much as the capacity to multitask
  • When it comes to brands, it’s nuance over noise
  • A new level of authenticity, what they are calling “authenticiti-me” is emerging – where trend setters can adopt a brand and add their own expression of individuality to it

There are some nice statistics and insights in the report:

  • Mobile phone ownership is close to universal with only 2% of the youth market saying they don’t have a mobile
  • Only 24% of the 16-30s downloaded music illegally in the last four weeks
  • 20% of 16-30 year olds spent over $100 on their most recent pair of jeans

And there’s plenty more. For me, the report validates observation. But many of the insights extend beyond the age focus of demographic research. I have always believed that the “youth” category describes a state of mind. Read the report in that light and you will gain a fantastic insight into the behavioural characteristics of a great swathe of the population.

But for those interested in the youth market in particular, it provides valuable insight to the trends and behaviours that are not just emerging – but which have become prevalent. Take a look at the Lifelounge website for more details.

Top 50 of the Top 150 Social Media Marketing Blogs

I was off exploring regional NSW when then list was published, but if you are looking for a good, solid understanding of social media and digital marketing, then ecairn’s list of the Top 150 Social Media Marketing Blogs will keep you entertained for months! Any one of these blogs will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and practical advice.

I am a particular fan of the metrics that ecairn use to determine rankings (not least because I fare so well), but because my own interests are also served by those that are ranked well by their metrics. Be sure to check out the ecairn blog for the complete list of 150 blogs. The top 50 are below.

Rank

Name

Url

Trend

Move

1

Chris Brogan

http://www.chrisbrogan.com

UP

0

2

Jeremiah Owyang

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog

UP

0

3

Brian Solis

http://www.briansolis.com

UP

0

4

Social Media Explorer

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com

UP

3

5

Seth’s Blog

http://sethgodin.typepad.com

UP

0

6

Conversation Agent

http://www.conversationagent.com

UP

0

7

Logic+Emotion

http://darmano.typepad.com

DOWN

-3

8

PR-Squared

http://www.pr-squared.com

UP

0

9

Online Marketing

http://www.toprankblog.com

UP

1

10

Jaffe Juice

http://www.jaffejuice.com

UP

9

11

Social Media Strategy

http://www.convinceandconvert.com

UP

25

12

Scobleizer

http://www.scobleizer.com

DOWN

-3

13

Shel Holtz

http://blog.holtz.com

UP

2

14

CopyBlogger

http://www.copyblogger.com

   

15

SocialMediaExaminer

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

UP

60

16

Social Media Today

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/SMC

UP

4

17

Web Ink Now

http://www.webinknow.com

UP

0

18

MarketingProfs Daily Fix

http://www.mpdailyfix.com

DOWN

-4

19

Internet Marketing

http://blog.hubspot.com

UP

18

20

Search Engine Land

http://www.searchengineland.com

DOWN

-4

21

Ducttape Marketing

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com

UP

0

22

MarketingProfs

http://www.marketingprofs.com

DOWN

-11

23

Altitude Branding

http://www.altitudebranding.com

   

24

BuzzMachine

http://www.buzzmachine.com

DOWN

-11

25

Micro Persuasion

http://www.micropersuasion.com

DOWN

-13

26

SocialMediaMarketing

http://www.scottmonty.com

DOWN

-1

27

Steve Rubel Stream

http://www.steverubel.com

DOWN

-1

28

The Viral Garden

http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.com

DOWN

-10

29

Drew McLellan

http://drewsmarketingminute.com

UP

0

30

How to Change the World

http://blog.guykawasaki.com

DOWN

-7

31

Dave Fleet

http://www.davefleet.com

UP

8

32

ProBlogger

http://www.problogger.net

DOWN

-4

33

Personal Branding

http://personalbrandingblog.com

UP

34

34

The Buzz Bin

http://www.livingstonbuzz.com

DOWN

-4

35

Internet Marketing News

http://www.marketingpilgrim.com

UP

0

36

Harte of Marketing

http://theharteofmarketing.com

UP

6

37

B.L. Ochman

http://www.whatsnextblog.com

DOWN

-6

38

Peter Kim

http://www.beingpeterkim.com

DOWN

-14

39

Greg Verdino

http://gregverdino.typepad.com

DOWN

-6

40

Liz Strauss

http://www.successful-blog.com

   

41

iMedia Connection

http://www.imediaconnection.com

UP

9

42

Communication Overtones

http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com

DOWN

-8

43

SmartBlog

http://smartblogs.com/socialmedia

UP

40

44

Brand Builder

http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com

DOWN

-6

45

Servant of Chaos

https://www.servantofchaos.com

UP

13

46

SocialTimes.com

http://www.socialtimes.com

UP

315

47

Social Media Club

http://www.socialmediaclub.org

UP

1

48

Influential Marketing

http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com

DOWN

-1

49

Danny Brown

http://www.dannybrown.me

UP

54

50

Bad Pitch

http://badpitch.blogspot.com

DOWN

-5

Blog Action Day – and the Age of Conversation

I know some of you will have already purchased a copy of Age of Conversation 3: It’s Time to Get Busy – and I do thank you for that. But I have new news for you, and an idea I’d like you to action.

The Age of Conversation Official Charity – charity: water

The first piece of news is to confirm that the charity that benefits from each and every sale of each and every book, is charity: water. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.

Amazingly, just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. An average water project costs $5,000 and can serve 250 people with clean, safe water – so purchasing a copy of the Age of Conversation 3 really can make a difference to someone’s life!

An AoC3 Bum Rush for Blog Action Day, October 15

As you probably know, the upcoming Blog Action Day is October 15 – and this year’s focus for Blog Action Day is water. To participate in Blog Action Day, you simply register your blog and then write a post. BUT what can you write about? Here’s where Age of Conversation comes in!

Charity Water is one of the participating partners for Blog Action Day. So what I’d like you to do is to help us with a Bum Rush on the Amazon charts – generate sales for AoC3 and raise money for charity: water.

The step-by-step is as follows:

  1. Buy the Book and send others to buy the book. If you work in an agency, get your agency to purchase multiple copies and give them out as year end gifts. This is the #1 call to action, because this is where we want to see the most impact. NOTE: Please buy 1 copy at a time because Amazon counts bulk orders once, and please use these affiliate links, which will help us in tracking sales. Remember, all the proceeds from the book sales and referrals will go to charity water:
  2. Register with Blog Action Day – Help raise the profile and participate in a huge global effort around water by registering for Blog Action Day.
  3. Blog About Blog Action Day, focusing on AoC3 – Make sure you have a prominent link to the Amazon listing so that readers can easily purchase the book. (Remember to use the affiliate link above. All of these earnings will go to charity as well.)
  4. Twitter Commentary – Join the other authors as we give a Bum Rush play-by-play on Twitter. We also ask that everyone saying anything about the Bum Rush to use the code #aoc3 so that it can be picked up by What The Hashtag.
  5. Trackback or Comment on the post that I will leave here on October 15, so that everyone can follow the conversation and help promote exposure on social sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, etc.)
  6. Digg the posts listed here and send emails and shouts to friends requesting Diggs.
  7. Stumble the posts listed and tell friends to do the same.
  8. Bookmark your posts on Del.icio.us
  9. Don’t forget Facebook – Make sure to become a Fan of AoC3 and to contribute to our wall
  10. Send an Old Fashioned email to your friends about the Bum Rush for AoC.

Oh, and if you have any others ideas, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below or over on the Age of Conversation fan page.