This Weekend, Join Me in Twitter Poetry

I was excited to receive a message this morning from Beth Wellington that more and more poets are starting to use Twitter.

This article, published in The Independent, talks about the way Twitter is allowing poets of all shapes and sizes, find new audiences and test out new technology at the same time.

Back in 2007 I setup an account called @TwitterPoetry where you could login and contribute a line to a collaborative poem. The last entry seems to have been 2010 – but perhaps it’s time to be collaboratively creative again. Here is how:

  1. Log into the TwitterPoetry account: Use the username TwitterPoetry and password wr1tetwitterpoetry and contribute a line to the growing poem (note there is a 1 in the password).
  2. Follow TwitterPoetry: Become a “follower” of TwitterPoetry and see how the poem grows as and when someone else contributes to it.

To see the whole poem, go here.

Let your creative juices flow … I look forward to reading your/our work!

Yürüyelim Seninle İstanbul'da Adnan via Compfight

Gustin Shows Why Retailers Still Don’t Get Digital

For years, Australian retailers have under-invested in digital. They held back technology investment, closed down innovation programs and hired traditional marketers when they should have been growing their own breed of tech-savvy innovators. And while retailers had their heads in the sand, the world changed.

Recent failures like ClickFrenzy have been down played and it’s clear that even the retailers with some digital budget are unprepared for the fast moving transformation taking place thanks to mobile.

In spite of all the trends, facts, figures and forecasts, retailers remain unconvinced. What is driving this myopic view of the future of business? In many ways, it feels like a classic illustration of the The Innovator’s Dilemma – companies (and indeed a whole industry) misses out on new waves of innovation because they are unable to capitalise on disruptive technologies.

But I also think retailers are captives of “Big Thinking”. Because they operate at scale, big thinking clouds their judgement. It’s easy to discount competitors when they generate sales that are fractions of a percentage of your business. But it’s not the percentage that’s important, its the velocity and momentum.

Hand made men’s clothing manufacturer, Gustin, illustrate this shift beautifully. They launched a Kickstarter campaign some time ago with the aim of raising $20,000. The premise was simple:

  • Capitalise on their growing brand and reputation for premium menswear hand-crafted in San Francisco
  • Allow for pre-purchasing of products through crowdsourcing – perfectly matching the demand and supply chains
  • Deliver the retail items to customers directly at wholesale price

Now, with two days before the campaign closes, Gustin have massively over-reached their goal. Currently sitting at almost $407,000, Gustin have smashed the target, connecting with almost 4000 new customers and validating not only their approach but also whole product lines.

And all this was done by taking an outside-in view of their business.

Until other retailers can transform the way they think about their business, their customers and the experience they provide, they will continue to struggle with this new world of digital.

Vibewire’s 6 Under 26 – Australia’s Hottest Young Innovators

When we think and talk about innovation our attention naturally tends towards a vision for the future.

But more often than not, that vision of the future is being set by middle aged women and men. Leaders of political parties, “captains of industry”, and community leaders of every size and shape tend to achieve their status not only through their commitment and enterprise but also due to their age. And often, I wonder, where is the voice of youth? Where is the perspective of those young people who will have to live with the decisions made now?

That’s why I am excited to share the great work of Sydney, Australia-based not-for-profit, Vibewire. Today they have announced the 6 under 26 – Australia’s hottest young innovators to watch in the year ahead.

The young innovators tipped to make the world a better place come from a broad range of backgrounds, from indigenous youth empowerment initiatives, sustainable food movements to programs that foster social entrepreneurship in high schools to organisations that encourage young women to take up engineering and technology.

Over the last 12 years, Vibewire has helped launch over 90 startups and kickstarted the careers of hundreds of young people. But this type of innovation does not occur in a vacuum. It requires incubation and support.

You can help Vibewire support more young change makers by joining this crowdfunding campaign. With a one-off donation from as little as $10, you will be contributing to a vision of the future that young people have a hand in creating. Support this great organisation here.

Give Bullying a Kick – Start with Dandelion

As anyone who has experienced bullying will tell you – it’s not only an unpleasant and humiliating experience, it can leave a lasting footprint on your memory and change the way that you relate to even the most important people in your life.

But bullying can be stopped … as long as other know about it. The challenge is getting kids to talk to their parents about being bullied, or seeing bullying behaviour.

At the recent FailCon conference in Sydney, I had the chance to hear about Dandelion – an interactive story that encourages kids to talk to their parents about bullying. Built for iPad helps to build a way into difficult discussions in an imaginative way.

The Dandelion project is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter – with the App + Wristband pack great value for only $14. You can back the project with as little as $1 or take out the Wish Come True Pack at $5000 with benefits including lunch with the author and a day’s creative direction workshop from the folks at Protein One.

There’s only a few days left to get behind this great project. Give bullying a kick and start with Dandelion.

Help Young Writers Be Published

I can well remember the excitement of seeing my first piece of writing in print. And yes, even in this age of easy access to web publishing and on-demand printing, there is still something visceral that comes with your own name in print. On a page. In a book.

And that’s exactly what Vibewire is now working on. Their quarterly anthology captures captures the short stories, articles, art and photography drawn from the Vibewire community. And you can help make this a reality! By supporting the Vibewire Anthology you will not only receive a beautifully produced edition, you will be providing vital support for young people starting their creative careers. Isn’t that what we all wanted way back when?

Organise Your Peeps with Groundcrew

Communities can be notoriously difficult to organise – there are always competing priorities, egos and agendas. The same can apply to teams of any type. But what if you could organise your efforts around location and interest? What if you could corral like-minded folk who just happened to be in the right place at the right time?

Well, with this funky service, now you can.

GroundCrew offers some seriously good coordination tools that can apply to many situations. It’s perfect for non-profit or membership based organisations. It’s a perfect solution for companies with dispersed workforces needing to connect their experts to local problems. And it could radically transform the way that we look at responding to natural disasters.

Oh, and for those of us looking for brilliant tools to manage our online/offline communities from a marketing and branding point of view, it’s a no-brainer. And it gives new teeth to the tired notion of “crowdsourcing”. Sign up today. You’ll find a use for it in seconds.

Via @RachelBotsman.

100 Voices – 100 Years of International Women’s Day

I love this sort of thing … crowdsourcing and engaging super smart, articulate people, providing them a focus and letting them unleash their creativity.

Krishna De has gathered 100 quotes from women in business – all who contributed less than 140 characters. But even taking a quick glance you’ll be struck by just how clear and how powerful you can be in what is effectively the length of a tweet. A great way to celebrate 100 Years of International Women’s Day.

Evolution of Social CRM (Infographic)

I have been fascinated by the rise of sites like GetSatisfaction. They use community, reputation and social media to help businesses transform their customer service. In many ways, it’s a little like crowdsourcing your customer engagement – and to be honest – I am surprised not to see more businesses using this approach.

But what does it look like in reality?

This infographic from the GetSatisfaction team shows – particularly from a customer service point of view – how putting a bit of social connectivity into the CRM mix can change how you engage with those valuable peeps – your customers.


Now, for my money, this is just one flavour of Social CRM, but it certainly rings true for GetSatisfaction. But what about your business? Is there a social dimension that you are tapping into? Is this something you are considering for 2011? I have a feeling you want to get on the front foot with your strategic social media thinking sooner rather than later.

A Spot of Cat-Sourcing

We all love the idea of crowd sourcing – getting ordinary people to use their creativity, energy and skills to complete a task. But how does that apply to non-people based brands and products? What if you are, say, a pet food company like Purina Friskies and wanted to apply the principles of crowd sourcing? Maybe you could get the cats of the world to don cameras and shoot A Day in the Life of Mitzy. Well, that’s kind of what they have done.

Check it out.

Oh, and if you really are a cat person, don’t forget to download a cat ringtone from their website.