Monthly Archives: February 2011

#1: Tell Stories, not Ads

Once upon a time…

We love stories.

Go on, say it ain’t so.

You can’t, can you?

You’re probably thinking about a story now. It might be The Three Little Pigs, or the creation myth where Nüwa made mankind, or Christopher Nolan’s Inception, or even this YouTube video about Smooth E beauty products.

There lived an old couple in the deepest, darkest forest. Their joy was an axe to chop with, a bucket to gather mushrooms in, and a spindle to weave the finest gowns from.

We love stories because it’s an escape from humdrum living. More importantly, they make sense of our surroundings – like creation myths that explain our origins – and let us  speculate on “what if” and connect with other people.

Continue reading #1: Tell Stories, not Ads

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Content Calendars Keep Your Head Straight

You got that social media job, and now you’ve buckled down and thought of a brilliant content idea. Then another one. And another one. And another.

Soon you’ve got a bag full of ideas, all of them great.

But then you ask: which one goes first? What’s next? How do they relate to each other? Wait, isn’t there an important launch some time in June; what do I have for it?

And horrors of horrors, what if I repeat something?

I know how painful, ugly and backbreaking it can be to keep track of what goes up when. It’s like holding back a rapidly growing tidal wave with my bare hands.

Not fun at all.

That’s when I discovered content calendars – the indispensible tool for every content guy.

Continue reading Content Calendars Keep Your Head Straight

Social Media Check Up By Burson-Marsteller

Saw this link on my Twitter feed this morning (courtesy: A Piece of Chyan).

 

 

Twitter had the greatest growth of all social media outlets (I think immediacy and ease of getting into it are important). What’s interesting is how companies use Twitter with respect to answering questions. Slide 19 shows how @INGDirect takes on a different tone as compared to @LGD_recruit (in Korean).

Generally there’s a huge increase in  Twitter, Facebook and Youtube channels as well as activity for Asian companies, but blog use has dipped. However their western counterparts have grown their blog channels and usage.

I can think of a few reasons why blogs are declining in Asia:

  • Companies don’t know what to say.
  • Corporate bloggers are lamed by company policies (I Rather Be Writing has a brilliant post on how we’re powerful as consumers but lame as employees).
  • The social media person has other roles such as HR, marketing or something else. So they’re time-poor and resource strapped.
  • We’re afraid of giving away content.
  • It’s far easier to grow an audience in Facebook and Twitter than on blogs. 

What other reasons might lead to the blogging decline?

PR in Content Development

I’ve never been a PR guy. Mostly, I’m on the receiving end of press releases and other PR events.

But this set of slides by Luca Penati, global managing director, Technology Practice at Ogilvy, makes a case for moving PR towards a more publishing-like role.

It’s worth a go through especially when people remember stories more than LOUD ADVERTISING.

The Role of PR in Content Development and Activation

View more presentations from Luca Penati.

Dude! Where’s my Content? (Or Mashups in a Nutshell)

My client asked: “Where do you store your content?”

I blinked. Once. Twice. “What do you mean?”

“You were talking about using the blog to store content. But where are the videos, photos and words stored? How do you migrate all that content over [to a new website]?”

Ahhhha!

They didn’t know how a mashup works. They didn’t know how I could pick up a YouTube video, write something (literally) around it and add a couple of photos and links to other sources – while not owning any piece of content, except for the comments – and post it onto a blog. And if I needed to migrate content. I’ll just export and viola, it’ll automatically appear elsewhere in its entirety.

To me this distributed process is quite intuitive, but not so to others. So I thought I share what I understand about mashups: what is it, why do it and how to get the most of it.

Continue reading Dude! Where’s my Content? (Or Mashups in a Nutshell)

Six Don’ts in Social Media (or Facebook or Twitter… oh, you get the idea)

I read an article by The Online Citizen recently. It outlined how a Facebook Fanpage “Ang Mo Kio – Yio Chu Kang” was taken over by disgruntled netizens who flooded its wall with comments critical of the government. So the administrator went on a deleting spree.

Bad move.

The fans turned into trolls who flamed, crashed and burned at every opportunity. The Online Citizen has its own political axe to grind but it highlights one thing that all social media folk should know – Don’t break social media etiquette!

Being on social media is like being in a conversation. There are things that you just don’t do, like cut people off in mid-sentence, going on and on about yourself etc. It’s the same for social media.

With that in mind, here’s…

 

Six Social Media Don’ts

Continue reading Six Don’ts in Social Media (or Facebook or Twitter… oh, you get the idea)

Don’t Waste My Time

When did you last wished for enough hours to do something? When did you last have to wade through crap (and queues) to get what you want?

Chances are that it was just recently. So you’ll know how frustrating it can be. The same goes for your customers. They want help NOW – preferably before they even have to ask for it.

Part of the solution is to mindfully use and present content for your customers. While other parts would also include design elements that make it easy for the user.

 

Use Content Right

Let’s say you know a lot about oranges and you run an orange-selling business. How could you use that knowledge to increase your sales?

Continue reading Don’t Waste My Time

What Is Content?

Think for a moment.

What does content mean to you?

Got your answer?

Good.

 

The Problem

Content means different things to people in different  capacities.

It’s like being in a Tower of Babel.

To writers, content means “words, punctuation and grammar”. To artists, content is very likely “pictures or illustrations or paintings”. To web folk, content probably means “webpages, HTML, CSS, interactive flash bits”. To musicians, it’s all “frets, C-sharps and tone”. And to the kid with a glass of orange juice, content is the “sweet and sour juice that’s fast disappearing down my throat”.

It’s unavoidable but sadly narrow. It limits, chains, and renders us ineffective and inefficient.

Continue reading What Is Content?