Sunday, 28 March 2010

Augmented Reality meets Fashion

A really cool use of Augmented Reality in Cassette Playa's London Fashion week show. The models have a digital code on their clothes. When viewed through a digital camera triggers all sorts of cool geekery.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

ASA to regulate social media

The Guardian covered the story last week about the ASA plans to regulate marketing activities in social media and its covered in detail by e-consultancy. It seems similar to the move in the US by the FTC last year.

To me, it seems a good move - anything to cut down on the scammers and impersonators in social media. However, most reputable brands are already behaving, well, reputably. The challenge for the ASA will be policing the new regulations. I'm really not sure how they are going to do this.

It will also be interesting to see how bloggers, company employees and celebrities react to the rule about full disclosure.

With bloggers I reckon there won't be a problem. Most disclose any involvement with brands if they post about that brand as they tend not to post positively for commercial gain, but to share thoughts and opinions. Usually, their credibility is more important than any cash they would receive for 'sponsored conversations'. [which I don't believe are credible as honest dialogue between people].

With employees, it might be a bit trickier. Not for any underhand reason but because of the training required to inform all employees of a brand about the new rules. It would be too easy for a company to fall foul of the ASA when an employee quite innocently posts on his/her Facebook Profile, or someone else's about their company's product without declaring they work for the company. So a huge need for training.

It will be very interesting to see what happens with celebrities. Will they declare they are being paid by a brand when they review a product on their blog, tweet about a new product they have receive to try or update their social network profile with some news about their 'favourite' brand? I guess we'll find out in September.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

iPhone helps you quit smoking

Working for Smoke Free North West, I came across this nifty iPhone app to help people stop smoking. It tells you how much cash you've saved, gives you tips on staying off the tabs and provides daily support.

I really like it as its not too preachy and gives useful info. I just need to buy my mum an iPhone now so she can kick the habit.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Social media case study directory

Tod Maffin, a social media type in Canada, has developed a brill directory of social media case studies cunningly called

All the case studies have been fully indexed. You can search by demographic, industry, organisation, tactic [e.g. blog, Facebook etc], and region. Most of the case studies are outside of the UK - there is one for the UK - but it's still a highly useful tool, even if it's just for presentations and as a source of inspiration.

This is definitely up there with sliced bread. Thanks Tod.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

More grannies on Facebook than school kids

I heard from a colleague that in the US there are now more grandparents on Facebook than there are high school kids. I tried desperately to find the source and came up with the interesting post by pingdom describing the US demographics of a wide range of social networks. See here for full details.

This chart illustrates how likely that rumour is to be true. Obviously, I can't vouch for the extent of the family tree of the respondents, but it looks like there are more people on Facebook over 45 [40%] than there are people under 18 [20%].

May be the guys who created PensionBook were onto something after all.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Speed now affects rank

It looks like Google now takes into account website speed to determine ranking, as was rumoured last year. Bummer if your server has a rubbish broadband connection. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact site speed has on ranking. If speed plays a large factor, I wonder if it will lead to marketers ditching complex multi-media type sites that take a while to load in favour of simpler designers that load quickly. It will be a shame if they do.

I also heard that Google now looks at how many times you update a Facebook Brand Page. Which is great, but I hope it doesn't lead to companies updating their Pages every 2 secs with frivolous stuff like what colour tie the CEO is wearing. People will soon de-fan the Page is they ar enot getting useful content.