My 52 challenge.

I know that a lot of people undertake 365 challenges. A challenge where they commit to doing something everyday for a year.

This week I’ve decided to start my own version – a 52 challenge. A 52 week challenge to be a little more specific, where I do something every week. The something in question is to post at least one comment on a blog I like. To engage with the creators of the content I enjoy.

Sometimes I feel as though most of us exist in a sort of digital vacuum. We suck up all this great content delivered every day, but we never stop to actively engage with the content creators, because there is always more content to consume. Always more.

So, now the hunt is one to find great posts on great blogs so that I can start engaging with more people online and ultimately, learn more things.


P.S.If you have a blog with interesting content, I’d love to read it and interact with you! Please post your URL in the comments below or send me the link on my Contact page. Thanks!


Follow that band! The Radiohead model goes local

During lectures at Nomadic Marketing last week at the UCT Graduate School of Business, one band that almost all the lecturers referred to was Radiohead. This isn’t because they specifically liked the band (although Colin Daniels did confess to being a fan) but more specifically because of the way that the band released their latest album online.

Here’s the short version of what the band did

On 1 October 2007, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood announced in a brief post on Dead Air Space (the band’s blog)  “Well, the new album is finished, and it’s coming out in 10 days . . . We’ve called it In Rainbows”. Bypassing a traditional physical release in stores, Radiohead released the album as a download available for order from on 10 October 2007. In a Wired interview, Yorke explained that “every record for the last four—including my solo record—has been leaked. So the idea was like, we’ll leak it, then. Radiohead’

The download, packaged as a ZIP file, included the ten album tracks encoded in 160 kbps DRM-free MP3 format. Upon purchase, the buyer was prompted to type in their desired price. The staggered online release of the album began at about 5:30 GMT on 10 October, but on 10 December 2007, the official digital download was no longer made available. A special made-to-order “discbox”, available for pre-order through, was released on 3 December 2007.

(source –

One of the questions that was raised in the lecture was whether this business model was a viable one for bands, or whether it only worked for Radiohead because they were Radiohead. On the other hand, to quote Colin – “if the album was crap, this wouldn’t have worked.” Madonna soon followed suit by making digital downloads of her album available on line to similar success, and in his lecture on New Media Law Paul Jacobson also pointed me to the Nine Inch Nails free download case study which was also a success for the band.

Now it seems that we have the first South African take on this give-your-work-away-for-free model. Jet Black and the Multi Colours have decided to distribute their new seemingly untitles EP for free on the net with their overtone record label. When I first saw the post up on, I dismissed it without realising what it actually was –  a record label collaborating with a local band to make their music freely available online. This goes some way to validate something that Rafiq Philips mentioned on the WebAddiCT blog a while back: “We’re seeing the shift from the commoditisation of music to the commoditisation of attention in the music industry (…)”

I for one think that he’s right and will be keeping my eyes on JetBlack to see a) whether their attempt at the new community focussed business model yields positive results and b)whether they will follow Radiohead’s lead a step further and make the album available for purchase as a CD if the download campaign is a success. If this model does yield positive results, I think that we’ll see many more local bands and artists following suit, especially in Cape Town where there’s a wealth of musical talent with no real form of monetizing their gift (anti Joburg flame suit on,lol)

If anyone from the band or from overtone is reading this, drop me a comment and let me know how things are going.

P.S.  – I’m downloading the EP now and will post a review up here in the next day or two.

Really good really free Edelman paper on influence of social networks

Download distributed-influence_quantifying-the-impact-of-social-media

Here’s a sample of the type of information that you can glean from this paper:

“In Jeremiah Owyang’s Dow Jones White Paper on ‘Tracking the Influence of Conversation’, a meme was defined as: “an idea or discussion that grows and spreads from individual to individual into a lengthy commentary”.

(Jeff Jarvis) strongly believed that for someone to be influential they will likely be either a meme starter or a meme spreader:

  1. The meme starter (Who? When? Where? Why? How) This person typically is creative, forms opinions and articulates them well. They have the ability to state a view at the right time. Their readership is not necessarily large but views the individual as trustworthy.
  2. The meme spreader (Who? How fast? How long? Where? Why? How?) This person thrives by sharing opinions and wants to do it first. They are trusted and have a large readership. However, following the roundtable, I believe that there are a further three types of influencer that should be taken into consideration. They may not be as strong an influencer but they still have a high impact in the community. These people are:
  3. The meme adapter This person reads what is going on outside their traditional sphere of knowledge. They take the opinions of others and reform them so that it is tailored to their bespoke niche group. This information is then published and spread to a smaller but highly targeted audience.
  4. The meme commentator This person does not create content but reads the views and opinions of others and takes part in conversation via adding Starters and spreaders of memes are the most influential people – Jeff Jarviscomments. They are far more likely to share the knowledge of this topic with their peers through offline discussion rather than published content.
  5. The meme reader This person does not create any online content. However, they tend to be a vociferous consumer of information to which they read, learn and share with their peers in the offline world. Although not having the same reach as the meme spreader, their views are trusted and are able to promote these ideas in an alternative method.”

“Much of what has been discussed in this White Paper focused on people who create and shape ideas that become influential. However, these are just passing moments in time. The higher order bit is the influence these events have on the longer term through search. This can be illustrated by showing how influential blogs, Twitter posts are indexed very highly in Google. For example, a Google search on Dell technical support will bring a negative blog post by Jeremy Zawodny
as the third choice. ”

P.S – I originally tried to embed the pdf off scribd, but won’t allow me to add scripts :( hencet the direct download

Gorilla Marketing – live from technomadic

Day 3 of Nomadic Marketing at the UCT GSB

Listening to Allan Kent from Saatchi and Saatchi give a talk on youth and mobile in the modern internet. Used this vid to illustrate the way that the line between producer/consumer and critic is blurring and how brands are no longer in control of their brands.

The original Cadbury’s ad


What happened when  the net got hold of it…


More to follow later

Slip into a nice warm network

* a quick note – this blog was created using, google docs and mspaint :) oh – and my phone

How big is your social footprint?

Live and Direct from Nomadic Marketing

I learned some pretty useful things today, and in my books that’s always a good way to end off a day. This is especially true when the knowledge acquired is engaging, exciting and most of all – inspiring. I hope that doesn’t sound too much like a Standard Bank ad…

As marketers we sometimes fall in love with the sound of our own voices, whether it’s a great video campaign, that ‘perfect’ press release or a creative piece that you just can’t stop looking at – it’s all your own voice. This outgoing broadcast which is then shouted at your customers and prospects with the hope of consumption tacked on to the bottom. As today showed us, this old media approach to marketing with its push tactics is no longer relevant (though I’m not really sure it ever was). Consumers are now users; punters become publishers, and communication now flows both ways in the marketing transaction.

As the Clue Train Manifesto highlights in its very first point – “markets are conversations”. Sooner or later your company will come up in the conversation, and if you’re not listening then not only are you not gaining valuable user input on your product (which we pay research firms thousands to get), but you also loose the opportunity to defend any inaccurate or defamatory statements made about you in the conversation. I guess the short version of all of this is that we had better get into the conversation :) Especially when considering the rapid pace at which information is spreading across the glossy plains of web 2.0

These days everyone’s connected. Social networks are springing up all over the place, with different user groups and types flocking around different networks. There’s even a network about a product called Flock.

brain wobbleMike wobbled my brain with the story about the effect that the Engadget blog post had on Apple‘s share price and the Dell laptop fiasco . I always knew that the blogosphere (lol) had power, but to see it demonstrated on that scale was a real eye opener.His insights into the way that Google works and especially the effect of the long tail also shed some light on a few questions that I was looking to have answered but didn’t know I wanted to ask.

One of the real highlights of today was seeing the pace at which the quantity of information is exponentially amassing and the futility of trying to consume or control it all. As Dave showed with his time versus information graph (i forgot to add the years) there is just too much information out there for one person to realistically consume and compute. The graph is a pretty rough illustration of this overwhelming fact, and for some real perspective, check out the Shift Happens vid.

Man - there's just too much to take in

One of the speakers that I was really stoked to see was Adii. I encountered Adii’s work on the weekend before the course (before I knew that he was a speaker) while I was searching for a template for my personal blog ( I wound up using one of Adii’s gorgeous designs so I was thrilled to be able to meet the man in person. I could see from the lightbulbs going on behind some of the eyes in the lecture hall that he had really demystified blogs for many of us and that the ‘iron curtain’ of adoption had been raised when the simplicity of the medium was demonstrated. WordPress was promoted by all to be the most accessible and powerful blogging platform (both in .com and .org guises) and there are a few more converts walking the streets today (@pamsykes). Well done Adii :)

On the topic of blogs, special thanks to Dave and Mike for opening my eyes to Afrigator and Amatomu (local blog aggregators). I’ve often felt that my blogs float around in cyberspace without any local audience or connection. This was due to me being under the false assumption that there were only a minute amount of South African bloggers about, and so there was no readership for my blog here. I can honestly say I haven’t been this happy to be proven wrong in a while :)

I know that this pilot post didn’t cover all the ground i intended to, but my bed just left a comment on one of my other blogs saying I’d better hurry up.

Before I go though, I thought I’d re-post the inspiration talk given by Sir Ken Robinson at TED I know that Dave thought he’d added it onto the disc, but alas – it isn’t there. Not to worry though, you can watch it below.


See you all in the morning.


P.S – It was great to use twitter to pass digital notes around the class, and ‘silently’ interact with some of the other delegates in real time about the topics being discussed. If this is all old hat to you, then excsue me, but I’m still relatively knew to twitter (though learning everyday thanks to @simonebiz)