Turning conversations into cash: The Recommendation Economy & Social Commerce

For those of your currently snowed in and "working from home" (AKA PG Tips + Countdown + Sofa + Webmail) who may be in need of some intellectual stimulation you are in for a treat. I had the pleasure of giving a webinar for the PRCA as part of their Digital PR training series on the topic of The Recommendation Economy and Social Commerce - as I promised the participants I share now with you the deck from said presentation - which may be of interest!

In it you will see that I outline what I see as the three key styles of doing social commerce at the moment:

Social Intelligence

- This one is nothing new but is taking new forms as we see consumers getting more and more savvy about the way they shop by leveraging the recommendations and review of their peers to shop smarter - basically making conversations into cash

Social Capital

- Also nothing new but is finally beginning to see a financial benefit for the brands that give people assets that they can leverage as social capital - chiefly because now through things like in video adverts, foursquare rewards and Facebook deals we can link content to cash

Social Buying

- This one is new! You may jump straight to thinking of the likes of Gilt Group and Groupon (particularly given the rumours of the past couple of days about Googles possible acquisition) - but it goes beyond that. Things like F-Commerce - using Facebook based shopping portals are taking social buying into new and different ways. This one is turning cash back into conversations - that in turn can turn back to cash!

SocCom RecEcon

As I told the attendees this morning I don't think that any of these operate in isolation, but when used in conjunction can finally begin to move towards answering the WOMMA problem of ROI - lets start making our social communications work harder for us!

Over to you...

Have you seen any great example of social commerce in action?

Do you think that people will really begin to migrating to shopping in the social environment?

The Value Of A Blog

So I have finally succumbed to the idea of setting up my blog in a little more personalised state. So if you head over to http://jamespoulter.co.uk you will find "Sunday Latte Lamentations" in a somewhat under construction phase.

I am setting up on WordPress (hosted by lovely fellow @leesmallwood - a thoroughly decent chap) . Which obviously means a overhall of themes and widgets, but also a re-evaluation of why I blog, what I blog and how I blog.

After a lovely morning spent down in Kent @ Huggies HQ (Client: Kimberley Clarke) meeting some of the UK's finest Mum bloggers (@glowstars @YoungMummyUk @Kellyfairy to be precise) really made me think.

I started out blogging as a way of documenting my thoughts and poetry that I began writing in a more serious fashion about 3 years ago (hence the title of this blog - spurred by a poem I wrote by the same name). It really was just the thoughts, ideas and melody that roll out of the life rhythm that is being a Londoner. However over time that changed and moulded into what my blog is today, an amalgamation of social communication-marketing-culture thing, with a quasi-Christian slant on the world. Which interestingly is never what I set out to be about, it just kind of happened that way.

After chatting to the Mums this morning it appear that my experience is not to dissimilar to a lot of bloggers out there, we all start with a passion, a realisation that others might give 2pence about our thoughts, and a desire for a connection with those who share that passion, but over time things get in the way that dilute that (SEO, Google Analytics, #tags).

By no means am I saying that this dilution is a bad thing, I think is just inevitable, however I do wonder what it is that keeps people like you coming back to read these musings.

So that leads me back (kind of) to where I began, as I re-evaluate the way I blog I would love to know why it is you read what I write. What topics interest you, what would you like more of or less of? Or do you honestly just end up clicking inanely on whatever tweetdeck serves you up? (I know I am guilty of that).

I am not out just to please the crowd, but if writing, blogging, journeying, or whatever you call it is truly about passions, and a desire for connection, then it's always nice to know what you connect with, what you are passionate about, what makes you tick.

So please - let me know.

My Media Diet: Inhalation...

Maybe I Inhale More Media Than I Realise... It has come to my attention that I am literally inhaling media. I know I work in PR, and am a "Generation X"er and all that Jazz. But doing this little log over the past 24 hours is quite startling when you look at it all laid out like this. The little subconscious checks of twitter, the musing of blog posts yet to be written, it wouldn't suprise me if I start unwillingly speaking in 140 character sentences!

So much of this media has just become 2nd nature, a part of the stream of our consiousness, and so little of it we actually question. Monday Morning. Office. Sit Down. Boot Up. Log On. Tweet. Eat. Tweet Again. Blog. Read. Digest (Digitally & Physically). Google. Email. Tweet Yet Again. Tag It. Digg It. Cast it. Download. Power Down. Go Home.

You get the picture...

So back to where we started - I decided to conduct little survey of my media diet. Consumption. Call it what you will. Let me take you back via the medium of blog (and some wavy scoobie doo effects) to Monday morning...

6:50 AM -  *Beep Beep Beep... THWACK!* Alarm clock knocked lazy from bedside table, rolling over, pushing girlfriend aside reaching for iPhone. Missing iPhone. Rolling back over. Snooze Button. 20 Minutes of Chris Moyles drowning out my dreams and bringing me (not so gently) into the new working week.

7:00 AM - I take a second attempt at reaching for iPhone. More successful this time. Read/Delete Spam.

7:50 AM - On tube now, dive head long into the wonderous hub of investigative journalism that is The Metro... lose interest around page 13...

7:59 AM - Once again distracted by Twitter on iPhone... *silent wish that people would not keep writing "Good morning everyone!" tweets... the old adage rings true, if you haven't got something nice to say...

8:00 AM - 8:35 AM ... Listen to Podcast.

Monday: Friday Night Comedy - Radio 4 (Listen)

Tuesday: Relevant Magazine (Listen)

Wednesday: This American Life (Listen)

Thursday: NPR - Poetry Magazine (Listen)

Friday: Genius Playlist on iPhone... (Info Here)

8:37AM - 9:02Am - As i'm plunged into the darkness of the Jubilee line* (See More...)  and am severed from my 3G connection to the world I revert to a analogue approach in the form of Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller's fantastic mini essay series on non religious spirituality... (He blogs here). Until I succomb to the inevitable release of a Amazon Kindle 2 UK Version, paper reigns supreme for sub-terrainian entertainment.

9:10AM - 9:45AM - Arrive at work, bum on seat, Latte in hand, croissant in front of keyboard and all is well. Boot up, Log In, wait for work Email server to get it's act together, then begin to breathe in 1's and 0's in the form of Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail, Google Reader, Delicious Tags, Radian6 (our social media monitoring tool here at Ogilvy) and news source of choice (for usability not politics) Guardian Online...

11:00 AM 11AM jumps out from behind a bush at me, startling me somewhat about it's urgency in getting through the day. It's about this time (usually musing over a latte) that the latest round robin email from the London Ogilvy Interactive group catches my attention - usually in the form of a YouTube distraction or some other digital delight. Sip. Click. Sit. Click. Back to work. Wait. This is work.

11:10 AM Check back into the twittersphere... Not much happening. Does FollowFriday do anyone else's nut in or is it just me! (As an aside it is important to bring to light the troublesome issue that the MacBook - wonderful that it is - doesn't feature a hash key on the keyboard! Grrrr...)

12:50 PM As hunger strikes (cue the Shreddies soundtrack) heading for lunch deleteding more (and more) spam from personal email on iPhone - ooo. My next LoveFilm is on it's way... Michael Macintyre! 

13:45 PM - Stomach full, email inbox equally bloated. Quick twitter update before some serious digital digestion takes place, predominantly in the form of some Radian6 fishing and the odd blog inspiration from Google Reader.

2:00-5:45PM -As the sound of the neuvo-classical Flight of The Concordes hit thuds in my head, this point in the afternoon is officially "business time" - (for those of you unaquainted a little help from YouTube can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGOohBytKTU)  The result of which means, that aside from the spiradic twittering and lingering tap of the iPhone, very little goes on here other that - as would be expected - work.

6:00 - 7:00PM - Pretty much a repeat of 7:45 AM - 9:15AM but in reverse order. After a fairly media heavy day I tend to tail off by the time I get home. Suprisingly I still remember how to speak to people face to face! (Those who know me well will know this has never truely been a problem however...)

So there we have it, that pretty much wraps up the day. And sadly (possibly not the case for you routine junkies out there) - most days it's the same story. Living a truely digitally native life, as one of the first generations to have never known what it is to not have a PC in the house is quite a priveledge I suppose. However this does provoke an almost subconscious dialogue within me, that is constantly thinking of the angle, the wall post, the tweet, a constant desire to replicate my offline life digitally. So how do you describe that? Inhalation. Breathe In.

(*Ironic titled as I think any old Testament Jew would adamently argue that there is in no way anything about the Jubilee line that embodies the spirit of Jubilee... I digress - further thoughts on commuting by underground in my poem 7.5 Minutes of Dark - Here)

Barnardos Childrens Online Ads - Break the Cycle

http://tinyurl.com/56yeu3 Check out the above link to learn about the new Barbardos Campaign

teenage girl being hit in the head while eating at home

In an interesting use of video and interactivity, this new campaign from Bernardos invites users to "Break The Cycle" of abuse being shown on screen by clicking the stop button on the video, which launches into a full screen, high quality movie when clicked.

Enticing, brutal and provocative, the new campaign seeks to help children be brought out of cycles of antisocial behaviour, drug abuse and poverty.

Some Facts: (Source, YouGov.)

Research conducted by YouGov shows that:

  • just under half (49%) of people believe that children are increasingly a danger to each other and adults
  • 43% agree something has to be done to protect us from children
  • 45% think that children are feral in the way they behave.

A survey conducted amongst Barnardo’s young people – just over half of whom have been in trouble – found that most of them thought that young people get into trouble because of boredom and peer pressure.  

Of the 393 youngsters, aged between 10 and 23:

  • 44% said bad behaviour is encouraged when the media portrays their peers as misbehaving
  • 84% said young people get into trouble because of boredom
  • 88% said having more things to do and places to go might stop young people getting into trouble
  • 32% would go to friends for help if they were in trouble.

Shocking stuff really, as is the campaign videos, but well worth a look. From a media sense, this is doing nothing news, but is using something we have already seen in various incarnations, to great effect...

JP 2008