The three for three London meme

I appear to have been tagged by Julius at the Event Manager Blog to take part in the latest meme doing the rounds. Fortunately for me, it’s a bit less serious than the last couple I’ve taken part it – Measures of Engagement (Convincing the Disconnected) and The Best Practices in Social Media meme.

It also appears to have changed name somewhere along the way, from the Three for Three to the London meme! Anyhow, here’s the answers:

1. Top 3 non-work websites: (Tricky when you’re in social media!)
Last.fm (streaming personalised audio)
MotoGPnews.com (incredibly sarcastic MotoGP site)
100NXC (Informative club and forum for Nissan 100 NX owners like me!)

2. Three favourite cocktails

Mojito

Caipirinha

Pangalactic Gargleblaster (legendary concoction from Spiders nightclub in Hull)

3. Top 3 karaoke songs (I try to never, ever inflict my horrible singing voice on people)

The River, Bruce Springsteen
A Little Time, The Beautiful South (At least a duet means half as much pain)
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding (Even I can’t do worse than the Michael Bolton version!)

Now to inflict the fun on Dave, Documentally (I’m hoping for the answers in video form!), and Danie…The question is, whill any of them pick up on it and buy me a drink any time soon?

How social media can turn us into babies

It’s been a long day, but one of the main things that has kept me going is my son.Baby Feet picture on Flickr by photosavvy (Under Creative Commonons He’s just a few months old, and he’s at the stage where he’s just realised he has feet (and other body parts). Every so often he’ll look amazed as this thing on the end of his leg comes into his eye line, and he’s able to control it (with varying success!).

By the same token, I’m constantly fascinated by the unpredictability of social media marketing, and how making even small changes can have a big effect on whether something drives links, referrals or conversions. It’s something Malcolm Gladwell outlines in The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference. One of the case studies Howard Leventhal’s experiment by creating a ‘high fear’ and ‘low fear’ version of a booklet describing the benefits of tetanus shots for university students – although the ‘high fear’ group were more convinced about the benefits, they weren’t any more likely to get their shots done. Instead it was the inclusion of a timetable and a map showing where the university clinic was located that suddenly raised tetanus shots – a clinic most of the students would have already seen and walked past every day!

By the same token a small change in a headline or a phrase can have a big effect on how well an article does on one of the websites I work with – but even with website analytics, buzz monitoring, Google trends and a tinfoil hat to pick up brainwaves, there’s still an element of chance and surprise when dealing with humans!

And this isn’t about Neuro-linguistic Programming or trying to seduce or trick people – it’s about how to let people know something is available for them to use, share, or remix. To quote Mark Earls ‘forget doing stuff To folk; do stuff WITH them’. But doing stuff with them can be hard, particularly if you’re used to writing and interacting in a broadcast style, rather than a conversational one.

I still think things can be brilliantly written, and inspirationally presented, despite coming in at the same level as the people you’re trying to interact with. And that can be anything from Kevin Smith’s Clerks to Mike Leigh, or Robert Johnson, Christy Moore, and Bruce Springsteen.

That’s what makes the job fun, as we try and figure out how things are apparently connected, and how we can improve what we do to be more useful to others – and also makes us into toddlers as every time we think we’ve got the hang of it, our foot suddenly comes into view!

* Baby feet photo is by photosavvy on Flickr, and used under Creative Commons. If you think I’m waking my son up for a blog post when he’s finally napping, you’re very much mistaken!