Apr 28

Sony and We7

Do we praise Sony for their brave move in making 250000 songs available for free listening on the We7 music site or condemn for making you listen to a 10 second ad before every song? I’m not sure, my first instinct is annoyance and frustration that they still don’t get it. The ratio seems a lot, say 10 seconds every 3 minutes, (so at 5.5%) but it’s not as much of your time as commercial TV in the US, at 18 mins in every 60, at 30%. But I think the frequency will get annoying very quickly and will probably the variety, or lack of it when it comes to the types of ads. This is a broadcast mechanism only, so it’s commercial radio without the presenters and only one companies songs, but the ad frequency is far higher than radio – so why listen? You can only listen on your computer and not placeshift to your mobile device. I wonder how many listeners they will get?

Apr 22

Barcelona Trip

Last weekend, a friend suggested a trip to Barcelona for a long weekend – some of his friends owned a boat in the harbour there so we could have somewhere to sleep.

Barcelona Apr 08

The boats somewhere in the middle there. Easyjet flights were booked and so I set off for 4 days in Barcelona. I’d visited the city back in 2002, so knew a little about it. I basically spent time wandering around, on foot and on the Tourist buses, taking photos and taking it easy.

Barcelona Apr 08

The weather was not brilliant – one really good day, 2 days with rain, but it was a great break; i got a little bit of a tan and a few mosquito bites. One thing that was fascinating was the marina culture – there’s a lot of British people with boats there, many living their on a long-term basis, others popping back and forth from the UK. They hang around together on the boats and in the bars, not with the locals.

I love this city and have only covered a small amount. Got a whole lot more to do the next time I go ;)

Apr 17

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I went to a blogger screening last night of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This was arranged via Twitter by Sizemore, with about 30 people turning up for the show. The film is made by the same people who did The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, 2 films I’ve not seen nor really had the desire to see, so I was not sure what to expect.

What I did get was a fun film that had me and the rest of the watchers laughing from the start. The basic plot is that Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), a TV star of the hit show Crime Scene (which means some funny parodies of CSI), breaks up with Peter (Jason Segal). Peter goes off to Hawaii to try and get over he, only to end up at the same hotel as Sarah and her new boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). The story was nothing new, but it was delivered in a great way – and I so want to see the Dracula Puppet Rock Opera ;) I loved it and if you want a laugh, go see the film. There’s a far better review over at Going Underground

One other great aspect of the night was getting a chance to have a good chat with people I’d only briefly met before, primarily londonfilmgeek and Imajes. I also met a lot of new people, such as Mecca and LJ (well, those are the people I have cards from – there were a lot more than that!)

On the digital marketing perpective, compare the US and the UK sites. The front page is different, with the UK site pushing Russell Brand to the front, but once inside it’s the same. Down to the fact that to see the 18+ version of the trailer, they still expect you to have a US driving licence!!!!

Apr 12

Rick Astley Fans?

The BBC reports from Liverpool St station, where there was a live Rick Mob yesterday. For those who have not seen it, a Rick Roll is where you send someone a link and it goes to Rick Astley’s Never Going to Give You Up. It hit the peak (and maybe jumped the shark) with You Tube’s appropriation of the meme, where every video link on their home page went to the video.

It was only a matter of time before this was done live and yesterday it happened on a mass scale. Around 400 people turned up all bursting into song at 6pm. But the BBC report is too simplistic, not able to grasp that these are not ‘fans’ of Rick Astley, they are fans of the meme, of the collective action, of coming together with no organisation beyond public websites, performing and going away. The Station Freeze falls into the same bracket. It’s about doing stuff not about being fans of some artist. The BBC article completely fails to grasp that.

Bad video:

Apr 07

Twitter Frustrations

I’m getting really frustrated with Twitter at the moment and it has nothing to do with the service itself but to the explosion in use. Since the start of the month I’ve received 50 new followers, very few of whom I’ve followed back. Some of it, I’m sure, is because I’ve been on the service a long time and am often on the front page of the followers list due to my ‘membership number’. I’m pretty much on my limit of people I’m following, the limit of how useful the tool is. For me, it is not a broadcast tool, it’s not a popularity tool, it’s a way to connect with friends and ‘friends’ (those online acquaintances who I know virtually, or want to know or find interesting). So here’s some of the reasons I will and won’t follow you. Everyone has different reasons – which is why I don’t feel aggrieved if someone does not follow me, if I don’t fit into their reasons for use, why would they?

  • I follow you if I know you personally – and know you have a Twitter account. Recently I’ve not gone out and tried to discover accounts of everyone I know; I’ll come across them eventually
  • I follow you if I know you virtually, having had interactions online with you
  • I follow you if I’m met you and you mentioned Twitter, or your twittering about an event we’re both at. (for example, I started following a few new people after Over the Air.) I tend to review these after a while to see if we still have shared interests
  • I follow you if someone I already follow starts to refer to to you and your tweets look interesting. Again reviewed after a while
  • If you start following me, I rarely return the favour if I look at your numbers and seeing you are following 100’s or 1000’s and very few following you. You’re either promoting yourself or just started on the service and think that is the way to do it. If I don’t know you, I won’t follow.
  • However, of you start following me, it looks like you are trying to learn how to use the system and you are following connected people, then I’ll see what you have to say
  • I have blocked 2 kinds of accounts. Obvious promotion accounts for things I don’t like and people who I feel are creepy (that’s usually men who are following nothing but loads of women – they write in a certain way)
  • I won’t follow promotion accounts in general, nor politicians, etc

There’s my list, that’s the sort of thinking I go through when I look at an account. It has to fit with what I can cope with and what I am interested in. If I don’t follow you after you connect with me, it’s not necessarily you, it’s probably me ;)