Jul 28


Whilst the Big Adcontinues to go global, from a seed of around 20 people to over half a million views in a week, Burger King tries to emulate the success of Subservient Chicken with a new campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky about Coq Roq, (www.coqroq.com) a band ‘inspired’ by the Chicken. I love the animation on the gallery, with a hand shuffling all the Poloroid shots, but that is it. (I’d link the page, but being all in flash you can’t – one of the many reasons I hate all in one flash sites). the rest of the site, not nearly as much fun as the Chicken.

Jul 28

The Other Side

Last year, Kryptonite were accused of not listening to their customers or responding in an appropriate way after a story broke about how easy it was to pick one of their locks with a biro. The company have now expanded on what happened from theri side over on Naked Conversations. It drives home again how subjective reporting is, whether on a personal blog, a ‘news’ blog or in main stream media. Very few people can report nothing but the facts without fitering through their own world view.

In this case, Kryptonite were seen as unresponsive, not with it, ignoring the customer. As Donna Tocci explains, what they were doing was making sure they had something worth telling, a full response to resolve the issue, not a piecemeal reaction which may have ended up with themselves in a worse position. In response to some of the comments here’s Donna’s answer

“As you mentioned in your chapter, yes, there were lots of meetings and lots of planning before we announced our full plan. Countless. However, please give this a thought – if we didn’t have all of our ducks in a row, announced the plan and then couldn’t follow through with that plan for whatever reason (manufacturing, shipping, software) what would have been good about that? Don’t you think that would have made the issue even worse? We absolutely did.

So they made sure they had a good, solid plan in place before announcing it – and they have follwed through with it – but this isn’t ‘news’ so the coverage they have got is less.

A point where I’d agree with you in your chapter is that there wasn’t as much detailed coverage about the lock exchange program in the media or on blogs as there was of the ‘crisis’. Why? Again, with your collective experience, you understand that controversy ‘sells’.

As a consequence of the situation they found themselves in, Kyrptonite has changed the way they keep an eye on the world and also their plans for dealing with such things again.

What one person, or a small company, can do it research, before a crisis hits, which is always a time challenge, isn’t it? But now more important than ever! In that research, identify a list of folks to keep informed should a crisis hit – traditional media as well as recognized, credible bloggers. At least that is what we’ve done. Might still not be ‘right’, but we are getting there.

The process of putting the book together has been very open, allowing companies and individuals to comment and correct where needed, shaping the flow of the story and ensuring that, where possible, alternative views nad perceptions are put forward.

Whilst Donna takes time to answer such comments, Kyptonite continues its programme of delighting customers:

We stopped selling all tubular cylinder products immediately, including ones that were not effected. We have replaced hundreds of thousands of locks worldwide, much to the delight of the majority of our customers. Imagine having a 15-20
year old lock, that you have used regularly, being replaced with a brand new one at no cost to you.

Jul 26

Blogging Lists

Hugh McLeod has gone and created a collaborative space for bloggers to put up, well, just about anything. As he says “This is either a totally great idea or a totally insane idea. Maybe a bit of both etc.”. A brilliant experiment – I’m going to be watching closely to see where it ends up. So go see The HughPage Wiki,

Jul 26

New Google Home page

Google released a new verison of their personalised home page. It was expected (they had feeds before, but not many) but now you can add your own, as well as choosing from their recommeded ones. Nice to see they provide Yahoo and Microsoft feeds as options. For me, still not as flexible page as it may be (you can only add the content to certain positions, but a great add to the service.

Jul 24

MSN Virtual Earth

Microsoft appear to be launching their new mapping application on Monday, but it looks like Virtual Earth is accessible, although performance is likely to be patchy until the official launch. There was initially speculation from Niall that it would be an RSS Search that was going to be launched – maybe that is coming as well?

FOr me, there was an interesting behavioural change from the start – I immediately went to grab the map to move it around. No more will I look for the little arrows to move the view – it’s grabbing only. Being English, I immediately wanted to move the map to the UK. Now, with Microsoft being a US company, I can understand why they would focus on geting the US mapping data in first, with only minimal coverage of the rest of the world. That’s what Google did, and MS are following behind here. But I would have hoped they would have something slightly better than this:

MSNVirtual Eeath UK View

I know a there’s a sterotypical American who knows nothing outside of their own borders, but missing off London is a lttle worrying.

Once zoomed in enought to see London, it still seems to live in a vacuum.

UK View with London

Does Microsoft know something I should know?

Update: I see it’s hidden again until the official beta launch.

Jul 23

Comment Feeds

At a Pre-OpenTech Dinner last night, I was listening in to a conversation between Jeremy and Peter about RSS/feed applications. And I realised what I’m missing in my aggregator – the ability to mark posts of interest so that I get updated on the comments. This needs to be accompnaied by a clean-up process, which lets me look at specific feed types such a those with comments and unsubscribe easily when the comments stop.

Jul 21

What not to do

1. Call a clothing line TwattyGirl. At least if you you want anything but hassle in the UK. The Press Release just gives us gem after PR gem, the crowning glory being ‘twattyisms’. Only in the US would this be done srriously; here, we’d add a lot more irony. Via PSFK

2. Yell out the main spoiler from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to a bunch of kids queuing in line to buy the book and hour after it has been released. But over here, someone does just that. Don’t watch if you don’t want spoilers. But if you know the end, watch it. It is funny…Via Observer Blog.

Jul 21

Listening In

From the Flickr Blog, one of the reasons they get such a following (apart from being a wonderful product). An apology for services not rendered and a call for feedback, to help drive the next stages. Being prepared to listen and answer to customers, to be aware of when things go wrong and then recognise them, recognise the customers who are feeling the pain is what so many companies are missing. Formal research works – in certain situations; continously listening and responding to the people who use your product is far better. And having the conversation openly is far better than only providing ‘customer care’ in the form of helplines or email contacts.

Jul 19

Morning Roundup

This story on the BBC caught my eye yesterday. A man was jailed and banned from keeping pets for life after he ripped the head off his parrot after a drunken night out. He did not appear for his case as he was too drink and the sentencing was delayed as he turned up again after drinking 8 pints of lager. At no point in the story is it mentioned that perhaps some treatment may be better than jail time. The final word has to go to the judge: “You are what might be described as the Ozzy Osbourne of Wolverhampton for the way you have treated this bird. The parrot had no chance of fleeing.”

Tivo now appear to be encouraging people to watch ads. I use mine to avoid them, so the news that the US makers are courting advertising money is not welcome. Then again, Tivo stopped investing in the UK market, leaving it all for Sky+ a long time ago so we amy be lucky (I doubt it though).

Read Steve Gilmour’s Death of Podcasting. The trends keep coming and going.

Yesterday at work we were all coerced to the ‘Data Security Roadshow’, where we were encouraged to see such useful demonstrations about strong passwords, identify theft, wireless security and other such important business requirements in an attempt to tackle the weakest link in any company’s security – the user. What would normally be a very poorly attended session was boosted by geting the tactics right – free lunch and lots of prizes just for showing up, from chocolates and sweets up to iPods.

Jul 12

Food for thought

A couple of interesting blogging posts plus a BBC write up of TED Global.

The first article is from Paul Mason of Newsnight. He set up a blog to supplement his reporting from the G8 summit and closes it today with a great article about why and how the blog changed the way he reported.

Via Adverblog, an article from Heidi Cohen on the RoI of corporate blogs. With the ‘long’ history of TV ads, it’s sometimes difficult convincing marketeers of the benefit of a simple website, never mind the more esoteric world of blogs which can add so much more. So this will be useful to me.

And finally, a report form the first day of TED Global from the BBC. I would have loved to have seen Richard Dawkins again; he’s one of the lecturers I never missed at college.

Jul 11

More flash interactivity

Via Adrants, Victoria’s Secret have a site to promote their new line of Underware. It’s basically strip poker..in a very tasteful way. You only play against the computer, but good fun. Not that safe for work, depending on whether your work allows models stripping down to their underwear online. Go play Pink Panty Poker

Jul 03

Repeating on me

I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice the odd behaviour from Typepad feeds. Almost all of them so far are repeating the last month or so of feeds and it’s getting boring.

Jul 01

Be a trailer star

New Line Cinema have added a twist to the promotion of one of their new films (Wedding Crasher), they provide you with a great tool to add yourself to the trailer of the movie. You upload a digital headshot of you (or your friend), do a little but of manipulation and then it takes the headshot and imposes it on one of the characters in the trailer. Nicely, you’re allowed to set it up and see the result before they ask for your email address, which is then used to send you a link for you to forward to all your friends. A great Friday funny. Via Adrants.

Jun 30


Scoble says that comments are broken and he gets more work done. David Weinberger says he’s stopped reading blogs. Jeanne Sessum says she can’t keep up. There’s too much information. The ‘important’ or ‘interesting’ stuff will repeat itself, will stay buoyant in the sea of the blogospehre, but you’ll only see it if you are looking. And the informations’s status is determined by the interest of the readers; whether there is enough interest to pass it on. At BARC, Suw Charman talked about subjectivity, how we are reflect our values and perceptions in what we read, write and say.

And my subjectivity, my background, meant that the themes I picked during Tuesday afternoon reflect my interests. Blogging and the role of gossip in the evolution of lanquage. The role of reciprical altruism and the alpha blogger. Information hubs and a matriarchal society. These are the themes that are floating in my head – hopefully I can pull them together into a whole.