Nov 26

2013 – Week 47

Winter is definitely here! it’s getting a bit cold out there. Not sure of it’s the cold but it was a very quiet week.

Reading

Not that musch this week.

Doing

The week was very, very quite! The only things of note were watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary (which I loved) and attending the Brazil BadgerBash, a gathering of F1 fans, to watch the last race of the season. A very good afternoon/evening catching up with Twitter friends.

Training

  • 3.3m at 10:36min/m. Steady lunchtime loop.
  • 4 x 1k intervals, at 8:33 min/mile pace. Did this on the treadmill, probably the best place for doing these kind of intervals
  • 8.23m at 11:06min/mile. Run from Wandsworth town
  • 14.1m at 11:06 min/mile. Got the train/tube to London Bridge, then ran back. A good idea apart from the bit around the Christmas market, which was basically gridlocked!

I’m now taking a couple of days. I’ve picked up a knee injury I think that needs to gets rested!

Nov 11

2013 – Week 45

Reading

  • The Ofsted Report on Hogwarts. This is from earlier in the year and is a lot of fun. What would the regulatory bodies make of a school of Wizardry, especially one with such a high accident rate!
  • Up in Arms (Tufts) A look back at the hstory of the US and how the different areas of settlement led to different attitudes to gun laws. The US is divided into different ‘nations’ based on their pattern of immigration
  • The Innovation of Loneliness. This looks like it is a graduate project and nothing in it appears to be original (I wish sources had been referenced) but it is a video (the equivalent of an infographic) and pulls together nicely some of the ideas around life online.
  • Out of the picture (Verge). Why even great products, such as Everpix, go out of business if they can’t gain traction and users. (via Steve Bridger)
  • Customers in Control. An Australian look at the future of retail and how experiences (rather just price) will keep us coming back. This counts for both in-store and for online, reflecting the changing social desire to get something more than just a bargain. (Via Delia Timms)
  • A farewell to Lou Reed by Laurie Anderson (Rolling Stone). short story of love, life and death. (via Matthew Gidley)

Doing

  • The London Bloggers’ Meetup was held at Google, where first we listened to Mitch Joel talk about his new book Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then we had a quick panel discussing Google enterprise and blogger products.
  • Watched some fireworks at Chiswick Business Park on the 5th. A long standing local event, there were probably a few thousand people in the park, all crowded together to watch about 15mins worth of fireworks. (there should be a video below, if not it’s on my Flickr)
  • A late planned trip to the O2 arena to watch the ATP tennis. it was a trip with a client and I was a replacement for an ill colleague. In doing so, I missed a party at work that involved a lot of karaoke and a lot of drinking 😉
    Untitled
  • Went to see Thor at the cinema. Great Saturday afternoon movie, lots of fun.

Training

  • 5.1m at 10:39min/mile
  • 7m at average 10:24min/mile. This was a build run, with each mile supposed to be faster than the next. managed that, with the last one at 8:20. That’s the fastest mile I’ve done!
  • Park Run, at a steady 8:50min.mile
  • 12m steady. Decided to keep it interesting I’d get the train to Waterloo and run back home along the river
Mar 21

2013 Week 10

2 Mar to 8th Mar

After the quiet of last week, this week was a little more exciting.

Reading

Doing

  • Went shopping! Yes, not that much of a strange activity for most, but for me to volunteer to go shopping with friends is very, very unusual. It was all to do with getting out and trying on some new sized clothes, as I appear to have lost about 2 dress sizes so far this year. (well, at least in some stores). Bought one top, but had a great time trying things on, then drinking fizzy stuff, which is the only sensible way to finish off a shopping trip
  • Work dinner at BAFTA, A chance for the senior team to get together and let our hair down a little, even if it was a Monday night. A lovely full service dinner was pulled together plus a few drinks. A few of us even ended up in the Ritz, some place I’ve always wanted to have a cocktail in, even given the slightly large price! I was sensible and went home relatively early, others were not so and ended up not very well the next day!

    Cocktails at the Ritz

The rest of the week was the usual round of work, a bit of gym, and that’s about it! I was saving myself up for the next few buys weeks I think.

Mar 20

2013 Week 9

Sat 23rd Feb – Fri 1 Mar

You’d think i could do this, wouldn’t you. One post a week, that’s all I need. But no, I end up doing other things over the weekend and then at work time and the one post gets left behind until major catch up sessions like this one! So what did I do way back at the end of Feb?

Reading

Not a lot. I have no saved links for this period, so it must have been quiet!

Doing

  • The weekend was spent washing, tidying and sorting things out after a week away. And sorting out all my photos to organise the F1 ones into teams. One of those non-exciting housework weekends.
  • The rest of the week was fairly quiet too. Well, except for being a person down in the team,, so we were covering that work. And I was finalising a slight re-organisation of the team. And I was reviewing the interview results from the previous week, where the first round interviews for my replacement person had been taking place. We decided who to invite back and set them a brief to respond to, concious that by doing so, we probably compromised their next weekend!
  • On the Friday, I went along to ‘An Evening with Joe Saward‘ who’s an F1 journalist. It was set up as a Q&A session where the audience just threw out questions and Joe answered and told stories based on his long experience with the sport. It was interesting how different the crowd was to the other regular F1 event I go to (#badgerbash, more on this later in the year) with the audience being primarily mature men with very few women. I think that’s a result of who the journalist is.

Well, that was a quiet week (outside of work!).

Feb 26

2013 Week 8

A quick follow up to catch up the weeks.

Reading

  • Fitbit talks about tracking and privacy. I’m using a Fitbit and I love it. Just wearing it makes me think about being more active, to climb the stairs instead of the escalator. As mentioned in the article, the ecosystem is great and I hope increased competition does not restrict this.
  • A comment on whether Silicon Valley really is a meritocracy or if that’s just the white male view. The concept of privilege is not going away, nor is the vastly different perceptions of it.
  • Moshi Monsters and why kids love them. Yep, building a new kids property is hard. Moshi pretty much nails it
  • Why Americans are WEIRD. A challenge to the accepted wisdom that people’s behaviours and perceptions are fundamentally the same, based on biology, so using western (and primarily US) people for studies would apply worldwide. this research shows that is not the case and Americans are often one of the most outlying of groups

Doing

  • HOLIDAY! yes my first holiday of the year. Now, most people would not call what I did as a holiday, but I enjoyed it. It was a trip to Barcelona to watch the F1 testing. So every day, travel up to the circuit and sit and watch cars go round for 7 hours. In the freezing cold and occasional rain. Then back to the city for tapas and red wine. A lovely week and one that is planned for next year too!

    2013 Barcelona F1 Testing Day 3

  • Forgot to add this for the last week entry, but I have completed a further 2 stages of the LOOP walk. Over the two weekends, I have travelled from Bexley to West Wickham Common. Three sections done, 21 to go!

    Walk the LOOP 3  -Petts Wood to West Wickham Common

Feb 26

2013 Week 7

Nearly the end of Feb and I’ve managed to miss a week. Didn’t last too long then! That’s what going on holiday does, trying to rush to get everything sorted. So let’s catch up forstly with week 7.

Reading

  • American Express launch ‘Pay with a tweet hashtag‘. The ability for people who have linked their twitter account with their Amex card to order good with a tweet. Tweet the appropriate hashtag for one of the available products, retweet the Amex confirmation tweet and the item is yours. Hope people remember to lock phones and desktops then – to avoid helpful ‘friends’ ordering for you!
  • The ultimate in responsive design – using the camera to change how big the font is, from Marko Dugonjić
  • A lovely short story, Four Million Followers, about the life of a brand Tweeter. If there is a secret network, we’ve not been invited yet at work 🙁
  • Mailbox is getting a lot of hype, with the queuing mechanism. Wired looks at whether it will make a difference. I see lots of articles about email being broken, but have not yet seen a decent idea of a replacement. And social media does not replace email in many settings!
  • Are the best days of community management behind us?. A great piece from emoderation about how community management has been taken over the suits – it’s about business more than relationships. I’m someone who, at the core, believes the best community managers are those who represent the community back to the brand and work to better the brand. It’s not always possible, but that’s my starting point.

Doing (looks back in diary to see what I did 2 weeks ago)

  • Work has been interesting. I’ve been looking at some speculative projects to see where we can grow the business – not direct pitches, but pulling together Point of View documents in a few areas around ‘Social Media and…’. With the ‘and’ being varied.
  • Had a little trip to Paris with work for a client innovation work shop. A lovely trip on the Eurostar, some good food in Paris and then a day spent working on new ideas. It was interesting that the workshop format, structured to drive the formation of ideas, is something that I rarely see in agencies but I used to do a fair bit of client side. The agency world is often in thrall to the ‘lock the creatives in a room and let them come up with something’ model. Here we had brand, legal, PR, global, local teams all working together.
  • It’s annual review time and I’m still busy doing them. We have a new model this year, competency based, and it’s taking a little longer for everyone to complete them. But seems like we’re setting good plans for the year around development and training. At the same time, one of the team decided it was time to move on this week, so CVs being gathered and interviews planned.
Jan 18

2013 Week 3

  • The week after CES means reading about CES. Not just the immediate responses, the announcements and the press releases, but the posts from those who have taken time to think about what they have seen. the Verge went through what they though was the best of CES. Of a far more reflective nature is the piece from Stephen Sinofsky, who is ex-Microsoft Windows. (via Ewan Spence)
  • Social Media Today has a list of the best social media conferences to attend in 2013. I’ve never been to any of them! Probably because the conferences I do tend to go to are slightly more on the tech side (Le Web, SXSW) or completely different things like TEDx events. However, if your after some of the beast thinking then last list is a good one. You should also look out for Social Media Week which is coming up soon.
  • This is brilliant – Nicole Cooke’s retirement speech. An insight into the chalelgnes of women’s sport, the impact of doping on the overall health of women’s cycling
  • The Friday pitch went well – at least from our side. After pitches, it’s always about the wait. It’s a rare thing that clients get back to you when they think they can get back to you. There’s always something, a person not around, a further piece of information they need. It’s a waiting game.
  • Friday night was supposed to be a birthday party – so I was expecting a wee bit of a sore head on Saturday. But an evening phone call put paid to that, with a request to go onto Sky News Sunrise show on the Saturday morning. The topic was the use of social media to promote positive activity in Belfast, supporting businesses during the current protests. I always enjoy these opportunities, and this time I got to sit on a Breakfast sofa for the first time 😉
  • Saw Les Miserables – the film. One thing that struck me is that on a stage, all the action is constrained, you need to use imagination to paint the scenes, you can all the parties singing, you can see the whole thing. You would think that the film would take advantage of the ability to show a much wider scope. But i found that lacking – and it seemed that most of the film was close-ups of the actors, emoting, showing that they were real ‘actors’ that could sing rather than stage actors who need to project. I love the stage show, the film left me feeling a little short changed.
Jan 11

2013 Week 2

Week 2 is done. I’ve decided I don’t like the sign outside Southwark Tube station, which provides the date. It’s a reminder every morning that another day has been ticked off and it’s mutely asking me what have I done to change the world. Or something like that! So what have I wrestled out of this week?

  • Via Terrence Eden, i read this great report from Vanity fair on the making of the Blues Brothers. Fascinating insight into the minds of Aykroyd and Belushi.
  • A last minute request to go to Switzerland for a client meeting meant I was able to go early for the weekend to meet up with Geoff to discuss the social media marketing for a film being made this year in Switzerland. Called Murkwood, it’s due to start shooting in the autumn. But at the moment, the team behind it are shooting a short called True Dark. Geoff and I went up into the mountains for look at what was happening as they shot one of the key action sequences for the short. (full set of pictures here)

    True Dark Shoot

  • The meeting was with a long-standing client and focused on the partnership we are building with them over the next few years. I was there to discuss how social and digital can be used for their primarily B2B work but how it can also be used to create a pull from the end customer
  • Back in the office for the rest of the week, straight into a pitch prep. The pitch is today, for a second strand of work with a client we won in the latter part of last year. Again B2B work, my focus is on strategy and process for this one.
  • The gym visits are going well. Caroline is great at getting me to the gym and once there, I’m the one who makes us do things! We’ve created our own programme to start off with, a lot of core strength work to get us started. Next week we’ll be off to our first class!
  • I wrote about my brother-in-law and Mont Ventoux yesterday and that is going to be a focus this year. Getting him back up that mountain!

And that is that. A fairly quiet week all told, no world changing things yet.

Jan 04

2013 Week 1

A challenge to set myself! A defined weekly blog post. But the question I ask myself, is it about progress, the job, my life, or is it about things I’ve found you may enjoy. The latter inspired in particular by James Whatley’s Five Things on Friday series of posts which I’ve really enjoyed reading over the year. But as he says in the last post, the series evolved, so I’ll start with something and see where it goes!

  1. First up, a great round up from Grégory Pouy of what he sees as the best digital campaigns of 2012. A series of case studies to be borrowed across the following year! But don’t just read the examples, think about the why. Do you agree with Grégory’s reasons why they are good? Do you think there are other reasons?
  2. Looking forward, Deep Focus have produced as excellent piece of work about trends in 2013. Everything is bang on in that list, things I’ve been talking about internally for years. What’s most relevant in my agency is point 9: “The changing demands of demographics and devices will make experiential a key part of digital marketing“. That’s exactly why I joined Momentum in 2010, because of the opportunity about social around experiential and events, because it’s not just engaging with people with Facebook, but INVOLVING them through experiences. And this leads to Henriette’s constant refrain about Return on INVOLVEMENT being a key metric, which made it onto Mashable’s list of 2013 buzzwords. I’m looking forward to being able to read Henriette’s book in English 🙂
  3. Finally, a connected piece about the type of thinking that you need to do around planning for an brand event – this time when a brand is sponsoring something. Great piece from Leo Ryan about sponsorship social planning, the process and the tactics that you can use. There are other things that you need to think about when the sponsorship runs over a series of events – what’s the connecting story and how do you keep things fresh without feeling repetitive, but that’s another post!

That’s what I’ve been reading..what else has been happening?

  • came back to work to find out we’d won a nice little pitch, international, but with plenty of London involvement. Another sport we’re going to be involved in
  • started the year supporting a pitch, straight back into thinking.
  • Moved my gym membership closer to work, so less excuses not to go. Got a gym buddy. Will be working hard at the measuring and monitoring and taking advantage of the trend of apps for the quantified self!
  • finally, had a quiet Old Year’s Night, then a long walk on New Year’s day to take advantage of what felt like the first dry day for ages!