Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

Love love this so had to share, the video from the clever http://www.excentric.pt tells the story of the Nativity through social media, the web and mobile. The integrated approach is something I have been talking about all year, so it really suits my mindset.

Happy Christmas

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Blog Log: November 2010

What I blogged about in November over at the Rocktime Blog, feel free to click through on the header for more info:

Social Media Meets Commerce:
A blog introducing the Ebay Group Gift Service (launched in the US) and the fact that the UK aren't ready for it yet.

I really like this blog post. I am banging on that great content is key on Facebook Pages and along with talking about building a community, I share some lessons in engagement, sharing these below:

Lessons in Engagement

  • Give your fans a reason to visit
  • Get them to love your page so they can recommend you to others
  • Provide interesting insights of value (to the fan)
  • Share news
  • Competitions
  • Deliver informative information which indicates that you know your industry and don't constantly promote your products or service
  • Give people a reason to talk about the page
  • Introduce people to the reasons as to why they should be visiting or liking the page
  • Be chatty & human to encourage conversation and ensure ongoing interaction
  • When delivering Facebook Ads, keep the target audience in mind, deliver an ad that will resonate with your fan rather than shouting about how great you are
  • Advertise on the Facebook page to encourage further interaction on your site
  • Make a note of all your customer touch points (Newsletters, Lost password, Page 404 not found) and how you can advertise your networks of interaction there to encourage Facebook Page fan growth
  • Finally, keep it real (think topical stories and conversations)

I also introduced Amazon Black Friday. News is I didn't manage to get any of the deals, went for the Flip Cam and Xbox Offer. However I did have a giggle over at the Facebook Amazon UK page, when an Amazon Friday winner bragged about all products he managed to get, to then be shamed by the Amazon UK Facebook Page Fans, with "we will find you on Ebay comments". Pretty funny.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

P P Pick up a #sHamleys Penguin Story

If only Hamleys had a social media strategy, this would never have happened.

I found out about the story last night on Twitter, it really wound me up, that Hamleys weren't responding via Twitter and I was more wound up by the morning to see they were still keeping silent.

For someone passionate about social media like me, this was a hard pill to swallow.

This morning I saw the events unfold, as the media got hold of the story and more bloggers started to blog about: what Hamleys are planning to do.

It would have been so simple to fix, @Jamesmb (from: http://www.socialholic.co.uk) tweeted last night, that one tweet could have fixed this and I agree with him.

Along with "if only they had a social media strategy", the other "ifs" include:

If only they educated earlier about the penguins welfare, provided positive information for people to share !

If only they spoke to the people who had concerns promptly.

If only they understood the point of Twitter!!

My recommendation for #shamleys was to ditch n slide the live penguins and to put up a big screen on the Ground Floor to show Penguin Webcam at Edinburgh Zoo > http://bit.ly/eIIwDN which was (incedently) an Internet Hit on Monday. Have they got back to me. No they haven't, this isn't social media !!

As the above image of the Penguin Pile Up image shows "Some will stand firm, some will wobble and some will tumble down" - the same rings true for those entering social media without a strategy.

Thought to share a collection of a few blogs, news stories, forum posts and tweets that cut n pasted over a Greggs Pastie at lunch time.

Power to the People ;) Will check the links out later - as busy at work now...


@Wildlifephotog - We'll update the blog on #sHamleys as and when thing happen today http://bit.ly/d5BqaI

Via @achrisevans Final call for should real penguins go to hamleys for a spot of Xmas fun. First fruitcake poll. #fruitcake YES #fruitcake NO. about 7 hours ago via ƜberTwitter Retweeted by WildlifePhotog and 4 others


Please keep telling Hamleys this is wrong – Wildlife & travel ...
30 Nov 2010 ... Please keep telling Hamleys this is wrong. by Darren. Well, it's been a busy 24 hours since last night I tweeted about Hamleys outrageous ...

Born Free Blog
Please e-mail Hamleys at customerservices@hamleys.co.uk or contact the store via their Facebook page ...

Hamleys' penguin and reindeer show angers animal welfare supporters
ParentDish UK - Kelly Rose Bradford - ‎3 hours ago‎
Hamleys on London's Regent Street had advertised an in-store event featuring live penguin and reindeer as a Christmas treat for youngsters. ...

Hamleys – the world's most appalling toy store #sHamleys at ...
1 day ago by Socialholic
Take a look at this website – yes, it's Hamleys and, yes, you too can go to a central London store, possibly one of the busiest London stores that exists (especially at this time of year), full of excited and loud ...

Naughty Hamleys, Penguins and Reindeer Are Not Toys
1 day ago by Mat
Not only are Hamleys having a week long “Reindeer Park”, where for two hours per day you can “pat and feed our beautiful mummy and baby reindeer!“, but for four hours on Monday 6th December, you can “see the penguins swim, interact with ...

Hamleys Toy Store Of London, A PR Disaster For Christmas?
1 day ago by admin
Hamleys are having live Reindeer and Penguins in store at what must be one of the busiest times of the year and the Animal Welfare groups are not happy. People are creating enough negative noise via social media about Hamleys Christmas ...


Outrage Over Hamleys' Live Penguin Display
Sky News - Pete Norman - ‎1 hour ago‎
Hamleys toy store in London has sparked outrage for its plans to bring real penguins and reindeer into the shop as part of a Christmas promotion. ...

Hamleys defies animal rights outrage at live penguin show
This is London - ‎2 hours ago‎
Hamleys today declared it was pressing ahead with plans to have live penguins in the Regent Street toy store despite protests from animal welfare groups. ...
(NB: Image taken from this site)

Fury over Hamleys' live penguin show
The Sun - Virginia Wheeler - ‎12 hours ago‎
HAMLEYS sparked fury from wildlife groups and animal lovers yesterday - over plans to have LIVE penguins and reindeer in the toy store ...


Live penguins in Hamleys Central London toy store? - Pet Forums ...
14 hours ago by shibby
Has anyone heard this story yet? Live Penguin Show at Hamleys Criticised by Bloggers, Tweeters Londonist Hamleys – the world's most.

Live Penguins + Reindeer in Hamleys - Wild About Britain
1 day ago by Ukwildlifeo
Sorry not sure where to put this, but Hamleys toy store London are currently advertising a display of real reindeer and penguins in their shop.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Is it a table is it a frame - Amazing!

A new addition to my blog, is going to be about 'Storage Solutions'. I am constantly on the look out, on how to create more space in the house/flat. Going to share any storage solutions findings here to help inspire me (and others) on my 'Place for everything' mission (and an end to the Monica cupboard).

My friend at work sent me a link to this table / picture frame piece of furniture. The designer can be found here. How cool is it !! Thinking of challenging @the_burb to make one for the kitchen. Can't be too difficult, just 4 pieces of wood, pane of glass and some clippy things..;) Simple !!

Actually ditch the glass, could be health and safety issue, and just paint with Magic Chalk Board paint instead. Ikea if you are listening, I would pay £35 for this & with the addition of chalk board paint £45. I thank you.

BAFTA Kids Vote 2010 - Big Kids Vote for Stardoll

As a big ambassador and self confessed fan of Stardoll, I've just been checking out the BAFTA Kids Vote 2010 tonight (whilst trying to watch 'The Event'!, totally lost now) to check out this year's web nominations. Stardoll are nominated and I've done something really naughty and voted, and should be aged 7 - 14yrs, sshhh, don't tell anyone!!

Voting for the BAFTA Kids Vote 2010 opened end of October 2010 and closes 26th November 2010, so if you know any teenagers and nearly teenagers let them know about it.

Along with Stardoll the other nominations for the Best Web Site this year include:

I didn't just visit my blog tonight to tell you about my voting confession, thought to pop by to say how much I love the BAFTA Kids Vote interactive site / Barney's Bafta Boulevard. I have been playing on it for half the night!!

It was designed by 'Complete Control' a web design agency & online game developers, that I can't believe I haven't heard about before.

It's always nice to find an agency that have developed on a niche area & won big time, they have only been around for just over 10 years and boast a really impressive client list including: CBBC, Nickelodeon, Charlie and Lola, Dr Who, Topsy and Tim, Mr Bean, Penguin and a number of high profile charities such as Comic Relief, NSPCC, Oxfam, Unicef.

Well done guys!! Lots of jobs very well done.

Check them out here and prepare to be amazed by their quirky style & talent.

Friday, 22 October 2010

IMO: Best Pub Restaurant in the UK

I was so impressed, decided to blog my excitement over this place as I will be recommending it to friends: Introducing the Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George, Somerset. My parents took me and The Burb there a couple of weeks ago for Sunday Lunch. Everything was excellent, the ambience, the food, the interior design, the patrons, the staff, the loos (the boys reported their loos were interesting too). The food is really really fantastic, great presentation & great taste. If you are planning a holiday near Somerset, then you must book your table early and visit this place. You will not be disappointed.
I think I may enquire about getting married there, it just felt so right, only 100 guests though, hmm who could I cut of my list. Check out their website here:

Campaign for Fun 404 pages

We've all seen them, 404 pages. On websites that are served by Windows servers it is a plain white page that has this text:

Error 404 - The page cannot be found

The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Please try the following:

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Open the www.mysite.com home page, and then look for links to the information you want.

Click the Back button to try another link.

This screams BORING and I have decided this year and into 2011, I will be campaigning (via Rocktime) to make our clients 404 pages more friendly, attractive and useful to visitors.

Anyone reading this can have a more attractive 'page not found page' on their site, you just need to ask your website host to set it up so you can use your own custom made 404 page, which makes it clear to users that they have indeed found the right website and have simply landed on the wrong page.

For usability I suggest you link your 404 page back to your home page or maybe provide a Sitemap too (that would be handy) or direct them to the inbuilt search engine built on your site.

Mashable recently shared 35 Entertaining 404 pages check them out here:

Hopefully our designer can pull something very special out of the bag, and we will appear on the Mashable list in the new year.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Loved this: Impulse ‘Shopping Spree App’

I really liked this on pack promotion from Impulse (Unilever), which drives the savvy customer straight to the "Impulse Diaries" Facebook fan page, and invites them via a 'Shopping Spree' Facebook App to key in the on pack code.

Really straight forward and easy process. I am sure it will have a very positive outcome amongst their target audience.

A couple of days ago, I read on Mashable about a recent study of more than 1,600 people aged 18 to 60 (by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research), found that 75% of those who liked a brand on Facebook did so because of an ad or another form of direct outreach. Invitations from friends was the impetus for 59% of likes, while personal research accounted for just 49% of them.

So sounds like I am not the only one who is compelled to follow these ads through to the Facebook page. Interesting....

Shame I had nothing to do with this campaign..> find out more about 'Bilington Cartmell' the agency that created this integrated marketing campaign here and view their fabulous graphics.

A job well done.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Game Review: Heavy Rain PlayStation3

Format: PS3
Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
24 February 2010

Score: 9/10

Summary: Heavy Rain - asks you to make some tough decisions in a video game.

Four characters are hunting for the Origami Killer in what I am classing as an “Interactive Thrilling Drama”. The animation, music (recorded @ Abbey Road Studios) and attention to detail in every shot are excellent, engaging the player from the start - in summary, it all just feels so very real.

The game is great for two players (passing over game controller), as you can talk about the decisions you make (quickly!!).

It begins in one of the main characters family home, Ethan and his wife are preparing for one of their kids birthday parties. It is a domestic scene in an idealistic family home, during this gameplay you really get a sense of the sensitivity of the controllers. For example: Ethans wife invites Ethan to put the plates out for dinner, you need to be very sensitive in the placement of the plates otherwise your wife will shout at you!

All actions are in context, in this early part of the game I was telling @the_burb to go over to the sink and let Ethan give his stressed out wife a “sink cuddle”, and you could do that!

There are streaming character thoughts that you can access via the controller to determine the characters next step. We identified quite early in the game that if you choose the wrong way to set up a sentence, then it can have negative consequences, for example in another scene @the_burb made a lady of the night cry, I grabbed controller off him and gave her a tissue to clear up the problem.

Although not designed for two player, it does work as a great game you can play with others. We even put the game on when we had friends round for dinner (is that wrong!!) and there were then four of us, deciding what to do next. The experience really sits with the one with the game controller, thanks to the well timed Playstation controller vibrations, letting you know... “it is going to kick off in a minute”.

David Cage the director is amazing, I am in awe of him and advise you to watch the above interview to understand more about the premise behind ‘Heavy Rain’. I especially like the point he makes about how he wished to make a game that will trigger real emotions. Mr Cage it worked for me, I was terrified in some scenes and really sad in others.

What I really like about the game, is that even the character prompts (to make a decision) move in context with what is on the screen. Even the controller actions scatter around the screen in moments of high stress. Brilliant !! While all that is going on you have to really have to keep a close eye on the game at all times of and look for clues of next steps.

Some of the controller actions are a little complicated from X, R1, L2 and Triangle, but then this fits in context with the scene. At one point I was in a tricky life threatening situation, which included a tricky controller move, this put me in a state of panic which was a similar state to what the character was feeling at the time. I saved a character but left another behind to face the inevitable consequences. So at this point, I guess I changed the game play. Would need to play again
to change the destinies of those characters. I was pretty disappointed about my decision of loosing one character to save another, they didn’t deserve it, plus I had recently just killed off another character in an earlier scene. Began to feel remorseful. A game that takes you to that place, of feeling disappointed in your actions and worried about the future, is amazing and why this game gets a 9/10

The game is not only ambitious, it is brave and shows a tale of how real people may react in certain environments, you really do see the characters crumble and at the same time due to the script you are in a constant need to keep the game play moving.

The four main characters in the game include; Ethan, FB1 agent Norman Jayden, Private Investigator Scott Shelby and Journalist Madison Page.

Norman Jayden was my favourite character, as he collated the killer profile, had a heavy virtual reality addiction and there was the good cop bad cop thing going on too (like it).

Those that know me, are aware of my very vidid imagination. To share my thoughts: a way that this game could have been more shocking, would be to close the mirrored bathroom cabinet, then have a face in the mirror !! Arrrh scared just writing that.

Go play / experience Heavy Rain, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Make sure you check out the extras too, for the making off, casting calls and for the collection of graphics.

Have fun and for full effect make sure you play it in the dark.. Enjoy ;)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Marathon Mad! - 105 Marathons in 105 Days around Britain

My friends mate is doing something quite extraordinary, he is on a quest to run 105 marathons in 105 days around Britain.

As a non runner I don’t quite understand it...the aching; sweating; twitching muscles; injuries; being delirious and not forgetting the overall pain.

My bloke @the_burb has run the London marathon, I asked him why he did it, the answer was “because I wanted to do it”. 

So there you have it, you either want to run a marathon or you don’t.

But to want to run 105!! 

Anyway as this is such a BIG quest, thought to expand his ‘social graph’ and blog about it and ask you to support Neil who from 10th Sept to 23rd Dec 2010, is running the 105 marathons in 105 days around Britain for Cancer Research UK.

He stated on his Marathon Mad Facebook support page here: which he has linked to his Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/neil-o-maonaigh-lennon

“Keep the donations coming as even a couple of quid will make a big difference”

On day two he raised £2,210 for Cancer Research UK and 22% towards his target of £10,000. Well done him.

Please do share this blog, re-blog it and RT to spread the word further, as 105 marathons in 105 days seems like a pretty awesome deed to do to raise money.

I wish he was on Twitter as I would be interested to hear the progress in real time and see the photos on route too.

To find out more about raising money online and on using Twitter for Fundraising then go visit Mashable who have listed 10 ways to start a fund for social good online and they have also discussed 10 tips for successful Twitter Fundraising.

Good luck Neil and your Facebook page says it all - you must simply be "Marathon Mad"

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Beth is our New Marketing Manager for Social Media - Brilliant !! Thanks Dilbert

The influence over numbers argument

The above table from http://www.emarketer.com/, which is backed up by an ExactTarget study, reproduced by eMarketer, assists with the "influence over numbers argument" on Twitter, as it shows that US Twitter users in April 2010 were far more interactive online, than general internet users. The results table indicates that US Twitter user’s were more likely than general internet users to post to forums, to write their own blog, comment on blogs and post ratings and reviews.

I have written what this means for brands and companies over at the Rocktime Blog.

View the Influence over numbers arguement post here

Friday, 27 August 2010

Stardoll Review: 100% Engagement

About Stardoll

Stardoll is the worlds largest virtual entertainment and social gaming site for teenagers that provides a fun approach to those interested in fame, fashion and making friends.

A browser-based community site, designed specifically for girls (although boys are welcomed), with a strong focus on self expression through fantasy & fashion play. Upon registering (for free) you receive a virtual home ('the suite'), which you can decorate at your leisure. Depending on your Stardoll status (you can upgrade at cost to Stardoll SuperStar) and budget (Stardollars / Virtual points) there is a wide range of clothes, makeup accessories, interior design features and dolls to choose from.

When members move through the site you are made aware of the benefits of becoming a paid for member. Some clothes and interactive features are for 'Superstar' members only,
and these premium members can then further customize their own fashions and sell them for virtual currency. I have found that without 'Superstar status' you can still have a great onsite experience, as you receive a reasonable amount of Stardollars on sign up, you can also earn currency through game play. With 'Play & Earn' you can receive up to 5 Stardollars per day and 70 Stardollars per month.

Stardoll is not over pushy about upgrades, as you play on Stardoll learn more about navigating the site then membership to SuperStar status is a motivational progression rather than something that is obligatory.

Stardoll = Interactivity, Design, Community and Brand Engagement

Stardolls can interact with their own virtual Stardoll and dress up their Stardoll in the designed suites (designed by members) filled with virtual brand attire. Members can try lots of different looks and styles on there dolls and celeb dolls allowing for personal expression & creativity. There is even the opportunity to create your own fashions, using a very interactive design room feature complete with sewing machine ('I love this feature").

Talking to the Commercial Director at Stardoll, at one point Stardoll was "delivering more traffic to DKNY than Google" ! pretty impressive stat. We (Rocktime) have seen equally impressive stats after introducing Stardoll to Simple last year. All really positive and well worth the investment.

The design of the site is really colorful and engaging. I am constantly impressed with the graphics within Stardoll, it is a very immersive and fun place to be. I will provide a more comprehensive review below.

The Statistics

The latest membership statistics have shown that the average age of users has increased from 13yrs old in 2009 to 15yrs old in 2010 and memberships levels are growing at an impressive rate.

  • Registered users have doubled in 1 year from 35 to 68.7 million.

  • Average time on the site has increased from 13 minutes to 17 minutes.

Safety & Security

Parental advice is promoted within the help area, providing a vast amount of information, useful weblinks and puts onus of the parents to talk to their children on internet safety. The site can easily be navigated by savvy web teens, younger children may need more guidance to help them find their way around the links.

My Stardoll Review

First and foremost Stardoll.com delivers and targets the youth market well. There’s lots of room for engagement for brands, due to the technical and design expertise of the Stardoll team. The Stardoll team are also full of creative ideas too, I have a number of video presentations from Stardoll and can let you know they are very convincing indeed (re: getting you to sign up).

Advertising Opportunities

There are several advertising opportunities for brands on the Stardoll site, the site is great at being non advert heavy and rather than delivering adverts they look for brands to provide content and engagement.

For example Simple have their own Stardoll Club and are the proud sponsors of the engaging Stardoll TV, in which a member of their Junior Board of Skincare Advisors is now one of the Stardoll TV stars. The benefit Simple gain from being out there on Stardoll is, engagement with the Teens, which helps them to softly promote their new Teen Simple range of Skincare products.

Experts in their field

In my opinion Stardoll really do have a great opportunity to be an experts in the field of fashion, fame and trends amongst Teens. They are providing the right amount of content, good range of brands and allow their members to develop relationships, share experiences (blog, albums, suites) and provide benefits with creative competitions on & off the site. The competitions / contests promote engagement with Stardoll & other brands.

New site design July 2010

In July 2010 Stardoll launched with a new site design, allowing for easier navigation, promotion of community aspect & provision of more integrated share features linking in with Facebook & Twitter. Stardoll have also launched a Stardoll Blog, which is a very positive move as I have noted (client research) that several Stardoll Fans regularly blog about their Stardoll experiences (all positive)- now Stardolls can have their own blog from within Stardoll that other members can view. This is positive also for parents that which to monitor website activity.

Standard Interactivity Available

* Create your own Stardoll
* Shop clothes for your Stardoll
* Give your doll a makeover
* Design your suite

* Save your dolls, styles and several free celebrity dolls in album
* Join Clubs
* Take part in Stardoll Contests - "Be the Stardoll CoverGirl"
* Rate the best Stardolls, Albums etc
* Learn about Fashion and the latest trends
* Engage with the Stardoll Blog & Social Networks

Level of Skill Required

Some of the suites/rooms designed by Stardolls are amazing & really really creative..great use of colour, with objects re-sized to create depth. As a member I have a lot to learn, which is great as being inspired by others (even if 20yrs younger than me) provides great escapism. With the new design, tutorials on how to use certain features have been introduced, which is a positive move for the younger Stardoll members & possibly their parents. I like the fact that you can now clearly see which other Stardoll members have last viewed your Stardoll Suite, which allows for further engagement as you then go and find out more about them; their Stardoll Suite, their Blog etc.

Things I am fond of with new design

With the new site design, I am really pleased to see that Stardoll has also now entered the blogosphere (on Wordpress) here at the Stardollblog.com, sharing unique sneak previews, shopping tips and Stardoll gossip.

The new design has not only provided aesthetic benefits, improved navigation & usability it is also promoted a much stronger community feel, this is backed up by the “Play & Earn” feature. I am especially fond of the new way to navigate around the suite (big arrows moving you left or right), as I used to struggle with this. Oh and I am loving Stardoll TV too.

Navigation Feedback: For increased usability I do think that the navigation arrows could come below the suite, as I just spent a couple of minutes trying to put a pair of shoes in the storage wardrobe (my shoes were placed near the arrows). You will have to engage with the site to find out what I mean.


In my opinion this is a great site for children to express their creativity and learn about personal expression. Very engaging site, easy to navigate with the ability to provide hours of fun. Stardoll provides a great avenue for brands wishing to engage with the Teen Market, this is backed up with proven results for one of my clients.
The type of experience provided by desintations like Stardoll could very well become an integral part of the Web 3.0 era. Other sites that cater to children include: Club Penguin, Barbie Girls, Habbo Hotel

Warning: The site isn’t just for kids, it is great for escapism for adults too, I love it, and visit back to tidy up my Suite quite regularly ;) Got to go now as just noticed, they have a 50% sale on for Superstars ♥ ♥.

Any questions on Stardoll let me know, would love to know what you think of Stardoll too...thanks

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Forget A-Level results, go for an A+ on Twitter

It was sent to me !! I didn't do it...but pleased to get an A+, well done me.

I have become slightly Twitter obsessed of late, so no surprises, that I scored highly. I would share the URL of Tweet Grade, but I can't find it!

I ran a search on 'twitter grading' & 'tweet grade' on Google, there are soo many tools out there, that have been around for quite some time too (2 yrs).

Personally I don't use sites like these to help me make my decision on who to follow, I go by recommendation and interesting retweets. It is a sad state of affairs if you go out there and Twitter grade everyone you are thinking of following isn't it. Be impulsive & run with it, you will soon get to know who the connectors are. Personally I think, it is rather nice though to get a nice certificate to say "Good tweeting".

Several of the social monitoring tools now present influence scores of 'online social connectors', I can't say I find them that reliable, as just because some one tweets a lot or posts X amount of blog posts, doesn't really equal that they will be a good influencer for your brand. Others may disagree. I do stand quite firm on the stance that you need to engage and understand the social individual, by reviewing their posts, tone of voice, tweets & online personality before you can make a decision to say "Yep, connect with them".

Influence grade review done !

Loving the Tweetle Idea

Found out this morning via Richard Darells Bit Rebels Blog Post about the Tweetle, read his post here: “The Tweetle - Will Tweet you when your water boils

Loving the idea generation process & concept behind the Tweetle, read it over at the creators blog here.

Especially like this line:

“During the 40 minute wait for the creation of 3 drinks and a shot, we began a conversation about how we could make some Google-style moneyz, or at least enough to buy a boat and a few steak dinners”

Tweetle will in it's basic form Tweet you when the Kettle has boiled, & tweet others in the office that maybe they should stand up and get on tea making duty.


I really should of been out having a drink with these guys, they are super keen to exploit the trends while they have a chance, that is the exact way I feel at the moment. Alas no funding, or time come to think of it...

They started looking into how real time media will start to contribute to our real “life streams” more and more.

Only the other day I was thinking how handy it would be if Twitter could let me know (“when asked”), if my hair straightner is off, iron off, back door locked..

This would send tweets letting others know about my slight 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' (OSD) habits, but would be great PR for the service.

As I have a geek multitasking mind, I have often thought how I would love a little birdie to sit on my desk at work and tweet out on an LCD screen things that are going on. This may already be available but I haven’t found it yet.

Anyway enough about me and what I want, head over to the guys who are creating the Tweetle Blog. They are looking to raise funding from interested individuals by using KickStarter (Crowdsourced Funding):

“The KickStarter site offers an online platform for anyone to raise funding from interested individuals. You keep 100% ownership of your project and idea”
I wish the designers Ben Perman and Murat Mutlu from MobileInc all the best with funding & further scoping and I will be watching the developments with personal interest and a little bit of jealousy ;)

Exciting times ! !

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Who's this guy? and Why did I bookmark him?

This is a random blog post, after a random discovery of the above happy guy in my Apple Mac bookmarks , the jpg names him as Mark Bramwell. Thought to add him here, then if he Googles himself, well...he can introduce himself, can't he.

I am currently not winning sorting out my Delicious bookmarks, the reason being is that I must bookmark about 7 posts, a day ! I am addicted ! Plus I have been using Packrati.us for the last month, which easily bookmarks the links you tweet out, along with URLs that are in @mentions to you (optional). I recommend linking Packrati.us to your Twitter, although alas I haven't been using it correctly.

Found this out when introducing Packrati.us to another tweeter, I then noticed that if you include a #hashtag in your tweet outs, then it will add the #hashtag as the bookmark tag. Amazing ! Wish I had noticed that BIG BENifit before...as my bookmark account is (again!) in need of some tagging attention.

First step tonight is removing my Apple Mac bookmarks that I never use and as the above picture denotes are pretty random ;)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Social Media in NOT A FAD - Great video

I really love this video, great choice of track too "Right here, Right now" by Fatboy Slim. The video has been produced to help support the book launch "Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the way we live and do business by Erik Qualman (Published August 2009). Find out more about Erik here on his Twitter page and if the video has already convinced you, buy the book from Amazon here, the book has made its way to my Amazon wish list for sure.

As I attempt to build up my video editing skills, I want to produce something in a similar style with a UK focus, as the way this has been put together really strikes a cord. Well done Erik and thank you for being an inspiration.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Free Wifi for Everyone Join @AEEvans Global Movement

Via a very early in the morning RT from the Gadling Travel Blog, I came across an interesting chap today on Twitter, 'Andrew Evans' (see above picture), a writer of books and blogs, a lecturer and smart poet etc etc, read his very lively & creative BIO on his site here, and make sure you visit the home page too. Andrew had written his "Free Wi-Fi Manifesto" in verse. It's excellent, worth so much more than a RT on Twitter, so I just had to blog about it here.

I have added a snippet below, or should I say I have added the below snippet, and would strongly (if I may) invite you to read it in full and join the 'Global movement that demands free Wi-Fi in Hotels & Airports', pure brilliance and puts in a rhyme what we have all been thinking....

Read the verse in full here: The (Un)Wired: A Free Wi-Fi Manifesto

Very short snippet:

The year is twenty-ten A.D. and Wi-Fi should be free.
We travelers bear no grudge with you as long as you agree,
But if you're that one schmuck who likes to play it old school,
Charging folks for internet--well, then basically, you're a tool.
Your penny-pinching greed smells just like boardroom boredom.
It's out of touch and backwards, not to mention just plain dumb.
Please get with the program, be ye airport or hotel:
If you don't have free Wi-Fi, then you can go to hell....Continued

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Creating a Pizza Competition

As my blog is about being more personal. Thought to blog that I will be taking the Pizza Express Pizza Challenge to create a pizza and be in the chance of winning £5K. Will be getting creative on Friday night and will call in the help of The Burb as the chef in the house.

I have been really impressed with the social media from Pizza Express, love receiving their Facebook page updates and recently impressed that they have added a Facebook Share and RT icon to their newsletters. Such a simple idea, but one that I hadn't thought about before.

The only extra thing I would advice them to do, is to add an image gallery so people like me can choose an image in which to promote this engaging competition further.

I will share with you my creation.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Polyvore Review: Easy to use, engaging site for fashion fans

Polyvore.com is a great example of a 2.0 website. Visitors to the site can quickly put together outfits and sets from leading (and some not so leading) brands by simply dragging and dropping images from Polyvore or from the web.

On a smaller, but growing scale: Polyvore can also be classed as a social networking site for the fashion fans, as it allows you to find “sets” that other community members have created and then as applicable “like” their set or sets too. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, when I refer to sets, I have added two of my sets to this blog post, which have an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Along with allowing you to embed the sets on your site or blog, Polyvore also allows you to easily send out your creations via social communitites with easy share links to Facebook & Twitter. When links to shops are displayed (see set at base) they act as adverts to the shops in which you can purchase the items - how great is that for viral spread !!.

Should you have an unlimited credit card balance (as yes, you can get carried away) then Polyvore is also a fun way to shop, also I can imagine that Polyvore is great for Fashion Designers to prove their expertise in choosing clothes & items around a particular theme.

The range of fashion items available range from couture to high street, so suits a wider target market. Polyvore isn’t limited to clothes and also includes interior design pieces & decor. (Personally I would like to see more household items & trinkets in there).

There is an active online community which comments on the various sets uploaded. I have mainly used the site for play and I would say that I am at a beginners level in creating the sets. I believe that once my experience & expertise in creating these sets grows then I will visit the community areas a lot more, (as we all like feedback on things we create) and take part in more Polyvore contests.

The top navigation is really intuitive, allowing you to Create, Explore, Get Help and visit your own & others profiles to view saved collections / sets. 

Bit of background

The site was launched in 2007 by Pasha Sadri, Jianing Hu and Guangwei Yuan. Incedently Pasha Sadri is the guy responsible for creating Yahoo Pipes. To find out more about the Polyvore Team visit this link: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/about.team

My Polyvore site engagement review

Members (registered) can receive a great sense of involvement with the site, as it includes networking, sub creation & creativity. Through this connection members will begin to develop a connection, and a greater sense of involvement to play a further part in the world that Polyvore has created. The desire to sub create is part of who we are as human beings, so in relation to ROI for the advertisers/shop links, the best aspect of the site is that within this engagement/creative time, without knowing you are getting insight into new fashion brands you like, as you search for the perfect items for your sets. I have viewed items from clothes shops that I wouldn't dream of visiting (High prices £££) but at this level it lets me engage with them and dream of purchasing - (and dreams can come true). It is fabulous that Polyvore provides easy ways for visitors to get involved further by providing contests around a particular theme and become part of the Polyvore community.
A job well done.

Similar sites include: 

(Stardoll have recently updated their site and as a regular there too, I have been invited to provide a review in the coming month).

Reasons why I like Polyvore

  • Easy to use
Great for escapism
  • A new way to shop

  • No advertising (that I have noticed) - bar links to shops

  • Useful help features throughout

  • Ability to browse other peoples sets for inspiration.

  • It’s free to use and on registering you don’t get bombarded with newsletters.
  • Just a lovely site to help put together looks and also to release creative passion with easy to use editing and share features. 

  • Plus in writing this: someone just liked my set, so I will go and visit their sets now. So the site is also good at continuing your engagement too.

If you are a fan of Polyvore you can find my profile here:

The below image displays one of my sets with links to the shops in which you can buy the items, go check out the links, and if you like the sound of it, then join Polyvore and have fun.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Keynote to YouTube fuzzy text

I've had a go at exporting a Keynote Presentation to YouTube today (see above) so popping by to share my findings. After setting a number of different transitions timings in the presentation, so that the pages fit with the music, on export to YouTube the settings only allow you to set 1 transition length from one slide to another. So that was a bit of a waste of time.

Moving on, the Keynote presentation displays fine on a small screen but the font appears fuzzy on a larger screen. It could possibly be the font that I am using and maybe the colour and the size.

I tried to improve the font fuzzy-ness issue by resizing via QuickTime (320 x 240 size) and then importing into iMovie, but no real improvements and the presentation timings got lost on the presentation into iMovie too.

I need to look into this a bit more to fully understand the potential of Keynote for sending out presentations to YouTube. I will continue to play with the video editing features on my Apple Mac, and one of these days I may even read the instructions !!!

If you have had any experience with Keynote & uploading to YouTube let me know.....thanks ;)

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Refocusing my blog & rebalancing

The Blog is back....

Having started as an SEO specialist to move into PPC then Integrated Search Marketing, then Social Media and now Mobile Marketing. I am having trouble digesting all the new trends as well as making sure I connect to the important people around me. Also I have realised that I am spending too much time blogging for others, rather than blogging for myself. This isn’t a bad thing, but I wish to get my own blogging time back. Today is the day that I achieve this, being the 1st blog post since Sept 09!. To kick things off I like to review where I have been, as this will help me determine where I am going.

Refocusing isn’t new to me, for over 10 yrs myself and my closest friends have got together to write individual wish lists each year and then on New Years Day we revisit our lists as a group, to see how we have performed. Some of my friends have stated things like: “have a baby”, “pay of loan” “change career”, things like that. I have decided that I can do a similar thing on my blog/social networking/life, writing out a goal plan / wish list for the next 4 months. This will not only provide me with the focus I need, but it will also help get that work life balance back too.

Feel free to comment on anything than resonates with you.

I have been refocusing since 2001, read my story below. I can’t wait to start blogging again, having written all about the benefits of blogging here in December 09: http://blog.rocktime.co.uk/2009/12/whats-story-with-blogging.html indicating my re-focus to get my own blog back has been a long time coming (well 7 months !! anyway)

Refocus 1: 2001

Refocus 1: 2001 “I’m a creative in an admin world, taking part in a few PR events, need the qualification to be taken seriously”
So I left a very good job, sold the house, went to University to study International Business & Interactive Marketing at MA level..

Refocus 2: 2004

“Equipped with management experience and now the knowledge & theories from University, I am on a mission to find a job that is both linked with thinking strategically & creatively in Online Marketing”
Take temping jobs in PA work, Web Marketing & Project Management for 7 months which feels like an eternity. Find my dream role as an SEO Copywriter moving offline publications online. Mission accomplished and a lot of what I wrote still ranks highly in search engines today.

Refocus 3: 2006

“I have had a sudden interest in social marketing for business with review sites & interest in sites like Yahoo Searching for answers, look for a brand I can help”
Having networked with experts in SEO and now moved into field of Paid Search too, my company relocates to London and I relocate to Jersey. Creating and managing SEO & PPC and directing qualified customers to HSBC International. Mission accomplished.

Refocus 4: 2007
“I have written every offshore banking PPC ad imaginable, looked at Affiliate Marketing, know how to integrate my SEO & Social Media insights into product development and conversions, on reviewing progression, opportunities are limited, I want to give more”
Having several friends who work for agencies, I apply to work for an Agency in Jersey, so I can help more than 1 client, currently my experience in Search was Business, Property, Holiday and Finance. Another plus is that the agency I work with E-Scape Interactive, develop games for the National Lottery and games and gaming is another field I am interested in.

Refocus 5: 2009

“Love working for an agency and the diversity it gives, however feel that I am missing out on networking opportunities in the UK, especially where social media is concerned”
Move back to the UK and work for Rocktime Digital Agency, I am attracted to them as they can do anything web related and design bespoke systems. Set up the Search division and integrated my knowledge of SEO, PPC, Affiliate marketing and Social Media.

Refocus: 2010

“Social media sites, blogs, communities are growing at a fast rate, I am corporate blogging but need an extra place to share my thoughts and network after hours”

Make the decision to re-start my blog, consider starting totally afresh, but keep my timeline as I am proud of it. I am finding so many interesting people via Twitter and need to get organised to follow the ones that are really key to my interests & development. Currently my focuses are heavily on Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Video sharing & Youth Marketing communities. Quite a lot, so I am seeking to re-organise self, use others for inspiration and guidance. I will log my findings on my blog, so that I can free up my mind space for the other area that is important to me in life, my family.

Organising my Spaces

What I don’t want to be is a Jack of all trades but a master of none. I will be using social media to help me with organising the topics and the people that are important to me. I will be using:

Delicious Bookmarks - I have recently set up a http://packrati.us/ which will bookmark every link in a tweet you receive, and every link in a tweet you send. This has been of great help to me already, and I am bit my bit organising my bookmark tagging. Having in the past chosen the recommended tags, I am now being quite particular ie: this isn’t about “socialmedia, social media, social, social networking, social web”, it is simply about “socialmedia”.

Twitter lists - to separate people I admire in the fields I am interested in.
Read about Twitter Lists here....http://blog.rocktime.co.uk/2010/03/we-need-twitter-directory-for-twitter.html

Blog Directories - I will be submitting my blog to more directories with the hope that people will find me and share their information, rather than me seeking out information.
Read about Blog Directories here:

Google - I will be using Google Documents a lot more to keep my blog post plans, store useful white papers and articles. I will also be seeking to organise my mail box a lot better, having interest in E-Marketing, I subscribe to many and general use them as inspiration pages - so need to label appropriately.

Networking - Before relaunching this blog, I wasn’t as keen to comment on blogs as I had nothing (apart from corporate blog and twitter) to give back. Having a more updated blog, will allow me to share with others that I have learnt from, perhaps re-blogging blog posts I really admire.

Home - My boyfriend / manfriend whom I hope will put a ring on my finger soon!! has been a total star in making his home, my home. He has decked out the garden, painted the lounge, kitchen, the overall aim for him was to get me home more, rather than working late at the office. He understands that I don’t have the average job, and I need to research and keep on top of new trends, and I love it that he is trying his very best to get me to come home on time. He blogs too, so understands the need to find time to blog, and that some days you can feel inspired, some days you don’t. I am at home today, in the garden, and blogging, so his plan has worked ! !

My new focuses till November 2010 is as follows:

  • Get up early to exercise rather than to blog - use Wii Gaming & review progress
  • Read one book every 2 months -at the beach rather than on the bus. This includes Crime thrillers and not just books focused on Marketing & Business.
  • Organise my twitter lists, delicious bookmarks, youtube subscriptions once a week when my manfriend is at work
  • Aim to write just 5 blog posts a month any extra is a bonus.
  • Focus my networking & blog writing on particular topics to save time & learn more
  • eg: Focuses for the next 4 months include: Youth Marketing, Mobile Marketing & Onsite Engagement
  • Continue to thank all the people who help me with my focuses along the way.
  • Produce the refocus for the next 4 months - make sure I am on track.
  • Before re-focus kicks off, make plans in July to Organise: email, blog, delicious, twitter - into similar lists / labels / tags. No pressure in July but a clear focus on personal delivery.

All the best,