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April 11, 2010 – 11:04 am

“Would Sir/Madam like some Twitter with that Facebook ?”

Should i have entree + main or main + dessert ?” - Now I ain’t talking dinner’ere as much as (the breakdown of preferred) “Social Media” tools within the (Online) Media Mix; Selecting to go with Facebook because of it’s large safe family reach + Fan oops Community Pages for brands; And/Or Twitter for it’s immediate indexing in Google and reach into Hyper(Brand)Influentials - Is an increasingly common if not well thought out - decision facing your 2010 Big Swinging D**k(ette).

Practising, actual and Envisioned Clients, well the ones that “get it” and decide they want to do “Social Media” are facing the decision alternatives of what “Social Media” actually constitutes : At a Media Mix / Allocating Budget to a Range of Initiatives amongst an online spend. From -

  • Online Display Advertising incl Rich Media
  • Website Sponsorship and Content Integration Opportunities
  • Online Yellow Pages Advertising
  • Search Engine Optimisation - Both Paid and Organic
  • Online Marketing Analytics Cost
  • Online Event Marketing, Chat and Merchandising Spend
  • Lots of Related People and Agency Marketing and Tech Overhead to make the above online media spend happen and be optimised.

So Where does Social Media fit in this ? And what are the line item breakdowns within Social Media ?

(Interruption: Q. Now BB what r u talking bout, is this is another random stream of consciousness post where u put up pictures of sneakers and watches instead of saying anything useful? A. Well Yes it’s Sunday morning, this is meant to be fun for me. But what is interesting, the insight for marketers that need a one sentence elevator pitch: “Social Media” used by clients in marketing these days is increasingly meaning Facebook and Twitter, but there is very little “Media Mix” + “Media Buying” Type decisions made in the same way that research and analysis is used to decide whether a client spends money on TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor and Online - that’s what I’m exploring on this post if u’ll let me get back to it. Just avoid the watches u cant afford.)

While it can mean sponsored user generated YouTube commercials: Make your own (branded) Superbowl TV Commercial and Win Tickets to the Game” -“Social Media” seems to be ending with the two largest, safest, family if not marriage friendly low hanging fruit .Previously wanting to be perceived as leading edge business innovators - at least when the America Contingent were in control of the telcos anyway - might also be convinced to start a blog, podcast .

Social Media 101 in 2010 for clients, the lowest hanging fruit is Facebook and Twitter.

For starters, Facebook and Twitter are HUGE. They have like a billion people using them. Currently each Australian has 23 Facebook accounts they access for 43 hours cumulative hours a day. Their tweeting is off the chart. Once every 0.78 seconds according to Nielsen’s.

But really, I shouldn’t bite the hand and all that. Because the benefits of these channels versus build from scratch are pretty strong. Or if u have built from scratch, these r great distribution points and an entry into 140 characters n apps universe.

damn chronicles of never dropping some dope gear atm - the Brave New World Ore Blazer in Riffle Wash is perfect

So all of that is the pre-amble. It’s Sunday morning, before I trudge off to watch the Dees lose by probably more than the 1 point they conceded at the end of last week to sacrifice the 4 points we hadn’t bet on getting from Eddie’s Pies.

Cheap Monday Studio Black Blazer FW 10

What I wanted to riff on are some of the differences I‘m seeing between Facebook and Twitter.

I haven’t got some big research budget as clients don’t want to spend real money (aka any to much) on social media research yet. And as a result, no research companies are really tracking social media beyond 8.7m Australians used facebook last month or Twitter grew by 1400% last year; Aggregate numbers that dont mean much other than - The bigger social networks now have enough geographic reach to consider them getting 0.5%-3% of the total media budget. Or 5% of the online budget.

"Now I would like to share with you the new Bell & Ross BR03-92 Military Ceramic watch. Put in the BR03 case which is 42mm wide, the watch is in a matte finished ceramic in green. Cool! The olive drab green color of the case is lighter than the dark green of the dial. The Bell & Ross BR01/BR03 dial is based on military fonts and a high legibility style - so it looks right at home. The label of "Military Type" is not on the dial of the watch."

It’s not clients yet have the science to say they should cut their search budget by 50% and shift half a million dollars into social as it will create higher natural positioning and more clicks than their spammy SEO.

A VC : Facebook (and Twitter) have also spawned the social media agency business, helping businesses and brands market themselves in social nets, which may be even bigger than social gaming when you add up all the companies in it. That business opportunity is directly analogous to the search agency business that got built on the back of Google as it scaled into the business it is today.”

Sorry got distracted there, let’s go back to where I started: Clients tick “Social Media” experiment/toe in the water/appointment if new snazzy Darlinghurst agency.

Let’s start by setting up Facebook and um Twitter, or do we need a blog.”

So this is where it gets interesting: Whether to go after the Twitter audience - Using their grownup post MySpace text messaging native 140 characters, hashtag, topic trending, @ replying, DM me, Dont DM me, follow me, oh u dont follow me, u post too much, as a brand u post too little world; This is what clients very quickly - Let’s say meeting 2 at Darlinghurst where the people with “Director” in their name are no longer attending: Suddenly the “Social Media” Honeymoon, can become the First Big Argument has almost started. “We’re not arguing : We’re talking. But UR not listening”

EAMS PLUS Espadrille Deck Shoe : Hypebeast- "We anticipate espadrille-style footwear to make a big mark in coming months as BEAMS PLUS present their own version for this season. The use of the jute rope sole offers something a little different from the usual minimilasitc deck shoe. Available in three colors at BEAMS PLUS.

Foursquare : What we’d like to do is award points, mayorships and badges only when you’re at the place you say you’re at.  Last week we started using a few different tricks using your phone’s GPS to try to verify this. (and if your phone doesn’t use GPS, we use a few different tricks)” - Sorry I won’t even get u into Foursquare yet, as that is soooo post Twitter. But heck it’s already worth $100M to Yahoo or $80m to investors supposedly. Check me in Scottie, indeed.

So after meeting 2 a few of the important people with D in their title. That’s D for Director - call each other up, in between shepherding kids between overly expensive pre-kinder or organic speed cooking classes. They come up with an idea while trying to control Mr 4 and Miss 5 - that who needs Twitter, Facebook is bigger anyway. And it has all these privacy controls. And it’s huge. 8.7M Australians. Actually it’s 1 BILLION Australians, using it 43 hours a day. CUME. That’s a locknload. Call Harold. Oops I meant Zuckerberg. And Not Randi.

It’s Meeting 3 now, we have a Community Producer we got Twitter that was at that Digital Citizens Social Media Club Event - damn whats the hashtag. They can make it happen. Client’s a bit gaga, wants to see something. So can someone please setup the Twitter page. Off runs Gaga to logout of her own accounts, and add another Cotweet profile to her Tweetie.

Client’s happy - now has a page where people can crowdsource background desktop images, write product bios, select legally approved avatars. Get @ev on the voip : “As we work to provide the best possible Twitter experience on all of the major mobile platforms, momentum will increase dramatically. Millions more active, engaged, mobile users means more opportunities for all of us.

Welder K24 Mod. 3104 $1140 made to the highest of watchmaking standard. With matt 316L stainless steel. The left hand crown is located at 9 O'clock and protected by an XL crown guard. The 48mm case sits very nicely on the wrist because of the short lugs. This watch is set to stand out from the crowd.

By now u r buzzing along, it’s only minutes to the weekend, but u get The Call: “So Twitter page is set to private but legal have some issues. There is going to be a delay. Think maybe we better go to Facebook instead for Stage 1.”

While u can sync posting between Facebook and Twitter, even tho it’s not recommended (Facebook doesnt really get those @replies, #hashtags and shortened 140 char spelling : You can’t sync your Twitter and Facebook profiles. So it’s in a rinse n repeat game; Upload pics, select avatar, write bio or in Facebook borg’speak “Write something….” about your brand/fan/group/community/stalker.

Facebook goes live, it’s all good. U build fans. They like and comment on stuff. U hope. And pray that u dont Nestle yer Fan Page and endup on PRDisasters dot com.

Breitling-Avenger-Seawolf-Chrono-BlackSteel: Thermocompensated only instrument of its kind that is totally water-resistant and functional to a record depth of 1,000 meters. Its SuperQuartz TM movement – another exclusive Breitling creation – guarantees a precision ten times greater than ordinary quartz movements; it measures times to 1/10 of a second and indicates intermediary times. Limited series of 2,000."SuperQuartz TM, Breitling 73 calibre, COSC-certified of course

Facebook as their business model is more around promoting social gaming apps which they receive a cut on… give away the Fan Page analytics for free which is gr8; U dont need to get more money from your client, which u dont see anything of. Also Facebook breakdown users into demographics a client understands another tick.

Dig the 47mm Dievas Vintage California Titanium - Movement: Swiss Unitas 6497 mechanical movement with Côtes de Genève and blued screws Dial: Black california dial. Gold hands. Sandwich/Dual layered dial. Luminance: SuperLuminova. Case: Fine satin brushed titanium. Contoured sides. Case Back: Display back. Dievas signed polished screwdown titanium. Bezel: Fine satin brushed titanium

On the downside Facebook have some other metrics “Post Quality” which no1 understands and they dont explain. A number such as 19.4 plus 4 stars (out of 5) comes up on your Admin Dashboard - which is kind of like a Year 12 score - where what u get is a relative measure of a percentage of people that interact with your page versus the benchmark for other Facebook Fan Pages. Basically the more of your fans that like or comment compared to other fan pages of a similar size, the higher the score. But u try and explain that to a client after having to google it for 20 minutes and reading deep into some seo geeks virginal facebook experience as they realise search just isnt doing for them what it used to.

Twitter on the other hand.. which is a bit more scary in the end for clients compared to Facebook - does have some complementary strengths that mean 1 plus 1 really could equal 3. And maybe a client really will do it in Stage 2 once the Training Wheels and “Insights” are drawn from Inside Facebook.

I’m gonna shift to bulletpoints for a sec’ere on benefits of Twitter -

  • It’s not just Early Adopters, Freaks and Geeks, but Influentials in alot of Product Categories, Media Channels, basically businesses clients are in : Client’s Key Target Influencers are tweeting: Australian Politics for example, all the major journalists use the Twitter backchannel to commentate and influence in realtime the latest in Canberra.

  • Brand + Category Experts are often on Twitter in their spare time / late at night when working. Engineers like celebrities who dont want to be mediated, take to the immediacy of sending messages straight from Blackberry/iPhone etc

  • Twitter goes into Google within seconds : Google paid alot of money to Twitter as did Microsoft to ensure Tweets go into Google straight away and often at the top of search results. Why pay for SEO when u can get your Influentials tweeting, twitpicing their brand experiences and it goes straight to the top of unpaid non commercial google search results and gets a better click thru. Client’s that spend on search that dont think everything is going to change when social collides with search are kidding and just protecting their established business just as TV. Newspapers Owners once tried to.

  • Facebook is the opposite of the Twitter + Google interrelationship: Facebook content apart from the odd bit of stalking photos u make public, the url of your client’s Fan Page does not go into Google and drive authority, clicks, and the network effect is negative compared to Twitter. This is huge overall. Facebook is it’s own destination, Twitter is a conduit to drive traffic via Google and itself to a client’s web site.

I’ve kinda run out of time for a proper or funny segueway’ed ending as I’ve gotta suit-up for the MCC - so I’ll use the catchcry and latest pics of The funniest TV show of 2009 : #PartyDown - is back - Forget people who ask Do you watch #Entourage ?” or “30 Rock is the funniest TV show out, dont u think?” - Both are over the hill crap after so many seasons.

So in the words of Party Down : “Are We Having Fun Yet ?” - Because clients could be on both Facebook and Twitter. Or Facebook then Twitter.

April 2, 2010 – 3:24 pm

Facebook Fan Pages Should Tell a Brand Story.

When u blog, u don’t hear from anybody.

By which I mean, people don’t comment - apart from cyborg half spam robot half rogue virus spreader : possibly half person.

So while u may hear from Sam Worthington’s United States of Tara alter ego social media spammer; You don’t hear from Real People.

HBO has just released its first salvo of promotional items to promote Season 3 debut of TRUE BLOOD which returns to the air SUNDAY, JUNE 13 at 9:00 p.m.

Real People meaning those “Fans” that login with Facebook Connect and click Like.

And if The ZuckerShip has it’s way : You will be able to extend Fanship and liking to the broader internet.

But when u stop blogging, u do hear from people about it. You hear more from them, than when u r blogging.

“You aren’t blogging is everything OK?”

“Well I update on Twitter 10 times a day to 2,000 people - if u include the spam/social 140 character generating cyborgs - Doesn’t that count rather than long form blogging like it’s 2006 ?”

“I guess so” they respond, unconvinced.

When u aren’t blogging often it means other things are happening too. You may actually be busy with work. With life. But u also may not.

It may just be that ur annoyed with Wordpress - combined with a buggy Firefox - for eating your last few blog posts that may have taken hours.. but supposed html errors prevented from publishing.

And fact is channels like Twitter and Facebook are pretty damn compact. Powerful and quick. They also fit perfectly into the - is that the internet in your ipad-touch-phone-berry or ru just happy 2C me ?

Who needs to make an argument anyway.

Long form discussion papers on Why Australia Just Doesn’t Get Startups. or Why Conroy is a Bigger Tool Than Palin. And The Bloggers vs Journos : Taking the iPad into your own Conversational Brand Narrative Posts, just aint as fun as they used to be.

For some reason tho, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this. But I’ve been wanting to write a little bit more (but not too much) on the non April Fools title of this post; Facebook Fan Pages Should Tell a Brand Story.

The top level stats of Facebook are fairly evident I’m sure if u do a quick google search or peruse social media 101 presos on Slideshare.

My very basic confession is I think there is a marketing opportunity on Facebook.

Naff I know.

I’m all for the classical search engine behaviourial economics model - that 30% of those 85% of all searches who enter google dot com : go there with a commercial intent in mind; To research, compare, buy.

And thus with a self service built ad engine utilising an auction mechanism to connect buyers and sellers - has created tens of billions of increasing dollars for Google’s founders, backers, employees, alumni who start new companies that get funded first, and acquired in the same order : Sometimes back to google. Sometimes to their first real competitor - Facebook.

Google like Yellowpages before it, has never really had much of a brand proposition for sellers in the way that Free to Air TV has it’s audience captive for ad breaks full of 15-30-60 second TVCs. Or even the next wave product placement such as the iPad in last nite’s Modern Family - in which an episode is based around the release of a new product. Or Gaga including parodies of Product Placement for companies she recently joined as ambassador.

"oh it did not do that.. it did do that..." - phil's birthday product placed ipad : "who's ready for the first day of the rest of their lives?"

So Facebook, following the Build it and the IPO or Trade Sale will come, has not had to do too much in the organic building of revenue in the way google did at a similar stage; Anecdotally- Facebook make hundreds of millions from a Microsoft advertising arrangement, and similarly substantial amounts from Social App Gaming Powerhouse - Zynga.

Which brings me to the longer than a tweet post I wanted to make about Facebook and it’s non charging for Fan Pages for brands and businesses.

Facebook does not charge a business to have a Fan Page. It does charge to “advertise” the page within Facebook, but it costs nothing for the page’s real estate.

Facebook also does not charge for what could be freemium analytics or campaign stats, that they call Facebook Insights.

Facebook Insights can be immediately fascinating due to the additional demographic information provided- Sex and Age breakdowns of the “Fans” of the brand page.

The benefit of Facebook is that as relatively “normal” people use it : And as it grows the normalisation (anecdotally) appears to get more and more normal; From being a Harvard hookup geek site; To university students around the world; To available to anyone over 13 years or so; With an email address and a real name they are willing to use on the site.

So while Facebook may or may not be annoying as a consumer, that it is made up of people u went to primary school with, that want to “reconnect” even if not really “communicate” in “real time” - In aggregate - given Facebook also has a sizeable quantity of  end users (75% of Australia’s Internet audience or 8.7M unique monthly users in Australia I remember Nielsen research saying or 7.9m maybe?) this provides advertisers and brands with both reach and context.


In some cases then it’s easy for a business to fit into the Facebook world.

1. High involvement products can focus on the heavily research focused buyer… that is looking at all sources of online information before buying. They can fill their fan pages with product photos, videos, specs, informations, reviews, links + let the prospective buyer immerse themselves deep in the products superior attributes. Consumer electronics, tech gadgets, automotive and other retail related categories : Homewares/department store products for example should be locking in Facebook realestate and dumping their ecatalogues quicker than a search engine marketer can snapup an in demand parked domain.

2. Services requiring real world interaction can embrace Social CRM principles and use Facebook as front line support for customer queries. Why wait on the phone for 45 minutes on your lunch break. Planning and Executing a holiday, I’m sure Facebook will become a major hub for leisure and travel decisions over the next 5 years.

3. Fashion, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Softdrinks, Fastfood, Alcohol and other “Low Involvement” as marketers dub the less impactful consumer decisions that dont’ require u working for the next 25 years and allocating 35%+ of the associated income to cover the “investment” - are going to shift a large portion of their budget here very quickly.

So let me repeat - at this moving well beyond 140 characters and into the multi-hundred word essay - the title of this post : Facebook Fan Pages Should Tell a Brand Story.

I’m particularly interested for this post in (above numbered) Point 3 re “Low Involvement” products and associated brands; Interested because

- #1 high involvement research based products (buying a home, getting a loan, car purchase) where the marketer via social media needs to provide information/insight etc and coordinate optimum retail purchase- seems obvious if not yet executed well…

- While #2 - “Services” whether it be travel industry, branchless banks, tech support for your isp/broken mobilephone/question for your broker etc - also seems a Typical CRM/Call Centre model - but applied to online social networks.

What I’m interested in is the “Glass and a Half of Full Cream Dairy Milk” type brands… and how their stories can be told, for business benefit, via social media, specifically Facebook Fan Pages.

So we all remember growing up and there would be TVC’s for whatever chocolate bar.. or whatever amazing scientific experiment that made Cadbury chocolate the best family choice when doing the supermarket shopping.

When I started my first job out of uni/marketing degree and working at DDB in St Kilda Road Melbourne… one of the clients was Cadbury Schweppes. Now this was 1995 : There wasn’t much of anything when it came to online advertising. In fact it was tailend of CD-Rom/Information Superhighway as it collided with new fangled Internet WWW.

I still remember being told when assessing what “new media opportunities” there were for Cadbury on the internet that “You can’t push (or eat) a chocolate bar down a telephone line.”

It’s true. But now when u start to see the kind of numbers that YouTube does… and as traditional above the line “brand” advertisers.. do their best to build brand cache via the online video channel, rather than look like a dickhead and erode it; Facebook Fan Pages look like a channel where the advertiser can go right back to original brand stories. And tell them from scratch to their target consumer.

Now I know this sounds like a typical green-eyed Conversational Marketing Pitch. And dont worry I have a little bit of sick in my mouth typing these words.

But let’s try and keep it simple. Laurel Papworth has a great list of the top 150 or so Australia Facebook Fan Pages for businesses and brands.

I won’t in this post breakdown the types of brands, their categories, what they are doing right or wrong… but what interests me is a word as almost overused as “conversational” or “conversations” or “community” as it relates to a “dialogue” with consumers… is that of a brand being “authentic”.

Brand authenticity is often mentioned in a marketing/advertising brief or plan. But it’s execution seems to be what determines whether you are “authentic”.

Working in the alcohol space as it relates to social media for example over the past year or two : And alot of the great authentic uses of social media - Both Facebook and Twitter... are the micro-breweries, such as Red Hill Brewery - which is a couple kilometres from where I live. There are other examples such as Stone and Wood in Byron Bay, as well as Effen Beer.

In this case authenticity may be easier to achieve for the micro-breweries as the person taking the photo of the Hops picking session, uploading it to Facebook, tweeting it - is also the Master Brewer; Quite possibly The Founder of the Business; A Part Owner.

And their whole livelihood is based on the success of their business. Which came as a result of passion and lifelong experience in the space.

So to be authentic for such people - it would be harder not to be. Such people are not moderating themselves. Worried about who they will offend. Not trying to remember what the line is from the latest campaign is. Or thinking about which agency is doing which creative for which brand.

But this is what makes the small examples such good case studies for the larger brands wanting to “Connect” to a new audience. And the Facebook fan pages like setting up a blog or twitter account, is a blank white and blue canvas from which a brand and its varied stakeholders can start from to tell it’s story.

Rather than be a campaign... Social Media is ongoing.. pretty much into infinity. The lack of start and end dates is quite confronting… It also makes quoting work hard ! But like anything coming up with a content plan, a framework for what content will be generated, will be a start.

But to be honest. To be authentic: As I work on pages.. I find it’s almost like Writing a Film/TV Script. Or what I imagine that to be :P

You have a set of (Brand) Characters - These are often (real) people: They have names.. and Facebook profiles… And to be authentic you might want to introduce these people : With a picture, a quote from them.. an introduction. Or maybe it’s a group (family) shot.. “This is The Team”. Or maybe some King Island T-Bones… noms.

Rather than just have non attributed copy... that could be from PR, or marketing, or some social media guru bad at The English (or whatevs the language) - You need to properly introduce The Cast/Actors/Characters.

And then like any good fiction: Which is basically what a brand is: The invisible associations and bits n bytes on top of the functional product that delivers something quantifiable to the purchaser. So branding in social media, and in this case Facebook Fan Pages, is like Fiction.

So once u have introduced the characters: Let’s use an example at moment : We’re hooked into The Pacific - much of which was shot in Melbourne, Australia: It’s a $150M+ Spielberg/Hanks HBO 10 parter… sort of a sequel or relative to Band of Brothers.

The first 35 minutes of the 54 minute episode of Part 1 The Pacific introduces the huge cast and lead characters, their backstory, and some indication of the key threads of where The Pacific will go; There seem to be 3 or so major storylines, each with corresponding lead.. although now I’m 3 episodes in.. you never know Sopranos/The Wire style.. whether characters may die or be written out.. and thus The Story changes.

My point being : A Brand’s Facebook Fan Page should be looked at the same way. Now as I’ve prefaced I’m talking about Brands that are often one’s that are consumed without much thinking. Dont cost too much. Disposable. And the factors that go into purchase may not be too conscious.

You buy them at a supermarket, convenience store, bottle shop, or the type of retail that involves “Fun” shopping on weekend, for a new tshirt, sneakers.. even some gadgets that dont involve a 2 year 4 figure contract and getting calls/emails from boss and clients on.

So the Facebook Fan Page isn’t a web agencies flashy rich media or immersive client sponsored web game. Nor is it a place to just dump the latest press release from a marketing campaign. Nor do u just “sync’ your ironic twitter @replies and trending topics #hashtags so u can appear hip’ironic. U won’t. U will appear unhip + moronic.

I hate to say it. As like the people that didnt get Twitter. I didn’t really get Facebook for business. I ran a search engine and believe in the hyperlocal social search advertiser value proposition. Still do.

But Facebook, as an advertiser funded brand destination for consumers is totally making sense to me now. There are a few different approaches. But brand authenticity underpinned by the telling of a Brand Story via a Group of properly introduced Brand Characters : That’s what Facebook Fan Pages can be used for.

So while Laurel’s research on the most popular Australian brand Facebook Fan Pages is very interesting: What is of scary interest to me; Is how many Australian brands currently have Fan Pages; Intend to over the next 12 months. What percentage will also adopt Twitter in duet. Then how does the consequent brand and category specific social content - assuming it’s made public (and fan pages do have an rss feed) - is indexed into Google and Bing. Which then collides with The black hat wearing Search Engine Manipulating blog commenting + coopting Cyborg.

Because when clients realise that the popular high authority, well liked, highly followed Social Media generated by them and more so their prospective consumers, across Facebook and Twitter.. is going higher and higher within the first page of Google results for consumer searches for their brands.. that is when Social Media will start getting a real percentage of above the line marketing budgets - So that Brand Stories and the latest marketing campaigns can get the optimum result.

January 30, 2010 – 5:51 pm

Getting a Smarter Way to Track + Report a Client’s Social Media Brand Mentions.

With all the theory, blog, user generated content and social media gurus talking tweet bout conversations = community and so on, it always amazes me, at least in Australia how few case studies, or great everyday solutions we have downunder.

# of iPad Twitter-mentions : 2k per minute according to NYT Labs

Which is why it’s best to rollup one sleeves and see what we can do to be part of solution not problem.

Right at moment for example, one thing I’m working on is determing what is the optimal report, tracking, wiki, etc format to provide a blue chip client and their agency(s) - A regular (realtime, daily, weekly, monthly ?) of when they and their brands are mentioned in “social media”.

Now it doesn’t help that with 8.1m unique Australian mainstream users of Facebook, that monitoring Facebook for a client and reporting back daily is pretty damn hard. Nay, manual. Damn hard. Which translates to expensive. And maybe something they might not want to do.

And all Facebook would need to do is make it’s brand specific data more public. Yeh I know it’s harder than that. But every site except Facebook has these lovely RSS feeds which I can plug into Google Reader, combine with some analytics, then present it all in - and Bob’s your uncle. Or whatever your client other than Bob is called.

Let’s say the client may get mentioned a few hundred times each week in social media. Now it’s (not yet) like Apple, when a new product release gets 2k direct mentions every minute!

NYT "The New York Times Research Labs created a real-time look at Twitter mentions related to the Apple announcement on Wednesday. At its peak, iPad-related messages were coming through Twitter at an average of 2,200 a minute, and maintained steadily at around 1,500 a minute hours after the briefing ended."

NYT "The New York Times Research Labs created a real-time look at Twitter mentions related to the Apple announcement on Wednesday. At its peak, iPad-related messages were coming through Twitter at an average of 2,200 a minute, and maintained steadily at around 1,500 a minute hours after the briefing ended."

So I dont have the New York Time Research Labs that can on a whim create a Real Time Tracking of Apple’s new iPad Tablet product and related tweets. I wish they would open source the tool they used above and I could slot in my clients and prospects brand names and related phrases that consumers use when “creating” “communicating” and consuming online.

But maybe someone has a simple solution : How do I combine hundreds of screenshots of client brand mentions, with a spreadsheet detailing multiple columns around the mention (which social media site, by which influencer, what did they say, what is the url, was the sentiment positive or negative, which of client’s brands were they talking about etc) ?

So I need to be able to provide a daily, weekly and monthly on and offline solution that combines excel “brand” mentions in social media with screenshots.. with formats like PDF and .PPT + .XLS being especially liked.

So far any mention is captured in Google Reader - whose shared items have an atom feed as output - I’m entering “brand mentions” data into excel, exporting to google docs, where I’m also uploading screenshots of hundreds of client mentions… The client mentions are stored in google reader shared items - whose feed uploads to, and - which all do an ok but not great job at converting an rss feed into a pdf report.

The problem with nearly all of the above solutions is lack of customisation. Now about a 109k euros Panerai hehe !

But if I could just somehow get the screenshots (Clients love pictures) with the excel/gdocs which tracks the hundreds of mentions…

Then one day the system will do all the matching, filtering, report conversion and delivery and clients and prospects will be very happy and pay lots of money.

Until then I’ll continue hacking around… In a world that feels a mile away from the new social media world utopia which seems to run rampant on Twitter.

OK Later it’s hot, I’m having a Fat Yak. Feel free to check my latest Polyvore set.

Or, Feel free to check my latest Polyvore set.

January 22, 2010 – 1:05 pm

In #JanuaryUSummer : While #FebUSave + #2010UKickAss

When the test cricket is ending, Breakfast Radio A-Teams are back, and The Australia Day Long Weekend is about to commence (even with a weird Tuesday as the holiday, making it in effect a 4 day weekend) - that means Summer is Ending, even if the Weather is just heating up.

Maybe counter-intuitively too, I’m heading back to Melbourne for 18 hours as a website I worked on is having it’s launch, at the swank Adelphi. It’s always nice when a site ships + goes onto the next stage of customer growth, iteration, feedback + advertiser integration.

Spent the week being the go-between for projects I’m working on that involve reaching “influentials” “influencers” “bloggers” “twitterers” “networkers” - and all the other types of terms.

I can relate to both sides of the equation.. having spent past 5 years as social media entrepreneur type indexing Aussie blogs into a search engine and syndicating social media content - While also having written thousands of blog posts, 12K+ tweets, god knows how many flickr uploads and so on.

I quite enjoy being the go-between, but u really need to listen to the blogger that u r making the approach to. U want to get something from them. So there needs to be something significant in it for them. Because also let’s face it : If you dont, it’s very quickly blogged or tweet’d about and then your client is brought into it : And for all of google to see, for evermore.

"fight club is over." : "over? nothing is over till we say it's over. u may have shut this down, but u will never shut this down.... ASS MAN" #chuck S3E4

On the flip side, I’ve worked in agencies, for publishers, established and upstart. But no matter what : You need win/win on both side. But in reality it’s like a dinner party, often full of different guests u dont know - that u hope will gel as a group. And u as host has to try and make it work.

So I definitely dont want to get into analysis of #FebUSave - But if u break down the Win/Win equation from both sides : Bloggers, I’ll call them, that create long form content, every day. Generally need a business model to do so. They need revenue, brands, connections.

But as Dave Winer has said the advertising business model can often be advertising yourself to create other type of income: Whether it be consulting work, a job, speaking at a conference, be appointed as an expert advisor, or paid to be a brand ambassador etc.

But as Dave Sifry often pointed out when running Technorati - Most blogs are labours of passion done outside daily work hour.

For the passionate experts who have a blog, twitter, channel to lifestream their latest, the pull of big brand may not be immediate, unless there is a clear value proposition.

feb-u-save home page by ANZ.

Rather than just do something for me, it could be doing something for someone else that appeals to some bloggers : The Bushfires Relief; Haiti. Breast Cancer.


So reading the paper this morning, with a coffee, while glancing over at Tweetie, I noticed the rising trending ANZ’s #febusave topic.


To be honest I hadn’t heard of #febusave and like alot of business created trending topics, to be honest, I don’t fully get some of the creative hashtags, but heck a brand getting onto twitter i prefer versus one that isn’t.

But it’s a fine line and even tho it’s a Win-Win world, I think the line should be weighted towards the little guy. Because let’s face it, when it comes to bank, they do have a decent amount of resources. And if they or any brand for that matter really wants to go social, they have to understand the people behind the blogs. And what drives them. And what type of content and promotions or not they are likely to be interested in on their blog. That helps drive traffic. Provides something unique, new and timely that their readers will want to check out while checking into tweetie in the morning.

I like the pledges feature... altho its a novelty.

Think I’ll watch #FebUSave unfold….. it’s certainly been interesting reading on the Friday morning of Australia Day Long Weekend. Seems the Real 2010 started a few days early this year.

January 19, 2010 – 1:03 pm

it’s all about the people, stoopid.

I’m thinking pretty seriously, as one does at this time of the year (sometimes), about what to do, workwise, 2010 - now it’s almost 100% here as it will be when schools go back after Australia Day Weekend.

I have a feeling, no major impacting external events happening, that the answer may be right in front of me.

Would like this parra tshirt via The Reed Space.

The answer is indeed what I am doing. What I have been doing. An extension of it. Systemised. If the World’s Best Opportunity isn’t suddenly presented to me, that is.

It’s the time of the year where resolutions by now have either had a successful beginning, or not.

Supra TK Society burgundy patent suede 2010 in the house

Luckily I’ve given up smoking at midnite New Years Eve, and haven’t looked back. And i’m eating cereal not toast for breakfast. They were my 2 resolutions and I’m happy to have enacted them. The aim was to start a positive roll.. get some of that momentum thang!

I'm enjoying Kenneth Branagh's Wallander

But they were in effect prevention of the problem is better than treating the solution, or some such golfing analogy which is on a Par 3 on the back nine of the Flinders course in relation to golf divots i think.

Supra Skytop Acid Wash 2010s : Ditto! "I am really feeling these Acid Wash Denim joints. Which colorway do you like?""

So in proactive terms. I now want to raise the bar, and enact the University goal of running the Melbourne Marathon, which I did twice back in the day.

Kinda interesting summer kick, prob id go white perforated in The Supra Cuban 1.5's.

I have 263 days to train for it. And every1 will be needed. Even if u can get ultrafit, the last 8 kilometres totally suck, when body problems - for me shin splints.. become unbearable pain n cramp wise. But that’s why the Marathon is such a good event.

But back to the main topic here; Not smoking : tick. Cereal; tick. Marathon; hopeful tick. Work plan: TBA. Unless it’s in front of me.

Nike Dynasty ‘81 Hi Quickstrike in Team Red

I(ve) spent years indexing the Australian blogosphere as my startup business. You could only really do it manually, because Australian blogs are generally under a dot com domain - whether it be wordpress, blogspot, or your own $8 .com address. Basically there was no simple way to create a database of Australian blogs.

Also, like Technorati has/had found - There is no obvious business model for a blog search engine, beyond resold search engine advertising via google and ad networks.


Further, the Australian market wasn’t exactly ahead of the curve when it came to Social Media circa 2005-9.

But what I’m finding now, via the growth of Twitter and Facebook to Australians (which have anywhere from 800k-2m and 8m end unique “users” respectively) - Well the major brands and businesses are starting to be interested in these channels. Whether it be from a monitoring,  customer service, PR 2.0, guerilla marketing, or online marketing multiplier effect. Sometimes it’s as simple as tick the Facebook + Twitter box now on a client’s marketing brief.

Kewl Nudie Cardholder and affordable to boot (well there is a 25quid version from Oipolloi) - would age wicked too

So where this intersects for me, is that when previously I indexed 100k largely blog feeds : Now what I’m interested in isn’t the feed (altho i will grab it to index in google reader, represent in feedly and score in postrank) Nor is just twitter, or facebook, the blog, youtube, flickr etc

damn i dig these supra skytop acid wash why cant they be the Skytop II or TK Society models in this wash

What I’m interested in is the person. Which again, is a bit ironic, given my aversion to people in parts ;)

So while a brief may look at the aggregate unique “users” of twitter or facebook : Underneath all that are the influential people;

Topher + Summer Glau - "More of that ? Even if we prevent the end of the world? U know i had a crush on u? Even when i thought u were a dood." #Dollhouse Penultimate

- Starting with the Creators who make new stuff then upload it; Pictures from HotBBQ in Portsea; Flickr capture of the 1kg T-Bone rack.

#Dollhouse penultimate of Topher "Would it sound OTT if I said it could help prevent end of civilisation as we know it?"

- Then the Hunters : Subscribing to lots of sources then scanning thru thousands of items each week to find the nuggets to share. They’ll follow links and forums to reduce to a 140 character message they share with friends on facebook, twitter etc

"U broke out the tasty couture, good choice!" poor summer glau - where is sarah connor when u need her? #dollhouse penultimate

- Followers is an apt segment as defined by Twitter, but even then there is the difference between those that merely glance at their timeline if that - Versus those that click on links, engage with the shares, follow directions and then retweet. In this sense Active rather than Passive Followers are more interesting as a business asset.

The orange skywalker mids r my fave of the adidas Originals STAR WARS - These Feb (Episode III)

That’s the top level, but then what is really interesting is while in 2004/5/6 - You really had a bunch of industry people talking to themselves about Web 2.0, and often having their own related venture : What is different now is traditional marketing practise is starting to take over the social networks, user generated content and blogs. At least as it relates to the business model side.

So you have clients wanting to reach particular demographic groups - No different to if they were creating a Television Commercial; Could be Baby Boomers, X’er, Y’s, Women, Retirees. Young Families. Mums, etc.

"Is that Mascara? U've got on guys'liner + leatherpants" : "It's fashion week": "if u r steven seagal" #Leverage S2E10 "not every1 can rock the scarf!"

Then the other major variable is the client’s industry; Financial products want to interact and connect with online influentials that are in the right lifecycle for their products. Or in some cases, the influentials audience. Ditto for FMCG, Alcohol, Consumer Electronics, Automotive and so on.

Adidas Star Wars Tshirt if u didnt guess via Huf

Different industries; Different consumer segments; Different buying groups.

2nd Last Ep: ill miss good #dollhouse "I'm not a thief. I'm a Terrorist." but bad @elizadushku "then lets bring down the building" nup

I’ll stop there - but the overall space : Let’s call it Social CRM + how it can act as the catalyst for  Social Media Optimisation (by increasing a client’s social media share of voice) is definitely what I’m interested in doing 2010… But right now I need to go back to doing such a project so I can put food on the table : Before I figure out how u can systemise people - Don’t want to end up like the#Dollhouse or like a bad dream in latest Criminal Minds ep.

January 14, 2010 – 4:36 pm

OUTLINE: Computers vs People; Man against Machine. Filtered or Curation.

Computers vs People; Man against Machine. Filtered or Curation. Am I surprised that finite issues being faced beyond survival include these perennial debates translated into everyday practicalities.

First u have the scenario of out of mind, out of sight, the machines will just sort all content into the perfect google result and make it perfectly presentable to a client.

Funny thing is it’s amazing how good u can get an algorithm. And these days even without a programmer, with Google pumping more and more of their labs into their advanced search filters which can then be exported as a feed (even the new alerts while still not a trillion webpage index, still provides a feed now which is good for the non feed web page universe)

Startups too have APIs and widgets which means even compared to 2004-7 what used to cost $20K, can now be done closer to $2K. Sometimes, for a standard use case.

But the machines cant do everything.

For example a classic scenario is a client has a brand, whose name also has other meanings; It could be a phrase, place, person, or even another business in a different location.

In this case - suddenly the $2K perfect algorithm just went out the door. And u may have to place yer handy “curator” in 2.0 speak to sort through the false positives.

Before going direct to shit kicking goal however - You can go back to algorithm: Make the searches more specific : Longer phrases, more keywords, more geo-parameters, limit the content types.. Try and test different combinations - and maybe u can get rid of alot of the duplications.

But u still end up having to curate the index of potential matches for whatever u r trying to track.

Quite often too I’m finding a typical scenario is a client is part of by definition a functional division, business unit etc : Maybe they r in marketing, or only responsible for below the line, or above the line, pr, digital, search : And u need to train your machine and curator to drill down to the product group, function or quite often “The Campaign” that is being looked at.

Which often means u start up filtering the internet universe for a client’s whole business but need to drill down to the functional and then campaign level.

All of which u can do.. but the icing on the cake is always curation. The trade off is always time it takes to do it and lack of budget available for it.

Once clients are spending a fair bit higher of their marketing and “other” budgets on social related digital media and marketing - then there will probably be more dollars for the social curation of brand mentions.

When I compare the cost of social media to traditional and by definition the media cost is largely excluded; Programming is in the single number of hours or days + Design is often not more than a header, avatar, wallpaper and some other style guide work. Maybe a couple page minisite for design and development.

This isnt 3-6 month design and development.

Clients want results from The Social..

And I’m sure once there are successful social campaigns and budgets that dont end up being on the news for their racism failure. Then the next client will spend.

Suffice to say u r seeing more brands spending very little creating a positive feedback loop : Tweet about latest marketing. Drive target consumer to facebook and do something. Retweeted on Twitter.

That’s the outline of the post. Will 2010 be the year that machines and curators co-exist hehe Can u tell I watched The Lost Boys and Day Breakers last nite ? Um, but Now I have to write it… put the links in for the picturesbut im goin4 a run… so later…

January 11, 2010 – 2:25 pm

No Smoking on Facebook, #SherlockHolmes + 4 Sets of Flickr_Kicks

Another Year Bites the Dust!

Was about to write a blog post about how I have successfully given up smoking* EXTRA BIG DISCLAIMER : Saying in a public, indexed forever by google format, that u have given up smoking is worse than The Facebook not assisted Suicide Machine, as - as soon as u say I HAVE GIVEN UP SMOKING, HOW FKN AMAZING AM I - Well, the resultant 3 LITTLE THUMBS UP LIKED U ON FACEBOOK and yer steely resolve to in fact kick the fag stix - could well make u start smoking again.

So Many Choices on Google Australia to "Quit Smoking"

So Many Choices on Google Australia to "Quit Smoking"

So wanting to not blog as a catalyst for the chain reaction of 3 as close to human passivity as u can get, one finger barely depressed, “clicks” AKA 3 PEOPLE IN LIKE WITH YOU FOR PROFESSING YOUR SUCCESSFUL DEBUNDLING OF NICOTINE from your daily routine.. most likely family and significant others.. I decided to avoid the Facebook Non-Smoking Judgement Day and work on my flickr sets.

I was just adding descriptions to my flickr set(s). Y’know, a sentence or two, describing… THE SET. As opposed to A COLLECTION; Which appears to be a FkU Super Aggregate COLLECTION of sets. So I could for example have a Collection called SNEAKERS or FOOTWEAR or in 09′parlance KICKS or maybe I’d go for something mysterious, comic, that could become a Facebook group in itself.

U gotta think bout these things, when u r not writing a blog post about successfully not smoking, the first time. Not a drag since midnite NYE when girlfriend and mother plus some crazy near retirement age Scots’ are pumping out at Full Volume the Bag Pipes, backed up by Xylophone, Maracas, and other bangable stuff..

Just as I’m glad Silent Witness has returned for its 13th Season, in which a UK Forensics Team led by Doctor Harry in a Coma (every1 in the show is either a Doctor, Professor.. or harlet murdering women…) I’m also going to use the Silent Witness Technique of merging the two parallel stories into one aggregate story, when at a point : Usually at the end of Episode One (all are 2 parters) the stories merge. So too here, the Descriptions I annotated on Flickr.. ended up being (as they werent twitter consistent capped at the length of 140 characters text message) I just kept writing crap. Not to mention I spent the last of my cumulative savings $25USD on maintaining flickrpro account: Or else they would have left me with 200 photos maximum and enough gigage to last a few days. Given they deleted my original Flickr! account.. I’ll keep it pro.. and hope I’m off their Turn up in the Middle of the Night and Take Me Away to the Digital Attic in the Dollhouse.. never to see my only copy of photos from 2004-8 given my 2 harddrives on 2 imacs died 2009.

But lets not kick this on2 a downer or I wont even get to 3 FB-likes as mentioned at commencement’ere : I was trying to not relapse from smoking given its now the 11th day of not smoking.. and having prevented or at minimum - stalled : The 3 Likes (but likely no comments) on Facebook.. which could have had me hanging of the edge.. a bit like Sherlock Holmes, which I watched last nite and really did quite enjoy after all! If not seeing at cinema, make sure u get Sherlock Holmes TS XVID- IMAGiNE version.


Set #1 : Common Projects

Number of Photos : (Only) 170

Common Projects Summer Achilles luv the black model ere

Typical Price of Item : 200 quid up to $480USD + shipping for the killa boots they have.

Interesting sole colour n material on Common Projects Summer Achilles in white

Best etailers to secure from : Revolve, Oki-Ni

Still love these they cost $472USD/$510AUD - Common Projects Training Boot Low Profile Dirty in Black: Is it worth paying more for black ? :)

If these $830AUD kicks dont make enough statement throw in the leopard and pony skin every1 will give u an opinion - guaranted prob more bad than good Diet Butcher Slim Skin High Top Special Sneaker - but that may make u want them even more

Flickr Description :I’ve been very close to buying a pair of Common Projects, but then something new, shiny and cheapier from another brand (AKA Supra or Undftd) will come along. But I’ve gotta get a pair of Common Projects in 2010. As they r classic better to buy when the previous season goes on sale.

The black nylon common projects safari boot - soft black nylon hi top upper with a simply laced vamp and matching black rubber sole

Currently I’m stalking the Common Projects Training Boot Series Black or Grey Distressed kick that are perfect : Zippered, studd’d, interesting sole, slim fitting hightop military influenced boot. Lets hope the $472USD ish they want will come down. But Common Projects lowcuts like above and mids are just as good. Their use of materials is bettered by non too.. When u see them in real life.. the Italian nappa leather is where (at least some) of your money goes. And innovation such as use of Nylon before other sneaker co’s use them. In fact Supra and others will often copy Common Projects a few seasons later. So really it’s just a case of how much to pay for what r probably best sneaker kicks out for under $500.”

1st time on sale at Revolve $331USD/$357AUD - Common Projects Training Boot Low Profile Dirty in Grey: Hate 2think Aust'RRP eg mid $600's- bargain vs Diet Butcher hehe! Which of 4 (Common Projects, Diet Butcher) boots here is best $ aside ?

Diet Butcher is one of those brands u ogle for years and save up for The Slim Skin Hi Top Special in Black 449 pounds may be nearly $1kAUD ok actually $830ish by the time it ships but heck it is amazing + gut feel they would get worn alot. Supposedly according to Mia Freedman u need to divide the number of times u wear something by its cost to get an understanding of its value.. or to understand how women think hehe (her paraphrased words!)

Set #2 : Supra Skytop II + TK Society

Number of Photos : 241 as they have been ridiculously tight in releasing pictures of the impending Skytop II model variations of which a few new ones are released in next week..

Typical Price of Item : The newest model eg Skytop II in black suede I wanna cop is $136USD + ship.. While they retail in the odd Aussie places to sell for nearer $300AUD - It means u r an idiot not to buy from overseas.

Best etailers to secure from : Revolve (limited stock but free international shipping for over $100USD orders i think), Karmaloop (20% code voucher which r everywhere works as gr8 discount if in the US or negates shipping cost which is expensive to Australia etc - however with 20% discount it means they dont get kicks the moment they r released…. so u need patience for this route) , PickYourShoes (get shoes pretty damn quick.), Factory413 (is Supras retail owned channel.. so they get product first… but watch shipping - if in US no probs : free shipping.. and u can find discount vouchers too - but international delivery is biggest ripoff ive ever seen/heard - $85 for first pair wtf !)

Flickr Description : “The New Supra Skytop II, of the non limited edition models (after 600 white/red/grey “Gradient” model went launch viral) are finally being released January 15th - The Navy/Gold on the Complex Magazine cover worn by scantily clad model are teh dopeness, but I’ll be copping like the above pictured Black Suede Skytop II’s. For a very fair $136. It’s my next sneaker watchlist acquisition - as I need some black hightops in suede too - Which will go with my awaiting arrival Triumvir Constantine Bomber/Baseball jacket in classy black and white piping. Not to mention its 43c/105+F ere so dont exactly need winter apparel ! Back to Supra, who just keep innovating and are well on the way to becoming the next Nike if they can keep rolling out as they r…

I still want the Burgundy TK Society to match my Parra jacket + Undefeated hoodie in burgundy.. but the Skytop II's have gone to top of line..,,,

Just gotta make sure they stay ahead of the European luxury game + setitup for the more affordable high volume sneakerheadkrazed American/Western/Asian markets.

The Supra TK Society Navy/Black were one TK joint Supra got tight; Perfect for blue or black jeans of course...

Just occasionally, they get their colours wrong - like the Supra TK Society which should be innovating alot with the Skytop II coming out.. instead not enough new TK Society product and what there is that’s being released is in aqua electric blue cracked leather with fluoro lime sole wtf ?

Supra Skytop II Gold_Black known as "Goldies" - While gold is over the top supposedly in person.. once they r worn in.. can look pretty fly.. for a white guy!

But that said no matter what, Supra just keep delivering killer affordable product that the Kanye West / Luis Vuitton + Lanvins are biting for their 5 - 7 x the price luxe sneaker hi-tops lines. The Skytop II + TK Society are the Air Jordans of the 2010’s / 21st Century Tens or whatevs they be dubbed.”

I like Skytop II via Supratalk Forums - Gradient version had worldwide release 600 individually numbered kicks were impossible to buy... and they didnt even have a Melbourne release *sadface*

Set #3 : Adidas Originals Kicks + Apparel

Number of Photos : 225 and will keep growing.. Star Wars about to ship.. for the @griffmiester n other Stormtroopers or Darth Vaders.

Darth Vader Adidas Originals ZX 8000 hehe

Adidas Originals StarWars Stormtroopers

Typical Price of Item : $70 for Adidas’ own kicks up to $150 for the collabs if u can get’em. Overall Adidas very affordable.

Best etailers to secure from : Size Online in UK have limited collabs of adidas..  then usual suspects.. are goodEndClothing…

Flickr Description :The sneaker market must be one of the most innovative in the world. New product comes out everyday and goes direct to consumers who dissect, like or not, and etail channels get limited edition collaborative customised product that quickly sells at premium price$ to teenagers, X + Y’s, and baby boomers alike. Adidas via Adidas Originals premium line… developed many killa kicks of their own 2009 into 2010 and their breadth of collaborative kicks was second to none.

From the madness of Jeremy Scott Conductors to the minimalistic reinterpretation of Doc Martens by Undefeated cofounder James Bond for David Beckhams’ Adi-Originals Line.

Adidas just keep serving it up. Look at teh above pictured Adidas Porter collab based on the basic $75 RRPish Adidas Nizza Hi kick. Japanese luggage brand Porter just added a zip at the back and provided a carry bag for the easy to get off kicks (may sound like nothing to a non hightop wearing but at the end of day it can be a real hassle to get them off) So Porter nailed it for Adidas, with something as simple as a zip at back. Just as Ransom also nailed it…

adidas-ransom-valley-black- very common projectsy but alot cheaper :P

And Crooked Tongues with their Superstar interchangeable tongue 3-or-more-way collab. And now George Lucas is getting in on the Adidas Originals fun with the Star Wars collaboration. Beam Me Up, Scotty, as Adidas is exploring Space in 2010.”

Adidas Originals Highrise look good

Set #4 : The Others - Visvim, Playcloths, Crooks, Uniqlo, W+H, Blackbirds

Number of Photos : 645

Wings + Horn Archive Line- Full Zip Terry Hoodie made by in Canada, pre-buy of this W+H Archive FW 2010 line from

Typical Price of Item : Could be anything… esp the Japanese…

Visvim FBT Folk UR still beautiful.. u japanese designed kick u.

Best etailers to secure from : So many brands so many outlets. Go direct to brand usually or the leading etailers - Karmaloop have most of streetwear eg Crooks, Blackbird in Seattle for highend stuff like Diet Butcher, Uniqlo, Playcloths, UnionLA ala the shoes below, 2 tone yeaaah etc.

Luv 2Tone Saddle Gibson in grey + blue Suede Saddle Shoe featuring a white brick sole + coordinating white eyelets

Flickr Description :It’s interesting to look retrospectively at teh products that have caught my eye in the last 12 months. Obvs I digg the Japanese designers ala Visvim.. if not be able to fit into the ultra small sizing hehe.. I seem to like simple clean European luxe essentials ala Lanvin or ultra affordable while high quality and unique : Uniqlo (their current J+ line with Jill Sander, into its 2nd season is awesome!)

"Navajo. Chimayo. Americana. It is through these three themes that best describes April77’s 2009-2010 Fall Winter Collection."

But u cant keep me away from throwing in Californian surfstreetwear or EastCoast winterwear : Ill take either with a quality twist - Whether it be Indian theme in the current April 77 collection which is jawdropping in parts (is it wearable tho… i think so ;) It’s also nice to look at again the original Crooks and Castles… where they did quality high impact jackets n hoods; They should take a lesson from the Canadian made Wings + Horn. Talk about quality, pity about price, small sizing and limited availability. Feel they have gone off quality and design now they are a growth story !

Now I’m really feeling the MishkaNYC crew and da Playcloths collective : With the killa heather grey wool varsity with the red piping and P logo on breast, 1977 datestamp, and excellent embroidery on back.. I just hope I can find one still around (they r pretty close to sold out from limited run that was sold online etc) in my size for 2010 Aussie Winter. It’s such a beautiful piece. (Its the thumbnail above for this set : The Others ! Guaranteed to be better than the Nicole Kidman Film) Finally I really want the 135 quid navy blue Chukkas. Or Grey Suede Vans Akats, drool double there too.”

January 6, 2010 – 2:41 pm

Early January Career Riffs on Collabs vs Socialism.

I figure if I f*ck up my next career decision, I’m f*ckd.

Possibly i’m f*ckd in the same way a 21yr old thinks they no longer have their youth, or a slightly too old hipster yearns for the “good old days”.

U R only as old as the adage u use etc, so alot of these r just January mind f*cks, pre the Working Year kicking in full bore - Which usually happens when the cheque signing decision makers kids go back to school post Australia day weekend.

Which is not to say important people are not yet at work downunder. They are. The people that do the work, surprise surprise, are working.

And with $8.93 in debit I really should think of getting back to work.

Because just as I’m successfully on day 6 of not having nicotine / eating cereal not toast for breakfast since midnight New Years Eve - I’m going to work this year. And work hard. But to bogart another phrase - I’m gonna work smart.

I started to work smart 2009. It hurt the bottom line, alot. But the little I did, I was happy with. And I believe the people I did work for+with, were happy with the work I did. I also did it without needing to be there; All of it in Sydney. So I didnt have the scenario of driving 3-4 hours a day for meeting(s) that went half the driving time. But doing such work requires trust on both parties, and also very good word of mouth for those that havent used your services - as well as overdelivery on value delivered.

It may sound simple, but it is very hard to do the kind of work you like / love / are good-thebest-competitive at doing / and to do the work for people who need-value what u can do / have the budget to do / then u complete it successfully with no bullshit on either side of the herman miller / and the end product working and creating a great result for client/customer/consumer/agency.

THE OPTIONS : For some1 like me there are a few generic options available when it comes to that thing called Work;

Option A : Reorder what I currently have/have done + Bootstrap (out)/Build a Asset centric proprietary tech innovation type business whether it be a working beta/prototype or a website/app that lots of people visit. Prob Option F +/or the whole iphone app thing which at least people pay for unlike websites. Call it B2C.

Option B : Sell services, consulting, technology, customer databases, plugins, apps, processes etc as time based work - hours/days either one off or retainer. Do what clients want to pay for. Can work, pays the most, ends up with lots of driving… The whole B2B thing - ideally focused on a sector where there is a company good at what they do with unique assets etc In this area I would continue to refine what I currently offer/do and keep getting scale efficiencies in that what I do now is similar for different clients in different industries.

All I’d simply do is find ways to automate processes largely as well as eliminate some duplicative tasks. Boring I know but boring is doing same thing many times when u dont need to.

Option C : Get a Job. Get paid over summer when on holidays. Be at the office by/pre 9am on weekdays.. Fixed fortnightly.monthly pay. Be part of a team. Not have to secure new work but keep boss happy. For me this option would also entail driving 3-4 hours a day to/from Melbourne or moving within Melb train system… Could involve working for media/online company on expanding a flattening website or starting a new division… Or working for a traditional Co who wants to get into social/digital.. Seeing this happen in the US on twitter more and more.. Really seems the best option if going to work overseas where there are hires looking for people with 15 years experience in online rather than 3-5 years. Not to mention ultra supportive of startups who have actual funding… and importantly a much bigger market working on cutting edge product development - which doesnt happen largely in Australia outside of the Atlassians etc

Option D : Start something new in a totally different industry - possibly in collaboration with people/players/companies who are established in a vertical but dont know how to expand in new space : There are 2 real options here : Create something new in established sector..

Acne Studios Collective work across a range of apparel, advertising and luxury to create a range of things for a range of reasons...

Acne Studios Collective work across a range of apparel, advertising and luxury to create a range of things for a range of reasons...

Ala what Super did for Sunglasses; Supra/Kr3w for kicksnapparel; ComuneHundreds for streetwear, not to mention Acne Studios, Huf, Triumvir, UNDFTD, Mishka, 10Deep, etc - Brands that sell physical products.. but build brand, online sales and retail foot traffic via online buzz. And more than buzz, have collaborative production and product development processes where it is hard to tell where manufacturing, retail, marketing, on and offline end/start.

The interesting angle here… given that I’m good at the online buzz side but not necessarily production is entry via the “Collaboration” space: Finding partner(s) that are leaders in making products + on the other side leaders in consumer retail.

Would call it “Collabs” or “Collabs X” or “X” with X being the syntax used for a collab eg Reebok X Undefeated being the joint brand name… so X is the glue. Downunder we seem miles behind on Collabs : There are the obvious categories like sneakers, apparel etc- but australia doesnt have jack in many “essentials” categories where creatives/designers/experts/manufacturers can be combined with online distribution and physical bricks n mortar retail.

Walking into Myer, Target, Kmart, David Jones home brand physical spaces… as well as popular Australian online retailers there is a big gap in products that are brand simplistic, expertly produced and manufactured, authentic, functional, limited, affordable, enviromental and smart.

Interesting sole colour n material on Common Projects Summer Achilles in white

Common Projects Summer Achilles luv the black model ere

But what is most interesting to me are the dormant Australian brands and businesses and retail product lines not offering anything in this space; Even companies mega-successful in this space like Target who collaborate with rafts of successful designers, creatives and brands in a range of categories not offered in Australia.

Reebok did a textbook set of collaboration with 20 online/offline clicks n bricks Sneaker etailers for its 20th anniversary Pump Kick, with each designing a model for. This model should not just apply to Sneakers... it can be scaled from anything from Soap to Bicycles... as Crooks and Castles is trying to achieve.

Yesterday for example I received some River’s (remember that shoe brand) tshirts as a buggift - Good quality, actually very good quality, good cut, etc - Vneck tees in black/charcoal/navy/heathergrey etc : $5.95 AUST each… Now if Rivers could just collaborate their offering.. maybe get some young Aussie designers to offer some stencil’d up tees for $12.95 hehe

Go and check out the comune... why cant brands like rivers reinvent themselves - or spinoff new brands that leverage their assets but negate their faded discount branding ?

The Comune Collective in California are doing some dope stuff.

Not to mention an essentials line.. that added minor details - numbering / the type of cuts - which people are sick of having to pay Diesel $90 for or Industrie $45 for a bad knockoff..

10 Deep is another player in the whole collective music / clothes / design space : Their lookbooks don't use models/actors.. but "normal" people - Not Jennifer Hawkins normal.. normal as in.. normal. Well i guess they have to fit the clothes... but 10deep is generous with sizing options.

And both those brands downunder (diesel, industrie) have a whole lot of other problems for the majority of buyers (one overpriced, the other lower price but even lower quality - mcdonalds disposable clothing..)

like/want diesel shott long sleeve button down shirt IN STREAKY DISTRESSED INDIGO DENIM. but its $145USD : what about Kmart doing a collab with young aussie materials design team + selling for $45AUD but at a huge volume...

Suffice to say there is a big opportunity that overseas - collaborations, online and social networking, and flexible/customised production processes and online commerce.. have helped solve.. But they just havent made it to Australia. Now retailers say they want competition.. and creatives no matter what they say, want to get paid (says he with $8+!)

Starck Ting User on Flickr pix of Starck Reality for Target line.

Interesting range of Starck Reality for Target Products, Nothing like this downunder.

Philippe Starck Reality designs $8 chairs for target.Rodarte for $10-$80 at Target rather than thou$and$ for a dress charges well under $100… Stella McCartney.. Kate Moss for Top Shop…

Option E : Import/License/Work for existing overseas growth company who want to expand International/Asia/Australia… Whether it be the next foursquare/gowalla/social gaming-app co’ - U have the support of overseas story, work with pros… potential to get overseas stock.. On a smaller scale it’d be good to expand an Aussie business not yet in Melbourne/Vic..

Option F : I think of this as my Codename : Socialism Co’ play… a new type of social monitoring biz… combination of algorithimic and curated industry + company approach for social/twitter.. There needs to be a freemium site+ services biz in Australia that aggregates and scores company mentions in twitter and other social media.. it needs to be more than algorithms.. and ideally scores entries to create a real time Social Company Index by Industry

Option G : Similar to Option G it’s a demopsychosocialgraphics index of influencers by high priority advertiser consumer segments - So when clients want to reach new mums, rich boomers, seniors, Y’s, gamers, outdoorsy, fmcg’ers, online traders, etc - there is a simple social crm meets marketing activism biz to call. Kinda a new age talent agency biz. Already Royals aligned ere… but lots of work to go to actually create/manage/monetise killa hyperlocal social crm database.

Option H : I meet a very impressive entrepreneur and business and work for them doing what I do.. Quite open to this suggestion - would luv to find a kickass business where I did execution of tasks rather than generation of ideas and enablement of people. Problem being seems less likely for this option to be in Australia. Feel free to pitch me… I’d luv to be amazed.

So that’s a sample of what is in my head.. most are mid-term January thoughts..

So I’m on Day 6 of not smoking.. Yday Wordpress ate a multihour in the making post about the films i’ve been watching this summer and recommendations… maybe Wordpress will publish it..

But in the meantime.. i’ll get back to the proposal and open work projects I have on… that will bump the $8 in the bank up.. The Aussies after a Hussey century and huge stand with Siddle.. are trying to get Pakistan out before they make 176 runs… so far they have 3/51 runs…

Update - Aussies have won by 40+ runs…. bowling Pakistan out for an extremely low score in their chase of 176 runs to win.. OK Now I can run!