Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Forget No.5 we're No.1 now!

Thank you to everyone that downloaded or subscribed to the Social Media Podcast, We're No.1 in the Podcasting Section for Audio Podcasts this morning and, No.4 in the combined Audio and Video Podcasting Charts.

Gary Dixon, Spectrum Personnel asked me this morning why the podcast was doing so well; I said to him that, whilst word-of-mouth plays large part in these things, it is the extent and reach of our social media footprint that gets the word out there in the first place. When we released this podcast we promoted it on several platforms some of which are listed below:

Podcastmatters Blog
Podcastmatters Social Network
Podcastmatters Twitter
Gordon White's personal Twitter
Design Matters Twitter
Kyle Murdoch's Twitter
New Media Breakfast Twitter
Social Media Group on Spectrum Social Network
• New Media Update Group on Engage (Entrepreneurial Exchange's online network)
Social Media Podcast Group on Podcastmatters Network

These were the main outlets however, there are other networks that our updates post to via Ping.fm and FriendFeed

This highlights the benefits of a good social media presence. It is also worth noting that we didn't create this presence yesterday - it has taken a long time and we will continue to develop our community and take advantage of all new opportunities. New Year is traditionally a time to reflect on where you are and plan for the future, you should be looking at how you can create your on-line community during 2010, believe me, it's worth it.

If you want to download or subscribe to the Social Media Podcast please click here

Monday, December 28, 2009

Social Media Podcast Top 5 positions on iTunes

We are delighted with the progress we're making with the Social Media Podcast - today it rose from No.57 to No.5 in the Podcasting category.

The most recent podcast No.11 is a round-up of the year and some discussion about recent news stories like Telstra's commitment to Social Media and Pepsi's decision to put their $20 million Superbowl advertising budget into a Social Media campaign meaning they will not launch a new advert during the ball game for the first time in 23 years.

We round off the year with a look back at 2009 and a look forward to 2010 when we will continue the New Media Breakfast series as well as launching a new event in Inverness.

You can download all episodes of the podcast or subscribe here

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rounding off the year

Social Media Podcast No.11 is now available on iTunes. We chat about the hot stories this week in Social Media nad round up the year with a look at some of the work we've been doing and explore things like the "Book of the Year", Quote of the Year, Video of the Year and some other general ramblings.

You can search for "Social Media Podcast on iTunes or, link to it here.

Very encouraging story...

It's very encouraging to read stories like the recent post on Mashable about Telstra and their commitment to social media.

Telstra have recently announced mandatory social media training for its 40,000+ staff. They have formalized a '3R's' policy (responsibility, respect and representation) which will empower every member of staff online.

Furthermore, they are re-enforcing their commitment to transparency by announcing their intention to publish their training guides on line.

Well done Telstra.

If you look at the Mashable link you will also see that Pepsi have announced they are withdrawing from Superbowl advertising after 23 straight years. This is not a cost cutting exercise, they are spending the $20 million budget on a social media campaign instead. As reported on Mashable, "Rather than spending money on a Super Bowl ad, Pepsi will launch the Pepsi Refresh Project on January 13, 2010. At that time, users can submit their ideas to Pepsi for ways to refresh their communities, making the world a better place."

This is a major piece of news because Pepsi were one of the companies that made Superbowl adverts iconic in the past, their shift to social media speaks volumes about the changing nature of communication, advertising and engagement.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can you opt out of Social Media?

You may have seen my recent Twitter post about the Atholl Hotel in Aberdeen not allowing us to plug in a laptop - we were asked not to use their electricity. There were many comments and retweets about this; one Twitter user even recalled a food poisoning scare from last year at the same hotel - not something they would have wanted to re-kindle I'm sure.

This was a good example of how businesses will end up on social media whether they like it or not. People can update their status anytime, anywhere. So, people involved in customer service should be particularly mindful that a bad customer experience will be transmitted around the world instantly. Just the other day a friend of mine, John McGlynn of the Airlink Group posted about a bad experience he was having with EasyJet, I knew all about it, while it was happening. To be fair to EasyJet, they do monitor Twitter posts and I know that Iain Murray of ChardFM received a voucher because he did defend EasyJet in a Twitter post.

The Atholl Hotel incident was closely followed (the next day) by a similar set of circumstances in Simpson's Hotel in Aberdeen - we needed to charge our laptops whilst having a meeting and coffees in their lounge area, they were happy to let us do it - and their coffee was better and cheaper!

The whole incident reminded me of a blog post I read back in February this year from Chris Brogan about the Roger Smith Hotel in New York who actively promote their understanding and commitment to new media by encouraging users to have their meetings in the hotel. Now it's the place that most new media people (and I suspect many from traditional media) choose to stay in New York City, the Atholl Hotel could do with taking a leaf out of their book.

The point is, you can't opt out of social media, everyone is now connected and bad customer experiences will be reported. Understanding and embracing social media is the way forward, connect and engage with your customers, watch what their saying about you and act accordingly.

Christmas Videos for Heroes - 16th December, Holiday Inn, Glasgow

Christmas Videos for Heroes from Holiday Inn
Families offered chance to record personal video messages at Holiday Inn Glasgow

This December, a vast number of men and women from the UK will be serving abroad during the Christmas period. To help spread some festive cheer, the Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport is offering family and friends the chance to record a personal video message for their loved ones overseas.

Taking place from 10am until 1pm on Wednesday 16th December 2009, the Holiday Inn Glasgow will provide staff, cameras and a media suite to enable family and friends to come in and record up to three minutes of footage per video. Each video recorded on the day will be uploaded to the dedicated YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/HolidayInnHeroes, for service men and women to view online.

Commenting on this initiative, Douglas Winfield, General Manager at the Holiday Inn Glasgow said, “We wanted to do something for those local serving men and women who will be away from their families this Christmas, and we hope these messages will make this time more bearable and remind them that they are always in our thoughts. This is a way for us to show our appreciation for the work they are doing to make our country safer. We look forward to welcoming friends and families to record their messages of love and support for our brave heroes.”

Anyone wishing to record a personal video message should call Kate Trussler on 0131 226 3000 and book a time slot.

IHG, the world’s largest Hotel company, owners of such popular brands as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental and more, have set up a 35% discount scheme on short breaks, for all Forces/MOD family and personal as part of their commitment for Help For Heroes. This means that forces families can benefit from this great offer all year round across Europe for Short Breaks, Holidays, and theme parks. Visit www.IHG.com/forces for more information. The offer is available to all forces members from cadets to vets.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Media Breakfast Glasgow 27th November

The Glasgow breakfast in Friday 27th seems to have been a success with lots of good feedback about John MacKenzie's presentation on legal issues and user generated content. John MacKenzie, partner with Pinsent Masons is clearly an expert in this field and, a very enthusiastic user of social media. And, what a great compliment to his presentation that we ran out of time for the scheduled look at some viral video, the Q&A session and discussion was too good to cut short.

John took us through case studies covering the following topics:

• Using third party's material
• Ownership of material posted on social networking or blogging sites
• Mashups
• Web-scraping
• Protecting reputation on Facebook
• False testimonials

John also referred to some articles and web sites during his presentation, I have listed these here in no particular order:

Bogus online reviews face EU ban
ECJ rulings on Google keywords might not resolve controversy, warns High Court
Monsterski raising money for the MS Trust
Swede can't swallow McDonald's Pizza
Tech companies revealed as source of fake reviews
Why the Advocate General got Google Adwords wrong
Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Thank you again to John for his presentation, I recommend you come along and hear him at the New Media Breakfast in Edinburgh if you missed him in Glasgow. (Date of New Media Breakfast in Edinburgh to be confirmed)

Thanks also to No.29 who again provided the bacon rolls, tea and coffee with excellent service and attention to detail. What a difference it makes to turn up at a venue and have everything provided the way they said it would be. (See my previous post about Pittodrie in Aberdeen)

The December New Media Breakfast would have fallen between Christmas and New Year so, we have decided to make the next one on the 29th January 2010, we will be posting details about the topic and speakers in due course. To be sure that you are kept up to date with all the events you should join the Podcastmatters Network then join the New Media Breakfast Group where you can get all the details and leave comments or suggestions for the New Media Breakfast Team.

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Media Breakfast Aberdeen 24th November

We were delighted with the response to the first New Media Breakfast in Aberdeen last Tuesday.

The morning got off to a bad start when we arrived at Pitoddrie (home of Abedeen Football Club) at 6.30am as arranged and there was nobody to let us in. In fact, some attendees had arrived before us for the 7am start and we were all left out in the cold for 20 minutes.

Inside things weren't much better; the sound technician they had promised us hadn't turned up and still hadn't by the time we finished at 10am. Thank you to Graeme Coghill of K10 Solutions who managed to figure out the projectors and sound for us.

The late arrival of the Pittodrie staff meant there were no bacon rolls for people on arrival so, we moved them back to the scheduled break at 8.15am.

There were over 80 people in attendance which was remarkable for such an early start on a cold November morning and, all in all, the feedback was superb. I attended the CLAN Ball in Aberdeen on Friday evening and I was still getting great feedback from people who had been at the breakfast. CLAN were also the beneficiaries from the profits of breakfast with a cheque for over £400 being presented to them as part of the fundraising on Friday evening.

The Ball raised over £130k and this was in no small way due to the extremely hard work put in by Pauline Cook of Fraser Media and Steve Cook of Empire HR who we also owe a big thanks to for arranging the Aberdeen New Media Breakfast.

We haven't set a date for the next New Media Breakfast yet but, we are looking to be back in Aberdeen for the next event around the end of Jaunary or beginning of February - watch this space for further details!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do you know your legal position with social media?

There are many issues surrounding New and Social Media that users must be aware of, particularly if you are adopting this as a medium to promote your business, your brand or, your products.

• Who actually owns the content posted on social network?
• What rights do your employees have to the contact base they create in your time?
• Astrotrurfing - the issues of transparency and disclosure
• Scrapping – gathering content from other sites for your own use
• Social networks in the workplace – employers and employees rights?

These are just some of the topics that need to be considered when employing social media. John MacKenzie, Partner with Pinsent Masons, will discussing these and other issues at this week’s New Media Breakfast (Friday 27th November at No.29). This promises to be an extremely informative presentation with lots of valuable advice for anyone using social media. I hope you can make it along, I’m sure you wont be disappointed.

We will also take a brief look at some effective viral video to show you how some consumer products and business to business users are utillising sites like YouTube to get their messages out. I hope you can make it along, I’m sure you wont be disappointed. You can book your place at the breakfast here or, call Fiona on 0141 616 3152 and she will add your name to the attendance list.

I look forward to seeing you there.

John is a Solicitor Advocate who deals with a range of commercial litigation matters. His principal expertise lies in intellectual property, and IT litigation. John also advises client on IP portfolio management, and particularly online disputes. John has dealt with many major claims before the Court of Session and appears before the higher courts on a regular basis. His clients have included UK and global banking, IT, energy, manufacturing and utility companies. He has also carried out extensive advocacy before the Inner House of the Court of Session (Court of Appeal equivalent).

John regularly lectures and writes on IP and dispute resolution issues and is the author of the book ‘Written Pleadings’. He sits on the Lord President's Consultative Committee on Commercial Actions.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breakfast Update and welcome Aberdeen!

We already have 60+ people attending the New Media Breakfast in Aberdeen on the 24th November but, as I mentioned in a recent Tweet, Pittodrie is a big venue so there's still time to book your place.

The next Glasgow breakfast is Friday 27th November. The main speaker for this and the next Edinburgh event is John MacKenzie, Partner at Pinsent Mason who will talk about IP and legal issues surrounding user generated content.

We will also take a short (light hearted) look at Viral Video and how organisations are using this to great advantage.

If you would like to book your place at any of these events please click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Speaker announcement for New Media Breakfast

We are pleased that John MacKenzie, Partner with legal firm Pinsent Masons is going to be the main speaker at our next new Media breakfast in Glasgow (27th November) and Edinburgh (4th December - TBC).

John will be talking about various legal aspects of user generated content in social media in what promises tobe a most interesting useful presentation.

John is a Solicitor Advocate who deals with a range of commercial litigation matters. His principal expertise lies in intellectual property, and IT litigation. John also advises client on IP portfolio management, and particularly online disputes. John has dealt with many major claims before the Court of Session and appears before the higher courts on a regular basis. His clients have included UK and global banking, IT, energy, manufacturing and utility companies. He has also carried out extensive advocacy before the Inner House of the Court of Session (Court of Appeal equivalent).

John regularly lectures and writes on IP and dispute resolution issues and is the author of the book ‘Written Pleadings’. He sits on the Lord President's Consultative Committee on Commercial Actions.

To book your place at the New Media Breakfast please click here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Media Breakfast Edinburgh 13th Novemmber

The next New Media Breakfast Edinburgh this Friday will look at Niche Networks and Building an Online Community. This will be an interesting (and sometime humorous) look at what companies are doing in New Media and how they are engaging in converstaion and building relationships with their customers.

If you would like to come along please reserve your place, you can get full details and booking information here

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Media Breakfast Glasgow - Notes

The New Media Breakfast today in Glasgow had over 90 people in attendance, very encouraging to see so many people at 8am on a late October morning, thank you all for coming and, for the overwhelming support for what we are trying to do in the emails we have received today.

I must say, it was a relief to get home in one piece - explaining the Little Miss Matched socks to the assembled audience was one thing, explaining it to a couple of paramedics may have been another!

As promised, I have listed below some of the links to the various books I mentioned this morning for those not technically savvy enough to have picked them up from Iain Murray's Twitter posts = thanks Iain for posting them and, for letting us know that Neville Hobson sent us a message.

I would also like to thank No.29 again for their continued support of the event.

Here we go...

SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION - This is a link to the blog where you can get details of the podcast and Mitch Joel's Book.
PURPLE COW - Link to the book on Amazon
SETH GODIN - Link to Seth's blog
THE CLUETRAIN MANIFESTO - Link to the Cluetrain web site
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BLOG - Link to the Hobson & Holtz report blog
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Link to the podcast on iTunes
SOCIAL MEDIA PODCAST - Link to the Podcastmatters Social Media Podcast
LITTLE MISS MATCHED SOCKS - Link to web site. Go on get with the craze!


The next New Media Breakfast Glasgow will be on the 27th November in No.29 and you can book your place now at http://www.tinyurl.com/newmediabreakfast

This breakfast is the morning after the Entrepreneurial Exchange Annual Awards Dinner which is normally a late night with lots of "networking" so, it's probably a good time to introduce guest speakers to the New Media Breakfast. We already have some volunteers but we are looking for more so that we can twin topics. The idea being that we will have two speaker per event with approximately 25 mins each including Q&A's. So, if you would like to take part in the future, or indeed on the 27th Nov, please email me (Gordon) with details of your area of expertise and availability.

We like to try and keep the content of Glasgow and Edinburgh the same each month so it would be good if guest speakers can take part in both events.

We are trying to do something positive - New Media Breakfast Glasgow 30/10/09

We've just got back from the 2nd Glasgow New Media Breakfast and what a great event. Over 90 people turned up and so far we've had lots of great feedback on Twitter, Facebook and via email, it's nice when people appreciate what you're trying to do and the effort you've put in to something.

There was one comment on Iain Hepburn's AudioBoo.fm, "Boo Media Breakfast" that I tried to respond to on the AudioBoo site but couldn't. I don't know if Iain doesn't allow comments or if the comment function is not working so, I thought I would post it here on our own blog. First, you should listen to Iain's AudioBoo comment.

Link to Iain M Hepburn's AudioBoo

Just listened to Iain's AudioBoo comment and, yet again I despair. This was always promoted as an event for business people who are beginners in New Media; nowhere have we ever claimed it to be anything else, Iain seems to be having a problem grasping this. Yes, experienced New Media people turn up and we're happy to have them but the primary intended audience has always been business people who want to find out about new media.

There were 91 people in attendance and everybody that myself and my team spoke to afterwards claim to have learned something from it, I'm happy with that.

There also seems to be some confusion about the Dubai network site. Craig did touch on the use of competitions as a "hook” that is exactly why we use them. The competitions help us get the word out about the network, if a member has joined there is a good chance other people he or she knows will also be interested because they are in his address book or, "community". At know time did I claim that 47,000 people were interested in going to Dubai. In fact, a very very small proportion of that 47k will accept the invitation to join but the ones that do will opt in because they are interested in that niche topic.

Reference to our clients is surely understandable; they're the ones we have live experience with therefore the most knowledgeable about.

Showing this morning's audience how to set up a Ning site would have been a total waste of their time, even if every single person in the room decided they must have one of these today, only a handful (if that) would actually do it themselves. However, I concede that I know more about the attendees and their positions than you or Craig so this is perhaps more obvious to me.

Iain, you also posted the following on Twitter, "Gordon White admits he's not even looked at the Kingsmill confessional campaign. How the hell can he cite it as a good example then”. Were you in the same room as me? I specifically said I couldn't comment on whether it was a good campaign or not because I hadn't looked at it. Kingsmill was raised to highlight an example of how companies are engaging with customers and I made that very clear. If you don't agree, I invite you to come to our office and watch the video footage of what I said.

How can encouraging people to engage on other people’s networks be considered spam? The whole point of these social networks is to engage.

In summary, I am happy that you comment via Audio Boo, your blog and Twitter, all I ask is that when you do so you consider everything in it's proper context. The people this is intended for are giving us great feedback and the numbers have risen from 72 at the first one to 91 at today's event, it might only be 20 at the next one, who knows and, who cares as long as the intended audience is learning something.

Lastly, the comments about "a lack of engagement with the audience", you didn't ask any questions or contribute to any part of the conversations that went on, is there a reason that you dont speak up at the time?

We are trying to create something good for a specific audience and we are fully aware that people will have their own opinion about our motives but, the fact is there is a lot of work has to go into the organisation and presentation, It would be nice if you at the very least acknowledged that fact.

Gordon White

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A few people have been asking about the topic for the next new media breakfasts in Glasgow and Edinburgh (Glasgow 30th October, Edinburgh 13 November), this has been more difficult to decide than you might think. There's a large cross section of people attending the events and we want to keep them as interesting as possible for everyone present.

For the next event we will featuring one main topic: Niche Networking and Developing Your Online Community.

We will look at examples of how some of our clients are using Niche Networks to engage and communicate with existing and potential customers. This will include B2B, B2C and Non Profit organisations. We will look at open and closed networks and the various ways that companies are growing their communities.

We will also try to feature some news items (suggestions are very welcome) and maybe throw in the odd light-hearted look at social media. There will of course be a Q&A session and some good old fashioned networking.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Media Breakfast Edinburgh

We launched the New Media Breakfast Edinburgh yesterday in Amicus Apple and all seemed to go well

On Wednesday Kyle and I went to Amicus Apple to check the AV set up and make final arrangements with Calum Mackinnon, owner of Amicus, I must admit we were worried about the choice of venue and whether it was going to work, it was certainly going to be intimate!

Thursday saw a late run of bookings which meant we had to add an additional presentation form 10am - 11am, Fiona got on the phone and managed to speak to around 15 people who were happy to switch to the later time. All in all, I think the layout and venue worked really well, a much different feel to the Glasgow Event which attracted over 70 people but, it was equally good.

I'll leave it to others to comment on the content however, thank you to Calum and his team - we got lots of positive feedback about the bacon rolls - and we were very well looked after. We are all looking forward to the next event on the 13th November.

You can also enter the Amicus Apple competition to win a Christmas Meal for you and 10 friends, go to the Amicus site for more details.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Social Media Podcast Edition 8 - Alastair Campbell

Former Head of Communications for the Labour Party, Alastair Campbell gives us his thoughts on using Social Media in politics and, his opinion of how prepared the current political parties in the U.K are for running a effective social media campaign. A huge thanks again to Alistair for taking the time out to record this interview. We also talk about the range of companies attending the New Media Breakfast in Glasgow. We are now also holding this event in Edinburgh.





New Media Breakfast


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm doing the ironing

Just ironing out a few of kinks ahead of the New Media Breakfast in Edinburgh

New Media Breakfast Edinburgh

We are now taking bookings for the New Media Breakfast in Edinburgh on Friday 9th October in Amicus Apple on Frederick Street. Please book early for this event because number are limited.

We are also now taking bookings for the next New Media Breakfast in Glasgow on 30th October in No.29 in Exchange Square at 8am.

Click here to book for Glasgow and Edinburgh events

Social Media Podcast with Alastair Campbell...and others

The new Social Media Podcast featuring an interview with Alastair Campbell is now on iTunes, you can listen to it here