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Social Intelligence – sexy or not?

Posted by John Horniblow on Apr 4, 2011 in General, marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing

About 18 months ago I read an article about the new types of jobs the world of digital communications and transactional services had created. What stood out to me was something it named as possibly the newest, and quote, “sexiest” job in the near future and that was the role of a digital communications data analyst.  I made mention of this in a presentation I was doing to a group of fledgling digital agency people on the importance, understanding and application of analytics. Not just the platform or tools, but the action of analysis and turning raw data into decisional data for planning and execution of digital marketing and communications activities. The audience seemed surprised that I insisted that job could be called “sexy”.

So how “sexy” can data be? As a digital marketer working before and through the advent of social media I had learnt that web analytics dashboards were my decisional instruments in triangulating metrics data and measuring the effects of digital media and CRM campaigns, search optimizations, tweaking website performance. I was adjusting and actioning responses to the communications and pushing for maximum campaign successes. The dashboards were also my tools for reporting the successes, holding my agencies to account and justifying increases in digital spends and re allocation of media budgets to activities of deeper audience engagement. I was, in fact, an iterative and precision driven campaign driver, watching and measuring the actions and responses of our digital communication activities day by day and adjusting them to get the best results. If I had an end goal in mind it was not only to maximize the efficiency of our spend in digital channels or prove the ROI of digital activities but more overtly to track and digitally prove a sales conversion in the “Path to Purchase” through digital channels.

I wouldn’t call myself a “digital communications data analyst” and I don’t necessarily believe the role of the data analyst is all that “sexy “ unless it’s clearly defined as, or, contributes as a decisional role. Frankly the “platform jockeys” get boring with their “ it does this, how cool is that”; the excited bells and whistles talk. Let’s face it, collating data for the sake of collating data, is boring and makes no sense at all unless it can be turned in actionable insights. Mapping it and graphing it only collates it into readable forms. While we are also beginning to see more creative interpretations of data, like information flight paths, and geo mapping the real foundation to the role is that intelligence is “sexy”. Intelligence gained through interpretation and, sometimes, the extrapolation of data points can be very “sexy”.

The opening up of the internet through the enabling tools of web 2.0 or the social web means consumers talk about, associate with, and can experience your brands and their communications across a whole range of touch points that have you as a brand have limited or no control over  (and be careful they can interact with you). Through a shifting of digital behaviours the consumer in this environment seems to be in an ever moving target of new social media communities and technologies. The sphere of analytics in recent years has widened to accommodate the shifts and began to include  “Listening” platforms or aggregators of the conversational consumer generated content and news sources. What interesting to me is that while the technographic behaviours change, the language the consumer uses and the way they converse remains consistent. If I was just doing Listening I would have to look hard into the mirror as ask myself is the action of just Listening enough to remain “sexy”?

Social Intelligence is superseding the thinking behind the practice of Listening. Today it’s the new realm of text analysis, semantic understanding and sentiment analysis of the actual data itself. I believe in the next step, which is to really harness the intelligence in this data not only for brands but also for companies, as a whole, and taking the “Voice of the Consumer” to the next level. It will be not only informing marketing and brand business decisions with insights but applying it to innovation, business investment decisions and strategy, PR and company image in crisis and reputation management and even market management by undertaking competitive intelligence reviews. As we know in today’s world digital communication is not only effecting marketing and communication but also touching many aspects of a company’s operations. Social Intelligence and its insights might cross the entire enterprise. Now that’s what I call “sexy”.

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The Future of Marketing

Posted by John Horniblow on Nov 9, 2010 in General, marketing 2.0, Online Media, Social Media Marketing

Reposted from http://blog.label.ch

as posted on 16th February 2010

A very interesting view from Pete Blackshaw, The Nielsen Company, on what to do and how to prepare for the future of online marketing. Responsiveness is key to success, but also being aware of what you need to respond to and planning for what the consumer might do next. Pete suggests “that there is a new accountability standard that has been put on the table by consumers and that may lead to better advertising” . He also cites the Nielsen research that suggests that “consumers trust each other more than they trust advertisers” , ” if advertisers can figure out a way of co creating with consumers, everybody might win”. Brands should be both reactive and proactive in planning for what consumers might do through better websites and better feedback loops.

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Tiziano Project wins 2010 New Media Award’s Web Site Awards Competition

Posted by John Horniblow on Nov 5, 2010 in marketing 2.0, Online Media, Social Media Marketing

At the last SM@RT event in Geneva , I presented The Tiziano Project via Jon Vidar, the Tiziano Projects Executive Director, to group of journalists, digital marketers , PR and communciations professional as a project that was breaking new ground in transmedia storytelling and social media from the humanitarian angle. The resulting piece of work the Tiziano project has produced just won an award in the New Media Awards web site awards competition.
I think its worth taking a look at. I do think that convergence media will take lots of forms in the next few years. In the realm of media and photojournalism we are already seeing some profound changes. The Tiziano Project is one of these new media empowerment projects that breaks down distance, misunderstanding and creates a vibrant local voice for Kurdistan.

The World I See | The Tiziano Project from The Tiziano Project on Vimeo.

The Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan presents the journalistic efforts and personal accounts of 12 Iraqi citizens living in the Kurdish north alongside the stories of their professional multimedia journalism mentors. This is a documentary effort by The Tiziano Project, which provides new media tools and training to community members in conflict, post-conflict and developing regions.

The purpose of The Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan is to provide you with a robust and complete understanding of life, culture and news in present-day Iraqi Kurdistan.

The 360.tizianoproject.org is a winner in the 2010 New Media Award’s Web Site Awards Competition. http://www.newmediaawards.org/websiteawards/2010/360tizianoproject.html

The Tiziano Project | 360°- http://360.tizianoproject.org

To find out more about the Tiziano organization click here: http://www.tizianoproject.org

This blog is published and maintained by John Horniblow AKA BladeDigital ™ : On the Cutting Edge

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SM@RT- The fourth social media roundtable

Posted by John Horniblow on Oct 27, 2010 in General, marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing

SM@RT , the social media roundtable conceived and put together by John Horniblow, digital convergence and  marketing 2.0 expert, while working at LABEL in Geneva  recently hosted its fourth event in partnership with the US Mission to UN. Among the guests were a great number of Geneva-based international organizations’ representatives, some members of the Geneva Press corps as well as several participants  from the  Swiss based watch and food industries , P&G, and HP. The days preceding started with Dr Matthew Mc Dougall, CEO of Sinotech,  who explained to SM@RT’s participants the status and uptake of social media and avenues for digital marketing and ecommerce in China.

craig duncan UNISDR

The afternoon was deeply imprinted by the humanitarian touch with a talk about the use of social media for humanitarian purposes with the intervention of UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) Craig Duncan and UNHCR Alexandra Eurdolian, and the introduction to two humanitarian projects, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. With one foot in Iraq, the Tiziano Project aims at providing “community members in conflict, post-conflict and underreported regions with the equipement, training and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives. The World I See | The Tiziano Project from Grant Slater on Vimeo. Jon Vidar, executive director of the Tiziano Project, made a live intervention from Chicago to introduce the Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan, which promotes « the journalistic efforts and personal accounts of Iraqi citizens living in the Kurdish north alongside the stories of their professional multimedia journalism mentors. The goal of this initiative is to enable the rest of the world to better understand and apprehend more completely the life, culture and news in present-day’s Iraki Kurdistan. This Is Iraq | The Tiziano Project from Grant Slater on Vimeo. SM@RT’s participants were deeply interested and impressed by the quality of the reports and the originality of the project. Some were then overwhelmed by the presentation of Skateistan by Oliver Percovich, the exsecutive director of this Afghanistan-based organization. John Horniblow SM@RT Skateistan is a non-governmental organization, which aims at bringing young Afghans, boys and girls, from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education and personal empowerment through skateboard. Skateistan connects students with instructors who will help them develop their skills not only in skateboarding but also in languages, arts, information technology, civic responsibility, etc. Students choose for themselves what they wish to learn.
John Horniblow talks via video conference to Oliver Percovich in Kabul
The project attracted a lot of sympathy and a dozen schools and skateboard associations around the world (Australia, Germany, United States, UAE, Peru, UK and Switzerland) became partners. Finally SM@RT concluded with an animated discussion between the participants and Chris Hoofnagle, from the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at UC Berkeley, on privacy in a networked world.

This blog is published and maintained by John Horniblow AKA BladeDigital ™ : On the Cutting Edge

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BORN HIV FREE campaign

Posted by hivfree on May 19, 2010 in General, marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing

born hiv free

There is this great campaign being launched as I’m writing, and I thought you’d want to know about it.

But knowing is not enough. They need your support to be able to get governments involved. Read, sign the petition, share (on Facebook, Twitter), and ask your friends to share too. Please.

Born HIV Free

We need millions of people to make their voices heard. To reach them we will ask you to spread the message. How many online friends, fans and followers do you have? 100? 500? 10,000? Use ‘suggest to friends’ on the left of this page and invite your friends to join. Let them all know about the campaign. Who wouldn’t want to do their part to ensure a AIDS-free generation?

Campaign resources:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bornhivfree
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bornhivfree
YouTube: www.youtube.com/bornhivfree
Causes Petition: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/466

Supporting campaign resources from RED
The Lazarus Effect – Red & HBO
http://www.youtube.com/joinred#p/a/u/0/QqacszjHocM

The Lazarus Effect
Bono and Alek Wek on the RED carpet at the launch of the Lazarus Effect
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0t2vj_SJpc

And now, the official press release for those who want more. (Contact details at the end)

What is it?

The BORN HIV FREE campaign has been created to mobilize public support for the work of The Global Fund and for a world where no child is born with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) by 2015. Originated and supported by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Global Fund Ambassador, this is the largest ever digital media campaign of its kind. At the core of the campaign is a series of entertaining films and events intended to inspire people to sign up online in support of The Global Fund’s mission.

Transmission of HIV from mothers to their children has nearly been eliminated in Europe, North America and other industrialized parts of the world. In contrast, in developing countries, 430,000 children are born with HIV every year – that is well over 1,000 every day. The campaign’s main message is that “We can put a stop to this in the next five years. A world where all children are BORN HIV FREE is now possible”.

Launched on 19 May 2010, in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. the campaign uses a set of innovative and imaginative animated films across digital and traditional media platforms to spread awareness about the opportunity the world has to ensure a virtually HIV-free generation by 2015 and to generate support for this goal – and the Global Fund’s wider mission of fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The campaign appeals to all viewers to show their support by signing their name on the campaign’s “virtual wall of support”.

The campaign will run until October 2010.

Why is The Global Fund promoting this?

This year the Global Fund is requesting its donors to pledge contributions for the next three years. It has estimated a financial demand for up to US$20 billion for these three years. The Global Fund currently channels nearly a quarter of all international resources to fight AIDS, but more than half of the resources to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to children, as well as more than half of the people receiving AIDS treatment around the world. In addition, the institution channels around two thirds of the resources invested against tuberculosis and malaria.

By focusing on a world where virtually all children can be BORN HIV FREE, the campaign is drawing attention to one of the many ambitious goals the world can achieve if it continues to increase investments in global health. By signing up on the “virtual wall of support”, people can signal to their country’s government that they approve of the use of public resources to fight these global pandemics and to achieve ambitious global goals, such as a virtually HIV-free generation.

Given that The Global Fund relies predominantly on public funding for its resource needs, the campaign is not a direct fund-raising campaign and does not ask individuals to contribute money. It simply asks people – by the simple act of clicking a button – to register their support for BORN HIV FREE and for the work of The Global Fund.

The Global Fund will publicize the levels of interest, awareness and support as the campaign progresses.

How has the campaign come about?

The campaign was conceived by Julien Civange at the request of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and co-produced with The Global Fund. The campaign films were produced by Oscar-winning production company H5, as well as by Passion Paris, TWA/MAP and NEXUS Productions, focusing on the promise of life fulfilled for children who are protected from HIV. The animations will be distributed through various social and mass media platforms and be supplemented with a film by the award-winning Swedish animator Jonas Odell showcasing the tremendous advances made in the fight against the three diseases since the inception of The Global Fund in 2002. The campaign web site was designed and developed by red design, and the YouTube channel was developed by type3.

A number of official partners have joined together to support this cause: Google, YouTube, MSN, Orange and JC Decaux.

Why launch the campaign now?

On 5 October 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will chair a meeting of donor countries in New York where they will pledge financial support to The Global Fund for the next three years (2011-2013) to fight the three diseases. Given the Global Fund’s large share of global financing for the fight against the three pandemics, the level of financing secured will largely determine whether the battle to virtually eliminate mother to child transmission of the virus by 2015 – as well as other targets, such as a end to deaths from malaria and dramatic reductions in the burden of tuberculosis – will be won or lost.

A majority of The Global Fund’s financial resources come from public sources. The United States is the single largest donor and of the top 16 government donors, twelve are from Europe. Japan, Canada and Australia are the other major donors.

Strong support from the public is needed to enable donor countries’ leaders to continue increased investments in The Global Fund so that a HIV-free generation can become a reality.

For more details on The Global Fund’s resource needs click: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/resources/?lang=en

What is The Global Fund?

The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since its creation in 2002, The Global Fund has become the main source of finance for programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 19.3 billion for more than 572 programs in 144 countries. It provides a quarter of all international financing for AIDS globally, two-thirds for tuberculosis and three quarters for malaria. For more on the Global Fund see www.theglobalfund.org

What is the link between Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and the Global Fund?

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy became a Global Ambassador for the Global Fund for the Protection of Women and Children Against AIDS in December 2008. At the announcement of her ambassadorship, she declared that one of the ways she wanted to act as an ambassador was to engage the world of art, culture, fashion and entertainment for the cause of ensuring that virtually all children are BORN HIV FREE. The campaign grew out of this commitment.

For more information contact:

Andrew Hurst – Media Relations Manager
Office: +41 58 791 16 72
Mobile: +41 79 561 68 07
Email: andrew.hurst@theglobalfund.org

For more information visit: www.bornhivfree.org
Videos can be downloaded from: www.youtube.com/bornhivfree

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Facebook’s bid to rule the web as it turns more social

Posted by John Horniblow on Apr 22, 2010 in marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing


I think this article is a must read – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8590306.stm
At the F8 conference in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a number of products he says are aimed at putting users and their friends at the “centre of the web”. It will surely work on the further unseating of Google being the site or service synonymous with internet usage and the webs most used or visited service.

“One of the points Mr Zuckerberg was making was that the web has become a lot less anonymous and Facebook is definitely positioning itself as wanting to be the owner of that information,” said Maya Baratz of the Huffington Post. (Given Facebook’s growing and highly influential size the Huffington Post online publication has dedicated a whole section of its site to news surrounding Facebook which you can read by clicking here.)

Zuckerberg told developers at the f8 conference that the experience will mean a more personalized, social, smarter Web. As quoted from an another article on Huffington Post “Facebook is spreading its wings to the broader Web with new tools that will allow users to see personalized versions of websites they visit elsewhere.

The move could change the way people experience the online world, though it could come with deeper privacy implications. By accessing Facebook’s tools, websites will be able to customize the experience based on the list of friends, favorite bands and other things users have shared on their Facebook profiles.


“The Web is at a really important turning point now,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the F8 conference for Web and software developers in San Francisco. “Most things aren’t social and they don’t use your real identity. This is really starting to change.”

In its first steps Facebook has changed the semantics surrounding fans “people who like this” – has replaced the former term of “fans.” Facebook has added these new features to its site,
Facebook Like Button

If you haven’t noticed these changes in the past few days take look.

In conjunction with this step it also launched the concept of what it calls Community pages. The concept of Community pages is to revamp users’ profiles to emphasize the pages for bands, books and businesses that users have become fans of. Facebook has started prompting users to essentially combine the two ( a users “Faned” page , and their profile page ) So if you listed The Clash in the “favorite music” section of your profile, Facebook will now ask you to join his page, if you haven’t become a fan of it already.

Facebook has also announced its working to eliminate the FB Connect ‘brand and replacing it with OAUTH – OAuth (Open Authorization) is an open standard that allows users to share their private resources (e.g. photos, videos, contact lists) stored on one site with another site without having to hand out their username and password.

Its also working on projects such as social plugins whch they call GDP (granular data permissions) and continuing to work on user privacy settings.
Zuckerberg said Facebook made sure that its new tools don’t intrude on their privacy. Users’ preferences won’t be logged unless they choose to press the “like” button on websites. If anything, Zuckerberg expects the “like” tools to give people more control over what they want to share with their online entourages.

If users embrace it, Facebook could gain valuable insights that could help it sell more advertising, potentially rivaling online ad leader Google Inc., which typically tailors ads based on keywords in search terms and Web content.

“If I were Google I would be really scared because Facebook might end up with a lot more intelligence than them,” said Alain Chuard, Founder of social marketing firm Wildfire. “Google is just an algorithm, but Facebook could rule the Web.”

So there’s obviously and lot more planned for the near future as the battle for social dominance increases. I wonder what Google will do now since its Buzz launch looks like a knee jerk re action to Facebook’s growing importance and it incremental loses in market share of audience time and visitation online?

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Facebook and SEO

Posted by John Horniblow on Apr 21, 2010 in marketing 2.0, search, Social Media Marketing


Reposted from http://blog.label.ch LABEL Communications

In terms of SEO Facebook has become one of, if not, the largest influencer in organic search today. This is something not to ignore for any SEO oriented marketer or communicator. Its very easy to work out what is driving this .. the sheer size of its user numbers pages and content links have driven it to prominence.

  • 400 M registered users with 200 M logging in each day
  • More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month

# source Facebook statistics

Here is a simple list of tactical steps on how to benefit from using Facebook’s SEO advantage (adapted from All About Facebook)

1. Start with a good URL
URLs are critical in search engine optimization. Google (and other search engines) use as much information as possible to determine the relevance of a particular page for a given search. Currently Facebook enables those pages with over 100 fans to get a vanity URL. A vanity URL is the short Facebook URL that helps people easily access your page.

2. Configure Your Default Tab or “Landing Page”
Ensure your landing page contains relevant text. You can set the default tab by clicking the “Settings” link on your Facebook Page and then selecting the tab you’d like to have displayed by default. You can create this page using Facebook’s endemic markup FBML

3. Generate Links To Your Page
If you are looking to drive traffic to your website for organic search the most important variable is incoming links. The number of links, the influence or ranking of the referer and the relevance in content. An easy way to boost your Facebook page rankings is by linking to your page from your existing website. Additionally, any way you can get links from other sites will help increase your rankings. On their own, Facebook Pages rank highly, a little additional work will improve this significantly.

4. Link To Other Relevant Pages
Linking to relevant content helps boost your ranking. Google takes into account the relevance of pages you are linking to when calculating the relevance of any given page. Try linking to a few relevant sites like your blog or website content . You’ll not only help out your readers but increase your overall Google rank.

5. Use Facebook For Inbound Links To Your Company Website
One of the most important components of search engine optimization is generating inbound links. Generating a link from your Facebook page is extremely valuable. Take advantage of landing pages and the information tab to link back to your company’s , or brand’s website.

6. Select A Good Name For Your Facebook Page
The name of your Facebook Page is extremely important. Name the title after your company or whatever phrase will be most effective for fans that are searching for you.
7. Post Keyword Rich Content in the “Info” tab in the page
The Info tab in the navigation bar on your Facebook Page is one of the few areas on your page which is accessible to search engines. It’s also relatively high up in the page HTML which means that search engines will give the text priority over text that’s further down the page. Take the opportunity to ensure that in the Information editing box for yoru fan page you use both links and relevant keyword, rich content. The detailed information can be just that, very detailed.

This blog is published and maintained by John Horniblow AKA BladeDigital ™ : On the Cutting Edge

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Monkeys with Typewriters – Myths and realities of social media at work – A Review

Posted by John Horniblow on Mar 24, 2010 in General, marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing


Monkeys with Typewriters – Myths and realities of social media at work.

There seems to be a lot of books that are be published about social media, the new digital marketing paradigm, and they are propagating as fast that the exponential growth of social media and networking. Most are, unfortunately, the non-descript how to do, or dummies guide to social media or how to use particular tool or a book rushed to print on hype. For the most part these serve their purpose but will be outdated by the time they publish or contain nothing more that are dry set of repetitive studies presented as a mind numbing, blunt string of wide eyed testimonies that say the “times are a changing”. I must say, save the print and spare me the drudgery please. Then I also must concede, I am not the target audience or buyer of such books.

Jemima Gibbons recently published book, Monkeys with Typewriters is quite different to those aforementioned book types. Its a new and refreshing read, a sparkling gem in a field of proliferating drudgery of “read this now and it will change your life” books. It also poignantly marks the period we are experiencing. Read more…

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The worldwide status of Social Networks – Notes and Statistics on the Internationalisation of Social Media

Posted by John Horniblow on Feb 16, 2010 in General, marketing 2.0, Online Media, Social Media Marketing, User experience

written for  http://blog.label.ch

The most important reason for the meteoric growth of Social Networks is something called “The Network Effect”. This equates to a tipping point when the value of a communications network to its users rises exponentially with the number of people connected to it. In the past year, we have witnessed one such rising star, Facebook ( but it begs the question is it the only one? ). It took 5 years for Facebook to reach 150 million users and then a further 8 months to double that number. Today, according to Facebook Statistics, it has 400 million users. In 2009 we saw Facebook become almost ubiquitous in every conversation swirling around Social Media and social networks. It was the year in which Facebook exploded into a global phenomena, dominating the Social Networking market worldwide as it became an international social network giant. While its dominated the english speaking press and displaced MySpace its not the only Social Network in the world.

To believe that Facebook or english speaking social networks are the only “players in Social networks” worldwide would be nothing short of one sided owed to very narrow perspective of the hyper connected world we live in. According to Wikipedia, there are some 1.5 billion members worldwide. Across the world there a number of culturally, language, local and regionally driven social networks , that both singularly and accumulatively pose the question whether Facebook can dominate the world in Social Networking. As startling as it is, the ” Facebook Network Effect” is not only a Facebook phenomena and its also occurring across other Social Networks in the world , albeit with different speeds.

Read more…

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Defining A Dialogue Idea for Relationship and Social Marketing

Posted by John Horniblow on Oct 16, 2009 in General, marketing 2.0, Social Media Marketing

Reposted from http://blog.label.ch

As the digital shift continues to move marketing communications to more direct and dialogue driven channels companies should adopt a simple methodology in identifying what will work for them and their consumers. The dialogue idea is as unifying concept that aligns relationship or socially driven programs with other communications as a part of an integrated marketing approach. As more participatory channels for consumers are developed the need to establish consistent, non-campaign driven dialogue points becomes critical in the marketing mix. These are not just limited to the direct channels, as we know them; (CRM, DM, email, websites), but really extend across any personal contact that can be associated to the “ brand experience”; customer and consumer services, in store demonstrations, events etc.

A real world experience with a brand is only mirrored in the participatory platforms online and this mirroring reflects the sentiments it arouses in real world conversations. Read more…

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