Charity commercials are a mass debatable subject at the best of times, but a recent semi-conjunction of adverts from three of the major players in the Big C market has given us this golden opportunity to compare and contrast…
It’s been coming for a long time.
All the signs have been there.
An almost fanatical focus on emotionless numbers. The raw data. The money.
Gradually human beings were replaced with a new idol. This rabble, who did most of the working and paying and living and dying in the community, simply weren’t ‘high value’ enough. Everything was now about ‘influence’, and money talks where influence is concerned.
Today saw the final battle in what has been a protracted war between those who seek to make the world a better place and them… Those who see the world as a series of datum, as a means to sell. And it seems they have won.
Continue reading 14.02.2013 – The day Twitter died
For most of us, Christmas is a time for giving. But for a small minority whose selfish actions make us all a little smaller, it is a time to take. And not simply take from those who perhaps enjoy too much, but from those who have very little to begin with. It is these individuals who broke into a charities headquarters during the night and stole Christmas from the struggling families of Merton.
There is often a feeling that the Third Sector is inexorably doomed to chase the tail of the Private Sector when it comes to online innovation and best practice, but my recent conference experience and industry gut feeling tell me that when it comes to social media the worm has turned.
One of the key factors in this observation was the latest who’s who in social, the Social Brands 100. This year’s list contained an unprecedented number of charities (almost 25% of the Top 100) and the research undertaken led the custodians of this report to state that; “It was long thought that content was king. This was replaced by the mantra that curation is king. But our findings suggest a new idiom… Caring is King”
Charities are built upon caring and it is this foundation that is leading to the successes being seen within social media. Traditional business techniques are failing in the social world and after years of trying it seems that the Private Sector is finally waking up to this new way of working.
When people ask me about Twitter and say “What’s the point?”, I always reply with one word… Serendipity
Never has anything come along that has provided people with so many “happy accidents”. I have spoken about many of these pleasant surprises myself and met countless others who have experienced similar, but these events occur exactly how they are named.
These are not things that you can plan or schedule. Serendipity can’t be engineered. It is its very spontaneity that makes it so special.
This is the essence of Twitter.
It is all of human life, both good and bad. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry. It can tell you what someone has had for breakfast and then go off and change the very world in which we live.
Oh, and it can also solve a celebrities hat problem…
A couple of weeks ago, a full Marie Curie Cancer Care collection box was taken from The Village Café in Stanstead Abbotts High Street, leaving owner Jill Lovegrove distraught.
Thankfully these sort of events that erode your faith in humanity are not commonplace, despite what the media might tell you, and are simply a sad reminder that not everyone has a working moral compass.
This could well have been all that was ever heard about this particular incident, a few short paragraphs in a local newspaper. But one local resident decided that something needed to be done, and so began #stolencharitybox.
Steve Berry (@unloveablesteve) turned to the people that he knew just wouldn’t stand for this sort of thing and encouraged them to chuck in whatever they could afford to replace the £200 that had been stolen.
I’m a huge believer in Twitter’s ability to be a force for good in this world, but I have not previously been impressed by some of the means in which this mantra has been publicised. As I have spoke about before – Can hope be delivered in 140 characters? – I still remain unconvinced by the official voice of Twitter, @Hope140, and was not expecting much from Claire’s book.
I was lucky enough to receive an early digital copy of ‘Twitter for Good’ and upon first reading was seriously unimpressed. I once again felt that here was some celebrity charlatan who was making money by simply telling people what time it was. Everything within the book seemed to me to be stating the blindingly obvious or telling you how something should be done and then suggesting that it doesn’t always have to be that way. This was everything that I disliked about the social media industry.
Part of my unwritten agreement upon receipt of the digital copy of the book was to post a review and I was struggling with my positivity. I didn’t want to be someone who writes snide, negative reviews to hopefully score points off the author yet I didn’t want to welch on the deal.
I decided to re-read the book, just to be sure.
It was during this second reading that I realised where the problem truly lay… it was within me. I was judging this book by the usefulness it had for me, but I have been doing this social stuff for a long time. I’m certainly not going to suggest that I am an expert or ‘guru’ and I know that I have always suffered from this delusion that everyone I meet knows exactly the same things that I do.
For me, the book was everything that swirls around inside my head, but what Claire has expertly done is to put these random thoughts and feelings into print. She has structured what was previously unstructured and provided those who are just starting out on their Twitter journey with a massive head start.
I’m still not 100% in agreement with everything that is suggested in the book, no surprise there, but would definitely feel confident suggesting it to a colleague or friend who is looking for help on how to start making Twitter work for them.
To end this rambling review I’d like to give you what I consider to be THE best advice for how to use Twitter. It comes from a book that was written 75 years ago and to my mind remains the archetypal instruction manual on Twitter and social networking:
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
3. Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Talk in terms of the other man’s interest.
6. Make people feel important, and do it sincerely.
Thank you Dale Carnegie 🙂
Firstly I’d like to say thank you to everyone (some of whom I met today) who retweeted, liked and commented on yesterdays post. I’d also like to extend a special hello to Shirley Ayres, CEO of Aspire Knowledge and Conference Organiser, who caught me before I left today to exchange a few words*
So, day 2. Another sweaty trip to Waterloo, although I’m pretty sure I only lost a pint this time, and pleasant walk along the South Bank. No navigation issues today, but I was disappointed to have missed the bacon butties due to my inability to catch the early train.
I made my way to the tea and coffee room for some pre-conference fuel and was immediately pounced upon by the lovely Tamasine from the National Trust, who, unfortunately for her, was to become my sounding board throughout the entire day. We discussed yesterday’s sessions and our thoughts on social media generally as we made our way to today’s Welcome Address.
Today I found myself taking the sweat express to London Waterloo for day 1 of the Third Sector Digital Communications & Social Media Convention 2011.
After a pleasant walk down the South Bank to Blackfriar’s Bridge and a little bit of chaotic navigation I found my way to the Mermaid Conference Centre for the start of this two day exploration of the dark arts of social networking for the non-profit.
First impressions were good, I very quickly bumped into Rob Dyson from Whizzkids and we discussed how the event seemed very professional and grown-up. Today’s chair was veteran journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow, whose opening remarks were most entertaining. He ran the mornings proceedings at a swift pace and kept the discussions moving, albeit with a hint of cynicism, but as a HUGE fan of Twitter he gets my forgiveness.
So Facebook will soon be rolling out their new layout for Pages as well and on the face of it, everything looks good.
Design is much cleaner and feels more intuitive, the top row of photographs definitely give it a more visual appeal and, finally, as a Page admin you can travel forth and engage amongst the profiles of others and comment as the voice of the brand. Although as Spiderman mused, “With great power comes great responsibility”.