Category Archives: Internet

Internet Addictive Disorder: Can you bear to disconnect?

Look around you.  Are you in a public place?  If you’re reading this and there are folks around you, what are they doing?  Are they chatting to their friends, are they reading a book?  or are they hunched over their digital device being ‘productive’ on their way to work?

Chances are, if you’re on a train, bus, or other communal place, able to receive 3G or Wi-Fi, then folks will be connected to their devices like a drowning man hangs on to a lifebelt. We depend on our connectivity, and heck we miss it when it’s not available whenever we want it to be.  Are we all addicted to the Internet, to being connected, to being online?

You might be addicted to the internet, but don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Between 5% and 10% of Web surfers suffer a Web dependency and it can alter the way your brain is wired.  It has been also  theorised that these changes reflect learning-type cognitive optimizations for using computers more efficiently, but also impaired short-term memory and decision-making abilities.  Does all of this IT make you happy?

The Advanced workplace blog speculates we’re addicted to, and in fact enslaved by our mobile devices

But it’s possible to take a break from your PC, a holiday without your phone.  It’s possible to manage without connectivity for a few days.  Try to step away from your computer.  The Internet will still be here when you return Smile



Image credit: Xkcd

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

150 billion: That’s how much we value the Internet

There’s some interesting data from Mckinsey about the value of the Internet and the activities we use the web for.  Have a look at the graphic below which depicts services that we’d pay for that are currently free to use.

Image source: Ross Dawson

We pay 30 billion for online services and to avoid pop ups and web clutter – McKinsey estimates that we’d pay another 20billion 

So that leaves about 100 billion ‘surplus’ value which is categorised across the different channels.  Many consumers couldn’t live without email – and it’s the lifeblood of some companies that haven’t fully embraced collaborative solutions internally.

We’d be miserable without the internet and spend far too much time on there… but with a mind boggling value of 100billion as a surplus, these channels will be incredibly attractive to advertisers and others who would like a piece of that projected revenue…

Lets see what they come up with… Google + perhaps? Smile

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Time lapse social tourism

This is a visually stunning wonderful time lapse video – and its a very compelling way to get visitors to visit your location.  Have a look at this time lapse video of New York, filmed over a 6 week period.


Josh Owens from Mindrelic shot these time lapse images, staying in many different hotel rooms to get a great perspective of the city.  He credits all of the hotels that he stays in too, and lists the gear set up that he used.

Its a simple enough way of marketing his own services, but an incredibly difficult thing to do something like this well.  Josh has created something visually stunning and effective and he has created a video that really captures the essence of Manhattan.   Brands with huge budgets would struggle to create something as simple or as effective for their budget.

I hope Josh goes on to capture time lapse images of cities in the same way.  The tourism industry would get a much needed boost from visitors wanting to experience the pulse of the city for themselves.  As I look out at the lights of the Las Vegas strip, I can’t help wondering what an amazing and visually impressive project it would be if it was repeated here…

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


From Tissues to ‘ Wedgehogs’: The role of social media in innovation start-ups

Image credit: Flickr


We live in a connected world. The information superhighway brings information to our fingertips in many different ways across many different devices and form factors.

We have access to the worldwide knowledge economy.

We connect to data stored remotely on servers – who knows where?

We gather knowledge, do product research and buy goods online.

This knowledge repository and increasingly fast access speeds deliver data and information across the connected world. Anyone with an internet connection, an internet presence and time to invest in communications, can succeed in the global market.

Small companies can broadcast their message using free social media tools. The people powered social network can propagate and distribute your business idea further than you could do on your own. You can benefit from the ‘collective sum of human knowledge’ to receive innovative ideas which could take your business in a completely new direction. This community can also highlight potential deficiencies in your idea which you may not have noticed this in your desire to get to market.

You might also discover a new business opportunity appears seemingly out of nowhere.

Kleenex tissues were originally designed to be used in gas mask filters during the First World War, as cotton was needed in hospitals for dressing wounds. This tissue was then marketed as an effective tissue for removing cold cream and makeup. In the late 1920’s a researcher tried to persuade the company to market the tissue as a disposable handkerchief for colds.

This innovative new use for a product took over 10 years to evolve. How long would it take today?

Crowdsourcing – the use of outsourcing a set of tasks to an undefined number of people in a community (a ‘crowd’) would have taken much less time to suggest a new use for the facial tissue. How long would this crowd take to help you with your product design, development, marketing and advertising?

There are several forums for start-ups and Entrepreneurs that use the same principle of crowdsourcing to solicit advice on design and business ideas. These forums use the same social principle as most other social media platforms. Typically a user asks for information or advice and the community responds with solutions or signposts to other resources to use. Facebook have recently introduced ‘Questions’, an opportunity to poll the Facebook community for input. Marks and Spencer in the UK recently polled their Facebook Fans to create a new name for a hedgehog shaped doorstop. Over 2500 people responded to the poll, and the ‘Wedgehog’ was created.

Using the community for input to your product can bring great benefits to your business. The community could potentially spread your message across their communities and beyond.

Social media enables you to make strong business connections that you can use to enhance your business and strengthen your social commerce ties. And this is the medium that enables effective information flow. You need to invest the time to communicate your business idea in a compelling and innovative way to capture the imagination of the community and watch it propagate.


Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Intel’s Museum of me


Wow.  This is an amazing visualisation using graphics to put together your virtual life in a museum type setting.  All you do is connect it to Facebook.  It captures information about your friends, and your status updates them and mounts them in a gallery type setting.


Information from Status updates, profile images and pictures that you have uploaded are displayed as in an art gallery, then assembled by robots


to make a montage of your profile picture.  Inspiring


We are but the sum of our relationships with our friends.  How true.

Have a play at the Museum of me.  More than once Smile


Strategic Value of Social Media workshop


Image credit: flickr

I’m delivering a strategic workshop in London showing you how to get your social media strategy up and running and aligned with your business.   So many social media courses focus on the tools used and focus very much on the how to.  I’m going to look at the evolution of Web 2.0 and talk about why your strategy is so important to your business. 

This course will benefit decision makers in your organisation who want to implement social media correctly throughout the business – avoiding the pitfalls and challenges that companies without a strategy have encountered.

This is an intensive session that incorporates subjects covered in my strategy and architecture workshops for clients.  It will give you comprehensive guidance on the steps you need to take to get things right first time.


This session is a one day workshop in Uxbridge and the session price includes a signed copy of my book for every attendee.  Here are the session details:


The Strategic Value of Social Media: Changing the face of customer and partner connections  

Social media is not a fad. This is not something that will pass you or your company by. Social media has far reaching effects that will permeate into every business, reaching all job roles. It is worldwide and pervasive. The new way of communicating will not go away. So what are you doing about it? We will discuss strategic practices from leading companies, review what other company leaders in B2B and B2C are doing today to integrate community marketing and social media to engage, share and drive conversations with customers and partners online. You will gain insights on how to leverage community, engagement, marketing and using social components to drive your marketing efforts to capture mindshare and increase customer satisfaction. We will start to define your outline implementation plan to include advocates and community influencers and consider cross team roles and responsibilities to execute your strategy.

The workshop will cover:

  • How to use social networking as a business enabler to generate business impact
  • Defining your social community strategy and engagement framework
  • Security and privacy,
  • Policies and guidelines
  • Social commerce and Social CRM Issues, reputation management and crisis management
  • Tools and strategies to amplify your brand

Benefits of attending
This workshop will help you achieve your goals using social media and Web 2.0 to find and engage with customers, identify your influencers and gain advocates for your brand. You learn how to improve satisfaction and perception about your brand and create a vibrant community using Social Media to amplify your message and improve the quality of your connection to your customers.

I’m only running a couple of sessions of this class, so I’d urge you to take advantage of this opportunity and leave with a workable and effective framework for your strategy and a social action plan for your business.


Bing and Google and their social search additions

There’s been some interesting social news from both Bing and Google recently…

Bing have been looking at Facebook and have discovered that 90% of people look for advice from their family and friends and this friend effect heavily influences our purchasing decisions.  (I see this lots of times when women are talking to me about shoes and handbags).  They call it the Friend effect and they’ve incorporated this into social searches – to make your searches more relevant.  Here’s an example I’ve just snipped.  You need to log into Facebook on one tab and change your location in Bing to United States to get this feature by the way. 


As your friends like links, then they will appear on your bing results page.


Google on the other hand, have released their social search results globally.  I’ve just had a quick look at recent Tweets sharing links from my stream and entered them into Google.  Here are the results shown on Google …


whereas Bing have a Twitter stream constantly updating – and results from everyone discussing the Tornado – again from the site – where my preferences are set to be United States.  This is the live stream from the News tab



Googles social results are relevant to you when you sign in to your Google account, with Bing, you can either sign in – or connect to yor Facebook account.  Both will add a great dimension to your search results and give you great personalisation.

Come on Bing – roll this out globally – and Google – let me sign in with Facebook.  Why should I HAVE to use my google account.  OAuth is ok you know… Smile 


Microsoft acquisitions mapped London Tube style

I love this.  A really detailed graphic showing all of Microsoft’s acquisitions – in an easy to read layout. Created by Robin at Ripe tungi and called out by Techmash Companies come and they go.  They get absorbed by other companies who grow and grow as a result.  I remember several of these names, now long gone, rebranded or dropped from product development.


Zoom in to get a closer look – pdf version here.  You can also see the cost of each acquisition along the way. They seemed rather busy in 1999 when they started preparing for their mobile offering and again in 2000 when they bought into a lot of communications companies. 

There’s a key at the bottom of the map – in the pdf version of the map – which is much easier to read,  showing how much each of these offerings has cost Microsoft.

Nice one Robin Smile


The pulse in your virtual living room

This is an amazing video from TED  Deb Roy talks about how his son learns to speak words and the evolution of the words. For example, he’s recorded every instance of his son learning to say ‘water’ from a very basic Ga Ga.

Deb takes us on a virtual tour of his home – capturing huge amounts of data, capturing infant development.  But he discovers things that show you how online social interaction actually works – and WHY it works.. He looks at social hotspots occur and how the development of words occurs in these hotspots.

What is really fascinating about the video however is how closely it matches social media trends.  As each word is used it is mapped onto a distinct time and place (aka Location based services).   It is tagged and mapped with activities (folksonomies).   In certain locations like the kitchen area, the term water is used more often than in other places (aka hashtags).  Popular words and phrases are used in different locations of the house.  The social communications landscape starts to occur.

This huge amount of data gathered, then allows predictions where new words are lively to be used and will occur.  Think of this as the social media experts – the trendsetters and the hubs who drive our thinking in the way that social media works and is used in our interaction with others.  The language that connects events to words, can then be translated into the world of social interaction e.g TV signals, serials and shows.  You can easily get comments about TV shows on Twitter as folks discuss what is happening.

Suddenly you have huge amounts of data to play with about what people think about TV shows.  This relationships between seemingly random data on the Internet can actually be correlated with the data collected from the TV show. Commentary is linked to content on TV. The landscape of words used in the hashtags can drive the context of what’s actually being used to describe what is being watched.  This allows you to work out engagement measurements and create the social graph to connect them on seemingly unrelated sources.  All linked to content.  Links can be made from the social graph and content on TV.  Paths can be traced, comments made and the relationship between the content originator and its place in the entire social graph.  You can then get, as Deb says, a virtual living room.

How many times do you see people using twitter to talk about what’s on TV with their virtual friends.  Each comment made on Twitter connects the mass media to social media and connect with the connections in your virtual living room.  Capturing these conversations gives you a real pulse of what is happening in real time and the trends of these social structures.  The way that our language is constructed and the way that we interact in the social world.  A really amazing video from the guys at TED…

Which sites do you visit the most?

Some interesting stats here from Comscore who have just released their tables showing which country spends the most time on the  Internet.  The UK, although it doesn’t have the most unique visitors, does come in at number 2 (next to Holland) with the most time spent on the Internet


Also interesting is the web sites visited across Europe.  Over here, we still spend more time on Google than Facebook, Ebay than Apple.  (see the full table showing the whole top 30 here)

Facebook still leads Google for number of pages viewed though.  Perhaps we don’t find the page we want each time on Google but we click links on Facebook to see information shared by our friends and family. 

We’re much more likely to click links given to us by someone we know rather than a search engine.  When search engines start to return results to pages that our friends have actually clicked on in the past – we’ll be much more likely to click on the page returned.  And that will be something that the pay per click folks will want to be involved with for sure Smile