Key Advice Blog

Posts Tagged ‘new media options

Having relocated from the UK to Canada I find I am using Skype and FaceTime about 3 times as much as my landline for personal calls. But, what are businesses using? And, why aren’t they using visual conference calling more? This branch of the social media tree is powerful, persuasive and cost saving – with many of the options free.

Mashable profiles all four, recognizing as a starting point.

Then they analyze Rondee, Wiggio, GroupMe and Google Voice. They all have outstanding characteristics: Rondee, easy meeting coordination; Wiggio, other group management services; GroupMe; the quintessential mobile group meeting App; and Google Vocie, people simply call your contact number at the same time and you approve.

This technology has come a long way, and it is quite surprising that many people – who also complain about the travel time and expense – are still driving, flying, riding to meetings that could be just as effective in a virtual environment. And, reduce the carbon footprint and costs substantially.

Geo-tagging is nothing new – with Facebook Places the current talk of the town. But, the Hotlist geo app brings all the key social media services together at one table, serving up a tasty treat for users.  It’s about integrating, morphing and mashing everything that’s social about a location – and feeding our appetite for geo data.

Mashable’s  Jolie Odell takes a  bite big picture – giving you a review of what Hotlist looks like to the user – just in case you haven’t activated it. It’s mobile use – all these things are geared for the urban traveller – is the icing on the cake. You can find out what’s happening, who’s there, ration of male to female participants, follow Twitter chat, post to Facebook.

So far it’s only available for iPhone.  Blackberry and others will just have to wait – but not long.

Many of today’s newly unemployed are choosing to start-up their own businesses. Their biggest fear isn’t failure, it’s working at home alone. After just leaving university, or being made redundant from a job, they are now faced with being at home – alone. But, there is no need to be afraid or alone; there are many ways to have a virtual office environment. Here are three great ones.

Jelly – This brilliant idea is happening on a semi-weekly basis in a space near you. Jelly promotes casual working events. So a Jelly host sets up a place and time – could even be their home – and entrepreneurs get together to work for the day. Ideas are shared. It’s all casual, fun and motivating. Watch their video. Follow them on Twitter.

Enterprise Nation – This fantastic, free service for helping home business owners, is led by Emma Jones, author of Working 5 – 9. My favourite service is their Twitter (@e_nation) #watercoolermoment. It happens daily at 11 am and people tweet together, usually about a specific topic. It’s a nice virtual, online coffee break. And, if you really want to go virtual, try their Friday video watercooler live chat! Brilliant.

If face-to-face is important, ask people to Skype with you. It saves on time, travel and gives you a great connected feeling.  And, it’s free.

With video becoming the next best way of promoting yourself online, using these three options will help you boost your confidence and stay connected to real people whilst you work away in your home office! See you online.

Enterprise Nation‘s Emma Jones ( hosted and led the four presentations at Furness Enterprise’s 21st Century Communications Master Class workshop today. She talked about the progression from content to community building to commercial relationships. Today’s marketing is all about moving across to peers to get work, not hierarchical like in the past.

Kate Harrison Whiteside

Kate at 21st Century Communications Event

Steve Emecz, head of Business Development at Powa, a commercial web solution for SMEs, set up a commercial site in less than 10 minutes in front of the 60 attendees. He pointed out the importance of a good site search facility, as the majority of visitors come searching for information – like your contact details. Still amazes how many people don’t put names and numbers of staff in their Contact Us section.

Our Social Times‘ Luke Brynley-Jones, a social media consultant, pointed out traditional marketing is no longer ‘working’. New media works because it simply takes word of mouth and trust to the next level – viral. The power lies in people self-selecting. Power to the people.

The North West Evening Mail publishing director Jonathan Lee used videos, produced by the newsroom’s new age journalists,  to prove his point: that it is vitally important that culturally (multimedia) is embedded in the organisation and supported from top to bottom. Describing the business as being at the hub of the community, he illustrated how comments, forums, Twitter, web chats and Facebook mean news is driven by the community not just the company. News conference’s now  begin with a check of all e-media activities first – then what is going in print. They’ve come a long way from the days of black and white printing.

All presenters agreed the key to new media is to use all formats together – print, video, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and any others that work for your business. Social media is here to stay – and all recommended getting into it – before it changes again. And, when it changes again, get on that platform as well. It is the future. But, despite it being new media, the same old marketing principles apply. It is still about connecting with people –  only the medium has changed.

Surfing the Internet has surpassed TV in the ‘how much time spent’ race. What is it about the Internet that has proven so attractive as to push TV off its pedestal?

According to’s Ipsos poll, sixty-eight (68%)  per cent of adults with access to the Internet spend more time online than they spend watching television. The survey questioned 24,000 adults in 23 countries, giving it a broad base for its results.

Why is this? Accessibility. Eastern countries rated the highest – and mobile technology will play a huge role in this. Some western countries with easy access to broadband recorded more TV watching than surfing. But, it is significant that countries with great market potential and income growth are hungry for information.

The mobile market is the future. And visuals (video) will become the most sought after format. Internet TV channels are growing faster than weeds in Cumbria – LakesTV, Cumbria Live TV and soon Film4U North. Businesses need to get on the visual band wagon, toot their own horn with video on their websites and think mobile phone (app).

We are into the next phase – and the creative opportunities will be like nothing we have seen before. Marketing departments are already looking at their budgets juggling print and online; don’t forget the video column. It will all add up to successful marketing.

Open data was the focal point of yesterday’s Digital Editors Network (DEN) meeting at North West Vision and Media in Manchester. Some open data mavericks are lobbying  for this to become the rule rather than the exception. With David Cameron and Nick Clegg leading a more open style of collaborative government, the time to push for more open data is here.

Francois Nel, DEN co-convener and director of UCLan’s Journalism Leaders Programme, opened the discussion challenging all to re-think what data means to online communications – particularly for the news industry – and our culture.

Julian Tate, one of the organisers of FutureEverything conference (May 12 -15) in Manchester, is lobbying for the city to become the UK’s first OpenData city. He used Vancouver, Canada’s open city initiative as a benchmark. Take a look at and to get a glimpse of where this may be  heading in the UK.

Paul Bradshaw, onlinejournalismblog and convener of the HelpMeInvestigate project, gave examples of how data management revealed key issues for such stories as the MPs’ expenses fiasco. He said data is the place where journalists and publishers meet with citizens and IT. Think of it as freedom of information without having to fill in a form. Journalism students are exploring this concept, and will bring their new talents to the workplace.  Is corporate media ready?

The Guardian’s information architect Martin Belam and New York’s Propublica reporter Olga Pierce and Jeff Larson highlighted how news gathers working closely with data manipulators can create new interpretations of news and information that are more powerful, more insightful and more inclusive than one-dimensional news gathering. Although, like our current leaders, they may seem like strange bedfellows, such cooperation is thinking outside the box. And, never has there been  a time – economically, socially, politically – when some fresh ideas were desperately needed.

Sweden’s University of Gothenburg Journalism, Media and Communication Ph.D candidate Oscar Westland used a mixed martial arts metaphor to compare the traditional approaches with the new media world. Looking at how print and online news reporting are being driven to change by new and mobile technology, Oscar pointed out the importance of redefining our methods. It appears the answers to the current media problems may not lie in familiar places.

“We need to plan for trial and error,” he said. “This is moving fast.”

Nick Turner DEN co-convener and head of Digital Media for CN Group closed the meeting leading a discussion on where this can go next. DEN will look at what role they can play in taking this to the next level. The next DEN meeting will take place in the autumn.

Mobile information, open data and interactive, geo-based apps may seem an arm’s length from our news and information creation centres, but if our blog and news readers are embracing them, surely we also need to embrace this change with open arms – and minds.

Foursquare, the location-based mobile app, isn’t new, but it just keeps making news. It seems that location, location, location is the latest social media service we have an ever-growing appetite for. But, can it keep us satisfied?

This GPS based application for mobiles isn’t just about finding places or people. It’s about recommending, providing tips and being helpful. And, as it links to your email, Twitter and Facebook, you can find out where friends are going and let them know where you are. Watch the Foursquare introductory video to see if it’s for you.  If you aren’t already, you could easily become part of the feeding frenzy that surrounds it.

Foursquare has knocked several like applications off the menu. Perhaps it’s the competitive gamespersonship aspect that makes it  more to people’s tastes. Afterall, where else can you be crowned Mayor, without having to don the finery!

It is definitely an urban app – as it relies on GPS and cellular services,and can be limited in some rural areas. But whether you live in or are visiting a city, it can prove a quick remedy if you are hungry for knowledge about current happenings, places to visit, and eateries.

Location-based social tech is also proving  popular with the media, who are swimming around it like sharks circling a school of fish. They aren’t the only businesses looking for oppotunities here. E-consultancy examines if this is a natural phenomenon or a simply the tech trend of the moment.

Foursquare is like an optional ingredient to a recipe. You might as well try it and see if the final result is the creation of a gourmet recipe of technological fusion of simply not to your taste.