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The RAAKonteur #19 – Our crowdsourced logo, Social Media vs the News Industry & Twitter Firehose

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28 November 2010

Creatives of the week – You, you and you there too

This week we start with the creative of the week because that's what we'd like YOU to be: creative.

In a time where brands get slaughtered by the public for a branding decision (hi there, GAP), we thought we'd go a step further and make co-creation the heart and soul of our new brand identity. Cue the perpetually changing crowdsourced RAAK logo.

How does it work? You design an R, an A or a K, in your own gorgeous, beautiful way. And when you upload it, it becomes part of the RAAK logo. 

We call it PDLB: Process-Driven Liquid Branding.
Or JPF: Just Plain Fun.

Read more about the why and what. And then go and upload your beauty of a letter.
And spread that word.


The media revolution

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian delivered a clarion call to journalists on the changes sweeping media today, in a long piece called The Splintering of the Fourth Estate. The article veers from the big picture to the detailed insight.

In one big picture moment he discusses the possibility…

that we are living at the end of a great arc of history, which began with the invention of moveable type. There have, of course, been other transformative steps in communication during that half millennium – the invention of the telegraph, or radio and television, for instance – but essentially they were continuations of an idea of communication that involved one person speaking to many.

That's not dead as an idea. But what's happening today – the mass ability to communicate with each other, without having to go through a traditional intermediary – is truly transformative.

Twitter is the king on news

He also reserves many detailed insights for Twitter and admits to being perplexed about why many a journalist are not embracing it. He proceeds to name 15 things that Twitter "does rather effectively and which should be of the deepest interest to anyone involved in the media at any level."

Here is one choice bit:

You can sit back and let other people you admire or respect go out searching and gathering for you. Again, no news organisation could possibly aim to match, or beat, the combined power of all those worker bees collecting information and disseminating it.

The Empire strikes back?

Is that so, Mr Rusbridger? Not even the might of news tycoon Rupert Murdoch? Much has been made this week of the fact that Murdoch is launching an iPad-only newspaper.

Our opinion? It might be a profitable operation but not much. And it certainly won't match the popularity of an app that aggregates your news from Twitter and Facebook, like Flipbook does.


What can Social Media do for Fast Moving Consumer Goods?

Nothing, right? Social Media is all about earned media, right?

So are those marketeers seeking to pimp soap, crisps and shampoos wasting their time? We explore the options.

It's Social Media in an advertising kinda way

Have you also noticed the increase of 'Promoted Tweets' in your feed? That's because Twitter are really developing that part of their business. Even though a campaign is rumoured to be costing a minimum of $80,000, Evan Williams has said that demand outstrips supply and that advertisers who have tried Promoted Tweets are coming back.

Rumour has it that Twitter has recently turned down a few multi-billion dollar acquisition offers (from Google), so they must be getting confident about monetising their service. 

I'm a brand ambassador – make me feel good

Embracing your crowd is an art. But this excellent BBH Labs post talks about the value of the 'creative contributor', the few people who stimulate communities.

A good example of that comes from Yelp, a location service that lets people review restaurants,… and their Yelp Elite Squad. The service awards the passionate Yelpers by giving them access to special events, giving them badges,… Not automatically; they take the effort to handpick them, because they know these people are what keeps their service relevant.

Ushahidi moves to become a platform

You might remember we have talked about Ushahidi before. It's the open source tool that allows you to crowdsource events to a map. It was developed off the back of the ethnic violence that engulfed Kenya in 2008.

Well Ushahidi 2.0 has just been released and along with many other improvements it now allows the ability to extend its capabilities via plugins: pieces of code that extend its usefulness. Our bet is one of the first plugins will be a WordPress integration.


On the right Path

There's been lots of talk about Path this week, a new social network that limits you to selecting just 50 friends. Yes, it might get some traction. But we're not wildly excited by it. What about friend 51? Will it become huge? We doubt it.

Tech insight of the week – Twitter Firehose

Social media aggregator Gnip recently announced its plans to resell portions of the Twitter Firehose for $60,000 per year (10% of the firehose) and $360,000 per year (50%). When metioning this to people, I am mostly met with blank stares. Read more >>

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