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The RAAKonteur #50 – TV gets sticky, Google + gets Klout

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25 July 2011

Channel 4 tries to GetGlue some social media stickiness

We've said so before: social media and old school TV go together rather nicely. Not surprising then that Channel 4 has done a deal with GetGlue, a Social Check-in service that allows you to check-in to TV shows and interact with other users who have done the same. The partnership starts with the launch of a new drama series called Beaver Falls.

"Once the weekly drama debuts on E4 on 27 July people can check-in to the show via the web, and Android, Apple and Blackberry devices. For each episode that they check-in for they will earn an exclusive Beaver Falls sticker."

Our opinion? Much ado about not so much. We don't think checkins are the killer mechanic to go with TV watching. Here's a little secret. We are launching a sexy TV social media app very soon and if you have been following this newsletter you might be able to guess what service it will be based on. More details soon.


Google + for business

Google + has been touted as perfect for business. No wonder then that when Google announced that companies could register their interest for early access to business profiles, the Google Docs spreadsheet created for this purpose filled up in a matter of hours.

With so much interest in the new platform, one would expect Klout and PeerIndex to be gagging for the Google + API. Google+ will be far more public than Facebook. This and the fact that following is asymetrical like Twitter makes Google+ a far better candidate for measuring influence than Facebook we think. And yes: Klout this week announced in a blog post exactly that. Noting that it took Facebook 2 years and Twitter 3 years to reach 10 million users, a milestone Google passed in a week, they had some other interesting comments:

"Our internal testing of Google+ has already demonstrated some exciting potential. Simple post-by-post privacy is undoubtedly a reason why so many feel more comfortable with who can access their content. We’ve also noticed people are sharing more, perhaps due to a more intuitive interface."

Don't give me an ad, give me something fun or useful

That's exactly what these 2 brands are doing. Toyota has created an app called Backseat Driver. It's a game that connects to the car's GPS and lets your kids interact with the ride.

In the category more-fun-than-useful comes this rather silly campaign-slash-app from Pedigree New Zealand. To support their Adopt a Dog program, the created an app called Doggelganger, which matches a homeless dog to your profile picture. 


And if you have to give me an ad, make it social

This week it was announced that Facebook ads are becoming more and more expensive. More interestingly, the same report also put a figure to the success of the Sponsored Stories ad format, which allows brands to lift content from their Wall and turn that into a display ad. Facebook themselves have claimed that these ads perform on average twice as well; this week's data claim it can reduce the Cost Per Acquisition by 32%. Importantly, it is alo a way for Page owner to escape the dreaded blackhole which your updates find so hard to escape.

As VP of Advertising David Fischer said: 

"The key reasons it works is that it is engaging, it is social, and it is reflective of what brings people to Facebook overall, which is to share and connect"

Guerilla corporate social responsibility

At RAAK we were keen observers of the Egyptian uprising in January. It became clear that the Egyptian youth had an extremely active network of bloggers, activists and concerned citizens on Twitter. In fact, one of the most effective users of Twitter we have seen is Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey, who has, with his witty, informed and incisive punditry and fearless reporting, redefined activist journalism. Now Mahmoud Salem, as he is actually known, has started a new initiative called Tweetback.

“The idea is to start a fundraiser by using Twitter to give companies PR in exchange for supporting developmental projects. (…) It’s directed marketing, and the 20 people I’ve brought in represent many different segments of society, and so it gives these companies the chance to hit all the different segments, which is hard to find in any other medium.”


Social Media = Media

David Cameron the UK prime minster this week broadened the scope of an enquiry into the media and its relationship with the UK police and politicians after the hacking scandal.

"The inquiry should look not just at the press but other media organisations, including broadcasters and social media, if there is any evidence that they have been involved in criminal activities."

The way the sentence is framed seems to suggest a profound misunderstanding of the nature of social media. But hey, were glad it's been taken seriously. 

Wikipedia needs more women

Some intriguing (and slightly disappointing) stats on Wikipedia this week. A study has revealed that only 13% of their contributor base are female. And that the average age is mid-20s.

Creative Of The Week – Ivan Cash

Letter's, remember them? A lovely little project by artist/designer Ivan Cash caught our eye this week. While his other work is quite tongue-in-cheek and disruptive (check out his guerrila-style iPad-poster hacking project), Snail Mail My Email is just cute and endearing.

It's a project that celebrates the lost art of letter writing, so for a month you can submit an email to snailmailmyemail.org and Cash's team will lovingly turn your message into a hand-written letter.


Tech Insight The Week – What’s an API?

You know what an API is, right? I mean, it's easy – Twitter has one, Facebook has one, Google+ will soon have one. It's this thing – you shake it a bit, and data comes pouring out. Right? Wrong. For this weeks' tech insight post, we dissected the term "API" a bit, and dished it up with some wasabi.

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