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Leveson, the ITU, and the value of a Like – The RAAKonteur #108

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30 November 2012

Building your presence organically on Twitter is hard work. It requires talent and takes time (but in our opinion it’s the best way). If, however, you need an audience now, like in tomorrow, buying media on Twitter is a viable and interesting alternative. RAAK now offers media buying on Twitter. And as a special to our newsletter subscribers, the first company to advertise through us on Twitter will not be charged any campaign management fees*.

Do you like your Likes?

If you are one of those people fretting about how to measure the value of a ‘Like’ or a ‘Follow’ in your business, perhaps we can help. This week, a post in the Harvard Business Review suggests a formula to measure that elusive Like.

Much ado about nothing?

Finally Judge Leveson pronounced on whether the UK press should be regulated – in response to numerous hacking scandals over the last few years. Incredibly, his 2000 page report contains only two pages on the ‘Relevance’ of the Internet. The Internet is an ‘ethical vacuum’ that should not be regulated like the press should be, he says. And this is because the press claims ethical standards for itself, and it is better resourced.

‘The Internet’ does have its rogues, but by and large it’s a platform that holds remarkable examples of public mindedness, Wikipedia being one of the best examples. Bloggers routinely link to the websites they reference, thereby transferring valuable PageRank. The press rarely abides by such courtesies online. But our chief gripe with Leveson is this: many of these press institutions will cease to exist in print within the next five years, and online their share of attention (and power) will continue to decline as all of us continue to become media publishers. The Leveson report would have been relevant had it been published in 1992, rather than in 2012.

Welcome to the age of post-industrial journalism

We are fans of Clay Shirky and Emily Bell, so any report that they co-author is guaranteed to be lapped up by us. This week they released a report about the future of journalism co-authored with CW Anderson. They note that the report is not about the future of the journalism industry, because the production of journalism is no longer an industry.

Dikembe Motombo to the rescue

Old Spice have done it again. This time with an 8 bit computer game where you, as Old Spice Man, can save the world. It’s fun, it’s cute. But though it’s all those things – we don’t think it will garner the same levels of attention as previous campaigns. This demonstrates how hard it is to make content marketing with impact using games, compared to a medium like video.

Is Dick a techno-utopian?

He has a reputation as a hard-nosed businessman. But in a lecture to his old alma mater this week, Twitter CEO Dick Costello claimed that Twitter is recreating the agora. The agora is a reference to ancient greek town squares, where the community came together and discussed the matters of the day. Utopians the world over long for the days of the agora. Or the digital agora. Dick says old media gave us excellent distribution, but what it didn’t offer were many voices unfiltered and interacting in real time. That’s what Twitter is. Since we at RAAK are hopelessly utopian we can’t but approve of the Dick.

Ethics in an information society

Arguably much much more significant than Leveson, the International Telecoms Union is meeting this weekend to discuss future control of the Internet. Leaks of secret position papers reveal alarming proposals to introduce possibilities to identify users and control traffic. Others point to proposed commercial regulations that would force content providers to pay for transmitting data (you, me and Google), which could also be destructive to the Internet as we know it. And then there were accounts of the ITU drafting branding and digital experts to manage the expected public outcry. In response, we explored the ITU and the ethics of marketing earlier this week.

Drone war-reporter or dronerazzi?

Chalk it up as another reason for journos to be worried. A research project for the construction and modification of “multiple drones for the specific purpose of collecting media”, is a recipient of a $25,000 grant from the University of Missouri’s Information Technology Committee. Meanwhile the Hollywood Gossip site TMZ is denying it’s acquired a drone.

Etailers focus on Pinterest and Mobile

UK retailers are pinning for Xmas, with five of the top 10 retailers (Argos, Asos, Tesco, John Lewis, New Look) having created Xmas Pinterest boards. Meanwhile the US, Paypal reports a 198% rise in mobile payments in this year’s Thanksgiving weekend compared to last year.

How do luxury brands best do Twitter?

Luxury brands famously try and create an air of exclusivity. Twitter is famously open and public. A post in the Drum this week tries to square that circle. We still think that FMCG brands are leading the way in showing how Twitter should be done, regardless of whether you’re a brand of the people or snooty: with personality.

Charities are under pressure too

Word on the streets is that the efficacy of traditional donation channels like direct mail is falling through the floor. What are charities to do? Use the power of the Internet, which is what UK charity, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, is doing. It has launched a crowdfunding site which allows users to create challenges and pledges.

Tumblr – a business model at last?

Tumblr might be under pressure from Pinterest but is still growing fast, having nearly broken through the 170 million monthly visitors mark, says Quantcast. This is up from 120 million in January. Tumblr has also just announced analytics, which they offer for $499.

Creative of the week – Leonardo Ulian


You know that the ‘Creative of the Week’ section is inspired by people who blend creativity with technology. This week we take that very literally.

Leonardo Ulian is an Italian visual artist who makes symmetrical patterns with electronic components. He combines transistors, microchips and wiring to create intricate structures, reminiscent of ‘mandalas’, which are ancient designs meant to prepare the mind for meditation.

Lots more detail on FastCodeDesign.

And if you’re in London, Ulian has a show coming up in the Griffin Gallery.

* We reserve the right to decline.

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