31 May 2009

+ Kapow

If this were a comic from the 60's that's what would appear on your screen after The Punch launched itself today.

Rather excitedly, I can announce I've been asked to write a fortnightly piece. I'll be linking my articles here and my first is about the death of the book.

I've been told my massive ego should cushion the hurtful comments. Suppose we'll have to wait and see.

30 May 2009

+ Hairy Chest

After six months of working on the pitch for L'Oreal Brandstorm, we placed third at the national finals. We nailed our presentation and I'm pretty happy.

It means we don't make it to Paris, but the good news is I have my life back again and it means this blog might receive a little more attention.

For those interested here is our presentation...

28 May 2009

+ The Game

The latest piece of mine in the student magazine from Monash Caulfield, Esperanto.

27 May 2009

+ Community Collaboration [Part 2]

In my last past I spoke of how essentially anonymous people were getting together on Facebook and collaborating. In this case, I was referring to the creation of content around a developing meme.

Now we can take things to the next level, where collaboration is helping to solve crime. The case in point is the Missing Kane Dadson Facebook Group.

Now sitting at over 3,000 members, through the power of collaboration people have been able to work faster than the police investigation in gathering clues. Suggestions and comments posted on the wall have lead to spreading word of mouth and opened up new information that can be used by police.

Last year in a similar situation, members of the group Missing Britt Lapthorn uploaded photos related to the case that other people were able to tag which lead to new leads of questioning. The group still has 18,000 members.

Social media is more than just brands trying to engage with consumers. Or a group of people creating their own lolcats. Social media has more potential than I think anyone realises.

23 May 2009

+ Community Collaboration [Part 1]

By now I'm sure you've seen this video...

Hilarious. But even better, is the Facebook Group, now consisting of over 15,000 members. Scroll down and take a look at the photos and videos. What I find most interesting, is how similar this group is to that of 4chan.

Starting with a single idea or event, a group of complete random people have gotten together in one area and started producing their own content. Video and photo mashups have turned Clare into a small scaled meme.

I think we're going to see a lot more of this. Will Facebook become the new 4chan?

20 May 2009

+ The Nature Of Audiences

A few months back I drove home to see thick black smoke billowing out of my neighbour's car parked on the street. I quickly jumped out of my car to investigate the burning vehicle. By this stage a small crowd had appeared that was slowly creeping forward to get a better look. After a minute the car actually exploded. No one was hurt but what interested me was the curiosity of the viewers, myself included.

Instead of running away from the fire, people were running towards it. And thus is the nature of audiences.

In a recent conversation between myself and Oscar Nicholson, I realised this is the nature of how I blog.

I cause controversy. I write about not only provocative issues but in a provocative manner too. I stir the pot and I start fires.

But I do this to start conversations. Unfortunately people aren't attracted to a car that isn't on fire. A blog post that isn't controversial gets less readers and far less comments. People rarely comment on something if they simply agree. I do realise the shortfall of this; that once the fire's out, the people leave. I suppose I hope I've got enough good content to keep them around after everything's been extinguished.

But I'm not going to kid myself, I can't consistently and regularly produce good, thought provoking content. So from time to time I'll start a fire. I make no apologies for the burns or damage caused. This is the nature of a Joker.

15 May 2009

+ The Death Of Hollywood

A guest post of mine over at Adspace Pioneers.

14 May 2009

+ Julian Swallows

Julian Cole took it upon himself to break the Slurpee Challange and see how fast he could down a large Slurpee...

33 seconds is pretty much unbeatable. But I gave it an attempt anyway...

Unfortunately I was unable to even finish. Julian is my god. Although this post isn't really about the above. Although I should disclaim Slurpee is a client of Naked's where I'm currently interning. In fact, Julian's birthday was a couple of days ago so this is me saying Happy Birthday Juju with some link love.

11 May 2009

+ SMS "Result" To Student

Today I received an SMS informing me of my grade on a recent piece of assessment. Maybe the University isn't as far behind as I thought. Although I bet the lecturer and the course coordinator don't know anything about it, let alone encouraged this great piece of initiative by the tutor.

Even better, it was a High Distinction. Take that students who actually put in effort and remain sober the night before you hand in your assignments.

08 May 2009

+ The Email Said I Had To

Hello Zac,

I’m with the DVR Research Institute. Tomorrow, on May 1 we will be publishing results from a research project we conducted among 200 leading advertising executives on their strategic response to the increase in DVR viewership. Since Pigs Don’t Fly has been recognized as one of the most influential marketing blogs, we would like to share some EXCLUSIVE CONTENT with you from our study. With the upfront negotiations coming up, I thought that it may be interesting for your readers to take a glimpse at our extensive study.

Below the main body of this email I have included an overview of our methodology, key themes in the study and a few of our findings.

I have also included a summary of one of our findings that we are sharing exclusively with a limited number of very influential bloggers. Please feel free to post it in Pigs Don’t Fly , or contact me if you’d like to get a bit more information on this.
The email said I was free to post it here on this blog so I have.

But seriously, what is this rubbish? Just because this blog occasionally talks about the change of media consumption doesn't mean I give a shit about the spam you send me. Other bloggers might be able to use it, but if I don't want it then it's spam. And just because it's personalised with my name doesn't mean it's not unsolicited and unwanted. If you've got an attention to detail like me you'll see they couldn't even copy and paste correctly with extra spaces around the words "Pigs Don't Fly".

I normally wouldn't give a shit but I'm starting to get one or two of these a week. If you can't offer me genuine value then gtfo.

06 May 2009

+ Segmenting The Blogosphere

This post is a development on a previous one about plotting the Australian Blogosphere on a positioning map. Jye Smith suggested this could be used to segment bloggers and it was made possible by Adam Ferrier, a very smart man (I have to say that, he's currently my boss).

The pranksters of the blogosphere. They enjoy the attention they receive and are not afraid to post something fun or amusing, or even off topic. They're very flexible yet back it up with good content. Jokers tend to be amongst the youngest of the bloggers out there and love being the centre of attention. They're often controversial but at times need to be reminded not to stir the pot for the sake of it.

Julian Cole is a Joker.

The peaceful ones of the blogosphere. They probably started their blog one day for their own amusement and are not too fussed about their pageviews, hits and RSS count. With that said, they appreciate their readers and love that they are able to to express themselves and people will listen. They enjoy sharing their thoughts, insights, stories, videos, pictures and links. Rarely will they call someone out and must remember that their audience doesn't subscribe to them for their constantly thought provoking content.

Stan Lee is a Lover.

The quiet earnest ones of the blogosphere. They attempt to drive change with almost every post on their blog. Each piece of content develops conversations, asks the right questions and gets people thinking. Often, they're developing models and attempting to take their area of expertise to the next level. Posts can be quite detailed and lengthy and they need to remember that this can alienate audiences outside of their core niche of readers.

Gavin Heaton is a Driver.

The top of the food chain of the blogosphere. They probably started life as a Joker or Driver and decided they want to take it to the next level content wise, or get their name and brand out their in the media. Not afraid to speak their mind and take on the big guys, particularly when they know they're backed by a large popularity. Their content is solid and provocative but is often criticised and they need to remember that engaging in a flame war is not always the best approach.

Laural Papworth is a Fighter.
There are both benefits and limitations to each of the above. More importantly, there is no right or wrong and none of the four quadrants is a bad segment to sit in. It is important to remember who your audience are and what they're expectations will be. Remember that next time you question a blogger's motives or actions, perhaps think about what segment they're in and what they're trying to achieve.

Before you depart, I have three questions for you...
1. Which quadrant do you see yourself in?
2. Which quadrant do other people see you in?
3. Which quadrant do you want other people to see you in?

03 May 2009

+ Write Or Flight

I always tout on about how starting a blog was one of the best things I ever did, and not only career wise. But it wasn't until today that I realised yet another reason I'm more than grateful for starting this bad boy.

I love writing. I didn't realise it until recently, but I seem to get a fair bit out of something I would previously despised doing. And apparently, I'm not too bad at it. Although I have no idea why people seem to enjoy my terribly dry, sarcastic tone. And I just realised I seem to use a lot of conjunctives at inappropriate times.

This blog probably isn't a good example of my best work. Lately I've been writing for the student magazine on campus, my other blog, Marketing Magazine and a new project that will be bigger than hang over I woke up with this morning.

Now I just need to work out if it's possible to write for the love of it... and money. Maybe I should write a book.

02 May 2009

+ You're An Idiot

Or at least that's what the ACCC believes. This nonsense about their crack down on the Coca Cola myth busting campaign is rubbish. Consumers realise Coke isn't good for you. If Coke wants to try and change their image, then let them do it.

You don't walk into Maccas and assume their burgers are healthy just because they offer a salad on the menu. And this is not the first time the ACCC has assumed you're a complete moron, they did it last year with a Skins campaign.

Sure you old guys and girls think there's a lot wrong with Generation Y, but one thing going for them (us) is their (our) scepticism. I would suggest, with the help of the Internet, that today's consumer is smarter than ever before.

The ACCC needs to step off and let marketers do their work. No lines were crossed in either of these cases and consumers are smart enough and sceptical enough to know this. And if it changes their buyer behaviour, well done to the work of the marketers.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin