Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Twitter skin making you hungry?

We have created a new Twitter skin for Macsween Haggis and a few of you have sent us messages saying that it makes you feel hungry just looking at it! That’s good news! If you haven’t already done so, answer our 3 easy peasy 6 Nations questions on the site and you could win a week’s worth of lovely Macsween 1 Minute Haggis – and with lots of recipes and pics to go with it, we are sure you will enjoy your prize!

Oh and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter

New Macsween Twitter skin

The only slice Chris Paterson likes is…..Macsween 1 minute haggis!

Chris Paterson, Scottish and indeed World rugby legend did a wee shoot with us recently for our lovely client Macsween Haggis.

Check it out below…..and if you haven’t done already take some time to find out about the most delicious haggis in the land!

Gmail Introducing a new feature?

Google is about drive another of its products in the realm of social media.   Gmail will soon be evolving into a content and status update tool for you and your friends.     It has been rumoured that these features are due to be implemented onto the product soon, with announcements imminent.

The biggest anticipation will be around, will the new feature target Google owned products such as YouTube, or be opened out to popular social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Gmail has been primarily based around email contacts, Gmail saves all email contactsinto a contact list to enable functions such as Gmail chat; what the key issue here will be how will Google develop that relationship between your email contacts and those you actually want to share your status timeline with?    The world of social media waits anxiously for the official announcement from Google until then everything is guesswork, however with Google driving one of its biggest products, this new feature is expected not to disappoint.

Julie Ferguson Organic Search

Real Time Web – Real Life Stories

The “real-time” web or “real-time” search results and social media are something that is becoming synonymous with modern day search.   But what impact is this having on the social landscape.  Never before have had we had such information available to us with content and information no longer running in “traditional formats” such as television or newspapers.     In the modern technological age of the internet, news can surface from thousands of sources including twitter, blogs and social networking sites.

The digital landscape has evolved and what we now deem as news and how we share that news has also evolved. We are now in the era of citizen journalism where the news is factual or non factual, real time information, updates and feeds from events are being distributed to the world.   We no longer have to wait until the mid evening news bulletin, or the first edition of the national newspaper to get the latest news; we are getting news updates whether we want it or not.

There are thousands examples I could run through to highlight the change in modern news but I want to highlight a new band of Journalism, know as “Citizen Journalism” this is being propelled to the forefront of today’s news.  The next three stories are examples of “citizen journalism” and how news has been distributed to the world via these sources;

With the integration of real time results into Google organic listings; Twitter updates or (tweets) are a primary source of information.   Take the Fort Hood shooting last year in the United States of America.    This army base was ordered into lock down and army workers and soldiers were instructed to have no communication with the outside world.   However, one soldier took it upon herself to send twitter updates with “blow by blow” account of what was happening within the base.  Traditionally this information would never have been available to the outside media, there would have only be an “official statements” from army officials.

So from this one soldier, the world’s media and indeed the world were told of a terrorist attack within one if its own army bases.  It was only after Twitter updates were released that CNN picked up on the story and the world was then informed of key events.   Later it was discovered that the soldiers chain of events were in fact untrue, however by that point the world didn’t care, they just wanted the story.

YouTube has been a long standing source of entertainment for internet users; however a more sinister aspect of the channel is videos appearing of a more disturbing nature; take the example of the shooting of Neda Agha Soltan’s a young Iranian woman gunned down in the middle of a busy street, due to her political outbursts around the government of Iran.  The world’s media were prohibited from filming in Iran so therefore no official media source could have captured the video of the shooting; however, the brutal killing was videoed and shared with the world.

The cameraman was not a professional reporter, but rather an ordinary person, just like the victim. And what did he do when he saw a young girl bleeding to death? Did he run for help, or try to assist in stemming the bleeding? No he didn’t.  Instead he pointed his camera at her and recorded her suffering, moving in closer to her face for her agonising final seconds. For all of our talk of citizen journalism, and getting the truth out, the last thing that terrified girl saw before she closed her eyes for the final time was some guy pointing a camera phone at her. “Look at me, looking at her, looking back at me”

The world’s most popular website; with over 250 million users most of us on a daily basis in fact for some this is their first activity when they wake up.    This was certainly the case for two twins from Sydney, Australia.   Being their birthday they woke to check their Facebook, expecting multiple birthday wishes from friends, however this day they were met with a more disturbing message.   Their live feeds where bombarded with “RIP Bobby (their brother) and RIP Chris Naylor (his friend).   To their shock they contacted their mother who in turn called the Police, who confirmed every mother’s worst nightmare, that her son Bobby and his friend Chris have been killed instantly in a car accident the night before.  Such is the growth of social media that the Police official chain of command could not reach the mother or the family prior to the viral effect of the web kicking in.

All three examples are very different but all contain the same message; the world has to evolve with online developments.    The internet is growing at an unstoppable rate and with it so is social media and real time information.   There is still a need for quality journalism and quality news however users expectations are changing and at the moment offline publications are not meeting that demand.  Official sources such as news broadcasters, governments and judicial departments have to understand that they have to move with the pace of change or risk being left behind. Social Media and Real Time will continue grow the question is how long will it take offline channels to catch up.

Julie Ferguson Organic Search

Macsween Haggis shoot with rugby ace Chris Paterson

The Storm digital marketing team are very excited at the prospect of  filming with Chris Paterson (the Scottish rugby legend!) tomorrow at Murrayfield. This is for client Macsween Haggis to promote the new 1 minute haggis product and we hope to have some great footage which will be available online soon.

Watch this space! In the meantime, if you’ve not registered on the Macsween site already – be quick! If you are among first 500 to do so since Monday, you will get 10 packs of delicious 1 minute haggis! Yummmmmm.

Google Xistence – making your life easier one app at a time

Was the last time you tweeted before Christmas? Have your blog posts got lost in the post? Can you no longer face Facebook? All that virtual socialising seems like such a chore once the novelty has worn off.  But have no fear, those helpful chaps and chapesses at Google have come up with Google Xistence – the answer to your prayers.  Now you can lead a full and complete virtual life, virtually.

A tremendous parody, Google Xistence claims it will post updates for you, make friends, tweet and take all the pressure out of being someone. Now you can play Warcraft, watch endless HBO box sets and generally footer with impunity, knowing your virtual self is in safe and ubiquitous hands.

Apparently Google wasn’t hugely entertained by this insightful bit of nonsense – the site has been added to their official phishing sites for Firefox and Chrome. Maybe they need to launch GoogleSenseofHumour©

Inner Beauty….Yeah right!!!

Who said inner beauty counts? There is not such a thing according to American based social networking beautifulpeople.com.   They recently dropped 5,000 members from their site, deeming them as “having let themselves go” over the festive period.   The site prides itself on being exclusively for the beautiful community and founder Robert Hintze stated “letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded”

In the competitive world of online, this was a genius move from Hintz, his controversial comments and statements, succeeded in making beautifulpeople.com the 5th most visited website within social networking and increased its traffic 50 fold in the first week in January, see chart below.

This is a classic example of how controversial PR can benefit your company or organisation. Controversial issues will always create an online stir and the viral effect can be phenomenal, as was the case with beautifulpeople.com.

Julie Ferguson, Organic Search

Google to withdraw from China?

Google has announced that it may cease operating its Google.cn site due to a highly sophisticated cyber attack originating in the country. Google

The attack on Google was directed towards the Gmail accounts of known Chinese Human Rights Activists.   Perpetrators were only able to access limited information including, initiation of the account and email subject matters, no email content was accessed.  This co-ordinated attack also led to the discovery of other phishing scams and malware being placed on the users of Gmail accounts in US, China and Europe, which again targeted “advocates of human rights in China”

Google.cn has been subject to severe censorship enforced by the Chinese Government, working closely with censorship officials; Google has established a strong position within the Chinese search engine market; however this move will have major Google shareholders concerned, with substantial revenues at stake.

So how will this impact Google and other search engines?

The Search Engine Market in China is worth around $1 billion dollars, with Google predicted to make $600 million 2010.  Google.cn currently sits number 2 in China behind Chinese search engine Baidu, which forms the closest relationship with Chinese Government around areas of censorship.

The Chinese search engine market is competitive and is subject to strict censorship laws; however the financial gains if successful are substantial. The decision from the world’s biggest search engine to withdraw will inevitably cause other search engines to revaluate their position.   This is a bold move by Google; however, will they follow through? Or is an attempt to get the Chinese Government to form a stronger alliance with the world’s number 1 search engine. Watch this space……

Julie Ferguson, Organic Search

Ofcom event and an inside look at offline media

OfcomYesterday Ofcom invited Perfect Storm Digital Marketing along to an event to discuss the results of a recent report supporting the spending of public money on new local news channels, following the announcement that local news is under threat due to the massive drop in advertising spend.

My role at the event was to be the voice of online and inform my audience of how content is perceived, distributed and found online.

As I sat there listening to the many offline channels discuss the need for local news and why this investment was needed I constantly questioned in my mind where was online in all this “research”. It was apparent that online was very much an after thought or indeed an add on to any discussion. The morning came and went without much mention of the wonderful world of the internet, then my turn to speak.

I outlined in a world where the perception of content is changing, news and broadcast journalists alike would have to embrace those changes or suffer in the digital world. I spoke of the impact the real time web is having on content and how Social Media is changing how we access information. I stirred reaction on many topics that I sensed struck fear into my audience. Where was quality journalism in all this content? This was one burning question for many audience members. The sad reality was many online users today don’t value the quality of the content, they just want the content.

Take the example of the military shooting at Fort Hood; that news story was broken to the world by a soldier based within the base through Twitter. Yes, Twitter. No mainstream media source knew about the incident until the tweets were leaked to the world. Although the incident was true, many of the tweets released by the soldier were inaccurate – did readers stop and analyse the entire wording of the content? Sadly, no they didn’t. They just cared that it happened and distributed the information accordingly.

This example is one of many in the ever changing landscape of online content and something that offline media owners have to accept and adapt to. Already many offline channels are a tad late in their reaction to online media and content, it has often been secondary to print and television in terms of priorities. After lengthy discussions around online content and its value, what was the first question in the mind of my audience “how can we embrace this?”, “what can we do to change our structures?” No, in a true offline media fashion it was “how can we regulate it?”.

Ultimately this is the problem with many offline media channels – the amount of red tape and politics to get news stories out there is playing secondary to sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Offline media content owners cannot compete with online unless they change their thinking and restructure their organisations.

For me personally, I do believe in quality content and I do believe that news and broadcast journalists are key to the future of content online, however they have to embrace how content is changing. How do they do that? By investing in online portals, by cutting out the red tape and by retraining journalists to understand the online world and its tools.

I could sense yesterday an element of fear from the media organisations as if online was out of control and would harm them more than do good. Online is being blamed for the death of printed publications, however, the only people to blame for the death of newspapers is the publications themselves, many tabloid newspapers are offering the same churned out content both online and offline, there is no originality and customers are now aware of that. These customers want something new and fresh and they get that online from other sources. There has been plenty of debate around the death of print journalism however I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, instead what print media needs to do is embrace online and get a new fresh message out to the world offline and online with good quality content that is original.

The future of content is the web, whether offline media owners accept it or not. What needs to happen now is for huge investment into online portals and how content is delivered online. We are now in the digital age and we are still throwing investments at standard forms of media which have been proven not to be as effective in the current age of online. It’s crazy to think that £5 million is being invested in “local news” channels, with no mention of online portals! The government and offline media giants have to accept the internet is now, its happening and people want information online, surely now this is where major “public money” investments should be or at least a sizeable portion of the budget available.

JF

Macsween launch haggis in a minute!

Our new client Macsween Haggis today launched a new sliced, microwavable version of their famous tasty haggis. Same taste, same haggis, but now available in packs of 2 slices which are steam cooked in revolutionary new packaging…..in the microwave in just 1 minute!
Now you just can’t beat that can you? If you head along to BBC Good Food this weekend in Glasgow, you can taste for yourself at the Macsween stand, number SP7.
Look out for a range of online campaigns going live in the next few weeks across facebook, search and other social media platforms.
What a delicious product to be promoting. And do you know how to make haggis nachos? No? Find out here: