Tick Yes Blog

Tag - content watch

H- bday 2 u

SMS is 20. To mark the occasion, The Message looks back at some historically significant texts and assesses the future of messaging
It certainly doesn’t feel like 20 years since the first text message was sent. Granted, that’s probably because, in Australia, it was only in April 2000 that it became possible to send and receive texts to our collective hearts’ – and carriers’ – content (originally, it was a strictly intra-network proposition).
But still, 20 years of instant peer-to-peer content dissemination is good going, and it’s not drawing too long a bow to suggest that the success of SMS not only helped pave the way for social media, but also helped change how people chose to receive their information. SMS made short and sweet sexy, and that remains the case today.
According to Telstra, 12.05 billion text messages were sent on its network this year. That’s a phenomenal amount and yet the signs are that SMS is unlikely to see another 20 years, as Smartphone users are increasingly turning to free messaging apps like WhatsApp (not to mention Viber, BlackBerry Messenger, Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger) as a personal content-sharing platform.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 10 billion messages were sent by WhatsApp users around the world in one day earlier this year. So although Australia seems to be bucking the global trend by seeing an increase in the numbers of SMS and MMS sends, chances are we are currently at the apex of the texting universe and the end, when it happens, will be quick.
Already, advances in predictive text technology have seen abbreviations – once so beloved of texters – gradually disappear, so before SMS goes the way of the VHS, let’s take a moment to recall some of its highlights (and lowlights)…

‘Merry Christmas’ – The text of the very first SMS. It was sent on 3 December, 1992, by Vodafone UK employee Neil Papworth, who had been developing the software, to a company director. Because mobile phones did not then have keyboards, Papworth typed out the message on computer, believing it would simply be a means of improving paging rather than revolutionising communication.

‘It’s a DELIBERATE attack  – a second plane just flew into the second tower’ – 9/11 as soon through the SMS of an unknown texter. Wikileaks recently released a full record of all texts sent at the time, providing a second-by-second account of the attacks.

‘You almost just ruined my whole life’ – What would SMS be without a good old-fashioned scandal. We could have plumped (no pun intended) for Shane Warne’s well-reported predilection for sexting, but on a global scale, the whole Tiger Woods scandal takes some beating. This was the last message the disgraced golfing superstar sent to porn star Joslyn James. The others were rather more… suggestive!

‘Hello from Earth’ – The message send on 28 August, 2009, from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. The target is Gliese 581d – a red dwarf star with its own planetary system scientists believe may be capable of supporting life. It will be interesting to see the reply…

‘The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human’ – the text used by Guinness World Records in its official speed-text challenge. The current record (predictive text-excluding) is 37.28 seconds.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.


Wonderful world

With Christmas fast approaching, online content can remind us of all the good out there…
The fact is, Big Brother IS watching us. We’re reminded daily that our actions are being monitored, but all too often that reminder is one that makes us feel worse about the society we’re a part of, not better. Whether it’s chilling video footage of a woman’s last movements before she disappeared, chaotic scenes of violence in the Middle East or the senseless rampaging of a rioting city, CCTV footage is, as a general rule, pretty darn grim.
Just yesterday, the security footage that captured Norwegian Anders Breivik’s bomb attack in Oslo was released, showing in chilling detail the moments before and after the van exploded, killing eight people and injuring dozens.
Yet it stands to reason that if the cameras can catch all the awful things that happen in the world, they must catch at least some of the wonderful things as well. It’s this logic that drove social good foundation Love Everybody to create the following video… moments of positivity, bravery and human connection caught on camera. It proves a nice antidote to the usual security footage we see…

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Damage limitation

A new ‘scandal’ involving Prince William shows how important careful online content control is when it comes to brand management
Back in June, we blogged about the perils of online content – and warned that it could seriously ruin your online reputation. Careful brand management has become a necessity in the social media age, but not meticulously checking your Web or social media content before posting it can also have potentially far more serious consequences.
The latest to discover that is one Flight Lieutenant William Wales (aka William Windsor, ‘Wills’, one half of William and Kate, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus and Prince William of Wales). It’s got nothing to do with those intrusive paparazzi pics of his wife changing her bikini, but everything to do with some pictures that appeared on his and Kate’s new website, dukeandduchessofcambridge.org.
Showing a commendable willingness to modernise the royal family by embracing content marketing (by giving an insight into life at Brand William and Kate), photos appeared showing a day in the life of the young prince as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.
Unfortunately for the UK’s Ministry of Defence, those pictures included shots of William relaxing a control room with his RAF colleagues. Nothing wrong in that, you might think, until eagle-eyed viewers spotted that sensitive information, including usernames and passwords, could be seen on the computers in the photos.
Needless to say the photos on the website were quickly changed to pixelate the sensitive details. But as many individuals and companies alike have found to their cost, content that has once appeared online can never really be deleted. Thus, although the RAF has been quick to say the revealed usernames and passwords have been changed, the incident serves as an important reminder that careful online content control is crucial when it comes to brand management.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Celebrities and social media

Where Tick Yes leads, the superstars follow…
What do Russell Brand, Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jack Black, Eddie Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Usher, Pitbull, LMFAO and many, many other celebrities have in common? They have all realised the need to jump on to the social media bandwagon and use an agency to create a coordinated social media strategy on their behalf.
It is a strategy Tick Yes has been employing for its clients for over a decade and now Hollywood is catching on.
By allowing a third-party to tweet or post on their behalf (at times calculated to have the biggest impact), some of the entertainment business’ biggest names – and the studios or record companies or agencies who stand to make a pretty penny from marketing them correctly – are reaping the rewards.
Take Russell Brand, for example. As he told the New York Times, he has turned to social media (or, more specifically, to a carefully tailored social media strategy) to promote his comedy tours and enabling them to sell out ‘without any paid advertising’.
‘It’s a smart way to talk to my fans directly and in a bespoke manner,’ he says.
In social media, followers = customers
Brand is far from alone in (finally) realising the potential of social media and coming to understand that far from simply being an amorphous number, all those tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands or millions) of Twitter followers or Facebook fans may actually want to buy what you’ve got to sell, be it an album, a comedy tour or a movie.
In fact, social media is now directly influencing the product being produced. For example, when Disney decided to use a social media agency to manage its cartoon characters online, it was apparently shocked to discover that the most ‘liked’ character was not Mickey Mouse or Buzz Lightyear, but Dory the forgetful fish from Finding Nemo. The result? Disney is hard at work on a Finding Nemo sequel.
In many ways, this change in attitude has been borne of necessity, with movie attendances in the US at a 20-year low. The Internet has been made the scapegoat, but now the studios and stars alike a realising that the Internet, and particularly social media, could be the saviour.
As the New York Times puts it: ‘If you were wondering how Rihanna was cast in Battleship, it was lost on no one at Universal that she came with 26 million Twitter followers.’
Celebrities (and those who employ them) have always been well aware of their brand value, so it really comes as no surprise that they are adopting the Tick Yes social media marketing strategy of engaging directly (or at least, seeming to engage directly) with their audience and disseminating ‘their’ brand voice across a variety of channels.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Pocket-sized news

A new app could be the final nail in the coffin of traditional media, but it could also be its saviour…
Newspapers, magazines and other traditional news sources now have another reason to be worried. As The Message has previously reported, the impending demise of those news organs has long been anticipated. Now, though, a new social media-inspired iPhone app may have hastened the end.
Summly, created by 17-year-old British whiz kid Nick D’Aloisio, has been called ‘one of the most disruptive apps of 2012’. Why, because it presents news in an iGen and Gen Y-friendly format – in snippets.
The free app proudly boasts that it ‘redefines news for the mobile world with algorithmically generated summaries from hundreds of sources. Innovative gestures, animations and great summaries make reading the news fun: easy to use, easy to scan, easy to read, clear and concise.’
D’Aloisio says he came up with the idea because he didn’t feel his generation engages with news as it should ‘in part because most of our life is digital and existing technologies don’t necessarily do the best job of engaging us with news content. So I was hoping to build something that could’.
So now if you want a pocket-sized, completely mobile, iPhone version of the news all you have to do is select your favourite news source or topic and let Summly do the rest. Simply add a keyword on any topic in the world and the app finds the content and summarises it for you.
With content delivered in 400 characters (‘more than a tweet, but less than a full article’), it’s perfect for the mobile generation.
The Guardian reports that this venture ‘may be viewed warily by the newspaper industry’. However, it may yet be its saviour – giving it renewed relevance in the mobile, social media-centric world. The Summly website invites publishers to submit their content for summary, potentially increasing its reach, and is already working with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to summarise its content.
Supporters of and advisers to the start-up include such high-profile names as Ashton Kutcher, Troy Carter, Betaworks, Yoko Ono and Stephen Fry, with the latter even lending his presence to promote the app.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Body image

This is how brands should engage through social media content…
If you’ve got Facebook friends who like a laugh, chances are you’ve come across this oft-shared post at some stage over the last few weeks:

For those who don’t know, Bodyform is a UK brand of feminine hygiene products and the post (published on 9 October) has already received over 97,000 likes and nearly 5000 comments.
What happened next, however, is social media content marketing at its brilliant best. Bodyform, ostensibly taken completely by surprise at the sudden engagement on its Facebook page, decided to harness the viral power of the post and create a video in response to it. Funny as Mr Neill’s post is, Bodyform’s comeback (now viewed over three million times) is even funnier:

The jug of blue water on the desk is really the icing on the cake for what is an incredibly well-crafted marketing effort. So well-crafted, in fact, that it has many wondering whether Richard Neill was perhaps in on the act from day one, and the whole thing was a sophisticated exercise in viral marketing.
In which case, Bodyform has even more of our respect.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Amanda’s story

A young girl’s call for help posted on social media went unanswered. Share it today to help end cyber-bullying
It’s the worst possible ending to a cyber-bulling situation: a young girl, faced with what she thought was the only option, took her own life.
It is, sadly, a situation that has played out time and time again over the past few years, especially since technological advances – from mobile phones to, particularly, social media – has allowed bullying to spread beyond the confines of the schoolyard and into every aspect of teenagers’ lives.
Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old girl living in British Columbia, Canada. When she was 12, an older man convinced her to ‘flash’ a webcam. He then cyber-stalked her, sending the images to her school friends and creating numerous fake Facebook profiles in order to continue to harass her.
Because of the photos, Amanda was subjected to intense and ongoing bullying, despite twice changing schools in an attempt to escape it. She had a history of self-harm and had attempted to take her life several times, and still the bullying continued.
Amanda Todd made a YouTube video last month, detailing what she had been through. She doesn’t speak in the video, but holds up handwritten notes detailing the bullying that plagued her through her short adolescence. It ends, heartbreakingly, with the words ‘I have nobody. I need someone. My name is Amanda Todd.’

A month later, she is dead.
Amanda’s death will always remain a senseless tragedy. The video, however, has the potential to educate people about the effect their words can have on other human beings. It can also serve as a warning for the younger generation to beware how much they share online. As for the man who tortured and shamed Amanda with the photo she was too young to know not to take – we hope he feels the full extent of the law and knows he is in part to blame for the death of a beautiful young girl.
October is anti-bullying month. Share Amanda’s video – and her story. Bullying kills, and a world where cruelty is literally killing our children is a world we need to change. Now.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Aren’t we better than this?

When did social media become so violently antisocial? 
It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves around the office over the past few weeks, and one that we’re hoping will spark some kind of intelligent discussion about how to remove the social media hate-speak that is becoming all too common across networks like Facebook and Twitter.
The murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher was something that hit home like a blow to the stomach, all over the country. The outpouring of social media support for her family and the efforts to find her were something we could all be proud of as a community. Then, in the aftermath of her death and discovery, the march that took place through Brunswick was a humbling display of solidarity, and, again, an example of positivity and love in the face of tragedy.
And then…
As overwhelmingly supportive as the ‘Find Jill Meagher’ Facebook page had been, something turned. The anger we all felt at the senseless violence of the crime spilled over, with people taking to the site in their thousands to express their rage and hurt. The problem, of course, was that social media has the potential to severely damage legal proceedings, and even amidst police and page admin warnings that content on the page could actually pervert the course of justice, the rage continued.
Sadly, the hostility contained in the comments and threats against Jill Meagher’s alleged murderer was so vicious that it was possible to draw parallels between the violence Jill experienced and the violence the public were now wishing upon her attacker. Make no mistake – the anger everyone felt at the tragic loss of life and violation of an innocent young woman was justified; but surely, we’re better than this extreme, violent reaction? Even if it’s only expressed in words?
Vitriolic social media content
Next there was the Alan Jones debacle, in which he declared to a crowded room that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father – a man she had only very recently farewelled after a long illness – had ‘died of shame’. The wish to see him brought to account for such cruel and insensitive comments was, as with the case of Jill Meagher, an admirable reflection on our values as a society. Yet no sooner had Jones’ sponsors begun withdrawing their advertising support from his show than the vitriol directed at him online began to get out of control.
Jones’ subsequent claims that he has been the victim of cyber-bullying might seem ironic to some, but there is some truth to them. Think of how many times you have heard Alan Jones described in extremely colourful terms by someone (ironically) claiming he needs to be stopped for talking to other people in the same offensive manner?
Malcolm Turnbull argued that the alleged cyber-bullying was in fact a symptom of Jones ‘getting a dose of his own medicine’. His comments have been widely accepted because he is known as a mild, measured man whereas Jones is perceived as a loose cannon. But can you imagine the outcry had Jones suggested that another victim of cyber-bullying deserved it????
For their parts, many of the Facebook pages that have sprung up in opposition to Jones have attempted to curb the hate-speech from posters on their page. For example, Destroy the Joint, a page ‘for people who are sick of the sexism dished out to women in public roles in Australia, whether they be our Prime Minister or any other woman’, posted this yesterday morning:
Since Alan Jones took to the airways this morning this page has received a very large volume of comments from people best described as trolls. These trolls have made deeply offensive comments that have now escalated into threats of violence. These comments are completely unacceptable – hate speech is exactly what we stand against. We support freedom of speech but in light of the nature of these threats and comments we have taken the decision to temporarily restrict posting on this page. We have also taken screen shoots and we will be passing these onto the police. We thank the wonderful DtJ community for your support – we will never give up speaking up and standing up to sexism.
Yet these efforts by page admins – like those by the admins of the ‘Find Jill Meagher’  page – have hardly stemmed the flow of social media comments that use the same sort of hateful speech as the very thing they are protesting against.
Surely we’re better than this?
Online mob mentality
Just yesterday, more offensive comments were directed at Julia Gillard during her Facebook Q&A – some of them even referencing her father’s passing or calling her vile and unrepeatable names. More proof, if it were needed, of the mob mentality and copycat characteristics that runs the risk of ruining social media for everyone.
Social media gives people the chance to have intelligent discussions with those we do not normally have access to. If, 15 years ago, the prime minister of Australia had opened a meeting and offered to answer any questions people had, do you think we would have acted so disgracefully? Why are we wasting these opportunities afforded us, and instead of offering informed, civil debate, reducing ourselves – and the process – to something no-one wants to take seriously?
How much longer do you think it will take before we see a reversal in the number of people who even use social media as a serious forum? If we don’t start replacing violent hate speech with reasoned debate, conversations – at least the ones we should be taking part in – will no longer be accessible through social media.
Social media has immense power to change society and effect real-world improvements. It also has the potential to do the opposite, and the more of us who stand up and prove we are better than petty bullying and threats, the more chance we have of achieving the former and preventing the latter.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.


A vicious circle

The whole issue of social media bullying refuses to go away
Are people in the public eye really fair game? Just because somebody appears on television, does it mean it’s OK for others to pass judgement on them or bully them? In Australia, the Robbie Farah and Charlotte Dawson cases have become causes célèbres.
In the case of TV personality Dawson, a number of Internet and social media trolls (bravely hiding behind a virtual cloak of anonymity) felt it was perfectly OK to abuse her. Meanwhile, other people suggested on various social media forums that she had brought the attacks on herself by basically choosing to live in the public eye – and even that her subsequently revealed mental health issues were some sort of publicity stunt.
Are the people who post these kinds of things motivated by jealousy, that someone is ‘famous’ (whatever that means) while they are not? Have these celebrities signed some sort of Faustian pact whereby the price they pay for creating a public career (however vacuous and Kardashian-like said ‘career’ may be) is the right for anyone and everyone to pour vitriol on them?
In a way, the whole issue has become something of a vicious circle (with a dash of self-fulfilling prophecy thrown in for good measure). Now, those in the public eye are fighting back – and that fact alone is generating traditional and social media coverage, which will doubtless in turn generate a whole new round of trolling and response, trolling and response…
Here’s the latest response, from US TV anchor Jennifer Livingston. In truth, her response to a viewer who said she was obese is beautifully done – honest, heartfelt, reasoned, intelligent, passionate and even moving. Which in part explains why it has attracted over three million hits on YouTube.

As Jennifer Livingston points out in the video, October is anti-bullying month. The most popular article ever posted on The Message looks at how social media can actually help beat cyber bullying. It is clear, though, that there is still a long way to go.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Socially aware case study

Here’s a great example of content marketing with a conscience
Some sites have turned the ‘404 – Page Not Found’ message into something of an art form (or at least a chuckle-worthy  meme), but as the LA Times reports, it is now being put to a far more helpful and important  use.
In a very 21st century online content update of the famous US milk carton campaign, Belgian advertising agency Famous has joined forces with Missing Children Europe to create notfound.org.
‘With the NotFound project we are however taking this one step further by giving these pages a reason to exist,’ Laurent Dochy, the adman who came up with the idea said. ‘The next step came easily: Page not found, neither is this person.’
NotFound encourages people and businesses to download a file through the group’s website that will place a box with a missing person’s picture and some biographical information on a website’s error pages.
To date, 480 websites have signed up to the initiative. Hopefully many more will follow suit as content marketing shows that, despite popular perception, it actually has a conscience.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.