Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

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Friday, 16 April 2010

should we be less #fail smug

The start of this year has brought us some memorable social media fails: Eurostar, #cashgordon and Nestle to name but a few. And how we relish kicking them when they’re down. Because:
They don’t know how to do it.
They don’t get it.
They’re arrogant.
They’re douches.
We would NEVER do that.

If you want a wonderful description of #cashgordon then have a read of this from the good folk at Made by Many. I particularly like the point that yes, the interweb will try and punk you. Because it can.

But aren’t we also getting a bit up our own arses on this? What if one of our own campaigns suffered a monumental fuck up? We are fallible. Yes, hard to believe I know. But it could happen. Would we take so much joy in our own #fail?

In the case of Nestle, the real issue was seemingly missed – especially on Twitter – by our own blinkered views. Although I’m in no way a hippy – I flaunted Earth hour this year by watching a Top Gear repeat with the lights on, phones charging, dishwasher on and many appliances on stand by – the poor gorillas and forest destruction got side-lined by our own glee at Nestle fucking up a Facebook response. I’m aware Nestle also has a long running war with NGOs after many an issue so anything they did was bound to wreak havoc regardless.

But all this smugness has another impact. Clients who are still reticent about entering into the social space are typically concerned about reputation or the notion of control. And this is still the majority no matter our own rhetoric on social media being HUGE. The #fail culture does little to overcome these barriers and we will be left with only the brave forging ahead which inhibits the growth and maturation of this exciting and game-changing space.

Perhaps if we were less concerned with our own reputations we would be sharing more #success rather than focussing on the #fail?

Image source.

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Apple iPad: who will use and what for? All is now clear!

Apple iPad, originally uploaded by iLounge.

There is no doubt that Apple managed to create huge noise and discussion in the run up to, the actual announcement and the launch day of the iPad in the USA (a week ago as I write this). There has been monstrous amounts of coverage, comment and discussion.

One of the most common threads and themes through the whole process is around What the hell is the device for and Who the hell would want one.

There has been a lot of debate about people saying they do not see how it would replace what they have already (PC/ laptop/ smartphone/ blackberry etc) and it was surely just an oversized iPhone. Some more kindly said Apple geeks would buy it, and as there were a lot of those it would be a nice little side earner for the company.

I have watched the debate with interest, and then saw 2 comments that were “AHA” moments for me. 2 things that made it all clear.

The first comment was: “the iPad is a content consumption device, not a content creation device”
The second was: “the iPad is perfect for your mother”

It all made such sense to me, and of course the 2 thoughts are related, although I did come across them in different articles and comments.

Let me explain why I saw these as so profound and clear:

Anyone who has an iPhone knows the quality of images and look at stuff viewed on it is stunning. It is a great device to use, even for someone like me who struggles t use a laptop without a mouse! It is though damn hard to type and work on traditional content generation (be it documents, presentations etc). The iPad will not really overcome that, but will be big, beautiful and clear for consuming content like books, websites, video, applications, playing games and so on.

And so to the next point. People like my mother have no interest in creating content. They want to consume it, view it and at most tap out a simple email. They also do not want to have to have a desk for a PC or laptop, have it out or around, boosting it up and logging on. The iPad would be perfect. Easy to have in a drawer or in her bag. Easy to sit down with a coffee and consume.

Time will tell, but it seems to me that the iPad is a device to consume media by people who don’t want all the content creation capability a PC has.

Me I want it because I love gadgets. But at least I now know why I want it and how I will use it....

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