IAB: Rules Rules Rules

This post first appeared on the blog of the IAB on August 8th, 2011 —

18th January 2011. That was the date of the this year’s first meeting of the IAB Social Media Council (SMC). Back then all the talk was about the impending ASA remit extension that would very very soon cover not only companies’ marketing claims on their own websites, but also in other non-paid for space they control – aka, ‘earned media’.

As an industry trade body the SMC assembled and collectively pondered on what would be considered best practice for adhering to these standards. I don’t think it was at that meeting that any kind of course of action was agreed, however, I do believe a large amount of the assembled members agreed that, like our US counterparts, ‘#ad‘ would probably work best.

Fast forward six months and with the remit fully in place, has anything changed? Not really. Has there been a seismic shift in the behaviour of online advertisers? Probably not.

Admittedly we haven’t seen any major cases reported to the ASA quite yet, but isn’t that thanks to a certain level of understanding and intelligence of your average internet user? If we move away from the online world for a second and instead think about the combined worlds of brand, celebrity and sport personality – how do these kind of standards play out there? Case in point: Tiger Woods and Nike.

When we see Mr Woods teeing up at the PGA Tour do we question that the Nike cap he chooses to wear is there for any other reason than advertising? No. Of course not. It’s an expectation. Something that we, as the viewing public, have grown to accept within this particular industry. It’s a given that this happens. However, it’s also assumed that – given his high profile nature – that this sponsorship must have happened. Why else would he be wearing the logo? And of course, there is no doubt that Nike put out a press release when this sponsorship was made – but how long ago was that? Shouldn’t he be adding the the word ‘ad’ onto that hat? No, of course not. That’d be silly.

But if he tweets something about Nike, will be have to append it with ‘ad’ ?

It doesn’t make sense.

Yes of course I agree that we should ultimately make it explicit that a piece of content created in the name of advertising is in fact an ad, but why not have something on our website/homepage/bio that states this is the case? Better yet, exactly how are paid endorsements going to be handled moving forward? Social media are fundamentally different, but a sponsorship deal is a sponsorship deal. Be it product placement in movies (and games), Nike on Tiger Woods…. or bloggers being sponsored by a brand  to write about products, it’s the same rules – right?

So HOW can we expect to retrofit one solution across them all? We can’t.

Everything that’s been written about social media has defined how different they are from the rest of the media types that have come before it. Here we are at the turn of a new decade (yes we are) and now suddenly the ‘free world’ of the internet is being regulated like it’s a piece of out of home.

New rules are required. Ones that are built on customer smarts, not crafted out of the remnants of out of date thinking.

So now what?

 

Notes on a Notebook

Moleskine entry: January 12th, 2010

I’m a bit miffed; I keep using this Moleskine for work. We’re not far from the end of this first book now and well, soon it will be time to buy another one… or two. I’m thinking maybe one for work purposes and another for personal, i.e.: sketches, notes, journal entries etc.

Admittedly, this in itself opens me up to a whole new world of potential pitfalls. It will not take long to tire of carrying two book instead of one, and I can imagine quite clearly just about to present somewhere and finding that I have the wrong notebook with me. The more I think about it however, the more I realise that this is really the only true path forward.

Hellboy 2 flashes before my eyes. I don’t know why.

Two Moleskines it is then, for 2010. Let’s see how we get on with that one then, this time next year…

Fast forward

I’ve raced over the deadline and time has caught up with me. Annoying. Time hasn’t been my friend and a full year has lapped my moleskine entries.

In a word; balls. Time to knuckle down and bust these guys out. The next few posts are going to be ALL moleskine entries.

I really need to catch up.

Until later…

My friend Will

This is William Rowe.

At the time of writing Will is somewhere near Kendal en route from John O’Groats all the way down to Lands End. If you’re not from the UK then you need to know that the route looks a little something like this –

According to Google Maps, this is just shy of 840miles. Say it with me: EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY MILES! Why is he doing this? For charity, of course (actually, knowing Will, he’s probably doing it for the sheer challenge of the thing too I’d imagine – he’s like that).

Believe it or not, it’s not his first time. Madness.

CLIC Sargent, the charity in question, supports and cares for young children with cancer. Will, along with around eight other equally mentally unbalanced cyclists, is hitting the road RIGHT NOW to help try and raise £20,000. You can read the full story (as well as keep up with their progress) on their dedicated Twycle website.

I’ve just sponsored them and you can too. If you’re not in the mood for giving, then perhaps you might want to follow their progress via the medium of Twitter – they are at the rather auspiciously named @twyclebritain.

Go on, go check them out and – if you want – why not sponsor them too?

Best of luck Will. To you and your fellow riders.

We’re cheering you on from afar! 🙂

Fixing your Flickr photostream

Watching the Watchmen with @pakysse #g20voice

If, like me, you’re a Flickr photo nazi, then you’re probably one of those people who goes nuts when images or videos aren’t tagged correctly or you get minor headaches when certain uploads aren’t placed in the right sets etc. Right?

One bugbear of mine (that I’ve recently solved the problem of), is that of my photos being out of order within my Flickr photostream.

Simply put; Flickr keeps users’ streams in order of DATE UPLOADED not DATE TAKEN. This can be annoying at best and at worse, quite possibly the most frustrating thing in THE ENTIRE WORLD.

To put this into context, a couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I went to the rather awesome Big Chill festival. We took a multitude of imaging equipment (admittedly, mainly phones), and between us we must’ve shot about 2-300 photos.

If, when we got back home, we uploaded these to the same account one after the other, then that is exactly how they would appear. One set, after the other. But what if I don’t want them like that? What if I want them ALL in chronological order?!

Question – “How do you change the chronology of your Flickr photostream?”

Answer – You use h4ppier photos

With this handy app you can go back and change ALL of your photos date by using one handy little button.

To get to this point, first select ‘Very h4ppy’ at the top of the page, then put in your upload dates and then hit the search button. Once h4ppier photos has found the images it’s looking for, this button (amongst many others) will present itself.

Yes you need to let the app to access your Flickr account. Yes it can be dangerous. But I’m telling you; this is by far and away my favourite 3rd party Flickr app, ever.

Use it. Today.

…..

..

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At this point I kind of feel obliged to point out that Flickr isn’t all bad. In fact, most of the time, I absolutely LOVE Flickr. When they introduced some new UI changes recently it was quite possibly the coolest… oh wait, hang on – just watch this –

Irkafirka

I’m in Canada, writing from my second hotel of about four I think for this trip. The first night, in the Wyndhams, my body clock was still adjusting. At 4am my eyes opened like it was 9am and kicked me up into the day. Damn. “Best start work then…”

First, coffee….  and this is what I’m faced with –

Another poor quality photo from the Nexus One. Sigh.

There isn’t much tech in the world that I don’t get on with, however coffee machines (along with most fax machines) would be on the very short list if I ever made one. In fact, I just did and look – they’re at the top.

170720101356

Were there any instructions for the machine anywhere in the room? No.
Any tips or pointers on the actual machine itself? No.
Brilliant.

Tweet tweet –

About 90mins later, this appeared –

What’s the twitpic behind the link?

Well… THIS:

How freaking amazing is that? My tweet, illustrated.

To give you some background, I stumbled across Irkafirka sometime ago now, back when they randomly sketched one of Benny’s tweets. I thought it was amazing and started following them. Both on Twitter and on RSS. Irkafirka illustrate tweets. Randomly. And they’re awesome.

Yesterday they did one of mine and I’m grinning form ear to ear.

Thanks to both of you, Chris and Nick. I’m made up.

Cheers.