MS Vodcast Episode#25 | Scott Monty, Global Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company


An old brand embracing the new

Our third in a new series of video podcasts (vodcasts) focussing on those interesting folks who manage social media for their brand / company / organisation.

Scott Monty, Global Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company.

0.00—0.21 intro
0.22—2.26 day-to-day activities
2.27—6.44 measuring success
6.45—9.06 CEO/executive buy-in
9.07—11.00 the humanisation of the brand (personalised video invites)
11.01—12.02 internal vs external measurement / creation
12.03—14.57 the fiesta movement campaign
14.58—17.56 internal use of social media
17.57—20.52 no blog but The Ford Story
20.53—23.02 the mistakes to learn from
23.03—25.15 one piece of advice for newbies (search on Twitter)
25.16—27.31 the future
27.32—27.51 outro

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The Business Of Being Human


The humanisation of brands

With a little help from Gary Vaynerchuk, the current opening slide in my keynotes and masterclasses outlines the fundamental impact social has had on brands (this includes charities, local authorities, schools, companies, even individuals) :

It offers us all (as MediaSnackers is a brand also) an opportunity to be human again.

Check out this great ad from Panasonic event highlighting the fact that “websites can’t tweet” :


Another example of this humanising idea is something we call ‘hardwiring conversation’ (into product lines or even ads) :

Instead of inviting people to the main Barclaycard site they steer them to their Facebook page, creating a chance to connect on a more personal level with prospective customers.

Then there’s Vitamin Water, which is the first we’ve seen of an actual product running with a Facebook logo on it (which is used instead of website) :

This water brand even used the online Facebook community to develop and create a new flavour called Connect.

And to finally nail the point home, this nice little screencast from Mashable chaps, illustrates how to use Twitters’ advanced search (check out how we used it to make finding customers/clients/audiences easy)—another glimpse on how the social web is being driven by content created by individual people :

Many leaders would agree that the most valuable asset in any organisation / company is the people. Not any of its products or processes. It’s communication policies or so called social media strategies. Allowing staff to take front and centre stage is a powerful step towards leveraging social media and is one of the major barriers of its adoption to date.

We already know that social media has killed B2B due to its peer-to-peer nature, this humanisation idea is broader manifestation of that concept.

Any other examples out there of brands being human through social media? Or hardwiring conversation into the products / services? Maybe you disagree… leave a comment and prove us wrong.

MS Vodcast Episode#24 | Jennifer Cisney, Kodak Social Media Manager & Chief Blogger

kodak logo

Managing content creation and online pedigree

Our second in a new series of video podcasts (vodcasts) focussing on those interesting folks who manage social media for their brand / company / organisation.

Jennifer Cisney is the Chief Blogger and Social Media Manager for Kodak.

0.00—0.24 intro
0.25—2.15 day-to-day activities and duties
2.16—3.29 who creates the media content and the numbers
3.30—4.47 process of education (internally)
4.48—5.26 what if no-one wants to create the content
5.27—7.34 what types of content is created
7.35—9.34 measuring success from social media activities
9.35—10.43 what type of business tool is social media?
10.44—14.24 impact of monitoring the social stream
14.25—17.13 broadcasting to narrowcasting / corporate governance / freedom
17.14—18.01 the strategy and how it changes
18.02—19.03 signing up to new platforms / core set of guidelines
19.04—21.06 becoming a chief blogger
21.07—22.47 the future
22.48—23.11 outro

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Why Quora Will Fail


Sooner rather than later

Quora, the new crowd-sourced question and answer network, has quickly gained some traction online in the past couple of months. Like all new platforms I signed up and participated.

I’m not a fan and here’s why :

You're only allowed to use your real name. Fair enough (and Quora were great in assisting me get my handle for my common law name, thanks guys).

Company names are also not allowed at this stage. Again, fair enough, it’s their site and they make the rules. But what about Edmodo or Vimeo or 37signals? It seems when you tag a question it creates a page for that brand / organisation, and here is where the danger lies : it has the potential to turn into another Get Satisfaction dilemma where they establish pages without permission or assistance from the sites / companies / organisations cited?

Quora offers nothing really new.

What about asking questions to your already trusted / established network on Twitter and / or Facebook questions? Then there’s Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, Squidoo who all offer similar things.

(See also “It’s not a survey question” / Reaching Critical Mass below.)

It’s Broke
For some reason I can’t sign in anymore. Apparently I haven’t validated my email address. Even though I ask for it to be sent again it never appears. Now I’m quite au fait with this online stuff and know it’s not in my spam box or going somewhere else. Makes you wonder what else is broke in the code?

They Built A Walled Garden
There is no contact page. As I can’t sign in I can’t contact any of the admins to message. I have sent them half a dozen requests through their Quora presence and as yet got no replies :

can’t log into as saying need to confirm email – resent confirmation not appearing – help @quora (checked spambox)less than a minute ago via web

Guidelines vs Rules
I had a quick response from one of the admins on the site who cited how the ‘guidelines’ forbid any lower case use (I forgot to use a capital “I”). I’m being pedantic here but guidelines are different from rules surely? Call a spade a spade!

Only Browser Based
The web is increasingly become mobile and without any apps to quickly check responses, validate friends requests, research other questions etc the service is somewhat limited.

It’s Boring
After a few days on the site, searching and participating you quickly get bored. Obviously this is subjective but after talking to some of my peers they feel the same way. Also it’s only text with no allowances for images or embeds like videos.

They Don’t Do Personal
I posed the following question : What is your blogging strategy?. An admin went in a changed it to “What are some good blogging strategies?”, I changed it back after personally replying to the gentleman stating the change altered the specifics of what I was asking. He said my question was against the guidelines (again) because it was a survey question:

Survey Questions aren’t allowed on Quora right now. Try to rewrite this question so it doesn’t address the answerer and is generalizable or more directly addresses the information you are looking for. For example, instead of “What is your favorite beach in LA?” ask something like “What are the nicest beaches for families in LA?”

I get it. Although my question directly relates to the individual who has that experience and information. Don’t know about you but asking what strategies work for individuals is much more powerful than generic responses… maybe they will change this going forward and allow this option to ask 'personal questions', maybe it will be too late when they do.

Reaching Critical Mass
There's been a huge take-up amongst the web 2.0 crowd. Big players banging the Quora drum and letting everyone know how cool this is. Outside of this group though I haven't seen anyone else take it up and tell others they need to be on this new platform. Therefore, it will never reach critical mass and capture a foot-hold.

(Haven't a clue what the critical mass is by the way, I just know there are far more groovier things to participate in on the web than answering / posing questions on a platform which have the above limitations.)

Then again, for exactly the above reasons Quora might succeed and I'll stick my hand up and say I was wrong. What do you think?

Digital Inclusion Wales Conference 2010

diw2010The Digital Inclusion Wales 2010 event focussed on how Wales can benefit from new digital technologies and how people can be supported to break down the barriers to using them.

I did a couple of masterclasses to illustrate how social media fits in with all this—check out my full session below:

DK, has the ability to deliver captivating keynotes and presentations. His style is modern, personable and addictive, with content relevant to audiences at all levels. DK + MediaSnackers are a must see and offer great value to anyone that needs to enhance or understand how to exploit further their online existence.

Marc Davies, Communities 2.0 Project Manager at Wales Co-operative Centre

MediaSnackers Speaking/Masterclass

MS Vodcast Episode#23 | David Barton-Ginger, All Blacks Social Media Manager


Managing the online profile and content of New Zealand rugby

Kicking off a new series of video podcasts (vodcasts) focussing on those interesting folks who manage social media for their brand / company / organisation.

David Barton-Ginger is the Online Manager for New Zealand Rugby Union.

Please forgive the grainy quality of the recording—Skype literally broke down an hour or so later.

0.00—0.24 intro
0.25—1.15 current role and focus
1.16—2.15 what platforms (, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter)
2.16—4.27 the numbers
4.28—5.44 content creation for different spaces
5.45—7.09 measuring success
7.10—9.05 impact of fan interaction / engagement
9.06—10.30 partners
10.31—13.10 managing players content creation
13.11—15.57 who creates the content
15.58—17.37 social media strategy
17.38—19.34 executive buy-in (CEO Steve Tew blog)
19.35—21.35 future
21.36—23.20 Rugby World Cup
23.21—23.47 outro

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Social School Design

New learning spaces for a new generation

During my recent stateside mini-tour I delivered a couple of sessions at the CEFPI World Conference for leading school design, in San Jose (got the highest feedback rating for all speakers—whoop whoop) plus an internal masterclass in Santa Monica for DLR Group, a school design architectural firm.

Been thinking about this sector from a social media perspective ever since and wanted to offer a mind-dump of thoughts and insights plus some curated content to extend the conversation (note : for the purpose of this post school design means the physical buildings plus the pedagogical approaches in those spaces as well) :

Social Media. So What?

Social media augments and embellishes your current operations.

It’s a tool (or a set of) to not only save time and money but also to enable practitioners build better learning spaces.

How? Read on…

Conversational design

Conversations drive social media spaces.

Conversations drive design processes.

Not one of the school architectural firms or companies I met had a blog. Now I’m not claiming a blog is a panacea for all social media efforts but if I ran a design firm in this space a blog would provide an opportunity to feature stuff like Joshua Prince-Ramus TED talk. Here he details the processes behind the building of the Central Library in Seattle, thus producing a perfect catalyst for discussion (internally and/or externally) :

Of course I would be featuring and talking about our own designs and the process relating to them, but the blog would also feature stuff like’s: The 6 Best Blogs For Architectural & Interior Design Ideas and’s: Architecture resource to broaden the debate and inform myself and others that there are more examples of innovation outside the industry than in it .

During the previous mentioned sessions I also showed the participants many online conversations about their specific school designs which none of them knew about. Highlighted how architectural students, studying today, were featuring and discussing the agencies work on their own study blogs. How random people were taking photos of their buildings and adding them to related learning environment groups on Flickr. Illustrating that students were making videos about their learning spaces. This video from the UTSA College of Architecture on Why My School Rocks illustrates the point perfectly.

All online. Transparent. Sharable. With lots of opportunities for conversation and engagement (through the commenting functions of these spaces).

Technology Is Disappearing

Into itself.

Most of the gadgets we have around us today will merge into the fabric of our surroundings, such as the walls, the furniture, the mirrors, windows etc. and when that happens, our offices, homes and school spaces will look very different :

And here’s those clever chaps / lasses at IDEO and their take on the future of the humble book :

This is not a show and tell about the future but more a reminding kick in the pants as it’s happening now. Augmented reality apps like the one below will quickly start to make interactive whiteboards obsolete (are we still going to ask the kids to put their phones away for classes when it can do things like this?) :

Multiple Uses For Online Spaces

Watch The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments :

As he brilliantly describes in his ‘extra space’, data is becoming a new fertile ground for exploration and creation. To illustrate this check out the Education Nation Scorecard which allows parents in America to check out how different K-12 schools measure up in their area :

And what happens when someone develops a similar site to that of Rate My Teacher, this time focussing on the school environment, with the students themselves crowdsourcing the content with pictures and videos and insights into the spaces they are using five days a week plus rating it? (Anybody want to partner in making this a reality?)

Internal vs External

Again, from talking with many industry folk hardly any of them are using platforms such as Google Docs, Skype, Wikis, internal / private blogs (as digital scrapbooks or team development spaces) etc.

All potential collaborative spaces to work more effectively.

Schools Are Interfering With Education

Bold claim?

Watch :

(Maybe I should’ve just embedded this video as the whole blog post and be done with it).

The end users of the school design process have the means and mechanisms to communicate their thoughts and create content globally and instantly. They can access vast amounts of information through devices they have in their pockets and it’s only going to get more ubiquitous, cheaper and quicker.

That’s the line in the sand. That’s your starting point. That’s the challenge.

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom

There is an amazing amount of good stuff happening out there, like Bosch & Fjord’s 21st Century School on the Cutting Edge of Learning and plus our previous podcastee Sir Ken Robinson doing his thing with a little help from RSAnimate:

And the British Council for School Environments recently launching their Free Schools Thinking: Places and Spaces for Teaching and Learning report (below), co-developed and supported by five of the UK’s leading architect firms :


We can all agree that not including the end users (students) in the design process is bonkers (what, in my old youth work days, they called ‘participation’ and which we now call conversation), this blog post does not argue this case as most school design agencies are all over it.

Instead it’s more a rallying cry around the emergence and continual shift social spaces and technology now offers. An ever moving target for school designers to lock their targets on.

We’ve already seem some noticeable adoptees : universities are using geo-location apps to better acquiant new students to their campus, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation getting involved in prepare high school students for college.

The biggest takeaway from the recent stateside sessions was a school design architect saying : “wouldn’t it be cool if we blogged the whole process of designing and building a school, like every bit of it”—YES IT WOULD but more importantly why wouldn’t you?!?!?

The final and last word goes to scifi writer source) :

I think that our grandchildren will probably regard the distinction we make between what we call the real world and what they think of as simply the world as the quaintest and most incomprehensible thing about us.

What do you think?

Related post : School Design And Digital Content Strategies

How Social Media ROI Materialises

The digital breadcrumbs in action

Here I am speaking via skype at the TEDxAmsterdam event back in July 2010.

I was invited by Pim Betist (the more handsome chap in the photo) to suggest and introduce my favourite TED talk which was then played (it was Simon Sinek and his Start With Why talk which has had a huge impact on us).

The opportunity arose after Pim tweeted out the day before that he was looking for anyone to fulfil this request—I basically put my digital handup with a reply as was free.

Pim and I met at the Trends In Kids and Youth Marketing conference in Amsterdam where we both spoke. I also did a vodcast with him about his funky company Africa Unsigned.

Got the conference gig after Ab Kujer suggested me as a speaker plus the agency exploring booking me read our little publication Zen And The Heart Of Social Media.

Ab runs Junior Senior whom we’ve done a little work with (and who’s just about to publish his first book, Think Small, Grow Big).

Ab first contacted me after seeing our MediaSnackers explained video years ago and we’ve stayed in contact since forming a great friendship over these past couple of years.

Cool, huh?

The digital world is overlapping the real world, offering us loads of digital breadcrumbs to follow and creating opportunities to connect to others like no other time in our history.

And still people doubt the ROI on it…

Asking The Right (Social Media) Questions

To get the right answers

We get asked a lot of questions about social media.

Quite rightly so.

Most of them are simply reframed to refocus the thought and to enable a new approach in thinking.

Here are the top five frequently asked questions :

  • What’s the ROI of spending time on social networks?

  • What does a good social media policy look like?

  • Have you got any examples related to my industry?

  • How does social media usage differ from B2C to B2B?

  • How much time do I need to set aside to play around with these new websites as I’ve got a job to do?

Our response :

  • What’s the ROI of connecting with existing customers / clients (or even potential ones)?

  • Do we know enough about social media to create a policy around its use yet?

  • Have you got any models which can be adapted and adopted?

  • How does social media enable me to connect with the specific people in businesses/organisations/communities who buy our products/services?

  • How much time do we invest in developing our professional learning to ensure we keep up to date with new developments in our field?

Feel free to ‘borrow’ the above to reframe the questions usually asked in internal meetings about social media investments and let us know how you get on.

Any other questions which are in need of repositioning you can think of?

Foundation for International Education


A couple of weeks ago I was humbly delivering a session to a group of students at the Foundation for International Education—the international class has the fantastic title of “Creative Leadership and Innovation in UK Media” and I was sharing what we do with our clients plus offering other hopefully insightful stuff.

Below is some feedback from the students themselves (plus professor who invited me)—not posting it here to brag but more to demonstrate the reason why I / we / MediaSnackers do what I / we / MediaSnackers do:

To inspire people to learn, work & live differently.

Stuff like this reinforces that focus and makes us work all the more harder to get better at it. How do you get your motivation shot?


Over the years I’ve been teaching I’ve always sought out guest speakers to help students get a feel for the “real world”. Although almost all guest speakers can provide some real world information, it’s the rare guest speaker that truly inspires the students, gets them charged up about the topic and engages them to learn more.

But that’s what you did!

You can see from the feedback cards that you accomplished each of those goals.

“DK was amazing” “I loved listening to DK” “I never thought about social media the way DK talked about it.”—those are just some of the sentiments.

Your energy and enthusiasm for the topic are a given. But it’s your knowledge and experience, your willingness to share personal experiences, and your understanding of how social media fits within the goals of a company or organization that made the learning truly worthwhile.

Sherri Hope Culver, Assistant Professor, Temple University

Thank you for the opportunity to come and deliver and for your energy in the session guys, means a lot.

Related post : Starting With Why

MediaSnackers Speaking/Masterclass