The MediaSnackers Legacy

A thousand blog posts whittled down to the juicy best.

Selected cuts from the first post (waaaaay back on May 1st 2006) to this last post—the offerings have been reduced to just the tastiest stuff—feel free to poke around the Top 50 Blog Posts and the other delicacies like the podcasts / vodcasts plus our book (the rest are just leftovers, have been wrapped in foil and put away for another day).

MediaSnackers is in permanent pause and only serves as a legacy brand to everyone who was involved.

If you’re after anything specific, can’t find something which used to be here or want to get in touch for any reason, contact MediaSnackers founder at—thanks for visiting and keep snacking!

Image credit

Top 50 Blog Posts


The best of our stuff

As you know MediaSnackers is taking a little break but a dig through the 1,000 blog entries made me realise that not only was there a lot of juicy stuff in the vault, so many of them are still fresh and relevant today.

So here’s a list of the top 50 posts over the past 5 years to fill your brain:

1. ?
2. Why Social Media Shouldn’t Be Outsourced: still yet to be proved wrong
3. The Business Of Being Human: so important to understand this
4. Why The Arts Needs to Embrace Social: a video of one of my keynotes (applies to all sectors)
5. Social School Design: educators need to take note
6. My Top Ten Speaking Tips: not for everyone
7. Finding Customers/Clients/Audiences Is Easy: with Twitter
8. Twitter And Teens: still relevant
9. How To Deliver Kick Ass Social Media Training: a blueprint
10. An Awesome Social Media List Of Social Media Lists: no other list needed
11. Asking The Right (Social Media) Questions: insightful reframing
12. Social Media Barriers and Benefits Video: me making sense (for a change)
13. Intersection vs Destination: how to get numbers to your site
14. Social Media Experts: obvious stuff
15. There Are No Natives: stop kidding yourselves
16. A Readers Challenge: something to do
17. The World Has Changed…: juicy ideas
18. Social Media Killed B2B: and yet others still try to sell B2B specific social services
19. 1,000 Tweets: an old milestone
20. Digital Breadcrumbs: this has become a staple saying
21. My Mates Are My Media: so long ago but still has relevance
22. Meme: Passion Quilt-Don’t Teach, Inspire!: a little participation
23. Ladders of Participation: remixing old models for new
24. How To Use Social Media (According to 6th Graders): fun
25. Social Networking VS Social Media: do you know the difference?
26. Digital Inclusion Wales Conference 2010: another video from one of my sessions
27. Shift Happens Interview: and another one
28. Google Docs Saves Money And Time: now you know what’s your organisations excuse for not adopting it?
29. My First Online Social Network: all thos eyears ago
30. The Change Business: hug a tree
31. Getting Paid: how to
32. Without Words: saving time and money again plus doing things better
33. MediaSnackers Button Theory: another staple
34. Dont Pull, Push: obviously
35. The MediaSnackers Manifesto: this was fun to write
36. Evil Social Media: throw rocks at it
37. Youth Work And The Web 09: still yet to manifest
38. Social Media Magpie: still am
39. Non-linear Navigation: way ahead of our time
40. IT Departments: one for the geeks
41. Kidnectivity: nice
42. YouTubers: great video
43. Consultation Is Dead: and yet we still give people pieces of paper to fill in with lots of questions and think it’s the best way to find out stuff
44. The Hidden Digital Divide: yes, yes and yes
45. MediaSnackers Meme Explained: we started something
46. How Social Media ROI Materialises: one example
47. The BIGGEST Challenge: so obvious yet forgotten
48. The MS Meme from the #20: tracking the trend
49. MediaSnackers : A Definition: what it says on the tin
50. MediaSnackers Explained: now over 11,000 views

Btw, the reason why number one a “?” is that I figured I’ve yet to write my best stuff and thought it serves as a challenge to myself…

Over the coming months this blog will be reignited with insights into the new iteration of MediaSnackers—be sure you’re subscribed.

What has been useful to you? Any surprises?

5 Years Of MediaSnackers : Thanks, Reflections, Regrets & New Horizons

Time to take a break

This is the 1,000th blog post on here.

Today is also the fifth anniversary / birthday of MediaSnackers.

Add the fact I’m emigrating to New Zealand in a couple of weeks time, leaves me in reflective mood…


There are three groups of people who need some deep waist bows from me…

First up are the deliverers / associates / colleagues who basically have been involved in serving up all our social media services over the years plus those ‘backroom staff’ you never see, without which, we’d be back pulling pints in the local (in alphabetical order as to ensure fairness) :

  • Adele, my book-keeper : for crunching the didgets and handling my receipts
  • Alun, my Dad : for doing my payroll (what a great Father)
  • Barney Grenfell : good luck in being a fantastic teacher pal
  • Bobbie Gardner : brought some class to the whole outfit
  • Chris Unitt : congrats on the new role and for being so fab / tall
  • Emily Littler : a positive spirit who has graced our work at times
  • Guy Parsons : was brief but definitely fun
  • g : mentor, ass-kicker and general shepherd to my thoughts
  • Jess Chan : brightened up any gig with wonderful energy and enthusiasm
  • Kieran Masterton : for sorting out all the web stuff and headaches we’ve encountered over the years
  • Lee, my brother : for providing counsel, gentle nudges and other expertise
  • Malcolm, my accountant : for keeping us square with the authorities and for answering endless questions about VAT
  • Mark Mapstone nolvadex : an honour and privilege to have had you involved, truly inspirational
  • Matt Hinks : you never let me down
  • Neil Cocker : humbling to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic soul

Next up are the clients, who have basically kept us all clothed, watered and off the streets for the past five years, but more importantly, gave us the opportunity to share our stories and insights into why social is so inspiring.

And last but not least, you guys, the media snacking community. You who read our stuff, listen to our podcasts, watch our vodcasts, subscribe to our email digest, retweet our tweets, meet us for mint teas and generally ring / email when you fancy a chat.

Heartfelt and humbled gratitude.

Thank you one and all.


They say you shouldn’t have any but just for fun here are a handful which spring to mind :

  • not going public with the ‘TED For Youth’ idea—this was an idea myself and good friend / colleague Magnificent David McQueen pitched to the guys at TED over three years ago, back in February 2008. Two years later, in 2010, the TEDx franchise was launched. Inspired by us or just great minds thinking alike…?
  • not keeping the email exchange of trying to get Chris Anderson (not the TED one) to do a podcast—six months later this Wired edition came out with no reference or hat tip our way (the email exchange was lost due to a hard drive crash, now all email goes through gmail so there’s always a backup / archive).
  • not closing the deal with Jack Dorsey (Tiwtter Founder) to do a podcast interview back in 2007—this was before Twitter was what it is today. Now he doesn’t answer my emails (and quite rightly so, busier than the queen that man).
  • calling Sir Ken Robinson a ‘scally‘ when i first met him—simply rude and a reaction of not knowing what to say to break the ice (luckily he didn’t take offense and we did a podcast with him soon after).


Building a business from nothing but an idea is hard.

Making it a six figure turnover company has been so draining.

Managing every aspect of its development has been immensely overwhelming.

But man, it’s been a rush… my biggest challenge in life. The maker of me. The tester of my spirit. The gauntlet to my soul. The vehicle that enabled me to visit five continents on the planet and speak in front of tens of thousands of people. The thing that is now bringing tears to my eyes as I type (I’m not too proud to share).

Anyone who has given everything to an idea / project knows what I’m feeling. It’s too great to sum up and definitely too vast to pick out just a few relfections from this journey.

Simply put, it’s the best chance I ever took.


The other side of the planet is my next stop (after spending some time on the West Coast of USA). A new role awaits (as Social Media Manager for CORE Ed) as well as a new partner for MediaSnackers (same people who are given me the new role).

It’s the end of the beginning.

The next chapter.

Really excited about taking all those years of experience, those insights and ideas gained from working with all those different people / organisations / brands, and crafting a new set of services, again, with one goal in mind : to inspire people to learn, work & live differently with social media.

PLUS to work without me.

Even though I tried, MediaSnackers has never been a sustainable business that works without me. Taking guidance from my new partners and other folks, it will have this structural core to ensure a solid foundation for growth and scale.

This is going to be fun!


It’s time to take a break.

Due to the emigration plus settling into my new life and working out the finer details of the new partnership arrangement, there won’t be any new content on here for the coming months. Nor will our Twitter profile be updated (you can always follow my personal @justadandak one though).

RSS feeds won’t be read and emails will be sparingly accessed.

Time for a little breathing room.

Thanks again to all of you.

Next stop, Christchurch, New Zealand and my new life…

Image credit

MS Vodcast Episode#27 | Mario Sundar, Social Media Manager for LinkedIn


How the social networking guys do social.

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

Mario Sundar is the Senior Social Media Manager (Global) for LinkedIn, the professional online social network.

0.00 intro
0.15 about LinkedIn
1.05 day-to-day activities (LinkedIn answers, LinkedIn blog
03:36 rolling out a strategy across 12 countries
06:16 measuring impact and tracking success of their Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter profiles
13:43 advice for other companies
16:33 the future
17:51 outro

itunessubscribeSubscribe directly to these vodcasts through iTunes by clicking the ‘subscribe’ icon opposite (download iTunes for free here).

Not using iTunes? Then just copy / paste this feed and drop it into your vodcast aggregating software.

Find out how to easily subscribe by watching this short video.

Feast on our other MS Vodcasts

Continue reading MS Vodcast Episode#27 | Mario Sundar, Social Media Manager for LinkedIn

How To Deliver Kick Ass Social Media Training


A blueprint

What we deliver in our social media training has changed over the past five years but the principles have stayed the same (more or less).

As the industry becomes dilluted with every man and his guinea pig pimping their own brand of social media offerings here’s our differentiator.

I know what you’re thinking : we’re crazy to give this stuff away… without arrogance we know not a lot of people can do this and certainly no-one can deliver it like us, so we’re cool :

  • Be nice—right from the outset. Be warm. Be engaging. Be smiley. Be likeable (and BEware not to appear smarmy).
  • Have a wicked slidedeck—you have to impress from the start and create an emotional reason for participants to engage (above and beyond the fact that their boss has asked them to attend). This is not a powerpoint slide with bullet points on what they will learn, but a call to arms, a challenge, a haka, a throwdown
  • Know your shit stuff and how to communicate it to queens and paupers—setting up a blog is not the same as knowing how to blog nor is it the same of enabling others to blog. Learn the difference and explore all the ways to communicate them.
  • Be confident and self-aware—not a fan of standing up a room of 20 strangers, then move on. If you don’t have the balls to laugh out loud, share what inspires your soul, cry (seriously, some of our sessions have been known to get that emotional), then you won’t give, in turn, permission to those participating to do the same.
  • Contextualise often—being a jane-of-all-trades is a must (unless you’re only serving a specific industry, although even then you’re missing out as to go forward look sideways). Polymaths rule in markets which constantly overlap and bleed into each other. Hit the books and learn the differences between how music venues speak compared to local authorities etc.
  • Challenge—training is about expanding brains and pushing at the limits of existing knowledge. This might mean telling people they currently suck at something or are doing it wrong (in a social media context). Always be ready to back it up though and you better also have the solution at hand as well otherwise things could get ugly.
  • Inspire—show people the goal. Highlight through stories how much impact this stuff has. Illustrate through personal insights and corporate case studies the outcomes of using these platforms (from a monetary saving perspective right through to a cultural shift into authenticity and customer engagement).
  • Play—this is your greatest weapon. Creat spaces and cultivate the environment of play. Our golden ticket to get high levels of engagement throughout the day.

Now sprinkle in the content, some funky missions and learning styles then you have yourself a blueprint of how to deliver a kick ass training session. We’re constantly tweaking and changing this but you get the idea.

Now think of the last training course you went on—anything like this?

Did I miss anything?

MediaSnackers Training

Google Docs Saves Money And Time


And why you will never use it

Think about how many meetings happen in your business / organisation. Here’s a guaranteed social solution to save both time and money :

Lets say that one person spends about 2 hours a week writing minutes / notes relating to meetings they attended (that’s outside of actually attending the meeting in the first instance).

We will be generous and say this person gets 4 weeks off a year and therefore that’s 48 weeks x 2 hours = 96 hours spent per year on the taking of notes and minutes related to meetings.

This equates to £1,632 (the average wage in the UK is about £24,000 a year / £17 an hour approx).

Now, here’s the solution—at every meeting someone just creates a Google Doc, adds the attendees in as contributors and writes the notes / minutes there and then.

The impact this would have is :

  • no need to go back to the desk and write the minutes up
  • no need to send emails out with the attached minutes as the participants already have access to them
  • no need to print the minutes out for distribution (saving more time / money / trees)
  • no need to send emails out if someone makes an edit as people will be able to see on the document itself

(If you don’t know what Google Docs is then check out the helpful video below) :

Totally realise the above calculation is rougher than a badgers undercarriage (numbers are really not my strong point) but you get the idea.

Do a quick number crunch and see how much time you could save yourself if you switched to using google docs and eliminated the accumulative time currently spent on the original method. Then multiply that by the people in your company who do similar things to you. What figure did you come up with?

I’ve been using the simple example above for ages in all our masterclasses / training sessions and yet, hardly any businesses / organisations I know have adopted it.


Well maybe I didn’t communicate it well enough could be one factor. But I think the issue is institutional or cultural.

There is a deeper barrier to adoption for these ideas and the others we share in our sessions, however, the habitat for the innovation habit does not exist.

To cultivate a culture of progression and openness to new ideas is about aligning the motivational factors of the individuals to the purpose of the organisation. If the people are all for new ideas and the company is not, then there is no adoption (and vice versa as well).

This is the biggest challenge to seeing social media being explored and then used.

Inspiring individuals is easy. We’ve been doing that for over five years. But organisations and company wide, now there’s a challenge, one which I’m going to be taking on in my secondment as the Social Media Manager for CORE in Christchurch, NZ.

MS Podcast#156 : SSG Dale Sweetnam, U.S. Army

dale sweetnam

HOOAH and social media

The MediaSnackers podcast focusses on individuals, organisations or companies who are simply impressing us and which are crying out for more discussion.

SSG Dale Sweetnam is the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Online and Social media, the US Army’s Online and Social Media Division.

0.00—0.24 intro
0.25—1.33 Dales role and use of social media in the Army
1.34—4.21 the Social Media Army Handbook
4.22—6.35 negative comments
6.37—9.27 managing 122 YouTube / 266 Twitter / 205 Flickr / 930 Facebook pages (full list here)
9.28—12.00 being human
12.01—13.37 future
13.38—13.49 outro

itunessubscribeSubscribe directly through iTunes by clicking on this icon (download iTunes for free here).

Not using iTunes? Then just copy / paste this feed and drop it into your aggregating software.

Want to suggest someone or put your virtual hand-up to be interviewed? Then get in touch here.

Devour our other podcasts.

Continue reading MS Podcast#156 : SSG Dale Sweetnam, U.S. Army

Why Social Media Shouldn’t Be Outsourced

no unauthorised personnel

Dare you to disagree!

Headlocks, wedgies and chinese burns to all social media agencies / freelancers who manage brands and organisations social spaces and communications.

Please stop!

When our clients and others talk to us about outsourcing their social media activities we used to say : “it’s not wrong, just wrong for us”, now we’re saying something different…

At the centre of any decision to outsource are the two main reasons :

  • don’t have the time
  • don’t have the skills

Lets take them in turn :


Most organisations and brands devote time to develop their staff and new skills. To broaden the touchpoints they have with those who (potentially) buy from them. To become more efficient. To cut print and operational costs. To deepen the knowledge of their sector.

Social media does all this.

Add to that, it can save you an enormous amount of operational time (see below under ‘Internal Benefits’).


Anyone can learn how to use social media (an opinion based on five years experience, delivering across four continents, to hundreds if not thousands of people (we’ve lost count), across countless of industries and sectors).

We have yet to find one person who couldn’t click a few buttons, be inspired to use online platforms with the technologies they already own plus see the value and benefit it would bring to their role.

The golden rule of social media use : it’s just like being in a big room, full of real people.

Everyone already has the skill to be human.


There are other reasons why outsourcing is the wrong approach to take :

Internal benefits

Social media is a set of tools to make everyones life easier. Operations smoother. Quicker. Cheaper.

It’s as much as an internal function as an external one and understanding how to use these offerings effectively would negate the need to outsource due to the savings in time and money.

Social networking is just a small piece of the social media pie (those agencies / freelancers never tell you that do they).

The consumers / clients / customers

Most people use social spaces to connect with other individuals. Their perceptions of seeing brands and organisation in social spaces creates an expectation that communications would be from people working for said brand. If it’s someone else then that’s a little bit like cheating.

If anything it’s more about adding benefit to your brand name by giving away knowledge and insights. It’s about relevant content creation. It’s about responding personally to tweets. It’s about logging into forums and offering insights. It’s about adding value to current conversations out there. It’s about giving others stuff before expecting their time and money.

This approach is cheaper than any hiring of a PR agency in the long run (who couldn’t do half this stuff anyway) as it’s more authentic, honest and empowers businesses to distribute the message they want, unfiltered.

Check out our vodcasts with social media managers and hear from the likes of Ford, Kodak, SEGA, All Blacks Rugby on how they approach it all.

For me it comes down to this : however much money you throw at people to manage your social spaces for you, I guarantee they won’t have the passion, the understanding of your industry / sector or even the amount of energy to make it a success than you do. Period.

Ongoing cost

How much does it cost to pay that marketing / pr agency who now happen to do social?

How much time does it take to put together the briefs, manage the relationships, go through the reports, feedback on new messages / tactics etc.?

Going social is an continual investment and not a one-off purchase. The fuel you have to keep putting into the car after you bought it. Outsourcing means paying for a driver as well as the fuel (only a few can afford it, it’s simpler to do yourself and even if you don’t, most people think “why can’t you just drive yourself, lazy show-off?”).

Another thing most social media agencies fail to tell you is social media is really bad for selling stuff. Social spaces are being populated by those pumping their marketing messages through it with no understanding or regard to the essence of the medium.

So many businesses ‘sprinkle’ social media into their marketing, expect immediate results and then dismiss it, thinking that it doesn’t work for their sector. This is absolute nonsense and highlights a failure to understand how the digital world has changed, and how they need to change to keep up.

Social media is not going away and failing to invest properly in it this time will mean a reinvestment further down the line.


A few social media agencies started following me on Twitter recently and I asked them directly for their thoughts on this—none of them got back to me… what does that tell you?!?!?

A message for those thinking about outsourcing :

If you care about your business / organisation and believe in what you are doing, tell your own story, explore how social media can be used internally to save you time & money and please don’t outsource it.

A message for social media agencies :

You’re hurting the industry. You’re polluting and corrupting the spaces. You’re doing it wrong.

The only caveat to the above is for those individuals and agencies helping others start their social media journey, assisting in the start of the process and ‘holding the hands’ of those involved to transition to the client doing it for themselves—this is cool.

Think I’m wrong? OK, leave a comment. I’m open for discussion. Maybe there is room for both offerings in terms of freelancers and agencies managing social spaces and their messages plus other people like us helping people to do it for themselves—if someone can convince me to change my mind then I will happily write a rebuke.

MediaSnackers—not doing anyones social media communications and spaces since 2006—thank you.

MS Vodcast Episode#26 | Kellie Parker, USA Online Community Manager/Social Media Strategist for SEGA

sega logo

The blue hedgehog brand and being social.

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

Kellie Parker, USA Online Community Manager/Social Media Strategist for SEGA.

0.00 intro
0.17 day to day operations
0.41 how the team works
1.35 the numbers
2:38 measuring success
3:47 managing game titles not social spaces
5:10 an example (Super Monkey Ball 3D)
6:28 strategic targeting vs being organic
8:01 humanising the SEGA brand
11:03 the policy
13:04 monitoring the brand
15:31 advice for smaller brands
17:35 the future
18:52 outro

itunessubscribeSubscribe directly to these vodcasts through iTunes by clicking the ‘subscribe’ icon opposite (download iTunes for free here).

Not using iTunes? Then just copy / paste this feed and drop it into your vodcast aggregating software.

Find out how to easily subscribe by watching this short video.

Feast on our other MS Vodcasts

Continue reading MS Vodcast Episode#26 | Kellie Parker, USA Online Community Manager/Social Media Strategist for SEGA

MediaSnackers is currently in 'permanent pause' mode—check out where most of the juicy action is at nowadays!