Simon talks Twitter on NZ’s Rhema

February 25th, 2009

Rob Holding of NZ’s Rhema network interviews Simon about Twitter, Twestival and where all this is going.


Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Twestival and #Blackout – mobile social movements

February 24th, 2009

We’re living in the age of the mobile social movement – and I don’t just mean you can get it on your mobile phone.

It’s mobile because you can do a lot of good without being deeply committed to something. That doesn’t mean you’re not sincere, but it means it’s never been more convenient to act on your best impulses.


Twestival shows how short the distance is between idea and execution.

My Twestival Nametag In September 2008, Amanda Rose had an idea for a tweetup that collected donations for CharityWater. In February this year, the idea went worldwide.

Because the infrastructure was already setup ( used WordPress MU so each city could easily manage its own page), getting your own city was relatively simple. The community was already there, and as you might know, Twitterers tend to be better educated, wealthier and better networked than most people, so venues and other details were easy to organise.

In Auckland we had 28 attendees (not bad considering the short lead time of about 2.5 weeks!) and raised $200 which went towards the worldwide total of US$250,000. See the TVNZ coverage here , and our background post here .

Not only did we raise money, we also got to meet fascinating people, like the Dutch student who’d been in Auckland only two days, and was leaving the next day, but wanted to donate and meet some other Twitter people.


If you’re in New Zealand, chances are you’ll have heard of the "online community" causing the government to defer the proposed amendment to the Copyright Act for a month.

Interestingly, opposition had been going some months, with the development of the Creative Freedom Foundation website, but it wasn’t until February 16th that the big idea took hold, and became the #blackout protest .

It’s another example of how people will rally to a cause they believe in, as long as you can communicate it in a simple way that:

  • shows how it affects them
  • incites curiosity
  • takes less than 3 seconds
  • is spreadable
  • translates to multiple platforms (eg the blacked out profile pictures, the banner ads, and even the placards used in real-life protests)

Notice that both of these "mobile social movements" had one thing in common – there was no big corporation involved. While there were corporate sponsors for individual Twestivals, they were in a service role, rather than telling people what to do.

If a business wants to insert itself into a mobile social movement – or start its own – it will face scepticism if its goal is anything but helping people do what they want to do.

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Twestival – tweeting up for charity!

February 10th, 2009

UPDATE:  See TVNZ’s coverage of the Auckland Twestival Twestival

This Thursday Auckland , Wellington and Christchurch will be the first places in the world to kick off a worldwide Twestival .

Twestival is like a normal tweetup , but it’s raising funds for CharityWater .

For just $10 at the door (or paid on the website) you can enjoy:

  • meeting other "imaginary friends" (people you know on Twitter but not in "real life")
  • free alcohol
  • possibly some music
  • being part of a world event that’s doing a lot of good!
  • and if you don’t even know what Twitter is, it’s a great opportunity to find out!

iJump is supporting the event and we’ll be saying a few things about social media and how it’s changing the world on the night. But only for a few minutes :)

The Auckland Twestival 2009:

  • Venue: Sale Street Brewery
  • Time: 5pm – about 9pm
  • Cost: $10 – all proceeds go toward Charity Water
  • Partners: Zendesk is the main sponsor; Sale Street Brewery are contributing; and little old iJump is helping get the word out.
  • HELP NEEDED: We’re still looking for someone to provide a laptop, large screen/projector and internet connection, so we can hook up with all the other Twestivals around the world! Contact Justin Flitter to help, or just leave a comment.

And thanks so much to Joi Design for putting together the nametags at such short notice.

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter:

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Not subscribed to iJumpTV? Here’s what you’ve been missing

February 10th, 2009

If you haven’t subscribed to iJumpTV , you’ve been missing out on some exciting stuff, as well as thought-provoking book reviews.

I would say that, wouldn’t I! But seriously, while many social media blogs talk a lot about the tools, these interviews and book reviews look at the larger issues of how to manage a large organisation through the process of change .

The most recent book review is the contrarian Against the Machine , which I disagreed with (you might have guessed I would).

And just fresh off the press today, an interview with Luigi Cappel about the Location Innovation Awards , designed to get people thinking up clever ways to use mobile for marketing and business.

Don’t miss out on this valuable resource, delivered right to your computer and viewable on your iPhone, iPod, or other portable video viewer. Subscribe today .

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter:

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

How to promote an event through social media

February 9th, 2009

As we’re gearing up to promote this Thursday’s Twestival and the Marketing Now Conference in April, I’ve been thinking about how best to get the word out about an upcoming event.

Here’s what I’m learning:

Add intimacy to reach and frequency.

Traditional media rely on reach (how many people hear your message) and frequency (how often they hear it). This gets a little annoying (like those TV ads you like the first 5 times, and hate thereafter).

Adding intimacy is something you could even do on traditional media, but few people do. It’s a sense of letting your audience in behind the scenes, so they know and are a part of the event, before it happens.

It could be as simple as me twittering: "Going to the printer’s to pick up the nametags for Thursday’s Twestival. I hope we don’t run out; we printed 100!"

This communicates a subtle reminder of the event, while also communicating other information (there will be nice printed nametags, there will be about 100 people – we hope!). It also lets the audience know what’s happening behind the scenes, and the live, real-time nature of Twitter/Social media somehow helps this.

Get your audience involved

If you’re running the event, maybe you can crowdsource suggestions on different aspects of the event.


  • Better ideas
  • A greater sense of involvement from those who have contributed ideas – and therefore greater likeliness that they’ll attend and encourage others to come.

Sometimes event organisers do this the old-fashioned way, through a competition. But instead of inviting the feedback of potential attendees, they just bribe their way through with a prize.

Sure there’s value in prizes and incentives, but sometimes as an event organiser you can offer great value, without paying a cent. Being heard is increasingly valuable in a busy world where the biggest dollars usually have the loudest voice.

Variations on a theme

Twitter promotion can be like radio advertising – you need to promote your event at different times of the day to reach different audiences. Yet some people will be on there all the time, and since they’re likely to be quite influential you do not want to annoy them.

What to do? Variations on a theme. In other words, don’t just tweet the same old message. Find all its different flavours, and explore them. Are there different speakers? Promote each one and the message they’ll be delivering.

Share your learnings

As you go, maybe write a blog post about … um, "how to promote an event through social media"!

How do you do it?

If you run and promote events, how do you use social media to promote your event? We’d love to see your comments below.

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Even more events – Webstock and Web09

February 9th, 2009

I inadvertently left out two important events from Monday’s roundup: Webstock (Wellington, Feb 16-20) and Web09 (Auckland, 17-18 April).

These events are for the more technically inclined, but there are social media tie-ins.

Webstock has social media consultant Derek Powazek and Flickr’s community manager Heather Champ , as well as New Zealand’s own Russell Brown (publisher of the Public Address blog and community) and Nat Torkington (organiser of KiwiFoo and a regular tech commentator).

Web09’s speakers will be talking about interface design, open APIs, iPhone apps, mobile and creating a great user experience. Lets hope many designers and developers get that message!

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

“Tweetup” tonight in Auckland!

February 5th, 2009

On Twitter? Want to be? Want to learn more? In Auckland?

Come along to tonight’s "Tweetup ", starting from 5pm at the Sale Street Brewery .

There’s also the Auckland Twestival , a charity event raising funds for Charity Water , next Thursday at the same venue.

Want to be notified when the next Tweetup is? Join the Auckland Twitter Meetup Group .

Will I see you at either one?

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Simon on BlogTalk Radio, Love Digital

February 4th, 2009

Hear Simon Young on podcasts around the web Our Tactical Transparency giveaway caught the attention of the book’s co-author, John C Havens .

On his Transparency podcast , he interviewed me and Leigh Blackall , our winner, who’s making strides towards transparency at Otago Polytechnic .

Hear the interview here.

I was also interviewed on the topic of blogger outreach on Australia’s leading (only?) marketing podcast, Love Digital . I may be a regular on the podcast, giving a view from across the Tassie. (That’s the Tasman Ocean, for those outside Australasia).

Lovely old radio pic courtesy of Nite_Owl .

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

Social media experts invade NZ!

February 2nd, 2009

Marketing Now, April 15-16, Wellington Well it’s not quite an invasion, but there are an awful lot of very smart people hitting New Zealand in the next few months.

Feb 19: The Great Word of Mouth Experiment – Jaffe, Sernovitz

It starts in just 18 days with the Great Word of Mouth Experiment . Details here , but you won’t find registration details. This is an invitation-only event to map the marketing social networks of New Zealand (and, no doubt, further afield).

Speakers for the event are Joseph Jaffe , author of Join the Conversation , and Andy Sernovitz , author of Word of Mouth Marketing .

March 11-12: 2nd Digital Media Summit – Hopkins, Horne and more

In March there’s the 2nd Digital Media Summit , chaired by Australia’s top Social Media bloke Lee Hopkins , and featuring MySpace’s Rebekah Horne. Not to be outdone by the Aussies, there are also some pretty good kiwi speakers and panelists, including Jake Pearce , Helen Baxter and Ben Young .

The conference also features an unconference session, where the passive audience becomes an active contributor to the conversation.

April 15-16 Marketing Now – Brogan, Scott and more

The excitement doesn’t stop, it just gets better. On April 15th and 16th Marketing Now hits Wellington, featuring social media superstar Chris Brogan and David Meerman Scott , author of the The New Rules of Marketing and PR .

This conference has been organised by Siobhan Bulfin , an extraordinary person we met on our recent Wellington trip. She’s been learning social media for a year and already she’s put this conference together. Great skills!

There’s a Twitter-only special for Marketing Now , which is a significant discount , but available only if you’re on Twitter.


Sign up for Twitter , and follow me , Marie or Siobhan (all or any of us). And, using an @ reply, or a direct message, ask us about the Twitter-only special.

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.