Viva la difference

Social Media.  (Douglas Ray using an Instagram)

Social Media. (Douglas Ray using an Instagram)

I spent two hours this morning getting to know the BTech class of 2012 (#smed12), who I will be leading into the world of  Social Media…

But then on Facebook I found this posting by Julie Posetti with the caption”Instagram Photos : Social Media Explained a la @ThreeShipsMedia by: Doug Ray”   And because the instagram presents the differences between social media applications so well I decided to post it here.

And because I liked the picture so much and it is available for iPhone I went to iTunes to see if there was an app for iPad and to by great joy there is .  So I know what I am going to be playing with over the next few days.  More to follow… (Must go, toys to play with.)


New line-up for the next two weeks

There has been a change to the line-up for the next two weeks.  Your presentations have been postponed until the April 11 (FULLTIME) and April 12 (PART-TIME).  A full brief has been posted on Blackboard.  It is detailed.  The standard has been raised.  I now expect brilliance…

You will have to read the Cluetrain to get background to the presentation and to make sure you have made an accurate interpretation of the thesis. You don’t remember 1999 as you were all about 10 so do not assume it is today.  There are huge differences between 1999 and 2011.  Singularity approaches… it was not always so.

Also make sure you do some research into how Presentation Zen style presentation’s work. You can also look at slideshare you-suck-at-powerpoint for some pointers.   Next week you have a blogging workshop. As there is a guest lecturer – it is compulsory.

BTech programme

Fulltime class as normal Tuesday / Thursday this week.

Full time class:   Monday April 4, 2011 Class at 09h00 with Sheena Gates.  Blogger Project to be handed out.  You should finish around lunchtime. Tuesday 5th  am:  BTech will finalize project and hand in.  No Class next Thursday  7th as it is training day.   Monday April 11, 2011 13h00  Presentations.  No excuses, no late submissions.

Part-time class: Tuesday April 5, 2011 starts at 17h30 for Blog workshop.  Tuesday April 12, 2011 class will start at 18h30 with briefing for second years.  Then presentations will be from 19h30 until finished.  Please make arrangements for transportation.  You may not leave until everyone is finished.

Three simple questions to use as a starting block

There are 3 simple questions that I use, almost religiously, to guide me when I don’t really know where to start with a project, any project. And I find that they can be used in any order although there is no doubt that 1 and 3 are the most important. They are:
1. Who am I talking to? This is your target audience or the person you need to persuade of something. It can be anything from the market – people you want to sell or your significant other who you want to do something. The key phrase here is that you want something from someone.
2. What do I want to tell them? This is the message you want to give. It could be the basis of an exchange. E.g. If you do this I will do that. Or if you pay this amount you will this amount of value. The message dictates the barter.
3. What do I want you to do as a result of hearing my message. In a nutshell, this means what response do I want from you.
If you are a business you are best advised to start with 3 as this will decide the business objective you wish to meet and will also set the unit of measurement that you will use for your success (or failure).
If you are in persuasion, you might want to start with 1, as it will tell you how to present your message.
No matter where you start it, these three questions which I read off a wall in someone’s office a long time ago will set you on the right path.
Good luck.

Some questions to ponder

Just the other day, I received an email, yes one of those spam mails, which contained a some really interesting questions about life and about who you are. I am considering adding them to the 2011 blog topics because they do make you think about who you are and what you value. As is often in the case of these spam items there is no author, but thank you to the person who put this together.
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
2. If presented with the opportunity to get a message to a large group of people, what would your message be?
3. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
4. If not now, then when?
5. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
6. Are you holding something that you need to let go?
7. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
8. Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
9. Whe is it time to stop calculating risk and reward and just do what you know is right?
10. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
11. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
12. When you’re her age, (over 80) what will matter to you most?
13. Do you ask enough questions? Or do you settle for what you know?
14. Do you celebrate the things you do have?
15. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
16. When was the last time you tried something new?
17. Which activities make you lose track of time?
18. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
19. What is the difference between living and existing?
20. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yoruself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
22. Time or money?
23. Are you aware that someone has it worse than you do?
24. What makes you smile?
25. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
26. What do/did you want to be when you grow/grew up?
27. Will this day matter in five years?
28. How have you helped someone else recently?
29. What has empty fear stopped you from doing?
30. What is your greatest skill?
31. How are you pursuing your dreams?
Hopefully this will give inspiration to those students who are stuck for blog topics. Time is running out…

Living online

About five years ago I googled myself and there was not a single return. I was completely unknown in cyberspace. I was relieved that I had not done anything to generate publicity or media attention. I was below the radar and in terms of my parent’s life and etiquette this was indeed a good thing. My reputation was intact, my good name preserved. I did another search last week and the result was very different. There were 3’190 returns, (and the discovery that there was more than one of me around the world, alive and dead) substantive evidence that I am there, living in the public space, along with every other generation net. In fact, everyone on the web is living in the public space; my life is out there. I could be a celebrity, except for the fact that nobody is watching, listening or noticing. Everyone is more focused on doing their own thing on their blog/s, their social network, Facebook, Twitter, Fickr, YouTube and a host of other applications. But absolutely anybody could find me and find out all about me because I am living in a public space. (There goes my right to privacy.)

Despite this public space being overpopulated, third in size to China and India, it is incredibly easy to find me. Easier in fact on line that off line. There are roughly 940-million social network users worldwide. These are people and companies who have chosen to have a presence on the web, to use it for all things, personal or impersonal or a combination thereof. It might be worth remembering that 2002 was the year the first blogger (Heather Armstrong aka Dooce) was sacked for her online comments. There are now over 200,000,000 blogs, and 50% post daily or twice daily. Today the second largest search engine is YouTube, an online video service, which continues to be the playground of the young with 57% (20-35 year olds) and 20% teens which means music, bands and entertainment.

News ticker Twitter has 75-million user accounts, not all are active with 73% with less than 10 tweets. Only 15-million users keep up with Twitter, with almost 80% on mobile, which makes it instant and powerful. Any bad experience can be shared right now. Twitter reported 50-million tweets per day (Feb 2010). In 2007, the figure was 5,000 per day. Top of the Twitter rankings is Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) with 4,694,900 followers. In April 2009, Kutcher challenged CNN to a popularity contest stating, “I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter.” Today CNN is 11th with 2,978,759. Twitter is a baby compared to the Facebook (400-million active users) community. Facebook’s stats are easy to find and kept up to date. These stats state 50% of their users log on in any given day, 35-million update status daily, 60-million status updates daily, and 5-billion pieces of content shared weekly. Interestingly Facebook, which allows most people to have a huge number of friends, has not made friendships meaningless. Despite accessibility, it would appear that the Dunbar number (top number of stable social relationships one person can handle is 150) still holds true. The average Facebooker has 130 friends and tends to interact with only five or six on a regular basis. (A little like the T-shirt pile in the cupboard, we only wear five or six on a regular basis.)

One of the original social networks Friendster (2001) with 55 million registered users and 33 million unique visitors per month, remains popular in Asia. Alongside Friendster (which inspired it) MySpace with its 8-million bands and pop culture demographic had, in 2007, 185-million users and 39 – 45-million page views per month. Another popular group is LinkedIn, a professional social networking site, has more than 60-million users (Feb, 2010) across the world and just introduced a faceted search to make it easier for their members to find the people they need to find. (And now having spent some time cobbling together these stats I find someone else has created a similar list has done a better job, such is the way of the WWW world.)

One of the biggest changes to the social media scene is the radical increase in mobile access (91% mobile vs. 76% desktop users). According to mobile access to Facebook increased by 112% in the last year to March 2010 (65-million users via Mobile) and to Twitter by 347%. Approximately 31% of the 57-million people with web enabled phones in the USA use the device to connect to the web. Facebook’s mobile browser audience overtook MySpace in February 2009. In South Africa we have reached the 10% (5-million) of population access mark for Internet penetration, (15% growth in 2009) while mobile access is approximately 34-million with over 50-million connections. This is not news to anyone that mobile access is the way of the future – it is easy, instant and convenient – but might be bad news to companies.

Companies are experimenting with, not using social media, to connect, nor to manage their reputation so they are a little behind in terms of hearing what is being said about them.

On a lighter note, here are some stats that you won’t find online yet. There is only 15 seconds of fame online, so don’t expect to hog the limelight. There is a lot of competition so just forget the 15 minutes unless you are SuBo(Susan Boyle) or Dancing Matt. Also 99% of what you want to know is on line. There is sadly almost 0% chance of being original; the competition is about 100,000,000% bigger than ever. Finally, everything you need to know, someone will tell you, but I don’t know much about Buzz yet! (First published on, Now on wtfmedicaconf – the blog)

Why social media makes sense

Posted a blog on wtfmediaconf – the blog as to why social media makes sense.

It might be of interest to those who have the Cluetrain Manifesto and those who are following the BPGlobalPR commentary on the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

See Leroy Stick’s post on Street Giant as to why he co-opted BP’s Twitter presence (

Wacky ‘Flaming’ Wednesday

Duration:  Wednesday only – February 17, 2009

This is a twitter assignment.  It is actually a flaming competition (old Net style).

Please use the hash tag for all your competition entries (#smed10) so that I am able to find all the tweets.

Remember Chapter 1 of the Cluetrain Manifesto:

The Internet became a place where people could talk to other people without constraint.  Without filters or censorship or official sanction — and perhaps most significantly, without advertising. Another, noncommercial culture began forming across this out-of the-way collection of computer networks. Long before graphical user interfaces made the scene, the scene was populated by plain old boring ASCII: green phosphor text scrolling up screens at the glacial pace afforded by early modems. So where was the attraction in that?  The attraction was in speech, however mediated . . .

Consider that these early denizens of the Net were, for the most part, young, brash, untrained in the intricate dance of corporate politics, and highly knowledgeable of their craft. In the prized and noble older sense of the term, they were hackers, and proud of it.

Many, in their own assessment if not that of others, were net. Gods — high priests of an arcane art very few even knew existed. When disagreements arose over serious matters— the correct use of quotation marks, say — they would join in battle like Old Norse


“Jim, you are a complete idiot. Your code is so brain-damaged it won’t even compile. Read a book, moron.”

Today, we tend to think of “flaming” as a handful of people vociferously insulting each other online. A certain sense of finesse has largely been lost. In the olden days, a good flame war could go on for weeks or months, with hot invective flying around like

Rhetorical shrapnel. It was high art, high entertainment. Though tempers flared hot and professional bridges were sometimes irreparably burned, ultimately it was a game — a participatory sport in which the audience awarded points for felicitous disparagements, particularly well-worded putdowns, inspired squelches.  It was not a game, however, for the meek of heart. These engagements could be fierce.  Even trying to separate the contestants could bring down a hail of sharp-tongued derision. Theories were floated and defended with extreme energy and enthusiasm, if not always with logical rigor. Opinions tended to run high on any given topic. Say you’d posted about your dog. And, look, you got a response! “Jim, you are a complete idiot.  Your dog is so brain-damaged it won’t even hunt…”

If you’d happened to see the first version of the comment to Jim, you might grin at the second. If not, your mileage might vary. But the point is not to extol flame wars, as amusing as some could be. Instead, it is to suggest a particular set of values that began to emerge in what linguists might call a well-bounded speech community.

On the Net, you said what you meant and had better be ready to explain your position and how you’d arrived at it. Mouthing platitudes guaranteed that you would be challenged. Nothing was accepted at face value, or taken for granted. Everything was subject to question, revision, re-implementation, parody — whether it was an algorithm, a political philosophy or, God help you, an advertisement.

Now here are the rules:

  1. You must start with a quote – but you may not use the any of the big books – the Bible, the Torah or the Koran.  (This is not a religious war / jihad).
  2. Then trawl for the hash tag #smed10 and find someone else’s quotation to insult while insulting the person as well – it must be directed @name of person.
  3. Insult as many people as you can – both directly or insult someone else’s insult.
  4. Your remarks must be clear, easily understood and must be clever or sharp witted.
  5. You may not swear at the person or insult their mother, father, religion, or family (No HATE speech please) – we can now insult each other without being RACIST.  Right.
  6. You are responsible for you own comments, even if this is an assignment.
  7. The person with the cleverest, funniest remarks will win a prize – I am working on it.  Winner to be announced next week.
  8. Remember it is not about the number of insults but about the wit of the insults.  And the insult potential of your original quotation.
  9. Have fun and remember to remain friends.
  10. You could write a blog post about the experience – perhaps pick your own winners.

I will keep you posted (pun).  May the best wit win

“Weak, Marian, Weak.  You need help, no actually you are passed help. There is no hope.”