Archive for April, 2008
29 April

Blogger engagement: theory and practice

This week’s Advertising Age has an article entitled “U.K. Cracks Down on Word-of-Mouth With Tough Restrictions“. Emma, the author of the article was kind enough to contact me for a few words last week and you can read what I have to say in her piece. If you’ve come to this blog to check out more about us or background on the law change, you can read the original blog post I wrote about the law change last month.

If you’re interested in the kind of thing we do, then the work we’ve been doing with LG is a great example; we’re currently managing a long-term campaign of social media relationship management for them. As part of this, last week we held a special bloggers’ session with LG Mobile, debuting LG’s latest phone, and letting bloggers get hands-on with it. It was a great event to be at, the response we got was terrific and bloggers have already been really positive about the fresh, genuine and engaging approach that we took.

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24 April

Avoiding lifestream overload

One of the things that has slowly been rearing its head around the tech & PR blogosphere is the problem of information overload. The blessing of RSS and web services is that they an easy format to automatically transfer information between applications; the curse is that it can become too easy – your post on Twitter updates your Facebook status, and FriendFeed, which in turn updates Facebook newsfeed as well – so now you have the same thing in three places. If Twitter updates your main blog once a day as well that’s a fourth, and if your blog updates Twitter that it has been updates then you can end up in a vicious circle of never-ending updates.

This is an extreme example (and no-one I know is silly enough to do this), but the potential for things to go wrong is there. There are already alarm bells ringing – as Jon Bounds mentioned last month and Duncan Stephen just this week. While Jon proposes a moral code as some sort of solution, I can’t see this working as everyone’s idea of what that code should be will differ; as Duncan says “it just feels right to publicise my blog posts on my Twitter account.” – and who’s to argue with that?

This problem with how people choose to share is touched on in an interesting post at Lewis Webb’s Social PRobiotic:

However, while I’m active across many social sites and networks, there are still boundaries that I want to keep, for example my facebook friends consists only of people I’ve actually met, whereas I have contacts on LinkedIn that I only know through online networking.

The problem is that while Lewis keeps boundaries, others are more liberal about where those boundaries are and what crosses them. Therefore, I can’t help feeling that a technical solution of some sort may be the answer; as more and more people adopt lifestreaming services like Friendfeed or Socialthing. Maybe the answer lies in the rumoured social search tool Mechanical Zoo that Lewis mentions, that’s been the subject of speculation recently. After all, search is only useful if duplicate and meaningless material is stripped out (something Google is considerably better at than its competitors, which makes the fact Mechanical Zoo that is set up by ex-Google employees a tempting hook). Search faces the exact same problem that lifestreaming is trying to deal with, so it would be interesting to see if we can use the same tools to make browsing & feed reading all the easier.

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posted by admin at 14:56   _comments (1)
16 April

Under The Influence

I’m going to be attending Under The Influence in Borough Market tomorrow to hear some of the best people in the industry talk, and also for a general mingle & sharing of ideas. The event looks good so do check out their website if you’re interested, and drop me a line at if you’re interested in meeting up.

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posted by admin at 13:32   _comments (0)
15 April

Nike 1/1

The creative team at Outside Line were invited to get involved with Nike and Showstudio on the YCN‘s ‘Nike 1/1‘ project, which involves two teams going head to head on one side of a large canvas in a ‘paint off’ lasting 90 minutes.

The OL creatives went up against Russell Cole over two halves (broken up by a 15 minute break for half time oranges) and visually responded to the statement ‘Art of Football’

Check out how we got on…

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11 April

Here come the Webby Awards…

Hot on the heels of the ‘Digital Achievement of the Year’ accolade at last week’s Music Week 08 ceremony, Outside Line received a call from New York with the news that ‘Now Play It’ has indeed also just been nominated at the distinguished 12th Annual Webby Awards.

Fondly referred to as the ‘Oscars of the internet’, is up for the best in ‘Music category’ Webby nod amongst four other music related sites. This year there were 300 short-listed nominees from a total of over 8,000 entries. With judges for the most sought after digital ‘Webby’ gongs ranging from Beck, David Bowie, Matt Groening, to Sir Richard Branson and Harvey Weinstein on the panel. The Webby Award winners will be announced on May 6th 08.

As a 2008 nominee, Now Play It is also up for the ‘People’s Voice Award’ so we need all of you and your friends’ voting Now Play It in the website section. It takes a minute for you to add your vote, go to

Voting closes May 1st 08.

Thanks for your continued support! =)

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posted by admin at 06:32   _comments (0)
10 April

Who’s Making the Tea?

We’re proud to announce that Web 2.0 finally has a solution to the greatest problem of all – the age-old issue of Who’s Making The Tea!

The UK’s number one milk brand Cravendale are proud to bring you – the online solution to the age-old dilemma “Whose Turn Is It To Make The Tea?”. Simply register to the site in a matter of seconds, choose your drink preferences and invite your friends and colleagues.

When you fancy a cuppa just hit the ‘Brew Request’ button and let select the drinks maker. You can then rate them or slate them depending on the quality of the cuppa. It’s simple and fun, and will change the way you brew forever!

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posted by Jamie at 12:39   _comments (0)
9 April

Social media v. social networks – is there a difference?

David Meerman Scott caught my eye with this blog post:

By my definitions, “social media marketing & PR” as well as “social network marketing & PR” are two different things and both are subsets of the “new rules of marketing & PR.”

The way I see the world, as marketing and PR people we need to think about the new rules as including lots of tools and techniques and social media and social networking are two of those. But there are many others.

I’ve posted a dissenting a comment in the discussion, which I thought worth reproducing here (with a couple of copyedits):

Isn’t there a lot of overlap between what a social media site and a social network site is? Users of Facebook and MySpace write blog entries, upload videos & photos, while many social media sites like Flickr and even Twitter these days have social characteristics – friend adding, personal or group conversations. I do nearly as much socialising online via Twitter these days than I do on Facebook.

All the best social sites incorporate both media and networking. Instead of trying to categorise one or the other, I think it’s better to look a bit closer: think in terms of what messages have social currency on the site you want to engage with – whether it be photos, video, wall posts, Tweets, pokes etc. and then from that formulating a strategy.

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posted by admin at 10:52   _comments (1)
9 April

Now Play It wins ‘Digital Achievement of the Year’ at Music Week Awards 08

Last week was a big one for Outside Line’s Now Play It, as the team put on their best suits and gowns and went down to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London for the annual Music Week Awards ceremony.

Now Play It was honoured to be nominated for two of these awards and we’re thrilled to announce that we won the award for ‘Best Digital Achievement of the Year’. The prestigious gong will add to our previous win for the BT Digital Music Award for ‘Best Digital Service’ last winter and signifies the continuing successes of NOWPLAYIT.COM.

Since launch last June, Now Play It has worked hard to create the best digital music tutorial service on the market. Providing aspiring musicians and fans the chance to get as close as possible to learning their favourite songs taught by the actual artists who wrote them. With real music and real teaching techniques. Making it accessible, instant, rewarding and most importantly fun to learn music.

Acts like Sir Paul McCartney, KT Tunstall, The Bravery, Plain White T’s, Supergrass, Dandy Warhols, Sham 69, Deep Purple, Blur, Reuben, are just a few of the international artists who have been inspired to teach fans and open up on their approach to being a musician and as well as sharing the personal stories behind the songwriting.

Outside Line and the Now Play It team would like to say a huge thank you all for the support… here’s to another great year of success!

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posted by admin at 10:46   _comments (1)
3 April

Outside Line acquires Mash International

It’s been exciting times inside the Outside Line towers since we kicked off the new year (what… we’re in April already?!) and this last week has been even more significant with the acquisition of our sister company, Mash International.

As a dedicated team headed up by the lovely Isabelle, our new international division will lead the company’s global projects and campaigns using their expertise and knowledge across key local countries within Europe and beyond.  True insight, cultural understanding and more importantly relationships with bloggers in situ of their respective countries are invaluable!

With past campaigns for top entertainment players like Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney Interactive, Sega Europe, amongst others – Outside Line International is set to develop new creatives and strategies in conjunction with our current and future projects and offer better resources/services, maintaining the consistent and seamless level of quality of comms globally.

We’re in the process of planning, so stay tuned to see the fruits of our labour soon here on the blog.

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posted by admin at 10:15   _comments (1)
1 April

Microsoft’s amazing Photosynth

This is actually over a year old but it’s still cool enough to deserve a mention here. Using Microsoft’s own Seadragon technology, Photosynth creates multidimensional spaces from regular photographs with a spacial arrangement that closely mirrors the real space in which they were taken. It then allows the user to dive in and explore the immensely rich virtual models of the space in a truly unique fashion. For more about it (and a bigger version of the video) head over here.

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posted by admin at 09:19   _comments (0)