Excel Rocks!

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns | Tuesday, 28 October 2008

imageI just got my hands on one of the most original virals I saw the last couple of years.

It’s an excel file with a AC/DC song and video, in ASCII (!), embedded. You can download it here and pass it trough to your friends, because that’s what you are supposed to do with a viral, right?

Why is it so good? Well check it out and see for yourself. It’s something new and unseen, and you want to share it instantly. At least that’s what I want.

So why is it a viral. To start, there’s a new album, and that’s exactly what’s promoted here. You are invited to watch the video at www.acdcrocks.com – AC/DC’s official site indeed. Then there are links to the tracks, 45 seconds (with a measurement counter). Add to that the direct links to amazon and play, and we have the whole package (measured as well).

If you look at the props of the excel file, you see it’s created by "Phil Clandillon" who seems to be the Digital Creative Manager at Sony BMG. The new album is released by Colombia Records, a Sony company indeed.
All tracking is done via the www.beingangus.com domain, a AC/DC fan site and registered by Sony BMG again.

Anyway, enough with the investigation. Enjoy the viral. Very good work Phil, keep it up!

Update: see the official page for this action: acdcrocks.com/excel

FOWA afterthoughts: the search for relevance

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Sunday, 26 October 2008

I promised myself I’d blog some thoughts I have after attending the FOWA conference earlier this month in London. Things I noticed, trends, ideas, .. Here’s the first: the search for relevance.

Personally, I believe this is going one of the big topics the following years. Content creation is growing massively, an thus the amount of content rises fast and steady. But not all content is interesting, not for everyone. So how can we make sure the right kind of content hits your screen, and equally important: as less as possible crap.

The subject was touched in a number of sessions and subjects. How can Digg filter out these results that matter the most? How can Amazon optimize the recommendations. What about Friendfeed and Facebook? Personal facts of our friends and people we know are growing every minute. We’re not interested in all of that! But in some things we are. How do we filter this out?

information overflow

The 1 billion dollar question alright. But there is an evolution going on, at least that’s what I learned from Digg and Friendfeed. Especially the latter is doing an incredibly good job to deal with it. Mechanisms to calculate interest include looking at the people who you’re most close to and see what they like, and your own rating behavior of course. That way dynamic clusters can be calculated. First you have to define a person’s opinion leaders (in an algorithm: people you tend to agree with, or people who’s contributions are valuable for you). Second you track their actions and translate them to the person it’s all about. Dynamic because your opinion leaders differ from mine.

Interesting is that we’re going back to the classical theories of influence. I know this has never been gone, and online as well these influential theories are applied. However people always assumed that some people are opinion leaders / influencers, and some not. I know I’m cutting corners here, but it’s generally true.
The next refinement movement was introducing the niche concept. This way reach wasn’t the biggest factor anymore. The expertise somebody has on a given subject was getting more important. And sure, expertise is measured as reach again, though not in absolute figures :)

Next phase: the individual influencer. As in real live indeed. One doesn’t have to be an expert on the subject, the fact that he/she is a friend of you makes you listen. So social roles and individual connections are back in the equation.

Now, the big challenge is to filter these out. If you can identify someone’s prime opinion leaders, in a dynamic way as well because depending on the subject you trust a different person, defining relevance just got easier. And of course there are grades, people who’s opinion matter the most, people who’s opinion matter somewhat and people who’s opinion doesn’t matter at all. In a way this is related to David Armano‘s Influencer 2.0, illustrated with ripples. Except in an other way it’s the complete opposite as well, because in that model it’s all about reach.

I think there’s one principle that’s a bit underrated to define (dynamic) opinion leaders, and that’s behavioral targeting. The way influencers are defined now is usually action based: you subscribe, vote, comment. However, there’s more than that. Reading something for example, or hanging out a certain amount of time. Following a link. Following someone followed by somebody else. I know it’s hard, there’s lot’s of data mining and not easy to program the algorithms, but in my believe this still is a treasure to be discovered.

One last thought (Kevin Rose, are you listening?) timezone does matter! Being active in Europe I know Digging something throughout the day is killing your chances to have it picked up. There’s just to little people (too little opinion leaders?) at that moment to translate your submission into an instant hit. So in the end, this is about reach after all. No reach, no effect. Taking this time difference into account may change something. On Digg this could be a section on the upcoming feed that states: Dugg at this time in Europe .. meaning x hours earlier. Filtering is one thing, making sure the information passes trough the filter is something else.

Every cup counts!

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Monday, 20 October 2008

How to predict the outcome of the next president elections in the USA. 7-eleven came up with a really clever way to have their go. People ordering a coffee are asked to choose between an Obama or a McCain cup.


The score so far makes Obama the winner with 60%
On the previous 2 elections the poll held this way turned out to predict the winner correctly.

I think this is a really great way to interfere in peoples everyday live, on a sympathetic way. Follow the results on 7-election.com

How to think digital & The social metropolis

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Monday, 20 October 2008

While cleaning up my desktop I discovered some treasures I want to share with you. It’s 2 books, at least the pdf of it.

How to think digital The first is called "How to think digital" and is written by Simon Silvester, Executive Planning Director at Y&R/Wunderman. The book is distributed by Wundermann.
It’s about how to incorporate digital execution and thinking in your advertising strategy. In my mind a pretty decent read. Download it here.

image The second book is called The Social Metropolis and is written by GoViral’s CEO Jimmy Maymann. It’s a very nice book, you gotta love it!

It’s about how different groups of people on the internet are becoming really strong, and really important to involve correctly in you marketing strategies. Beautifully illustrated, great cases, catching quotes, …

If I’m correct they handed out this book at the Cannes advertising festival this year. I’d love to have a paper version of this book (I’d like to pay for it) so I mailed the guy almost instantly but unfortunately never got a response. This is kind of not good for a viral company imho, but hey I still love them and the book is great. Download here or see it on their website.

FOWA08 – Session highlights

Steven | fowa,marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Monday, 20 October 2008

Below are the sessions I attended on Future of Web Apps (FOWA) in London, and what I remembered from them. I’m going to write some posts about my idea’s about it as well, I’ll update this post with the links when it’s there. I must say that the quality of most presentation was very high. Beautiful slides with inspiring imagery and little words and trained speakers.

I twittered a lot on FOWA, see the archive here. I can now use this same twitterflow to construct my FOWA posts.

You can view most sessions online.


Sunday cleaning

Steven | Random Thoughts | Sunday, 19 October 2008

Well, I figured out it was time to clean my desktop. From 226 items to 4!




HD live streaming in Belgium

Steven | Uncategorized | Monday, 13 October 2008

My buddy Jo from Rambla.be let me know they’re offering the first HD live stream in Belgium. Streaming as we speak, they’ll cover a live concert of Calexico in about half an hour.

See the concert on the (excellent new) site of the Ancienne Belgique where they teamed up with.

Kudos to all involved!

World’s best presentation

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Monday, 06 October 2008

As selected by the Slideshare users.

Here’s number one

It’s pretty good indeed.

I think the runner up is quite decent as well, although it’s more about esthetics alone. The first one is message + visual aid.

When it’s about presentations, I always refer to Seth’s guide to really bad powerpoint. You can download it as pdf as well. I think it’s the best work ever written about the subject.