Micro-Update for November 2017

It’s been a while since I blogged, so as usual I’ll be kickstarting my writing back into life with a course, this time on building responsive websites from Highbrow. Highbrow is a learning website that I didn’t initially get on with, but definitely finally clicked with during Blaugust this summer.
I’ve also been doing a Future Learn course on finance, but that subject matter felt a little too far from the core ideas of this blog to feel right about putting my notes on here, so that one has stayed paper-only.

Elsewhere, I’ve continued to make videos for Manchester Canoe Club, and I’ll be posting another one of those soon.

Also (on a totally different tangent) interesting article of the week- Data breaches and the erosion of trust from Huffpost. Working in marketing, I know that data is both our biggest asset and biggest issue, so this article lays out the problems of how much data companies have on, well, everyone, and how they can try to better protect it, and better help their customers.

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Twitter’s new plan and what is missing

A few days ago, I read this article, highlighting the changes that Twitter is making to it’s abuse management and reporting. 

You can read my initial thoughts on in tweet format here: https://twitter.com/clareisonline/status/921421472794664961

It is great that a Twitter is taking direct action to improve it’s service, one of the issues is that so far, Twitter hasn’t been much good at enforcing the rules it already had in place. The algorithm for sensitive content and potentially offensive replies seems to work quite well as far as I have found (if somewhat over-zealously at times), so the real issues seems to be human moderation of reported tweets.

Any journey through the timeline of various activists, especially women and POC, will turn up stories from people who have reported graphic imagery, threats of physical violence, personal information and other clear TOS violations.

Since I started writing this, I came across this article from The Daily Beast which sums up one clear issue – if you are famous, if you have a big following, or if you can kick up enough of a stink for Twitter to notice, you have a better chance of getting your issues sorted and harassing accounts or sensitive information removed. Clearly this is a bad way to run a social media platform, and it remains to be seen whether Twitter can implement a culture change within their own company that might help to fix this.

Blaugust 31: Round Up and Stats

Well, we’re at the end of my third Blaugust challenge. Trying as much as possible to keep posts daily and only schedule when necessary definitely made things harder than last year and possibly resulted in some shorter posts, but I’m still very happy with the writing I’ve produced over this month.

Plus, while I rarely worry about or even look at my readership statistics (to me, it’s more important that I’ve done the work and I’m happy with it, regardless of how many people read it) I have had a definite surge in views and I’m happy about that – it shows that at least some of my writing is good quality, interesting work that others have found value in. Either that, or my tags are far more click bait-y than I thought!

It’s interesting that my post views dropped off significantly once I was away, and therefore not posting them to Twitter – clearly that was a big factor in where my views were coming from. Also timing was a big factor, posts earlier in the day did better.

So, another successful challenge completed! #Blaugust out

Blaugust Day 30: Back on Track with final Pinterest for Business Notes

Hello again world! Yes, I’m finally back on dry land with internet access and phone battery, and the spell of pre-written, scheduled posts is over. There’s two days left of Blaugust and for this one, we’re back to the final set of notes for my Highbrow course on Pinterest for Business. 
Pinterest Campaigns

  • There are multiple platforms that you can use to schedule content, and in addition to toning posts, you can also ‘loop’ posts, which is a way to bring old content back into the forefront and into relevance. This would be particularly useful to seasonal and holiday-related products.
  • You can also use these platforms to set up campaigns, which is will auto-post to public boards as well as as your own.
  • Looping certain pins around increases their chances of being picked up by a major Pinterest account, and spread more widely, improving your website traffic and hopefully your sales.

 Board Management

  • Over time, your original boards could start to get huge, which makes them less useful to people looking for specific products, so be sure to keep creating new boards and separating different threads.
  • Your links on Pinterest can be via affiliate links, which is another potential income source.

Blaugust Day 29: Pinterest For Business Notes Part Three

This is the final pre-written and scheduled post of Blaugust. Tomorrow afternoon I will be back on dry land, and hopefully able to start writing ‘live’ again. This is also the second to last part of the notes from my Highbrow course on Pinterest for Business. There are still a quite a few emails left to come through, so I will summarise them either as one of the very final posts of Blaugust, or I’ll leave it until September.

Image from jilleysue.com

Image Notes

The course had already talked about making images Pinterest friendly in size etc. It didn’t go into much more details than that, but I did find a ‘Pinterest Cheat Sheet’ elsewhere which gives all of the best image sizes in pixel sizing – it’s a really great, clear resource.

Encouraging People to use Pinterest from your own site

  • Make sure that you have plugins installed on your own website to give you the ‘pin it’ button so that people can put content from your website/blog on their own pinterest boards themselves.
  • There are also some free plugins that will ensure that the right description (with the copy that you want people to see) will pull through to Pinterest when people pin your stuff.

The course then recommend using group boards to get your content out in front of people quickly and grow your following (kind of like jumping on a hashtag in Twitter, but much more closely connected.)

 

Blaugust Day 28: Immersive Emotional Television Technology

Back in around 2012 I went to an event at BBC MediaCityUK, which showcased various upcoming technologies the the BBC was working on. One of those which at the time seemed extremely ‘out there’ was that they were trying to find a way to track people’s reactions to television in real time, particularly their levels of attention and emotional engagement. This would not only allow them to get real time feedback on how viewers reacted to content, they might then be able to individually tailor content to viewers according to their interests and reactions.

So when I read this article about an app called Cinemmerse, which tracks heart rate and emotion via smart watches, I realised that we had suddenly reached the level of technology to make that possible.

Image from Techcrunch.com

The writer of the article didn’t seem convinced that film and television creators would actually be interested in that kind of feedback, but clearly companies have already already seen the potential. The Royal Shakespeare Company are currently using heart rate monitors as part of focus grouping for their current production of Titus Andronicus, which is an interesting idea as it’s an exceptionally gruesome production (although totally brilliant – I went to see it in the cinema earlier this month). This is allowing them to gauge the difference in reaction between the live audience and those watching cinema broadcasts. They’ll be releasing the results in November, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing if they discover some really interesting results.

Blaugust Day 27: Pinterest for Business Notes Part Two

These are more notes from the Highbrow course – Pinterest for Business. Reminder that this is another pre-written post as I’m still away until the 30th!

Setting up with Pinterest 

  • Have a fairly wide range of content for your Pinterest account- to attract a wider audience – but keeping within your niche/topic. 
  • Create several boards – to divide up your products and your other content such as blogs. 
  • Make sure that the images on your own website work for pins size/style wise, to encourage people to pin it themselves.
  • The course reminds you to be sure to set up your profile properly – basically as far as I’m concerned, you need to make sure your brand is really clear and recognisable as well as consistent, especially once your content gets shared across other boards. 
  • The course also mentions keywords and making sure that when you search keywords relating to your product, you come up. I would recommend doing some research on competitor’s keywords too, to see what they use.