Mention in Next

Seems I got a mention in today’s Next insert (in the SMH and Age): It’s web take 2.0. I had a few words to say on page 2 regarding WWF’s use of social media tools like blogs (and blogs) and YouTube and Flickr and MySpace and wikis (used internally).

(Just a quick note – the interview was done a few weeks ago while I was still working at WWF).

I haven’t seen the print edition yet, but they came and took my photo too. Not sure if it made the cut though… Yep – they used the photo. Big one too… Feels weird…

MySpace and CD sales

Scott Andrew posts about one band’s experience with being a featured artist on MySpace. [via 37signals]

Being in a band who is about to record, I was really interested in learning more. The short of it, despite significant exposure and friends signing up, not one CD sold. But a big jump in mailing list sign-ups.

Most of the commenters on the posts focus on “well perhaps the band sucked” argument (which is kinda valid). But what about usability? How hard was it to buy the CD? How well promoted was the CD on the MySpace profile? Scott alludes to this in his post, but unless the band in question is known, so we can check out the profile and see what the experience was like for the punter, we have no idea whether other factors were responsible for low sales. The other telling thing is there’s no indication of iTunes sales, yet.

Perhaps out of those 1200 people, a number bought downloads. Perhaps a few attempted to purchase the CD, but failed (which is more common than it should be). Perhaps it was just the demographic. Perhaps Scott’s analysis is spot on – and he does make some good points, especially suggesting additional promotions that may have tipped sales.

So unfortunately we only know a little bit more about marketing bands through MySpace. But still interesting nonetheless.

Oz in 30 seconds

GetUp have launched Oz in 30 seconds – subtitled “Political ads authorised by you”. It’s a competition to create a 30 second political ad:

This is a chance to show us your Australia by making a 30 second political ad, which we will air on national prime time television during the lead up to the federal election.

In 30 seconds, show us a slice of your vision: perhaps it’s a call to action on an issue close to your heart; or maybe an idea that brings us closer to the Australia you want to live in; or your take on a major policy or event, rather than the spin you’ve been fed.

The title of the comp suggests it’s inspired by MoveOn.org’s successful Bush in 30 seconds competition. Though GetUp have wisely chosen to not focus on one particular candidate.

So, if you’ve got a concept, get it up 🙂

Bring Hicks Home

Amnesty International have just launched a very clever site as part of their campaign to Bring David Hicks home.

They have a “cell” – the same as the one David Hicks has been held in for 5 years without trial – that they are touring around the country with. Visitors to the cell are presented with a “passport” explaining David’s situation, and once in the cell, they can leave a video message, which is then presented on the Bring David Hicks home website.

If you have visited the cell, you can find your video by using the search/filter options on the site.

I think the site is very good – helping to bring home the reality of Hicks’ situation and allowing people to connect in a more emotional way with what is often presented as a legal or political issue.

I also love the fact that the site uses YouTube for video hosting – a fantastic use of participant media.

The site was launched yesterday by Digital Eskimo – who also helped WWF build the Future is man made site. Nice work!

Update: GetUp have also just launched a new video as part of their campaign on the same issue.

Hugh on Blogging

It’s already been linked to death – yes I’m late to the party. But this really is a must read for anyone working in social/participant/citizen media. gapingvoid: random notes on blogging. My faves:

16. The day you can write as compellingly and consistently as say, Kathy Sierra, Jeff Jarvis, Guy Kawasaki or Michael Arrington, will be the day I start taking your complaints of low traffic seriously.

I know what he means about Kathy and Jeff – I’ve not read enough of Guy and Michael to know.

20. Blogging will never be a mainstream activity so long as being able to write [A] well, [B] often and [C] about stuff THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT remain the main barriers to entry.

23. Another way to know you’ve arrived: When you realize that every business relationship you’ve established in the last twelve months was a direct result of blogging.

Related to that latter point – I’m simply amazed at how much communication between musicians in the Sydney music scene is done via Myspace. If you don’t have a Myspace profile and you want to play, you still can, but it’s a lot easier if you’re on Myspace…

39. If a blog doesn’t allow comments, then yes, it’s still a blog. People who say otherwise are just getting in touch with their ‘Inner Idealistic Wanker’.

I so want to use that line in real life: “Inner Idealistic Wanker”. Love it!