Marketing Technology » Knowledge Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Obama’s Inauguration Address: How Did You Read It? Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:31:00 +0000 admin Following on from the time lapse analysis we conducted on the US Airways crash landing yesterday, today we turned our attention to President Obama’s inauguration speech.

There has already been some interesting analysis (like this Wordle image), so we dusted down an internal application built to score the readability of news articles and put Obama and some of his recent – and not so recent – predecessors through the mangle.

Here’s Obama’s result:

Let me explain the numbers (note that there may be a slight margin of error so please don’t write in if you get different values).

The Flesch Index is a measure of reading ease. Obama has hit “Plain English” spot on, with his text easily understood by 13-15 year old students at the minimum.

The Fog Index (or rather Gunning fog index) is an indication of the number of years formal education a person requires in order to easily understand a text on the first reading. Assuming you start school aged 4/5, again he hits the 14/15 year old minimum.

So how does he compare with previous Presidents’ inauguration addresses?

Slightly better than the guy he replaces, that’s for sure. George W Bush’s second address scores 58 on the Flesch Index and 11.5 on the Fog Index (his first was actually better: 62 Flesh and 10.1 Fog).

Daddy knows best, though, because George HW Bush’s speech came in with a Flesch score of 75 and a Fog score of 8.2.

Head back in time and you have to say that, considering language was generally more complex, Abe Lincoln did pretty well. His second inaugural address of 1865 gives him a highly respectable 57 on the Flesch scale and 12.8 for its Fog counterpart – only just shy of George W’s oratory.

The nation’s first chief executive, George Washington, set the ball rolling in 1789. I doubt he thought some blogger would turn his historic moment into two numbers 220 years later, but for what it’s worth those numbers are 16 and 23.4!

So there you go Mr President. One Bush behind you, but one still ahead.

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Five steps to a successful corporate Twitter presence Mon, 08 Dec 2008 13:16:00 +0000 admin As Twitter gathers pace, we are seeing more use of the micro-blogging community by companies and brands. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but like blogging that went before they will come unstuck if they don’t take the time to understand the platform before just wading in.

First let me state my opinion about companies and brands using Twitter – or any social media for that matter. The “screen name” you use says a lot. On Twitter I see an increasing number of accounts that are identifiable only as a company or brand name, rather than an individual. Personally, I’m not a fan of this. My logic goes something like this:

  • For me, social media is about human interaction.
  • People are human. Brands and companies are not.
  • The people who work for those brands and companies are.
  • I would prefer to interact with real people using their real names than anonymous company or brand names.
  • I would rather someone use their real name and include their brand/company in a profile than the other way round.

I accept that this is a personal point of view. Yours may differ. But companies need to tread carefully.

With this in mind, and appreciating that some companies will want to use brand, company and department names for their Twitter account – my definition of a corporate Twitter account, here is a suggested five steps etiquette guide for them:

  1. Listen. It’s easy to set up and subscribe to a search of your brand or company name.
  2. Add value. Provide useful content for those that choose to follow you.
  3. Only follow when followed or mentioned. Having an anonymous entity follow you is a bit like receiving spam – you don’t know who it is or why you’re getting it. If your following:followers ratio is more than 2:1 then you are probably being a bit desperate.
  4. Reply. Respond to every tweet directed at you.
  5. Use replies rather than direct messages. Be transparent about what you’re saying to others on Twitter.
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Live Blogging Digipalooza Fri, 05 Oct 2007 11:25:00 +0000 admin My boss* has been bemoaning the lack of posts emanating from this blog of late. In my defence, I am trying to juggle some pretty hefty professional and personal projects such as implementing a global enterprise feedback management system, getting a global wiki up and running, updating our Social Media Guidelines (watch this space), redeveloping our UK intranet, etc, etc. All this on top of moving house and writing (or trying to write) my book on social software in the enterprise. (You may have published first, Ferrabee, but at least I have a publisher :-P )

Now I finally have an excuse to blog again. And what’s more it’s business-related.

You see, Hill & Knowlton’s digital practice has been going for over 10 years (I’ve been part of it in various guises for all but one of those) and I’m not too modest to say we’ve pretty much seen it all: the dotcom rise and bust, Java, Flash, e-commerce and more recently of course, social media.

When we deliver lots of value to our clients (and therefore earn revenue for the company) we get to reward ourselves with a global shindig where we bring together all our digital experts from across the world in a glamorous location for a few days. So having delivered said value and revenue, our reward this year takes place next week in the form of Digipalooza, in… Scottsdale, Arizona (glamour city, I have been told persuaded).

And what’s more, I’m going to be live blogging it! Not only will we be posting updates on our global intranet for our colleagues, but I’ll be pumping out the non-confidential stuff here on Thursday and Friday next week. Hopefully it won’t all be boring Hill & Knowlton stuff either. We’ve got guest speakers from our parent company WPP, and authors and consultants Paul Gillin and David M Scott (I wonder if they will have any tips for my book?).

So stop by next week and say hi.

* Boss as in “wife”, not boss as in “line manager” by the way. I know where my priorities lie!

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Stating "The Obvious" Thu, 21 Jun 2007 15:08:06 +0000 admin I just spent an enjoyable three hours with Euan Semple in our London office, making good on my invitation to show him what some of our communicators do all day.

As always, when you have a conversation with Euan your head starts spinning with ideas. Here are just three examples that I’ll try and elaborate on in subsequent blog posts:

Thanks Euan.

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Enabling Collaboration Thu, 22 Feb 2007 10:56:00 +0000 admin Today we are hosting a conference on enabling collaboration in knowledge-based organisations at our offices in London.

We’ll be demonstrating what we’re doing with corporate blogs, wiki spaces, social bookmarking and social networking, amongst other more mundane (!) things.

Fittingly we’re a meeting room named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Fitting because one of his most successful collaborations was with Wordsworth, resulting in Lyrical Ballads and the first airing of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The idea behind their collaboration was apparently to create a new kind of poetry that could be read and understood by everybody – which is perhaps what we are trying to do in our own organisations with these new tools.

I’ll try and post some more detailed notes in the next few days. Amazingly Euan Semple’s name only came up once ;-)

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Parental blogging Thu, 12 Jan 2006 11:44:00 +0000 admin Whilst not on the same scale as Robert and Patrick Scoble’s blog relationship, and maybe not quite the kind of positive impact I had in mind to start my new editorial focus, Sally Costerton today recounts how her son is now posting comments on her blog in order to communicate with her.

In a post on virtual parenting, she talks about how 2006 is the year adults will finally work out what teenagers have known for a year or so:

“…getting your mates together sharing private jokes, music, pictures and so forth is as cool as it ever was – it’s just that my children have the world to play in not just their bedrooms like we did.”

She also declares how, now that her broadband connection means the phone line is freed up when you’re online, her daughter doesn’t actually use the phone to talk to her friends at all, but prefers Skype.

I agree with her conclusions for organisations too. I wonder if social media is going to end up as the equivalent of the VCR that you had to rely on your kids to programme?

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