Hooray for the humble bar-graph

This Morning’s social ‘Hub’

Bar-graphs are simple ways to show an analysis of the good v the bad, the positive v the negative. We all learnt about them in Junior school maths class, but they’ve been used to great effect recently when it comes to the web.  

On Monday I caught a few minutes of ITV show This Morning and noticed that they were using a views graph on the bottom of the screen to gauge audience reaction.

What was most fascinating was watching it go up and down as different comments were made (presumably as live as they could get it). They should definitely display the viewers opinions more often.

This Morning has a blossoming social presence on The Hub, (though I think looking at some of their Facebook messages, this channel hasn’t necessarily been set up/monitored properly).

Building a TV show around opinion

Recently the BBC build a whole show around current public opinion. Free Speech have bar graph The Power Bar (see photo below) which let viewers know everyone else’s opinions on debates. This analysis was based on Twitter and Facebook feedback. Continue reading

5 articles about writing you may have missed (part 3) #freelance

Everyone loves a list article. This is the third in my series for wanna-be authors. You may find some names repeated but they’re all fantastic so I keep close track of their blogs so that you won’t miss the best articles (articles for social media marketers have ***)

1. 25 ways to blow a book by K.M Weiland

“There are only so many ways to do things right in creating a book. But there’s an infinitum of ways to mess it up. Nothing we—or the brilliant likes of the bestsellers—write completely escapes every mistake and pitfall. But some of those mistakes are more costly than others.”

I loved number 22…

Don’t “Let your climax peter off instead of slam-banging.”

2. 25 reasons why this is the best time to be a storyteller by Chuck Wendig

I can’t really recommend this blog enough, firstly the titles explain themselves, secondly Chuck tells it as it is, and thirdly his articles are so original. My favourite is reason 18

“Social media isn’t just a hive-mind. It’s the water-cooler.”

Continue reading

Natwest and the news: The spammers are on it

Just a quick comment on something that struck me this week. Spammers are pretty hot on the week’s news, maybe they’d make excellent journos.

So, on the 21st of June Natwest (part of RBS banks) was hit by a technical crisis which adversely affected their online  services. This meant some people’s wages, that tend to go in towards the end of the month weren’t updated and many couldn’t access usual services. On June 23rd, as a customer I received an email from the the Managing Director of Digital Chris Popple to highlight their extended opening hours (Bit late in the day if you ask me).

Technical issues are interesting in itself but what came next struck me as pretty clever. Continue reading

10 tips to buying books for the future

Those of you that have followed my blog/Twitter account for a while may know that:

a) I have/read a lot of books and

b) I’m in the process of clearing these out and selling them off on Amazon.

This process started me thinking. In the changing world of publishing how should our book buying habits change to benefit us best?

Continue reading

Social media case-studies for traditional local businesses


Butchers (Photo credit: Zach_Beauvais)

I love writing and reading about SMBs trying social media and modern marketing for their traditional businesses. My post on a local driving instructor has proven to be one of my blog’s most popular articles.

I think there’s lots of scope for small high-street or home-based businesses to be innovative and try new things, it’s much easier than when you work for a large company that has rules and regulations about what can and can’t be done. 

So I’ve collated a list of interesting examples and ideas, categorised by 3 kinds of shop you’d find in a traditional British high-street. Butchers, Florists and Bakers.

Check it out, add your own and share with your friends/colleagues. 


Notes on Jay Rosen’s explanation of journalism

I love Mitch Joel’s podcasts and I wanted to write about this one as I think it’s relevant to a lot of people following me. I wanted to use this post to expand on a few points made by NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen but I’d highly recommend listening to the whole thing:

Journalism and the new media with Jay Rosen

A great explanation of the changing face of journalism

In the Six Pixel’s podcast Rosen crafts, what I would call, a great explanation of the changing state of journalism and why traditional journalists have not fitted into the modern media easily. It fits around the idea that the production routine becomes the ‘God’ of the traditional journalist.

Continue reading

5 posts about writing you shouldn’t miss #freelance (Part two)

Here’s part two of my curated list of interesting links from my RSS feeds of bloggers who write about writing. To see the previous links go to part one

I think some of these blogs might even be interesting for social media types, so I’ve put *** next to each of these to make them easy to find.   Add you own links in the comments…

*** 1. How Long Does It Take to Get Blog Readers? by Nina Amir

The following advice is excerpted from How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir, recently released from Writer’s Digest Books. Aside from describing in detail how to launch and maintain a blog to ultimately land a book deal, Amir’s book offers a range of valuable interviews with successful bloggers who succeeded in doing just that. Here are their insights into how long it took them to get readers, and what seemed to be a turning point in the life of their blog.” Continue reading

5 posts about writing you shouldn’t miss #freelance (Part one)

Here’s a curated list of interesting links from my RSS feeds of bloggers who write about writing. Some of the posts might even be interesting for social media types, I’ve put  *** next to each of these so you can find them easily.  I’ve shared some of these recently on my Twitter feed but I thought they were worth repeating. Add you own in the comments…

1. How Routines Save (and Ruin) Your Writing by @KMWeiland

“Can you name one thing that could harm your writing if you do it—and if you don’t? Writing “routines” might not be the first answer to pop to mind. But nothing affects our writing more than the routine (or lack of one) with which we implement our writing into our day. Unfortunately, if we don’t approach routines with just the right mindset, they can cause more harm than good. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both routines and the lack of them.”

Top piece of advice: “The less reliant we are on our physical surroundings or stimuli, the less likely we are to talk ourselves out of writing when everything’s not just how we like it”

Continue reading