Is social media making us more or less social?

Click below to read my latest blog on Huffington Post UK.


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Jimmy’s Iced Coffee Waitrose launch

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned that Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was launching in Waitrose, some lovely fellows made a video to celebrate. I think it’s brilliant so thought I’d better share it with you all. Enjoy.

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While I was wandering around Somerset House for London Fashion Week at the weekend, I came across a stand advertising a new app called Aurasma.

It’s very cool; they are taking augmented reality to the next level.

It’s works in a similar way to a QR code but rather than having to scan a squiggly little box, it recognises the actual image itself.

As an example, she showed me some Dunhill adverts that are running in GQ at the moment. There was a photo of Sir Ralph Fiennes propped up in front of me and when I held the iPad camera over it, a video popped up. When double clicked, the video expands and you can walk away from the image and carry on watching it. It’s fantastic.

It’s going to be a great tool for the future, imagine a world where you see a dress that you love in an advert and you can instantly scan the image and see where it’s from and be immediately taken to the website to purchase it! Electrical appliances won’t need instruction manuals anymore! You’ll just be able to scan the image on the front of the box which will bring up an instructional video for you to watch.

The app is free to download and it’s free to set up content on it although I’ve yet to try it out myself so I don’t know how easy it is.

The next step for them is to engineer the app to recognize 3D objects. Imagine how brilliant that will be! Kids will be able to go on school trips and scan real life objects and immediately be shown content on their mobile devices to be able to learn about them!

There is one downside that I can see to this though. How does Aurasma know that you own the image that you’re using? What if someone tagged your advert in a magazine to bring up a homemade video of them ranting about how awful your product is? How would you protect against that? I’ll have to look into this!

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Jimmy’s Iced Coffee launches in Waitrose

Just a quick note to say that Jimmy’s Iced Coffee launches in Waitrose today!

Make sure you get down to your local branch and get involved!

Available in the following stores:

Altrincham, Berkhamsted , Cambridge, Canary Wharf, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Christchurch, Dartford, East Cowes, East Sheen, Exeter, Horley, Kenilworth, Kingsthorpe, Lincoln, Lymington, Marlborough, Meanwood, Nailsea, Newark, Newton Mearns, Oadby, Reading, Rushden, Salisbury, Saltash, Sevenoaks, Sheffield, Sidmouth, South Harrow,Southend, Stratford City, Twyford, Welwyn Garden City, West Ealing, Weston Super Mare, Wimbledon, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Worcester Park.

jimmy's iced coffee

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Facebook and the pop-up instructions

So, Facebook rolled out a whole load of new updates last week.

Did you notice the little pop-up giving you instructions to explain all the new features?

Did you read it?

I have to admit that I didn’t. Maybe it’s because of where I work and because I had read the Mashable article explaining all the changes (or maybe it’s because I’m arrogant enough to think that I know it all), but I was curious about how many people outside of the industry read it?

Over the weekend I witnessed a couple of friends using Facebook and saw them all stab wildly in annoyance at the little pop-up box trying to explain any new features that might cause confusion. I wonder how long it will be until they start complaining that they don’t understand how to do something that would have been explained to them if they had carried on reading?

I wonder if we have got to a stage where we feel so comfortable with the interface of Facebook that we just don’t believe that anything it changes could possibly stump us. Facebook implements so many changes all the time without saying a word, so have we all just learnt to carry on blindly and learn as we go along from our mistakes?

It was only the other week that I was grumbling on here about the fact that Facebook changes stuff all the time without using a pop-up to explain the changes but now that they’ve actually done it and I’ve witnessed people not only ignoring the pop-up, but getting angry at the sheer cheek of it trying to interrupt their daily dose of stalking, that I now understand why they don’t usually bother.

What do you think? Did you read the instructions? Did you like the pop-up or was it merely a hindrance that aggravated you?

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Call me behind the times, but I downloaded Tweetdeck today.

Tweetdeck is a desktop application that allows you to monitor several Twitter accounts at once without having to log in and out all the time. It also allows you to keep track of certain keywords, for example ‘iced coffee’ so any tweets that mention those words will pop up.

It displays your different accounts and requested keywords in a fairly simple, column layout and a notification pops up on your desktop everytime a new tweet appears (like Outlook does).

It’s an absolutely brilliant tool…..if your one and only job is to sit on Twitter all day and monitor stuff. I’ve been using it today as a trial and it’s been running on my desktop whilst I’ve been working on other things and I have to say that I’ve found it a bit distracting.

It’s interesting because it’s made me reconsider who I follow. The accounts that I used to follow for light humour (LMAOTwitpics) are now being reconsidered as they tweet too often, with stuff that isn’t relevant to me (unless I happen to be on my lunchbreak and have 5 minutes spare for a giggle).

If you have several Twitter accounts that you need to keep an eye on, or are monitoring specific keywords to track sentiment or buzz around your brand then I would definitely recommend giving Tweetdeck a go. But, be prepared to excerise huge willpower not to check it every 5 seconds if you are trying to do ‘real work’!

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Ticketmaster turns social

Ticketmaster has added an excellent new feature to it’s site this week.

You can now connect with Facebook when booking tickets to see where your friends are going to be sitting.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I love the idea that I’ll be able to wave across the stadium at my friends while we’re all dancing around to our favourite music.

Obviously, this is going to have downsides too. That creepy guy from work keeps popping up wherever you go? Yeah, now he’s sat in the row behind you while you’re trying to enjoy Katy Perry.

But there’s lots of positives too! It’ll be easier to meet up with friends for drinks before/after gigs. And you’ll be able to avoid awkward situations like bumping into ex boyfriends or that geeky old school friend that you don’t really like but are still friends with on Facebook because you want to make sure that your life turned out better than theirs.

What do you think of the new feature? Will you be using it? Or is this another case of ‘social’ going a step too far?

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