Archive for the wisdom Category

The REAL meaning of ‘community’

Posted in wisdom with tags , , , , on August 10, 2011 by wisdomlondon

If the past few days have taught us anything, it’s surely about the real meaning about community.

And for a word that is so regularly and so freely used in a social media / online marketing sense, I think it’s time those of us in those industries sat up and took notice.

We’re reminded that community is not about a group of people who ‘like’ or join or subscribe to something.

It’s about deeds, not words or clicks.

What really defines community, as we’ve been reminded, is where people take action – with each other and for each other. Social media can certainly help this, as with the #riotcleanup hashtag and handle, and the efforts of people like Katie Khan, who have used their Twitter reach to galvanise people to help others. But with all of this comes action – offline, hands-dirty, taking-time-out action.

It’s nothing we don’t already know in our heart of hearts, but perhaps it’s time to redefine ‘community’ for our professional purposes and give the word the resonance and meaning it deserves. Time to stop letting ourselves or our clients believe that it’s all about the numbers.  Thousands of ‘likes’ might seem impressive yet in reality be pretty impotent, but where we have even a small core of people willing to take action (with and for each other) is where you can honestly start to talk about a community in the most genuine and meaningful sense.

These are just my idle lunchtime opinions, of course.  What do you think?  Do we define and measure community well enough? Do we even really know what it means?  Answers on a postcard… or in the comments box.

Be kind to each other, people.

Wisdom doesn’t stand still…

Posted in wisdom on July 5, 2011 by wisdomlondon

Wisdom doesn’t stand still… It evolves just like everything else in life. Sometimes it leaves a lasting legacy and sometimes it’s right just for that moment in time.

That’s also true of Wisdom London and right now, I’m not standing still.

I have been fortunate enough to be asked by a client to join their team, and return to my first love of pure communications and, well, making things happen. In this instance it’s in an international reputation management context and needless to say, I jumped at it.

So Wisdom London lives on in blog form and the occasional project, but now you’ll find me at The Leadership Agency, with an amazing team of people I admire more than I can fully articulate – and with more to learn and experience.

Wisdom London has been, and always will be, like my third child. I’ve loved it, watched it grow, worried about it and am – and forever will be – immensely proud of it.

My new adventure involves amazing clients, far-away lands and already a lot of fun. Amazingly, social media is merely a peripheral star in this new orbit, and already that distance has helped me rediscover the joy in it.

So there’ll be more wisdom from Wisdom London and takes of adventure and intrigue too. Watch this space…

Wisdom London news: Our social media workshop features in FT

Posted in wisdom with tags , on February 1, 2011 by wisdomlondon

Wisdom London recently ran a Social Media workshop for female entrepreneurs in SE London (much as I love big business, I love doing stuff in my community too). It was covered by FT journalist Silvia Pavoni, who wanted to explore the world of female entrepreneurs and especially the burgeoning movement of “mumpreneurs” (her term, not mine).

You can read the story here!

Social Media: Beyond The Echo Chamber

Posted in social media, wisdom on January 21, 2011 by wisdomlondon

A recent Twitter exchange compelled me to examine how well we, as a communications strategists, experts and practitioners, are serving other industries in terms of social media.

My question to myself and others was: are we becoming too esoteric in our level of debate, and are we making social media knowledge sufficiently accessible to those outside of our sphere? You know, like potential clients?

Because while many brands have successfully harnessed social media – whether through early adopters, big budgets or just a really social mindset – I see a lot of B2B organisations struggling to find their entry point, and I’m not sure how easy we’re making it or them.

For those of us who do this stuff day in, day out, we’re united by the fact that we love it, get it, super-use it and live and breathe it. We talk about it plenty, and are often (and sometimes rightly) accused of creating an echo chamber effect.

So I’d like to make an open invitation to industry, business and those who are still navigating social media:

Join in the conversation, and tell us how we can help you. If we’re being esoteric or circular in our discussions, tell us. If you want to understand something better, ask. Because really, we’re doing this for you. Even it it may look far more self-serving at times. Challenge us to open the door to our world wider, to make our thinking clearer, and to understand you better.

I’d love to hear from those who are social media non-users, non-believers or simply those doing their job, but for whom a little more social media knowledge would help.

Welcome in. What do you need to know?

Where To Be Inspired In London

Posted in creativity, wisdom on December 19, 2010 by wisdomlondon

A little Christmassy gift for you here, cooked up by Wisdom London and turned into a thing of beauty by Ellie Gibson.

Download and enjoy!


10 000 Little Thoughts

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags on November 15, 2010 by wisdomlondon

I’ve just passed my 10 000th tweet. A year ago, I was not an active Twitterer, now a good part of my life is played out through it, be because it’s such an important communications channel for me personally, and for my business.

So those 10 000 little thoughts represent not only a personal minor milestone, but paint a real picture of my life – personal and professional – over the past year. Has it been worth my time? Undoubtedly. I’ve connected with an amazing community which genuinely supports my business, I’ve learned more than I can ever remember learning in such a short period of time. I’ve made amazing friends and met people who have genuinely changed my life.

It also answers a question I had year ago about Twitter and why I should use it. Those 10 000 little thoughts might seem insignificant at the time, sometimes irreverent, but I’m not the best judge of how meaningful they are. It’s the people who choose to interact or not, listen or ignore, follow or unfollow who decide that. And for my part, the value is in the millions of little thoughts of others I consume, act on and learn from. That’s the real value of Twitter.

Experiments in Social Media Number 2, Part 2: Conversations with Power

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by wisdomlondon

Earlier this month I shared with you about an experiment that I wanted to do on ‘conversations with power’ via Twitter. The idea came about partly as somewhat of a celebration of the fact that, with Twitter, communication barrier between so-called power players and the majority (us ordinary mortals) appears to have been broken down. There is the possibility to engage with anyone you want to – and people you may never really have had the opportunity to reach before.  Pretty hypothetical  but I figured it was worth a look.

The challenge:

In a broad sense, I wanted to flex the biceps of Twitter.

The method:

With the help of some very helpful tweeps we curated a hit list as long as your arm, with the likes of Lily Allen and Richard Branson (and yes, Nick Clegg) making an appearance. And then I took it to the tweets.

The Process:

I thought I’d build my confidence starting slow, ticking two of my list on the first day. First I asked @BillBailey to tell us a joke. No response. At first we gave him the benefit of the doubt because apparently he was on tour and was perhaps in different time zones. So I scheduled a retweet to reach him where he was. I even told him a joke first, hoping he would reciprocate. Still no response.

Maybe I wasn’t funny enough.

Then I asked @jamie_oliver what he was having for lunch. Three times. I saw you tweeting, Jamie, don’t pretend you didn’t hear me.

Needless to say the experiment wasn’t off to a good start.

Throughout the experiment I asked @richardbranson about business and even complemented his mother.

I suggested @lilyroseallen try @mooli’s to satisfy her cravings. I also replied to her comment about that #meatdress and said she could totally pull it off.

I asked @dianebirch where she gets her hats from (which I still really want to know, and if she says they’re ‘vintage’ I’ll cry).

I checked in with @kanyewest to see how he was doing since his meltdown on Twitter.

I shared a really cool link with @tyrabanks. Bitch.

I asked Mark Watson why the chicken crossed the road and @Nick_Clegg if his favourite colour really was orange. Yes, Nick Clegg.

Eventually I openly approached ‘celebrities’ asking them to ‘help me with my experiment’… in their own language!

I figured the hashtag #pleasetalktomeimnotmad might of come into play in moments of desperation. Not sure if it worked…

The Result:

Well, I wouldn’t call the experiment a failure, but then again, some of the best lessons are usually learned from failure. Basically, no-one (from the list) really talked to me.

So what lessons can we take away from this experiment? Well in the words of existential psychologist, Rollo May:

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

While the celebs didn’t respond to my plea for attention – something even better happened. It was my existing friends and followers (my Tweeps) that got behind me.

I had Tweeple, some I had never met in person, taking the time to suggest celebrities which celeb would be interesting or more likely to respond. Most of the time I had no idea who they were talking about (I’m not from here, Toto), but we gave it a shot. In some situations this required guest Twitterer @AntDLewis to create some relevant content…

It was so much fun to see people getting involved, retweeting my messages and sharing what I was doing (big thanks to @PinkTipi).

And those translated messages – they were in Welsh! Translated by the very beautiful and very talented Lucy Payne aka @rubylup, who I met (through Twitter) in the flesh that same afternoon.

It was this that was incredibly encouraging.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, as a business, remember to not forget those in your immediate network because they are potentially your best ambassadors waiting to be involved in what you’ve got going on, and to be engaged with. Thank you, real people. I will not forget you. In fact, we’ll probably chat very soon.

By Jill Ruthenberg

For All Your Nutritional (Informational) Needs:

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , on September 14, 2010 by wisdomlondon

By Jill Ruthenberg

Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?

Sometimes the content available online on social media, marketing and communications can be a little bit like ice cream – while at times it has little to no nutritional value, we can’t help but eat far too much. It’s all around us and it’s hard to figure out the good-for-you from the fast food. You can quickly be left feeling ill in the junk food aisle, longing for something with substance.

I’ve decided to streamline my thinking in terms of blog consumption, to try and ensure I’m really getting the good stuff. So let me share with you a blog diet to feel your mind and soul, while cutting out the empty calories.

These first three form the basis of any social media diet: thefuturebuzz, convince & convert and brian solis, make these your staple to ensure your blog receives sufficient sustenance. Here’s why

1. Blog:
Author: Adam Singer
Twitter: @adamsinger
Followers: 6126

This one will really add fiber to your diet with posts like Failure is Always an Option, What Marketing and Meteorology Have in Common, ‘Niche Is Overrated, Personality Underrated’ and (my personal favourite) ‘Gen Y Observed by Someone Actually Part of the Generation’. Adam’s advice is solid, thought provoking and a breath of fresh air.

2. Blog:
Author: Jay Baer
Twitter: @jaybaer
Followers: 23,784

Email advocate and self proclaimed ‘hype-free’ social media strategist Jay Baer’s blog is like the encyclopaedia of social media. His site hosts a collection of guest blogs from leaders in areas ranging from marketing, to research, to PR, to CRM so you can be sure you’re getting wholesome fuel for all areas of your communication diet.

3. Blog:
Author: Brian Solis
Twitter: @briansolis
Followers: 65,125

Solis, the author of the book I’m reading right now – Engage, is a thought leader like no other. Through his blog slash vlog, he challenges merits of social media and offers pioneering ideas that may be invaluable to your online influence. It’s definitely one to excite your taste buds and give your brand some vigour. As a starter, I recommend: Influencing the Influencer and, Social Media’s Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to Significance

These next two, thebrandbuilder and Six Pixels of Separation are essential to anyone serious about having a healthy intake of fresh ideas and new perspectives on social media and communications; munch through them – but not necessarily every day.

4. Blog: Six Pixels of Separation:
Author: Mitch Joel
Twitter: @ mitchjoel
Followers: 20,247

Joel’s posts on digital marketing and new media are somewhat abstract, and always provoking. And there’s always a call to action. Some recent posts: In Praise Of Lazy and The Era Of Trepidation. A post (this good) a day will keep the doctor away.

5. Blog:
Author: Olivier Blanchard
Twitter: @thebrandbuilder
Followers: 25,780

There’s nothing like a good dose of passion, innovation, creativity and common sense to boost your outlook on life in general. And this is exactly what The Brand Builder delivers. The posts might be a little long but Olivier has a unique way of structuring them into clear, well, building blocks and every so often he pops in a rule or two, I just read: Know your Sh*t. He incorporates insights from all industries and life to add value to your communication.

Lastly, methodical madness is a blog done by a boutique ad agency based in Sweden and they’ve worked with the likes of Ikea and Absolut Vodka:

6. Blog: methodical madness:
Author: Jason Ross
Twitter: @ TheDuffyAgency (and more…)
Followers: 5168

These Swedes have a way of discussing significant shifts in the world of social media as they happen. Focussing mainly on Facebook, Twitter and Google methodical madness expands your thinking and provides direction for your communication strategy. Something to get you started: How four businesses used Twitter for serious sales success.

It’s good to mix it up, try something new, and occasionally re-assess what we’re consuming.

Do you keep up to date with any other branding and social media blogs to make sure your brand is getting enough nutrition? Please let us know!

Jill Ruthenberg is Communications Specialist at Wisdom London and also recommends you read this blog to keep you going strong!

Experiments in Social Media Number 2, Part 1: Conversations with Power

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , , on September 7, 2010 by wisdomlondon

You know what I love about Twitter?

Before Twitter, the world was different.

Before Twitter, it was difficult to interact with people interested in the same things as you without leaving the comfort of your desk. Especially if they lived on the other side of the world from you.

Before Twitter, you couldn’t get updates of sweet quotes, bite-sized inspiration, tips on what’s happening in your area, or real news from people you actually wanted to hear from – all in less than 140 characters, all on the platform of your choice.

There’s always something new and exciting going on, the community is alive and bubbling with so much to share. Step away for a few minutes and you would have missed 175 Tweets from your beloveds… Or just Kanye.

But what’s more – and what it all boils down to is, you can engage with anyone you want to. People you would never really have the opportunity to reach without it. With Twitter, it’s possible to get business advice from the most successful businessperson in the world; or approach a leader in your industry for help on a project; or – if you’re really bored – even ask a footballer what he had for breakfast.

The barriers have been broken down; Are you taking full advantage of this?

My next Experiment in Social Media is a celebration of the limitless potential of Twitter for you and your brand. This experiment involves befriending celebrity and power – just to see how much is possible.

The challenge:

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually want to be best friends with these people.

In a broader sense, I want to flex the biceps of Twitter.

How far, really, is my personal reach?

The method:

I’ve asked around and have compiled a list of  power-players, celebs (and ah, a politician) suggested by you, as well as those who I just wanted to stalk…

Did I say stalk? I meant talk… to directly.

The Process:

So over the next few days via Twitter, I will be initiating conversation with each on my list and seeing if I can inspire a response. By the power of Twitter, will we connect?

The Result:

Let’s see, shall we?

Jill Ruthenberg is Communications Specialist for Wisdom London, and is a true believer in the potential of Twitter. She may or may not also have a bit of a crush on Justin Bieber.

Follow Jill on Twitter

Are you practicing what you preach?

Posted in marketing strategy, wisdom with tags , , , on September 3, 2010 by wisdomlondon

I am really delighted to be a Marketing Donut expert – it’s an amazing resource for marketers. My first blog post for the Donut looks at whether we are practicing what we preach, and examines our true business values beliefs and convictions: Are You Practicing What You Preach?