More Digital blog


Mar 2011

What we’ve learned.

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Well, it’s been a big rush, but after a brief chat today, me and Jason have accepted that convincing the many, many people who viewed the video of his proposal to fiancée Stephanie to actually vote for the happy couple to enjoy a free, luxury honeymoon was just too difficult. The three of us made an effort to make this work, but unfortunately there are some people out there who have colossal resources when it comes to click-happy online friends who don’t mind a five-minutes-or-less registration process when voting for someone they care about.

I commented earlier today that it says a lot about people when there’s 4,104 views on the counter, and only 570 votes. Sure, there were quite a lot of people who would’ve viewed it to double check (I probably account for almost a hundred visits to that page, not so sure about views though) but that’s not the point. It’s, if anything, a commentary on how unwilling some people are to spend a few minutes registering or logging in via Facebook to help a friend towards their dream honeymoon.

Am I disappointed that our little Twitter and Facebook campaign failed? Yeah, of course I am, and I feel bad knowing Jason and Stephanie are going to have to work out what they’ll do instead. But it’s taught me that there’s a lot more to social media campaigns than I previously believed. You can’t just say “jump” and expect trampolines. You need to own a few, first. Internet users are like children – if you want something from them, you have to give them an incentive and a means to claim their reward all within a minute or less, or they lose interest.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do a Twitter campaign of this kind again, but I will say that it was definitely nice to use a few tools to help someone and make them happy. I think you can offer a lot to someone in today’s economy – vouchers for HMV could be domain-name registrations, if you’re geeky enough. But a nice wedding present would’ve been the honeymoon. For anyone who’s been following the progress on this blog, don’t lose heart, because it is possible for these things to work. You’ve just got to really take it on as a full-time job, and that’s something neither myself nor the happy couple were able to do.

Until the next time, and once again – congratulations to a happy couple who may not have won, but are still happily planning a wedding and the rest of their lives together, because the latter is really the thing that matters.

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Mar 2011

The Jason-Stephanie campaign – update #3.

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Okay, so, this could be going better.

It’s week four of the campaign (no update last week due to the huge interview with Michael Chorost which resulted in four posts over the regular three), and Jason’s video is just out of qualifying for a holiday by sitting in fourth place. However, this is not the end of the world, as an interesting opportunity is arising.

With three and a bit weeks to go before the competition ends, there are two videos each with just over 500 votes taking first and second place. However, there is also a video in third that only has 400 votes. Jason has around 370. The gap has closed once again, and if we can take it now, we’re fine. The main strategy would be to get to 1,000 votes, so far in the lead that it’s tough to usurp him, let alone have him finish outside the winning trio of happy honeymoon couples.

A lot of tactics have been discussed, and unfortunately it’s come to light that due to the lack of any campaigns on behalf of some of the other videos, we may be competing against people that are either manufacturing votes, or simply using their Facebook and a rather unique community angle. The angle is simply a stronger sense of community than ours – namely, that two of the top three video posters are devout and active members of the American Christian community, and out of them and Jason and my journalist circle, we’d wager the former are more likely to go the distance for someone who has their respect. This, in itself, is really quite sweet and I wish I had this behind me, but I don’t, because I’m not introducing God to universities campuses across the American Northwest.

But how do you manufacture that kind of popularity? Jason’s Facebook and Twitter have been ablaze with requests for votes, and I’ve done a fair bit of work with Twuffer and the MoreDigital Twitter, in addition to my own and retweeting his. The hash-tagging does help, but do hash-tags sometimes make it seem a tad less inviting, and more like spam? I’m not sure. But I will have to approach the people I know who have the pull to really draw some attention to this, and ensure that he stays in the running.

It’s not about the fact that the blog’s been following this, because if we didn’t succeed, I’ll write about what we may have done wrong, what we did right, and I’ll still have a blogpost. But this is also Jason’s honeymoon, something that won’t happen again in his or his fiancée’s lives. We need to crush the opposition, and I only have to say it once:

Battle stations.

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Feb 2011

The Jason-Stephanie campaign – update #2.

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“Eek” would be my word of choice for this week. It’s been quiet compared to the first week, which was an unending barrage of tweets and online PR-fury surrounding the voting process, and for that reason we’re walking a fine line.

The main issue with the competition is the way in which it works. There are three, count ‘em, three prizes to be won. Each is an island honeymoon, and the first-place video gets first dibs, second gets second, and third gets third. All the islands are amazing though – Jamaica, St. Lucia and Antigua. So it’s hardly the worst third-place prize ever, really, is it? Problem is, the videos are beginning to pile in, and the worst possible thing has happened:

Jason’s video has been moved automatically to the second page, while the video in first place, and third place (he’s still in second, by only one vote, now) have stayed on the first.

As you can imagine, Jason and myself have gone to battle stations in order to combat the horrifying realisation that with forty days to go until the competition closes and more and more videos piling in, possibly with thousands of followers on Twitter backing any single one of them, that second place is no longer the comfortable compromise spot we thought it could be. It has reminded me of an important principle about campaigning via social media – you must not stop. Slowing up for even so much as 24 hours can do irreparable damage to the attention the video is getting.

As it stands, we’re now on 255 votes and 1808 views, up from 209 votes and 1437 views a week ago. This isn’t as big an increase as last time, but that’s to be expected. However, there are now more hash-tagged tweets than Twitter can keep up with in its “recent tweets” page, and that’ll cease to be a useful statistic unless we can start tracking it a little better, which is certainly a project I’ll have to look into in the near future as tracking this data may be a lot easier through the use of specific software packages and websites, rather than doing it manually.

The plan for this week? A lot more tweeting via the MD Twitter account and the others we’re using to get the message out there. You don’t need Facebook to register to vote (I should know), so if you read this and the other blogs we’ve done recently, you’ll know it’s worth your time and effort. C’mon, you know you want to help. See you next Monday, #jasonandstephanie-wise.

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Feb 2011

The Jason-Stephanie campaign – update #1.

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Well, last week I spoke about a good friend of mine that’s getting hitched soon, but unfortunately is a little hard-up when it comes to a honeymoon budget. So he entered a competition whereby his video (a short film of his proposal, highly worth a look) is voted on, and ultimately the top three videos are awarded honeymoons on luxurious foreign islands. It sounds wonderful, and seemed like a great way to test my talents at promoting something via social media. Here are the stats for the last week:

- Last Monday, he had 70 votes and around 300 views. He now has 209 votes and 1437 views.

- Last Monday, there were no tweets and no retweets with the hash-tag “jasonandstephanie”. There are now over 30 tweets and around 10 retweets.

It’s looking good so far, and Jason remains firmly in second place, fast gaining on the video in first place that hasn’t had that many new votes in the past week. The video is slowly spreading across the social networks we both have access to, and through Twitter for both MoreDigital and his own account, he continues to tweet while I schedule more to go live via Twufffer. This week, I’d like to see the video in first place get displaced by Jason’s entirely, and work on keeping him in first place throughout February and March.

If you’re curious as to how you can get involved, please contact Jason at @BigManFanelli or leave a comment at the blog and I’ll get in touch with you immediately. The fact that we’ve increased his votes by almost 200%, and his views by almost 500% is staggering, and really does prove that if you’re committed enough to a single idea, then it’s very likely that it will work. So please, vote if you can, or at least watch the video. You can comment with Facebook or with a Liberty Travel commenting account (I use this myself, it allows me to vote and to comment). The next update is Monday the 21st, so until then, enjoy the rest of the MoreDigital blog posts for the week and we’ll keep you updated, or you can follow @more_digital for more news.

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Feb 2011

One man’s struggle for digital greatness.

Posted in Social Media, Viral Marketing | 4 Comments »

It is the dawn of the heart-warming story all over again. The internet parades endless streaming videos in front of us of dogs being hit with footballs, high-scoring seven-year-old Guitar Hero players, and of course, people falling down the stairs. Where would we be without the people-falling-down-the-stairs videos? But of course, like all video media, it also allows for the odd story that will touch the heart of even the most die-hard fan of the aforementioned home injury clips.

Jason Fanelli is your typical 21st Century guy. His main source of communication is the internet, his interests include games, films and sports, and he works hard to make something of himself in an era where the smallest blog can make the biggest impact on the world view of millions, if not billions of people, overnight. But rather than constantly use this to promote his games journalism, he took to Twitter with a different idea in mind.

@BigManFanelli: Need your help Twitterverse. Vote so a poor couple can have a honeymoon!

When this popped up on my feed, I was happy for him – he’s an old colleague from a games news-and-reviews site that helped give me my start in freelance games journalism, years back. We podcasted together during the dawn of the site’s iTunes-distributed radio show, and I’ve always enjoyed his social commentary. So I clicked.

What I saw was a man touching the heart of his girlfriend of six years, and surprising her to the point where I sat, visibly moved, at my desk at work. I’ll say this much – that doesn’t happen often. I’m a sucker for romance, and then I noticed the main factor of the competition after the video finished – a Facebook voting system. Not having a personal Facebook account, my vote was lost, but to hell with it. I work at MoreDigital, and we live and breathe social media campaigns.

On to email I went, and began to organise a hash-tagged Twitter campaign. I love doing people favours, and the idea of sending this financially-impaired couple on a dream honeymoon sounded too good to miss. If you’re reading this and you’ve watched the video, please vote. As of 4th February, the winning video is at just under 500 votes. There’s only nine videos, and the top three get the holiday package. We can nail five hundred votes. We could nail five thousand.

So over the next two months, until the competition’s end date, I will show you how we’re going to be backing Jason and Stephanie here at MoreDigital, and outside it, too. Hopefully, we will be able to simultaneously demonstrate the raw power of social media campaigns, and send a man and his newly-wed wife off into the sunset. Congratulations on your engagement from all of us here at MoreDigital, and the best of luck. To the keyboards, ladies and gentlemen. To the keyboards.

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