Category Archives: Digital Next Comms

U love my memes, but find safety online a drag

I find our little world perplexing. So many wonderful people, yet so few active citizens.

I say this, because for the past decade or so, I have been researching social media and new tech.

With a decades worth of data catalogued across most industries, I can tell you – hand on heart –

Organic community growth on social networking platforms and apps is a myth

Let me explain…

‘Community’ growth evolves from a value exchange.

When community-based connection moved online it extended our network and when new mobile tech entered our everyday, a new business model emerged to reframe the way we participated – as commodity.

Social technology, enabled us to access a global community of people FOR FREE, effectively evolving ourselves into data.

While enabling the promise of a ready and willing ‘market’ ripe for ‘capture’ and ‘free’.

In algorithmic terms it might have looked like:

TIFF’s ALGORITHM (aka Tiff’s Plan)

Internet connection +safari + BLOGGER = ACCESS & PLATFORM for writing, reading, researching and engaging.

FACEBOOK, TWITTER = FREE community, ENGAGED WATCHERS, LISTENERS, CONVERSATIONALISTS

Social sharing buttons in BLOGGER = OPPORTUNITY for LEARNING, EXPLORING, CONNECTING, ENGAGING, PROMOTING at no-low cost.

… and I was not alone…

From Australian citizen to a global netizen.

My largest ‘audience’ ranged from Europe to the America’s, Asia and The Pacific depending on what I wrote about, when and where I posted.

The WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE was critical to message reception. Nothing new here.

It was as per traditional platform-based mediated communications… except for the potential reach #’s that were now possible.

What wasn’t apparent initially, was the WHY…?

This evolution – largely touted as a communications ‘revolution’ by the industry pushing its wares and those of us researching it – is of itself a wonderful study in the power of language – either alpha or numerical to influence behaviours of animals.

If you look at the animal kingdom and you accept that humans are but one of many mammals within it, we are forced to look for evidence of other species within the ecosystem who have become mediated communities.

While there is a plethora of evidence around animal communities – they appear to be location or sex-based (Feel free to correct me if I am wrong… by posting in the comments below) rather than mediated in any manner shape or form either naturally or animal-made.

Do we honestly think humans – a subgroup of primates within the broader group of mammal species existing on earth within the broader animal kingdom – are the only ones to have connected with tools of amplification and connection?

Or is it merely a case that humans are operating in 0’s and 1’s while whales and dolphins’ preference for sonar within the natural world leads them to another (more sophisticated and possible inter-connected) plane of being…? Are they in the true meta verse and we remain blissfully ignorant to the true tech capabilities that exist in a binary waste dump with CD Roms and iPods?

Meaning, humans are the ones who have reengineered themselves and their ecosystem as data points, in much the same way we learnt to capture the experience of time within a photograph which we then learnt to embellish with joy via photoshop to suit the social context of the time at which it was being consumed…?

A new market reality of commodity as consumer now exists.

As Australian citizens we are willing participants in the ‘evolution’ of the human species from flesh and blood into multiple data points from which behavioural (and more recently biological) patterns are computed before being collated and showcased for profit.

The ‘User’ a tool for learning as much as he is for targeting thanks to the self perpetuating abuse of his privacy through the expulsion of his personal information.

A commercial exchange founded in a ‘test’ motivated from one man’s desire to understand what moves and motivates humans to categorise each other based on physical attributes after a failed date.

Think about it.

Zuckerberg created a US college ‘social’ experiment that utilised a rating system.

From the insights gained, he was able to create the most influential commercial market in the world for individuals, organisations, governments and just as efficiently – their opponents.

A community of exchange. Not of money, although the new business model would ultimately make lots of it – this was non monetary. For the first decade it was binary.

This community ensured it’s longevity by positioning the user as the product and giving them a place of perceived community influence to procure at their leisure according to their needs.

Facebook created the digital playground where humans could connect, be seen, exchange, access and repeat at their convenience at will.

Because it was free and it was a global tool of connection that enabled conversations with friends, colleagues and loved ones around the globe with minimal effort, we became not only the Facebook product, but the contributors to a much larger problem. The ringing of the deathneal on private and personal information security.

Instead of customers craving the product, we the product craved the retail showcase that is the Facebook platform.

It was fun to connect, easy to use, widely available anywhere, anytime. It worked, so to use it was effortless.Additionally, everyone else was using it, so you got access to ‘the inner sanctum’ of their world – or at least, you started to think…

The cost of which is still not yet apparent to the majority, although it will be soon enough.

As products, we shed our privacy and our right to our own behavioural data. After all, what we don’t see, we can’t miss, right?

WRONG!

About a year ago, I stepped off my Social Parenting soap box because ‘adults’ are reluctant to engage is a genuine solution to the dangers of children’s online activity.

Social Parenting was a program borne from my Masters research back in 2010, that encouraged parents to reconsider their children’s use of new social and mobile tech, based on the triad of:

1) neurological immaturity,

2) physiological and

3) psychological health wellness implications (aka blue screen addiction, bullying)

as well as social as the Wild Wild Western Internet.

What I discovered was shocking to me.

Sure, parents and carers would openly talk about it as an issue, but when it came to solutions 9 times out of 10 they would only pay lip service.

I don’t think they know (or don’t particularly care) that they are in fact in breech of their legal duty as legal guardians to an Australian child.

I also suspect the government – both state and federal are also hoping we don’t realise they too are in breech of their duty to Australian citizens.

Acceptable digital practice has for too long now, been constructed by the sales-focused social tech industry.

After 25 years of the commercial internet, it’s time the private information of citizens was protected from mining by the industry because Australian state and federal Governments were actively endeavouring to protect it’s citizenry.

Question is… who is going to step up?

Are you? If so, why? or more importantly, WHY NOT?

FB shows it’s claws

Google and Facebook are two Artificial Intelligence behemoths.

To them, we are data points and have been for the better part of two decades.

There is nothing that we think, do, say or act that they don’t have a detailed account of somewhere in the abyss of data that is ‘the cloud’.

So as the Australian Government leads the first real push back on these artificial intelligence (don’t be distracted by the marketing term social networking) companies, we have real insight into the intent of the organisations.

Now while the ACCC approach wasn’t the most refined. It was an unprecedented approach that sort to protect Australian interests online.

The response of the two organisations to the proposed News Media Bargaining Code was telling indeed.

Alphabet (on behalf of an all too arrogant Google Australia) could work with the concerns and come out in support of proactively nurturing locally produced news content.

Facebook, like all great white entities of entitlement, pulled it’s service without prior warning.

In a complete show of disregard let alone respect for the Australian community who have so loyally supported the business since its inception.

So if we’re smart, the question we should be asking:

Is Facebook an essential business need?

While that will take some habit breaking and reshaping across both the facebook and INSTAGRAM platforms, it might be a long overdue worthy consideration.

Facebook dropping the emergency services pages this morning – as part of their decision to cease providing Australians (both individual citizens and publishers) access to news content, following the new media laws coming into effect overnight, is exactly the type of ‘big end of town’ play that media organisations have been doing to advertisers for years.

But they don’t just cut news services.

Bloggers will no longer be able to share their musings via the FB related platforms.

What’s great about it (if you choose to think outside the square), is social media managers and their superiors might actually see how they have been building their brand and adding VALUE to another entities asset ALL THIS TIME. for them to SELL BACK TO THEM!

Question is, will they be ballsy enough to say NO MORE and invest capital in building self managed and controlled assets, trusting in their own capacity and knowledge of market to amplify their messages effectively and efficiently in favour of the convenience of contrived community…?

Wake Up People! This is your time to REALLY shine!

I double dare ALL media and marketing managers to Tell Facebook to f*ck Off. To cut the necessity of them from their advertising budgets and support Australian grown media.

Why?

We’ve all given Facebook enough data these past 17 years.

They’ve got more than enough info on how we think, feel and do than they could ever use.

So back yourselves, get creative and stop relying on the convenience of the Facebook algorithm.

Build your own assets and insulate your business – for the first time in a couple of decades!

To those of you who find this a bitter pill to swallow… comment below so we can engage in informed and respectful debate.

Otherwise, it can be assumed you agree with me.

#ThereisNoSuchThingasSustainedOrganicFacebookGrowth #PayToPlay

#ShortTermPain for LongTermGain

#ThankYouFacebook

Getting (back) on the Digital Leadership horse

I recently asked a friend (and former colleague) for feedback on my newly minted CV. It’s been a while between interviews.

After 20 plus years in corporate, relaunching brands and working with some of the leading individual, team and organisational brands in the world, I’d turned my focus towards balancing my corporate experience with academia as my biological clock ticked louder than it ever had.

Returning to study mid career, I discovered I was really good at this thing called academia.

It sparked synapses I didn’t know I had and finally my laser focus, flamboyant musings and random questioning was mainstream.

Okay maybe not mainstream but my pondering about whether platform intents, advertising-led solutions and citizen rights were aligned – found its logical place to dwell and be nurtured.

When the person who marked my master’s dissertation asked me to teach for him, I discovered a joy of knowledge production I’d been avoiding – despite being a 7th generation educator.

But when I stepped back towards the corporate world (ironically when I was pregnant), I didn’t leap back in…as at the time, nothing really grabbed my attention as being ‘next gen awesome’.

Mothers in the workplace

Instead, I balanced a burgeoning social media and marketing consultancy (which ironically grew out of word of mouth rather than any social media influencer activities) with my sessional lecturing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Matrasence is the process of becoming a mother and when I was four months pregnant I decided to blow the dust off my research and build a resource around social media marketing and social networking platforms to help everyone who hadn’t dedicated the last five years to upskilling in this new communications tech, like I had! 🙂

A decade later, when I recently zoomed with a potential employer for a position promoting safety and privacy around social media platforms on behalf of the government, he declared optimistically, ‘We’re not first to market with this, but we believe we can make the proportional difference’ and I didn’t disagreed with him, although instantly I saw him making the same mistakes I had a decade ago… talking about doing it rather than building it.

First to market doesn’t ensure success

I’d been first to market with How 2 Social and the industry in Australia was so under-developed in it’s thinking about social tech that on more than one occasion business leaders, agency leads, media law academics alike told me straight-faced that social media was a fad, it would never have any real impact in organisational marketing communications and existing law would cover whatever the latest new media trend threw at it. Back then I didn’t code, so I couldn’t build my solution.

The Regulator arrives 25 years later…

Twenty-five years on from the commercialisation of the internet and a healthy 11 years after Facebook launched in Australia, the federal government is only just getting around to attempting to regulate the space.

Why?

Because they do not own the hardware, nor do they have the blanket capability to monitor, assess and act on the multitude of abuses the misuse of technology provides to individual members of the global digital citizenry to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.

When I raised concerns over the need for attention to systems design and ownership review of our telecommunications and cable networks I cut myself out of the running for that particular gig, but it does raise an important question…

How much do you know about the safety and security of your data service? Do you know where your private information is stored?

What I can tell you is rarely (if ever) are the answers to these questions ‘In Australia’.

In 2020, when I jumped back into solution-building for my own start ups with the mission to introduce equity into law and education for Australians, I created digital spaces from scratch to ensure they were Australian owned, built and born – from content to website, to app and every data point in between. After all, shouldn’t our schools own their own data? And shouldn’t the Judiciary operate as it was intended across all levels – lawfully?

Want to know more, so you can proactively manage your team and organisational next gen social and digital solutions?

APPLY NOW for one of only 150 coveted Digital Media Academy 2022 Memberships. For only $299 per annum, you will be known for leading and intelligently contributing to the ‘What’s happening in the world?’ and ‘What should we be preparing for?’ discussions at your next social or work event of note.

From Ukraine to the floods in the Northern Rivers to ‘Long Covid’, inflation and new C19 strains – we have you covered, for much less than a coffee a day – sans the bias.

Tips for e-Commuting

Many people struggle with working from home or e-commuting to work, because the idea and function of the office is an embedded practice with purpose in our everyday lives.

For a lot of us, the office is our ‘escape’. A refined and productive social engagement that is directly attributable to our financial success.

However, working from home provides the ability to balance all the parts of our lives that matter.

This is something that has ‘really hit home’ for a lot of corporates during C-19 lockdown.

When e-commuting, it is important to recognise there will be a time of fumbling through schedules, due dates and deliverables until you adapt to the new way of scheduling and master the new tools for colleague/ mentor/ client communications and productive engagement.

What you will also soon come to realise is you finally have the supports and tools for establishing that sometimes elusive work/life balance. why? Because now you have the tools and in most cases, the company’s support.

So what are your new tools…?

  1. Flexibility – something most adjust to with ease, even if they are lovers of detailed daily lists and schedules.
  2. Autonomy – many find this a motivator
  3. Responsibility – many fail of manage tasks to completion in isolation, without realising this is a key area for showcasing their leadership capabilities.
  • Know the privilege you enjoy.
  • Be well Organised.
  • Set aside place to work – ideally not at the kitchen table, but away from others and further distractions. allocate a room and it also becomes a tax deduction #WinWin
  • Manage your time – Don’t also be on, connected or available. Set a well-defined working hours. Allocate tasks to time then once you’ve done so, advise your colleagues of any deadlines for collaborations or due dates for submissions. Although some e-commuters resist, a daily work schedule is your best friend in the e-commuting scenario.
  • Back yourself – This is how you counter balance stagnation when ‘the boss is away’ scenario. Back yourself to know what you are doing and how your contribution moves the business forward towards it’s success.
  • Proactively manage your stress – after all, our greatest weapon against it[stress], is our ability to choose one thought over another.
  • Exercise each day – you don’t have to run a marathon or pump iron everyday, but just going for a walk around the block every morning can provide both physical well being and mental clarity.
  • Dress for success – even if you are in a tracksuit, make sure it is clean, ironed, stain- free, your face is washed, teeth are brushed and your hair is combed and styled. You’ll feel ready to succeed.

Good luck!

xo Tiff

If you have any other tips, you’d like to share please do so in the comments section

Stop Nurturing Your e-Brand on social

If you do this…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You’re signing up for this…

And that’s okay, if you understand how the digital ecosystem works.

Since 1920’s Australians have been encouraged to consume. Initially through the power of print media, then radio and television. 

Convenience has driven consumption of products and services for a hundred years, but somewhere in the last decade,  you and I became the product being sold, under the guise of community and human’s inherent (or learned) desire for connection.

Social media and technology platforms have so expertly distracted us from realising our digital selves are a mirror of our most vulnerable selves, disguising itself as a free solution to building our networks.

However, social technology and mobile media doesn’t connect us, it ‘distracts’ us and from it new daily habits and new norms formed.

Not sure, what I mean…?

Imagine there is a black out for 24 hours. Your phone has just run out of battery and there is literally no way to charge your devices. Even if you could, there is no internet connection.

You’re officially (and without warning) disconnected with no control over when reconnection will occur.

Think about that.

As an individual, How will that impact your mobility, your connection with your partner, children, local community, friends, extended family? How will it affect your earning capacity, ability to be on time (or even know the time), your access to money…?

Can you thrive, your way, in your everyday without being ‘plugged in’?

For most, the simple loss of electricity, paralyses our ‘normal’ everyday routine.

If you’re a small business owner paying ‘influencers’ to do this:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ask yourself how sustainable your approach to the market really is.

Social media nurtures a public profile for all to exploit.

It doesn’t organically provide you with community and opportunity or knowledge, merely access to information curated by an algorithm that it thinks you should like… and so you do.

The operational cost of participating is not just your privacy. It’s your intelligence. Now this is nothing new and you probably have felt very comfortable handing over your personal and business data to the AI-driven bots of the Big 7 for years.

But in the absence of legal protections and faint attempts by the ACCC to protect the business interests of media organisations above and beyond the actual human right to privacy for all Australians, your data will continue to be sold back to you, to increase your consumption of mobile and social platforms, because you continue to ride them.

Why do we capitulate so easily to being ‘dumbed down’ as both individuals and society?

The tide needs to turn and although an ethics discussion has been simmering, it is falling largely on deaf ears, possibly because of our collective apathy and the economics of a challenge seem unviable.

Civilisations have crumbled repeatedly throughout the history of man. Why?

Maybe it’s because we fail to recognise the patterns of history do apply to the living and rather than seek to amend our ways intelligently, sustainably and purposefully we default to the convenience of consuming the information provided to us, rather than proactively seeking what is in our collective best interest.

Do you care enough about yourself and your loved ones to seek out a future where your daily actions are your own, or don’t you feel your privacy is worth anything anymore…?

This week’s Challenge: Remove your social media platforms from your phone for a week and see what you are really missing out on.

It’s time to re-think your approach to Social.

I spent a day with some of the brightest young minds in advertising last week.

The similarities

All were fabulous, capable, intelligent, hard-working ‘go-getters’. All were running some of the better social media campaigns in Australia.

Some were from boutique agencies doing really cool stuff, others had evolved to freelancers, some were in-house marketers, while others were clinging lovingly to the structural ropes at some of Australia’s biggest agencies.

All were social coordinators, social leaders, the agencies’ ‘social experts’.

Yet, throughout the course of the day, I felt myself go through all the stages of grief.

I took the next day off to get my head back into production mode and (as luck would have it) I was surrounded by social marketing and social media practitioners who also shattered my new media soul into a thousand pieces when they started telling me How2 Social through buzz phrases, which included (but painfully was not limited to) ‘personal brand’ in the same breath as ‘authenticity’ and ‘social measurement’ as Facebook metrics.

Over two separate days in two completely different environments, my grief was confounded.

Why?

In the short space of two days, it became abundantly clear that current practice is merely a hybrid of the platform ‘certified’ sales pitches. A regurgitation and adaption of the papers we were writing and the presentations we were giving back in 2012…

OVER FIVE YEARS AGO!

(and yes, I know I’m screaming, but seriously…?!)

Discussions around social media have traditionally been driven by the available technology, or social community management issues that have arisen through the event of participation.

Traditionally, advertising and media agencies have worked behind a thin veil of creative agency presenting ‘the solution’ as the requisite bridge between product/ sterile company and desired consumer.

Sadly however, a large percentage of Advertising, PR, Communications and Media Agencies are entrenched in outdated business practice when it comes to production for and distribution on social.

If these company representatives are anything to go by, even the agencies who have re-badged their Art Director to Creative Lead are missing the point somewhat entirely!

This only compounds my grief as Australian agencies should be leading the global creative charge in this space (and no don’t point me to the self-congratulatory industry statues corporations spend millions to win each year).

Creatives have the opportunity to lead, rather than dwell.

Directors have the opportunity to integrate and showcase, rather than merely direct traffic.

Oh.. and to the Preditors (the hybrid being that is both producer and editor) let’s make a concerted effort to lose the jargon.

It’s not about what you call yourself, it’s what you say and do that drives impact.

Is Email the Darth Vader of Modern Business Communications?

In a world where instant communications and engagement is rapidly becoming the norm, email is taking on all the traits of a dark lord in the making.

Electronic mail (e-mail) started out as a powerful and useful tool that brought speed and (for the most part) brevity to industrial and corporate communications. However, it is rapidly transforming into the disgruntled Jedi of communications.

Email is a dark art in workplace solutions. A habitual norm. Administratively heavy, it sucks precious time and resources from your everyday.

and yet… for all its operational inefficiencies it still seems to work for the majority.

Mobility has ensured access to the dark lord of ICT communications. Smartphones have ensured access to webmail a standard… in effect minimising the mobile digital divide, by giving cross-generational comfort on these new platforms and devices.

In this form, email is the connector. The access point for new media platforms and devices.

Convergence can only occur where comfort resides.

For the first decade of ‘social’ it has been email, but what’s next…? 

What’s able to fill the void? Is SMS or IM enough? or is non-regulation the biggest obstacle here…?

Non-regulation, poor regulation and the non-specific zones of the internet environment are our biggest foes.

Not just for business, but for governments and citizens as well.

There are no robust legal structures in place that currently nurture nor protect the individual online, let alone small business.

In over a decade there has been very little movement towards reform as monetising the internet remains the priority.

LinkedIn – the largest professional network where people have been putting their personal information for free for the last decade is now owned by a multinational corporation in Microsoft.

I find it strange that no one is questioning the personal cost of such a merger… perhaps for the majority of us, we’re not switching on to the reality of the evolution of the social networking platform that profiled, connected and enabled market transfers in human terms…. at what cost are we willing to earn a buck?

Let’s hope someday in the not too distant future we all start thinking about and directly addressing the cost of how we ‘settle’ the wild west of the internet.

What are we really willing to relinquish in order to earn a buck?

If so, what is the true cost to the individual, team or organisation… society?

Sadly, it’s a question very few are willing to articulate, let alone address with a view to answering

Why?

Because in order to do so, we’d have to acknowledge and address not only email as the Dark Lord of the internet, but the deeper, now embedded commercial practices of digital decadence and the new norm of dumbing down and relaxing acceptable standards of entertainment, operations and performance.

Let’s stop being happy with average and strive for great and the impossible again.

 

 

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Ads

In the US Super Bowl advertising can make and break careers.

In the UK, the advertising heavyweights concentrate their efforts (and a large percentage of spend) on Christmas.

This year Marks & Spencer (or M&S as it is more commonly referred) released their contribution to the corporate advertising ‘Christmas cheer’… and it’s an absolute winner.

Not only is it beautifully shot, its originality is decidedly refreshing… and VERY clever.

Don’t take my word for it though, judge for yourselves… and enjoy:

#UrWelcome

Context Matters

A timely reminder to never underestimate:

  1. the importance of context
  2. the power of media technologies to misconstrue intent

(One does hope the Duke and Duchess don’t mind being used in this instructive context)

 

Sampling Jelly

Each week I test something new.

For the last month or so, I’ve been playing around with Jelly.

Not the ‘crystals and hot water time to freeze’ type, but Biz Stone’s 2016 version of search.

As with all new platforms and apps, I started off with the basics:

Who is Biz Stone?

Who is Tiffanny Junee?

Not that I put myself in Biz’s global communications lead, but I was interested to see if the big boys were searched the same way as the little guys 🙂

To my surprise, they were.

The reply, inboxed to me when ready, was an information map – try Wikipedia.

I found this initially jarring. Then I danced a little jig.

Finally, a content and information search solution for this century.

Something to cut through and make sense of the tyrannasaurous-sized bytes.

I’m really excited to see how Jelly evolves

Given that it is in closed Beta, I’ll start asking the important questions, as soon as I work out what they are…

 

« Older Entries