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When a competition becomes too much.

PaulusthebritI love social media especially Twitter. It is a great way to meet many good and interesting people, collaborate with projects, share experience, or just to chat. Over the last few months however my experience with social media has become somewhat frustrating to the point that I have felt bullied and have been insulted by other users because I have not supported a particular social media competition. This has reached a stage where I have resorted to restricting access to my twitter account and have started to block and report offending accounts.

Currently in New Zealand a competition is running that would give the winning town access to ultra fast internet access. Chorus New Zealand, the company that is running and promoting the Gigatown competition plays an important part in the infrastructure of telecommunication in NZ and the prize would be positive for the winning town. I have no issue with the company itself but the competition is highly worrying.

The competition works on twitter (should work like )by using a particular hashtag to raise the importance of high-speed internet and its benefits to the entire community.

Initially I looked at supporting the competition, however, some others who support the competition consistently request/reminded me to add the hashtag to all of my tweets. Most of the followers I have on twitter are not in New Zealand and the competition is irrelevant for them so I chose not to use the hashtag.

There are multiple twitter accounts being setup by individuals solely for the purpose of the competition, with tweet numbers that can only be described as spam. New  accounts with 48 followers, following 67 and have 3500+ tweets, most of which are retweets of other people’s hashtags.  Another account is worse.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.47.14 pm

Many of the tweets being sent by the supporters of the competition read like this…

“@[________] : Anyone tried the Sundaes from ____________ in #Gigatown_______? Delicious!”

“@[_________]: At the ice hockey in #gigatown_______! What a game!”

“@[_________]: Great day to try out the new shoes! Feel pretty good and look awesome! #gigatown________ “

(tweets modified to protect the account owners)

Very few tweets actually discuss the benefits of fast broadband internet.

Some supporters are promoting that for every original tweet or reply they should be retweeting four other gigatown hashtag tweets. It might just fit with Twitter rules but in regards to good social media practice this can only be seen as spam. Some accounts are sending up to 1000 tweets a day.

The pressure put on myself (and others) by the supporters of the competition to use the hashtags and the sheer number of hashtags being used has caused much dissatisfaction and annoyance amongst seasoned and long-standing Twitter users like myself.

At no other time in the five plus years of using twitter have I encountered so much pressure that can only be described as stand over tactics against people who are not participants in the competition.

 

Intellectual Property – What’s yours isn’t.

The competition itself has terms and conditions that I strongly object to around the topic of Intellectual Property and submission of material.

the clause reads…

“You grant Chorus a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable (without consent or notification), irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to use anything you post on any platform for the purpose of this Competition, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose. For purposes of this clause, “use” includes (without limitation) promote, replicate, copy, modify, enhance, sublicense, distribute, transmit, exploit, sell, rebrand and market, whether as part of Chorus’s products and/or services or otherwise, without reference or attribution to you.” http://gigatown.co.nz/terms-and-conditions

One major concern as a person in the creative arts is about ownership, copyright and attribution of created works. I have some work which is creative commons (Attribution, No Derivative, Non-Commercial) licence and others that I have chosen to have full copyright by myself.

A concern is that if a third-party submits content of mine to the competition (with or without consent), the conveyor of the competition would then have the rights to it. I reject this entirely. I reserve all rights to my own created works and I will decide who, how and where they are used and what attribution is required.

The sooner this competition is finished the better.

Paul S Allen

I am still on twitter if you are not following you are most welcome to join me, just ask

 Brilliant satire  about gigatown from John McGlashan High School in Dunedin

Summer Sunset Dunedin

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Reaching a New Generation

This video highlights an issue that needs to be discussed, that is how do we reach today’s generation? An interesting video from a Christian group thinking about the gospel but it also applies to all groups and businesses trying to reach the new generations as they come along.

What are your thoughts?

Paul  S Allen

Video via Soul Care TV

Technology versus the personal touch

Paul S AllenThere’s an assumption – be it in government or enterprise – that people have the understanding and the skills required to use technology.

For example, filing company returns has to be done online, and accessing assistance in some cases can only be done via a website. So many services require people to have an internet capable device/smart phone to get the best value or benefit. But what about those who for one reason or another do not or cannot get access to the internet? Should they be penalised or disadvantaged?

This is a reminder to all:

* Not everyone has access to the internet! Of those who do, not everyone has access to quality broadband infrastructure. New Zealand has one of the poorest broadband infrastructures in the developed world.

* Not everyone has a mobile phone! Not all mobile phones are smartphones.

* Not everyone has a Facebook account or is connected to the world via social media.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love technology. It can be a fantastic tool for social interaction and productivity. I love my gadgets and hardware, I love broadband connectivity. I have met (virtually) many people both here in New Zealand and all over the world because of social media. But these virtual networks will never replace real, personal and physical interactions that are important for normal human life experience.

The more I use technology, the more I start to value walking into a shop and interacting with the staff or picking up a telephone and talking to someone, rather than sending emails or status updates to each other.

The online experience should enhance offline personal interactions – not replace them.

I have been shopping around for a walking stick for my wife who has a long-term debilitating illness (Myalgic Encephalopathy / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I did not just want any walking stick; I wanted one that was practical and most importantly looked good.

We had seen a few around and found a great selection on the Disability Resource Centre website, but the small thumbnail gave no impression as to how it felt or how true the colours were. It was only when I called into the showroom in Auckland on a recent trip and spoke with the staff that I chose the right size and colour. The staff were incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and friendly, especially important for the type of purchase that I was making.

Now I have seen how this organisation works and who the staff are, I would have no problem using their website for other orders, but if I lived closer I would still prefer to call in person.

Technology can be a great benefit for many and even provide a way to communicate with the outside world, but to assume that everyone has access or adequate services is a mistake.

No matter how good your website is or how accurate the information, people often need someone to talk to, to bounce ideas around with and who can give an immediate response to questions.

Making the assumption that everyone will use your app, visit your website, read the information, or even know where to start looking, could alienate the people you need to connect with.

Social interaction doesn’t just mean setting up a social media account – it means a real person connecting with a real person.

Paul S Allen 

Also published on Idealog Magazine 

idealog

Review: The iPad, Good For Business?

The iPad seems to be a great tool but is it a business tool that could be used as a shared device with others?

This is not a review of the features, as good as they are, but about the function for the purpose of business.

Primarily, I can see the iPad being used as a social media tool/diary/email/note taking device. As it is linked to an iTunes account it is ideally useful as a one-person-per-iPad device. Is it a useful business tool? Absolutely, I can see the day where most people in an office or other workplace would have one of their own as it could speed up efficiencies in meetings with appointments being made and synced with desktop or shared calendars.

All notes related to the meeting would also be at the fingertips so that no paper is wasted or lost. With apps like voice recognition software it could be used for dictation. Voice recording and video would be excellent tools for conferences and meetings. Creating reports on the fly would mean that there would be more accuracy when recording and reporting events.

The questions are…

1. Wi-fi only or wi-fi/3G?

If a person is traveling slot then I could see that the 3G version would be very useful. If a person is mainly based around the office then the wi-fi only would be just fine.

2. If you issue an iPad to an individual, can they use it for their own purposes as well as for the business?

This would be the same policy for both personal issue of laptops as well as tablet computers.

As the iPad is a great social media tool, policies related to the use of social media should apply to the use of the iPad as well.

The use of social media should be encouraged where there is a positive benefit to the organization.

Tweeting and face booking from events should be encouraged as it is a good way to interact with a wider audience. It should been done in such a way that people would rather be at the event than just reading about it online. It is a teasing tool to encourage participation.

Would I like one? Again the answer is absolutely, the benefits of this piece of equipment are large and would help in many areas of business life.

Paul S Allen

Taieri River

Taieri River, Middlemarch, Otago, New Zealand

 

Social Media – World Chambers Congress

The following excellent slideshare presentation was delivered by Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist for Intel, at the recent World Chamber Congress in Mexico (June 2011). It features the Otago Chamber of Commerce.

Please enjoy this presentation and put into action any points that are relevent to you and your organisation/business.

Paul S Allen

p.s. Thanks Ekaterina, you lead by example.

Social Media Expanding Chamber Reach

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