Monthly Archives: October 2009

October blog of the month

It’s ‘blog of the month’ time…  I’ve come across Information is Beautiful several times but neglected to bookmark it – but no longer – it’s in my Google Reader now!

It’s a really inspiring place with lots of very interesting diagrams.  It simply demonstrates that illustration of data and statistical information doesn’t have to be boring bar charts.  It’s too easy to stick a load of these into Powerpoint, when we could be bringing numbers and facts to life more fascinatingly.

Some of my favourites:

Left vs Right – lovely to look at…  If only life/politics were so simple!

Twitter Truths – the best days to self-promote are Tuesday and Wednesday, and it tells you how much content is worth anything at all…

And these Four Infographic Morsels demonstrate the range of what’s available on the site.  Key learning = don’t say ‘sexy’ or ‘beautiful’ in an email to a potential date.  It puts them off.

I quite fancy the book too – it would make an excellent gift for any of your geeky friends.

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What’s in a name?

I’ve been catching up on the events of last week’s Planningness conference.  I wish I’d been there – sounds like lots of interesting discussions were had.  There’s been a lot of discussion before, after and since, about the planner’s ‘toolkit’, and previously I’d never really thought about naming any of the things I do or presenting them to clients as particular ‘products’, ‘packages’ or ‘formulas’. In fact, I’d always been a little bit anti- because it seemed to me that it’s our job as planners to recommend the best methodology for the job, start from basic principles and adapt our skills and expertise to suit their needs.  Every project is different, after all.

However, I can definitely see the benefit of being able to neatly and coherently describe some of the tools and methods I use, especially since collaborating with other agency staff who are not planners, and clients, is extremely useful, so I am going to spend a bit of time putting some of these techniques into words and pictures and I might share some of them on here.

The other thing I thought was interesting was a presentation on ‘Connections Planning’ – with the remit of planning getting so broad and not about just being able to turn insights into single-minded propositions, do we need to re-define or re-label it?  I don’t think so.  We probably just (especially we planners who live and work in the provinces) just have to get better at telling people what we do and how it can benefit their business.

Take a look at the presentation and let me know what you think…

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iMapFlickr

A big up to the boys at Frame Digital, who recently launched iMapFlickr, which allows you to create a map our of your geotagged Flickr photo sets which you can share in lots of different ways.

Rather than try and explain it, I had a go, and created a mini-tour of London.

Have a go yourself – it’s cool.

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Dare to dismiss Twitter

I am often asked what the value of Twitter is. Many people think it is flippant and throwaway but it is a very valuable tool for brands, even if they merely want to monitor what people are saying about them for research purposes.

Other brands are much smarter, and offer Tweeters customer service via the site.  I had heard about this happening, but recently experienced it for myself when I was waiting for BT broadband to get started at my home.

I wrote:

twitter

And within an hour, @BTCare had replied, asking what the problem was and asking me to reply with my telephone number for a chat.  I was very impressed.

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media channels and its potentialities are only beginning to be realised by brands.  It’s not something anyone can afford to dismiss.

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