+digital strategyFirstly a marketer, I'm a digital strategist and content creator. I love engaging communities and building properties that inspire action. I'm the co-founder at Just Media Design, I've worked for a Silicon Valley Incubator, I co-host the iTunes #1 podcast Living Outrageously, and Social Q&A. I'm the author of the Amazon best selling Outsource Your MVP and am a world record holder.
It’s time for you to be the world’s best at something. Dan Rollman had that dream and didn’t rest until he’d put his own swing on the world record industry. Going from a full time job in the advertising industry, and working with some of the biggest brands in the world, he decided to risk it all and fight for his dream.
I’m always inspired when I read about Dan’s story, here is a short snippet from the above interview.
“I always say RecordSetter began when I was a 10 year old boy and I got my first Guinness Book of World Records. And I just fell head over heels in love with world records. I was just inspired by all these people around the world who were pushing the limits of human achievement and all these amazing new ways. I, from a very young age, kinda had this dream that someday, I could set a world record myself. It didn’t really matter what the world record was. I just loved the idea of being a world champion. And that just seemed cool. There are billions of people and you could truly be the world’s best seemed cool to me. My obsession with world records continued. I looked into setting a Guinness record when I was in college. I tried to impress a girl with ravioli eating but she wasn’t impressed and I realized I’m a very slow eater.
My previous professional career was in advertising so I worked as a copywriter and creative director for years in advertising. I always enjoyed it but I felt like on some deep level, I didn’t want to be an ad guy my entire life. I started doing world record with some friends at a festival in Nevada called Burning Man, which is this huge annual festival 50,000 people camping in the desert. My friends and I said Let’s create a camp where people can invent their own world records. And it was really just a simple hobby. We were just looking for ways to keep ourselves busy. And we wore these yellow jackets and people came up and we said Set any world record you want. Long story short, it just kept growing and growing. People were really creative. They were inventing world records like the fastest accordion rendition of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, the most bluebirds to fit on a belly button – all kinds of super creative stuff that you would never see in the Guinness Book. And a vision started to come to life that Wow, why not create a much more open democratic place for world records? Wikipedia was a big inspiration, it was revolutionizing the encyclopedia overnight. So I met my co-founder Corey Henderson through his wife and we bonded over world records. He’s a tech ninja so it became just kind of a part-time hobby that turned into a full-time obsession. And now we’re a young company of 10 in New York City.”
To check out Dan’s epic company, check out www.recordsetter.com.
Living Outrageously is an experiment between my good friend Dave Thompson and myself. In essence, this is a weekly video podcast which is targeted at demonstrating to the web based community just how simple it is to design your own life and skip the entire deferred life plan. In simple terms, we want to teach the secrets/psychology of success
We’ve seen people like Tim Ferriss preach about living the 4 hour work week, and Gary Vaynerchuk talk about how now IS the time to cash in on your passion. With the resources available, and the skills that the Gen Y’s have grown up learning, if there us something that these kids are passionate about, there is no excuse for NOT building a business around it.
Anyway, long story short, just one week after launching, Apple featured us as a ‘New and Noteworthy’ Podcast in the health category and we sky rocketed through to charts, peaking as the most popular podcast in the health category.
We’re pushing ahead, with 5 episodes live to date and many more in the pipeline.View comments →
I was fortunate enough to interview a personal hero of mine, Brian Brushwood. Brian started his career as a magician and has made an interesting transition into online broadcasting. He’s built a following of hundreds of thousands of weekly viewers, and owes it all to the power of community. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the interview above:
“I would say the NSFW shows success is 100% firmly based in the engagement of your audience. And I have always been on the firm belief that I owe the audience everything and they owe me NOTHING. So that’s why when it comes to the NSFW experiment, I’ve always been, if anything, an over-sharing person. But I think it’s worked out very well. People who are passionate about the TWiT network often are passionate about Leo Laporte because they’ve been following him for so long. And they appreciate being let on the inside. And certainly, I’m definitely trying to follow in the footsteps of that.
If you can earn the respect and trust of your audience – if you can get them to feel perpetually like they owe you more than you owe them, then I believe that you will always have success. And the way you do that is to keep giving to everything. And just remember – no matter what you’re doing, if you’re performing in front of an audience, you owe those people everything. And they owe you nothing. And if you can believe that and make that part of your life, then I think hopefully everybody will want to help make you a success.”
Brian hosts Scam School on the Revision 3 network (top video podcast on iTunes – 2008 & 2009) and NSFW on the TWiT network (top audio podcast on iTunes – 2010).View comments →
Prior to the online move for promotion and marketing in the late 1990’s, companies had been able to constantly hard-promote and hard-sell their products, however the impact of social media in the past few years has changed the way the public perceives brands and marketing efforts.
When it comes to building your business online, we are quickly learning that ‘hard-sells’ no longer work in a traditional sense. Social media is the new platform, and as more and more organisations are starting to identity, the hard sell just doesn’t work in the same way it used to. With a hard sell, you’re leaving out the ‘social’, and treating the digital world as a new ‘traditional’ medium.
Spamming users/clients/prospects with the same message or sending out links to your website over and over on Facebook or Twitter is poor form because you’re leaving out the social ‘interactive’ aspect of the medium, and are ‘pushing’ information, rather than encouraging real 2-way communication.
You should always be posting quality, compelling content that you’re target market actually cares about, providing real information that stimulates the interests of the customer will concrete your brand and you as an individual in their mind. This interaction is crucial as when it comes to word of mouth brand development, no one can compete with you if you have a solid relationship with your client. Remember, whatever you’re out there saying is representing you as a brand and as an individual, you need to be seen as a positive influence, not an advertisement.
Social branding doesn’t stop (nor did it start) online, if you’ve marketed your business in a traditional sense, you already know how important relationships are in generating business, you need to take the same relationships building techniques you currently use when you meet a new client, and transition those to your online presence in order to build your brand advocates.
What are you doing right now to develop your brand online?View comments →
Firstly, let’s make this clear. This article isn’t about the importance of mobile, tablets or desktop computing. It’s a hybrid of them all.
Historically when we wanted a new website built, we designed it with a key resolution in mind, i.e. this website will be best viewed in 0000 x 0000. This wasn’t a particularly big problem because a huge percentage of web users were accessing the net with typically a 15 – 24 inch monitor, and while it wasn’t perfectly optimised for all, it was a reasonable experience.
Then a few years ago, smart phones and ultra-small netbooks (low powered, very small laptops, affordable laptops) entered the market. This triggered a change, because for a period of time, developers were torn across new devices and new required experiences.
This brought on the advancement of the mobile website. That’s right, these are separate, unique websites designed specifically for mobile devices. Unfortunately this meant that if you had a full browser site, and a mobile site, when a change was necessary, it had to be made twice.
Now with all of these technologies, innovation occurred and Google somewhat caught up to Apple by releasing Android, their own mobile operating system. This would have been fine, but they allowed a huge range of manufacturers to put it on their own devices (Samsung, LG, HTC, etc). Talk about fragmentation, now we’ve got a huge number of mobile devices with different resolutions and different screen sizes.
But wait, it gets better again, Tablet devices have become increasingly popular with the introduction of the iPad. So we’ve got mobile devices (3-5 inch screens typically), tablet devices (7-12 inch screens), laptops (13 -16 inch screens) and desktops (typically 22+ inches).
Are you going to build 4 unique websites for each device type? Of course not. This is why web developers need to get responsive.
This is where responsive design comes in. When building your next website, you want to build one site that recognises the screen type/resolution that a user is accessing it with, and have your site scale appropriately for the best possible experience, regardless of the device.
We call this scalable or responsive design. Using the latest coding languages, its entirely possible to develop a completely scalable website regardless of the device accessing it.
In fact, the site you’re on right now uses responsive design. Go ahead and grab the corner of your browser window, and scale it smaller. You’ll notice that the page assets realign or resize themselves to ensure the best experience, regardless of browser size.
When you’re building your next website, make sure its responsive!View comments →
At 3:05am Brisbane time on the 5th of October 2011 (10am Pacific Time), Tim Cook took to the stage as CEO of Apple for the first time. His focus for the first 40 minutes acted as an update on Apple’s performance in the past years, outlining facts and figures and creating the launch platform in which he would use to inevitably announce the new iPhone.
The smart phone market became one of the key areas of discussion. Outlining that not only are half of all iPhone’s purchased are iPhone 4’s, but that the iPhone 4 has the single biggest market share of the market around the world. He went on to outline that the iPhone 4 made up for 5% of all mobile handset sales, which is a significant number given that Nokia dominates the low-end market globally.
Upon discussing the iPad’s performance in the 12 months, he simply mentioned that 3 out of 4 tablets sold in the USA are the iPad, and confirmed that “consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”
To wrap up his past performance session, Cook revealed that 250 million iOS devices have been sold in total (this includes iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch range). This is clearly the number developers wanted to hear, as the room erupted in applause. To sum up, Tim discussed that 3 billion US dollars has been paid out to developers as the result of App sales and a total of 18 billion apps have been downloaded from the iTunes app store.
As the announcement rolled on, the focus was on to Apple’s latest version of their iOS operating system, iOS5.
They discussed for an extended period, the new feature in iPhoto which allows users to create and order printed cards directly from their phone and have them sent via US post to any residential address in the USA.
From there, Cook raced on to discuss the new notification system which appears in iOS5. Mirroring some of the features currently available within the Android platform, users will be able to pull a vertical menu from the top of the screen down to view all of their current notifications in one simple menu. This will prevent users from being interrupted when a notification appears from any other app, and will be displayed in a user-friendly menu.
A surprising amount of integration of Twitter is evident in iOS5, users have an opportunity to tweet updates from a range of locations within the phone. This is possibly a likely result of the strong confrontation which occurred between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg when Apple developed Ping, a social network built within iTunes. Zuckerberg required that in order to provide Apple with Facebook integration, Apple must in return provide Facebook with their user data. Jobs declined and the two companies have effectively not collaborated since.
The iOS5 session wrapped up with the announcement that members of Apple’s developer program have had access to the beta version of the update for the past few weeks (under NDA), and that it will be available on all iOS devices from October 12.
By this point, “Let’s talk iPhone” and “Apple” are now global trending topics on Twitter and we’re 50 minutes in with no word of any new products.
Next Cook went on to discuss the iPod range, outlining that the current models are clearly the best that have ever hit the market. He mentioned that the iPod nano now has 16 new watch-faces and can be worn with 3rd party bands as one of the most ‘technology advanced’ wristwatches that exists. He also mentioned that a new update in the Nano will allow you to track and manage your exercise using Nike+ without any additional sensors or hardware (for the first time). At this point, anyone who has used RunKeeper on the iPhone has had this functionality for years.
Next, a new white version of the iPod Touch was announced, however there the rest of the iPod range at this stage will remain untouched.
Now its iPhone time, which given the applause, is clearly what the audience came to hear about. It was announced that a brand new iPhone is being released, however this is not going to be the iPhone 5. Instead, this is an incremental release dubbed, the iPhone 4S.
The new iPhone 4S is primarily a component upgrade, with perhaps the biggest update being the new A5 ARM dual core processor. It was explained that this makes the CPU twice as fast as the current iPhone 4 and allows for 7 times faster graphics. It should be noted that in essence, the phone looks identical to the current iPhone 4.
The founder of Epic Games took to the stage to demonstrate how the new game, Infinity Blade, functions on the new phone, and it looks spectacular. The release date for this game is December 1.
Phil Schiller discussed a range of additional upgrades, including the enhanced battery life, now with 8 hours of 3G talk time and 40 hours of music playback.
One of the key new features in the phone is the antenna functionality. With 2 antennas built into the sides of the phone, if one has a poor connection due to the way the phone is being held, software enables the antenna to switch to that with the best cellular reception. This is a huge win given the issues Apple faced with the ‘Antenna-Gate’ issues that occurred when the iPhone 4 was released.
Apple very clearly announced from a technical standpoint that this phone is will not utilise a 4G network, but boasted that the network access is as fast as any other phone utilising a 4G connection. They also mentioned that for the first time, the iPhone 4S will be a world phone, stating that it will have both CDMA and GSM network capability. In essence, this means that an unlocked phone can be used in a huge range of countries around the world and in many cases, will not need to be purchased in the country it is being used.
The next upgrade outlined was the camera. The 4S boasts an 8 megapixel camera, with a faster shutter speed, better white balancing and allows 73% more light into the pixels, providing images with added sharpness. The camera also is now capable of recording 1080p HD video, with noise reduction built in.
The next, and possibly the most surprising update is the new Siri functionality. Siri is a voice interpretation service which Apple acquired last year, and have now built the functionality into the iPhone 4S. In essence, you can ask Siri a question, using real world information, and the App will speak back to you with either an answer, or an additional question required to establish an answer.
Examples of possibilities included, user: “Set alarm for 6am”. The phone responded immediately with: “OK, your alarm is set for 6am.” Additional examples of usage included; booking a restaurant, asking how many days until an event, asking for an appointment to be booked into the calendar (with the app responding if there is a conflict), asking to play audio from the iPod app, setting reminders, using google maps for navigation and a huge range of other applications.
The 4S also includes built in dictation, which is accessed through a small button on the on-screen keyboard, which appears in any typical text field.
Summary of features of the iPhone 4S:
New antenna switching
Improved camera quality
HD video recording
iOS5 availablity (with 200 updates)
The iPhone 4S will be available in a 16, 32 and 64 gigabyte model. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 will still be sold on reduced plans. For the first time, the 3GS is free in the USA on a 24 month plan.
Apple announced that the new iPhone will be available for pre-order on October 7, and will go on sale on October 14.
By the end of the announcement, Apple’s share price had dropped by $7, however this is to be expected with the theory of “buy on the rumour, sell on the news” which surrounds Apple.
If you don’t have an iPhone 4, this may well be a great upgrade, however if you do, it may be worth waiting for the potential of an iPhone 5 release next July.View comments →
I’ve got a story that illustrates how compelling content + social integration = outstanding outrageousness!
4 weeks ago I broke this world record with a good friend of mine, Dave Thompson. Since then, life spiraled out of control. We started to get media attention initially from a few random websites, but also from Bloomberg’s Business Week. After doing a few interviews, we found ourselves in touch with the Co-Founder and President of the Universal Record Database, Dan Rollman discussing whether or not it could be possible for us to be in Austin, Texas on the 13th of March.
This conversation was taking place just 4 days prior. So long story short, we found a way and ended up in Austin for this event.
We spoke briefly onstage to the thousands present and then went on to break the record for the fastest time to eat 3 tim tams while crowd surfing.
I’ve got a story that illustrates how compelling content + social integration = outstanding outrageousness! 4 weeks ago I broke this world record with a good friend of mine, Dave Thompson. Since then, life spiraled out of control. We started to get media attention initially from a few random websites, but also from Bloomberg’s Business Week.
After doing a few interviews, we found ourselves in touch with the Co-Founder and President of the Universal Record Database, Dan Rollman discussing whether or not it could be possible for us to be in Austin, Texas on the 13th of March. This conversation was taking place just 4 days prior. So long story short, we found a way and ended up in Austin for this event. We spoke briefly onstage to the thousands present and then went on to break the record for the fastest time to eat 3 tim tams while crowd surfing.
I’ve had an amazing week in Austin, Texas as part of the South by Southwest Interactive conference. After such a crazy week of meeting literally hundreds of people, I realized there were a few key people that I was able to spend time with that deserved a special mention.
View comments →
Ladies and Gentlemen, I can’t believe I’m saying this but the stars aligned and we are heading to Texas in less then 48 hours.
See, after breaking our most recent world record, the world’s longest high five, we’ve been getting quite a bit of attention online, it started with a few tweets, then a couple of Facebook status updates, next we had Bloomberg Business Week interview us and Ella Morton wrote this fantastic article about our feat. As a result, we couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to jump aboard the URDB bandwagon and head to the very special live event (as discussed in a previous post). The event is set to demonstrate some mega cool new records, play up some fantastic live music, and raise awareness for a great cause.
On Tuesday night, I was sitting at my computer talking to Dave Thompson on the phone when I noticed that the guys at the URDB had posted an article about the live event this coming Sunday.
After some brainstorming, we decided that we just had to be there, we couldn’t miss this for the world! We spoke with Dan Rollman (Co-Founder and President of the URDB) who was incredibly keen to get us there. Both of my parents have fought cancer in the last 5 years, so that alone was a strong motivation for me, let alone the opportunity to get in front of 5000 URDB fans!
So we identified that the best way would be to get a corporate sponsor onboard.
We ended up talking with the marketing department of a major international airline as well as a huge domestic flight booking organisation. Right when we thought it was all going to happen, they pulled out! We couldn’t believe it, with just 48 hours until the deadline we thought we’d make it, and they both pulled out!
Never the less, our family and friends pulled together in an amazing act of epicness and as a result, we’re heading to Austin, Texas in 1 day! This is going to be huge, we’ve been working hard with the URDB team to make sure that we’ve got some pretty exciting stuff going on when we get there!
Huge special thanks to those who have contributed, you know exactly who you are and you know how much you mean to Dave and I.
If you would like to meet up with us when we are in the USA, or you would like to interview us, or just hang out and have a beer with us, please don’t hesitate to contact me using the email link to the right!
See you in Austin, Texas!View comments →
Old Spice has been on a video recording rampage, recording personalised video responses from the ‘Old Spice Guy’ to almost 200 people who’ve posed questions on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The ‘Old Spice Guy’, a cult hero, has been known widely since he first recorded a television advertisement for the brand in early 2010 .
The company has gone on to leverage their campaign by using the same legendary character to reach out to dozens of online celebs and in turn, created a huge buzz around the Old Spice brand.
A successful campaign on the outside, let’s see just how far the message reached…
Ashton Kutcher, celebrity and actor, tweeted to Kevin Rose, Digg.com CEO about the video the Old Spice Guy recorded for Kevin.
So lets do some math…
Ashton Kutcher has 5,280,576 twitter followers.? Kevin Rose has 1,170,008 twitter followers. ?Old Spice has 85,927 twitter followers.
This single tweet could have potentially been witnessed by over 6.5 million people. These are people who potentially wouldn’t have stumbled upon the video and certainly wouldn’t have searched for it without reason. Over 6.5 million people who now have an increased brand recognition for Old Spice.
But wait, this doesn’t even consider the viral nature of social media. What about the number of people who retweeted Ashton? Ashton and Kevin are both very influential on twitter, so a tweet from either or both could have easily been retweeted hundreds of times, to hundreds of additional networks.
Is it starting to sink in?
It all started with compelling content to engage consumers… Getting the right content, to the right people. Old Spice have developed a genius campaign which gives consumers an urge to share their brand. Another company, with a fantastic approach to social media.
Check out Old Spice’s YouTube channel here.
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