FrankandPat

July 1, 2008

HMV Getcloser.com is live!

It’s live and it’s now an open beta so anyone can join.

The doors were closed as we built the feature set to a sensible point, but now they’re open!

Got to getcloser.com and start to play. If you just want to see what it’s about you can visit the tour here without having to register.

The site is aimed music and film fans who like collecting, who want to broaden their knowledge and deepen their relationship with the things they love. It’s also aimed at aficionados, those that are domain experts, music and film creators and people who just want to be in the know.

HMV Getcloser.com - User Profile

For the past year LBi have been working with HMV to conceive, build, seed and launch their new social property getcloser.com. It’s a beta, so there is still lots to do, the data and product catalogue that sits behind it needs a little work, but it’s now ready to unleash on the world so that the community can start driving the development, helping add content, improving the tags, data, descriptions etc..

HMV Getcloser.com - Connections Tool

I won’t go into the details as to what the site does etc, the tour can do that, but what I will say is this; it’s been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever worked on. Building a community of this type has it’s usual design challenges, not least that you need to build a community and to do that you need content, but you need content from the community!

HMV have been a fantastic client and the LBi team have been awesome. We used an agile development methodology that saw us release features every 2-4 weeks, slowly build a community, user test, evolve, sharpen.

HMV Getcloser.com - User DNA

As I say, there is lots to do though not just with the website as the idea behind getcloser translates to many channels; in store, on mobile and others. It will plug into existing social properties, blog tools and the desktop.

The relationship with HMV has been brilliant, long may it continue,

I very much look forward to taking Getcloser forward, but now it’s live it’s ‘hand’s off the steering wheel’ as my colleague Stephen Barber would say, to see how people respond to it. We’ll be making hot fixes and planning a new set of features that aid the tools there already, as well as developing new ones.

April 23, 2008

Unilever’s ‘digital reaction’ to Greenpeace Protest

Filed under: brand, community, dove, unilever, user generated content, video — Tags: , , , , — Warren Hutchinson @ 12:30 pm

By Warren Hutchinson

The Greenpeace Orang-Utan’s struck Unilever on Monday and within an hour the blogosphere was rampant with rampaging Orang-Utans, videos, images, stories.

As ever ‘Transparency Tyranny‘ is rife and digital is the driving nemesis of corporation x.

What are Unilever doing in response? And how are they going to engage in this digital onslaught, this citizen journalist propagation and ironic spin of ‘real beauty’?

I’m really interested in the strategy behind all of this and how it unfolds. In the inception of the ‘campaign for real beauty’ I wonder if they thought about defensive strategies should stories (which they MUST have suspected) such as this emerge.

On the Unilever site there is a front page news item titled ‘Sustainable Palm Oil’. Click through and you see a video from their SVP of Communications and Sustainability starting with a statement that:

“We have great sympathy with what Greenpeace are trying to achieve, they are drawing attention to a really important issue” – Gavin Neath, SVP Communications and Sustainability

I find the role of SVP ‘Communications’ (Spin) and ‘Sustainability’ incongruous, but that’s another issue.

Unilever's News Page

Unilever are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, or RSPO for short, and unsurprisingly they are playing up to this. Unilever claim to be instrumental in setting up the roundtable for sustainable palm and carrying it forward.

The transcript can be found here.

The response is a step, I’d rather see something directly relating and acknowledging the Greenpeace efforts, an alignment of sorts. They are playing it down, but not explicitly responding.

The ‘Dove in the News’ site is even wetter. Dove is all over the news, but it is not showing here.

Cue fingers in the ears – “la la la”:

Dove's News Page

The problem is, in order to hear Unilever’s point of view you have to mobilise yourself to go and see their site, navigate and watch a polished corporate video.

I can’t, yet, find any level of engagement by Unilever with the user-generated, mobilised, chatteriffic sphere of blogs, video sites and social networks. Searches for ‘Greenpeace, Unilever, Palm Oil’ only result in links to sites siding with the Greenpeace effort and not Unilever.

Designing a strategy for organic search traffic is required or else people will simply miss Unilever’s point.

I had a quick scan through the Facebook groups and found lots of Unilever corporate groups for ‘Graduates’ and ‘Management Schemes’ but UNSURPRISINGLY I found the Facebook group ‘Dove: Not so clean’.

Okay – it has 12 members so far.

Corporations are really uncomfortable with this stuff and they continue to ignore dealing with it.

And in closing, the final statement by the interviewer:

“Gavin Neath – thank you very much indeed”

smells horribly corporate and reeks of Aunty (The BBC for non-UK readers).

October 3, 2007

FOWA conference blog: Insight #1

Filed under: social web, Sustainability, tracking, user experience, user generated content — Tags: , — bersi @ 2:52 pm

You just don’t know what’s going to happen next when you launch a startup.

http://www.taptu.com/blog/2007/10/03/fowa-were-not-divinating-the-future/

The main running thread of all talks so far is quite clear: Nobody knew what would happen next after launching their app. And in fact, few ended up where they expected to go. Someone this morning said that the real work on a web app really begins after you launch (see, I was listening, but didn’t take note so not sure who said this…) You need to listen intently, watch your users and see what they make of it. Odds are you’ll notice that they’ve hacked your app and use it in ways you would never have imagined. That’s your cue to harness their creativity and evolve accordingly.

June 12, 2007

I like! Books social network

Filed under: beta release, community, user experience, user generated content — kipa @ 12:04 am

I guess this has been around for a while, but why nobody told me about aNobii before?

I love this site not just because you can share what you are reading with your friends, find inspiration for new reads, or even trade the books you don’t want to have around anymore; I love it because it is a pleasure to use it and to discover all the small features that the guys who own it have been adding to it. OK, maybe the ‘margin note’ tool is a bit overdoing it, but who knows, other people might find it very useful?

Of course aNobii is still beta, like all respectable webX.0 websites should be!

June 2, 2007

Street Level Features on Google Maps & Panaramio Purchase

Filed under: community, Google, innovation, photo, user generated content, web — Warren Hutchinson @ 9:16 am

Quick one this morning as I’m just about to leave the house to buy my sister a birthday present (too much information).

Two things, firstly Google is planning to buy Panaramio the geo-tagging photo service that you often see in Google Earth. It’s curious to me that they’re planning to buy Panaramio rather than build geo-tagging functionality into Picasa.

Very strange.

Also, check out the Street Level features now available in major US cities on Google Maps.

You can now zoom down to street level and drag/pan/zoom your way along the street and see building fronts all the way. Zoom in and you can even read signs.

This is cool and it’s interesting to think where this might go when you consider the Panaramio purchase. These pictures in Street Level are obviously bespoke, geo-tagged shots commissioned by Google. But Panaramio opens the doors to user generated content filling the gaps.

I can’t see Google paying for the shots in my home town, so maybe UGC via Panaramio will will that gap.

the gap between online mapping services and 3D virtual globes continues to fuzz.

[xposted: Tailwind]

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