How to be Unsocial at #SMWLDN – @so_fraiche

Warning: I’m about to moan.

I recently attended an interesting event called Big Data Goes Social, hosted by Bloomberg, and included as part of Social Media Week. Being the Twitter addict that I am, and due to my love of snapping just about everything I see, I decided to share an image of the panel discussion on Twitter.















Earlier today, I noticed that a company called So Fraiche had shared my image with their 100 thousand Instagram followers without asking for my permission. Not only had they shared it, they had shared it without giving credit to the source.

I decided to ask them why they had done this…

Their response was to delete my comment.

So I asked them why had they deleted my comment…

Their response was to delete my comment about deleting my comment.

Here is the Instagram post as it stands (I may comment again this evening) and here is my original tweet.

Over On Twitter, I was asking the same questions…










Fraiche decided not to respond to my tweets but to send out other tweets regardless. Over on Instagram, a new image has been uploaded since my comments were deleted. On the Facebook Page, my comment has not yet been deleted because I don’t think it’s been noticed (all posts look automated)…

I don’t think it’s asking too much to provide good customer service and use good manners. Everyone makes mistakes (I do on a daily basis) but why delete comments, ignore questions and act like this?

If anyone is listening over at So Fraiche Towers, can someone please respond to me?



Just when I thought this situation couldn’t become any more weird…

A So Fraiche member of staff responds to me with a polite message.












That was nice.

The company though continues to delete my comments on Instagram…




The company then tweets that they rate the company that I work for (whilst ignoring my tweets)…



…but blocks me from being able to see their Instagram posts

This is more confusing than a Rubik’s cube.

Hello So Fraiche Social Media Team. You are being very rude to me. Can you please stop deleting my comments and blocking me?

Can you please respond about the use of my picture without my permission?



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Facebook: designs and divorces

Everyone’s talking about it. Facebook have gone and done the unthinkable. They’ve changed the design of their homepage, played with the functionality and added a couple of features. How dare they change the way you communicate with your family and friends? How dare they change the way you see their updates? How dare they change the way you use their site? Forget the fact that users have never had to pay a penny for a service which has played a sizeable role in their recent lives, how dare they?

Up until now, it has been free. If you consider the cost to be a lack of privacy and your personal information being available to advertisers, why are you on there? Why are you sharing? We’ve never actually had to pay for something which has brought us many benefits. If these changes have caused such frustration and annoyance, why not jump ship? Google+ is waiting with open arms.

The reason most users probably won’t jump ship is because Facebook still provides a free and easy way to meet their online social needs. Design and user experience is important but it’s not at the heart of the matter – motivations and needs are. I’m not saying that a new design isn’t annoying at first, and that it may not be slightly harder to do what you did before, but it is not a big enough reason to leave. Heck, privacy isn’t a big enough reason for most people. To move, another service would need to allow you to meet these social needs significantly better. Not a little bit, significantly. And then you and your connections will all have to make that jump.

Many of your social foundations are built in the blue and white place. Yes, you may be building them in other places too, but there is definitely a reason why you keep going back. It’s where many of your conversations and experiences are shared with friends and loved ones, and where they have been shared in the past. Changes to design and user experience will probably not outweigh what you have already built there, one will always outweigh the other, and it won’t be long until the last ‘version’ of Facebook is forgotten ;-)

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” and “Facebook doesn’t listen to their users” are two common messages being posted at the moment. One of the main reasons Facebook has reached the stage that it has, and has dominated social networking, is because it has listened. Not just to the words of the vocal few, but to user behaviour over time. You keep using the site because they have listened, and so advertisers keep paying. Changes are not made to annoy you – they are made to meet your needs, to keep you using their site and to encourage you to keep laying these foundations. These changes keep working.

I may be a hypocrite. I may also get annoyed. I do tend to come around though and remember that Facebook are providing me with these benefits free of charge, that they know how I use their site better than I do, that they’re probably able to predict how I will want to use their site in the future better than I could, and that a few changes to design and functionality won’t cause us to go through a very painful divorce.

Will you go through a Facebook divorce?
Are you attracted to another service?
Are your family and friends moving too?
Do you think I’ve got it wrong and that this time, Facebook has finally gone too far?

(Within 24 hours of writing this post, Facebook announced the Timeline and Open Graph. Their methods of tracking your activity when you’re logged out has also been in the headline. Privacy is again the issue being discussed)

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Geek, Guru or God?

If you…

Build Circles

Tweet the world

Facebook your friends

Act professionally on LinkedIn

Check into places


Have a virtual share value

Answer questions on Quora

Own a YouTube Channel

Message people instantly

Hang out in videochats

Share your presentations on Slideshare

Share your photos on Flickr

Get turned on by infographics

Attend webinars

Subscribe to many blogs

Answer emails on your mac

And reply to texts on your smartphone

…then you’re probably a geek. If you also…

Attend prestigious social media events

Produce results

And network with the right crowd

…then you’re probably a guru. If you also…

Eat properly

Sleep properly

Exercise properly

And retain real-life social skills

…then you’re probably God (with a high Klout score to prove it)


That’s the way I see it. Do you see it differently? ;-)

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POLL: Auto DMs – do they annoy you?

Just a quick poll to those who use Twitter:

Auto DMs - do they annoy you?

  • Yes (87%, 47 Votes)
  • No (13%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 54

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Leave a comment if you would like to share your views (i.e. – fight your corner!)

Update: The poll has now closed after a week’s worth of voting.

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18 Types of Blog Posts

I put this list together whilst working for Business Link, to give members of staff some help when it came to writing blog posts.

Whilst some of the examples may be focused towards business support, I still hope you find it useful.


Quite simply telling people how to do things. Sometimes works well as a ‘How To’ post.

E.g. How to write a business plan, How to plan an event, How to research a market


Giving information on a topic. Easier to do if you specialise in something or have access to good information.

E.g. How the Convergence programme impacts on Cornwall, How geo-tagging can be used by SMEs

Problem Post

Giving an answer to a common problem or question.

E.g. How should I structure my company? How much money should I spend on marketing? How much annual leave are my staff entitled to?


Your response/review/build up to a event. Could include photos, slides or videos.

E.g. Ad Tech – a review of London’s high profile technology event, What to expect from Somerset’s Growing Green event


Listing resources or tips. Very popular type of post.

E.g. Top 10 internet marketing tips, 10 ways to motivate a team


Giving others an insight into a person’s daily activities. Try and make it as interesting as possible!

E.g. A day in the life of an Online Business Adviser, A day in the life of a Chief Executive


Sharing interesting, current and relevant reports, surveys and stats.

E.g. Report: Impact of public sector spending cuts in the South West of England, Some stats and figures on how B2Bs choose to communicate


Be positive. What have you seen that has inspired you? What can you share that may inspire others?

E.g. Caring about your customers, The day that changed my viewpoint, More than just a business…


Do you know someone who is an expert, leader or passionate about a subject? Why not ask them a few questions.

E.g. An interview with business leader Joe Bloggs, Joe Bloggs answers some testing Tourism questions

Case Studies

Document the story or real-life experiences of a person or business. Interesting or exciting hooks makes the story telling easier.

E.g. A sparkling future for award winning vineyard, Cornish clay company is poised to lead building revolution


Combine an interview with a case study. Tell an interesting story by focusing on one individual.

E.g. Joe Bloggs reveals secrets to vineyard success, Joe Bloggs the locksmith picks the key to success


Collate research, links and statements to give a thorough and well rounded view of an issue.

E.g. The World Cup Bid – how it affects the city of Plymouth, What is Solutions for Business and how does it affect businesses


Provide a response to a recent and relevant event or announcement.

E.g. How The Budget announcement affects business in the South West


Give relevant background information on a subject, ask a question and encourage debate.

E.g. Staff representing a company online – a risk worth taking? Privacy vs Transparency – will we have a choice in the future?

Contrasting two

Discuss and explain two viewpoints or options to give a nicely balanced post.

E.g. Online advertising: pay-per-clicks vs pay-per-impressions. Working on your own – home or an office – which is for you?


Run through a ‘what if’ scenario. These can be interesting but remember to keep them slightly realistic!

E.g. With Boscastle in mind, what if a flood hits your business? What if the local press print incorrect information about my business?


Write something that involves participation. Post a poll. Share a survey. Start a project.

E.g. Do you provide social media services in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset? Poll: How important is a work/home life balance?

Anything with a killer headline

This is your chance to grab people’s attention. Hook them in.

Thanks for reading!

Do you have any more to add? Please let me know if I have missed any out!

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Digital Footprints – Opportunities and Responsibilities

Two major events have taken place in my life recently: one person who I love and who has played a major part in my past has passed away, and another person who I already love and who will hopefully play a major part in my future has been born.

Whilst trying to take everything in, and whilst I see the term digital footprint thrown around social networks all the time, I just wanted to share a couple of observations I’ve made, the position I believe we’re now in, and throw a couple of quick questions out there.

The Past

My loved one who passed away built a legacy offline. This was based on integrity, trust, humility, strong values and helping others. Everyone that knew her knows her legacy will live on in many hearts and minds, and this will in no way be affected by companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter indexing and recording her life. She had probably never even heard of them! Will her legacy be seen online? Will she have left a digital footprint? Almost certainly not.

The Future

My loved one who has not yet taken her first step, or spoken her first word, is already having her digital footprint created for her. She also has no idea who Google, Facebook or Twitter are, but others are already sharing much of her early life across the internet. By the time she is able to use a computer, she will be able to see hundreds of related photos, videos and conversations. The indexing and recording of her life has already begun, out of no choice of her own.

The Present

Most of you who are reading this will be in a place between the two. You will definitely have the opportunity to leave a positive digital footprint, an opportunity others did not have, and you hold a large degree of control over this. You may also be in control over the digital footprints of others, and this involves responsibility.

I know this is a strange train of thought, and I’m certainly not diving into the right and wrong decisions that can be made, but I do honestly think it is worth reminding ourselves about these opportunities and responsibilities. We are in a newish spot. We can do things others were not able to do. We can control things others are not able to control.

The position we’re in isn’t based purely on age – it is also based on the understanding and control of modern technology, and it’s future implications.  The digital footprint we leave should (hopefully) reflect how we act as people rather than how well we understand the tools, although this understanding is still necessary. And off course, the digital footprint we control for others should be fair, even at it’s early stages.

A legacy left in hearts and minds will always be more valuable and precious than a digital footprint, but now we are living in a world where it needs to at least be thought about.

What type of digital footprint are you leaving?

Do you have a responsibility towards the digital footprints of others?

Have you talked about this situation before?

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Implementing Social Media into a Large Organisation

Having been in this position for over two years now, within two separate companies, I just wanted to share some quick tips for others who are also implementing social media into a large organisation.

Let’s face it – the highs can be pretty amazing and the lows can be very frustrating, but I think there are key internal actions that need to be taken to ensure a level of success. These can apply to almost any social plan that is in place:

Get Buy In

You’re not going to do this on your own. You will need the help and buy in of others. Whether this is members of your team, leaders of different departments, the new receptionist or the longstanding Chief Exec, the support of others will play a crucial role in your long term success. Buy in isn’t just about ‘selling’ social media – you will need to…

Show The Benefits

Not everyone is going to share your enthusiasm. This is normal and to be expected. People will be used to achieving results using their own methods and won’t have thought about social media in half an much depth as yourself. It is your task to show them the benefits and relate them directly to their job role and daily tasks.

Communicate Your Plan

If you want others to sing from the same hymn sheet, you need to find effective ways of delivering it to them. The way in which this is done can change depending on how comfortable your staff are with different types of communication and the logistical implications of each. Meetings, presentations, phone calls, emails – a personal, two way approach should always be preferred but ultimately your plan needs to be shipped and awareness needs to be raised.

Change Your Plan

Markets will change, technology will change, your company will change and people will change. If you put your head down and work away for 12 months without reviewing and possibly changing your plan, you may end up wasting your time. Online behaviour and social platforms are evolving all the time, and your plan may need to evolve with them.

Be Social

Don’t sit in a corner and hide yourself away. Become the face of social media. Be social and ensure that as many people as possible are comfortable approaching you with questions and for help. If you want others to work with you, share your enthusiasm and aim for the same goals, you need to go out and build relationships.

Use a Fear-Free Policy

If you’re asking others to use social media as part of their job, don’t scare the living daylights out of them with a policy that sounds more like a law. Your policy should protect both parties and provide clarity, but ultimately it should encourage staff to use social media to assist with their job roles.

Empower Evangelists

When you do find staff who share your passion for social media and who really want to contribute, let them. Their enthusiasm is invaluable and adds weight to your efforts. Feed this passion, direct it into the right areas and empower your allies.

Shout About Success

Why keep the good work of yourself and colleagues under the radar? If you’ve had success, share it. This will keep the strategy in people’s minds, it will recognise the good work of staff, it will maintain positive attitudes across departments and offices, and it will help to build momentum.

Prove Your Results

The ROI question could be thrown at you at any time (and so it should be). Be fully prepared to talk about the results of your social activity and to share them. Results build credibility, belief and help to dispel fear.

Build Small Steps

Rather than setting a single goal far off into the distance, set smaller, constant goals that will help you achieve your ultimate aim. It’s likely it will take time to see the full results of your actions, and your plan may change along the way anyway, but putting small steps in place for everyone to follow will  help to maintain focus and keep motivation.

Encourage Ideas, Creativity and Collaboration

Others within your organisation WILL have great ideas. These ideas may improve the way in which you use social media. Start conversations, get their creative juices flowing and jot those ideas down. You are far more likely to develop an exciting and innovative online approach if you allow others to contribute, rather than controlling the whole process yourself.

Stay Motivated

The nature of many large organisations is that change takes time and that there are  many decision makers. For these very reasons, it won’t be plain sailing for every minute of everyday. Self motivation and visible enthusiasm will rub off on others, so remember to try and…

Have Fun

You are in a cool job. FACT. Enjoy it.

I hope some of those were useful. Most, if not all, can probably apply to many challenges across many business and within many industries. Rather than go into too much detail though about the ins and outs of specific plans, the type of social strategies that can be used, and the’ right’ and ‘wrong’ ways that companies can be using these social tools, I just wanted to share some general advice which I think will apply to almost anyone in a similar position.

Do you manage social media within a large organisation?
What key internal actions do you think contribute towards successful implementation?

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The Unsociable Social Capital Company

During Social Media World Forum this week, social capital and influence were hotly discussed topics. Scoring people by their use of social tools is a huge opportunity to make money and won’t be disappearing anytime soon, so a panel debate on the subject took place which included the CEO of Peer Index.

Peer Index measure your online capital, rate the information you share with others, and compares you to your friends and peers. Their main competitor is Klout, who state that they measure online influence.

After all the talk about the rising popularity of services such as these, and the possible benefits, dangers and future implications, I decided to create an account on Peer Index to test it for myself.

I linked it to my Twitter account and was given a PeerIndex Score. I then linked it to my Facebook, Linked In, Quora and blog – exactly the same score was given. This seemed like a mistake as it surely should have risen or fallen, so I tweeted them…

Hi @PeerIndex. I added my Twitter and you gave me one score. I added my Facebook. LinkedIn, Quora and Blog – exactly the same. Really? #smwf

No response. A day later I tried again…

@PeerIndex Hey. You didn’t respond to my tweet last night and I can see you’ve been active since then ;-)

No response again.

For a company that is measuring and ‘deciding’ the social capital of online users, why are they being so unsocial?

I checked their account and they have six members of staff managing it. I checked how many mentions they were receiving during the conference and there were never more than two or three enquiries an hour.

The advice handed out to companies by almost every consultant or professional is that if you’re not going to be present to manage your accounts, don’t set them up at all. Also, if your customers are trying to speak to you, it is courteous to respond.

Whilst I’m not overly fussed about what my perceived capital or influence is, I would just like some sort of response. Even if it is “sorry, we don’t know” or “we will look into it”. Anything just to show they are listening to the people that are using their service and providing them with the data they need.

Peer Index wouldn’t put the phone down on a customer who is asking them a question, so why do it on Twitter?

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Almost eight days after the original tweet, and after a public Twitter conversation with a friend about the scenario, and after leaving a comment on the Peer Index blog, I’ve receieved a response:

@robertpickstone We update your PI score over time as we aggregate your actions. You should see your score change over time.

@robertpickstone And yeah, sorry for a late reply ;)


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Would you pay to use Twitter?

Twitter has changed my life. That may sound dramatic but it’s true. What makes it even more remarkable is that it has been free to use.

Without having to reach for my wallet, I’ve spoken to and met many interesting people who share the same passions that I do. I’ve also been able to keep in touch with old friends, find a new job, keep up to date with topics I’m interested in and use it as an important learning tool.

This is all very well and nice but when it really comes to the crunch, is Twitter actually worth paying for? Does it hold a cash value? For me, it’s a yes (that was blindingly obvious!).

Over to you. Considering it’s value, would you pay to use Twitter? I’m not talking management tools or applications – just purely being able to have an account through

Possible factors that may influence your decision could be:

  • the way in which you use Twitter
  • the value and benefits that you gain
  • how much it impacts on your personal life
  • how much it impacts on your professional life
  • the other options that are available to you
  • how a payment structure would actually work

I know this is a hypothetical scenario, but it would be great to hear your views:

Would you pay to use Twitter?
If so, what is your reasoning?

Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Do you suffer from Blogging Jitters?

Recently, I’ve written three blog posts, of which I’ve published absolutely none of them. Not only is this a little bit frustrating, but I’ve also been thinking about the reasons behind it, and for catching a condition that is best described as Blogging Jitters.

Not being able to click on the magic publish button, and to share the work which has had plenty of time and effort spent on it, may come down to some of these reasons:

  • Not being 100% happy with the quality of the post
  • Not being 100% confident that the intended message is being conveyed clearly
  • Feeling like the moment has passed

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe I’m being over analytical. Maybe I should have just taken the plunge. My gut told me otherwise though.

Publishing a post about the fact that previous posts haven’t been published is probably a bit strange, but I think Blogging Jitters is a subject in itself! With that in mind, I ask:

  • Have you ever suffered from Blogging Jitters?
  • If so, what do you think were the reasons behind this?

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