Archive for the Online community Category

Make Your Community Contributions

Posted in Online community with tags , , on August 13, 2009 by qubefiona

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

This made me chuckle.

Although the above is a monetary contributions tally it made me think about the wider contributions that are made – or not made – to communities online and how this results so often in a fail.

I myself have joined ‘communities’, both branded and non branded ones, excited by the potential life enhancing role it will play for me.  A month, or even sometimes just a week down the line, my discussions topics or comment contributions  are left languishing in a dark and quiet corner of cyberspace.  I have no idea how many community profiles i have out there and sadly i can’t think of one online community that i am consistently in touch with.  Maybe its partly my fault (spreading myself too thinly online is a weakness :-)) but i can’t help but think if only more was done to conjole me into community life that something would have stuck on both our parts.

I think even if you succeed in getting people in to your community – a feat in itself –  it takes time, creativity and focus to keep them interested and committed community members.

You need to constantly think “what can i give back to my community, how can i add value to their lives, how can i reward their participation and continue to keep them involved”

That old cliche “you get back what you put in” should be a big part of the strategic planning behind a community.


ROI and a dodgy social media diagram

Posted in measurement, Online community with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by qubefiona

recency picI drew this diagram for a client today when we were discussing how building a community through social media could be a more cost effective approach than their existing event / campaign led approach to communications.

The basic premise being that a community (if managed properly) provides continuous access to a continually growing group of people who are interested in, and engaged with, your brand.  This effectively reduces the peak in investment that goes along with a traditional campaign approach, meaning you don’t have to start from scratch  to build an audience.   Not only that, but seeking out and encouraging advocates within these communities further boosts the investment made as they begin to spread your message and do your job for you!

This diagram then reminded me of one of the first things i learnt many years ago as a grad in a media agency – cumulative reach and frequency. The upshot of this theory for planners in advertising and media alike, was the importance of aligning and timing brand messages so you continually build your brand story.

I wonder how social media and branded communities fit into this traditional theory? Is it just another string to our communication bow to work in harmony with everything else? Or does social media, and more specifically branded communities, offer the ultimate remedy for the cumulative media planning challenge?

Interesting to hear what others think.    Aside from that theoretical side point, I think the diagram simply demonstrates that building communities is a more cost effective approach to communications.   The investment may be hard to justify up front but the ROI over a longer period of time is worth it.

Some simple steps to keep you and your children safe online

Posted in Online community, Social media with tags , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by tomplaner


After seeing the recent hack on twitter had been nothing more than a patient man with an understanding of the internet, I got to thinking about my own security.

It was fairly common practice to hack a friends email account when I was at school and you don’t need any complicated tools, usually just knowledge of their mothers maiden name or birthplace was enough to get past the “secret question”. How difficult is it to find that information in this day and age?

I am not as addicted to Linkedin and Facebook as some people (Twitter is my vice) but if you can see my profile you can glimmer potentially useful information. If you can find a photo of me with one of my grandparents or see if my mother has a brother you could quite easily work out her maiden name.

So without much effort you could know my mother’s maiden name, my DoB and my email address as well as the city I live in.

For most people a combination of those things could be enough to answer a “secret question” and obtain or change a password.

In today’s age of always online and always open plenty of young people are recording everything they do online. In a few years time it probably won’t be much of a stretch for me to find out your “first pet’s name” or “mother’s birthplace”. Going more extreme than that I could probably build a portfolio about you, what music you like, who your friends are, where you live and when you are not at home.

Scaremongering aside it is important to think about your online security and what you keep online. If you have children, don’t now go and demand they delete any sensitive information or ban them from talking about their lives on Facebook. Instead educate them on why elements of privacy are important. There are simple steps that will not encroach on their usage of social networks.

Simple things like making sure “secret questions” are genuinely secret and that privacy settings are set so that only genuine friends can see private information. Don’t just add anyone who sends a friend request, message them back first and ask who they are.

Don’t feel you need to close the shutters on social networks, they are all about being social and sharing. Young people of today lead very open lives online and just need to be aware of what they are putting online and who can see it. The best way to calm any fears of safety of young people on line is to start using the networks they are using, gain an actual understanding of how the privacy settings work and how they communicate.

Glenn is a 22 year old social media-ite and a very recent “young person”

Child Protection Online – Best Practice Guide Launch

Posted in Forums, Internet marketing, Online community, Online PR, Qube, Social media with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by monawalsh

I attended the launch of  Child Protection Online – Best Practice Guide on Tuesday run by Tempero. Lots of interesting information and tips on the type of stuff we need to know if we are working in the social media space.

The one bit of info that stood out for me was:   If more than 25% of traffic to site are children (under 18) then Child Protection laws apply to you.

Here’s a Vox Pox Video from the event:

Public Engagement Conference

Posted in Online community, Online PR, Social media on June 23, 2009 by nijay

Qube’s got a social media clinic at the Public Engagement Conference at the IBIS, Earls Court today.

Social Media tag cloud

Our MD, Andrew, did a round table (with more than 100 people, no mean feat) talking about openness, transparency and their role in helping people engage with your organisation.

It generated some very interesting discussion and showed a variety of differing opinions from people in the public sector.

Caroline Wright, Director of communications for the Department of Children, Schools and Families gave an insightful talk on exploiting digital to create dialogue and engage. She highlighted the importance of having a consistent message delivered through a number of platforms, rather than a ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy.

On a personal note, I’ve just eaten an enormous piece of chocolate cake and feel a little sick, but Glenn’s thinking of going back for seconds…

Do Dinosaurs make good pets?

Posted in Online community, Social media on May 5, 2009 by nijay

Some of the Qubites attended The Ultimate Pet Show this weekend for our social network baby, Marc, one of’s directors and all round funky TV vet, did a few talks and presentations… and got some inventive questions from the kids.

We did some live tweeting from the event and reported on events as they happened. You can see more information on’s blog and see some clips on’s new YouTube channel… like the bizarre but very entertaining duck herding.

Twitter Sentiment Analysis with Twitrratr

Posted in Online community on February 23, 2009 by graemebenstead

We have been graded and compared in real time, our meme’s tracked and foul language judged. we have been geotagged and mashed-up all over. But now we can find out what people really think about us with a rather fun twitter sentiment analysis tool named

There isn’t really anything clever going on in the background, just some cross referencing of your search term with some pre-determined positive and negative terms.

Results when searching for individual users tend to be be determined by the postitivity or negativity of that person but searching for larger brands or personalities ‘coke zero‘ or ‘obama‘ can return some interesting results, even if they often seem to be very bias towards the favourable side of things… still its good to be positive!