The Work Experience

Cut off social media, lose recruits: AFR

Rachel Nickless writes

One in five job seekers say they would turn down a job if it did not provide access to social media such as Facebook, according to a paper released by recruitment giant Hays yesterday.

A survey of 870 employers and job candidates for the white paper, Tomorrow’s Workforce, found that half of candidates already access social media for personal reasons. Of these, 13.3 per cent said they access it daily, while 36.4 per cent access it occasionally.

Meanwhile, 44.3 per cent of employers believe that allowing staff to access social media at work will help retain them. A third allow their employees access at work, while 43.2 per cent allow limited access. But 23.7 per cent of employers ban social media at work.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia, urged employers to have clear policies in place, with more than half of the candidates saying they used company devices to access social media and a quarter saying they did not know how to represent their employer.

Read the rest of the article over on where some recommendations are made for what to consider in policies.


The internet the world

Does your company have rights to your Twitter account and do they have a Twitter policy?

Who owns the Twitter followers of an account when they were amassed during an employee’s tenure at a company? A case popped up in the news today on SMH (originally published in the New York Times).

Events The internet the world

Digital Citizens – Social media and the music industry who are mildly embracing it

So the topic of the evening was meant to be Social media and the music industry but that’s not quite what we got.

The panel at Digital Citizens: Ben Shepherd – Sound Alliance; Sam Buckingham – singer / songwriter; Gareth Stuckey – Director, Gigpiglet; Dan Rosen – ARIA Chief Executive Officer; Neil Ackland – Sound Alliance; moderated by@acatinatree. The event was held at FBI Social.

Everyone talked about the revenue/rights quandary but there was no real talk of how they were strategising for the digital age. Except for Sam Buckingham, a singer songwriter who has leveraged social media to connect to her fan base, build a loyal following and even crowd sourced $11,000 via the Pozible platform to fund her first album.

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There was talk at the outset of how well ARIA did “engaging” fans this year on Twitter. So what? The ARIA awards are on television. It’s got a pretty good head start because its being broadcast.

Somehow it just seemed that the panel, with exception of aforementioned indie songstress, was hanging on to the old way of doing business. They reinforced the status quo again and again – acts still need the music business, there’s no such thing really as independent artists. Um, yes there is and the hecklers* in the crowd started listing acts: The Jezebels, John Butler Trio, amongst others.

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The topic of discovery and curated listening was raised by the moderator. The consensus was that serendipitous discover wasn’t all that it is cracked up to be and listeners need those cool music types to tell what they need to hear. OK so Genius, and other recommendation engines don’t work and won’t improve? So tag classification systems on Soundcloud or Hypemachine are useless? I know I’m a relatively savvy user but I also have faith that users, given a good service and a good UI, will explore features made available to them if they find them useful.

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The panel, I think it was Ben Shepherd from Sound Alliance segmented the music audience into two types: loyalists and casual listeners. It was implied that casual listeners will never pay and will be satisfied with free streaming music services and illegal downloads. I think these guys just hang out with the cool kids. There is a whole mainstream audience out there – sure they might listen to Susan Boyle sometimes – but they are happy to pay for music. Case in point, the entire Apple iTunes platform proves that if you create an ecosystem that makes purchasing seamless for the user they will indeed pay. What royalties artists derive from this is another matter entirely and nothing to do with social media and the music industry.

Repeatedly the panel kept talking about the web as a channel but not about social media as a platform. But it was worse than that. The web channel they spoke of looked entirely like a broadcast option only delivered via their specific platforms or partnerships. Convenient.

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An audience member pointed out that the three revenue streams of artists (synchronisation as in licensing from film and advertising, touring and merchandising sales) have changed only marginally and that the album, except for the top 10% of artists, has always been a loss leader. He asked Dan Rosen of ARIA where they fit in the new model of rental versus ownership (audio below). The response was that ARIA will support any legal way of purchasing music where rights/money flow back to the artist.

This led to the question of whether ARIA are exploring a streaming music chart? Sweden has one and apparently artists generate more revenue from streaming music services than they do from iTunes. OK this is interesting stuff but its platform, not social media. I also was left with no impression that ARIA are actively lobbying and negotiating with the likes of Spotify, soon to enter the Australian market. They most probably are, it just sounded so reactive on the night.

Ironically it was Ben Shepherd from Sound Alliance who was skeptical of whether Spotify will provide artists with the royalty cheques they deserve. We had learnt earlier on the night that radio only pays 1% royalties for the music they pay. This is clearly a disgrace, particularly when you consider the size of businesses like Austereo. He projected the Spotify IPO could raise a billion dollars the  Australian advertising revenues of Spotify in the millions* but he lamented that they would likely pay only minimal royalties. Why did I preface this as ironic? Because Sound Alliance themselves don’t necessarily pay their music writers for their content.

Sam Buckingham finished the night with a point that was at least on topic. Social media is about making fans and keeping them. And of course so much more.

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Full disclaimer: Some of those said hecklers are my friends and are themselves either music fans or music industry boffins.

Thanks to Jo Sabin for subbing this post.

* Thanks to Ben Shepherd who clarified what he said in regards to the potential Spotify IPO, correcting me in his comment below.


Sign up to the Company Customer Pact by Get Satisfaction

Having worked for a company behind open source software, I know how important community conduct is, on forums and other channels. In fact it was something that Geoff, as FarCry product evangelist had to (and I’m sure still does) moderate closely. This interaction between products and users is vital in fostering closer relationships between companies and customers, feature improvements and product innovation.

So it is great to see Get Satisfaction create a campaign around this. Get Satisfaction is a service that allows customers to send feedback, bugs and feature requests to companies. They have created a campaign called the Company Customer Pact. An accord, or code of conduct if you will. As interactions between companies and customers get closer through social media it will become more and more important that people are on the same page. Check it out, and get on board.





The internet the world

Telegraming peace and protest

1980 telegram from activist group "Anti war citizens"

Social media and mobile phones are the communication and organising tool of this moment. As you well know these tools have been important factors in recent events like the Arab Spring and the London Riots. So I thought it an apt time to reflect on old school comms. I found this telegram from 1980 on a cleaning bee at my parent’s house.

My parent’s took me to huge peace rallies in the 1980s. We marched under the banner of a Greek community club called the Atlas League. Now I can see how this group coordinated their efforts with other peace lobbyists. No group SMS, no twitter broadcasts, no Facebook events, but a telegram, phone calls and word of mouth that mobilised thousands to march in Sydney streets.


Social Media Club: Food, Wine and Social Media, 2 August 2011

An interesting thing happens when the speakers at Social Media Club don’t hit their mark. The speakers were talking about engagement but they weren’t getting any. The error they made was misjudging their audience as amateurs who needed to be shown how it’s done. They should have known that this is an audience of social media marketers and consultants with years of experience under their belts.

Somehow the disappointment was energising. The speakers showcased relatively intimate projects. The conversations amongst the crowd, many of whom work for advertising and digital agencies were pointing out the difference of executing a social media campaign for a small boutique client versus a big brand. People were talking about dollars, and where budgets for this work should come from when companies don’t devote staff to voice and participate in campaigns. What the crowd had questions about, and what they wanted to hear were the lessons learned. Before a palette of wine was sold off the back of one tweet-up how many mistakes were made and what were they? Endless success stories and figures about the application of social media just didn’t ring true without the war stories.

The three speakers all showcased their experience as food and wine social media pundits. The first as a chef turned blogger and consultant, the second as friend turned publisher, the third (and the most well received speaker) as consultant turned wine event organiser. Although I didn’t learn anything new I (for one at least) was engaged by the achievements made. The speakers also demonstrated three principles of social media which I took to be:

  • Authenticity
  • Consistency
  • Voice

“You are what you engage” – Bridget Davis

After a successful career as a chef, that included a stint as head chef at Bills, Bridget Davis found a voice and a profile as @bridget_cooks. The twitter profile lead to “The Internet Chef” and the trajectory really is quite remarkable:

  • After 6 weeks on twitter Bridget was featured on SMH as a top tweeting chef
  • After 3 months she was featured on the Huffington Post as one of the top 10 chefs on Twitter
  • After 1 year she co-launched the event Media 140 for Foodies
  • And after 2 years she has been acknowledged (I’m not sure by who, but I’ll run with it) as the most influential food tweeter in Australia and in the top 10 most influential food tweeters in the world.

This influence is achieved with just under 15,000 followers who “amplify” the missives. Bridget Davis has been able to build a business off her social media presence. One that includes: cooking demonstrations, corporate events, degustation menus, consultancy for cafe upstarts and even a social media agency (iconic 88 media).

“No one publishes us!” – Chef friends to Denea Buckingham aka The Gourmet Rabbit

The seeds of Gourmet Rabbit were launched when a group of chefs were bemoaning the latest bad review and the fact they didn’t have a voice. Denea encouraged them to write and with 100 pages of content and no publishing experience she started a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Four Square that became a print magazine dedicated to assisting and benefiting the food industry. This is another example of monetizing social media through publications, events and a consultancy.

Helping wineries find a voice

Trish Barry helps small wineries connect directly with their customers online. Big brands dominate sales, but the biggest brand has no more than 10% market share. In a category where recommendations are a primary influence on buying choices social media is an opportunity to craft a brand message, directly engage, gather feedback and connect. Again the benefit of the conversation is had in events coordinated through tweet-ups. This isn’t just brands advertising, but brands cooperating to celebrate and promote categories through events like “Chardonnay Day” and “Pinot Day”.

What the three speakers demonstrated is the effectiveness of a finely tuned online brand and message. Clearly the message that comes through communications by experts is gladly received by an audience hungry for authenticity and advice. Not all of the audience may have felt that they learnt anything new but the speakers did spark interesting discussions and it goes to show that Social Media Club is still one of the most fun events around.