Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How to "Delete" Your Social Networking Identity & Create a New One?

So you've set up for yourself a fairly visible online presence, but you haven't really made it on purpose: perhaps you may have followed your friends' advice and joined a whole range of social websites: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc and yes - you've even opened a LinkedIn page (since most of your new colleagues have one)... but the truth is - you aren't really happy about your "online looks" as it doesn't tells the right story about you and it doesn't make you stand out from the crowd either, right?

If all of the above are a bit close to your recent online experience, then there's a solution you may want to hear about: Web 2.0 Suicide Machine ( - which enables you to delete your existing social networking profiles and even...kill your virtual friends:

Recent article in .net magazine featured an interview with the platform's chief euthanasia officer - Gordan Savicic.
It turnes out that 3 guys came up with an Out-of-Box idea (partying at night in one of Rotterdam's clubs) of colectively deleting your social networking profiles. All you have to do is to grab a pint of courage, fill out some forms and do away with your Web 2.0 alter ego.

How it goes? As soon as you click the "commit" button - The Suicide Machine kicks off and the next thing you will see is a pop-up Flash player containing a browser that will log in automatically to your account to..- erase it.

How's been doing so far?
Over 2 million unique visitors, 1,170,263 friends have been unfriended and 504,978 tweets have been removed since launching. Delete or not to delete - that's your call, but if you want to make it quick and easy - there's a way to go. As for privacy concerns - just note that you won't have your passwords stored or shared later on.

That'll be it. For more Digital Lunch Menu ideas, don't hesitate to leave us your food and taste preferences!

All yours,


P.S. Some Funny Bits from South Park - on theme (disregard the uncensored language, pls:):

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Monday, April 19, 2010

An Out-of-Box use of Facebook Connect by Stella Artois

Why I've chosen to share this campaign' link? As mentioned in previous post, brands are currently targeting consumers wherever they go: be that outside - on the streets, inside - on message boards, on newspapers' pages, on TV screens, online and even on mobile phones. Reaching consumers and holding their attention is an uneasy task today, since consumers became prosumers and their voice may put the brand forward, in exchange for a swmall "reward": motivational engagement.

Stella Artois seems to have learned the brand engagement lesson: instead of simply announcing a new competition,it created an entire scenario for Facebook users, ready to entertain themselves by becoming part of a personalized "detective-like" movie scene:

What's required? By connecting your Facebook page you're allowed to enter the competition. You will then be witnessing the unfolding investigation aiming to find the missing heir of the last will: you'll be surprised to see who bacame the target, since the personalized features will show up at precisely this stage:

Even if the competition results won't determine your candidature as the legitimate heir entitled to experience an unforgettable trip to the Cannes' Festival, you'll be still having some "gift" options:

- to share a movie featuring your friends as actors and
- to watch online one of Cannes' winning movies for free, at your choice.

Clever approach. Btw, the brand will have its most precious reward instead - free word-of-mouth, shared earned media with a bit of user-generated-content taste.

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How Much is Too Much? - when it comes to : Data Overload...

Have you ever wondered what's the average daily exposure of commercial data per person? Researches claim that consumers' are exposed to nearly 3500 brand messages per day. I was surprised seeing a curious video reflection of what we call today "commercial overload": Studio Smack delivers an interesting execution captured in a black & white theme to help "notice the unnoticeable", via Enjoy the virtual trip:


P.S. What might be the solution? Personalized data filters - our conscious efforts tailored to what we really want to see/hear. Here's what Clay Shirky mentioned on a recent Web 2.0 Expo in NY:

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

E-WOM & PR crisis: KFC's credibility questioned in China

KFC,the fast food chain, is currently facing one of most talked-about online PR crises in China. Failure to deliver a promised, half-price discount on a Family Value Barrel has transformed an online promotion into a major word of mouth crisis within just a couple of days.

The company has a chain of more than 2,000 stores in China. It first announced its April promotion – Super Tuesday – on its official site, offering 50% discounts for 3 popular items on its menu:

The KFC Family Barrel was planned to be on a half-priced promotion during April 6th to 9th. Money-off coupons were made available to download in small batches at highly specific times of day, and were only accessible via KFC's page on Taobao, the ecommerce platform. According to a Chinese media source( The Family Barrel started its “flash sale” at 16:00 on Apr.05, with 100 limited coupons, whereas by the time numerous customers arrived claiming their discounts, many of them were refused the meal packs. Why? Appearantly many stores weren't aware that 16:00 was the starting point, relying on the exact promotion period: April 6th-9th.

Anyway, copies soon spread virally across the web, which pushed the overall level of demand far beyond company's expectations. Thus, an other reason showed up: illegitimate coupons. Dissatisfied consumers showed their reaction in both online and offline terms:

1. Online consumers' reaction:
- a search on (Google's equivalent in China) for “KFC half-price Family Barrel” showed nearly 50,000 negative results;
- a single post about the matter on Tianya, one of China's biggest internet communities, had been viewed almost 360,000 times and generated 2,279 comments in one week.

Some of the examples of public comments are quite representative for the overall sentiment:

Stop going to KFC. No nutrition and now no credibility!

Let’s all go to Taobao, bid, pay and then give a bad comment!

KFC earns a lot, but during the donation period for the natural disaster, KFC and McDonald’s donated nothing.

Source: (the site covers Chinese advertising and media industries)

2. The offline public reaction spread accordingly:

- 20 branches of KFC in Nanjing were "besieged" by dissatisfied customers, while 30 people refused to leave a restaurant in Shanghai, as reported by The China Daily:

While the long-term impact on KFC remains unclear, there's an obvious negative sentiment shared among KFC's both online and offline customers. Moreover, Globaltimes reports that the company has been already sued citing a breach of contract and violation of consumers' rights. Major argument appears to be the lawyer's claim that "Employees did nothing to test the authenticity of the coupons"

Clearly, when the brand image is damaged on either offline or online platforms, the brand's reputation will have to be "healed" within both of them.
The company has already taken a stand, by making an official statement, although there's been no significant measure taken so far to challenge its online negative sentiment. It seems, the company believes that the offline impact should spread virally.

Efficient or not? The most effective answer to me is the one placed firstly within the very platform where the crisis was generated - it would have lead to a quicker reaction and much higher transparency.

Any thoughts?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

3 Major Twitter Changes - comming up soon..

1. News - confirmed: Twitter is just a few miles away from its new-look change. Appearantly the real-time micro-blogging platform is about to undergo a major redesign:

Details of the redesign have been disclosed as soon as Doug Bowman, Twitter's creative director, posted a picture showing a new-look which clearly indicates that a key element will be the use of more statistics.

"Terrific start" - was the overall online reaction to the new Twitter look posted on Dribble, showing a predominantly positive sentiment. Anyway that's not just it..
Twitter has proved its efficiency as a mainstream broadcast channel when it comes to massive word spread - a few cases a worth mentioning: Chinese and Chilean earthquake (signups spiked 1200%), Shashi Tharoor political moves in India (signups have increased nearly 100%, whereas Indian audience witnessed 550 million mobile phone users sending and receiving tweets via SMS in 2010 already) etc.

Today Twitter population expanded largely across the world, where 60% of registered Twitter accounts come from outside the US, making it incredibly culturally & geographically diverse. That means an entirely new play ground for advertisers and social searches. Here it comes the 2nd change:

2. Twitter launches a new advertising programme:

The new ad programme, Promoted Tweets, is based on a similar approach to Google, with marketers purchasing keywords, and their posts appearing at the top of a list when users enter relevant search terms.

If you're wondering what may've served as purspose to this initiative, then the answer is in the nature of online comments - Promoted Tweets will be basically putting forward the content added by source-companies about their products/services, making the "official" information come first (as in a press-release when you first learn the initial source' view).

Chris Bruzzo, vice president of Starbucks' brand and online content on Promoted Tweets: "When people are searching on Starbucks, what we really want to show them is that something is happening at Starbucks right now, and Promoted Tweets will give us a chance to do that."

Clearly, what brands are anticipating with the new ad offer is its: alarm & reach options, but also challenges, such as moderation of negative word-of-mouth, which would come much easier under a single umbrella (in this case - being triggered by the company-owned content). The initial charging model will be cost-per-thousand, planning to expand as soon as the programme catches on. And here it comes the 3rd new feature:

3. Twitter's new integration solution - @Anywhere, promises to tick the following boxes: traffic, engagement and insight. How? By embedding a Tweet box into your sites and enabling further sharing options:

Although we've already witnessed similar ideas with Facebook Connect and FriendFeed, Twitter's new @Anywhere platform hopes that publishers will find the integration options easier and choose to use the tools to keep site visitors more engaged: auto-linkification of usernames, hovercards (similar to ones we see on, follow buttons, tweet boxes and user login/signup options .

Publishers are welcome to start using the new feature - as of today:

Finally, couldn't overlook this cute poster uploaded by Ev Williams - Twitter Co-founder on current Twitter stats - definetely some food for thought...- let's digest together:

Hope you've found this useful. Looking forward to hearing your new comments/suggestions on our next Menu choice.

Cooking for you, Digital Lunch Team
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

London - the World's Top Twitter City

London leads a chart of the world’s major cities considering its highest number of Twitter user accounts, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago, according to research by Hubspot (based on Geolocation data).

Based on an analysis of 9 million accounts, Hubspot has revealed that Twitter accounts that include a profile picture have 10 times the number of followers than those without - a picture on Twitter undoubtedly relates to online trust and why not further engagement chances.

Using Hubspot’s Twitter grader tool, you can also score your own Twitter account for influence out of 100 points and see where it stands compared to more than 6 million accounts that have aready been graded.

So far, Top ranked Twitterers include CNN, BBC, NASA, Mashable, The New York Times & The Guardian.
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Tokyo: Mobile Marketing going further with - Mobile 3D screens!

Japanese electronics makers have announced their 3D related plans..- this time on mobile phones! The big news is that they are putting 3D displays on mobile phones and don't require 3D glasses.

"In the 2D era, contents and infrastructure have spread from movies to homes, and from homes to mobile devices," Sharp exec Yoshisuke Hasegawa told a gathering of reporters in Tokyo, according to Reuters. "We believe the same thing will happen with 3D. Three-dimensional images that mostly inhabit big screens now are about to hit mobile terminals."

After Avatar has hit its global 3D verve, James Cameron announced earlier this year: "We've demonstrated that the 3D market is an extremely lucrative market and this is not a fad, this is not something that is going to go away," director James Cameron said earlier this year. Undoubtedly, there're a lot of new opportunities blue chip brands are seeing in 3D screens' expansion (as shown in previous post: "Avatar Brand Culture").

Sharp exec insists on the same reasons James Cameron believes in - 3D being an extremely promising market for both end-recipients and advertisers:

Still, there're issues to be taken into account related to users'comfort, since the clarity of 3D effects appear to be directly depending on a certain angle's position. Sharp's new device was tested by bloggers who noticed that the 3D screen quickly turns blurry if the device isn't held in the right manner.

PC World representative predicts though a "not-so-fast 3D mobile expansion", mentioning : "The problem is that cell phone users don't rigidly hold their handsets at a fixed distance and viewing angle. They look at the screen while reclining on a couch or laying in bed, and they move around to get comfortable. Trying to get a 3D illusion will quickly become tiring..."

So, is it new and engaging? At this point in time 3D screens on Mobile gadgets are new and thus attractive, as for the engagement - I believe consumers' insights may give the right answers! Therefore, Sharp - listen to your audience and well-done for the bloggers' testing part!(for now:)
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