Category Archives: Tech Tuesday

Tech Tuesday: An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media

Tech Tuesday An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social MediaIf you work in social media and haven’t read Andrew Watts’ A Teenager’s View on Social Media, where have you been?!

Every Community Manager group I’m part of has been sharing this and although I read it with interest, I share many of the views “Old Fogey” shares in his response to the original post, simply titled ‘An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media’.

Before I go on, I’d like to say that I really enjoyed Andrew’s post. It was an insightful and interesting read and my comments have little to do with the article and more to do with the response to the post.

Andrew is a 19 year old student talking about a personal experience. He’s written the post to share his own experiences and opinions, making the generalisations teenagers do but never explicitly stating that he’s talking on behalf of his generation.

Andrew’s comment is personal, and he makes that quite clear. Andrew is not assessing the social media landscape with the academic rigour of a researcher- so why are the tech elite and journalists elevating his opinion into a generalisation of a generation?

Old Fogey suggests that like usual it’s only the white middle class voice that is getting heard. Andrew may possess tech-savvy intelligence but his position within a privileged sect of American teenhood has amplified his voice. I’m inclined to agree, particularly because Andrew’s dismissal of Twitter raised the same red flag for Old Fogey as it did for me:

“[Andrew’s] coverage of Twitter should raise a big red flag to anyone who has spent an iota of time paying attention to the news. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a phenomenal uptick in serious US-based activism by many youth in light of what took place in Ferguson. It’s hard to ignore Twitter’s role in this phenomenon, with hashtags like #blacklivesmatter and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown not only flowing from Twitter onto other social media platforms, but also getting serious coverage from major media. […] Let me put this bluntly: teens’ use of social media is significantly shaped by race and class, geography and cultural background.”

An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media

I don’t want to delve too deeply into the race, class and cultural background debate here because that’s worthy of an entire blog of its own. However I strongly believe that the furore surrounding Andrew’s article should deliver a warning to all marketeers. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to get wrapped up in a single opinion, and if we do we better make sure we don’t spin it to suit our strategies and current needs.

You can read Old Fogey’s full response here.

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Tech Tuesday: What’s next for social media after Facebook?

Financial Times social media journalist Maija Palmer investigates how Facebook’s latest rivals fight for attention in her latest article for The Connected Business, the FT’s IT and business analysis arm.

Nothing will replace Facebook (plus Facebook have a history of buying up credible threats) but it’s my belief that image-led sites like Pinterest are the future for social media in the property industry.

You can read my thoughts in the Financial Times here.

 

Tech Tuesday: Apple inspiration

We need to stop thinking about want and start thinking about need. 

There’s a course at Apple’s internal university called “What Makes Apple, Apple”. Last year the tutor showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV. The remote has 78 buttons. Then the tutor displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.

How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu.

The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed.

Adapted from ‘Inside Apple’s Internal Training Programme‘, first published in The New York Times, August 2014.

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My Clinique Live Chat Experience

tech tuesday clinique live chat experienceI’m really excited to launch a new series of posts called Tech Tuesday! The content will be a mixture of how to guides and posts that take a look at some technology related issues. This week I’ve decided to talk about my Clinique live chat experience which I hope you’ll find interesting.

My Clinique live chat experience

Live chat software is a funny kind of animal. I’ve always felt that live chat exists to make a brand look customer focused, which is great in theory and disappointing in reality. More often than not the employees managing a company’s live chat interface are not given the same authority as other members of the customer service team; if no differentiation between the teams has been made clear to the customer, it’s almost always going to be a negative experience.

I spent a lot of time using Virgin Atlantic’s live chat offering earlier this year, trying to understand if and how we could rearrange our flights to America after I broke my leg. My experience was bad because nobody behind the computer had the authority to do anything, including answering basic questions. That’s not acceptable when your live chat service is portrayed as an alternative to a phone call. Virgin Atlantic’s representatives were always polite but their only purpose was to direct you to an expensive phone number, but only after you’d gone round in circles for twenty minutes.

Last week I found myself on Clinique’s website, pondering whether to buy a new facial toner. I’m familiar with Clinique products and used the facial toner in question a few years ago, but I really needed some advice about whether it was currently the best thing to use on my skin.

Despite previous negative live chat experiences, l saw there was a live chat facility on their website and decided to give it a go. After saying hello I asked ‘Sam’ whether the facial toner in question was suitable for my skin type. Instead of replying ‘yes’, Sam asked me a few questions and we went back and forth for a while before she recommended a different product entirely – which happened to cost less than the product I was thinking of buying.

What I liked most about this live chat experience was that it mirrored the customer service experience I’ve received in-store at a Clinique counter previously. This is absolutely key – it is essential that brands considering a live chat facility ensure they can deliver the same level of service that their customers have come to expect from them offline. Considering skincare is predominantly a face-to-face issue, I was really impressed with my experience online and Clinique have maintained my trust.

What I liked about my Clinique live chat experience:

  1. A photo and brief biography of the consultant you are speaking to is available for you to see before your Clinique live chat experience starts.
  2. Two types of chat are available on Clinique’s website – one with experienced online Clinique consultants for skincare queries and one with the customer services team for technical issues and order queries.
  3. Unique answers! I quizzed Sam about the product she suggested and her response was unique to my situation.

 Have you used live chat software before? Which brands are doing it ‘right’?

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