Rebirth of the not-magazine?

Facebook is joining a whole list of companies, from Airbnb, Asos, Casper, Dollar Shave Club to Net-a-Porter in publishing a new magazine. Except, it is a not-magazine.

Despite being packaged in the shape of a magazine, bearing all the hallmarks of a magazine and having the words “a quarterly magazine for business leaders” emblazoned on its magazine-like cover, Grow by Facebook is categorically not a magazine according to the Facebook PR team. No – this is, they say, simply a piece of marketing collateral. A brochure even. It’s almost as though Facebook doesn’t want to be called a publisher or something.

Whatever you want to call it, Grow joins an ever-expanding collection of branded publications whose arrival has coincided with major consumer titles such as NME and Teen Vogue closing their print magazines. So why is it that dead tree media is proving so desirable to companies that have built their success on eschewing legacy technology?

“Trust, authority and credibility,” says Terri White, editor-in-chief of film bible Empire. “The digital space is a hectic, loud, cluttered landscape with bloggers, influencers, journalists, editors, writers, marketeers all shouting into the void – their voices surfacing, or not, depending on SEO or algorithms. In such a crowded space, how do you ensure that people trust what they read on your website or social channels versus the other 30-odd people/brands in your area? How does your brand stand out?”

Read the full article on DRUM

Don’t even start typing…

Remember all those Facebook rants you wrote and then wisely deleted before posting? Facebook’s been studying them to better understand your self-censorship behaviour.
That’s right. So even posts you never posted are now being tracked and noted. Big Zuckerberg is taking notes. This pdf report is worth a read.

Remember #CatGate? Theresa has form

While news stories soon get forgotten and buried in the ether, social media is the perfect platform for digging these stories out and, given the right current affairs setting, they can shape the conversation in unexpected ways.

Remember #CatGate?  Well, Theresa May (at the time Home Secretary ) said in her speech to Conservative Party conference that owning a cat means illegal immigrants are allowed to stay in Britain. Andrew Neil puts her straight.

How to undermine carefully crafted party political narratives

This came out of nowhere, and grabbed people’s attention.

A simple, cheap and direct guerrilla campaign that undermined the mainstream media narrative our politicians so carefully try to control. Well,some more than others…

Posters bearing the words “strong and stable my arse” which were spotted across London over the weekend are the work of the artist Jeremy Deller.

Passersby began tweeting pictures of the posters from Peckham to Soho to Kentish Town on Friday, but the question was: who was behind them?

Deller confirmed to the Guardian on Monday that he was responsible. He said he hoped the posters were self-explanatory, particularly after “this U-turn this morning” from Theresa May on Conservative party social care policies.

Not all heroes wear capes.




How progressive campaigns are won in the 21st Century

This is an interesting site innovating social strategy for non-profit campaign organisations. Download their latest free report from


Social change is hard, and harder still if our institutions haven’t adapted to the cultural changes of our networked society and the complexity of the world’s wicked problems.

The Networked Change Report maps out the strategies and practices that made 47 of today’s most successful advocacy campaigns work while so many others failed to create lasting change.

These campaigns achieved success, we found, because of their ability to open up to the new cultural forces which favor open-ness and grassroots power, but also because they framed and strategically directed this power towards concrete policy outcomes. In short, these “directed network campaigns” married old power with new.

With a special focus on directed-network campaigns, the report isolates the strategic and operational approaches that were common to all high performing examples in our case studies.

Simply put, our intention is to accelerate innovations that work. Understanding and implementing these principles and approaches will allow organizers to apply a model that is consistently achieving high impact and force amplification in today’s challenging advocacy landscape.

“The conventional rules of organizing and the practice of building institutions to create change is being replaced by the demand to innovate and spark new connections and a mandate to build platforms that allow for participation and self determination. This report examines and connects the dots between emergent strategies and provides concrete mechanisms to adapt and improve social change efforts.” 

Marisa Franco, Director of the Not1More Deportation Campaign 

The report is available for free download.


Automated twitter messages – or not?

Often when I start following someone on twitter I receive an automated ‘thank you for the follow‘ message. This seems a good way to introduce your business a little more, and so has set me off on a little bit of research on this subject.

First stop was the twitter community itself. And where I also found the first hurdle: that automation is frowned upon by twitter. and actively discouraged. See thier automation rules at:

But then again, the argument for at least an initial automated response seems persuasive: those that follow you receive and instant pay-off in terms of more detailed information, and a way to connect deeper to you and your twitter stream.

And not only that, this deeper engagement using automated DM’s let’s you do some other cool stuff. You could use it for retweets too. Once someone tweets your article you can do this:

  1. Ask to share your article via other social networks: “Hey @username Thanks a lot for the tweet! I would really appreciate if you could give the post a G+ and “like” as well :)”;
  2. Offer more content: “Thanks for the tweet! Did you also see this article of mine about the same topic? http://link_to_article”;
  3. Offer a product: “Thanks for the tweet! Maybe you’d be interested in taking my free email course at http://link_to_course?”.

Though, as mentioned, twitter automation is a very controversial topic and many people hate it. But you can do really cool things if you get it right.

Here’s an awesome guide to Twitter Automation: Power Guide to Twitter Automation: Tools, Strategies, Ethics

But… as a final note, consider this response by people on the subject of automated DM:

“….please, don’t use an Auto DM.  It’s considered highly douchbaggy.  Twitter is best when you are a person — an authentic one.  Auto DMs is the best way to dispel the idea that you are someone worth engaging with.  I’d unfollow you in a second if you Auto DM-ed me.”

This kind of comment tells you to step back a little and consider all the pros and cons.

My final conclusion to this? I think I will be trying out some automated DM for initial contact – but will be honest about it, and point out that I am human, and will engage directly after fist linking up.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong to do so. What do you think?