Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Obama v Romney – Social Media Election 2012 [Infographic]

Social media will play a key role in the outcome of the 2012 US Presidential Election. Who will come out on top – Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Our infographic highlights the key stats from the campaign, showing who wins the major social media battle grounds. You might be surprised!


Feel free to download our infographic for your blog or Facebook page folks.

It’s all change

If you’ve been following this blog you’re probably a little dissapointed at the level of activity recently. I’ve not posted here in a while because I’ve started using for my personal thoughts, I’ve been busy organising Be Good Be Social and, most importantly, I’ve been taking on a lot of new client work.

The Third Sector Lab site you’re on right now is undergoing a complete rethink. We need to share some of the great work we’ve completed recently for clients like Tramway Theatre, ENABLE Scotland, Adrian Ashton, Think! and Relationships Scotland. We also need to let people know what digital media services we offer and what makes us different.

So…for just now you can get in touch with me via @ThirdSectorLab or email me ross[@] if you’ve got any questions about what we do or if you’d like to discuss potential projects. A shiny new Third Sector Lab website will be revealed soon.

Like Minds 2010 – Calling all social media savvy charities

If you’re even remotely interested in social media then a trip to Like Minds 2010 should be in your diary. It’s worth the £50 entry fee just to hear Steve Bridger speak.

Despite the general awesomeness of the Like Minds event, one element leaves a rather sour taste in the mouth – The Like Minds Summit. The summit is all about bringing together the best social media case studies, a white paper will be drawn up to form “the industry standard in Social Media implementation”. All sounds great so far. The problem is you’ll need to cough up £1.5k to join the summit and have your case study included.

As Richard Baker points out this isn’t going to be short change to most UK charities. Richard’s blog post has sparked a healthy debate on this matter and Trey Pennington has generously agreed to assist any charity wishing to take part:

“In the unlikely event that a non-profit organization submits a case study which meets submission requirements and is selected (the submission process is free and open to all), and they cannot afford the £1,500, I will make a contribution towards their fee and do the fundraising to get the balance for them.”

That sounds like a challenge.

Dogs Trust, Bullying UK, Quarriers, ENABLE Scotland and the many other non-profits effectively using social media…why not take up Trey’s offer and showcase what you’ve managed to achieve?

Five with coffee

If you’re interested in all things non-profit and social media then grab a coffee and have a gander at these five ludicrously useful and interesting blog posts…

50 Social Media Tactics for Non-Profits

Chad Norman provides 50 easy-peasy tactics which will help your charity meet the objectives of its social media strategy. If you’ve not got yourself a social media strategy have a peek at Amy Sample Ward’s advice.

Quarriers Spreading the Social Care Message on Twitter

John Carnell hosts an insightful interview with Marc Bowker of Scottish charity Quarriers. If you take one piece of advice from Marc it has to be: “Don’t flood Twitter with your ‘corporate’ messages, but instead be human about what you say”. Stop shouting at people!

Help Raise $1million for Livestrong by Following @DrewfromTV

I had no idea who hosted ‘The Price is Right’ in the States, apparently it isn’t Bruce Forsyth. I now know who said host is since Beth Kanter pointed out he’s pledged a staggering $1million if he reaches one million twitter followers by 2010.

Your Reputation is the New Online Currency

Claire Rollinson of NCVO provides a brilliant look at Chris Anderson’s and Chris Brogan’s ideas on building online trust.

Do you know this Mo Bro who was on Top Gear?

OK, so this blog post doesn’t really full under the ‘useful’ category but it’s November Movember so it would be rude not to include it.

Have I missed out a mind-bogglingly useful article which you’re read during November? If so leave some linkage in the comments, feel free to shamelessly plug your own blog.

Glasgow Twestival

I’ve not posted on here for almost a month as most of my spare time has been taken up organising Glasgow Twestival Local 2009. All the hours the volunteer team have ploughed in to planning the event are definitely going to be worthwhile. If you have plans for 10th September 2009 scrap them now. Whatever they are they’ll be dull compared to the Glasgow Twestival. No, really they will.

We’re hoping to raise £2500 for asthma charity No Strings Attached Scotland by bringing together Glasgow’s twitterati for a night full of amazingly talented local bands and DJs as well as the chance to win a serious stack of prizes. The evening will be hosted by Clyde 1’s twitter-fanatic Colin Kelly and tickets are selling fast.

We even got a little mention on the 4th plinth last night (go to 40m40s in).

Here’s a quick video which explains what the event is all about…

Psss…Enter the promo code ‘thirdsectorlab’ and you can get your ticket for just £7 instead of the standard £10!

What the f*ck is social media?

The full title of Marta Kagan’s presentation (below) is actually ‘What the f*ck is social media? One Year Later’. However that doesnt make for nearly as snappy a post-title.

If you work for a business or non-profit who currently think social media is a waste of time you need to show them this. Marta’s follow up to the original ‘What the f*ck is social media’ will help you understand the big why and how questions.

As Marta declares…Social media playtime is over!

View more documents from Marta Kagan.
PS…I’d love to know which stat from the presentation really stuck in your mind. Comment away!

The O2 Twinterview

A couple of weeks ago I asked my readers to come up with twitter-related questions for James Paterson, Digital Communications Manager at O2. James hasn’t had time to answer them all but below you’ll find some great insights in to how a corporate giant engages with people on a personal level via social media.

So are O2 getting their social media strategy right?

Q1 Dan Donald @hereinthehive: I can only assume that you guys get swamped through channels like Twitter. How do you handle these in-house? Filtering software such as Tweetdeck? How many members of staff are on ‘social channel’ duty, Twitter in particular?

James: A member of the in-house communications team monitors Twitter throughout the day – we’ve tried a range of Twitter software and currently use Seesmic Desktop. Our team also manages our other channels, including Facebook, Flickr and YouTube

Q2 Richard Baker @richard_baker: How does your role link to other teams in the business eg customer service etc and how do you encourage leaders to listen and respond to feedback?

James: We are supported by a handful of dedicated customer service advisors who help us to respond to the customer-related questions we get asked.

Sharing feedback we receive from all our social media presences is essential and is one of the main reasons we invest so much time and energy into the online space. We’re lucky in that the majority of people at O2 understand the value in channels like Twitter already. We have a young and vibrant set of people who use social media in their personal lives already. It’s just as well, because we rely on different business areas to help us respond to feedback, and in return, they rely on us to understand what is being said about the things that concern us, like phones, network coverage and pricing.

This extends all the way up to board level – our directors often stop by my desk to ask what is being said on Twitter!

Q3 MJ Ray: You’re on twitter, but are you on any OpenMicroBlogging site? If not, why not? It’s the GSM of microblogs.

James: We’re currently exploring a range of different social media tools to make sure we reach as wide an audience as possible. We are always careful to walk before we can run and have a commitment to sustain any channel we set up and use it with credibility. Thanks for the tip – we’ll explore that one too.

Q4 Peter Jahn @jahnzilla: Has o2 encouraged the use of social media primarily as a means of strengthening relationships with existing customers, or do you see social media as a way of increasing brand awareness and encouraging new custom? (Or both!)

James: Definitely both. It’s great to see how many O2 customers contact us to say they’re glad we’re on a particular social network – it’s equally important to hear feedback from existing customers if there’s something they want us to change or feedback.

One of my favourite tweets was from someone who decided to choose us as their operator because we were on Twitter – it proves that listening and taking part in discussions has real merit. And yes, from a brand perspective we think it can only be a good thing. Our mantra is to be open and trusted as a brand, and Twitter helps us do this.

Q5 Stephanie @sdoca08:How do you manage to Twitter about O2 without always having a link back to a web page? Do you have any guidelines for internal staff about using social media?

James: That’s simple – because for us it’s a communications channel and not a marketing channel! Where it is beneficial, we will link to our news sites or other channels to show pictures or video, but our Twitter feed isn’t about linking to the O2 Shop.

We do have guidelines for our staff on social media. We developed this by holding internal focus groups with staff and then developing a policy that helps shape the way people use these tools in a work capacity, whilst still giving them freedom that all-important freedom.

The story (so far) of twitter

Rather than insert an image of the test card while I wait for James to respond to everyone’s wonderful social media questions here’s the story (so far) of twitter. Infoshots came up with the original design concept, which was tweaked slightly by Manolith. Start at the roots of the tree and work your way up.

Jankis Krums gets a look in but the rest of the twitter family tree looks decidedly celebrity orientated. Is that really all twitter is about?

What defining moment would feature on your story (so far) of twitter?

Ask @o2 a question…

They employ over 11,000 people in the UK, operate 450 retail stores and sponsor the country’s biggest music venue. If there’s one word to describe o2 it is HUGE. Despite their size the telecommunications behemoth is one of the few major corporations truly engaging with their customers via the medium of social media. I’ve been particularly impressed at how quickly and efficiently they deal with customer queries on twitter. Is this openness having a positive effect on customer satisfaction and increasing business for o2?

Well now you can find out as James Paterson, Digital Communication Manager at o2, has agreed to do a twinterview, taking all the questions for the twittersphere. Same concept as my twinterview with Janis Krums. If you’ve got something you’d like to ask James please leave your question as a comment on this post. We’ll have the full interview up next week.

Closing date for questions is Friday 19th June at 5.00pm (BST).

Connecting Scotland’s digital community

On Friday night I attended the wonderful Digital Britain Unconference Scotland organised by Craig McGill. Twenty three people crammed into a private area of The Living Room, Glasgow, to discuss the future of the internet in Scotland. Some pretty interesting topics were covered, from broadband access across rural areas to the proliferation of social media. Sarah Drummond gives a great summary of the main points on her blog. This conveniently allows me to be rather lazy and not write too much on a Sunday afternoon. I also stole the photograph above from her blog too, making me doubly lazily.

Andy Bright has posted a very interesting post-unconference video on his blog, discussing disconnection and disparity within the Scottish digital community. I’m particularly interested in his idea of aggregating all of the information spilling out of existing online communities into one hub. This could save an enormous amount of time, save duplication and ultimately be cost-effective.

So what do others think, is the hub concept proposed by Andy the way forward?