Animated gifs are back, baby

August 1, 2012

First it was “demotivational posters”  (massive plug for my pinterest collection of quotes from The Wire) and then it was stock images with great captions.

Now, animated GIFs are making a big comeback and a huge impact on popular meme culture. Blogs where classic gifs are paired with funny, cynical and insightful comments are spreading hard and fast through tumblr and twitter sharing. Here are my favourite animated gif blogs:

What happens in media planning

When in London

My favourite gif and my caption for it…

When the client asks to reduce costs and increase scope, we’re like:

And a classic inside joke for my colleagues.

Making mistakes the right way

August 20, 2007

Everyone makes mistakes. If you just shook your head and thought “not me”, then you just made another mistake – possibly your worst ever.

Sometimes your mistakes are bad and they hurt you, your client, your employer, your colleagues or society at large.

Sometimes your mistakes are good and they benefit everyone.

Other times your mistakes don’t really have any effect on anyone or anything and don’t really get noticed. Those are the worst ones.

If you don’t succeed spectacularly, you should want to fail. To make a huge mistake. To have to pay for it.

It’s the only way you’ll learn. It’s the only way we’ll learn.

By making mistakes.

A referee made a mistake in a high profile football match this weekend and cost my team three valuable points against one of our main rivals. (Or maybe we’re their main rival. It’s too early to tell.)

Some people are castigating him for screwing up.

Others are trying to work out how to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Guess which group is (going to be) more successful?

By all means, make your mistakes. Make a lot of them. Make them early. Make them quickly.

Just make sure you learn from them. Otherwise you’re just another screw up.

Blogging CEOs boost value

August 11, 2007

John Dodds, from the excellently titled “Make Marketing History”, brings us news from The Times that seven of the ten companies with blogging CEOs have seen their share values rise.

It makes sense – after all, if I were investing, I’d be more likely to invest in a CEO whose blog I read and, by extension, trusted. The same applies for a company I was about to buy something from – human nature means you stick with what you know, and a blog is a way for everyone and anyone to get to know you.

Cult of the CEO

This, naturally, assumes that the cult of the CEO still drives our society or, at least, our investors. If the superstar CEO is still pervasive, and there’s no reason to suggest otherwise, then blogging would be a natural outlet for them. After all, which section of society has a larger ego than bloggers, apart from the CEOs, and which section of society has more to say than CEOs, apart from the bloggers?

…and CEO’s certainly personify their company – Chrysler’s former Chairman Lee Iacocca’s surname stood for I Am Chairman of Chrysler Corporation. Always. Just imagine if he had had a blog…

Blogging Works on the Margins

Now, I’m not saying that you can read this, recommend to your CEO they should start blogging and that their company’s share price will sky rocket or orders will start flooding in.

What I think is that, on the margins, a company that embraces the openness and transparency blogging brings, will enjoy a competitive advantage over a company that doesn’t. Just as a blogging PR would have a competitive advantage over one that doesn’t when competing for a job.

Investment/Research Idea

NB – I didn’t see if the companies mentioned in the study outperformed their respective indexes (indices?) or just experienced growth. I wonder if Bernhard (who wrote the article) could answer that? I guess it’d be a pretty major thing. Essential if you were thinking about starting a Blogging CEOs 100 index.

YouTube Friday – Harland Williams

August 10, 2007

This dude cracks me up. A friend sent me a link to a couple of appearances on the Conan O’Brian show and I watched them both in slack-jawed amazement. I think he’s the “Four minute Abs” guy from Something About Mary but he’s much better on Conan.

He’s so deadpan, so random and deceptively sharp for someone playing a hick.


Harland makes Conan corpse. Big time:

YouTube Friday – Zach Galifianakis

August 3, 2007

Something that’s been racking up the play count on both my iPod and my YouTube account is this video by comedian Zach Galifianakis lip-synching to Kanye West’s quite brilliant “Can’t tell me nothing” (below).

I believe Zach got the commission to do this video after Kanye saw his work on the Fiona Apple video (below).

So I did some poking around and found a couple of examples of his stand-up.

That is one funny dude. I can highly recommend checking out the Kanye West video…

Sans beard, but with preschoolers:

Dealing with hecklers:

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Irony is…a social network

May 4, 2007

//” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.There’s a perverse irony about the Ontario provincial government cutting off their employees’ access to Facebook, one of Ontario’s most popular social networks, and a major communications channel to its (their?) constituents.

If the medium is, in fact, the message, what message does this send to Ontarians? Facebook is a great communications vehicle for individuals, businesses and, indeed, government.

Policy analysts can use the ‘book to test the reaction to legislation, politicians can (and have) use it to drive voter engagement while beaurocrats can catch any groundswell of opinion that may need legislation in the future.

Sure it can be frivollous and down right addictive, but hey – so are the rest of the Internet, email, IM and even the phone.

And anyway, Facebook must be good – Sean and Amber say so.

Image courtesy of Flickr user bn37ej.

Crisis Communicators Needed

December 10, 2006

How would you deal with this crisis?

Your CEO gets drunk at an official reception, stumbles home through the streets, loses his Blackberry, his security card and his laptop.  He then climbs into an unlocked car and starts throwing childrens’ toys out of the window.

When confronted he says "I’m the CEO; it’s what I do!".  To compound things, he’s then pulled out of the car, gets into a fight, bangs his head, loses his specs, refuses medical treatment and staggers off.

The next day his staff reports the losses to the police as a mugging…

What would you do when the car’s owner and a host of other witnesses come forward and tell their version of what happened?

This is the crisis facing the Bishop of Southwark’s communication team.  Funny for us; not so good for them.

Photo credit – khoo_junjies

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Quick recap on the best business plan ever

November 30, 2006

Never let it be said that I don’t follow up on my most hard hitting stories.  A few months back I broke the story that Nicky Hilton had raised some money to put towards a hotel network.  I was fairly disparaging about this, due in part to her business plan.

How wrong I was.

Super blogger Tyler Durden reports on the progress of this multi million dollar project.  The Brad Pitt look alike took some time out of his UN Peace Corp tour to quote Hotel Chatter’s interview with one of the architects on the project:

Sometimes she would send me something she ripped out of a magazine, and say ‘I like this’ …  We had a meeting in Miami by the pool of the Royal Palm with fashion designers who were going to design some suites. It was a very important meeting. We were all going over stuff and Nicky was just out there swimming in the pool with one of her friends that came down from New York. Every so often she would look over at us and wave.

Wow.  That sounds like hard work.

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Social Media Jargon Buster

November 21, 2006

Have you ever found yourself shaking your head at the ridiculous amount of overused jargon in the PR world today? Have you ever attended a number of talks and/or functions only to hear the same recycled phrases? Do you think our community is way too earnest?

Help is now at hand in the shape of Social Media Bingo! Released in time for the holiday period you and your colleagues can while away the long winter billable hours by simply clicking through to one of the many excellent PR/marketing podcasts and ticking off the jargon.

Or go to your next geek dinner (they’re all open invitation!) armed with this helpful little primer and have a self referential laugh as you throw in any one of the interchangable and often indecipherable phrases.

Are you the shy retiring type? Then print off two copies and challenge your tablemate to a competitive round of bingo. Oh, how you’ll laugh as you interupt a member of the digerati mid waffle with a triumphant cry of “HOUSE!”.

A great way to liven up even the stalest webinar, conference call or staff meeting.

Available to download and share from this very blog, Social Media Bingo by Ed Lee, is the free pdf download for 2006!

Social Media Bingo Thumbnail

Obviously I’ll be invoking the wisdom of the crowds for version two dot oh, so leave your feedback in the comments or email me directly at e_v_lee[removethis]

*UPDATE* Thanks to the wisdom of Judy Gombita who helped out with some of the squares (“command and control” was all her) as well as those who commented on this post from last week.

*UPDATE* Fill in the blanks with your chosen wildcard – or even your own suggestions – to allow for a multi-player session!

Have a fabulous holiday season!

Tall Vultures

October 25, 2006

I was helping out another account team at a news conference today and when I was watching the company execs and their financiers I had a small epiphany.  Well, more of a mash-up of a couple of thoughts to be honest. 

  1. In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell says that tall people are paid more than short people and are promoted faster (more on that when I write my review) 
  2. I read a quote that says the definition of a consultant is a person who finds someone who knows less than they do and charges for the difference 

Combine these two (over-promoted tall people with vultures) and you understand why the consulting industry is thriving.  I’m not advocating breeding tall people with vultures.  That would be insane. 

There’s also the definition that a consultant is someone who borrows, your watch, tells you the time and then charge you for this privilege.  But we all know that timeshifting is the big thing in social media. Which may be why consulting in social media pays so badly!

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