All posts tagged social media

Eagle Labs | Activating Latent Resources

A bank who does co-working / maker-spaces / incubating / mentoring.

Due to online and mobile banking, the use of branches is in decline. So if you run a business which own an array of centrally located urban real estate nationally, what do you do?

Well, Barclays UK (in collaboration with a couple of other folks) have launched Eagle Labs, an experiment in activating their latent spaces and making them available to the startup community as incubators whilst wrapping around supportive services as well.

With nine locations across the UK, it’s a great start to an intriguing project:

eagle labs why

Was wonderful to be able to visit Eagle Labs Brighton a few days ago and deliver a session plus spend some time advising some of the fantastic startups in the space:

DK at Eagle Labs Brighton

DK gave a brilliant keynote at the Eagle Lab Flight Programme for me where I am Creative Director. The programme is an accelerator run By Creative England in partnership with Barclays UK and their Eagle Lab Programme.

He delivered and inspiring talk with slides and resources for the companies on the programme at the Eagle Lab in Brighton UK on April 21st 2017. Having known and worked with DK at previous events I have run it was great to have him in person in the room with the businesses and clients. The keynote was on “putting the social back into social media” – and with a strong focus on authenticity and voice and remembering that the ‘audience has an audience’ too. Thanks DK – here’s to the next collaboration.
Marcus Romer

A superb example of an organisation needing to diversify, repurposing their latent resources (instead of simply selling them off) to add value to a community whilst still ensuring alignment with a potential customer base.

Here’s a silly man being scared by an eagle:

NetSquared Wellington Unconference | Giving Is Receiving

Participatory learning.

Originally, I intended to be a simple paid-up attendee of the NetSquared Wellington Unconference last week (Fri 10 February 2017).

Soon after registering the organiser reached out to invite me to say a few ‘inspirational’ words at the beginning. With the theme of “networking technology for social change” definitely lighting my fire it was an easy yes, however, leading three social media sessions and one on creating videos on your mobile phones sessions later, being a simple attendee was somewhat scuppered.

As with all good unconferences, the agenda is never set with the participants defining the events content. Switching mindsets early on and being open to offer as much as to take from these community focussed affairs certainly increased my enjoyment, plus the conversations provoked by the sessions definitely added to my knowledge / understanding.

Huge thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the event. Volunteering, attending and supporting such initiatives is so important in building informed communities of practice from which good things always are born.

“When I asked DK to share some insights about what he’d learned from running TEDXWellington at our community unconference, his answer was a very quick yes. His opening words really set everyone up for the day in terms of creating an atmosphere where people were willing to freely share. The well chosen stories gave people confidence to take a leap into the unknown. From there, many participants, probably two thirds, took the opportunity to join a impromptu session DK ran. It was a delight to have DK involved in our day, something I hope we are able to do again.”
Stephen Blyth, Organiser, NetSquared Wellington

The Ultimate Online Social Strategy | Which You Won’t Do

Just one simple thing. Big impact.

Here’s something I’ve been challenging clients with for the past couple of years during internal strategy workshop sessions.

A simple action that if done properly will produce the following:

  • more views to your website
  • deeper relationships with your audience / market
  • greater influence in your community / sector / industry
  • broader / deeper understanding of the space you serve
  • quicker connections to industry insiders / leaders

…and I guarantee hardly any of you will do it!

What is it?


Simply adding value to existing digital content out there.

Not a “hey yeh man, great post” but a “great post, really made me think about X and wanted to share this great book / video / quote with you which I thought was fitting. Thanks for creating it and looking forward to more related stuff from you.”

The simple truth is as creators of online material (whether it be blog posts like this one, videos, a tweeted image, slideshows etc) it’s extremely validating to receive a comment. And one of the first things we do is click through the digital breadcrumb to check out the persons background who took the time to connect.

Personally, loads of friendships to inspirational souls have been formed this way.

This one action also scales massively.

Just imagine the accumulative impact of every individual in your organisation / company leaving one comment, once a week on a piece of digital content out there… (a very small strategic commitment).

Imagine the gain in engagement if a council / a startup / a design firm / a theatre / a charity etc did this!

If you’re not adding value into the community by recognising their work then why should you expect them to give you their attention when you produce content?

SMALL PRINT: I’m taking for granted what you have to offer in terms of your service / product etc is of quality and you know that by engaging it means genuinely conversing and not promoting.

Different Types Of Social Media Users | Conversationalists / Learners / Aggregators / Marketeers / Researchers / Lurkers (CLAMRL)

Different Types Of Social Media Users 2

What other personality / activity types are there?

Created a half a year ago during some random flight. Found and now sharing in the hope it offers value to someone:

  • Conversationalists: connecting and talking with like-minded souls whilst sharing all aspects of their lives / thoughts etc.;
  • Learners: connecting & applying ideas. The bloggers, bookmarkers, developers of skills / understanding;
  • Aggregators: scrapbooking the web. Tumbling / Pinning / posting / RTing the hell out of anything and everything;
  • Marketeers: filling streams with mainly content designed to sell services / products. Social is just a route to market;
  • Researchers: scraping content / actions into spreadsheets to quantify / dissect. Hunters of numbers / case studies;
  • Lurkers: visiting during lunch or bus rides, rarely contribute and when they do it’s an afterthought.

Which are you (you can be more than one)? What others am I missing?

Images from

Curation As An Emerging Skillset | A 5 Step Guide

5 step curation skillset plan

How to become a curation king / queen.

Traditionally, a curator researches and puts together a collection which speaks to a narrative and / or serves a larger idea in art galleries and / or museums.

In the current digital habitat, all can participate in this activity, so the challenge is honing the skills and leveraging the tools. Why?

Because for you and the organisation / company you serve, curation will be at the forefront of:

  • developing new ideas;
  • broadening discussions;
  • navigating and sifting through information to concentrate it into action;
  • celebrating those in specific industries; plus
  • uncovering / creating / deepening relationships to those that matter.


Here we go:

1. Find : Track other digital curators to emulate / learn from.

Follow / learn from Tina or Jason or Maria or Shaun or the Open Culture peeps etc—rather just serving individual tastes, these guys are also aiming to inspire, educate, challenge, explode wonder, intrigue, curiosity, in their audience.

2. Find : Deliberately forage content from many sources.

Online is a noisy place and it’s not simple to find the signal. For many of us with the tools such as advanced search techniques plus RSS it’s a simple case of making the web work for you. RSS allows for a filtering on a delicious scale which when mashed up with things like IFTTT and Yahoo Pipes can become the perfect recipe for making yourself look double awesome.

3. Follow : Click those inspirational digital breadcrumbs.

Be careful not to get stuck in the filter bubble—sites like Tumblr and Pinterest exemplify curating platforms plus once you start clicking you will discover how deep the rabbit hole goes. Don’t worry too much and just click away, flow around areas of interest, follow those links and see where those web-roads take you. You’ll be astonished with the gems you’ll find.

4. Focus : Sharpen the sights and cull the chaff to find the good stuff.

Now you’ve been using the above tools / techniques for a while it’s time to sort and strain. It might be you’ll decide to stop following certain feeds and replace them with ones who serve more specific content. It should always be a trial and error process in pursuit of revelatory inspiration.

5. Frame : Context is king so reposition & tell stories with the new found ideas.

The best curators (some listed above) contextualise the treasures found by weaving a narrative around. This adds the much needed context for the audience and yourself when you return years later plus demonstrates your ability to join ideas into salient points. It’s time to shape the reason and link the work to creative action (whether that be an infographic, white space in an established industry, applying divergent technologies into traditional approaches, learning from obscure voices from other sectors to influence innovative strategies etc). Wrap those finds up in beautiful potential.

So examples of where this can be applied:

  • students can be taught the above as a research methodology for their studies;
  • product designers can utilise these steps to gain a deeper picture of the problem / industry their serving;
  • teachers can employ these techniques as a way to collate content related to their subject focus;
  • start-ups can use these tools to aggregate ideas around the market they are entering;
  • leaders can illustrate brand stories in which they would like to emulate.

…you get the idea!

Follow the plan and basically suck the juicy wisdom out of the web then humanise it for good.

How relevant is curation in your role / organisation? And who else is talking about this as a skillset (am keen to learn / connect)? Riff in the comments!

Related / inspired / remixed from original post 2013 | Create / Curate plus all images from Graphics Fuel

Puncture The Equilibrium | The Social Perimeter


Keep pushing!

Discussions about the space I’ve been operating in for eight years is stilted at ‘social media’ (and usually the false assumption that most folks think it just means social media marketing).

For me, the semantic and focus has shifted to just “social”, which includes:

  • social media
  • social technologies
  • social platforms
  • social workflows
  • social currencies
  • social literacies
  • social interactions
  • social expectations
  • social sharing
  • social business
  • social metrics
  • social culture (to name but a few)

These new associations seem peripheral to the main social media discourse, and if you think that way, good, because there’s not much space on the edge.

The courageous, audacious, curious margins with their better questions.

The fringes where development occurs as a gradual push outwards, extending the status quo.

A punctuated equilibrium.

Whether it be a university asking for applications for one of it’s courses via 200 characters; Lego making it’s executives to take courses in social; crowdfunded films winning oscars etc

The edges are far more fun, confusing, impactful and wondrous than the center.

Join me if you dare.

Image remixed from The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D.
Hat-tip Brian Sweeney for ‘punctuated equilibrium’ term.

Unplugging | Kicking It Old School


After over a decade of being immersed in online social spaces and digital technologies it’s time to take a break.

To quieten the cleverness.

To go deep (not just wide).

To consolidate memory.

Regain focus.




That means no more blogging / Twitter / Tumlbr / Pinterest / Facebook / RSS feeds…

Don’t know how long—definitely for a good few weeks / months (during my west coast trip), maybe longer.

“The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

In the past couple of years the whole social media space has become noisy with advertisers / marketeers and diluted with experts.

That being said, recently I’ve discovered the next set of questions—just have to work out if I have the energy to start another business around them and if I’m in the right place for folks who are ready buy.

Still available for hire regarding consulting and speaking gigs (no more training services though unless it’s c-suite level).

I’m back.

A Twitter Question | A Twitter Answer

implementing a social media culture

Many thanks to Peter Potter for the question.

What are the top 3 tools an organisation can use to implement social media culture?
A crowbar, a mirror and some cakes. Wasn’t being glib—you’ll have to move some people/attitudes, humanise practises/successes and reward/celebrate change.

The above is taken from my random one hour surgeries I hold on Twitter where anyone can ask me anything related to social / digital media.

Twitter conversation link

Social Media Is Not Social Media Marketing | A Growing Issue

social networking pie

Knowing the difference illustrates social media literacy (or lack of).

A few years ago I created the above graphic for a client to explain why social media is not social networking (full blog post). Three years later and the new frustration is the growing use of the term social media when in fact folk mean social media marketing.

A few months ago I met the social media manager for a high-profile telecommunications brand here in NZ who literally couldn’t tell me what else they were utilising social media for other than marketing:

They weren’t exploring saving time and money through collaboration platforms…

They weren’t using it to monitor and track latest news and developments in the industry…

They weren’t using it to cut print and other associated costs in their operations…

They weren’t using it to augment their professional development of the staff…

They weren’t using it to celebrate and reward their customers / clients / audience…

Marketing through social media is not bad / evil / wrong, it’s just a part of the social media pie and should be described appropriately—this also goes for the increasing growth in social media events who only talk about marketing (call them social media marketing events!).

For everyone who has ‘social media’ in your title please consider if you have that right. And the next time you hear someone talking about this subject, ask them if they actually mean social media marketing (or send them this graphic):

social media is not social media marketing