Clippings from the BetterComms Garden

by Lee Hopkins on November 2, 2009

in clippings

Yes, my lovelies – articles worth reading that I haven’t got time to blog about in depth, but that are MOST DEFINITELY worth your time reading!

Neville Hobson, building on a Brian Solis post after a good look at a Forrester report, comments on how he sees the future of the social web.

I summarize everything like this: It’s about people, not technology: how people behave online and the pivotal role social networks have on catalyzing behaviour change. Isn’t that actually what Forrester, Brian Solis and others are really saying in slightly different ways?

I include Twitter in that broad heading of social networks, incidentally: together with its ecosystem, it is a social network to many, and may become one of the most influential and change-making of all, far more than it is now.

What do you think? How do you see the future (the immediate one: within the next four to five years) of the social web?

Required reading:


Pizza Hut iPhone app generates an extra $1m sales: (courtesy of the EConsultancy blog)

Another example of the potential of mobile commerce comes from Pizza Hut, with its iPhone app generating $1m in sales in the three months since launch. The app, which allows customers to order food on the move, is approaching the figure of 1m downloads. It is only available in the US at the moment.


The gap between corporate culture and the Web2.0 society: (courtesy of Neville Hobson)

For us the lines between friends and work colleagues are already beginning to blur and we are in contact with people all over the World on a regular basis. If we work for a company where the IT department has locked down what operates inside the firewall and restricted access to Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t really bother us that much. We’ve got an iPhone or a Blackberry in our pocket, and we can still get at what we need.

The smart organizations are the ones that realize the power that these kinds of connections and collaboration tools can provide. Rather than putting up roadblocks, they are encouraging adoption of the tools to reduce costs, increase efficiency and make their teams work more effectively. They can see how they can liberate new ideas and get some real ROI. However, they also realize that an organization’s culture may need to change to allow this this kind of team working and cross collaboration to happen.


Everything you wanted to know about the ePUB format for ebooks: My favourite tech blogger, Amit Agarwal, on the format that every ereader can read (btw, I LOVE my new acquisition, the ECOReader – longer review post about it coming one day soon).

ePub is now a standard e-book file format that is supported by almost* every e-book reading device include Sony Reader, BeBook, IREX Reader, iPhone and the upcoming Nook from Barnes & Noble’s.

If you want to publish your own books or blog in ePUB format, the easiest option is that you compose the text in Word (or Google Docs), save it as an RTF file and then you use Amazon’s Stanza program to convert that document into an ePUB ebook.


Revelation and Reinvention by Katie Chatfield

The Perfect Gift for a Man – 30 Stories about Reinventing Manhood :

Well-known author of the book Raising Boys, Steve Biddulph:This is one hell of a book. Born out of a triple j week  focusing on men’s lives, and created by its listeners, it’s a remarkable piece of work.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the current suicide rate for men in Australia is more than three times the rate of women. But research shows that encouraging men (and young men in particular) to share their feelings and their experiences has a huge impact on their health and wellbeing.

Please buy this wonderful book for the men in your life – regardless of whether they need it or not. Encourage them to read it and to share it with their mates, with their uncles, fathers and sons.

You can buy the printed book from or you can purchase the eBook version from The Perfect Gift for a Man website. ALL the profits from the book are being donated to The Inspire Foundation.

You can also find out more about the book and see the social media release here.

And dip you toes into some of the chapters here (make sure you have some tissues):

Trust me, I know from first-hand experience the desire to contemplate a pain-free existence on the ‘other side’ of death is something more men think about – and think deeply – than you would believe. I am working my way through the out-of-print but still 40% downloadable Suicide and Attempted Suicide: Methods and Consequences by Geo Stone after my own bout of crippling depression. For some, life starts off tough and you learn to survive and grow wiser and stronger. For others, as you get older life gets tougher.


Tweetbait by Mitch Joel

In the old day (like two years ago), linkbait was one of the best ways to get recognition, attention and comments for your Blog, but things are quickly changing.

A retweet is one of the better metrics to gauge success with Twitter and could well be one of the best web metrics overall.

Fighting for that attention and the short nature of Twitter leaves plenty of room for Tweetbait to make linkbait seem look like a joke.

Mitch is on to something here…


PR People Getting Pushier with Bloggers Since the Recession: Krizia (Eat Smart Age Smart blog) on Darren Rowse’s blog is noticing that the nature of engagement betwixt PR agency/person and blogger is getting ‘tougher’.

The few requests for free samples that I had sent were returned to me with a long string of questions:

  • “How long have you been blogging?”
  • “What’s your PR rank?”
  • “Are you on Twitter?”
  • “Are you on Facebook?”
  • “How many unique users?”
  • “How many page views?”
  • “How fast can you get our review on your site?”
  • “Have you won any awards in the past?”
  • “Send us links to past reviews you’ve written.”
  • “What angle will you take with this feature?”
  • “I need all your company details before we release any samples to you.”
  • “Will you promote this on social media networks?”
  • “Are you going to shot a YouTube video like you did for other brands?”
  • “You said the review would be up last week, WHERE IS IT?” … etc.

I am grateful that Text100 and Sarah at Forrester Research don’t behave in such ill-mannered and plain rude ways!


Garr Reynolds shows how simple it is to create a new palate of colours (aka a ‘theme’) and use them in your slideshow presentations. Take a photo you like, analyse it, and bingo!

One of the coolest ways to assemble a unique color theme for a presentation is to create a simple palette by extracting colors from a key image that you think represents the appropriate colors for your talk. You can do something similar to this within your slideware application, of course, but Kuler can do it automatically and give you some additional options for tweaking the colors

If you are tired of the same old themes you see at conferences and presentations, read Garr’s post to find out how to create something both stylish and unique to you. Cool.


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