Blog Archives

What will we do Twitter’s new video sharing service VINE?

Twitter has launched a new service. Called VINE it allows users to take 6 second video clips on their SMARTphones and Tablets and then share them via twitter (and facebook).  Once taken, the 6 second clips loop, which is either intensely annoying or a great spur to make creative videos which enthrall people (depending on your points of view). My first VINE attempt is above, simply my daughter spinning round in a playground.

Vine videos are ‘edited in camera’, meaning you don’t have to take a continuous 6 second clip, but can take a series of clips (by holding down the button on your phone), and then they will compile into a 6 second long story.

People are still debating what will happen with Vine, and I will be honest and say I don’t have a clue whether the service will take off and become a success, or just fade away like so many other attempts to introduce a new social media platform.  Marketing people will no doubt seize on Vine to make very short promos for clients, and this could work well if there is creativity and flair to what they do.

Whether users of social media, the twitter community will take Vine to their hearts (and phones), is an unknown quantity.  At one level Vine looks like it should not really work. Surely a 6 second video clip (with sound disabled by default), won’t be interesting and users won’t be rushing to share user-generated content and provide the raw material and interactions which are a pre-requisite for the success of any social media platform.

But then we said that about twitter in the early days, how could something where you can only type 140 characters by way of an update be a success. How could that possibly work…


What are business cards really for?

 My new business cards were delivered (courtesy of Moo) today.  It’s the first time I’ve had to design and order my own cards, previous jobs were with employers who got them made for me.  Business cards are essential if you run a business, which is of course simply stating the blindingly obvious. But you imagine talking to someone, explaining what you did, and them asking for a card and your reply: ‘I’m sorry I don’t have any’. They would immediately assume you were either incompetent or not really in business at all, so unthinkable is it not to have a square card in your pocket with your name printed on.

Business cards are persisting well into the Internet era. Twitter, facebook, blogs like this are not killing them off. The simple action of being able to give someone a card to put in their pocket seems resistant to digital incursion. True there are apps for your smartphone which allow you transfer a digital business card onto a prospects phone, but my advice is to ignore these and go with the majority and get some cards printed. After all by the time you’ve fiddled with your app to get it to transfer your data, your contact will have either got bored, or somebody else with have come up to them and trumped you by handing an old school business card straight into their welcoming palm.

There is a final reason for having business cards, one related not to interfacing professionally with people you are looking to do business with, but rather to how you see yourself.  Starting a new business is not easy, and doubts about whether you are doing the right thing, whether it is going to succeed, whether anyone ever will decide that they want to pay you some money for doing something will flit through your head on a regular basis.  Getting a business card is a small step towards combatting these doubts. That small square of card is an inbuilt confidence boost, and rectangular reminder that your business is real, that you are doing the right thing and you are going to make a success of it.

At least that’s how I’m viewing my business cards at the moment.