w00tonomy makes Scottish Government digital marketing roster

We are delighted to announce that, in conjunction with our consortium partners The Union and Conscia, that w00tonomy has been selected for the Scottish Government’s digital marketing services framework.

This is a major achievement for a young agency and we are delighted. Along with our consortium partners, we look forward to providing the Scottish Government and other bodies using the roster with our services:

Turbocharge content to optimise appeal to online customers.

Creating messages that interest customers rather than messages they ignore.

We make online spend work harder. We deliver higher returns on online investment through the use of targeted, quality content to build a lasting relationship with your target audience.

If you’d like to know more, please contact us.

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w00tonomy teams up with leading newspaper design agency

w00tonomy has formed an alliance with Palmer Watson, one of the world’s leading newspaper design agencies.

Our expertise in online content will help them move into the field of newspaper websites while their knowledge of how design can maximise the appeal of words and pictures adds to our offering to our clients.

Here’s some highlights from the press release about this:

Having been at the forefront of newspaper design throughout Europe and beyond for the past 10 years, Palmer Watson has for some time been exploring options to widen its operations as the newspaper industry moves towards an increasingly digital future.

The new partnership will allow Palmer Watson to combine its renowned design, content and branding experience with the digital expertise of w00tonomy.

Like Palmer Watson, w00tonomy is small but vastly experienced team, with crucial expertise in the field of optimising the appeal of online content.

w00tnomy’s content marketing director, Stewart Kirkpatrick, who succeeded Palmer Watson director Terry Watson as head of content at scotsman.com in the late 1990s, helped make the site a multi award-winning publication which was one of the top 30 Google news search sites in the world. (He left when the newspaper was sold and scotsman.com reverted to a standard newspaper website.) Kirkpatrick was named by the UK Press Gazette as one of the 50 people shaping online journalism worldwide and is a member of the international committee of the Online News Association.

Along with fellow directors Tony Purcell (a web development pioneer) and Dr Graham Jones (an online communications expert), w00tonomy, in conjunction withPalmer Watson’s multi award-winning newspaper track record, aim to offer newspapers a wider consulting service that will help publishers to maximise the opportunities of the digital crossover, and enhance their online and mobile offering.

Several of Palmer Watson’s projects have resulted in the newspapers being named “World’s Best Designed” in the prestigious Society for News Design competition, the most recent being the Danish broadsheet, Politiken, in 2007. 

Founding directors Ally Palmer and Terry Watson began working together in the 1990s in Scottish newspapers and were instrumental in The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday being recognised worldwide as among the industry’s best. Since forming Palmer Watson, the agency has worked with around 40 publishers – including such iconic newspaper titles as Le Monde and El Pais – across Europe and Scandinavia, and in South America, Russia and Africa. It is currently involved in projects in India, South Africa and the UK.

The combined team will be able to provide to publishers and editors practical, relevant and hands-on expertise encompassing all aspects of how newspapers should be approaching the digital era:  technical, content, revenue, traffic, strategy and design.

The focus of the Palmer Watson and w00tonomy partnership will be on:

  • enhancing the newspaper website user experience
  • creating dynamic content that will boost online traffic
  • maximising traffic
  • optimising online revenue opportunities
  • growing online communities
  • building the ideal combined online/offline user/reader package
  • assisting with newsroom integration and content management

Content Marketing Watch: ScotWeb2, the web and the public sector

Content Marketing Watch is the latest feature section to be added to our interviews and opinion pieces. For those of you in the industry who are looking to maximise the most value from the content on your site each week we will have a piece on the latest industry news; covering areas of content marketing such as analytics, internet marketing, content optimisation, search engine marketing and digital communications.

Hotfoot from ScotWeb2 – a get-together of those with an interest in the public sector and the internet. Organised by Alex Stobart, a recovering civil servant, 

The highlights, apart from my workshop on making the most of content, were talks by James Munro of PatientOpinon and Simon Dickson of Puffbox.

James’s described how his site offered patient feedback on NHS services. He demonstrated that inviting the public into the conversation, even with negative comments, led to positive outcomes. He also demonstrated PatientOpinon’s automated tagging system for comment, which was one of my “wow” moments of the year.  

Simon Dickson caused everyone’s ears to wring with his revelation that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website cost £19.2m, with the CMS alone costing £1.47m.  Staggered by this he set up a business that builds websites using WordPress, which costs zilch.

This event was a great start to the coming debate over how public sector websites embrace the future.


Is online market research worth the bother?

Before the online age, advertisers placed great store on customer demographics, opinions and attitudes, behavior, geography, media consumption and the like. Advertising agencies created advertising campaigns to target particular audience groups for their clients – often with considerable success.

Now we have online marketing, content marketing, digital marketing and mobile marketing. But it would seem that advertisers know less about their online audience than they do of their offline audience.

It is not uncommon for example for media buying agencies to place online ads in Print Media newspaper websites based on the offline audience readership metrics – the assumption being that the online and offline audience must be similar.

Well, what do you know; it looks like it pays to research your online audience.

It turns out The Telegraph and Guardian Unlimited websites do indeed attract the same readers online and offline, however The Sun, The Times and the Daily Mail attract a much broader online audience. Heather Hopkins of Hitwise brought this to our attention in 2007 – yes, I know, it’s old news, but I rediscovered it yesterday whilst I was doing some research for one of our clients. We often talk about the value of providing access to your archive of “old news”, its one of the principles of content marketing, if it’s online someone will find it and find it useful.

If you are interested in researching you audience you may end up using the services of companies such as Hitwise, Nielsen Online comScore and quantcast. If you have a significant audience based in the United States, you might be interested in checking out the audience profile for your site on quantcast. Also you might want to have a look at their new service the media planner allowing advertisers to target audience by age, gender, income, ethnicity and education. The service is free and is focused on US Internet audiences, however ‘Quantified Publishers’ can get access to breakdowns of their audience from around the world.

Now, getting back to researching the audience for that social marketing campaign, what is the difference between the US and UK population browsing habits for a particular demographic? I was tempted to assume there would be significant similarities but what do you know…..

ScotWeb2 unconference: the net, the government and Scotland

Web 2.0 tag cloudAt w00tonomy, we’re very excited by the upcoming ScotWeb2 unconference on Hallowe’en at Edinburgh University for “those interested in learning about Web 2 from practitioners, government and business users”.

It is “an informal, bar camp style event allowing participants to listen, network and share experiences with those who have designed and are managing Web 2 services. Speakers and workshop leaders from Health, Business, Web design, Colleges and Universities, Social Enterprises, Social Media, Journalism, Government and Civic Society”.

The event is being organised by Alex Stobbart of the Scottish Government (née Executive). Alex is an evangelist for the opportunities offered by the web. He is a giant floating brain who has recruited a coven of like-minded individuals within the SG who meet at the dead of night in cowled hoods, exchanging arcane passwords and sharing forbidden knowledge about tags, tweets and user content…

Actually we made that bit up – we got carried away with the fact the event is on samhainn. But Alex is an evangelist and does lead a high-powered group of colleagues who are keen to embrace the openness that the new web offers. Having worked closely on Scottish Government projects, we at w00tonomy have met many civil servants who “get it” and cheer Alex’s efforts to mobilise them.

However, ScotWeb2 is a separate project for Alex and BT are backing it. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

The speakers include Simon Dickson: an e-government consultant and “Whitehall’s first full-time website specialist back in 1995”; Iain Henderson from personal data protector MyDex; Ross Ferguson from Dog Digital; and w00tonomy’s endlessly self-promoting Stewart Kirkpatrick, who will talk about how to optimise content to get messages across.

Google uses comic to explain its new browser

The maybe-maybe-not-evil empire Google has unveiled its latest tool in its endless quest for world domination: a web browser.

Quite why it feels the need to compete with Internet Explorer (boo) and Firefox (yay) is the subject of some conjecture. It claims that the new browser, called Chrome, will be lighter, quicker and more able to deal with the modern web. But a particularly insightful comment on Slashdot sees other motives:

AKAImBatman: I imagine the first question on everyone’s mind will be, “Why do we need a new web browser?” To which I imagine the truthful answer is: “We don’t. At least not for technical reasons.”

I believe what Google is looking to accomplish is to trade on their brand name in an attempt to further dislodge Internet Explorer.

It will be Netscape vs. Internet Explorer all over again. Except that instead of two giants fighting it out, it will be Microsoft against everyone else. And when everyone else happens to be giants in their own right, Microsoft’s prospects will start looking rather grim.

Regardless of the whys and wherefores and whiters of Chrome, we are impressed by the way Google has explained its features. It did not choose a dull technical manual, a soulless corporate goobledigook press release or a dry FAQ. It uses a comic.

Usability, people. It’s why they’re the best at what they do. And it’s what we can bring to your online communications.

w00tonomy Content Marketing cast No.2 – what we do

One of the things about this content marketing business is that while clients very quickly get the core principle of “make your message interesting” they often need help to see how it can help them in the nitty gritty here and now. To help, we’ve created this audio podcast to explain what all that theory means for you in practice.