Online political guru on the importance of dialogue with punters

A leading expert on online politics sees a wonderful future based on user interaction.

Phil Noble believes members of the public will enter into dialogue on the websites of politicians and political parties, who in turn will respond to negative as well as positive comments and be more open about what they really think.

w00tonomy attended a video roundtable at the US Consulate in Edinburgh with Noble, who is, according to his bio:

one of the leading experts in the US and internationally on the Internet and politics. Noble is the founder of PoliticsOnline and its affiliated company Phil Noble & Associates, an international public affairs consulting firm. Noble is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns and public affairs projects in 40 states and 30 countries. He has worked to elect the head of state in 15 countries.

Noble said that engaging the user in dialogue was the salvation of newspapers (following on from a debate sparked by John McGurk on BBC Scotland ) . Asked if that same principle of user comment and interaction applied to politics, he painted a picture of the power of direct user participation with politicians online leading to a more frank and open public discourse.

(This is something we at w00tonomy believe in, too. The best way of handling negative opinions online is to engage with them. Content marketing is very much like this new type of politics. Proactive and reactive, it engages with people to understand their behaviour in order to develop a message that resonates. It is through content marketing that the process of continuous engagement can take place online.)

Noble said: “The great sin of the new media age is phoniness. The first commandment is ‘Don’t bullshit me.’ New media can provide a broader, richer window on who these people are. That is its great strength. It works when its warts and all.

“It’s about your motives. You can say: ‘Sorry, we screwed up. And we’ll screw up again but this is what we were trying to do.”

He also believes (and hopes) that Barack Obama is going to stroll into the White House in the US presidential election, leaving Hillary Clinton and John McCain in his wake. And he’s going to do that thanks to the power of his online campaigning. “We first saw a glimpse of the power of online with the [Howard] Dean campaign in 2004. Obama is light years ahead of where Dean was.”

Noble praised the vastness of Obama’s online fundraising but also his ability to recruit activists online, with one million participants as a conservative estimate.

“In terms of the primary, it’s over. It ain’t even close. I think Obama is going to change the world. He’s going to win the general [election]. He’s going to raise so much money online and have a unified campaign, fully funded from top to bottom with consistent messages. John McCain is going to be relegated to a bit player. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama won all 50 states.

As for the next UK general election, Noble has two things to say: “It’s hard for a party to stay in power for more than ten years. And David Cameron is better than Brown at online but he’s been better at everything.”

Se7en deadly sins of online – LUST

We are uncovering w00tonomy’s take on the se7en deadly sins and the virtues of Content Marketing. These are the vices we’ve seen drag businesses into the express elevator to redesign hell. Going down!

LUST – project blindness and desire to deliver

birth of venus Businesses and agencies love projects. The project world is a familiar and comfortable place for us all; we know how to scrum, scope, budget,and deliver. And to put icing on the cake we enjoy that great feeling of hitting the finishing line, the launch party.

Too often, though, we are seduced into failing to realise that how the site looks is less important than how it works .

For our customers there is little short to medium term benefit in what happens prior to the launch date. The value to them comes afterwards. Delivering this value is based on publishing engaging content that is targeted at different audience segments. Even though many businesses understand this principle, they struggle to achieve it because they are geared towards one-off project delivery rather than the continuous improvement model for online publishing via effecive content marketing.

This is why when developing your online strategy you need to be marketing-led . By focusing on the importance of the long term relationship with your customers you will not be distracted by the lustful allures of the project life cycle.

Sunday Herald Digital Futures Debate: ‘Transsexual bodybuilders living a lie’

Scotland needs to change its business culture to embrace risk, encourage ideas and get the most from its workers, according to the second of the Sunday Herald debates on the future of digital in Scotland.

Gordon Thomson, Operations Director of Cisco Scotland and Ireland, saw a gap between invention and sales. He said that there was a need for collaboration between different companies and bodies to bridge this gap.

Raymond O’Hare, Regional Direcotr of Microsoft Scotland, emphasised that while the climate seemed right for innovation to flourish , it seemed like something was missing. He felt there was a need to intensively push those with ideas.

Then Steven Thurlow, Technical Director of Graham Technology, called for a greater appreciation of the power of risk in innovation, using the example of the 39 products that failed before WD40 became a success.

Taking a different tack, Stewart Kirkpatrick, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy (yay!), said that in order to reach customers all companies, organisations and public bodies had to understand that anyone trying to attract attention on the web was a content publisher because of the nature of the online landscape. Scotland had failed in this respect, he claimed, adding that Scottish organisations and companies (even ones dealing in content) had yet to produce truly great online properties that made effective use of targeted content and the online innovations that engage the user/customer. (An honourable exception is Rockstar North, which produces the insanely successful Grand Theft Auto games.)

All four speakers all emphasised that Scotland needed a change in culture to embrace innovation – a point that was also raised from the floor, along with observations about the need to involve more young people in the debate.

The event was fronted by hyperenergetc ringmaster Iain S Bruce, who characterised the format as being like Kilroy, hence his frequent references to “transsexual bodybuilders living a lie“. However, his mind may have been wandering to the trip to Amsterdam he was going to embark on immediately after the debate ended.

(In terms on “content people”, the event could have been better attended. But it was good to see Alistair Brown, who – given his record at scotsman.com – is about to do exciting things at STV and Shaun Milne, whose knowledge about journalism and digital media far outweighs his understanding of football.)

Sunday Herald Digital Futures Debate: ‘Transsexual bodybuilders living a lie’

Scotland needs to change its business culture to embrace risk, encourage ideas and get the most from its workers, according to the second of the Sunday Herald debates on the future of digital in Scotland.

Gordon Thomson, Operations Director of Cisco Scotland and Ireland, saw a gap between invention and sales. He said that there was a need for collaboration between different companies and bodies to bridge this gap.

Raymond O’Hare, Regional Direcotr of Microsoft Scotland, emphasised that while the climate seemed right for innovation to flourish , it seemed like something was missing. He felt there was a need to intensively push those with ideas.

Then Steven Thurlow, Technical Director of Graham Technology, called for a greater appreciation of the power of risk in innovation, using the example of the 39 products that failed before WD40 became a success.

Taking a different tack, Stewart Kirkpatrick, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy (yay!), said that in order to reach customers all companies, organisations and public bodies had to understand that anyone trying to attract attention on the web was a content publisher because of the nature of the online landscape. Scotland had failed in this respect, he claimed, adding that Scottish organisations and companies (even ones dealing in content) had yet to produce truly great online properties that made effective use of targeted content and the online innovations that engage the user/customer. (An honourable exception is Rockstar North, which produces the insanely successful Grand Theft Auto games.)

All four speakers all emphasised that Scotland needed a change in culture to embrace innovation – a point that was also raised from the floor, along with observations about the need to involve more young people in the debate.

The event was fronted by hyperenergetc ringmaster Iain S Bruce, who characterised the format as being like Kilroy, hence his frequent references to “transsexual bodybuilders living a lie“. However, his mind may have been wandering to the trip to Amsterdam he was going to embark on immediately after the debate ended.

(In terms on “content people”, the event could have been better attended. But it was good to see Alistair Brown, who – given his record at scotsman.com – is about to do exciting things at STV and Shaun Milne, whose knowledge about journalism and digital media far outweighs his understanding of football.)

w00tonomy speaks!

David Petherick has done an interview with our very own Tony Purcell. In it you can hear Tony’s soothing Irish brogue explain how our content marketing approach increases traffic for our clients online messages. David has a number of other very interesting interviews, including one with Werner Vogels (or is it Verner Wogels) of Amazon.

Listen in, and find out a little more about content marketing in the social media sphere.

w00tonomy director relentlessly delivers nauseating self promotion

Stewart Kirkpatrick, our Content Marketing Director, has induced a bout of vomiting at w00tonomy with this self-serving communique:

“I have been elected to the New Media Industry Council of the National Union of Journalists (in a jobshare with Euan Williamson of Imagineering). Like nearly every large body, the NUJ has struggled with what the web means for today and tomorrow. I am delighted to have this opportunity to help guide its thinking.”

Stewart will also be speaking at the Sunday Herald’s Shaping Scotland’s Digital Future event – at 9am on 24 April at The Teacher Building, St Enoch Square, Glasgow – where he will be tarred and feathered by the rest of w00tonomy if he comes out with anything similar in tone to the above statement.

RIP the page view: not so sadly missed

Those who have worked in evaluating the success of online marketing campaigns will not be surprised to hear of the death of the page view – after a long illness.

After its final death throes, the page view’s demise was confirmed by Nielsen/NetRatings in an announcement in July 2007, where it said that it was no longer using the page impression as the primary metric for comparing websites. Culprits in the shuffling off of the PV’s mortal coil include:

  • The increasing use of AJAX which can refresh content without a page reload
  • The increasing use of video.

Nielsen believes that these trends will continue with technology supporting more in-page viewing. This has led to them to use time on site as the comparison metric since it at least demonstrates the value to the customer of on-site content.

The reality is that this reflects a deeper shift in the world of online measurement, as analysts try to get to grips with the impact of Web 2.0 technology such as blogging, user generated content, social networks and widgets. Page views clearly do not give insight into the level of audience engagement and although time on site is a step in the right direction, we don’t believe you can rely on it as a single site metric.

What you want to know is whether your content engaged with the audience or not. No one single metric will ever satisfy that question. Comparison decisions will be hard particularly for advertisers. New metrics must be considered such as the number of ratings, number of comments, which parts of videos people watched/shared. And to give you a fuller picture of your audience motives qualitative collection through surveys is also required to support the decision making process.

Whichever way Web Analytics 2.0 goes certain rules will still apply

  • It’s about intelligence not data
  • The 10/90 rule still applies
  • Good marketing is about using the insight tools provide us to drive decisions and actions that effect business bottom lines
  • And finally: You live or die by the quality of your content. No matter what business you are in you are in the content business.