Archive for “December, 2012”

Merry Christmas from Social Media Group!

Is there a Santa Claus?

Randy Cameron is the Art Director at Social Media Group.

Facts carry weight. Facts, researched, confirmed and properly presented, have mass which attract one another. Enough facts, enough mass, enough attraction and a conclusion is born (even if it leaves room for modifications later on). The opposite of facts are opinions. Opinions have no mass – they float in the ether.  They frequently tart themselves up as theory but they have no gravity of their own – they’re held together by the will of the individual who states them.

The very online platforms that allow the free transfer of facts between people on a scale never imagined before have also greatly expanded the ether of opinion. Facts can be deployed to prove or disprove, but increasingly opinion has sidestepped this approach and instead taken on the aura of belief – and beliefs don’t need to be proved. They’re personal. Take issue with an opinion and you may awaken the dragon of ‘offence’.

The following graphic presents facts – these facts have mass – they attract one another and lead to a conclusion.  Although, in this case, if you pay too much attention to the facts you may risk not getting your Christmas present… so think carefully before you draw your conclusion!

Merry Christmas!

A Holiday Infographic from

(This infographic is inspired by the timeless 1997 email meme, “An Engineer’s Christmas”, which is generally attributed to Joseph A. Brendler, CPT, SC, Instructor, D/Physics.)

SMG's Best Blogs of 2012

As the end of 2012 approaches, Social Media Group has paused to take a look back at our most popular blog posts from the year, and we’ve shared them here so you can revisit old favourites or catch up on the classics you missed!

In our most popular blog of 2012 we have Maggie Fox’s wildly popular article titled, “Why Marketers Will Rule the World” where she discusses the impact big data will have on marketing.

Next up, we shared our thoughts on the current state of content marketing metrics in our article, “Paid, Earned and Owned are Dead”.

In her popular post, Wangari Kamande discusses “The Evolution of Social Media Measurement”. Noting our need to quantify and calculate the return on our investments, she analyzes and tracks the journey of social media measurement.

At number four, a post about our client SAP looks to the future of collaboration online.  Check out, “SAP’s Social Layer: Making Collaboration Real” to decide for yourself what the future looks like when integrating new technologies into large traditional business models.

At number five, Karly Gaffney opened up about her need to constantly be connected to social media in her post, “My Name is Karly, and I’m an Addict”.

Next in line, we have Wangari Kamande’s article, “Dealing with the “Unfriend”, “Unfollow” and “Unlike” Factor”, which explores the motivations we have to disconnect with brands and people in the social realm and effective tactics to prevent this.

At number seven, Maggie explores the idea that everything we do is marketing in her article, “Marketing isn’t dead, it’s everywhere”.  Even if you aren’t a marketer yourself, this is a must-read.

Pinned up at number eight, Karly Gaffney discusses the cross pollination of social media sites and tactics in her article titled, “Facebook Taking More Cues From Pinterest”.

At number nine, we have James Cooper’s talk from 2012’s Social Media Week, “Transmedia Storytelling: It’s Not Only For Fiction”.  Detailing the need for humans to share stories, he explores how this historical pastime translates into a modern world.

Coming in at number ten on our most popular blogs of 2012, is Michelle McCudden’s article, “Let’s Stop Saying Viral.” In this, she encourages us to stop using the term viral and consider the deeper meaning behind shareable content.

With many new challenges in sight for the New Year, there’s certainly pressure to stay ahead of the curve. The pace at which the social web is changing is increasing daily and the best way to stay ahead of the curve is to participate, collaborate, dig deeper into our data and share our stories with one another.

To find out more about Social Media Group and how we can help your company become a more social business, please contact us.

Social-Powered Holiday Cheer and Goodwill

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

Every so often I pull my head out of the social media world and take a look at what’s actually happening out there IRL. I did just that recently, researching holiday campaigns that were taking place in the real world but being powered by social media. As it turns out, there are not only some really cool campaigns out there, many include a charitable element, making it so much cooler.

For those of you who have either been living under a rock or like to stick your head in the sand around the holidays, I’ve put together a list of some great social-powered holiday campaigns from 2011/2012 for your reading pleasure.

The Christmas Spirit Tree

Here in Toronto last year Canadian Tire and TribalDDB launched an innovative “Christmas Spirit Tree” campaign in the heart of downtown at Toronto’s Union Station.

A 30-foot tree was wrapped in 3,100 lights that reacted to social/digital conversation buzz around the Christmas holidays. Posts that included words like Santa, holiday, merry, gift, time and year contributed to the holiday light show.

What was really awesome about it is that the colour and brightness of the lights were directly related to online activity:

  • When the lights flashed white, social networks like Twitter and Facebook were alive with Christmas chatter.
  • Green lights meant Christmas was being mentioned in the news.
  • Red lights showed onlookers that blogs and forums were abuzz.
  • Blue flashing strobe lights were reacting to people posting massages on the Christmas Spirit Tree microsite or sending a text to the specified number.
  • The brightness of the lights represented the total number of messages per minute being shared, so when online sharing was at its highest the tree shone its brightest.

The Communitree

In November of this year there was a great campaign called The Communitree supporting the Philadelphia Toys for Tots charity.  Scented ornament company Scentsicles teamed up with the online Christmas Tree retailer Balsam Hill to create a robotic arm that was controlled remotely via a microsite to digitally decorate a real Christmas tree.

Each ornament added to the tree equated to a $5 donation to the charity and users were encouraged to share their activities on Facebook with each like on their posts adding an additional $0.25 to the cause.

The whole thing took place on livestream and they hired two fun hosts to interact and engage with the visitors both online and through a phone they had on set where people could call in their holiday song requests or to ask questions talk to the hosts. They were also able to tweet them at @TheCommunitree.

At campaign end, they raised a total of $21,330 for the Philadelphia Toys for Tots and there were 2,159 ornaments hung on The Communitree. It looks like their top participant in the leaderboard received 172 likes (x $.25) on his/her post.

Zynga’s Oh, What Fun

Zynga recently launched their holiday “Oh, What Fun” campaign, which turns virtual goods into real-world donations. From now until Dec 31, Zynga is offering players the option to purchase an in-game good that will benefit Toys for Tots this holiday season. Items start at as little as $1, making it a bit of a no-brainer for gamers who want to give back but don’t know where to start.

If you’re a Zynga gamer who plays CityVille, CastleVille, Words With Friends, FrontierVille, Bubble Safari, Draw Something or Farmville, you have the option to purchase a good and make a donation today.

I love seeing brands use social platforms to not only generate awareness about their products or services, but also to spread goodwill and cheer during the holidays.  Have you seen any other really great real world social-powered campaigns?


Many Cool Things – December 7, 2012

Here’s the December 7th edition of  #ManyCoolThings, a Social Media Group culture jam. These are the many cool things that recently caught our attention or inspired us:

Dumb ways to die, smart ways to do viral
Australia’s fastest-spreading viral video, “Dumb Ways to Die”, made by ad agency McCann Worldgroup Autralia to promote safety on Melbourne Metro Trains, has amassed tens of millions of views on YouTube since it was posted on November 14.

Red Bull’s Extreme Rube Goldberg “Athlete Machine”
In the span of six minutes, twelve athletes and virtually every extreme sport in the world (and golf…) join in the “Athlete Machine” to achieve a common goal: obtain an ice cold Red Bull.

Make Infused Liquors, Oils and Syrups in Seconds Instead of Days or Weeks
The folks at CHOW and Modernist Cuisine have devised a great method for making whipped creams, topping and infusions, and all you need are the ingredients you’d use anyway and a whipping siphon. You’ll also need some nitrous oxide chargers for the siphon to get the job done.

The World’s First 3D Printing Photo Booth
Made by the guys at PARTY, this pop-up store allows people to be mapped in high-definition 3D before being printed between 10cm and 20cm tall in full colour, to create a semi-realistic 3D printed version of yourself to take home. (All for about $250 bucks. Not bad eh?)

Fox Steals iPhone, Sends SMS Messages
A couple of kids who saw a fox prowling around wanted to see if they could attract it by playing the sound of a dying rabbit on their iPhone. The rabbit call did more than just attract the fox — the fox took off with the phone!

Map: The most- and least-corrupt countries in the world
Transparency International recently released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on the perceived level of public sector corruption in 176 countries around the world, and once again, Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan rank as most corrupt, with scores of 8. (Burma, also known as Myanmar, joined them last year but has since moved up two spots, to just ahead of Sudan).

Screenshot: Transparency International

Harsh truths about advertising and content from Weiden+Kennedy
The presentation suggests that brands and their communications just don’t matter that much to most people. The author, Martin Wiegel, takes a deliberately provocative and personal stance it. According to Wiegel, the presentation “might feel long on what NOT to do and somewhat short on constructive advice about what to DO. But that is merely an inevitable consequence of the fact that a) I don’t have the answers and b) there is no magic forumla or template for success. We’ve each got to stumble along our own paths to reach that.”

Site enables pets to be played with remotely
iPet Companion uses robotically controlled toys to allow web users to play with sheltered cats remotely to keep them entertained.

Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be simpler. Select one of their razors, pay one low monthly fee, and receive them right at your door. No more over-paying for fancy brand name shave tech. No more forgetting to buy your blades.

Precision colors for machines and people
Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both precise CIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions.