Category — Twitter
Leaves: a lot to the imagination.
There are certain ideas that just capture the public imagination. Councillor Caroline Salmon’s cycle sculpture was one of those. As soon as I saw her Tweet, seeking sponsors for a sculpture to commemorate cycling in Surrey, I was hooked.
On further investigation, the idea was as simple as it was elegant. Local people were being offered the opportunity to buy one of three hundred steel oak leaves that would be assembled to form the figures of two cyclists and positioned near the foot of Box Hill.
My husband and I are keen mountain bikers and cycling is a fundamental part of our lifestyle. It being our fifth wedding anniversary in July, with a theme of steel, Councillor Caroline’s leaf sponsorship scheme was serendipitous. It provided a perfect opportunity to mark our own special occasion by contributing to a wonderful local community project, marking this historic year of the Queen’s diamond jubilee, Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory and the London Olympics.
I clicked through from @CllrCaroline’s Tweet to read more about the project, spoke to the good lady herself and a few weeks later received leaf number 13, just in time for our anniversary.
We were extremely excited to be invited to the unveiling of the sculpture on July 17th, just three days before the Olympic torch was due to be carried through Dorking on its relay route to Guildford and the Tower of London.
Councillor Caroline had organised a reception for the unveiling, dubbed, “lemonade in the layby”. Hearing her speak, I realised that this was a feat of event management that had been timed to perfection.
By her own account, the idea of installing a cycle sculpture had come to Ms Salmon back in November 2011, when she was looking for a way to commemorate the momentous year of 2012, in her role as chairman of Mole Valley District Council.
In the space of five months Caroline Salmon sought and won planning permission for the installation at the Denbies/Pixham Lane roundabout and found the sculptor, Heather Burrell, to carry out the work. She then got to work using local and social media to promote her project.
Marketing experts talk about the four Ps: product, price, placement, promotion. Councillor Caroline’s project had all of these ingredients, which made it such a success.
Product: It pains me to label it so baldly because the sculpture is a thing of beauty, commemorating a truly historic year in British cycling. The oak leaves reflect the local woodland beauty of Surrey, where many rewarding trails for road cyclists and mountain bikers can be found around Hurtwood, Holmbury St Mary, Leith Hill and Box Hill. The sculpture’s slender design recalls the groundbreaking carbon monocoque frame that steered Chris Boardman to glory in 1992.
Price: At just £40 for a leaf, Councillor Caroline offered members of the local community the opportunity to help create something of real beauty that celebrates the sport that can be enjoyed so well in this area and commemorates an historic year for the nation. Contributing to the sculpture was a perfect way to give something back to the area.
Place: Box Hill will form the most arduous section of the Olympic cycle race, with cyclists powering up the incline nine times. The Olympians will cycle by this sculpture, adding to its history.
The Denbies estate, which borders the sculpture, forms part of the epic Dorking Ups and Downs mountain bike route organised by Wiggle and UK Cycling Events, which celebrates everything that the Surrey Hills can offer a cyclist: the burning legs and lungs, the steep, rooty descents and the glorious unrestricted views from the tops of the Downs.
Promotion: Councillor Caroline Salmon is a lady of considerable energy and enthusiasm, who galvanises those around her. Her use of local media, social media and personal contacts in local government enabled her to pull this together in a frighteningly short time frame and ensured that a fantastic idea came to life in time for the London 2012 celebrations.
On this momentous day when London hosts the Olympic Games for the third time in its history, we wish all of our athletes the very best. We will be watching you and supporting you.
July 27, 2012 No Comments
This has been a landmark week for social media and privacy.
On Monday morning, 9th May, Jemima Khan Tweeted: “I’ve woken up trapped in a bloody nightmare,” after allegations appeared on Twitter 8th May that she had taken out a super-injunction to prevent certain pictures being published, or even alluded to. In spite of the fact that UK newspapers were prohibited from even referring to the case, the allegations were widely reTweeted and Ms Khan was quick to use Twitter to refute them.
As testament to the old William Randolph Hearst phrase, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”, with just six Tweets to his or her name, the person who made the allegation against Ms Khan had accrued 112,627 followers by 13th May.
While the 8th May Tweet was clearly in breach of UK law, as a US company, Twitter does not have to comply with UK super-injunctions. Legal experts have commented that Twitter would have a strong defence under US law and the right to freedom of speech. This throws up a number of legal and privacy issues, the chief one being whether country specific gagging orders can be upheld in the age of global social media and citizen journalism.
The UK Parliament is now set to debate whether to update the privacy laws enshrined in the Human Rights Act of 1998, so that social media use is covered by the same rules governing print journalism. While some commentators predict that this will lead to censorship of Twitter, its founder Biz Stone has stated that he will not remove controversial Tweets.
A number of commentators have discussed this erosion of privacy by social media, with a particularly good post by Chris Moffatt eConsultancy.
Just as the Khan/Twitter clamour died down, another social media v. privacy story broke. On Thursday 12th May, Facebook admitted that it had hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to raise awareness of alleged privacy infringements and data scraping by Google’s Social Circles application. The admission came after a PR executive had approached online privacy expert, blogger and former Federal Trade Commission researcher, Christopher Soghoian, to interest him in writing an opinion piece on the alleged privacy infringements. Soghoian asked the PR executive which company he was representing. When the PR executive declined to name his client, Mr Soghoian published the email exchange online and the PR company was accused of running a smear campaign. The campaign was traced back to the client and the story attracted negative publicity for both client and PR.
Looking over the events of this week it would appear that in the social media age, the discipline is to balance old fashioned ethics with new media to ensure that what goes up does not bring you down.
UPDATE: Tim Jowitt has reported in eWeek that the British High Court has issued an injunction specifically prohibiting Twitter and Facebook users from publishing damaging information online that could reveal someone’s identity in a particularly sensitive case http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/facebook-and-twitter-hit-with-injunction-ruling-29234
May 15, 2011 No Comments
A trend that has been emerging among my circle of friends. People who used to call, text, or email me now send a FaceBook message.
I know that this trend is driven by the fact that many of my friends now own iPhones, HTC Desires, BlackBerry and Nokia smart phones. It’s just as easy for them to log into Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and send everyone a message while they’re travelling to work as it is to send the same message via mobile email.
Why am I remarking on this?
Because if I’m in the middle of a work task and an email arrives from a friend, I’ll read and respond. If I’m in the middle of something and an email arrives with a link to a Facebook message, it goes onto the back burner.
Why? Because I have to log in to the social network, find the message and respond. While I’m there I know I’ll see at least half a dozen other messages that I’d like to respond to.
Those two extra steps make me conclude, “This will take time, I’m likely to get distracted and start looking at fun stuff, so I need to wait until after work”.
As a rule, I will leave Twitter open in the background while I’m working and regularly check and respond to Tweets and direct messages from journalists, clients, analysts and colleagues. For Facebook, I tend not to, because it puts me in the wrong frame of mind for work: a little like taking a laptop to a pub with loud music, rather than working from a cafe.
In January FierceMobileContent reported Garner’s prediction that by 2013 more people will access Web sites from their phones than their PCs, with 1.78 billion PCs jostling for Web access against 1.82 billion mobile phones. In other words, I’m going to be getting more friends contacting me through websites that they’ve accessed from their mobile. So I’d better get with the programme.
Quocirca analyst, Rob Bamforth, has also commented on the growing problem of keeping on top of email, IM and social media and come up with an interesting suggestion: Filofax 2.0.
Just as architects have long recognised the existence of the “desire line”: that path that humans will instinctively carve across lawns, ignoring the pathways laid in stone by the building’s designers, I’ve come to the conclusion that people should be able to reach me however they want to reach me.
My task is to determine when and how to respond.
November 10, 2010 No Comments