Un-Social Networking

Last year, Virgin Atlantic found employees slagging off customers on Facebook. Last week it was Tesco’s turn. Now, Waitrose has found their staff making nasty noises in the online world.

The insults aren’t particularly great – with comments calling customers pikeys, ugly, mad and smelly – which could be extremely damaging to the brand and its connotations.

Waitrose response was that it is “completely unacceptable behaviour. It goes against our codes of conduct which make it very clear that partners who post this type of material are in breach of their terms of employment….The nature of the internet makes it difficult to get content removed once posted, however we do have teams that monitor website activity and will be conducting an immediate investigation.”

Personally, I think responding favorably offline in this way is a great way of ensuring something online can be brought under control. Social media is notoriously difficult to reign in if negative views are floating around – and by reassuring customers that they’re taking the matter seriously, as well as giving off signs to staff that it won’t be tolerated, Waitrose seem to be dealing with this quite well.

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Smelly Cavemen

Short post: New user-interactive site from Lynx, which supports their new TV campaign.

How loud can you shout at your computer?! Great stuff from the deodorant giants.

UK digital firms combat credit crunch with Texas trade tour

PRESS RELEASE: London, UK,  January 2009

35 of the UK’s leading SMEs from the digital industry head to Austin, Texas on the Digital Mission to South by South West Interactive (SXSWi) from 12-18 March 2009, one of the world’s leading conferences for emerging media. Established in 1994, the conference provides an opportunity for the Digital Mission companies to attend hundreds of conference sessions and networking events.

The Digital Mission is organised by digital networking community, Chinwag, on behalf of UKTI (UK Trade & Investment). Combined with the SXSWi, the Digital Mission provides delegates the opportunity to exhibit at SXSWi. A unique ‘Nuts and Bolts’ masterclass will help British companies understand how to establish and develop their business in the USA, taking guidance from a panel of American and British experts, whilst the “Great British Breakfast” provides a UK-focused networking event for 300 delegates during the conference.

Building on the success of the Digital Mission to New York in September 2008 – also organised by Chinwag for the UKTI – this second trip to Texas will assist firms to develop new business channels, partnerships, investment and provide a detailed knowledge of the US market.

Companies were invited to apply for the Digital Mission. The 35 successful delegates were selected from over 100 entries by an advisory board of industry experts drawn from including Mike Butcher, TechCrunch UK Editor, Herb Kim, Codeworks CEO and Sarbjit Bakhshi, Head of Information & Technology Group, UKTI.

More information about each company can be seen on the Digital Mission website:
http://www.chinwag.com/digitalmission/sxsw09-companies

For more information, please visit: http://www.digital-mission.org

Source: Sam Michel’s Chinwag blog

LinkedIn LockedOut

It seems that cybercriminals are operating more and more now, especially in the ever-increasing social-media areas. LinkedIn is the latest victim, following the events we’ve seen on Twitter this week.

Celebrities were once unknowingly at the centre of this, as fake profiles on the site promised naughty pictures and videos – but surprise, surprise, any offer of nude pictures of Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera linked straight to sites brimming with malware.

Trend Micro, the security experts, spotted the fake profiles earlier this week. But it was Sophos who spoke out, saying that it was a “a shame that LinkedIn aren’t keeping a closer eye on obviously bogus profiles being created on their site.”

Pizza Topping…

Ok, so last year saw the domain name “Pizza.com” sell for $2.6m – and it seems that the cheesy-topped meal is worth even more dough online…

Dominos Pizza is literally raking it in, as the recession continues and UK consumers stay at home. According to the pizza chain’s latest full year results, while in-shop sales have grown 10% year-on-year, its web sales have jumped by 74%.

During the whole of 2008, Domino’s generated £58m in online sales – a massive increase on 2007’s figure of £32.2m.

The year was also a record breaking one for the takeaway kings – they reported a number of weekends breaking the £1m barrier for web sales. Seems that they really are topping the online takeaway stakes.

Police go digital

Even though the UK Government has a pretty poor grasp on digital fundamentals, this doesn’t seem to have hindered our boys in blue.

The UK police has just dipped its toe properly into 2.0 applications, with the Home Office creating an interactive map for users to see how bad the crime is where they live. The Met even has it’s own private map!

I could comment on how the money could have been used to employ more officers to help prevent crimes in the first place, but I won’t, because it’s a good sign when you see organisations that are notoriously slow to use media like this, actually building and using it in a decent way. (Although the Home Office map design isn’t too hot.)

I’m still trying to find a UK force on Twitter though… Despite Downing St being online. The Americans have embraced this already, with smaller forces such as Franklin, MA and Scottsdale, AZ twittering away with the NYPD and equally impressive forces. Cyber criminals beware!

Post-Christmas Frenzy

According to most national newspapers, everyone and anyone was shopping online during Christmas Day, hitting the sales in search of a bargain; especially as the likes of Marks and Spencers started their online sale at 12:01am that day, and John Lewis began theirs at 6pm on xmas eve.

Whilst brick ‘n mortar shops are panicking and feel they need to carry out this sort of crazy behaviour, in reality, internet shopping was fairly quiet over these two days.

Plusnet did a quick web-survey and found that the number one site on Christmas Day was Google, as usual. But a close second was Facebook, steadily increasing in numbers as the day wore on (and the boredom set in). Incidentally, did anyone leave a message on the Queens Facebook page following the Christmas speech?

Boxing Day saw the biggest boost: Amazon, iTunes and Play.com all saw massive amounts of traffic over the 24hr period. Even eBay proved very popular – perhaps as people needed to get rid of unwanted gifts without offending anyone?