Did you know that every 2 letter .com is now taken? With this in mind, ICANN are releasing a whole swathe of new TLDs (Top Level Domains), such as .london, .rugby and even .beer! There are rules and regulations around owning domains like ilove.rugby, so here’s what you should know.
Unless you’ve got around £200 000 to do so, that is. Domain Venture Partners for instance raised around $400m to get it’s piece of the top level domain pie, so you’ll be competing with them.
.london, for instance will require your business to be registered in London. This could be a good time to trade under the name you want to secure, to get your hands on shopin.london. You’d need to check with each registrar as to the specific rules (view the list of domains).
.london, for instance is open to registration on 29th April. The project in general is a huge undertaking, possibly one of the biggest organisation overhauls the internet has ever seen (or maybe it’s IP V6, but that’s a bit more personal geekery). Check with your registrar as to when you can register your specific interest in a domain. If you’ve a particular domain in mind, Google for the domain you should find registrars to register your interest.
Especially in the public sector, if you’re bound to a .gov domain. If you’re able to use a .london or .photography domain for a single project, or don’t sit under the .gov umbrella, then it’s wise to think about if it does make you stand out from the crowd, or not. It’s more of a rental property, in the way that the amount you pay each year could vary, and will depend on which domain you go for. I expect .london to sell for around £50 a year.
You could pick up a .diamonds domain though, with them being a girls best friend and all. At £30 a year, a .diamond domain could be your best friend too.
Are you going to be securing your own domain when they become available? I’ve got my eyes on a couple for myself.
The end of the financial year is almost here so quite possibly you’re working on a 2014-15 strategy. Good luck to you!
We know strategy is important. Everyone likes to talk about it, especially candidates on the Apprentice.
But for a more considered perspective we could look instead to Sir Lawrence Freedman, author of Strategy: A History and professor at Kings College, London.
It’s almost an hour long and you may not be sat comfortably enough for that right now, so here are my highlights:
With this in mind, what should you be considering for your marketing strategy? Of course every organisation is different, but here’s a few suggestions from me that probably apply to your digital efforts.
This chart is from bit.ly, a link shortener with tons of data about the sharing of online content. You can read the full post, but in short it shows that most content shared online only gets a few hours’ attention.
How can your organisation produce enough content, of enough interest, to sustain people’s attention? How can you produce the right combination of stock and flow content to both provide value and capture attention?
And beyond that, why do you need the attention? How much do you need? What will you do if you get it?
Real people don’t care about your org chart and silos. They just care about the bits of your organisation that help them do what they need to do. And they get frustrated when they have to navigate your verticals. (Think what it’s like when you have to keep repeating your problem to different people on a help line).
Digital has exaggerated this. In marketing terms, people now move in one fluid experience between your owned, earned and paid channels; from website, to banner ad, to email, to what people say about you on Twitter. Any inconsistencies will jar and could affect your credibility and reputation.
So, how can your organisation get more horizontal? Which verticals need to collaborate to create a brilliant horizontal experience for real people? How can you create a bias to horizontal action, rather than vertical bureaucracy? (Much more on this in Joel Bailey’s fabulous A Horizontal Manifesto. I particular like the idea of a switch to people having to make a business case for why something shouldn’t be done.)
As Mike Tyson (almost) said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. The complexity and speed of the Internet is like a billion digital fists, so how will you react when one of them takes a swing at your jaw?
Marketing is still stuck in the language of campaigns and plans, predict and control. Humans are notoriously bad planners though so what if it turns out your plans have a glass jaw? Digital marketing needs to be a reactive, ongoing, always-on activity done in collaboration with people rather than to people, and the good news is that digital makes this more possible than ever before.
How will you build adaptability into your strategy? How will you take advantage of the opportunity you can’t foresee now? Perhaps you should adopt the 70:20:10 rule for budgeting? Maybe it’s time to adopt some of the ideas of lean marketing?
Long before the written word even existed, and long long before we communicated by text, tweet and status updates, cave-dwelling humans across the globe used pictures to communicate.
In the last century, images of war atrocities and natural disasters, as well as moments of joy and celebration, helped the rest of the world empathise with happenings on the other side of the globe.
The 21st century may have introduced more methods and channels of communication than ever before, but one thing remains constant: the power of pictures remains engrained in the human psyche making images as important as ever in getting your message across.
But it can’t be just any picture. Here are three different examples of how images can take communications to a different level.
On a recent scan through my Facebook feed, among the many Instagram-enhanced pictures of friends’ children playing in the snow, one image couldn’t fail to jump out:
PETA UK are proving that tried-and-tested shock tactics to raise awareness about the process used to make foie gras are just as useful in today’s social media campaigns as they were in the public health campaigns of the 1990s.
If the old adage that a picture tells a thousand words is true, any way we can simplify our message will surely be welcomed, especially in the age of information overload. The right image can help our audience to digest information in a fraction of the time.
With a bit of help from the team at Claremont, the Alzheimer’s Society achieved widespread national coverage by using data visualisation to “map the dementia gap” and bring to life data about dementia diagnoses.
It’s pretty safe to assume that even middle aged men in suits probably find pictures of middle aged men in suits fairly boring.
And so it’s perhaps unsurprising that even the more serious journals are always on the look out for unusual pictures. This includes the BMJ who recently revealed that one of its most popular articles included pictures not of GPs or even skin lesions but…reindeers.
From tabloids to serious medical journals, there is a time and a place for a more light-hearted approach and a quirky or unusual picture can help secure coverage.
As these examples show, effective use of visuals is as important as it has ever been in communication. But as communicators we need to remember that a picture isn’t just there to illustrate a story or make it look pretty.
A good image should grab your audience by the lapels and then deliver your message concisely and effectively, reaching people in a way that words alone cannot.
Startups like Stickygram, Stichtagram and Newspaper Club are making digital go physical, reconnecting us with physical artifacts.
Three years ago, a trip to Tokyo brought into sharp focus the profound impact converging smartphone and cloud technology is having on our lives – and made me question how much it is costing us.
As soon as I got back to the UK, I pulled out my iPhone. Each and every one of my photographs from the trip was stockpiled in the phone’s memory, tagged by GPS and plotted on a map.
The strange thing about the trip was that, to this day, I still don’t have ny physical photos of it. It’s all on Google+ (previously on Picasa).
Every day, more than 300m photos are uploaded to Facebook. From party snaps to wedding photos, that’s one photo every three days per person on Facebook. And that makes me feel a little icky.
Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, recently said in a BBC interview that he wanted “Evernote to be the place where you capture all your important memories.” Evernote is, he argues, the “secret to eternal youth.”
But browsing through old photos on Facebook, opening up a note on Evernote or clicking through 2009′s New York Times will never match their offline equivalents for emotional resonance.
And what if, one day, Evernote or Facebook is no longer profitable? Many people woke up last week to find that Google Reader was heading into the sunset, hot on the heels of Posterous. Oh sorry, did you have a blog here?
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like this. Digital technology is increasingly enabling us to move our memories between the physical and the digital – and back again.
For those that like inky fingers, Glasgow startup Newspaper Club uses the downtime on large news presses to allow anyone to design their own short run newspaper. One for enterprising job candidates perhaps?
Even Evernote, the doyen of digital notepaper, has got in on the act. The design of Evernote’s Smart Notebook is a modified Moleskine diary that enables smartphones to capture sketches and handwritten notes in a way that can be subsequently be uploaded back to Evernote.
Soon, the boundaries between the digital and the physical world will break down entirely – creating fantastic opportunities to delight and engage for organisations that can move seamlessly between the two.
If a lot of your service users value is locked away in bits and bytes – it might be time to think about giving some of it back. Even if it means being a bit old fashioned.