5 fun things to do on the internet today!

I love this time of week! It gives me a chance to drop everything else and spend time browsing the internet under the pretense of work!

This week, I’ve borrowed heavily from the good folks at Social Media Examiner and picked some favourites from their list of 23 Cool Tools for Social Media Marketers.

We Feel

Ok so I lied… this one isn’t on their list but it’s a goodie! We Feel analyses real-time signals of the world’s emotional condition, gathered from Twitter.

I checked North America, Nov 9th, at 1pm, (the day after the presidential election) there are 238K of sadness tweets. Compare that with the day before for the same time; it stands at about 66K. Interesting, no?

We feel

Ripl  

Admittedly, I came across (and unwittingly paid for) a subscription to this app before I saw it on Social Media Examiner. It was love at first sight! Ripl allows you to create fun animated posts and share them to your social media accounts or simply download the video to your phone gallery. For brands starting out on social media, this is a great little tool to put together some slick animations with almost zero investment.

FocusMusic

If you’re like me, listening to music to help you focus at work is pretty much the mother of all ironies. If you’re not trying to sing along (promise I don’t), you’re too busy shoulder-shimmying to allow for serious laptop typing. FocusMusic.fm aims to solve that for you. It’s an interesting little web app that allows you to listen to music at work but not be entirely distracted by it. It has electronic dance music, downtempo, classical and the like!

Focusmusic

Google Keep

I wish I’d discovered this one sooner! I use random sticky notes apps to keep track of grocery lists, things to do, blog ideas and milestone updates for my girls. With Google Keep, I can do the exact same thing except, it will immediately back it up to my Google account… this is absolute GOLD to me seeing as I often have pretty rotten luck with tech and the possibility of losing data keeps me up at night.

GoogleKeep

Ink Hunter

I generally find augmented reality apps fairly rough around the edges. And no, I’m not a Pokemon Go fan… I couldn’t even figure out how to use the thing (probably had something to do with my desk job)! Then necessity led me to this neat little app. And while this one is probably the most non-utilitarian app on the list, it is also my favourite one. I’ve spent many hours browsing Pinterest and Google images searching for just the right tattoo and then trying to imagine what it will look like before I actually head to the artist. This app just helped me visualize my next tattoo!

5 fun things to do on the internet today!

We’re back with our latest curation of 5 fun things to do on the internet today! While the last time’s edition consisted of fun things that had a common thread of sorts, this time we’re freewheeling a bit! Read on and enjoy (hopefully)!

New Tweetstorm app!

If you’re anything like me, 140 characters just doesn’t cut it when you’ve e-shopped your credit card into the ground, nothing fits and returns/ exchanges take forever! Say it with me… there’s an app for that! Stormcrow allows you to type out your message and then breaks it up automatically and in the correct order so you can shoot out a coherent rant!  The downside; it’s only available on iOS and is paid. Luckily, the concept isn’t new and you can download Storm it! On Android for free!

Tweetstorm
Winter is coming

That’s right… in the middle of July 2017, when Game of Thrones Season 7 airs, winter will come to Facebook and Twitter. These places will become graveyards of inactivity, because like me, millions of people will abstain from social media in order to avoid the inevitable fall out i.e. spoilers.

As it happens, Twitter recently launched a way for its users to mute individual words and even emoji! While you could already block individual profiles before, this new feature will make it easy to keep anything offensive (even GoT spoilers) at bay!

Mute words, phrases, hashtags & more for a specific time period in your timeline & notifications. On Web & Android.https://t.co/jhWKRu0cK1 pic.twitter.com/4pACn8GD3F

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 23, 2017

Radio Garden

I feel like my life was missing meaning before I discovered Radio Garden. No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have a half way decent internet connection, you can listen to over 8000 radio stations from across the world! With a super easy UI, this web app allows you to navigate the globe by clicking on the lit up dots that magically transport you into another country. We’ve come a long way from the days of the transistor… and yes, I’m old enough to know that word!

Radio Garden

Trump with love

If you haven’t seen this one already, now is as good a time as any. In a time of uncertainty and a fair bit of negativity, this little website is a gem! It takes Donald Trump’s words and turns them into messages of love and positivity. While it has no utility in the real world, it does manage to put a smile on your face on a dull day.

Trump
The ultimate list of content marketing blogs

And of course, like I’ve said before, what’s a good curation without a good curation! Check out Curata’s ultimate list of content marketing blogs! I’m a huge fan of Jeff Bullas, Social Media  Examiner and Hubspot myself!

Curata
Image courtesy www.curata.com

This post was curated by Shahnaz K Jain, National Digital Lead at Text100 India.

Is video the new content mecca?

“Content is king” is probably the oldest and truest adage in the world of media. Even so, when we think content, many of us still think whitepapers, newsletters and blogs – admittedly, I’m kind of old school! But today, even for the absolute digital virgin, video is fast becoming a primary form of content. From the mother-in-law sharing festive wishes, the mommy sending cute baby videos or the crazy cat lady sharing the latest adventures of Maru! What all of these have in common are that they are shareable and relatable.

Some of the most interesting use cases for video content comes from even more interesting quarters.

Take for instance what WhatsApp has done to video sharing. The Better India, a platform that is committed to telling the smaller yet positive stories from around India  sends out a WhatsApp snapshot every day, and you can get into the broadcast list by sharing your number.

Then there are the larger brands and corporates that do a great job of creating their own video content.

Conversations with Hari – Owned by HolidayIQ this is a series of interviews conducted by its CEO, Hari Nair. Hari meets with prominent travel writers and interesting people whom he has engaging conversations with. While this capsule began last year, the guest profile has become more interesting already – the latest is a 10 minute conversation with William Dalrymple. This went out on March 30 and has racked up 301K views + 537 shares + 90 comments + 1.9K likes.

While the property doesn’t see too much traction just yet, I think it’s a great way to create original content without plugging the brand too obviously. As it picks up steam I believe there is great potential in creating a separate brand for “Conversations with Hari” on social media platforms as a way to amplify it.

Another great example of creating compelling video content is HCL and its decade and a half CSR work promoting Indian classical art forms – HCL Concerts. Beyond organizing concerts and posting videos of them, they’ve started to put together “Candid Conversations” which are short videos asking artistes everyday irreverent questions like “do you like chapathi or paratha” and such. A nice window into a classical musician’s life, who are generally not known to share these insights. The Candid Conversation with Shubha Mudgal was a runaway success in I’m sure in many cases, an eye-opener as to how well-spoken and graceful she is as a person.

But big brands come with big budgets too, which helps, but what of the smaller niche creators? For every content creator that aligns with multi-channel networks such as Culture Machine and the like, there are probably thousands of independents. Take Tushar Burman for instance. A journalist by profession, his chosen passion is automobiles and a little while ago, he went from writing behind a computer screen to creating videos in front of a camera. His unique brand of humour is what has helped him gather an army of loyal fans that refer to him as The Professor and proudly sport #TBArmy tees that he supplies for free! What will be interesting to see however, is how people like Tushar, monetize their platforms.

So from the brands to the niche, from WhatsApp shares to Facebook Lives – video is really the new killer content. Write to us in the comments with YOUR interesting video finds!

Written and curated by Zibi Jamal with inputs from Shahnaz Jain – a couple of old fogies at Text100 that find all things newfangled, fascinating!

 

5 fun things to explore on the interwebs today!

Hello! Today, I’m curating some of my favourite things from the internet/ app world! Utilities, educational resources… whatever I’ve found, fancied and believe is worth a share!

Google Primer

If you’re an aspiring digital marketer but you haven’t a clue, Google Primer would be a great place to start. Offering several lessons across multiple categories such as advertising, content, measurement and strategy. The interface is super easy to use and allows you to flip through lesson cards, ending every lesson with a quick quiz or mini practice session. Once a lesson is completed, the app automatically marks it as such so you don’t have to keep track.

Google Primer

AutoDraw

Another piece of art (quite literally) from the house of Google (I promise they pay me no royalties for this plugging – they’re just THAT good). AutoDraw makes even the worst doodler into something of an artist. You can draw the most unlikely rendition of a cat and Google will use machine learning to make it into something that actually resembles one!

AutoDraw

Creative Criminals

While we’re on the subject of art, Creative Criminals is an incredible little aggregation of the best creative ideas from across the world. The blog is run by three friends who studied marketing together in Belgium and they curate a fantastic selection of creative advertisements collected from around the world. A great source of inspiration for those struggling with writer’s or visualiser’s block!

 

Free Stock Images

What’s a nice curation without calling out another nice curation? Well known marketer Jeff Bullas’ blog has put together this incredible list of sites that offer free, high quality stock images. Now instead of running google image searches for free clipart and photos, you can browse through a pretty wide selection that seem to have something for everything!

What the f*** is my social media strategy

You know how you’re always looking for that EXACT cool sounding sentence to define your PR/ social media strategy? Or then you’re trying to write up a great media statement but end up with something United-esque. Somehow, you end up with a meaningless string of words that convey nothing but confusion. Yes, THAT. This site gives you SO MANY of those, you won’t have to look much further. On a serious note, its true aim is to at call out all the lame b***s**** marketers/ brands put out by way of mission statements and what not. A nice place to visit when you feel like you’re headed down that hellish path of meaninglessness… it will tell you what NOT to write!

If you’ve tried any of these and have something to say about them, tell me in the comments!

You know you’re in PR when…

…yes yes, I know what you’re expecting… the sleepless nights, the living by your Crackberry, the client slavery etc etc. I’ve had some of those myself in the last 10 years at Text 100 (my first and only real job!). But somehow, the things that stayed with me are the more unusual ones… they’re the things that become little comic strips in my head!

So here is my list of…. wait for it… YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN PR WHEN

1.       You’ve made toilet signage for an event: I’ve done this… and subsequently been yelled at by the corporate communications head about why the font size wasn’t big enough or the arrow was pointing in the wrong direction. My sense of direction was always pretty lousy but I didn’t think I’d need it to be able to get ahead in PR. Clearly, I did! My manager at the time momentously stated at that event, “you know, we’re a part of making history”(we were launching one of India’s largest cellular brands). Somehow when you’re busy doing toilet direction signs, it doesn’t feel that momentous!

2.       You’ve been a messenger/ delivery girl/ boy: This has so many facets to it, it isn’t even funny! You’ve probably delivered review products yourself and called it a media round to not make it seem like you were a glorified courier. You’ve probably gone to various media houses on foot delivering hard copies of invites and registration sheets before a major industry event only to be told that the journalist was busy and to leave it at the reception. Hell, you’ve probably sat with the office boy filling out courier counterfoils to mass mail those same hard copy invites!

Anyone else done this? No? Only me then…!

3.       You’ve checked out several venues for a single event: This seems relatively straightforward and we do it today too… but I think it’s only in very few cases when you do a venue recce for a large event only to make sure that there was a secret exit for the CEO who didn’t want to be questioned about his company’s impending sell off!

4.       You’ve been a manual labourer at some point:  At the same ‘historic’ event I spoke of in point 1, I was also part time manual labourer or ‘hamaal’. We were trudging across a massive campus throughout the day carting media, press kits and boxes of sundry press conference paraphernalia from the main hall to media centre. I’ve had one such box collapse in my hands with its contents strewn for about a 3ft radius around me. Luckily my damsel in distress act paid off when an executive in a suit passed by and asked some construction workers to give me a hand. My male colleague was not that lucky when he managed to bust the next carton!

5.       You’ve fixed a spokesperson’s tie before an interview: Ok, so I admit haven’t personally done this but I know colleagues who have! But I have run around to find him a bottle of water, ordered his coffee or then run behind him at an event, press kits and sundry documents in hand.

6.       You’ve gone in for a high profile interview relatively clueless about more things than one: I once did this interview with the India CEO of a major client with a Financial Times journalist. It was at a Chinese restaurant in one of the city’s five star hotels and they ordered appetizers that both gentlemen went on to gingerly eat with chopsticks. I had no idea (and still don’t) how to eat with chopsticks but was faced with the dilemma of looking foolish if I picked up a fork! I inconspicuously messaged my manager at the time telling her how stupid I felt… her reply: “better to look stupid with a fork than look stupid with food all over your clothes”. This should have been the least of my problems given that the men were discussing world economics that I didn’t have a clue about and had no idea what I would put in the debrief document!

I’ve you’ve managed to read through this post and you’ve been around the block a few times, then I bet you’re nodding your head knowingly. Possibly even chuckling quietly at the stranger things you’ve done. But if you’re a newbie, a lot of this might seem alien to you. But the important thing here is that no job was or is ever too small when it was crunch time and I don’t think I’d be the PR person that I am today if I hadn’t done all this myself! To this day, I’m awkward about letting my driver pick up my bags but you should know that there will be times when you’re picking up someone else’s proverbial bags. While it may seem menial at the time, and forgive the cliché, these things really do build character.

So if you’re an account coordinator in the Mumbai office and have been interviewed by me, I probably tried to scare you at some point about the drudgery your life will be initially. If you made it through that first year, then I’d say you made it. Period. If you quit because you hated making media lists or following up on press releases you had no clue about, then you missed all the fun stuff that was yet to come.

Drop me a comment if you have a strange story to share, can relate to this post or generally have questions about why I did what I did, happily.

The author is Jain… Shahnaz K. Jain! Licensed to thrill @ Text 100 (Mumbai).