May, 2007

  • Steve Clayton

    Brand Heat



    Spotted in London this week - were handing out suntan lotion to city staff in Finsbury Circus from an ice cream van. Notch up 1 point on Remarkableness for them as it no doubt had people going back to the office talking about it. I wonder how much it affected sales though? I'm sure Hitwise Heather could tell us but ultimately they're building brand affinity rather than immediate sales I suppose.


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  • Steve Clayton

    Web 2.0 is a portmanteau


    I didn't know what it meant either so had to refer to - I was pretty sure the BBC wasn't referring to Web 2.0 as a large traveling bag made of stiff leather so it has to be;


    a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings; "'smog' is a blend of 'smoke' and 'fog'"; "'motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining 'motor' and 'hotel'"; "'brunch' is a well-known portmanteau" [syn:


    However, the Beeb does a pretty good writeup of the Web 2.0 landscape and in particular the importance of Silverlight. As Mark Ward says:


    as more details of Silverlight emerge, it is clear that calling it a "Flash killer" is to seriously underestimate Microsoft's ambitions for it.


    Cool. Someone gets it. What's even better is this someone is mainstream media. Oh and they quote my friend Matteo from Skinkers too. Nice all round.


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  • Steve Clayton

    Can the Microsoft Partner Program learn from the XBOX team?



    Okay, I'll admit it....a few years back I thought we were crazy getting in to the console market ourselves. That's why I don't run stuff around here and J. Allard kicks arse. You have to wonder if we'll be saying the same about Zune in a few years. Hmmm

    The XBOX guys execute brilliantly but that may be down to them being non-mainstream so they can do stuff without "the suits" questioning them. What it means is they're a hotbed for innovation in Microsoft and not just in their products. Their approach to marketing has been discussed recently with the Gears of War video. Even more recently though, Mary Jo Foley caught up with JJ Richards, General Manager of Microsoft's Xbox Live unit, to talk about building community. Whilst there are some tips in here for the Live crew, there are also great tips for the work I'll be more focused on next financial year (July onwards) as we get out in to the UK communities more. This may be heresy to my paymasters but I think the Partner Program could also learn from these guys

    1. Tiers need to be clear and simple. In Xbox Live, there is gold and there is silver. Fewer, simpler SKUs are better.
    2. The dashboard is the UI. Users want access to lots of data, all in one place. They don't want to have to hunt for it.
    3. An online marketplace sells content. The Windows and Office Live teams already grok this one. Making Microsoft and third-party wares available as a one-stop shop helps move more add-on hardware, software and services.
    4. Arcade: Not everyone is a shooter-game pro. Users come with different skill sets and interests. Some prefer "Geometry Wars" to "Gears of War." Microsoft's Developer Division gets this, and is launching Express versions of its tools for hobbyists/nonprofessional programmers.
    5. Achievements are a way to stay in touch. The more ways you can encourage community members to stay in touch, the better.
    6. Ubiquitous voice and text are de rigeur. In the Web 2.0 world, everyone's a multi-tasker. All services and apps should bake-in messaging, mail and other unified-communications technologies.
    7. Roaming accounts are key. Users want their audio and video content, contact lists, address books, favorites and other settings available on any device, anywhere at any time.
    8. Build communities within your community. Gamerzones in the Xbox world allow similar types of users to more easily connect. What's the business equivalent of Xbox Live's "Underground"? Good question.
    9. Points are the new online currency. Office Online already is moving in this direction, and other Microsoft Live services will likely do the same.
    10. Gamerscore = reputation. Other divisions at Microsoft have been wrestling with how to rank community participants by "reputation" to help users gauge which content/commentary to trust. Gamerscore could become the model here.

    Choose for yourself which ones you think the MSPP team could take heed from.....

    Hat Tip to Mary Jo for a great post that I nearly missed!

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  • Steve Clayton

    Brain food



    I had the pleasure of an early morning breakfast with David Brain of Edelman and Hugh MacLeod this morning. I'd never have met either of these smart guys without my blog. If nothing else, that's what I've learned from my blogging this year - you get to meet more smart people.

    blogs = smart people = smart ideas = smart people

    We talked about our collective evilness and wondered who was the most evil. Conversation to be continued including a cunning Blue Monster viral plan.

    David shot a short video of Hugh and I talking about Blue Monster. Man I wish I'd worn my sunglasses now... 


  • Steve Clayton




    WeeWorld. On the ball as always...lets just hope we are. Off to the pub to get that pint of Guinness!

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