Module one – #squaredonline

So, here we are. 

Squared online has come to an end. I’ll write a full summary of the course once I have been graded, with full feedback and recommendations however to complete the course I am required to submit five blog posts about each module of the course. 

Now, as a fairly successful blogger (well, one who has managed to annoy a considerable amount of people with a fairly prediction of who would win an election, six months before it took place), I felt the idea of setting up yet another blog to talk about the course, with no life span, frankly demeaning. 

I mean, if you are writing a blog, you need to demonstrate commitment? And longevity right? It is not about putting random thoughts on a page. Where’s the strategy. 

So, here lies the end of blog one. And here’s the video that I created to introduce myself to the Squared fraternity:


20:20 vision

So, Google Glass was released in the UK this week. Somebody should write a blog about it. Wait, somebody did!

Click here to read more.

Social media integrity

Another day, another corporate social media gaffe. Another individual not associated with the organisation, or another account hacked. And apologies to anyone who was offended.

Really? Do you buy that?

Last night Liverpool probably threw away the Barclays Premier League title by blowing a 3 goal lead away to Crystal Palace. Shortly afterwards, the below Vine appeared on the official Tottenham Hotspur account, apparently mocking Liverpool. 


Naturally this was not the fault of the club who are now looking into security issues with their Vine account, adding that it was not tweeted by anyone affiliated to Tottenham Hotspur. 

TH denial

Whether this is true or not, it is very damaging to Tottenham Hotspur, not just because they have effectively admitted they have security issues, but whomever uploaded this in the first place, is hardly in a position to mock in the first place. 

When it comes to crisis management in social media, being honest and displaying integrity is the key to success. It may be true that the Vine account was hacked but it seems too well timed and planned to have been the work of a rogue hacker. I would presume that Spurs have a robust social media policy, strategy and reporting in place, which will surely be able to detect the exact time and ip address of the ‘poster’, which should confirm that the apparent hack was external. If this is not the case, and there is no further statement, and possibly even a restructure of the social media team, then questions will need to be asked of Tottenham Hotspur themselves.

If you do not post with honesty and integrity, and admit mistakes, you leave your brand exposed and lose a lot of trust and confidence within your market place. Is it worth the risk? 


Module two – #squaredonline

I can’t believe how fast Squared Online is going! It feels like I only started the course a few weeks ago however we’re already 2/5 of the way through the course.

On Wednesday, my project team submitted our digital business idea – LoveBooks – an open source, subscription based publishing programme, aimed at children. Considering that nine complete strangers could come together, with no prior knowledge of our backgrounds, come up with ideas and pull together a pretty robust business plan and rudimentary technological platform for the product in just three weeks was a pretty impressive feat.

We were allocated a place on teams at the start of March and first introduced ourselves to the group via a Google Hangout. From there we have twice weekly Hangouts where we presented, researched, rehearsed and refined our idea. Once we had pulled together all the information for the final presentation, we attempted to put together a plan for recording and uploading our presentation however, as half the group lived in the London area, I suggested that we get together and record the presentation as a group, So, I had four complete strangers over to my flat on Tuesday night. Powered by wine and pizza, we further refined and recorded our presentation, before circulating the presentation around the other members of the project team. With no objections from the other members of the project team, we submitted our project, confident that we had done a good job.

Whilst everyone studying Squared Online is clearly ambitious and motivated to succeed, time constraints and real life can often get in the way of studying outside working hours, so I felt particularly lucky to get an awesome project team who I could work openly and honestly with to deliver something, without the group falling out! Fortunately, we’ll be working together in Module three, which starts on Wednesday. Now that we have a good understanding of our individual strengths, I’m expecting we’ll be able to deliver and even better result with our task.

I can’t wait to get started! 

#squaredonline hard at work

#squaredonline hard at work

Ask the audience…

Another year, another round of BBC cuts. Unsurprising seeing as we are now in the third year of a TV licence freeze. 

So, up for the chop this year is BBC3, which is apparently set to move from TV to a fully online channel on the iPlayer. The rationale being that the BBC needs to save £100m. Considering that it costs £90m to run BBC3 at present, shifting a channel from TV to online surely won’t make too much of a dent in the shortfall?

The BBC are attempting to justify this by suggesting that owing to the youth oriented nature of the channel, it will be consumed by viewers on mobile devices. Well, at present only 4% of current BBC 3 viewers, watch the channel on the iPlayer, which begins to make a mockery of the decision. According to the BBC, 1 in 4 ‘young people’ watch BBC3 which effectively confirms this.

What the BBC don’t seem to understand is that TV is not actually dying and people are not en masse consuming TV on digital devices. Yes, digital devices are far more prevalent but they are being used as secondary devices whilst people watch TV!

Ultimately, this seems like another short sighted decision on the part of the BBC. Maybe they should ask the audience what they would like? Salary cuts for execs or great programming? 


Business plans… #squaredonline

For module two of  #squaredonline we have to develop an idea for a digital business. We then submit our idea to a group, decide who has the best idea, refine it and then present to the other groups at the end of the module. Basically a digital Dragon’s Den. Now, the trick is surely to come up with an idea that is good enough to be selected but not good enough that anyone will want to steal it.

Taking into account the marketing principle that there is no such this as a bad idea, I’ve come up with something utterly preposterous that will either be adopted or shot down in flames.

Think Tron meets Squash. And you are getting close…


Crossing the line

I’m not a gambling man but I have to say that I’ve often enjoyed the responsive marketing campaigns from Paddy Power. From Nicklas Bendtner and his lucky pants, through to sending up Kim Jong-Un, they’ve managed to traverse the line between taste and decency. Until now. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you pop over to the Paddy Power site right now, they are offering a Money Back Special if Oscar Pistorius is found not guilty!

Wow! Has that sunk in yet? For me, this has crossed the line on so many levels as it makes light of domestic violence, gun ownership and murder! Not to mention the lack of respect shown to the family of the victim. For shame Paddy Power. For shame.