Well I don't know about you, but I'm totally confused. What is happening at Blyk?

For those beyond the UK's shores, Blyk came to market in 2007 as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operation) piggy-backing on the Orange network. Nothing revolutionary so far. But they set out to convince young adults that they could get free airtime in return for opting in to adverts with ad selection based on the customer's completion of a personal profile. It was being called permission marketing.

But on comparing this claim to Seth Godin's articulate definition of permission marketing, I posted at the time that this wasn't the game Blyk was playing. The ads may be targetted more closely than commercial TV, but most everyone I know still wants to skip those ads. The mobile and marketing industries have been watching Blyk closely ever since and then, this week, two articles from NMA's Alex Farber:

"Blyk scraps consumer offer to concentrate on operator partnerships" and "Blyk's MVNO shift causes industry stir".

Now if anyone has the inside track on this market and what the Blyk statement referred to in the second of Alex's articles means, it's Bena Roberts of GoMo News. Perhaps the title of her post betrays otherwise... "Is anyone else extremely confused about blyk or is it just me?"

Perhaps MarCom Professional members will post the lessons to be learned from this debacle next week. Right now, I'm not sure whether we're going to learn more about mobile advertising or a PR "how-not-to".

Have a super weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone who has Tweeted to say they'll be at the Dog and Duck on Wednesday.

Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Twitter Visits Surpass New York Times and Wall Street Journal

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

The race to 1,000,000 followers between Ashton Kutcher and CNN followed shortly thereafter by the Oprah Effect and the ensuing celebrity stampede has propelled Twitter beyond two of the world's most prominent media brands.

According to Compete and Quantcast, as documented by PaidContent, Twitter.com soared past the online properties of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The truth is stranger than fiction...but it is reality.

I believe that Twitter will only continue to distance itself from other top media brands as it continues to seduce new users into the "conversation," More...

IAB says UK mobile advertising market worth £28.6M in 2008

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

The UK’s first mobile advertising expenditure study shows the UK market was worth £28.6 million in 2008 according to the IAB. IAB and PwC research reveals mobile ad spend higher than market expectations and doubled in size year on year.  According to the press release below…


Expenditure on mobile advertising in the UK exceeded market expectation in 2008 to reach a total of £28.6 million, according to a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) – More...

The Art and Science of Blogger Relations - Updated eBook

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

I'm happy to announce an updated version of my free ebook, "The Art and Science of Blogger Relations" is now available on Scribd and Docstoc as a free download. For all of you Kindle enthusiasts, it is also available in Amazon's Kindle Store.

The methodologies and tactics required for effective blogger relations will shatter everything you were taught or thought you know about traditional PR. Part "un" common sense, part market expert, part enthusiast, and part customer, together, this guide will help you embody the new techniques and mastery necessary to effectively excel in media, analyst, and blogger relations today and tomorrow - while building long term, meaningful relationships along the way. More...

Blinkx and you won't miss it - myChannel comes a step closer

by Philip Sheldrake of Racepoint Group UK

I've just found out about the Blinkx and Miniweb deal from the Guardian's article "Blinkx moves into telly with new set-top box deal".

Blinkx is the rather astonishing video search engine that emerged from Cambridge University (with some confusing ties to Autonomy), and Miniweb is into "next generation TV" with their platform already powering set-top boxes in over 9 million homes according to their website.

Now you will be able to search through 35 million hours of video from your sofa. More...

How a focus on buyers doubled Web site traffic, increased Google positioning, and sold more product

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Victor Konshin, the author of the #1 book on gout, Beating Gout: A Sufferer's Guide to Living Pain Free, shares with us his before and after experience of a new Web site design. Read on to learn how he made the number one page for an important search term and how his new Web site is selling more books.

So many Web sites that I take a look at are just big online brochures. The people who create a product centric site really miss out on an opportunity to educate and inform. When visitors are provided with something of value, they become eager to do business with the company that helped them. More...

What Nobody Told Gordon Brown about YouTube and Social Media

by David Knowles of

Oh, poor old Gordon Brown. He tries to experiment with a new tool for engaging with voters and it gets attention for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps someone should have told him that YouTube isn’t just another platform for pushing your message (and not to rely on cue cards to be reminded when to smile).

In Gordon’s defence, he simply made the same mistake many brands are guilty of: using new tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, for shallow self promotion, rather than offering people content they actually want. More...

How to be liked online

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

People buy things from people they like. For years, sales directors have been able to tell us that their biggest sales come from the sales staff who are the most likeable. And you know from your own experience that if you liked the sales person you were dealing with, you were more likely to buy. There is a clear link between "likeability" and sales success.

Liking people we meet is easy - but how do we get judged online? So, online, how can you show how likeable you are? How can you be seen as likeable when we don't have direct contact with individuals? Thankfully, new research conducted at Tufts University in Massachusetts shows us what to do. More...

Why do 47 UK tech PR firms bother with Google advertising when nobody clicks?

by Andrew Smith of escherman

According to Google’s own figures, there are currently 47 UK PR firms who are bidding on the phrase “technology PR”. Given that there are around 53 searches per day in the UK on the term, you might think this makes it worthwhile for these firms to invest some time and energy on the exercise.  Google also suggests that in order to gain a number one advertiser slot, you’d need to be paying in the region of £6 per click through. However, based on Google’s own Adword Traffic Estimator tool, the number one ranked advertiser can expect to get zero click throughs.  More...

Google launches fight back against Twitter in reputation search and monitoring

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Google has launched a stack of new search features that make up the ground that it’s lost to Twitter as a real time reputation monitoring tool.

Google search and the email alert service Google Alerts enable keywords to be tracked and content to be served from the web once it has been spidered by Google. But it’s very hit and miss: there is no sentiment and its ability to order web pages by publication time and date is limited.

Compare that with Twitter search and the growing slew of reputation monitoring tools that make use of the Twitter KPI such as Twilert and Twendz. More...

Vodafone Completes Roll Out of Mobile Advertising Services to 18 Markets in 18 Months

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

Interesting release from the team at Vodafone about their mobile advertising roll-out.

Some of the services coming up from Vodafone I have been personally involved with and it will be good to see Vodafone roll these out in a range of markets.

The full Vodafone release is here.


Vodafone announces today that it has fulfilled its ambition to expand the availability of its mobile advertising services to 18 operating company markets in the last 18 months. Despite the worsening economic climate, Vodafone has also enjoyed strong revenue growth from mobile advertising services during 2008/9 and plans to continue the roll out, expanding both the portfolio of mobile advertising services and their reach. More...

Has Twitter broken the social media ‘rules’

by Ben Matthews of Pudding Relations

Lots of buzz on online today about the small changes Twitter have made to their replies settings. If you haven’t heard what the change is, basically users can no longer see public replies sent by friends to people they themselves are not following. As Twitter themselves put it:

“Spotting new folks in tweets is an interesting way to check out new profiles and find new people to follow. Despite this update, you’ll still see mentions or references linking to people you don’t follow. More...


by Brian Solis of PR 2.0


I’ve just returned from Next09 in Hamburg and Disruptive Media in Stockholm where I’ve unveiled my new focus for what just may serve as the foundation for one of the next two books I hope to write.

As we are tempted by social networks and the kinship of new friends, followers, and fans, we intentionally or inadvertently, create a new era of personal recognition and attention that extracts an unconditioned human response and consequently shapes an unpredictable personality and behavior over time. More...

Jonathan MacDonald with the facts on the Blyk story

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

Busy day here in Amsterdam at the Mobile Advertising 2009 conference, with my friend Jonathan MacDonald chairing - I’m up tomorrow.

Today there has been a lot of noise and discussion in the press about the changes at Blyk and in Jonathan’s post "Blyk Is Not Closing: The Facts As Of 13th May 2009" he sets out the facts.

The official line from Blyk is below (via Jonathan)

Blyk is expanding, not closing shop… Blyk is looking to evolve its UK operation in line with a global strategy of partnering with operators. More...

Volvo hires media buying agency to handle online PR: not such a bad idea?

by Andrew Smith of escherman

It has been a busy few weeks, so this blog post covers a lot of ground from Internet World, to the recent NMK online PR debate and the repercussions of Volvo’s decision to hire Mindshare to handle digital PR. First up, Gerry Brown (*), Bloor Research’s Lead Analyst on Digital Marketing, reports that the recent Internet World show at Earl’s Court saw a 26pc increase in visitor numbers.

As Gerry says: “Over 22,000 seats were filled in free seminars and keynote presentations. More...

Twitter as a media relations tool brings PR back to basics

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Image by Irish Typepad via Flickr Have you signed up to Twitter yet? The hype is dissipating and you’ll find all of human life online. Every genre and sector of the media is represented on Twitter which has led PRs to scramble to the platform to pitch stories on behalf clients.

Journalists love it as it enables them to ignore and block spam pitches. And unlike email the 140 character format forces PRs to be succinct. Best of all they can choose who they follow, ignore or block.

Journalists on Twitter aren’t hard to seek out. More...