Yet another update: United Breaks Guitars

23 07 2009

guitar_Dave_Carr_114321gm-aSeems news of Dave Carroll’s YouTube hit has finally floated across the Atlantic and this morning a number of UK news outlets have been picking it up:

What’s new? Well, this:

[United] has seen its share price plunge by 10%, wiping $180m off the company’s value. (via BBC)

Correlation or causation? Hard to tell but the PR disaster for United keeps rolling on.

If you like the pain, then check out an article by Daniel Finkelstein of the Times which I came across via Will Sturgeon. Finkelstein has “dug out some other classic examples of social media revenge from the archives.” Funny stuff.

Number of views now stand at over 3,650,000 and counting.

Previous posts:


Tasty social networking stats

21 07 2009

Facebook’s king Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced on the Facebook blog last week that the popular web destination is continuing its global dominance by jumping from 200 million to 250 million users. That’s over 50 million users in three months.

So if you like visualisations then you’ll love the timeline they released which tracks Facebook’s staggering worldwide growth to the quarter billion milestone on a map. Can’t seem to embed it here unfortunately, but click below to check it out.


Although it’s rapidly becoming the main social network everywhere around the world, Brian Solis reminds us on his PR 2.0 blog that ‘local players’ in a number of countries are giving Facebook a run for its money in their local languages. Worth remembering so check out the full post here.

Next up is comScore who released some findings from its World Metrix audience measurement service.  Chief among them:

  • 29.4 million people accessed at least one social networking site in the U.K. in May, averaging 4.6 hours per visitor during the month
  • ranked as the most popular social networking site with 23.9 million visitors, followed by (8.5 million visitors), Windows Live Profile(6.9 million visitors) and MySpace Sites (6.5 million visitors)
  • Social network penetration was highest amongst 25-34 year old Internet users, 89 percent of whom visited the category during the May
  • 15-24 year olds followed with 86 per cent

Here again, Facebook is out in front by a wide margin which tends to support an assertion made recently by the Silicon Valley Insider: ‘Facebook members don’t visit the site; they live on it.’

The social web’s most engaged brands

20 07 2009

Interesting report out today about which big brands are doing the ‘best job’ online across a number of social media channels. The study was conducted by analyst Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group and Wetpaint, and ‘ranks the top 100 brands by ‘social media engagement’. The social media channels in question include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums.

Amazingly, the study claims a correlation between social media engagement and revenue growth. Working in social media marketing/PR, this is music to my ears. But I’m inclined to agree with TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld:

I really doubt that their level of social media engagement had anything to do with their revenue growth, it is just that the strongest brands are the most engaged.

That said, this study was conducted by former Forrester Analyst Li (Groundswell anyone?) so I wouldn’t count the findings out completely.

So who comes out on top?

  1. Starbucks (127)
  2. Dell (123)
  3. eBay (115)
  4. Google (105)
  5. Microsoft (103)
  6. Thomson Reuters (101)
  7. Nike (100)
  8. Amazon (88)
  9. SAP (86)
  10. Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)

I love lists, but I love case studies even more and the report contains some best practices from Starbucks, Dell, SAP and Toyota. Its definitely worth a skim.

For me, the report highlights the need to keep my finger on the pulse of what other brands are doing online – and learning from it. When I come across a decent case study online I tend to file it on my Delicious profile under a ‘casestudy’ tab for future reference.

Some notable case studies include US electronics retailer Best Buy and soft drink giant Coca Cola, by Robin Grant from We Are Social. Michael Litman from Consolidated also did a smashing job a few months ago with his Mashable post about the Compare the Meerkat campaign. Beyond that, here are a few others that caught my eye recently:

Am I missing any?

[Full report – ENGAGEMENT: Most Engaged Brands On Social Media]

[Photo and article via TechCrunch]

Update: United breaks guitars

11 07 2009

Seems as though Dave Carroll has become something of a hit back home with his United Breaks Guitars video on YouTube. When it caught my attention a few days ago, the video had clocked up 500,000 views. Now that number sits at over 2,000,000.

Due to the success, Carroll has released a statement on YouTube yesterday expressing gratitude, telling people to go easy on Mrs. Irlweg and for United to donate their belated offer of compensation to a charity of their choosing. He also appears to be going ahead with the promise of three songs and to expect the next one shortly.

I think the video update was a pretty smart move on Dave’s part, and he comes off as very likeable (and Canadian?). United’s compensation offer strikes me as ‘too little, too late’ though. I suppose it was good of them to make the effort, but the effort is disastrously late.

Will be interesting to see how this whole story plays out with another few more songs on the way. The second album is always the hardest…

Skype’s blogger-in-chief and Robert Scoble talk shop

10 07 2009

Nice video interview here conducted by Renee Blodgett with Robert Scoble and Skype’s blogger-in-chief Peter Parkes earlier this week during the Travelling Geeks TweetUp on 5 July.

It’s definitely worth watching, and in it Peter shares his thoughts how blogging has changed over the years and how Skype is using social media (Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in Europe and the rest of the world to engage directly with their customers.

I missed but Travelling Geeks, but here’s what it was all about:

The mission of Traveling Geeks is to collaborate with technology innovators and influencers in various regions of the world, then share what we’ve learned through blogging, video, podcasts, social media tools and meet-ups.

Visit the Travelling Geeks blog for more updates.

[via Travelling Geeks]

[Disclaimer: Skype is a client]

“United breaks guitars”

9 07 2009

TaylorGuitars LogoMore than impressed by the efforts fellow Canuck Dave Caroll who posted a video on YouTube a couple days ago singing about how some United airlines ground crew workers seriously damaged his prized Taylor guitar. The video has quickly picked up steam online, gotten mainstream press on the other side of the pond and created a bit of a headache for United Airlines.

united_logo1According to the Canadian Press: “Carroll spent the past year trying to get compensation from United because he says his favourite guitar was practically destroyed by baggage handlers.” When he got nothing, he made the following video:

The song is actually pretty funny, and reminds me a bit of the ‘world’s best passenger complaint letter‘ to Virgin that made the rounds on the internet back in January.

A story in the Chicago Tribune says that Carroll “spent hours reasoning with United agents in Chicago, New York and India” over a nine-month period to pick up the $1,200 cost and it went nowhere. So he took action. In Carroll’s word (via his YouTube channel):

I promised the last person to finally say no to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world.

I wouldn’t want to be Ms. Irlweg right now.

Apparently Taylor Guitars in California has since got in touch to say they’d be happy to see if they could “repair the damaged guitar and they promised a deep discount on his next purchase.” Well done Taylor (but how about a free guitar for Dave?)

Though United has they ‘liked the video’ and wanted to use it as ‘textbook case on how to handle customer complaints in the future’, they still come off a bit battered from this. Some attempts have been made through their Twitter account to say sorry to their 15K followers but I can’t help but think the damage may well be done.

Ben Mutzabaugh on USA Today’s ‘Today in the Sky’ probably said it best: “The move shows just how quickly the Internet can help a disgruntled customer can turn the tables on a company and its effort to manage its public image.”

At the time of writing, the video has received over 500K views on YouTube. That’s an awful lot of people with the message ‘United breaks guitars’ stuck in their head.

Better get Tweeting some more United…

Text 100 Blogger Survey on FIR

8 07 2009

fir_100x100Throughout April and May this year Text 100 conducted a survey across 21 countries and received feedback from 449 bloggers about how they like being contacted, the content they find useful, how much time they spend blogging and a variety of other topics. It was a great process to be a part of and on 25 June we released the results publicly.

This morning Neville Hobson posted the details of an FIR Interview that took place with Jeremy Woolf, Text 100’s SVP and global social media lead, about the results of our survey.

This interview was conducted by FIR Asia Correspondent Michael Netzley, and in it Jeremy discusses the results and their implications for the profession. It’s definitely worth a listen.

If podcasts aren’t your thing, then you can download the decks on Scribd and Slideshare, or check it out below.

I have also jotted down some of my thoughts about the survey results elsewhere on Text 100’s hyperTEXT London blog.

Get this FIR podcast:

Full presentation:

Other stuff:

[via Neville Hobson]