TNN has had an amazing first quarter. The info-feed Slack Community (see video below) continues to grow and 'Speak-Ups' from Wired's Rowland Manthorpe, what3word's Giles Rhys Jones and EVRYTHNG's Andy Hobsbawm have also helped add to the community through offline events. We presented a slide yesterday to the crowd which really shows the variety of people TNN is bringing together; from VC's, big brands, agencies of all sizes and shapes to entrepreneurs, TNN is connecting smart people. We hope you'll join us on Jan the 16th to see Twitter VP, Bruce Daisley, 'Speak-Up' on the subject of the Future of...Work. Don't worry
Every six months we ask a selection of C_NCENTRATE readers how we are doing to make the next six months better than the last for readers. It's a task we take seriously. With +18,000 readers it's important to understand what's working and what they would like to see changed moving forward. Overall we're doing well with just over 59% of respondents giving C_NCENTRATE an A or an A* but it turns out readers miss the *MUST READ* element (so we'll be adding that back in 2018). Based on prior feedback we dropped the number of links from ten to five but it appears you missed them so we'll be adding a few more. Finally, the new design will be going live in 2018 - it was promised this year but work got in the way - we're excited to show you a fresh and streamlined look.
OTHER FINDINGS/2018 CHANGES:
FOCUS: The top five answers (via categories) were; Emerging Technologies, Strategy, New Tools (new), Consumer Insights and Big Picture Analysis. These will feature more heavily over the next six months.
MISSING: Three elements popped up when asked (unprompted) what C_NCENTRATE was missing; robotics, tweetable links (we’re honoured!) and content that discussed 'purpose'. We will look for content in these areas and add tweetable links to each
BIGGEST ISSUES IN 2018: The areas that readers are finding challenging; strategy, what should I do, Content Marketing, next steps in verticals/tech (social media, Blockchain, advertising) and A.I....A.I. is very much of interest to readers. We overdid Bitcoin/Blockchain, however. Sorry.
MISCELLANEOUS: A few people requested increased frequency which is sadly something we cannot commit to at this time but there is always TNN, #social_lens, 8ight and 15 Minute Executive if you want more of us! Several respondents requested more implications of technologies for the everyday consumer so we'll do our best to include these moving forward.
NOTE: Sample size n=200, optional incentive used (75% entry rate).
Thanks to the +150 subscribers who filled out the questionnaire about C_NCENTRATE - your help has helped make the newsletter be even better for 2016. Overall it appears we're doing a good job of giving you what you "need" and "the good stuff" enabling you to get ready for the week ahead. This is of course great news but we're not ones to stand still so there are a couple of changes happening based on interesting nuggets gleamed from what you told us;
_ You really like the READ section. +75% said they'd cry if we took it away...so we won't! We're also going to add another link each week, add more images and will order the section by reading time.
_ Strategy, strategy, strategy. +50% of you need more strategy in your lives so we'll make sure to give you more of that in 2016.
_ You like more of the big picture. 75% of those that responded want to see more of this so that's what you'll get. In the same vein there will be a slight decrease in the following areas; advertising, free time and social media
_ You'd like a meet-up. Without prompting, 33% of you want to meet more C_NCENTRATE-RS, we'll be looking into this in early 2016 - watch this space.
_ You'd like to ask us questions. 25% would like to see a question answered each week. We'll think of the best way to do this and trail it.
_ You miss 'This week saw..." section. This is coming back but in a different format...watch this space.
General updates: We're going to be offering a little less on video, advertising and the workplace help. We're also going to say 'goodbye' to the C_NCENTRATE+5 blog posts on the web - whilst decently clicked on we're going to be focusing on the HERE/FORTH Flipboard magazine so subscribe over there for more links.
With more than 15,000 subscribers, the C_NCENTRATE newsletter is now read regularly in all four corners of the globe and continues to grow steadily. We took a look back at what got subscribers clicking and have created a Top 10 Most Clicked Links of C_NCENTRATE 2015.
Interesting points: content marketing does not feature in the 2015 list (despite being strongly represented in the 2014 Top 10 Links list), there has been a 200% increase of productivity and strategic advice links in this year's Top 10 compared to 2014 (likely based on the subscriber feedback from 2013). Roughly the same amount of video made the Top 10 with Uber's Uber Rush intro video being the first of its kind to make the list.
1) What your 2016 Video Strategy Should Look Like [#50]
2) How To Plan Any Presentation [Video] [#25]
3) How To Work 40 Hours A Week Sending These Two Emails [#28]
4) The 30-Second Habit That Has A Lifelong Impact [#43]
5) Introducing Uber Rush [Video] [#42]
6) What Google Really Knows About You [#40]
7) Why Startups Succeed [#30]
8) Why Scientists Are Upset With The Facebook Bubble Filter Experiment [#19]
9) How To Write An Email That Convinces Anyone To Meet With You [#29]
10) Infrastructure For Modern Brands [#36]
(NOTE: Numbers were adjusted for size of list at the time of sending)
HERE/FORTH CEO, Paul Armstrong, recently wrote about his experience at Quartz's conference 'The Next Billion' for Memeburn. In the piece he interviews several CEO and top execs from some of the world's more innovative companies including Uber, frog design and Kano (amongst others). Read the full piece here.
We instantly loved 'Tell Us Your Story' when we came across it on Twitter - it's an impressive and passionate rage against a trend we have seen emerge over the last few years...the tell us your story campaign. We grabbed the creator, Brian Eden who is a Copywriter in New York.
Why did you set up 'Tell Us Your Story'?
I started the blog last year after noticing that every brand suddenly wanted to hear my stories. The cat food wanted to hear my cat food story. The bleach wanted to hear my bleach story. The disinfectant wipes wanted to hear my disinfectant wipe story. The more I started paying attention to it, the more I started to see the humor and absurdity in these requests. Because, when’s the last time you heard a good disinfectant wipe story?
What is the problem here?
As long as there’s been advertising, there have been trendy executions. From side-by-side taste tests, to “your family will love you for giving them [insert product here]” to jingles and flash mobs. It seems the newest advertising trend is that brands want us to tell them our stories. But most products - especially the more ordinary ones - don’t lend themselves to being the centrepieces of especially compelling stories.
Why do you think brands do this?
It’s easy to see the appeal of “Tell us your story” for a company, because it seems like a good way to create social media content, generate conversation with customers, and collect a bunch of testimonials all in one. And for some types of businesses, that might actually work out. Travel, sports, hospitals, charitable causes - people actually do have stories to tell about these kinds of things, so it’s not as strange of a request coming from a brand like that.
Where it starts to get funny is when the more mundane, everyday kinds of products ask us for our stories. Kitty litter. Iced tea. Nose spray. They’re funny because they’re so socially awkward. Who actually has a nose spray story?
What do you wish brands would do? How can they be better?
There are a lot of companies that are using social media really well - Oreo, GoPro, Old Spice and Honey Maid to name a few. Social media offers brands big opportunities to do great work. But the work has to be rewarding for the customers. The more time and energy you’re asking people to give you, the more worthwhile it has to be for them to give it. The work can’t be totally self-serving (at least not overtly).
Paul Armstrong (HERE/FORTH Founder) penned this for the Guardian after reading a slew of press about the benefits of the new live-streaming video tools. Wielded poorly, these new shiny platforms could cause brands real problems whilst possibly altering the way people expect to consume media. [FULL ARTICLE]