2013: in review

Where do I start?

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 17.35.03

Photo from my trip to Aldwych Underground station in November.

Let’s start with numbers.

THE BLOG

The most popular post of 2013 was the publication of a rare DJ set from The Avalanches (I can thank Josh Russell and an appearance on Reddit for that particular bump), and coming in at a close second was my super excited review of PACIFIC RIM back in July.

Overall, stats-wise, 2013’s numbers are down on 2012’s. As you can see below –

Site_Stats_‹_whatleydude_—_WordPress-3

This is down to a number of things. First off, in 2012 I wrote up ‘Five things on Friday‘ every single week, without fail (maybe I should bring that back for 2014). Blogging regularly increases traffic – who knew?

That lift in 2012 combined with a general decrease in posts this year means the disparity is quite large. I’m not kidding on the post decrease either. YOY 2013 has seen my lowest publishing rate for some time. The lowest in seven years in fact.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 16.49.23

[more here, thanks Jetpack]

So why the dip in output? 2013 has been a very busy year.

WORK

I’ve had pretty much had two jobs for most of 2013 (this is changing next month, but more on that in the New Year – shh), which has been as fantastic as it has challenging. From awesome travel brands kicking ass on Twitter, through to award-winning innovations for an online furniture retailer. To say 2013 had been ‘a bit full on’, would be an understatement – but in the best of ways.

I’m staying true to my mantra of ‘Great work, with inspiring people‘ – and long may it continue.

AMBITION

This time 12mths ago, I set out two very public ambitions. Speaking and Running. How did I do? In the former I set out to beat 2012’s rather lacklustre total of THREE and at least match 2011’s total of SIX.

Looking back over 2013, it looks like I topped out at a grand total of TEN. Each one unique in its own way and each one different from the one before. If you helped me achieve this goal in 2013, then thank you very much – I am chuffed that I managed to beat it so definitively.

On the running front, I started on Jan 1st 2013 at zero. I’m finishing on Dec 31st at 228km, with a couple of charity efforts in there for good measure.

Highlights? The British 10k for CALM and completing the Tough Mudder with Team Expedia at Ogilvy. Again, if you helped me achieve this goal in 2013 – then thank you. I feel an enormous sense of achievement, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

In the New Year I intend to continue these two even further. The speaking one I’ll continue plugging away at it – it isn’t the number of gigs, it’s the intention to keep doing them (and I’ve already got three pencilled in for 2014, and I figure that should be my baseline). And on the running front, I fully intend to smash the 300k marker for 2014.

Hurrah and hurrah again.

PREDICTIONS

In the summer of 2012 I wrote three social media predictions for 2013. Let’s review:

Prediction 1: The outsourcing of community management to emerging markets
I’ve got no proof of this happening yet. But I still think it will, if it hasn’t already (and I just haven’t seen it).

Prediction 2: 2screening + Advertising
The big thing I covered here was about ‘super micro targeting’, eg: Twitter allowing media planners to buy against actual TV shows. BOOM.

Precition 3: 4G networks spurring further innovation
I think I might have been a bit too hopeful on this front. 4G isn’t really hitting the ground here in the UK quite yet, so maybe it’ll be another year or so until it bears fruit.

Final score? 1/3.
Rubbish. My predictions for next year are out, hopefully I’ll do better next time.

FILM & MUSIC & GAMING

Film: I really went for it this year, I saw loads but managed an average of one write up a month (12 film reviews).
Music: Spotify’s got me covered.

Spotify

Gaming: I jumped off the Xbox ship and went for the PlayStation 4.
You should do the same.

ADDITIONAL BITS AND BOBS

AND FINALLY: LIFE IN GENERAL

I’ll be honest, 2013 has been a veritable roller-coaster of a ride. With super high ups, and woefully low downs. At one point, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it out alive. But here I am, in spite of it all, still kicking and at the precipice of a whole new chapter.

Who knows how it will work out.

I made a decision a couple of years back to keep a fair chunk of my personal life offline, and I’m pleased to say that I’m sticking to it. My friends, my true friends know where it’s at – and that’s all that matters.

There are some amazing people out there that have helped me through this past year. Friends and colleagues, old and new – you know who you are.

Thank you.

Next year is a whole new adventure.

BRING. IT. ON.

COOL STORY

 

Targeting Twitter’s audience by the TV that they watch

The future, I sees it –

Back in September last year, I put together a few ideas about what evolutions we might see in the social media industry during 2013. Snappily entitled ‘2013 Social Media Predictions‘, one of the areas focused on was how Social TV and advertising would need to work closer together if they planned to meaningfully speak to their audiences across multiple different platforms.

Quote:

“…Soon smart media-planners will force Twitter to allow time-sensitive promoted tweets, with time-focused twitter ads designed to populate at specific times – down to the very minute. Whereas the traditional consumer used to put the kettle on, today’s viewers are now turning to Twitter (and away from the ads), the industry won’t put up with this for long.”

Makes sense, right? Of course it does. So it came as no surprise at all to read that, thanks to the advent of Twitter’s new Ad API, the smart folk at TBG Digital have done just that.

Introducing Calendar Live, a new platform that  allows buyers to purchase Promoted Tweets in sync with television programmes. It’s that simple. While it’s true that marketers could kind of do this already, this new system makes it supremely easier and brings in additional features such as trend monitoring and more granular time-targeting.

Calendar Live

Bonus simplicity: it looks just like your TV guide — 

While this isn’t the kind of ad-based scheduling I was initially talking about, it is a step towards a more connected approach to social media ad-planning. Good work Twitter, and well done TBG. We’ve been looking at a number of solutions to manage our approach to social media and TV of late, and Calendar Live looks like it might actually have something useful to both brands and agencies alike.

Three final points:

  1. With similar fantastic work taking place right now in the form of Three’s #DancePonyDance, this kind of integration really is the at the forefront of where social media, and thus social TV, is headed during 2013.
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  2. SXSW is on right now which, to me at least, means big news like this gets swept away under the mess of it all. Rule one: don’t launch during SXSW.
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  3. I love it when I’m right.
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