A short, three letter word. It’s the sound some make when they yawn. The guttural release when something goes right; a goal, a catch, a winning pitch. The word that allows the massacre of innocent children.


A short, three letter word. It’s the sound some make when they yawn. The guttural release when something goes right; a goal, a catch, a winning pitch. The word that allows the massacre of innocent children. From five months old to five years old. Below and beyond. Children are dying. This is no epidemic. There is no disease. This is war.

Words float around on TV screens around the office: Hamas. Israel. Gaza. Tunnels. Occupation. Palestine. Terrorism. Defence. Western influence. Children.

My phone, a product of its generation, offers up emoji whenever I hit upon a corresponding keyword.

I type Child. And 👶 appears.
I type Children. And 🚸 appears.

A toddler’s face, smiling.
Two children, holding hands.

The harsh reality is only made harder when illustrated in the language of the young.

It makes you sick.

There aren’t many I know who could explain the situation in Israel right now. The issues are far too old, far too complex, far too beyond the point of understanding that there can be no cliff notes, no cheat sheet.

My son is six months old. I look at him and wonder, often, what he might do, where he might go, what he will see? How can I leave something good for him, something positive?

And then I look around and I despair.

The situation in Gaza is horrendous. The Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow published a video over the weekend talking about his time there.

A follow up piece to a blog post he wrote before that, it addresses some of the atrocities that are happening to children in the area.

Jon Snow

It makes you weep.

After watching, I shared it on Facebook. On Facebook. Others watched. Others shared. I commented on one share that perhaps the video should’ve explained how a viewer could help. Maybe some kind of call to action. The cheek. The Western presumed privilege. The disgusting arrogance. ‘Great video, Jon, but are you expecting me to Google it now?’ FFS.

I did Google it. I discovered the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. I’ve donated and right now I’m looking at how I might volunteer in the region and actually help.

Because something needs to be done.
Because someone needs to help.
Because we are better than this.

So much better.


I uninstalled Twitter last week. Logged out, switched off, unplugged.

The reason? Someone I follow retweeted an image of a dead child into my feed. A grotesque corpse. Held up by adults to show the literal effect of the missiles and shells that rain down on Gaza daily. It/he/she can never be unseen. Twitter displays images ‘inline’, which means you can see whatever gets sent no matter what.

I went into shock. Seeing death, in any form, is no pleasure for anyone. Seeing death like this. In this manner. Made me ill. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t think. I could barely see straight. Since then a day hasn’t passed whereby I haven’t thought on this. So many thoughts. So many reasons.

Again, Western privilege.
Again, how dare dead children interrupt my day. What on earth are these images doing in the place where it is my job to help brands sell more stuff.


WTF Whatley. Who are you? Do. Something.

Do something.
FFS, someone do something.

I did something.

I wrote this.

I donated.

I’ll do more. I don’t know what yet.

What will you do?


How this blog stays alive

The content, obviously comes from me. The framing, the clean-theme and overall niceness that the content is framed within, that came from Pepsmedia.

However, there is a third part of the equation that doesn’t get much airtime or love…  and that is of the hosting, the ‘backend’ …the admin if you will.

And that just so happens to be one Mr Nicholas Butler.

Future of Online Video @ ICA #amp09

via Phil Campbell

Nik, also known as Loudmouthman, has been looking after the backend of this wordpress site ever since it first fumbled it’s way into the world four years or so ago. Before he came along, I was posting my mad mutterings onto a VOX blog and, believe it or not, before that, even MySpace. Yeah, I know.

But, ever since I bought my very own URL, Nik has been looking after my backend. What this means is: when I first set up, he did all the annoying bits. And, when my site is down, I get to ask him (normally via Twitter), if it is for him too. When the answer is yes, it is back up again within minutes. MINUTES.

I don’t know how it works and I don’t know how he does it.  What I do know is – for example, this past the weekend, on Sunday in fact, I wasn’t able to actually publish anything and, within 30mins of emailing Nik, the problem was fixed.

This is nothing short of awesome.

What I’m trying to say is: if you’re doing anything that involves IT, admin, web-backendy things, wordpress, hosting, security, load-testing etc…  Generally all that other stuff that you don’t really want to think about, EVER; be you big business, or tiny start-up, SPEAK TO NIK BUTLER.

I whole-heartedly recommend (and use) his services.

Loudmouthman - well it wasn't broken when I left it :)

via Benjamin Ellis

And I’m not alone either, Sizemore is a fan and, if you’re still not sold, go read the comments on this blog post Nik wrote about giving ‘lasting advice’.


Nik Butler. This site wouldn’t be here without him.




Five things on Friday #21

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 25th, 2012

1. Amazing post-Yugoslavia monuments

There are 25 of these monuments (all different, by the way) scattered across the former-Yugoslavia. Built during the 60s and 70s to immortalise battle sites and concentration camps, these relics of remembrance are as varied as they are stunning. Melancholic yet engaging, spend some time looking them over and hey, if you’re ever in the area, seek them out.

2. A whale, in a forest
The work of Argentinian artist, Adrián Villar Rojas, this forest-beached whale is a sight to behold; even just digitally.

Sad, confusing and yet somehow deeply compelling; the life-sized mammal so out of place in such a way is a sight hard to forget. This is a rare occasion where I really wish I could be there in person to see this work.

3. Assassins Creed II – aka ‘playing with Desmond’
I’ve been a huge fan of the Prince of Persia games for ages and ever since the last decent round wrapped, I’ve been looking for a suitable free-playing replacement. The Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games came close (and actually win out in many respects), but I still missed that parkour-esque freedom. That was until, at long last, I finally dived into Assassin’s Creed II.

Thanks to recommendations from Rob (and I think Sweena too), I skipped the first one and went straight to the sequel (a fact I’m kind of regretting now) and I am loving it. If you’re an Xbox* owner and haven’t played these yet, they’re available to download now via the Xbox Marketplace at fifteen quid a pop. Not bad at all.

*other consoles are available.

4. Railroad-based awesomeness
First, this video – found via Mr Siminoff – of a group of mates creating a purpose-built railway go-kart – aka ‘The Rail Rider’ – is just awesome. I can’t watch it without grinning from ear-to-ear.

While you’re still smiling, take a deep breath in, scroll down, and breath out.

Nice and slow.

— —

5. Keep C.A.L.M.
The campaign against living miserably is a charity setup to combat male suicide – aka: the biggest killer of young men the UK today.

I first encountered them just a little over 18mths ago and have been a big fan of their work, and what it is they’re actually trying to achieve, ever since. This past Thursday night I finally met the whole team and am looking forward to supporting them further over the coming weeks, months and years, in their ongoing mission. Expect more on this, soon. In meantime…

If you’re a man (or if you know one) who doesn’t want to admit that things are pretty crap right now, or is really struggling to keep things together or, worse yet, doesn’t feel like they’ve got anyone else in the world to turn to.

It’s OK. You’re not alone. I promise.
And you can talk to CALM.



Whatley out.


1000heads: If it's broken, fix it!

“This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody.”

Recently, in a piece for Reputation Online, Steve Waddington from Speed Communications said that “corporate blogging is broken.”



While admitting this is indeed an over-statement, he still goes on to make some valid points as to why in the UK at least, corporate blogging has yet to take off.

Citing ownership, authenticity and human vs corporate communication as the three main reasons as to why, @wadds goes on to say that while these issues continue to throttle bloggging on a corporate level, there are some excellent examples out there of people doing it well.

I agree with Steve, there are some great examples of corporate blogs out there – you’re reading one right now 😉 – but what his post doesn’t do is explain how to address the issues that he raises.

Let’s try and do that shall we?

1) Ownership

Steve says:

“Should a blog be the pet project of a senior executive or fall within the communications or PR team, product marketing, customer relations or human resources? And legal will almost certainly want to get involved and pass judgement on blog posts and comments.”

We say:

It depends on your objective.

Time and time again when it comes to corporate blogging, brands just throw a single blog post up and expect it to change the world. I once actually had a conversation with someone (who shall remain nameless) where they said: “Well we had a MySpace, but it didn’t do anything. So we closed it.” – Amazing. This rule doesn’t just apply to corporate blogging, obviously. The same can be said for any business activity.

What is your goal? Paint a target, then go for it.

In this instance if your blog is to just put a human face onto some of your PR messages then this falls to your PR department. If you want to address a few customer service issues, then liaise with your customer service department. If it’s a combination of both, then speak to both.

As a side note, if it comes to your legal department, keep them in the loop the whole time. Work with them to develop a set of guidelines that you both agree on and stick to them.

It really isn’t rocket science.

2) Human communication vs corporate communication

Steve says:

“There are fundamental differences between how people communicate and how companies communicate – and very few corporate organisations have managed to bridge that gap.”

We say:

Agreed! Totally!

But how do we address this?

Once you’ve been through point 1 (setting your objectives and appointing ownership), your next step is to find the right voice. Seeking out and finding your very own brand evangelist/community manager might not be easy, but if you close your eyes and think hard you could probably come up with one maybe two people in your company that truly live and breathe your brand or product. If you can’t, then the chances are that it’s you.

You are a human being.

Guess what? So is the person you’re thinking of. Admittedly this is a very simple way of looking at things, but by truly embracing and trusting in your community manager, you will find your voice. Talk to each other, compare notes. Embrace social communications and don’t be afraid of people.

3) Authenticity

Steve says:

“Finally there is the issue of the generation of authentic content. It’s the only way to attract and stimulate an audience yet organisations see it as time consuming and requiring the constant input of senior management.”

We say:

If you stick to the points above, this third and final point should not be an issue. At 1000heads we talk about the anthropomorphism of brands and the importance of PEOPLE being able to talk to PEOPLE. There are people behind the brand, just like there are brands behind products.

Trust in your people, trust in yourself and most of all, remember that you are a human being.

Keep it real.
Keep it simple.
Keep it honest.

In summary; know your objective, be a human being and ultimately, use your corporate blog to delight and excite the people that matter most to your business. With any problem the first half of the battle is identifying what needs fixing. The next step is the how.

Hopefully we’ve gone some way to help out in that respect.

Please, leave a comment if you have any questions or opinions.
We’d love to help.

Facing fears

I used to hate PowerPoint.

Hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it, HATE IT.

For years, I refused to take part. If I had to give a talk or a presentation of any kind, I used my words and speaking abilities only.

“I don’t need slides” I used to say…
(whilst slightly looking down upon everyone else that did)

That was until my employer asked me to travel to Germany to speak at the annual Voicedays event in Wiesbaden. A presentation was required and well, I didn’t have one.

Procrastinate, I did much.

That was up until my then boss casually mentioned in passing that the only reason I hadn’t started my deck yet was because I was afraid of it.

“You’re afraid of PowerPoint.”

“Am not.”

“Then do it then.”


“If you’re not afraid of it, do it.”

He was right. I was. My fear? Where to start? What if I get it wrong?
I didn’t know what to do.

“Tell a story.” he said, “You like post-its, start with your key points on some post-its. See where it takes you.”

I grabbed some nearby post-its, a black marker and – a few mins later – I came up with this…

Genius? No.
The rantings of a serial killer? Maybe.
Cracking my fear of PowerPoint? Definitely.

I’d found my story, the notes were to be my kickers and this below, was the presentation I eventually gave to a room full of delegates at Voicedays ’08:


That’s how I cracked my fear of PowerPoint; by telling a story using post-its. They became my kickers. I knew what story I wanted to tell and, by using the stickers as great big reminders/cheat sheets, I ensured I didn’t lose my way.

If you’re struggling with a deck yourself, get offline and start playing with paper & pens and just see where it takes you. You never know, you might start here and end up here.

Good hunting.

1000heads: A charitable thank you to those that Tuttle

Tuttle last week was so much fun, this week we wanted to find a way to say thank you to everyone that came along and made our office such a bubbly place to be on a Friday morning.

Earlier today, we dispatched a crack team of commando 1000heads girls to go out and find the two most cutest and fluffiest fluffy toys they could find.

This is what they came back with…

We’re going to be running a raffle tomorrow morning so you can maybe, just maybe win ONE of the two fluffy things above. I have no preference, well.. I do. The Monkey. But that’s just me…

The other one, the one that the winner decides he or she doesn’t want, will be put into our offline raffle run through our JustGiving page.

Any and all money donated will go straight to the Haiti Hospital Appeal.

If you want to tweet and help spread the word, copy and past the below 🙂

Thank you #Tuttle – Help for Haiti –

See you tomorrow! 🙂