Recapping Social Media Week Feb 2014

Still deciding whether to join us at Social Media Week for our Untapped Markets: Social Media Gateways into Africa event? Check our the highlights of Social Media Week in February this year, it’s bound to get you excited! Register to book your place at our event in London or Johannesburg here.


Spratt on Social Media and SMW2014

Social Media will not solve world poverty nor calm the unrest in the Middle East like some people believe. But it can fundamentally change the success of your business.

Social Media sits in the world of “Earned Media” and by definition, can provide the most effective form of marketing: referral. And the reason referral is so powerful is because of the implied endorsement. We are a funny species, we love short-cuts, despite macro economist’s protestations that we are a rational, utility maximising automatons. Referrals (along with branding) allow us to filter an especially complex world. As Clay Shirky says, it is filter failure, not information overload that kills us. So Social Media provides these – filters and implied referrals – if done in the right manner. And of course, The Internet, allows us to amplify these benefits.

At Social Media Week in Jozi next Tuesday, we will be talking about this effective use of Social Media for both building brands and a driving sales perspective. We are extremely fortunate to have Aidan Baigrie from Facebook talking to the brand intimacy of social on mobile, and Brett St. Clair from Google talking to YouTube as a social media channel. We will also deliver some of the Quirk learnings from our work into Africa – from Nairobi to Nigeria.

Importantly, we will be simulcasting the show with Quirk London for our European clients and we think this will provide a unique perspective.

Justin Spratt

Managing Director: Africa



Worthwhile links – September Sessions Edition

About Learning

I’ve been spending quite a bit of browser and podcast* time in the learning and education space lately. It really does feel like it’s an area that’s ripening for major disruption. Aside from the amazing platforms and tools that are starting to come out (e.g. Khan Academy, codecademy (code), Duolingo (language)) there seems to have been a step change in general conversation about the topic of learning outside of traditional schooling paradigms.

Unstoppable Learning – TED Radio hour Podcast

Why do we put so much effort in making kids think and act like us? In this hour, TED speakers explore the different ways babies and children learn — from the womb, to the playground, to the web.

Aside: Animagraffs – Animated infographics by Jacob O’Neal

Some really great “How X works” info graphics. How about learning “How a car engine works“?


We’re living in a time where digital starts to mean many different things to different people. Definitions are blurring into spaces that represent a different view on what we would have previously expected. A great example of this is a blog post by a digital product manager who’s trained as an architect - Applying Architecture to Product Design: Lesson 1 – Circulation. You read it, and it makes so much sense. The future belongs to those who can look not only vertically, but across industries and specialisations.


Speaking of product design and development, this chapter taken from the book “Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief: Advertising’s Next Generation” by Creative Social takes a look at the world of Product Development and how Agencies have been approaching this tricky area – both successfully and unsuccessfully: “Skin In The Game, The Curious Phenomenon of Agencies and Start Ups.


Here’s a question I believe will become more and more important to HAVE TO answer well. Without a clear answer, it will become increasingly difficult to navigate the fast evolving business landscape and consumer context:

Why does your company exist?

Putting the work in to clearly stating your mission is often overlooked by startups, and often diluted into something in-actionable in large organisations. But having a clear, easy to explain, actionable mission is critical to help product teams make good decisions and move fast.

From the same blog: Why startups need a strong vision.


Taking Measurement’s Measure - Nicholas Carr, Rough Type

“What can’t be measured can’t be managed” goes the old saw. But what Peter Drucker is reported to have actually said was “What gets measured gets managed,” which is altogether different and altogether wiser. The wisdom becomes clearer when we get the rest of Drucker’s remark:

“What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organization to do so.”


From the department of Email: What 22 Billion Newsletters Tell Us About Designing For Mobile Email

Do you know which platforms and email clients to focus on when creating an email newsletter for yourself or a client? Using the data from over 22 billion email subscribers, we determined what designers should prioritize, both this year and beyond.

(It’s US based, so please do take that into account.)



Classic paintings 2.0

‘girl with a pearl earring and an iPhone’



* On the topic of podcasting, here’s my recipe for podcasting success:

  1. Download a good podcast app: Overcast for iPhone is awesome
  2. Browse iTunes store or Overcasts podcast directory
  3. Subscribe to a handful (to start with, keep it to about 3 to 5) of shows (I like to mix a bit of thought stuff (99% Invisible, TED Radio Hour, RadioLab) with music stuff (NPR All Songs Considered is brilliant))
  4. Make sure you’ve set the app to automatically download new shows (preferably only when you’re in wifi range)
  5. Listen to podcast in the traffic on the way to and from work.
  6. Feel smarter
  7. Forget what radio is



Thanks e’rybody



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