All posts by andrew chilvers

Andrew Chilvers is a writer | editor | editorial director | digital project planner | digital publisher| social media planner | SEO specialist. Andrew develops content strategies using articles, blogs, videos, podcasts and social media for news and magazine websites, small businesses and large public sector websites.

Content is dead, context is king – what Google did next in search

Ever thought of Google as an animal?

I asked a group of friends this question recently and the answers were predictable and surprising in equal measure. The top 3 were:

  •         A poisonous spider
  •         A many headed hydra, which in Greek mythology had poisonous breath and blood so virulent that even its tracks were deadly
  •         J.A.R.V.I.S, Iron Man’s cybernetic butler.

The first two are dangerous, unfriendly, evil monsters, while the latter is the perfect companion, a well spoken English butler (if you like English butlers that is) who wants to take care of everything for you.

And that is Google in a nutshell; on the one hand evil, manipulative; on the other, friendly, helpful, good to have around.

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How Man Utd got left behind in the tech race

When dreamy recluse Kate Bush announced she was returning to the stage to play and perform at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, she requested that fans refrain from using their phones: “I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras,” she sighed.

Her request echoed a number of other entertainers who have spoken out against using mobile devices at concerts, including The Who’s Roger Daltrey who moaned that people staring at acts through screens rather than at the live show “were weird”.

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A view of Houndtor with a climber scaling the tor

Hounds, Houndtor and an abandoned hamlet

Houndtor has been famous for the setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bloodthirsty tale the Hounds of the Baskervilles for more than a century. The story depicts huge, murderous black hounds gorging their victims amid the mists, swamps and weird bleakness of Dartmoor.

Doyle was first told the story by a friend of his, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, who lived nearby and often took Sir Arthur for  moorland walks when he was in that part of the world.

The original legend dates back to the 1670s when a local squire of evil repute died a horrible, violent death and on his deathbed was transformed into a fire breathing hound hell bent on despatching the ungrateful locals and, in time, unwary moorland travellers by ripping out their throats.

But that was then.

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Suarez, mashups and memes

Sometimes the wags on Twitter hit the sweet spot – usually at the expense of someone famous.

This happened during the past few days following the Luis Suarez biting controversy at the World Cup. I was monitoring Twitter the moment he sank his teeth into Italian defender Chiellini’s fleshy shoulder. I can spot  a viral news event when I see one.

And within the next few minutes I was right. The network erupted with video mashups and memes of Suarez in a thousand different biting scenarios. Soon enough clever digital marketing folk were quick to follow with Specsavers, Nandos and even an English country pub getting in on the act (see pictures selection below).

“Suarez watch”

News agencies camped outside Fifa headquarters on “Suarez watch”, while newspaper editors seized on the Uruguayan’s misfortune to dig into his past. There was no escape from Google’s all seeing gaze – the minutiae of Suarez’s past misdeeds were mashed up into multiple videos and memes and shared across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and the like. It was relentless, sad (he grew up in dire poverty in a broken home) and often very funny – so long as you weren’t Luis Suarez.

Hung out to dry – and drawn and quartered

Clever digital journalists and emarketeers know all about viral messaging and how to create viral content off the back of a wave of public self expression  – usually in a brilliantly ironic, often savage way, like a 21st century version of a medieval rogue being hanged, drawn and quartered in front of a baying, hostile mob. But these days the ritual disembowelling is even more public and lasts a lot longer (tho admittedly doesn’t hurt so much).

Social lesson of the week

The social media lesson learned this week – at the expense of Luis Suarez – is spot what’s trending and let loose your creative invective. Go forth with your memes and mashups.

There but for the grace of God…

Just pray the world never decides to use you as the butt of its savage humour.

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