What’s SOPA? Why can’t I look it up on Wikipedia?

Vogue Online Shopping Night ticks all the social boxes

Fashion Magazine Vogue Australia are tonight hosting the second incarnation of their online only shopping experience – Vogue’s Online Shopping Night.

As anyone who may have seen my choice in outfits would agree I have very little experience when it comes to shopping for fashion on the Internet. But as a Digital Media Consultant I am once again impressed by what this fashion brand has set out to achieve through a variety of online channels.

Here are the digital tactics that Vogue have in play tonight:

1) vogue.com.au

The primary branded website features a simple to use web page to find retailers alphabetically, or (in an enhancement from the last event) you can now also search by category. Once you have located an offer you can click through to an individual retailer page and then out to the retailer’s website to complete your sale. A nice simple way to get to your offer.

The only bit of advice we’d give for the site is to SEO the pages a little more by adding a unique meta description for each retailer rather than the same generic “Vogue Online Shopping Night” tag on every page. But in the scheme of things and for a one-night only event that’s probably a small thing.

2) Twitter

In the lead up to the event today @vogueoz were tweeting to their 22,000+ followers about the event:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/vogueoz/status/141024566645506048"]

Vogue are also encouraging tweeters to adopt the #VOSN hashtag during the event to raise more awareness virally. For the last Online Shopping Night the #VOSN hashtag made it into Australia’s top 10 trending topics on Twitter, we have no doubt that the same will be the case later tonight.

3) Facebook

Over 53,000 people ‘like’ the Vogue Australia Facebook page and the magazine brand are using this to their advantage. As well as advertising the event on Facebook at the time of writing Vogue had posted the following on their wall:

We’re not sure what the “very special announcement” is going to be but I’m sure there are now thousands of customer out there who will be keeping a very close eye on the Facebook page to find out later today.

4) Google+

And finally, it is great to see big brands opening up their arms to Google+ and including this fantastic but still relatively unused social media channel. Vogue have this year set up a Google+ hangout hosted by the founder/designer of Wheels and Dollbaby, Melanie Greensmith.

You can join in the hangout by adding Vogue Australia to your circles here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108197221849348823395/posts

Good luck to the team at Vogue Australia with the event tonight both on and offline. We look forward to hearing what your Facebook announcement is and seeing the #VOSN hashtag working its way up our trending topics…

Facebook’s new news feed layout – blue triangles and live feeds

Facebook have released an updated news feed layout this morning. The two big changes are the introduction of “Top stories” (a selection of stories Facebook thinks you’d be most interested in, marked with a small blue triangle in the top left) and a live feed of what your friends are doing.

As with any change to the way Facebook works, it’s generating some interesting chatter on Twitter:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/DepressedDarth/status/116502893732962304"]


The live feed, where you can see an instant feed of what your friends are up to, is generating some mixed responses too:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/bryanlyt/status/116386726011867137"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/Freyland/status/116616947470303232"]


But as with any update to Facebook, it’s likely that we’ll all get used to it soon as this person agrees:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/keithedwards/status/116618191102423040"]

MyRide Dashboard Map view launches for Perisher

As an addition to the now very popular MyRide Dashboard we’ve just released an update that allows customers to view their activity via a graphical map view of the resort.

The map view (shown on the left) divides the resort into 12 main areas. When a customer has logged a lift ride in that area their activity status light turns from red (locked) to green (unlocked).

Underneath the map is a full list of all lifts with individual red/green lights showing a more detailed breakdown of every lift you have or have not yet tried out.

This is one of several more interactive modules that we will be releasing with Perisher over this season to further cement their status as Australia’s number one ski resort.


Princess Beatrice models her latest headpiece for the next Royal Wedding

Blog comment spam – how to spot it and stop it

If you run a blog that’s been around for a while you’ll be familiar with spam comments. These are comments that at first look appear to be from real customers usually complimenting you on your post. A few recent examples from the Fly Digital blog are shown on the left (click to view).

When you first start getting them it’s can feel good, after all it means people are finding your blog. I remember thinking in the early days “how nice, Mr random1234 who has a website about adult oriented content likes my post”… but then the penny drops and you realise Mr random1234 is also Mrs annoying5678 and it’s not long before you’re cursing their part in your social media strategy.

A lot of the time these spam comments are simply trying to post a backlink from your website to theirs for link building (SEO) purposes. In some rare instances, the comment can contain a link to sites containing malware or pages that download malicious scripts to your visitors’ computers which is why you don’t want to ever let them get published to your blog.

They’re easy to spot, generally the post is a) positive in nature (eg: “good point”, “great post” or “i love your blog”), b) has a link either in the comment post or ‘website’ field to a shortened or dodgy looking URL (whatever you do, try not to click on it) and c) is often, but not always, grammatically incorrect or misspelt. I don’t know why point c) is the case, I wonder if it’s related to the writing ability of the people who perpetrate this or if it’s actually designed to make the comments look more ‘real’.

There are a couple of ways to stop this. You can take the ultimate action of removing user comments from your posts but most of the time this isn’t an option.

Generally adding a ‘captcha’ (example of one is shown on the left) to your comments form will stop most of the automated spam comments coming through. If a real customer wants to post on an article I would suggest that adding a captcha is not a deterrent and is becoming more and more common on blogs these days.

Captcha scripts can be found in many places on the web, most of them are free, Google ‘captcha’ as a starting point. And if you need any help with adding one to your site, get in touch and we can give you a hand. Happy blogging.

Funny online advertising mistakes – inappropriate website ads

Here’s a funny, but rather inappropriate, example of when online advertising systems pick the wrong ad to show on a page.

I feel for the customers of this site, all they wanted was help on how to get fit and lose weight, the last thing they need is an ad for “burger vouchers”.

The Royal Weeding

Everyone is talking about “The Royal Weeding”, searching for it returns 15,500 results in Google. Seeing as we all love the Royal Family and we all love a weeding, here is a photo to commemorate the two.

William & Kate’s Royal Wedding goes mobile

If you’re looking to get information on the Royal Wedding, what better way to get your fill of Will (and Kate) than by turning to your smartphone.

Here are some apps that Royal watchers or fan of William and Kate Middleton might be interested in:

Royal Wedding Countdown
Android: does what it says, provides a countdown to the wedding

Royal Wedding Album
Android: Share your images of the wedding day

Abbey 3D
iOS/Android: See what Kate will see as you take a 3D walk down the aisle

Dress The Royals
iOS: Fun app where you can decide what the wedding party wears

A Royal Wedding Celebration
Android: (from the maker): “From details of how the royal romance blossomed to which celebs made the guest list, Onteca’s new app contains everything royal fans need to know about the wedding of the decade.”

Royal Wedding Live Wallpaper
Android: This live wallpaper will rotate a new royal couple photo every hour

Royal Wedding
iOS: (from the maker): “This app contains all the background and history on William and Kate, plus exclusive photographs from one of the world’s top royal photographers, Ian Jones.”

The Royal Wedding by NBC News
iOS: Official iPad app by NBC News

Kanye West has his say on Asher Keddie in Paper Giants