Free Nelson Mandela

This is the first time since the news of Mandela’s failing health that I’ve felt compelled to voice my feelings.

Over the past week I’ve actively avoided the news reports and tweets and commentary surrounding the Mandela family. This afternoon on a group friend whatsapp chat I asked for a precis and my friend Sarah gave me a quick summary.

What the??

I am angry. I am sad. I am disappointed.

In short, I think that the Mandela story is a sad circus, I know Madiba’s imminent passing has bigger ramifications, but this, this is not how the story should end.

This does not honour or respect or acknowledge what he fought for. This is not how we anticipated we would feel when the final credits started to roll. I’m know I’m not alone, my social media feeds are littered with South Africans, who instead of feeling respect and quiet sadness, are expressing anger and disbelief.

For someone who played a most critical role in showing the world who South Africa is and who we have (and can) become….this, this is not as it should be.

I will try to ignore the media and the travesty that this has become and rather focus on the memories and the moments that personify my South Africa and my Madiba.

Strange perhaps, but at a time like this my brain sings: ‘Free Nelson Mandela!’ – a song that I sang with huge gusto at age 9 when I was in the UK (where I was born)

Did I sing it because it had a catchy tune? Or because I knew his story had some significance? Or because perhaps I felt that I would one day be in South Africa, voting for the first time at age 18 in 1995 and witnessing the transformation he aided?

The reason doesn’t matter, the message is the same – sadly, the circumstance is different.

Love n light Madiba.

Radio: 2OV ‘Kellman Live’

At the end of last year I had to opportunity to chat to Arye Kellman on 2OVRadio as part of a tech segment that’s hosted by Cerebra. It was a chilled weekend show and we played some music and chatted about social networks, mobile stuff and generally about where this is all going.

It was fun. It’s a 30 minute clip but there are songs inbetween….

Listen to the clip here

Best social media campaigns of 2012

We were exposed to a lot of good social media campaigns in 2012, both locally and internationally.

I really liked this round up of the 10 best social media campaigns of 2012 (they are all international campaigns.) I especially enjoyed ‘Dumb ways to die’ – catchiest song ever! And the ‘Dollar Shave Club’ is genius, both the ad and the concept. Check out the full list here. (via econsultancy)

Brand building

….in a digital world.

I really liked this preso on Slideshare, it uses the dirty word ‘Engagement’ and focuses a lot on what people ‘really’ want when it comes to brands. A concept I think we often lose sight of, we think people want to interact a lot more with our brands when all they actually want is a good quality product.

Take a look – there are some useful key points here. If you take away anything – let it be the wise comments on UX and the importance of user focused experiences.


New beginnings

So the news is out, from 2 April I’m moving on and taking a position with well respected social media comms agency, Cerebra. I’m scared and excited, but most of all I’m ready for a new challenge and I’m keen to see what we can do!

For the past 5 years I’ve been doing my own thing, during the past year I did a lot of cool stuff with Mike from retroviral. I’m keen now to move on and learn something new and tackle the challenges.

Here is the official press release thingy :)

Social Media Marketing Masterclass

Today I had the privilege of presenting the first ‘Social Media Marketing Masterclass‘ in JHB for the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy (ODMA). The ODMA present training on a range of digital subjects, backed by the expertise of Ogilvy. BUT, anyone can attend…today I worked with participants from four different digital agencies, and other media businesses.

**OK OK…For those of you who don’t feel like reading my ramblings, at least scroll to the end and watch the TED talk by Aaron Koblin – he has done amazing things with data visualization, his talk is one of the coolest things I’ve discovered.

I facilitated a masterclass, which meant that most of the participants were pretty familiar with the challenges and opportunities that social media offers. This was new territory for me, for the most part I’m used to presenting to people who are new to the digital playground and the opportunities it offers. I was pretty nervous (in a good way), I know some of the attendees and respect what they do and know.

I wanted to create a space where we could all stop for a moment to learn, engage, debate, question and think. Yes I did a lot of talking and passionate preaching (I’m only human), but it was important for me to field questions as they happened and debate the issues.

We all learnt something, it excited me that everyone got involved and got stuck in and asked the questions that we don’t have time to ask in our daily ‘working/doing’ mode.

It was a very good day. I hope to do it more often.

**I love the concept of the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’, the power of the collective consciousness is emotional. I played this TED talk today by Aaron Koblin – “Artfully visualizing our humanity” He shares his examples of data visualization and the power of the collective. It’s worth a watch. (Tweets during the video also confirmed that he’s a cute geek – that doesn’t hurt!)

Oh, and if you’re a Johnny Cash fan it’s a must!

The ODMA offers public workshops as well as customized training for companies who request it, in addition anyone who attends is then offered access to the ODMA network which is packed with free resources. There is a sh*tload of info on this network, if you’re looking for stats and case studies it’ll save you a lot of googling time :) 

If it’s your vibe then ask the ODMA peeps about the ‘Social Media Marketing Masterclass’……I have bag, can travel :)


Marketing & Social Media Consultant