The Sex Pistols – God Save the Meme

6 04 2009

We think of memes or ‘viral’ as internet phenomena but whilst the internet is particularly suited to the spread of memes this kind of effect was observed long before the internet came into being. 

Fashion and music are areas where this is common and there are also crazes like the Rubik’s Cube the mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 but which exploded in popularity during a few months in early 1980 eventually selling over 300,000,000.

Whilst we can not promise to deliver memes as part of a PR campaign we should be able to recognise them and to facilitate their development.  Punk Rock which crash landed on youth culture in the seventies was memetic in its spread; starting as an underground idea but quickly crossing into the mainstream leaving a lasting stamp on fashion, music and design.  The punk explosion was also partly the result of Malcolm McLaren’s  innate understanding of the media and his ability to manage the message and provide press, radio and TV with strong themed stories surrounding the ‘Sex Pistols’.

The creation of memes is often beyond our control but when we recognise the opportunity PR people are well placed to propagate their spread.  (Adapted from the book ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ available  from Amazon and other book sellers).





Follow Friday Five #7

3 04 2009

Five blogs for you to follow this Friday.  In the usual fashion it is a broad spectrum from student bedsit to fame and fortune. Top copy that I’d like to share with you as we wend our way towards the weekend. 

1 Techcrunch the weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies.  Founded by the controversial Michael Arrington.  It’s scoop central – see this week’s story on Google in talks with Twitter for example.  

2 Borkowski Blogs The inimitable Mr B on the lives and times of the rich and famous the place where the worlds PR and the media and “exposed, inspected, sniffed at, dissected, startled, satirised, tickled and occasionally put to rights”. 

3 Flawless Buzz  the work of Adam Lewis, student at York University, my alma mater (no-one acrtually says that do they?) who has set his sights firmly on a career in the PR and communications industry.

4 Jemima Kiss Great pictures and even greater words from the Guardian writer and interwebber. Follow her on twitter too…making anger an artform.

5. Liverpool Culture Blog A Mancunian bigging up a blog from Liverpool? It’s really good and entertaining stuff and more than just scouse culture (no really) from the brilliantly named Robin Brown.   

Go on. Off you go to some other great spaces on the interweb.  Oh and my book should be out today (I think). Did I mention that?





Published tomorrow

2 04 2009

‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (the book to which this blog is a companion) is published tomorrow – although the vagueries of publishing apparently always state the last day of the month as the official launch date (so I’m told).  It is available for immediate delivery from Amazon or can be ordered from Kogan Page (and a range of other booksellers).





It’s April Fool You Twit(ter)

1 04 2009

poisson1April Fools Day has always provided a license to the media to print and broadcast outlandish and far fetched tales.  This year more than ever social media has followed in the footsteps of its conventional cousin. Heres are some of the best. Please use the comments section to add your own and if you are wondering about the fish …ask the French.

Youtube’s ‘Country Filter’ has resulted in UK viewers getting Australian settings all videos they view, resulting in inversion of clips and text.

GMail has introduced an autoresponder that reads and responds to your e-mail so you don’t have to.  The problems kick in when two parties both turn it on “two Gmail accounts can happily converse with each other for up to three messages each. Beyond that, our experiments have shown a significant decline in the quality ranking of Autopilot’s responses.”

 @shengri_la: i changed my birthday on FB to april 1st just to mess with people. and also to see who actually knows my bday.

Labour MP Tom Harris backs a blogging counter terrorism bill “from April 2010, every British blogger will have to submit each post for official approval”.

The Guardian will publish its content exclusively on twitter consigning the print editions to the footnotes of history.   The Guardian and Twitter will also launch Gutter, a service designed to “filter noteworthy liberal opinion from the cacophony of Twitter updates”. 

….Oh and the entire internet is being rebooted.

Press F13 on your keyboard to access a complete list of today’s social web April Fools pranks.








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