Tag Archives: sydney

The challenge of change

30 Aug

Something I’ve come to realise over the last 2 years is that being passionate about social media also means being passionate about change… because in social media things change, and fast. Things move… fast. Getting your head around the speed at which everything happens in social media is one of the biggest challenges of the medium, and one of the main reasons so much of the media industry has struggled with adapting to and fully utilising the opportunities that exist within social media.

Last week’s Vibewire fastBREAK event centred around change. My attendance was a last minute decision, but it was a fantastic hour. The speakers came from a range of different creative industries, including print, photography, theatre, architecture and social media. But the surprise was the personal level of the stories that many of them chose to tell.

Alex Vaughan spoke of her reaction to hearing recently that her grandmother only had weeks to live, and how challenging it was to accept that change. She asked permission from her family to document those last few special weeks and a photo of her grandfather gently stroking the head of his partner of 65 years must have brought a lump to the throat of every person there. Truly moving.

Another inspiring moment was when David Hood talked about his gradual realisation and acceptance of who he was. He said that he had only decided at the last minute to tell this very personal story, but it was moving example of how embracing hard changes can lead to empowerment. Once he accepted and started to live the part of himself that had always been hidden, he felt he could help others and has since campaigned for a variety of environmental and human rights issues.

Personally, it was a time appropriate topic. I am about to face a huge change and challenge in my career. After 4 years with inqbase, the amazing Heidi is leaving (announced to clients today). She has taught me so much over the last year and is very much responsible for where I am now – at a point where I will hopefully be able to step to a certain degree into her shoes. Very big ones to fill it must be said!

The next few weeks and months are going to immensely challenging, but I also hope rewarding. inqbase has some fantastic clients and I’m looking forward to working further with them. But if anyone has any tips for organisation, please do tell! I’m going to need to be SUPER organised. At the moment I am a compulsive list maker… but I have a feeling that even that will need to be streamlined now!

But back to the subject of change. If anything, the stories and experiences shared on Friday morning only made me realise more how hard change can be sometimes, and how important it is to accept and move with it. I think we can sometimes get too comfortable in our lives, too stuck in one place and scared if something looks like it might move. The philosophy that my parents taught me and that I try to remember as much as possible is that you never know what is around the corner, what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or in 30 years. But that doesn’t mean you should be scared. Exactly the opposite really. It should be the most exciting thing in the world.



18 Jun

This blog has been a while coming. Last month I went to SMCSYD (Social Media Club Sydney) and couldn’t sleep that night because of all the ideas bouncing around in my head. I should have known at that point that I should just give up on sleep and write while I was inspired – but I didn’t, and as a consequence this has languished at the back of my head, while even better and more inspiring blogs have flown past.

The main reason I found the SMCSYD event on the 24th of June so inspiring was because I caught up with one of the founders of Tippingpoint Labs, Andrew Davis (@TPLDrew) at the end of the event. Their clients include Breville and Tom Tom, and Andrew was over here exploring the possibility of partnering with an Australian agency to launch a Tipplingpoint Labs office in Sydney. What I found most interesting about our conversation was that Andrew (and Tippingpoint Lab’s) approach to social media was all based around content. While a main part of the challenge of social media is developing communication between a company and their customer, Andrew and I had a long talk about how if a good strategy isn’t backed up by good and sustainable content, the communication won’t be ongoing.

I think this really hits home for me the difference between why I might choose to implement an ongoing connection with the brand… or not. I want communication with a brand that will give me more than just a tool to voice my complaints or issues with their service. I want a brand that will ask me questions, share interesting and relevant stories with me and more. That will give me value for the time I’ve invested in them. For some brands this won’t be a problem – a friend of mine works with VB and is constantly amazed at the amount of comments and likes one update from VB gets from their very passionate fans. For others, a lot more research and basic groundwork needs to be done before they move into the online space – but the time invested will be very much worth it when the conversation doesn’t die out 3 months down the track.

More recently, the same view was expressed by Glen Fuller (@eventmechanics) who works for the fantastic local bookstore (and events venue) Gleebooks (@gleebooks). Speaking at the latest Digital Citizens event, he espoused on the value of good content – but with a background in books why wouldn’t he!

Digital Citizens on Tuesday was another a fantastic event – but yet again the best parts of the night for me were the conversations I had. I went with a family friend, and also ended up chatting to the lovely Hannah Law (@hannahlaw). This family friend, who was a few years above me at school, now works for a large Australian bank and is in charge of their Twitter account. Having dinner with him after the event (all about how to implement organizational change when it comes to social media), it was interesting to hear his perspective on how his company are both embracing yet stalling their outreach into social media, and the challenges associated with trying to convince senior management that it was a worthwhile investment of their money.

Teasing him about a conversation we’d had while at home over Christmas about how much he disliked Twitter, he summed up perfectly for me what I love about social media.

He isn’t passionate about Twitter. But he’s passionate about social – and the possibilities that it holds for connecting with the everyday customer.