#Artcups – The Movie

2014-07-29 20.15.51Regular readers will know how much I love the serendipity of social media, and that I have previously explained this phenomenon by referring to Gabriel Nkweti’s amazing #artcups – fearful that mine would suffer any damage, it now has its own artcup armour!

The campaign for Gabriel’s work to appear on ceramics continues, but it’s clear that Gabriel has Starbucks’ attention – earlier this month, an art installation of his work was featured at the Starbuck Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.

imageAnd nearly a year to the day since I was first introduced to Gabriel and his work, I was delighted to hear that Starbucks has made a video about G’s Art – of course I was notified by social media Smile

Here’s the video. Of course, none of this would have happened without Gabriel’s talent – but it’s nonetheless incredible to think that all the coverage and recognition received can be traced back to a single tweet!

 

How to receive Twitter Direct Messages from anyone… should you opt in?

DMsOnce upon a time, in a social media land far, far, away… you could only send private messages to those who followed you on Twitter. That changed earlier this week, when Twitter announced that you can now receive Direct Messages (DMs) from anyone, even if you don’t follow them. 

To receive DMs from anyone, go to https://twitter.com/settings/security to access your Security and privacy settings, then select the box next to “Receive Direct Messages from anyone” – it’s currently the last option in your Security and privacy settings. Twitter say that the option is rolling out, so if you don’t see it yet, check back in a week or so.image

Twitter are also updating their messaging rules, so that you can reply to anyone who sends you a DM, regardless of whether or not that person follows you.image

To highlight this new option, the DM icon will appear on Android and iPhone profile pages of people you can send DMs to, making it easy to see who has already turned the feature on.

To stop someone from sending you DMs, you can block the user, or unfollow them and delete the conversation. Blocking a user prevents them from sending you DMs, regardless of whether or not you have enabled the “Receive Direct Messages from anyone” setting.

So, that’s how you can opt in to receive DMs from anyone… but should you?

There’s clearly a good use case for business Twitter accounts. Customer support can require information that needs to be privately shared. Businesses can now communicate directly and privately with contacts, without needing to ask them to follow them first.

And I can also see how this option will be helpful for journalists, to keep potential stories and sources under wraps.

But for others… what’s the upside? I would love to hear why you’re opting in if you are.

#AMBAspring – How the conversation can continue after an event

AMBAspring

#AMBAspring was the Twitter hashtag for the Association of MBAs’ Spring Refresher at Kent Business School. I was one of four speakers – between us we were to “cover the core modules taught in today’s MBAs… innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and finance”.

There was limited conversation on #AMBAspring before the event, so I arrived prepared for cynicism and heckling… let’s just say that there were a number of spirited exchanges!

But a shift was happening. And slowly but surely, the shift that was happening in the room could be seen online… new Twitter accounts were created, those who were already on Twitter welcomed the newbies and connected them with other attendees, reviews and reflections of the day were posted and shared… all via a hashtag that may have been considered to have already served its purpose.

And it didn’t stop there Smile

I was delighted to see the hashtag mentioned again a month after the event when I was tweeting from the #LeanInLondon launch:

image

Social media makes it easy to keep #joiningthedots – make sure to continue and grow the conversations (and networks) that are of interest to you!

It started with a tweet… #artcups

20140501.1 LC artcupEver since a random tweet led to CubeSocial’s first breakthrough, I have encouraged start-ups and professionals to embrace the serendipity of social media.

What do I mean by this? Having just translated the Russian headline “Работник лондонского Starbucks стал знаменитостью благодаря рисункам на стаканчиках” into English (London Starbucks employee becomes a celebrity thanks to cup drawings), let me explain by reference to Gabriel Nkweti Lafitte’s amazing #artcups

A couple of weeks ago, a friend that I’ve been encouraging to tweet more often let me know that that she was back on the case:image

… then shared her first photo on Twitter:image

A couple of tweets later, I was being introduced to the artist:image

When I clicked through to Gabriel’s Twitter account, I couldn’t see a bio:image

… but did notice this older tweet on his timeline, which led to a conversation about how social media could help: image

As we chatted I learned that Gabriel had “been doing this for years. Can’t help myself. I NEED to draw or write” and that his intricate cups could “take around 12 to 40 hours”…
I HAD to let others know:image   image

Seconds later, I received a number of replies in rapid succession, including:imageimageimage

Richard kept that promise Smile 

Over the next couple of days, Richard widened the conversation to include Simon Redfern, Director of Communications at Starbucks (some tweets, mostly offline).

Less than two weeks after those first tweets, Gabriel’s first piece of press:image

… which trended above Banksy on the day (and is currently at 3.4k shares):20140508 Metro

Gabriel’s #artcups have since caught the attention of BuzzFeed, the Ellen Degeneres Show, Epicurious, GizmoDiva, Starbucks Newsroom… the list just keeps on growing…

Of course, none of this would be possible without Gabriel’s talent – but it’s nonetheless amazing to think that all this coverage can be traced back to a single tweet!

#joiningthedots: you can tweet with Gabriel @_nkweti and via #artcup and #artcups. To see more of Gabriel’s work take a peek at his Facebook page 
… and I’ve just received a tweet about his new website going live today Smile

Now go, and embrace the serendipity of social media for yourself!

Update

In the last few days, #artcups have appeared on the Huffington Post, in Canada, Malaysia, Peru, MexicoFrench, Italian, Spanish, Dutch… but still no news about Gabriel’s work appearing on ceramics. If you would like see ceramic #artcups, please add your support below. If we can get all your comments in one place, hopefully powers that be will recognise and respond to the demand soon!image

Publishing on LinkedIn – Privilege or Pain?

20140415 LI invite to pubishBack in February, LinkedIn announced that it was opening up access to its publishing platform to all 277 million users. Before then, LinkedIn had only allowed a small group of selected influencers, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Jack Welch, to write and share long-form blog posts.

20140416 LI Publish.1LinkedIn said that the rollout would be staged, starting with 25,000 English language users. Those with publishing power see a small pencil icon to the right of their Share Box when they are signed into LinkedIn.

The first time you click on the pencil, you will be taken through a Publishing on LinkedIn tutorial… what you should write about, what happens when you publish and “A few things to keep in mind” – reminding you to get permissions and give credit.

20140416 LI Publish.5

If you’re keen to get started and don’t yet see a pencil, you can apply for early access here: http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/

Of course, the official line from LinkedIn is that it’s “a great opportunity” (to strengthen your professional reputation by sharing your perspectives with your network) and when I was granted publishing rights, the email I received from LinkedIn was headed up as “Congrats Linda! You’re invited to publish on LinkedIn”.

Congrats? Perhaps I felt a flicker of flattery, but mostly I pondered:

  • What I would write on LinkedIn… in addition, or instead of, to this blog;
  • If in addition to, how I would find the time (#needmorethan24hoursaday now!); and
  • Having just said goodbye to CubeSocial’s LinkedIn Products & Services tab, what if LinkedIn similarly changes its mind about this feature and “retires” everything that I publish – all LinkedIn publishers need to be mindful that the platform, and therefore the content, is not under their control.

What do you think? Are you one of the first to publish on LinkedIn? How are you finding it? A privilege, or a pain?

CubeSocial and the OpenSSL HeartBleed bug

You have probably heard a lot in the last few days about the so called HeartBleed bug in the OpenSSL routine that is used by many web applications to secure communications. As a CubeSocial user you may be wondering if CubeSocial is impacted by this.

The good news is that CubeSocial does not use OpenSSL to terminate SSL connections. CubeSocial uses a different SSL library which is not susceptible to the HeartBleed vulnerability.

What this means

There should be no need to reset your CubeSocial password, unless you have used the same password on another website that is vulnerable to the HeartBleed bug.  In this case you should reset your CubeSocial password to a unique one that is not used anywhere else.

LinkedIn Company Pages – how to say goodbye to your Products & Services tab

20140409 LinkedIn P&GWith less than a week to go until LinkedIn “retires” Products & Services, I have followed LinkedIn’s suggestions to copy and save CubeSocial recommendations, and request a copy from LinkedIn.

If you’re planning to do the same, you have five days until your Products & Service tab will be removed on 14  April, and until the end of next month to get in touch with LinkedIn Customer Services. LinkedIn have committed to have recommendation data as of 4 March, available until 30 May – but if you want complete data, you will need to act now…  

I couldn’t find any details of what LinkedIn’s copy would include or look like before submitting my request. While I can’t fault LinkedIn’s response time (just under an hour), I was disappointed to receive an Excel file – see extract below:

LinkedIn P&S.1

It seems that approximately 150 words / 1,000 characters (with spaces) have been allowed for the Description field, which has been populated from Product/Service Overviews. For most of our offerings, the end of our descriptions are missing from the LinkedIn file.

And because LinkedIn is restricting their scope to recommendations, despite retiring Products & Services, if you have any offerings that have not received recommendations, not only will the end of your descriptions be missing, but the beginning and middle will be missing too!

Names and contact details of the individuals who took the time to recommend CubeSocial’s Products & Services are not provided. Instead, LinkedIn provides a “Reviewer_Profile_URL” field, e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=82977862 is Freelancer Journalist and Editor Alison Coleman. It would have been much more helpful to see public profile URLs, e.g. http://uk.linkedin.com/in/alisoncolemanfreelance rather than have to click through an unfamiliar ID number.

Previously uploaded images for each Product/Service are not attached.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by LinkedIn’s seemingly generous deadline. Reduce the potential pain of saying goodbye to your Products & Services tab by getting in touch with LinkedIn as soon as possible. Not only will you receive a record of your recommendations, you will see what’s missing and needs to be copied before your Product & Services tab disappears.

I’m sad to say goodbye… we’ve really appreciated all the time and thought that you have taken to recommend our Products & Services, and, of course, all the B2B leads that your positive words have generated Smile THANK YOU and trust that we have a record of your comments saved to treasure! 

Entrepreneur Roadshow 2013

pic4There’s another chance to catch our CEO, Linda Cheung, give one of her acclaimed social media talks at next week’s Entrepreneur Roadshow.  Linda will be talking about her start-up journey, how that lead to the launch of CubeSocial, and what inspired her to launch our latest product, HonestyBoxx.

The event takes place on Thursday May 16, at ViewPoint building on Basing View, Basingsgtoke.  More details here: http://yesyoucanevents.com/.

Say Hello to HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx - Earn Money from Your Expertise

With all the other launch activities last week – we didn’t get round to making the announcement here – so let’s put that right…

As a small business providing services to clients, you’ll no doubt have found people contacting you asking for ten or fifteen minutes of your time to give them your expert advice… for free.

At the same time there are a whole host of other people who are put off seeking the advice of professionals by the expectation of high fees and long contracts, often turning to internet forums for guidance instead.

What’s missing is a simple way for people to get expert advice from trusted professionals at a fair price.

Meet HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx helps start-ups, small businesses and individuals access affordable expertise from lawyers, accountants, consultants and other services professionals, and helps professionals from across the globe find new clients.

When a small business adds HonestyBoxx to their blog or website they’re telling visitors that they are happy to answer their questions in exchange for a fair fee. By providing an easy way to collect questions and payment from website visitors, HonestyBoxx instantly provides a new source of revenue and a stream of warm leads for larger pieces of work.

HonestyBoxx WidgetWith HonestyBoxx the buyer asks their question and says how much they’d be happy to pay – just like the honesty box payment system you sometimes see at small stores. In exchange, professionals get to demonstrate their expertise and build trust so that when the buyer needs a larger piece of work, they’ll be the first people they think of.

HonestyBoxx CEO Linda Cheung said: “By helping buyers connect with professionals around the globe we’re changing the game for the little guy. Now small businesses, start-ups and individuals anywhere can get the expert advice they need to solve their problems and make informed decisions.

“And, by helping small businesses reach a new market for their expertise we’re providing them with a stream of warm leads and clients at a time when new business is at a premium.”

Duncan Johnson runs digital agency Yodelay. “I think the HonestyBoxx concept is pure genius.

“Small businesses can get instant access to expertise at a price they can afford and the experts are able to make their downtime profitable.

“The simple process of paying for quality information also helps small businesses to value the time of a consultant whilst not breaking their bank account.”

Linda added “The services sector has remained largely unchanged by ecommerce and the internet, but with the current economic climate we believe the time is right for change.

“Services firms have always won new business by demonstrating their expertise. These days the initial hook is provided by websites and blog posts. HonestyBoxx provides the next step so that experts can earn directly from their websites.”

More Information

Who is HonestyBoxx for?

HonestyBoxx is for anyone who provides expert advice or services to others. People like:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Marketing Agencies
  • SEO Experts
  • Social Media Consultants
  • Professional Coaches
  • Advertising Experts
  • Architects
  • Business Consultants
  • Interior Designers
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • IT Consultants
  • Vets
  • Photographers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Beauticians
  • Careers Advisors

And many, many more.

How does HonestyBoxx Work?

We give you a small snippet of code that you can paste into your blog or website. If your website runs on WordPress we have a WordPress plugin too. The HonestyBoxx widget then appears on your website allowing visitors to ask questions and make payments.

More info: http://honestyboxx.com/how-honestyboxx-works/

What does HonestyBoxx Look Like?

We provide two different styles of widget: inline and fly-out. View a live demo of either of the two available widget styles: http://honestyboxx.com/widget/

How much does HonestyBoxx cost?

HonestyBoxx is free to join and set-up. For each answer accepted, we take a small fee of between 12% and 30% of the question value.

Who’s Behind HonestyBoxx?

HonestyBoxx was developed by the team behind the award-winning social CRM, CubeSocial.

Still Got Questions?

Try the FAQ.