Connections, Ideas and Emotions


What’s the story with #Habitat Intern?

This is my first post on Daren’s blog – the opinions therefore are mine and not Daren’s.  His passion is short comms and you’ll find him on Twitter – @DarenBBC (He’ll also be writing his thoughts on here from time to time)

So, back to the story.  As someone who works for a big corporate, I must say that I’ve looked and observed with interest how the HabitatUK story has unfolded over the past few weeks.

For those who are oblivious to HabitatUK’s venture on twitter the first case study came out a couple of days after: How not to use Twitter: HabitatUK as a case study. Basically, HabitatUK were using the tags in trending topics to market their wares.

Image from Digital Tip – How not to use Twitter: HabitatUK as a case study

It was particularly insensitive as there was political unrest in Iran at the time and some of the tags were those closely associated to the troubles.  So what followed was of course predictable, the twitter community are eagle-eyed and saw what was unfolding.  The retweets and comments started soon after.  Even the media (BBC, Telegraph.co.uk, SkyNews) picked up the story. HabitatUK’s response – delete all of the tweets they had ever written (bad move).  The next tweet was quite controlled:

@HabitatUK tweet 20 June

Apology – too little, too late?

They made no reference to what had happened until 24th June – too little, too late?  Then they blamed the error on an intern.  Habitat’s press office sent a letter to Social Media Today:

Habitat explains

The hashtag #HabitatIntern is born

So, now here is where Daren gets involved.  He is trying to hunt down the intern that was blamed for the hashtag debacle and offer training and an internship with him. Some of his followers also tried to help by offering CD’s and vinyl records to find the intern.  One of Daren’s followers amended Habitat’s wikipedia page with a spam entry.

There have been over 200 tweets written by Daren and others trying to find this intern to no avail.

#HabitatIntern tag

HabitatUK’s response so far, well there hasn’t been one.  I would have thought that although it’s quite hard for a big corporate to respond to all tweets (as there are other more appropriate channels), HabitatUK should have taken Daren’s concern offline as soon as they saw that he had managed to engage other people in his quest – this didn’t happen.

Daren has given HabitatUK a deadline of 4pm UK time to respond… what happens next? Only Daren knows 🙂


Some Twitter friends

I have been on twitter for a while and during this time, I have managed to engage some people and built online friendships.  The people that I have met are of all ages, professions and even countries.  It is always a pleasure to speak to the people that follow me and also new people on twitter.  We are all redefining the word friendship. To honour this, in an Al Pacino Scarface voice: “Say Hello to some of my Twitter Friends!!”

Get your twitter mosaic here.


#UnderAPound #Under2Bucks – Share some pleasure

This blog post won’t change the world… but maybe, just maybe it might inspire folks to share some joy and pleasure. That’s the simple aim of #UnderAPound and #Under2Bucks. It won’t happen without *you* though.

One of my favourite days on Twitter is Saturday, the mornings are chilled, the afternoons can get footballie sometimes, and in the evening you can stumble on a #DrunkenTweet or two, always makes me smile.

But when I think about it… Saturday is my favourite day of the week, it’s rare that I don’t treat myself somehow on a Saturday, so it got me thinking…

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ejpphoto/

Twitter and Saturday, Saturday! What a day!

What about a day when people share a simple pleasure, something that makes them feel happy or content. Something that costs less than £1 or $2 (or any world currency equivalent) and tweet it with the Hashtag #UnderAPound or #Under2Bucks for USA.

So many creative and imaginative people  hang out on twitter that I just can’t help but feel (and mentally picture) a Saturday where loads of ideas are floating around the twittersphere. I can see folks performing a quick Twitter Search for #UnderAPound or #Under2Bucks before they head for the shops.  Maybe you could discover something really cool and that you’ve never tried before, but best of all, for #UnderAPound or #Under2Bucks

I launched a proof of concept last Saturday (May 9th 2009, Jayne’s birthday) and it seemed to go down quite well, some great ideas (and personalities) came out quite quickly with their ideas and even dirty secrets 🙂

Picture 59

Picture 57


Picture 67

Picture 66

Picture 58

So… my treat if you’re interested is an  iTune 79p or a McD’s Cheezburger 89p.

I think some amazing ideas could be unleashed leading to some great connections between people  if #UnderAPound #Under2Bucks catches on..I’m trying to think of a downside, maybe you can tell me one ?

A great guy @lesanto launched a #Hashtag this week called #WhyITweet , the results were amazing, I really enjoyed reading some of the tweets, lets hope with your support we can all share #UnderAPound & #Under2Bucks ideas every Saturday.

All you have to do is share what you love and enjoy that costs under £1 or $2 Bucks on Twitter, for newbies you type out you’re tweet and add the following #UnderAPound or #Under2Bucks – that’s it 🙂 Give it a try for me ?

Maybe, brands will get involved in the future, selling us things that are usually £20/$40 for a £1/$2 , well we can dream can’t we.

For the first few weeks I’m going to RT the #UnderAPound / Under2Bucks ideas that come in, so if you want to follow me on Twitter I’m http://twitter.com/DarenBBC – BBC stands for Building Better Connections , not the UK Broadcaster.

Have a great Saturday and hope you find something very cool or pleasurable for #UnderAPound or #Under2Bucks

Thanks to @Dizzle ( “The Bonce” of EnabledbyDesign )who really encouraged me to give this a go.

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Questions Questions Questions

What is this post about ? Well, it’s about people and change really. No answers or theories, I’m just sharing. So stop reading now if you’re busy 🙂

It’s been a really great couple of weeks, weather in the UK has been lovely in general, and I’ve been getting out and about meeting lots of great people all via Twitter.

It’s like I have a new life. Well… I do actually. I left the BBC in February for several reasons, but one of the biggest was Twitter and the 140 Character communication method (more on my passion for 140 Characters Comms in a post to come).

Through the Twitter platform I have met some truly fantastic people and I’m very excited about the future and how we can all communicate with each other. I t has changed forever, maybe next… we can change the culture of our world.

Last week at The Edinburgh Info-Matics gathering I met @GuyKawasaki of @Alltop and formerly of Apple. Guy put the first Mac into the market back in the day, how cool is that! I was lucky enough to get to interview Guy for Yoosk.com members because of Izzy Fox of If-Communications

I posed some questions to Guy that were sent into Yoosk.com by their community members, I really enjoyed it and I really like the Yoosk.com model, they have gained access to some of the most powerful people in UK Government and enabled us mere mortals to pose questions to them, so so cool. Check them out and get involved. You could really contribute to change.

The interview with Guy was my first experience in front of camera knowing it was going to go public, scarey, but here is one question I posed below,I hope you enjoy Guy’s answer to “How to Change the World” Certainly Guy was very human, a gentleman, successful and wise yet accomodating, witty and curious, he taught me some things I didn’t know about Edinburgh. Thanks Guy, Izzy, Mazi (for camera and tripod loan, complete with iPhone Spirit level)  and @PK2004 🙂

Other folks I met in Edinburgh

ArchAngels – Angel Investors

HubDub.com – Take a look


James Barlow CEO Scottish Institute for Enterprise – Cool guy, doing very cool stuff.