Tricks of the Junk Food Business (Channel 4 Dispatches)

PhotoHave you wondered what some of the junk food companies get up to online? Why they are avoiding good old fashioned TV and invest millions in making fun games? And if all those games on phones, tablets and websites were just made by “nice people” for kids to have fun? … and why your breakfast cereal starts to talk to you on Facebook?
Check out this week’s episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 – or watch it online on 4OD (UK only, sorry!) to see kids talking about their experiences online, some undercover filming in advertising agencies, what games developers really think about teenagers playing their games, … and even some words from “yours truly” about how junk food advertisers are using social media to engage with children and teenagers online.

What makes you share?


What creates sharability online? While for (traditional) WOM several research studies have shown that people speak mostly about impressive experiences, often those that are relevant to the other person they are directly speaking to, the same isn’t necessarily true for much of the social media landscape. In fact, if you think about it, it is hard to talk about something impressive, like a holiday, in fewer than 140 characters… so what can you talk about? And how can you create sharing online that translates into potential WOM face-to-face?  Continue reading

Time for a Confession?


In true 1990s style, when it became fashionable to surf the ‘net… here is a wonderful little site to get your week started on a good note: If you have been a little bad over the weekend, why not head over to - the site where you can confess all your weekend’s sins in complete anonymity. I haven’t managed to actually get a “conviction” for a few Ave Marias out of the site as yet, but then maybe my weekend was just too tame.

Just in case, if you are wondering what this has to do with marketing… stay tuned for the next update!

Have a great start of the week!

Evernote for Writing Academic Papers


It’s hard not to be a fan of Evernote: It’s a great application to keep track of notes, sync them across multiple devices, share them – and with hand-writing recognition, it can almost perform magic compared to stacks of papers all over the desk (an inevitably on the wrong desk in case you ever work from more than one…). It’s also pretty much usable in the “free” version – or at least I’m still trying to reach my upload limit, and I can honestly say, it seems like a great app for people who like to make notes, remember things in the middle of a train station – or are just too disorganised to work on a paper or chapter in more than one place (in short… me). So I was quite intrigued that a colleague suggested, rather than just using Evernote for making notes, switching to actually using it as a “word processor” to write a paper or chapter in. So I gave it a try – and here are my experiences of this… Continue reading

Book: Lorenzostein


Who is Lorenzostein? Well, if you didn’t have the dubious, but certainly entertaining, pleasure of meeting Lorenzostein as yet, here is a chance to read all about this strange alien creature from outer space, oversexed, endowed with an enormous male organ – and academic at the low-flying U-TRASH. If you expect Sci-Fi (as in alien), fiction, as in a traditional novel … you will be disappointed. Instead get ready to read Science Fiction, an almost scientifically presented fiction story about the strange protagonist.  Continue reading

Academic Accountability – or how much have you written today?


So… you want to write more? Missing a bit of motivation? Let’s face it – you are not alone. I recently mentioned briefly initiatives such as #acrimo … but how can you keep track and your writing beyond an initiative that is lasting a month?

One possibility is to make yourself more accountable by tracking, either privately or publicly, the progress you are making in terms of words written. And, as you are not alone – you could, of course, always join a virtual community to help you along.

There are a number of paid websites out there that will get you “on the writing track”. Let’s face it – it is probably money wasted. Because, really, why would you need a writing “coach” to get you writing when you can do it yourself (any experiences to the contrary, feel free to comment). So here are a few suggestions how to do it yourself: Continue reading