Social marketing ratings from Hey! Neilsen

Hey! Nielsen is a new free service from the well known market and audience measurement provider Neilson Company.

They are asking registered users to give their opinions on TV, movies, music, personalities and the Internet.

Assuming the site is successful and once it has been running for a while it could be a good source of what’s hot and what’s not in terms of entertainment. It is a classic case of a win win, with Neilsen acquiring useful market research for free, but also making the results available for free.

For instance you can already chart the rapid demise of Britney Spears standing amongst her fanbase by looking at chart of her rating over time.

Britney – who’s popularity is now in free-fall.

It is interesting they haven’t included blogs which are already well covered by Technorati.

A really simple dictionary

File this one under ‘why didn’t they think of that before’, or under the ‘less is more’ category.

Finally someone (Phil Crosby to be precise) has come up with a really clean and simple dictionary using content from Wiktionary and Princeton WordNet.

The only issue I have with this marvel is the name Ninjawords which makes it sound dangerous and Japanese. Despite that it is going to the top of my favourites list.


Cool librarians

A recent article in the New York Times ‘A Hipper Crowd of Shushers‘ has triggered a debate about cool librarians.

A NEW SPIN  An interest in social activism and music led Pete Welsch, a D.J., to library school. Michael Temchine for The New York Times –  NEW SPIN An interest in social activism and music led Pete Welsch, a D.J., to library school.

It reminded me about my search for the coolest librarian, and the one with the coolest job, at each SLA Annual Conference I attend.

So far, the first is currently held by a librarian who is a drummer in a moderately successful death metal rock band. The second has to be the librarian at Cirque du Soleil who’s job it was to research for and visit new acts for the company.

All suggestions gratefully received.

Will technology replace the research centre?

I enjoyed the CiG (City Information Group) panel discussion last week.

As always Euan Semple (former head of KM at the BBC) was interesting and provocative. It was the first time I had hear Mike Angle (Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alacra) speak. He looks and sounds a bit like a geek (think a younger, slimmer, better looking version of Bill Gates). However he talks in clear and simple non-geek speak. In particular, emphasising how libraries and librarians need to keep moving up the information food chain (in other words adding more and more value) if they are to survive.

This is something I have felt strongly for many years and it was good to hear it articulated so clearly.

The biggest worry for the profession came when Euan (I think) asked how many in the audience regularly read blogs. Less than half the hands in the room went up. He then asked how many wrote blogs, and I only saw three hands go up.

Unless we start engaging now with these various social networking opportunities it may well be too late for us.

City Business Library – Under One Roof with guest speaker Jo Fairley of Green & Black’s chocolate.

Wednesday 1 November 2007

Jo_FairleyWhat an inspiration Jo Fairley is. Not only did her partner found the Whole Earth but when he refused to sell chocolate because “it contains added sugar”, she set up Green & Black’s the worlds first organic chocolate.

Here is a snippet of their ground-breaking story:

It all started back in 1991 when Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth – the pioneering organic food company – was sent a sample of dark 70% chocolate made from organic cocoa beans. His wife, environment columnist for The Times and confirmed chocoholic, Josephine Fairley, found the half eaten bar on Craig’s desk and sampled some for herself. The intense flavour was unique and unlike anything she had tasted before. Jo was convinced other chocolate lovers would appreciate it in the same way she had and they set about making the world’s first organic chocolate. The final product was a high-quality, bitter-sweet dark chocolate bar, packed with 70% cocoa solids – enough to make chocolate fans sit up and take notice..

FairTrade_logoAs the brand began to gain a loyal following, Maya Gold was added to the range in 1994 – the product of a holiday Jo & Craig made to where they discovered cocoa farmers were being penalised, as some larger confectionery companies tried to drive cocoa prices down. They agreed to pay the farmers a fair price for their crops and created the flavour of Maya Gold to capture the taste of the rainforests where the cocoa is grown. This way of doing business didn’t seem different to them – it was what came naturally but it subsequently earned them the UK’s first Fairtrade mark.


The City Business Library

Tuesday 24 October 2007

City_of_LondonAs part building up our relationship I spent the morning at the City Business Library finding out more about their impressive collection of information. In some ways it was a trip down memory lane being surrounded by Pension Funds and Their Advisors and the like.

They have a very strong collection of internal investment and finance publications.


The new Dewey?

Friday 20 October

As chartered librarian the idea of a search engine which might somehow be related to the most famous classifier in history appeals.

However this young lady can only be described as the illegitimate child (or grandchild more likely) of Melvin Dewey as she doesn’t seem to have any appreciation of search techniques and gets quite grumpy at times.