Selfies

Vader

selfies

(pic from: imgur)

I’ve been umming and arring about this for a while and much of the time I’ve decided that selfies are tacky: they are for clueless teenagers who have to use them for their online profile pictures because they haven’t got any friends to take one for them.

Some people have tried to add a certain coolness or novelty to them and to be honest I’ve seen some not horrific ones.

However, that coolness is starting to nudge me and I’m curious to see if there is a way for it not to be tacky and stupid.

Did a quick search and found most of the advice is about online dating. That is not really relevant to me or the impression I’m trying to create.
However, if you or you know anyone anyone who needs to know how to optimise your online dating prospects with the right selfie, there’s loads of help out there.

So the two sites that seemed relevant were a Yahoo Answers page and a page on greatist.com.

So firstly I went to Yahoo Answers:
(good old Yahoo answers, it is in fact the only thing Yahoo has to offer me)

“Is it cool to have a ‘selfie’ as your profile picture?” was followed by a very humble: “I know this is shallow and there are more important things in life so dont bother answering with shut up and go outside etc. I’m a teenage boy i’ve been teased for supposedly taking ‘selfies’ before.”

The voted best answer to this question, the detail I was looking for  and that came right near the top of my search was:
“Y not,  If somebody says sh!t fu-k em. I have selfies all over and no body dares to mess with me and if they do who cares, Like so what

Bosh-done as far as I am concerned, it’s selfies all the way!!!

But just in case I thought I’d read the page on Greatist:

“IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SELFIE”

(all caps blog titles are REALLY ANNOYING it just makes every share a shout – use CSS to capitalise it you dime-bars.)

This piece has a lot to say about ‘Selfies’, some of it not total mindless page filling, SEO pleasing, swill.

Apparently from one angle it’s a dangerous sign of asking people to constantly judge you and not getting the right answer could have terrible consequences on self esteem – more for girls than boys; alternatively it could be a new form of communication!

So to conclude, I didn’t really find out anything definitive but I don’t think as badly about them as I used to but not by much.

My advice: make it funny and light, don’t try and make statement, don’t try and don’t control people’s perception of you – they will realise and their perception will be rubbish – unless it is for online dating then the rule change, apparently; and finally don’t try to hide the fact it’s a selfie – the thing that makes a selfie acceptable is the fact that is it is a selfie, that kind of picture will never survive any other genre of photo.

Scrapple – spam-like but not quite spam emails

Scr@pple

Scrapple

Scrapple is a new email genre to join the ranks of ham, bacn and spim.

Scrapple means “SPAM-like But Not Quite SPAM Emails”.

I spotted this on Word to the Wise recently, where Laura reported this word emerge from a load of Science fiction writers discussing a recent unsolicited email they were all CC’d on, from someone promoting them-self for an award, after taking their addresses from the Science Fiction Writers Association directory.

They went on twitter to complain and decided on a word to classify that kind of email and came up with “Scrapple“, this same thing got onto Storify later on for an easier read and the first post about the birth of Scrapple.

According to Laura, those who know will know that Scrapple is also a pork based dish and according to the coiner of Scrapple (@talkwordy): “Scrapple is the world’s most delicious meat bread”.

Normally i’d be simply happy to take their work for it, as I tend to for most modern American concoctions which sound like a heart attack on a plate, however, some of the pics don’t look so bad: with eggs for breakfast? looks like a nice hash 😉

But whenever I say the word I think of scrabble more than meat bread though.

Gmail Android App now auto-loads images

image

Got the update through the play store yesterday, updated the app this morning.

We knew it was coming but how they did it was the question. They tend to like to roll it out in bits; for instance: both of my personal accounts got auto-images immediately but my work one only got it last week.

I’ve no idea if they can throttle the roll out of the app update, I’d presumed it was all or nothing but I’m quite content to be wrong about that if anyone knows facts.

Gmail opens a new door to your inbox though Google Plus

G plus email

I received this to two of my Gmail accounts that do not have G+ profiles, I did not receive it to any of my accounts that do have G+ profiles

Image

While they still bang on about respecting our privacy by not sharing the email addresses it does not mean that you are safe from a lot more unsolicited emails.

Essentially, it defaults to “anyone on Google+” so if you don’t change that, anyone with a Google Plus account can now send you an email.

If you change it to only “circles” people who you follow can email you. Which might not be so bad unless you follow people and brand to consume their content, like you would a blog or twitter: you might not want them to now email you to convert you from a follower to a prospect to a customer, like they would with someone who signs up to their list even people who are unlucky enough to be on a list they buy.

Time will tell about how abused this is but personally I’m not a fan, I don’t think it is the best idea with the low level of control Google have left us.

I’m worried that brands and marketers will see this as a new way into inboxes of followers and start marketing to people, not unlike people on Linkedin sending mass personal messages.

There’s a lot to play with and test and time will tell what happens with it.

Google has fallen very short with the opportunity that Google Plus presents. Circles are a good/novel idea and well executed in IU but poorly executed in function.

The fact that your Google profile is permanently stuck to your email address is the biggest fail of all.
Whilst it helped get new Android users set-up and bedding in, it is a massive barrier to engagement for the more savvy user who left Hotmail or Yahoo for security and spam reasons to now have to open themselves up again in order to enjoy whatever the benefits of G+ might be.

This is why  Facebook still owns that space.

Google could better compete with twitter by offering a headline and link feed of G+ so we don’t have to work so hard to aggregate, choose and consume content on G+.

Google is having some success in the B2B sphere with G+ accounts and hangouts working well with the Docs suite as a full business solution. Microsoft is trying to catch up with office 365 & skype but the G+ profile is more like Linkedin than anything MS has to offer.

Mobile inbox triage

Mobile inbox triage

Mobile inbox triage

While the spike of opens in the first hour will be high, the clicks will not.
The breakdown by device will show that a large proportion of opens in that first spike are iPhones but you will get very few clicks.
That first spike of mobile opens is the inbox triage when recipients have a quick flick through their inbox while they move about, have a spare moment or when their phone beeps and they check to see if it’s important.

At that point they are assigning an importance and urgency to the email, there are two most likely actions to follow: Mark as unread to deal with later or back to the inbox because there is nothing relevant, the email could be left as read, archived or deleted.

In fact tapping through is fairly rare at this stage. This is due to a combination of time and if the site to click through to is mobile friendly. If a recipient knows the landing page is not mobile friendly they are extremely unlikely to tap through ever, let alone then and there, they may get to it on the desktop later though.

The unread emails will either be dealt with when they are in front of their computer or when they have time and most likely a decent wifi connection.

What can we learn from this? Mainly not to get so exited about open times, there are so many more environment variables now, the time of the delivery is not the be all and end all. Just make sure the email is there in time for the best time to open. Think of Groupon o’clock – I (used) to get Groupon emails at about 4am so it was there when I got up, not so much now and I buy less because I have less time to consider it.

People who won’t tap through then and there might get back to it later, however, if you sent it later so it is there at the optimum click time, will you miss them all together because they simply didn’t get to their inbox that night and then got on with their lives?

They are seeing your emails, your SenderName, your subject line, your inbox snippet preview and many are opening the email; there is a lot of marketing going on there.

If you need to push for conversions…

  • make the landing page light weight and mobile friendly and make sure the recipient knows about it.
  • Get more info in the email copy so people who want to read can.
  • Send more: follow up on non-openers, follow up on non-clickers, people opened on more than one device, people who opened again later but did not click; give them more chances to get to your site.