Embracing Marketing Mistakes

Understanding Elon Musk's Twitter Strategy with Neville Hobson

December 18, 2023 Prohibition PR Season 1 Episode 16
Understanding Elon Musk's Twitter Strategy with Neville Hobson
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
More Info
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
Understanding Elon Musk's Twitter Strategy with Neville Hobson
Dec 18, 2023 Season 1 Episode 16
Prohibition PR

Are you ready to navigate the constantly shifting digital landscape? Join us as we unravel the complexities of social media and online communication with our esteemed guest, Neville Hobson. A seasoned podcaster and an online veteran since 1988, Neville's insights on Elon Musk's disruptive Twitter tactics and the future of podcasting for brands are not to be missed. Plus, hear about his major blunder with a financial press release that's guaranteed to make your blood run cold.

Neville, a pioneer of PR and communication podcasting, shares his candid thoughts on the state of Twitter and where marketers should be directing their efforts in this age of countless channels and emerging AI technologies. According to him, it all boils down to the basics – focusing on the people you're trying to reach. Peppered with enlightening discussions and intriguing anecdotes, this episode is an insightful journey through the world of online communication and social media. Tune in for a fascinating conversation and learn how to harness the power of podcasting effectively.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

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Show Notes Transcript

Are you ready to navigate the constantly shifting digital landscape? Join us as we unravel the complexities of social media and online communication with our esteemed guest, Neville Hobson. A seasoned podcaster and an online veteran since 1988, Neville's insights on Elon Musk's disruptive Twitter tactics and the future of podcasting for brands are not to be missed. Plus, hear about his major blunder with a financial press release that's guaranteed to make your blood run cold.

Neville, a pioneer of PR and communication podcasting, shares his candid thoughts on the state of Twitter and where marketers should be directing their efforts in this age of countless channels and emerging AI technologies. According to him, it all boils down to the basics – focusing on the people you're trying to reach. Peppered with enlightening discussions and intriguing anecdotes, this episode is an insightful journey through the world of online communication and social media. Tune in for a fascinating conversation and learn how to harness the power of podcasting effectively.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 1:

I was once working for a very wholesome gifting company, we will say, and I published wildly inappropriate content from another brand's Twitter account on it, and it was live for an hour before I realised. Oh, yeah, I couldn't have been more inappropriate and I'm not going to say what it was so.

Speaker 3:

Now Come on, Neville, because I've listened to you for years and years. What's? Your take on Elon Musk's disruptive way of taking over.

Speaker 2:

Twitter. Twitter to me was a pity the way it's turned out. As our American friends would say, it's a mobile train wreck. This thing is a shifting train wreck. It's just not wrecked yet. It's about to.

Speaker 1:

Where should marketers focus their time? I mean, there's a million and one channels. We've got AI emerging. There's all sorts of things we can do which just burns our time. It is the basics.

Speaker 2:

You've got to focus on the people you're trying to reach and people will say, well, yeah, we do all that. But I see too many examples of people who, frankly, aren't doing it really, Because what they do doesn't match what they say they're trying to do.

Speaker 3:

Hi everybody, Welcome to Socially Acceptable. This week we've got a fascinating guest on the show, a prolific podcaster, somebody that's worked for IBM and has been in head of communication and a number of different high profile brands. And this week, Neville Hobson is going to take us through what he makes of Elon Musk and the mess that he's made of Twitter, and he's going to tell us about a massive screw-up that he made on the London Stock Exchange that made my blood run cold. And then, finally, he also talks about the future of podcasting for brands and what we can do to make sure that we use it effectively. So sit back, relax and enjoy this week's episode with Neville Hobson.

Speaker 4:

Welcome to Socially Unacceptable from F*** Upstaffame, the marketing podcast that celebrates the professional mishaps, mistakes and misjudgments, while delivering valuable marketing and life lessons in the time it takes you to eat your lunch.

Speaker 3:

Hi everybody, welcome to Socially Unacceptable. This week on the show we have Neville Hobson. Neville has been an active online presence since 1988. He actually created I think I can't remember one before it, but the first podcast about PR and communications, before anybody else knew what podcasting was. And now, consequently, I believe, he has three podcasts that he's running. He's worked for IBM. His career goes back as head of director of communication in various various businesses. So, first and foremost, neville, welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you very much indeed, Chris. It's great and well good to see you and looking forward to our chat.

Speaker 1:

So have we missed anything on the biography there? Anything we've left out.

Speaker 2:

That was a great summary of 30 plus years or whatever, so it's quite good. No, I mean, you talked about being online since 1988. That's true. And since the turn of the century, which sounds a long time ago, what is this? 20 years plus, right, 23 years ago, since the turn of the century, my career has shifted from I guess let's call it traditional communication, pr, employee communication I was involved in the 90s into all online related and now very social, as we all are aware of.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, podcasting back in those early days, social media, blogging as it was known in the word, so the phrase social media didn't exist. Then, back in the early part, 2004 or so, three or four and everything since then, you guys got involved, everyone's got involved in this, so we've all got a collective journey to where we are now, which is an environment that is an utter mess. As I see it, absolutely. What can you say? You've got to navigate all this crap with X and Musk and all that stuff in social media, but trying to see the wood for the trees, as it were, in terms of business is my focus being online. What does that actually mean nowadays? So that's something I think about quite a bit.

Speaker 1:

So, seeing the wood for the trees, I think that's something we all struggle with. Where should marketers focus their time? I mean, there's a million and one channels. We've got AI emerging. There's all sorts of things we can do which just burns our time. Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Speaker 2:

I think you need to be focusing. If you're a marketer, in particular for an organization, you need to be focusing. This will sound, yeah, we know that, but it is the basics. You've got to focus on your audience, and it's a word I don't like very much. It sounds very impersonal, but the people you're trying to reach and people will say, well, yeah, we do all that, but the evidence tells you otherwise if you listen to the output of what they do and I'm not talking about outcomes, but the output which doesn't look like they know their audiences. And so you end up particularly in business, I think where so many people are creating so much content that they're kind of wowing about and shoving it out there and you, the receiver of all of this, are faced with having to make decisions of what you're gonna pay your attention to. Is it relevant to you? Is it on target to your interests?

Speaker 2:

People talk about this a lot and say they're doing it, Yet I see too many examples of people who, frankly, aren't doing it really, because what they do doesn't match what they say they're trying to do. And so that's the thing that marketers need to focus on first and foremost Be sure they understand who they're communicating with and indeed, what they're communicating. Do they understand their own messaging? I hear about people talking about engagement and yet what they're actually doing is running a kind of marketing podcast Not, if we talk about podcasting as an example, A marketing channel if you like, and in fact the era is calling them channels. That's very impersonal.

Speaker 2:

I think you should focus on the word social in social media, but that's a debate that everyone's been having since the Clue Train manifesto back at the turn of the century or the end of the last century really Markets of conversations and all that, so nothing's really new in this regard. All the things we'll talk about, I'm sure today and many of them will be well, we've been talking about this for decades. So why are we still talking about this? And that's a very good question.

Speaker 1:

So you talk about starting with your audience first, which it does seem terribly obvious, but I can appreciate. A lot of people don't do that Practically. What does that look like? That persona work? Is that digging into your data and really trying to get some rich insights on your customers?

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, I'm glad you mentioned data, will. It's all that. That is actually your not your starting point exactly, but that's the tool you're going to use to understand who you're going to try and connect with. We're in a lucky time today where we've got, on the one hand, so much data, but, on the other hand, we do have the means to analyze that data, to extract the meaning from that data and give us the insights that we need to do what we need to do Different data types and it can be complicated.

Speaker 2:

You don't actually need an applied physics degree to do this. There are tools that help you, but in reality, I guess more realistically, you've got resources, ie people with the skills that you need, who can help you, either as consultants or as people you hire, and the trick, I think, is understanding what data you need to pay attention to. There's two types structured, unstructured. We've got access to all of it. It's a huge quantitative data. You can read anything. If you dig into this, you find numbers that are mind-blowing on how many billions of devices are connected that give you data, what products or services are communicated for which you can get the data. What do you do with all this data? That's another issue. You can be overloaded with this, but that's really the value point of what you're trying to do comes from the data.

Speaker 3:

So what do you do today, then, for your potential clients? You work with your clients, right? They're marketers and you go in and you'll examine their data and help them find insights. Is that what you do?

Speaker 2:

I used to do a lot of that. I don't do too much of that these days. I'm more concentrated now on the podcasts that I do because they're serious fun, frankly, I thoroughly enjoy doing that and, by the way, it's not just sitting in front of a microphone and the video cameras, the research, subject matter research, the guest research for my client that I do podcasts for clarify it, the briefing of those guests and then the conversation with those guests and then it goes off to production that other people do. But the whole process leading up to that is what I'm involved in, which is the same as I've been doing since we started podcasting back in the early part of the century. It was all that. It's not the end product. The penultimate product is what we're all doing today. The ultimate course is when we publish the damn thing and it goes out. Then people listen to it. So I know quite a few people who actually are podcast hosts and they do this bit. Only that's it.

Speaker 2:

Someone else writes the content or the talking parts?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a lot of work, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

It's the fun part, though digging into and discovering the stories that you want to tell when you're doing a podcast. So I've veered, segwayed, a bit away from your question. Will to talk about this, because this excites me a lot, this kind of thing about podcasting, whether it's video or audio, and there's a big debate, by the way, by some in the podcast, you can only call it a podcast when it means audio and other people say no, no, I call it a video. Personally, I don't care what you call it. Frankly, we tend to get bogged down on. We've got to define something before we can talk about it.

Speaker 2:

You find that a lot with artificial intelligence. Even social media pride at that. Even so, it doesn't matter. You've got a digital video or audio file, if you like, that you're publishing and you tell stories. That's what you do, and indeed, from a business point of view if we could talk more about that at some point that's really your ultimate, what you're trying to do, not lead generation, you're telling stories. So, yeah, it's a bit of a rabbit hole we could go down. It's probably not a good idea.

Speaker 3:

I think eyes will glaze or ears will glaze, but I mean you've underplayed that because your show FIR, which stands for for immediate release when did you start that podcast? Because people out there now will be listening to podcasts all over the place, including this one, but you've been doing it for how many years, Like 18. 18 years. People didn't know what a podcast was, did they?

Speaker 2:

No, they didn't, Not really my friend Shell Holt, who's based in California. He and I started that in January 2005. I was living in Amsterdam at the time and those are the days where if I had the trigger for it was Skype. If it hadn't been for Skype, we wouldn't have been doing that, because prior to Skype he was in California, I was in Amsterdam, it would have been the international phone call. We would do a phenomenal cost of that call an hour at a time. We were doing this. Skype made it possible to do this literally for free, and we saw it.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I was reading, actually, an interview with Nicholas Zenstrom, who was one of the co-founders of Skype, in the FT last week and how he came about doing this, because he's had God knows how many failures were startups till this. He saw it as the great disruptor of the global telecom industry. You can say that again. That's what he did, and so we used Skype. We didn't have nice tools like we've got today doing this with the microphones we've got and all that. We had a thing called Mixed Miners, which is a highly technical issue of recording both ends of a phone call. That was the kind of stuff you had to pay attention to. It was complicated and Shell, my podcasting partner, figured that out so we could do this. So that's how it started and everything led on from that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because you had the American voices from across the pond and then you were like and now in the. Uk, we've got Neville, and then you'd give the UK take on things and the papers and it was always quite interesting because nobody else was doing it.

Speaker 2:

No, they weren't at that time and we had a correspondent in Australia, a guy called Lee Hopkins, who provided us with the Aussie input at that time, and we had a few other people who would contribute content. So we had quite a thing going in the late aughts and into the next decade. We had sponsors and it was a major element of both of what we were doing At that time. Shalna were both independent consultants, doing his stuff in America, I'm doing my stuff here in Europe, and so it actually was great. And we built it into a network where there were 23 other podcasts with the brand, with their indistinct shows, and many of those are still going. We don't get involved in that, they're just part of the FIR podcast network. But here we are in 2023.

Speaker 2:

And that's not the focus anymore, not for me, not Shal either. He's now wrapped up with a job with a big construction company kind of for me, where he does no time for this really and the same with me. So it's kind of standalone and it triggers long week. Concentrate on the on the core show which we do. We started doing because these are an hour and a half per month episodes. We do 90 minute show per month. We now do many, many episodes in the week to one or two times a week, 20 minutes or so on one single topic, and they're proving to be pretty popular. That's the answer to folks to say I'd listen to your show but it's too long. Okay, here's a 20 minute version. Or instead of we use say, just hit the pause button and listen to the other half of it later.

Speaker 1:

Now you can just get a 20 minute one, so is it that kind of I was going to say you know what's the secret to that level of longevity, but presumably it's constantly staying fresh, constantly kind of adapting to your audience needs? Is that a fair assumption?

Speaker 2:

That sounds the textbook description will. Absolutely. That's not what we did, though Right, although, although it is but it was actually simpler than that and I've seen others who can do this to not, but many don't which is you just concentrate on creating something that you know don't tell me how you know, because you don't have that. You want to do surveys and focus groups. You just know people, certain type of people, will enjoy listening to it, and so I suppose you could translate that into knowing your audience, who is the kind of people you want to communicate with. We tend to sub brand our show is FIR, the podcast for communicators, and we have a kind of tagline spoken by another podcaster back in the day. Donna Papacostou is a Canadian in Canada, so she recorded in the Canadian accent it sounds great FIR, the podcast for communicators. So that actually defines what we focused on, and the word communicators obvious, because it was obvious choice for us, because it's not just PR, it's not just, you know, advertising or employee communication, it's communication, organizational communication. It covers everything, and so our focus is broad.

Speaker 2:

I think we were helped actually by, as you said, at the time there was no one else doing this, and so we were a source of people who were discovering social or blogging, as it was then heard about podcasts for a fresh take on a topic that you could previously would only get from the established mainstream media outlets, like you know PR Week and so forth, and then the trade magazines in the particular industry you're in. Suddenly here's this kind of informal conversation going on between two blokes who, as we said in our early days, we think we have something to say. That's how we advertise ourselves, if you like, and people discovered it and liked it and they talked about it. The word of mouth was perfect in those days. You didn't have the channels like you have now. So I think that helped us a lot and that sustained us going forward, even when we did occasionally think how are we going to evolve this show? We did have those kind of, we did list of surveys, we did all that kind of stuff, did you?

Speaker 3:

stop doing it. List of surveys. By the way, Did you stop anybody? I thought you did for a while, didn't you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I took a break in the end of 2015, when I went to work for IBM. It was a kind of pivot and I stopped doing it. Now we've got back together again late 2017, and relaunched it. At that time it was multiple time. The show was trying to do two episodes a week and all this. So we just relaunched it as a monthly but that kind of. We then just did it just here and I doing this conversation. It wasn't a vehicle for anything any longer, as it had been for us before, and it sustained itself. So we still get mega downloads each time we publish an episode and we use advocacy software like Gagalamp in fact, for listeners who promote the show, and that every time we do that and they do what they do, we see downloads increase.

Speaker 2:

It works so explain this but you've got to yeah, you've got to have something that people want. That's the thing. You've got to have content people find valuable.

Speaker 1:

Gagaloud, did you say Gagalamp?

Speaker 4:

Gagalamp, do you want to explain that? Do you want to?

Speaker 1:

explain that For our listeners. That sounds quite interesting, how that works.

Speaker 2:

It's a software tool that I suppose you could say is the kind of sharp end of advocacy, where you have a community that will tell your story for you and promote your content because they feel empowered to do it. They desire us of doing it. You might give them incentives that's very common in corporations that run advocacy programs but Gagalamp, basically, is a software tool that gives people the ability to easily share something that's pre-written. So Shell tends to write the copy, so he'll write the content for tweets or Xs what do you call them now? Xs or posts or whatever. Zits, linkedin posts, zits, yeah, zits, yeah, zits, yeah, zits, yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's that people use and if it's well run and full credit to Gagalamp, it's almost self-sustaining. It requires little management. People sign up for it and there's no pressure on them to do anything. They want to do this, and that's the great benefit of a tool like this. So it enables you to literally empower your community to tell your story in a way that doesn't require them to have to spend time writing up the messages. They can, if they want to do that as well. By the way and I see some of the messages some people do that they either edit what Shell has written and then personalize it and customize it, but most people just tweet them out. It goes out under their own handle on Xs, it were, or whichever social network they signed up for. So they're pretty useful for this kind of purpose.

Speaker 3:

So I've got a question for you to divert pivot, whatever you want to say, and it's regarding Twitter. Then Come on, neville, because I've listened to you for years and years.

Speaker 4:

What's your take?

Speaker 3:

on Elon Musk's disruptive way of taking over Twitter. What's your view on what he's done and how he's doing it? And did you see and a secondary point, did you see that interview with the CEO last week?

Speaker 2:

Yes, I did. I guess the takeaway. She doesn't have Xs stored on her phone. It was not on the home screen anyway. But I think the Elon Musk, it's hard.

Speaker 2:

I've written quite a bit about him. We talked about him a lot in the podcast and I pay attention and a great deal to what's happening there. Twitter to me was a pity, the way it's turned out, but it actually was. Only a few weeks ago. I came to the conclusion myself that I'm now not bothered about Twitter anymore because it's not Twitter anymore, it's X, it's not the same thing.

Speaker 2:

He changed it and it's as our American friends would say, it's a mobile train wreck. This thing is a shifting train wreck. It's just not wrecked yet. It's about to. Yet what can you say? I've written about it. Countless people have written about the imminent demise of this thing and it's still going. People log in all the time but if I were an advertiser one of the big brands in particular I wouldn't be there. I wouldn't risk brand damage. Being on a platform like that. You cannot trust it.

Speaker 2:

This man does stuff on a whim. That is kind of hard to understand his process. He is remaking something in his own image and he doesn't seem to care at all. I guess he's got the personal wealth to wave two fingers at the world. He is, that said, not a fool, without any doubt. He may be crazy, but he's no idiot, he's no fool.

Speaker 2:

Look at what he's done with Tesla. Look at what he's done with SpaceX, and he's also had some failures here and there, but this man is a prolific inventor. He's almost like a modern version of one of the robber barons in the United States back in the 19th century, in that he remakes things, no matter the cost to people. Think about how he fired all the employees and Twitter when he took it over, and what he's trying to do now. The latest wheeze I read about just yesterday was you know all the images? Now, if it's from a mainstream medium, it doesn't give a link, doesn't give anything except the name of the publication, so you've got no idea what the content is that you're being presented with. So it's almost like he thinks I don't care about the user experience. For these clowns who join my ex, this is what's going to happen, but what about her interview?

Speaker 3:

What did you take from her interview?

Speaker 2:

Because it was fascinating it was a well, I found it out of waste of time, chris. To be honest, I couldn't see the why they were doing this. Even I think she's an interesting woman background, but I honestly, truly don't see what she's doing at Twitter. At X, I don't have any. Well, the theory is, isn't it?

Speaker 3:

As the lady from CNBC when she was interviewing her was saying, you know, you're a powerful, well-respected advertising and obviously it's seen that Elon had hired them her name escapes me, but the CEO to take over because she was so Linda, because she was really prolific in the advertising space, so that would obviously help and she was really bullish on the fact that the advertising is still growing. But I'm with you. I just don't think people believe that it felt like it wasn't true to me.

Speaker 2:

No, you've kind of put your finger on it. Really, that's a feeling I have. Certainly Anything they say, whether it's Musk or her, you take it with a pinch of salt. There's no credibility there, and I'm thinking from a brand point of view and there are others who've got far more closer perspectives perhaps on this but what you're seeing in front of you is brand vandalism. Hey, it sounds like a book someone wrote.

Speaker 3:

Brand Vandalism. I remember that I was reading the morning, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, so he is vandalizing a brand that has significant value. He does not care. Clearly he doesn't. So what is the future for this social network? I believe it's still going to be there in the long term, but assuming it doesn't run out of money or it somehow closes. But it's certainly not a place I just can't see it that companies, organizations, governments, nonprofits you name it should consider staying there too longer. That said, this is the difficulty.

Speaker 2:

People have got a lot invested in being on this platform. I mean, look around the online world, Look at the websites, Look at emails. If you see anything advertising, you see there's the Twitter handle mentioned and he's now confused the hell out of people because what are we doing to call it X or Twitter? I see X now gradually moving in, but it's not everywhere. I actually changed the X, for you know it's a psychological thing for me I changed the logo on my own websites from the Twitter bird to the X because it's not Twitter anymore. So at least it's clear. Oh, this is X, you know, but it will be around. I'm sure will it be populated by, you know, right-wing weirdos from America, scammers, and, you know, probably.

Speaker 4:

Lawrence Fox.

Speaker 2:

In which case, do you really want to be there? That's his new home, isn't it? And this wooden guy is well-probably they should go over there.

Speaker 3:

But what's strange about all this is that everybody's complaining, complaining, complaining and working in PR or media or whatever we work in, all the journalists are still there. We're all still there. We're all still, despite. Yeah, some people and some things have dropped off. I've been passed to some information.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, there's a fly flying around my mic as well.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, yeah. So, and obviously the next level to that is which my glamorous assistant has just passed me. I remember you discussing this paywalls extensively on your show. But what about X going behind a paywall, because everybody's kicking off about that aren't they?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that if that happened let's say he comes up with the idea of everyone's going to pay $10 a month to be on Twitter you will then see a mass exodus.

Speaker 1:

But the trouble is where to that was going to be my question as an advertiser, as a social media user or a brand, where do you go?

Speaker 2:

Threads Right. So as an advertiser and as a brand, there is nowhere else to go. The same what would you call it? Structure landscape, as Twitter was and X now is or is trying to be. There is no alternative to that Mastered on I hear people talk about from a user point of view. Sure, there's an alternative Advertiser, forget it. It's not a single place, it's all these multiple. That's why it's a federated network, these multiple individual instances, as they are called, and the owners of those instances set the rules. None of them yet I've heard of certainly take advertising at all.

Speaker 2:

The alternatives that you hear about. Blue Sky, which is Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter originally, is one he's found or he's backing. That's just hit a million users, and so if numbers matter to you, then that's a drop in the bucket, because Twitter still, what is it? 200 million or 300 million daily active user, whatever it is, all beer, even compared to Facebook, which is 2 billion. So the number chases. Don't look at alternatives like that yet. So I'll come to the yet and a minute. But Blue Sky is an interesting one. It's still in beta, still behind a paywall, so you can't see the content yet, and they're doing that to manage the growth. Every time something happens on Twitter they get an influx of new people signing up. The one I'm most interested in, which I'm spending more time on than anyone else, is a very small little social network called Pebble, used to be called T2 when it started. That was a temporary name and it changed the name a couple of weeks back. They've just hit 15,000 users. That's also by invitation only. You can't just sign up, but that's visible. You can go there and see all the posts by people. I like it a lot because that could be what may well emerge from the wreckage of Twitter, which is small, bespoke networks that are not behind a walled garden, which is great for users, for people who are looking for civil conversation all the original reasons why people flopped to Twitter back in those early days in the 2006, 2007, and 2008,.

Speaker 2:

That has not got just a massive, curated, algorithmically driven, sanitized content actually hardly sanitized, vile content in many cases. There was a good article I read just this morning on Bloomberg opinion by gosh I forgot his name the guy who used to be the FT correspondent in tech correspondent in the US and he's now working at Bloomberg talking about. He's done with Twitter now as a journalist because of the vile content he's exposed to, no matter what he does. You cannot avoid it. He talked about the example he had of someone who was murdered, stabbed to death in New York. There were people videoing. Someone got hold of a video. They posted on Twitter. It was suddenly all over social networks and on Twitter. He couldn't avoid it. Every time he turned on his got logged into Twitter. There was the timeline. That was the algorithm that was presenting in this content. So I think that's the kind of thing that will switch off many people to make this then something to be concerned about. That thousands of millions of people are suddenly leaving.

Speaker 2:

Still I don't see it happening. Is that because we're all so kind of numbed by this that it doesn't matter anymore? Is this a phenomenon in society generally, that people just don't mind this kind of content? I hope that's not true, because I mind very much that I see that kind of stuff. I don't go to Twitter a lot. I'm still there because, like many journalists, I have contacts there who aren't anywhere else. Plus, it's not defunct. It's still the place where many organizations communicate with their audiences on social media. So I'm still there, but it's not the primary place anymore. The primary places for me are places like Pebble, which I'm exploring, threads not really. I don't see threads as an alternative, not for me anyway. I mean, if advertisers start going there, it'll be well. I don't know, it'll be like Instagram Thing is. Instagram is a place if you want to talk to people about photos and images that you're sharing. This is not a chit chat, general kind of thing, or news site.

Speaker 2:

So right exactly. And I see some brands experimenting on threads and I just wonder what, putting the feet in the water. A lot of media is there, but I see what they're posting, same as what they're posting on other social networks, so it doesn't interest me seeing that on threads. I've not yet experienced anything that makes me want to go back more than now and again, maybe twice a week or so. So we're seeing this kind of well, train wrecking motion is Twitter, as I said, but someone posted this article I was mentioning when I said the yet earlier that talked about the splintering of social media and I thought that's actually a pretty nice analysis this guy has done where he thinks that there is a real possibility that we will see a splintering of social media into very small niche networks, and that's possible. Let me use a point of view. If you could be sure that you are able to go to a place online and with people that you like and that you might know or not, as the case might be and yet have meaningful, pleasant conversations with them civil discourse if you will, even arguments if you want, but it's not vile content, it's not algorithmically driven, that manipulates your data, none of those things. Great, we're waiting for this. The thing is, though and Pebble's a good example of this, because that, I think, is likely to be the route they want to go None of these businesses are charities.

Speaker 2:

They need to make money. How are they going to do that if they don't take advertising? Well, they have a charge of description fee in that case, or carefully limited advertising. I don't know how they do that. Only accept certain types of advertising. I don't know, but subscription based. That would interest me if it was something I felt that I could get behind, because I liked it a lot. I liked the people there. Therefore, I'm willing to pay some money to be there, as long as they don't turn into a Twitter or an X.

Speaker 3:

That would appeal, but the beauty I'm not sure I agree with that theory because the beauty of Twitter is that you could reach anyone at any point, even if you don't know them. Yeah, you're right, the bad content is the same on Instagram when you heard about the suicidal content being served to teenagers. Awful, silicon Valley could sort this out if there was legislation around it. But, going back to the point on Twitter Twitter the beauty of Twitter is it's local. You can have local trending topics. It was news. You can engage with celebrities, sports journalists, in our case, people in the media, people from marketing or podcasters or whatever it is. If everyone's in a small little van and those communities that you're talking about already splintering, well, that's just what you used to be used to call the echo chamber. That is, you know who you follow and who you engage with. It kind of is your little community.

Speaker 3:

But you're right, it has the fact that he's removed all these security protocols and privacy protocols and everything that was Probably the good side of it. He's actually made something that was okay Worse, and I'm with you. I can't understand how A man who is so clever and so smart is fucking something up. So you know, unbelievably like he bought it for 36 billion. At this rate, it'll be worth 36 quid. The way he's going on. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker 2:

As much as that, yeah, okay, yeah, I mean, I don't disagree with you there, chris, at all. I mean, this presents lots of questions like this. Yet, and what you've outlined about why you know who you can connect with on Twitter and the local. That's why so many people are still there, I'm pretty sure, because there is no alternative to go to. There's no other place they want to go to.

Speaker 2:

Yet we're seeing something in motion that is heading to this train wreck and it isn't going to continue the same as it is now. In the structures we've all got now, you're not going to have a kind of mega social network that performs the function Twitter did in his heyday, where you had governments there, you had politicians, you had businesses. That was one of the primary channels where they'd announce things. You've got this kind of divisions of local and all that stuff you mentioned Absolutely, but what's happened is that's all been manipulated in the ugliest of ways possible by the people who ran that company before Musk got there. It was really in trouble before Musk took it over and I remember, you know as you will, when he was talking about he was going to buy Twitter. He got a sort of lamp. He would say oh great, you know, go for it, mate, go for it. Well, look what's happened. He has sorted it out.

Speaker 3:

He fired everyone Be careful what you wish for, including the good guys who weren't there.

Speaker 2:

Here's the situation Right, exactly right, exactly right. So I think where this article I mentioned is an interesting assessment that is worth considering, because we are, I believe, at a time when we will see something else emerging from this wreckage. You're absolutely right in one thing, which is people can go here. It's a single place. They can meet all their friends or the celebrities, they can connect with football or whatever Single place. It's big. That's where maybe Mastodon will have an angle, because the federated nature of this network is not a single network.

Speaker 2:

As I mentioned, it's a bit like the Internet. It's a network of networks where you've got the commonality is that each of these servers this is really what they are are using the same software, which is the Mastodon software. They can customize it. It's open source, but they can do things with it according to the terms of the open source license. It's what people are doing, and so that enables you to be on this particular instance. You know I'm on some under my own name. I've got the Django's handle I've been using for years on Twitter and I use that on some Mastodon about three or four different Mastodon instances that have different communities, and yet you can be on there and if you do a setting. In your settings you can still see the federation of all the other servers that are connected, but they're not overpowering you in your timeline unless you let it.

Speaker 1:

So that may be as a brand. Can a brand benefit from that, or are we talking about individuals? You know how should they approach this.

Speaker 2:

Individuals. They can't because they're not taking any advertising and there's no other than well, I don't I guess I don't actually know for sure, but I've not seen any that have talked about hey, we're doing an experiment with brands here. I have seen brands themselves going in there in a very interesting way. Bbc is a good example. That's not the right comparison because they're not a brand marketing and advertising their products or services. But I've seen a couple of brands in there who are in there not from an advertising or marketing point of view but for an engagement with the community point of view. Now, maybe that's where we're going to go, which, if you think about it, is almost like a kind of reemergence of how things were back in those days when brands did that on discussion forums, those things that had gatekeepers and they were behind firewalls and you had to get permissions to do just about anything. Brands were often in there not in a good way in most cases where you'd have someone who was the marketing guy talking out the brand without disclosing that he works. The company Attitudes have changed hugely since those days where I don't believe many people I can't say all would think of doing it that way. You'd have someone going in there from Unilever, let's say, into an incident on MasterDawn, saying, hey, I'm Jim from Unilever and these are the six brands that I'm associated with. I'm here to say hi and blah blah. He might get a bit of pushback and he say what the hell are you doing here? You just dressed up blah blah. So it's up to him then to make a connection with people.

Speaker 2:

I think that, in my opinion, is what marketers should be considering now. I hear the pushback already. Yeah, that takes too long and we haven't got time for that kind of stuff. We've got all this invested and well, listen, things have changed. If you really want to reach out to people in an environment where no advertising is the watchword, you have to change your approach in that case. So you might consider this as actually maybe not a bad thing, and all the words that will arise, like authenticity, genuine engagement, all those kinds of phrases that a lot of people talk about and you don't see it an awful lot. So forget words like personas, these artificial descriptions. Be real on these places, and I think that is a big challenge.

Speaker 1:

Big, big challenge, yeah, big challenge to marketers and as a brand, I mean I can see there's, you know, I mean it's true community engagement, isn't it? It's engaging with your customers in an authentic way. What other kind of benefits could a brand get from this? I mean, are we talking about insight, consumer insight?

Speaker 2:

Well, yes, there is that. I think, although it could well be on the simplest level, that you engage with a community and over time and this is key over time this isn't going to suddenly happen. Over time you build up a relationship in that trust is the big thing. They trust you. So when the time comes, when you go in there one day and say, guys, I've got this great thing to tell you about. We're launching this today, blah, blah. X widget, y widget, whatever it might be, can you share it? Tell your community about this? And they go ahead and do that and forget all this stuff about constructed influencer marketing and these huge efforts that go behind you with a mega budget. So you won't need any of that. Now. I know a lot of people are going to say to me you're off your trolley here. This is not how things work. I disagree. This is how things could work, I think.

Speaker 3:

If you've got the time to put into each channel, that's the thing. You've got to have the time to invest it.

Speaker 2:

You have to, you have to.

Speaker 3:

So you've been working in comms communications for years and years. The theme of our show is from fuck ups to fame. You must have made some monumental fuck ups on your podcast or even in your prefer. Are there any that spring to mind that you've made mistakes and what you've learned from them? Because this is always my favorite bit, yeah no, I haven't. I've not made any mistakes.

Speaker 1:

Thanks very much for coming on the show, me and Nipah.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I mean nothing monumental. I mean they're literally the kind of fuck ups that you realize that you've spent 20 minutes talking and the thing hasn't recorded because you didn't press a switch. That's happened a few times.

Speaker 1:

We are recording, but you know good, I'm not doing anything Exactly.

Speaker 3:

The producer just said oh shit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I had a number of occasions where the audio, the audio's not worked, and it's usually my fault, and when that has happened, it's happened a few times to shell me over the years, and only once did it happen to extent where we were completely screwed and we couldn't do the episode at all that time. A couple of other times it's happened where we just went ahead and re-recorded again. The real pain, because it's our time, is eight hours apart. Typically it's me at the evening, so like midnight we're still doing it, you know. But now, in terms of fuck ups, there's one I can tell you about which really did happen to me.

Speaker 2:

This is back in the day, this is a previous life, when I was wearing a corporate hat with a fancy title Vice President of Corporate Communications, and this was to do with the publication of financial results for a public list of company who was my employer at the time and in those days I am sure many of the list will remember that and the deep people might be doing this today still the same way, I don't know. But back in those days you had good software that you could set up, your email distribution, the disclosure to the stock exchange, etc. The regulatory stuff you had to do and then also publish your website content and all that. So this was that that I was involved with with a colleague. The evening before the announcement was due to be made, we were finalizing the distribution and stuff like that. So the website, I remember it well. We're using a tool called Front Page. I don't know whether you have recollections of that back in the day.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I do remember Front.

Speaker 2:

Page. That was one of the biggest tools that was used of publishing website content. So prior to blogs, they didn't exist then. So you know nothing like you can do now. It was a good product and it let you schedule stuff Like you think oh yeah, you can do that today, but that was kind of novel. It didn't require a techie person to do it as well. So it was great and we had all the stuff done, pressed a button to schedule it, Wonderful, and then off we went and suddenly thought, oh, MG did a kind of thought, wait a minute and discovered that what we had done I say we because it was probably her, but I, you know it was both of us doing this, so it was to we friends.

Speaker 2:

We had the publish button by mistake rather than the schedule button. Public oh yeah, and these were financial results for a public list to company that would you to go out a certain time the next day, so they went out like 12 hours early.

Speaker 3:

Which is actually a little bit, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

If it happens on purpose, come to that. It depends, yeah, so luckily there was an unpublished feature Wasn't called that, but we unpublished it and then scheduled it correctly and it went out the next morning at the same time. Lessons learned, right, and I it's, it's, it's, it's. Comes up in my mind so often. It's almost like this If that had, if the content, potential consequences, that act had happened, that career terminating for me without any question at all.

Speaker 2:

But what you have to do in something in this issue, right there, because that I'm so many listening with the oh yeah, therefore, but by the grace of God, go. I kind of thing has happened to some people before. You've got to address the issue immediately. So one of the first thing I did, other than tell my boss, was to report it to the stock exchange, because that is your listed, publicly listed company, their shares and so forth. And they were quick to respond positively, saying you know, thank you, you've told us it wasn't deliberate and fine, you fixed it, but next time don't do it again. But don't panic is the thing. And we didn't. But the the consequences of that.

Speaker 3:

What time was that in the day Did you have to have a stiff drink just right after that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was about. If I recall is like 1130 or so, is late at night evening and yeah night yeah. And it wasn't. It wasn't a fun moment, I must admit, but I think what I no, not really not really no, not really, but what it taught me mostly, which is one of the things I've always paid attention to since attention to detail. You must pay attention to the detail on something you absolutely could not get away with. Something like, oh, we hit the wrong button button by mistake on the software no.

Speaker 3:

So you don't make that same mistake again. I bet there's about 10 people out there having anxiety over pressing the wrong button on some software somewhere. We've all done it, you're giving me anxiety to say that.

Speaker 2:

And I think the risks of it happening again are even greater. Now You've got many different ways of publishing content, like mobile phones and things like this. Even worse when you've got multiple people remotely accessing the same documents and things to edit them. I hear horror stories about that every day, almost Wrong versions and things like this, but that example I've mentioned I don't believe I've actually told that anyone publicly. So here's breaking news on this podcast Exclusive.

Speaker 3:

But it was a while ago. It's amazing how many fuck-up exclusives we can have. People have never talked about that, but you're right the implications.

Speaker 1:

I mean imagine it had published, it had been seen. I mean nowadays, probably the potential for screen grabbing, for sharing, for that going viral would be enormous. I mean the implications could be, and especially if you'd buried your head in your sand as well and not gone through the correct regulatory channels.

Speaker 2:

Worse worse, we hadn't noticed until the next morning. You came in and saw it it's 12 hours a little by oh my.

Speaker 4:

God.

Speaker 2:

I guess the best thing I could say although it's got a double-edged meaning here is that no one seemed to have noticed Journalists I talked to over the coming days. No one had seen anything. So that was great, but it showed that we obviously weren't on a watch list. They were paying attention to our website so. But it taught me a lesson that I've kind of thought about a lot since then the attention to detail, and I don't believe I've never made this mistake again and I don't believe I've made anything similar to this through something happening inadvertently through lack of attention.

Speaker 3:

So that taught me something good, but not a pleasant experience, so you've never had a scheduling your podcast issue since.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we have, we have, but don't regard those as dire emergencies the most of it. So it happens, but and it's at worst it's actually just irritating as hell. And sometimes you get frustrated because you make you look an idiot when stuff like that happens. But you like to think that these tools are more automated than they are. But they're not. The human human error is the thing. So what?

Speaker 1:

I mean on that actually I'm not gonna mention the brands because I'm not ready to talk about the brands but many years ago, do you remember when you have kind of Twitter scheduling software and you hit post and it automatically, you know, like TweetDeck and things like?

Speaker 3:

that yeah, tweet and that yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was once working for a very wholesome gifting company, we will say, and I published wildly inappropriate content from another brand's Twitter account on it, and it was live for an hour before I realized and I couldn't have been more inappropriate and I'm not gonna say what it was so now there were lots.

Speaker 3:

I remember we had a girl, an exec in our team and she published a, didn't? She publish some stories from her own weekend.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she was out on the piss, wasn't she? She?

Speaker 3:

was out on the piss and she'd left her phone logged into a clients and the story went onto the clients. Luckily, someone in here spotted it.

Speaker 1:

I think she was having a bottomless brunch somewhere and it was a brand that was in the food and drink space as well, so it could have almost been.

Speaker 3:

It looked almost authentic. It also kind of worked, but it was a bit weird yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, the famous one back in the day this is back in probably 2009 to a 2010 time was, I think it was General Motors in America, where someone had been logged into their account from the PR agency because they were doing a lot of the tweeting at the time and had made a comment that arrived there for a meeting or something. And this person tweeted thinking it was to his or her personal account saying I'm here in Detroit God, use us fucking drivers in this city and I went out on the General Motors account. So that was yeah, whoops, that got some publicity.

Speaker 3:

That's what the point is. That's a horror show.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, circling back to podcasts for a moment, and you said something, actually, which I found quite interesting, and I'll come onto the question in a sec. So I think people see podcasts as this bit, isn't it? You know it's recording the podcast, as if these people just sit in a room and spontaneously talk about a topic, and obviously there's a whole pre-planning strategy phase. You have to find interesting talking points. It's about telling stories. You then have the recording bit and then you have the amplification bit and the distribution and everything like that. So what you see versus what's actually involved is completely different, isn't it? What about looking forwards, then? So you know, clearly, when you started podcasting, it was probably fairly two dimensional in comparison to the fact that we now film podcasts. It becomes social media content. You know we sweat the content and use blog posts, but where's it going? What are the next 10, 20 years like when it comes to business podcasting? That's a very long question, wasn't?

Speaker 3:

it Well, that's, you could have just asked that straight at the beginning.

Speaker 1:

I'm good at this.

Speaker 2:

No, yeah, no, I mean, the future of podcasting is interesting and let's be specific, which is about business podcasting, business podcasting yeah, so.

Speaker 2:

I saw a report yeah, from, I think it was Ofcom recently on the podcast market in the UK and other statistics. I've seen Edison Research being one who does them that talk about global, and we see silly numbers. I think pod news that's James Cridland's newsletter that he publishes on the podcast business talks about six figure numbers of podcasts, new episodes published every day. I was like what this is nuts. So much of it, and arguably beauties in the eye are the beholder, but so much of it is dross. And then you read the other statistics that say 80% of podcasts don't get past two episodes, that stuff, that kind of thing. So in the future, you're going to see more of this, and from a business podcasting point of view, this comes down to what you do for any kind of communication that you're doing, but it applies very much so here that you need to deliver content that people want to listen to. I mean, it sounds dead simple, doesn't it, saying that I don't believe that's going to change in the next decade. What will change, though, is the how can you call it? The interactivity of podcasts. This is not just a one way medium where people passively listen to your content. This is more frequently becoming part of an integrated whole of communication. Messaging. That is desirable, or the desire from the creator is to literally place a call to action in a podcast for the audience to do something when they hear it that maybe complement you to other communication going on, and then this is now positioning it as, in a sense, a marketing tool. If you're doing a podcast that genuinely is a conversation that all you're kind of really doing is sharing a story with your listeners, then that is a different kettle of fish, because what's the ROI for you as the business? And that's a valid question to ask by, particularly if you're spending money on this kind of thing. So that's not going to change. Those kinds of decisions and discussions will continue, but more interactive.

Speaker 2:

I can see I can see something that troubles me a bit, which is more content, kind of presented as conversation, actually masquerading as something that's really for lead generation and sales promotion. So you're seeing products as ever as being pimped in a conversation that is not disclosed properly. That's already happened. That's a pity and I would say to marketers resist doing that. Just be transparent and open and honest. Tell stories that are genuine stories and try and figure out a way to stand out from all the other content out there that is clamoring for people's attention. If you've got a great story, that is, it can be lead generation, of course it can be something that this is a story for more information and a solution.

Speaker 2:

Go here, we make the product that will address that. That's nothing wrong with that at all. You might have discussed about is it the best way you could do this. The point is, though, there's nothing wrong with that, and as long as you're transparent, you're okay, and, over time, if people like it, they'll listen to your next episodes, in which case you're on a roll, and that is what's gonna be facing marketers and others who want to podcast in the coming years. That's how it always has been. So now, though, the competition is even more intense, but I think we are in the age of artificial intelligence, and I mentioned at the beginning, before we started recording this, we weren't gonna talk about AI, because everyone's talking about AI.

Speaker 1:

It's impossible.

Speaker 2:

We have to talk about AI. We have to talk about AI in this context because it's relevant, We'll mention AI.

Speaker 3:

He said we're not gonna talk about AI to you before this podcast started. In his first question he mentioned AI.

Speaker 1:

No, that's getting edited out. That's gonna make no sense that comment now. So go on AI.

Speaker 2:

It is something that is part of our landscape. We've got people experimenting galore with all sorts of outputs At AI. I use chat, gpt, clod and barred sometimes as research assistants, and they are absolutely incredible tools if you do it right. I don't use them to say go and research this topic and then write the blog post for me, please. I don't do that. I'll get the content and I'm gonna write the blog post or even have it. Give me an intro to the blog post. That's prompt my mind, but nothing that's misleading to anyone. I'm actually adding a paragraph to my blog that says some of the content is it might be generated by AI. If it's material, it'll be disclosed in the article as well, and the time will come when we won't need to do that at all. But currently it's probably good to err on the side. The caution just do it If you put a disclaimer in there. But I think that will have a big impact on how you surf the stories, because it's a super tool. It can pass data like nobody's business way better than any human being can do it if you've prompted it the right way. So there's a lot to be said for all the talk I see about what's the phrase? Prompt engineering, knowing how to use the tools is going to be quite a skill to acquire For podcasting.

Speaker 2:

I started doing this, I suppose, now thinking back regularly about two or three months ago where I used these tools one or the other, when Shaliliah planning the monthly episode. Rather than what I used to do was look through saves I've made to pocket, particularly principally, or to flip boards, or I'll go through what I've bookmarked in Twitter and look at LinkedIn. God, that's time consuming as hell. I don't do that so much anymore. I'll ask ChatGPT to go and find me. I mean, I'll use phrases like that interesting topics, interesting content on this topic that looks at it from that angle or focuses on this country or whatever, and I'll see what it comes back with. And with ChatGPT mostly, I'll then go and typically do some of the look up myself rather than just take what it says, even though you check it. So that saves a huge amount of time and typically in my experience, it gives me exactly what I'm looking for. So I must be giving the right prompts to do that as how I conclude that If you get the prompt right.

Speaker 3:

I think that the prompt is the key bit. It's key. A lot of people use ChatGPT wrong, like Google, but if you prompt it and spend time being really specific, you'll get a really good result out of the other end, but it's never perfect anyway.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not. It's not, but this is still evolving. It's very early days. Chatgpt's been out less than a year publicly, and we've got more stuff emerging. I saw Bing has now got what he called it the text prompt to create images even more finely tuned with Dali 3 or whatever it is. Bard had a new update the other day that now includes stuff it can find from your emails and other documents on your own computer. I've not explored that yet.

Speaker 2:

Chatgpt, though, is my primary go-to tool, because I find it gives me the results I'm looking for more than any of the others do, plus all the plugins. You can look at websites. You can do all sorts of stuff that you couldn't do before, but I'm on the paid version, and that's the one to be on, by the way, the free one just doesn't cut it. So it's useful, but that will not just podcast you. But as we're talking about podcasting, I can see that becoming more and more a useful tool for surfacing stories you want to talk about.

Speaker 2:

There's also brand building.

Speaker 2:

We're going to see much more of that in ways that haven't been so common before, which is disclosing, let's say, values and culture issues in the organization, exploring or sharing, if you like, publicly a lot more about what the company stands for, what it believes in, what its values are, not just the hard product announcements and the business stuff that they like to talk about. So we'll see more of that, and that could be the angle that some companies get. That attracts people to want to connect with them, and so I suppose you could say, in a sense, the way I see it is that we're in a phase two discovery mode. If the early days, that's 20 years ago, was phase one, when these things just were emerging, in fact this is probably more like phase four, because there have been a couple of phases in between then that is actually a look back on how things were back in those days, but it's revisiting the values of trust, authenticity, credibility, genuine engagement. That's something that we've seen to have lost sight of over the last decade in particular, seems to me.

Speaker 1:

Now, should any businesses not consider business podcasting? I mean, you talked about stories and storytelling and the importance of that, which I find interesting, you know. Is podcasting not for some businesses, or can anybody look at it as a channel or as a discipline?

Speaker 2:

Anybody can will, but I would say there are some businesses that it's probably not the best tool to use if you want to communicate with a particular audience on a particular topic, and that's, therefore, is how you would arrive at the. Should I do it or not? Often I've had conversations of people who get all excited about a podcast and they want to do this, this and this with a podcast, whereas when you then examine what their idea is and who they're trying to connect with to communicate, that a podcast is not the best and most effective way to do it. You know an email newsletter might be better, or publish a series of blog posts that people can subscribe to is another way of doing it, so you have to juggle it. What's it? Is it the most effective tool to use?

Speaker 2:

There are plenty of examples out there. If you just look at any of the podcast actually stuff that you think you know this is not really the best way to do this, but you would know that. But you have to ask yourself all those questions, so that that's definitely the process that anyone contemplates. This needs to go by, but it's not by a company type necessarily. You know someone, for instance, whose business is making gold plated coffins, for instance, is a niche market They've got a story to tell to that Right.

Speaker 2:

Well, they got a story to tell to that niche market, whereas a podcast might well be a good medium to use to do that.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 3:

I think, yeah, that's good, that's really good yeah really interesting.

Speaker 1:

That was a good that. I was pleased with the way that went, actually because we really kind of dived into I think the Twitter conversation in the future of social was great, but then the the value I think from the podcasting side of it was good as well.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, that was definitely a death of Twitter section, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I like the niche social networks we talked about as well.

Speaker 3:

The master doc. Master doc, yeah, that's good. I'm sorry, everybody jumping on that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, we've not started. If you want to, we've not been recording, we're going to have to start and do it all over again.

Speaker 3:

Is that OK? Oh my God.

Speaker 2:

Don't do that If you guys want to try Just giving the producer anxiety. If you want to try out pebble. By the way, I got a couple of invite codes I can share with you that would be great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll send them over to you.

Speaker 3:

Thanks so much for doing that. Yeah, thank you.

Speaker 1:

That's really good, really good. Thanks for coming on the show, my pleasure.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for inviting me. Last question, two last questions, and this short and sharp ones. First one before OK, how can anyone find out? Where can people find you online, neville?

Speaker 2:

Best place would be NevilleHopsincom.

Speaker 3:

OK, great, or Django's on X, not these there anymore.

Speaker 2:

No, actually, yeah, Although, funny enough, I'm moving away from that handle. Now that stays on X, but other places I'm starting up. Just my name, NevilleHopsin, but no spaces?

Speaker 1:

OK, where does the Django's come from.

Speaker 2:

That came from when I was spending a lot of time on Second Life back in the early part of the century and that was my handle on Second Life. So I went Twitter started in 2006. I was thinking, what am I going to call it? Oh, let's use the same handle. That's how it came from.

Speaker 3:

I never knew that and I've always wondered why you were called Django's there we go.

Speaker 1:

I'm asking the questions that matter.

Speaker 3:

That's another excuse. And then final question we ask everybody If you were us, having done the show you know it's up to an hour, it's less than an hour usually who would you interview? Who do you think would make a great guest on this show? Who do you think we should speak to next?

Speaker 2:

What's your focus? The fuckups or an interesting story, or both. I think we like the fuckups.

Speaker 3:

I like the fuckups.

Speaker 1:

That's my favourite bit?

Speaker 2:

Of course you do.

Speaker 1:

You're going to talk to someone in a minute, aren't you?

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, no. I'm just thinking. Two names come to mind, but you've already had them on the show, so that's Steve Waddington and Andrew Bruce Smith. I actually listened to Andrew's interview. That was a really good interview. Talk about the AI, I would say. Actually someone does come to mind, Richard Bailey.

Speaker 3:

You know Richard Bailey. I used to work with him. Me and him used to teach at the university together.

Speaker 2:

Cool. He does a terrific job, almost like a public service, with his weekly emails that highlight yeah, that highlight what's going on in the communications business, and he's been doing that for some time, and this I think he'd have an interesting story to tell. He and I've got something in common as well, from going back to probably 25 years, if not more, working for the same PR. Working for the same PR not the same time, though A plus in Langley near Slough at the time. I bet there's a lot of listeners listening to this who also work today, plus, I can think of a handful more people who did. But I think Richard would be a great conversational view, and he must have some fuck-ups he could share as well, I'm sure.

Speaker 3:

I think I've been in the room with him. There's been a few Thanks for that Good stuff. Yeah, thanks for coming on the show, Neville.

Speaker 2:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. So Neville's expertise is so wide-ranging, and he's been literally doing this longer than anybody else I know, so I was fascinated to see where that chat would go.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he's like master Yoda of podcasting, isn't he? I mean, he's just done. He's got three podcasts. He's been doing it for 25 something years. I mean it's unbelievable.

Speaker 3:

He was doing podcasts when people didn't know what, and there'll be people out there that this might be the first one they've ever listened to. But people generally didn't know what podcasts were. They didn't know what blogs were. Social media was coming out and his show was like a radio show out of the dark.

Speaker 3:

It was quite enlightening because it was when I was doing social media with Stuart Bruce back in the day, back in when it first came out, people were still doing MySpace. That was the only show you could listen to and think I'm still learning stuff because you had to learn on the job. You couldn't Google anything. You couldn't even Google blogs. At the time it was ridiculous. So he's come all the way through there. He's worked for IBM, he's done, he's got a fascinating career and he's still podcasting all this time. So that was interesting to me. And the other bit that was really interesting was the future of podcasting and where it's going to go for marketers. So everybody out there thinking what can I do with my brand? How can I make it more popular. I think it's for the B2B space me.

Speaker 1:

Yes and no. What I liked was the fact that he did say it's really about the stories. It doesn't matter if you're some sort of industrial manufacturer. You could be a law firm, you could be a super niche professional services firm. But actually, if you've got the stories to tell and you know, or indeed if you want to build a brand or showcase the employer brand or whatever it is, there's an opportunity. And sometimes it might not fit, sometimes it might not be the correct medium, but really it doesn't matter what sector you're in. You could benefit from business podcasting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we just need people with good stories. You needed people with good stories, and obviously the most interesting bit of the whole chat was hearing his fuck up. I always the good and the guests just tell us something completely candidly. I know it's the theme of the show, but I love it. It's like it was the best thing we've ever come up with.

Speaker 1:

It's great and I'll be honest, that made my blood run cold thinking. Imagine yourself doing that, releasing financial results the financial services being amongst the highest regulated industries in the whole of the UK. Releasing results 12 hours before they're due to be announced.

Speaker 3:

Well, I told my fuck up about releasing a story and it went out to the press and it got covered and it wasn't meant to be out and that gave me. I couldn't sleep. So I can't imagine what it would with people on the stock exchange. You could, you can, literally go to prison by doing the wrong thing there.

Speaker 1:

So it was yeah, this could have been a podcast. Neville from Wyrmwood Scrubs, live from Wyrmwood Scrubs.

Speaker 3:

Neville Hobson live from Wyrmwood Scrubs. The tax man's just got in touch. London Stock Exchange has just been in touch.

Speaker 1:

The other side of it which was interesting to dive into was, I guess, the future of social media, and he obviously talked about Twitter or X, which is a great discussion point, and I just love hearing about people's views on what Elon's going to do next but he actually predicted the kind of fragmentation of social media. So at the moment, we obviously have these mass social networks that have got mass adoption and it's actually felt it would start to fragment, which actually, for brands, is a real challenge, isn't it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think that might be right. In little groups You've always had that. We were talking on the last podcast. We interviewed Jack Sutcliffe from the shed industry, from Power Sheds, and we talked about the shed blog and that is an example of exactly what you're talking about, like a micro community all about sheds and actually the shed industry that he works in. They've got their own allotment social network. But the fact that small micro like these micro like Pebble, for instance I saw that he was on it. He sent a link through. I'm sure we'll take a look at it. There's tons of these micro social media sites that spring up. But, at the end of the day, where do brands go, all these people listening to this who are head of marketing at whatever brand? You're going to go? Where the fish are right, unless it's a micro community that benefits your niche, like a the Shed blog?

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean. Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, we're all busy. There's a fine item out of time. You can't spread your efforts over 20, 30 different niche social networks effectively unless you've got the biggest marketing team in the land. But I suppose the insight I took from it was let's be active in these communities and that's a chance to learn about how your products talked about you can ultimately leverage that community. So there is value in that, but clearly it's a time issue as well.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, and then to see what I mean, he felt that Elon's totally screwing up Twitter. Everybody seems to think that Are we all just lost in the world? What is going on in his head?

Speaker 1:

I tell you what. Elon, if you're listening to the show, I'm going to direct this to you. Please come on it. We'd love to hear about it.

Speaker 3:

We're calling for you, Elon Come on the show. You can tell us if you can imagine, if you did and told us this yeah, you never know, yeah, we're calling to all the listeners to call on Elon Musk to join us on the show and we can interview and see why the hell he keeps doing this disruptive things.

Speaker 1:

What's the space?

Speaker 3:

So thanks for joining us on socially unacceptable. Make sure you subscribe to us or wherever you get your podcasts. That's socially unacceptable. And you can find us on YouTube, where you can watch the full show and you can see mine and Will's shiny faces in full, and we'll catch you in a couple of weeks. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Speaker 4:

Thank you for listening to socially unacceptable. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a five star review. Don't forget to follow us on social media on Instagram, tiktok and LinkedIn at ProhibitionPR, and Twitter at socially UA. We would love to hear some of your career fuck ups so we can share them on the show. For more information on the show, search ProhibitionPR on your search engine and click on podcasts. Until next time, please keep pushing the boundaries and embracing the socially unacceptable.