Social Media – #sy (Simon Young) – My Opinion

Much like SEO marketing, most of its pretty much abiding by a few simple rules, however there seem to be those who really get on the band wagon, enjoy doing things, and raking in big money for it.

Whilst some Social Media Marketing does work better then when you use tricks like AV equipment rental, – and does bring in business, you cant forget core values of marketing. things like having a target market rather than just going viral (does anyone recall #moonfruit? ok what did their company actually do? don’t remember? don’t worry, nobody else does either!) .

A few days back the #sy tag started showing up on twitter, people just appended it randomly to any old sentence it seems. Unsure about other people but i dont live my entire life on twitter so somewhere along the line i missed what the heck it was all about.
It seems i wasn’t the only one! I asked a couple of times what it was about with no answer, as it seems did quiet a few others. The most we got told was ‘all will be revealed Friday night!’ etc and similar.

Once a few people started doing it everyone jumped on the bandwagon, in fact i saw a couple of tweets saying ‘no idea why i changed my avatar to have #sy, i have no idea what it is, everyone else was doing it!’. Others thought something big and cool was coming also but didnt know what it was.
I got an invite to something on facebook which, again, failed to say anything about what it was other than ‘Race to Carista’ which meant nothing to me at all, and to watch the #sy hashtag on twitter.

About 24-48 hours out from the ‘main event’ i saw more and more people getting pissed off with all the mentions of #sy and no idea what it was, one went as far as unfollowing anyone using the hashtag, and others were getting rather annoyed at the whole thing.
I noticed that generally people aged 12-30 were on the #sy bandwagon (students, etc) and that people from 30ish upwards were the ones generally more annoyed at the spammyness.

Finally Friday rolles around, and we get told its just a Media Company renaming their company, oh yeah and the Carista thing was some house for sale. They wanted to prove how effective Social Media was by having people in the house and doing live stuff online whilst showing off an expensive house which was for sale (re-worded in my own words).

Now, heres what went wrong (in my opinion). Only a select few seemed to know or get an invite into this house and were told ahead of time, how can you advertise something without letting people know WHAT you are advertising? if people ask, at least give them a teaser of something to look forward too.
Secondly, its a house worth at least $1,000,000 – Target market would be either business people with a bit of money, of family etc. majority of the people on twitter i saw whom went, did not have that kind of money, and were not in the market for a house. Whilst there may have been people at the house who were interested, how did they relate to twitter? How did it relate to all those who had been using the #sy tag and were waiting for something exciting to happen?
There were about 3 or 4 people tweeting with the #sy tag, the entire thing was pretty disjointed cut down versions of what i’m sure were riveting speeches. With 140 Chars the message just didn’t make it.
I had a few people dm me asking me what it was about, what was going on, and were very disappointed that they had changed avatar, somehow got roped into something that never happened.
The problem here was they advertised it as something twitter based, when in fact there was very little twitter interaction at all, and no socializing at all to do with twitter, anyone who asked questions were ignored pretty much.
As one person said to me “I was curious about what they were up to – but after being all mysterious, just turns out to be some navel gazing for the selected few”

Now this there is a lot of harping on about how Social Media is going to be the new magic on your business, and with a few golden rules which are pretty much common sense. I don’t believe you need a course to learn it, though having one person working for a company who knows what they are doing and has the right personality is definitely advised (if you have an employee who already does so, by all means use them!)
Be friendly.
Don’t do generic auto tweets or bots.
Don’t argue with people or put them down (what you say reflects on your company).
Try and keep the same person/people on deck and make them helpful, friendly, and let them interact and personalize it .
Its called social networking for a reason, its socializing, not an advertising platform like a newspaper, tv, or magazine, hence why the different rules.

I must stress, these are very much my own opinions and impressions, and i do not dislike or have any grudges or mean any insult to those involved at all, it was more a deconstruction and interpretation of what i saw happen. A lot of the people involved were people i consider friends, and i mean no disrespect at all to them, or anyone else.
Because i realize there may be some personal fallout for me because of the blog post, i have respected those who i talked to privately and left their names off, feel free to voice your own opinion here.
ps. Still unsure what the ‘Race’ was in the ‘Race to Carista’

Weekend away Camping

Thought I’d do a diary style post (its been a while!).

I’ve been into cycling for a while now, a good few years, and one of my favourite races is the bikethelake which is a nice 42km loop of the Rotorua Lake, or 2 Laps for the main event. Since i had surgery i’ve been pretty lax about any exercise and struggled to get back into it and up to fitness, i decided that i needed to do it again this year. My daughter was keen to do some tandem cycling with me, so we found a 30 year old Healing Tandem on Trademe and cleaned it up.

Took a bit of hard yakka to get it clean, polishing all the surface rust off and bringing the bling chrome back to life. I didn’t dare take it apart to re-paint it so i just taped over the smaller bits and only removed the major bits (wheels and seats etc). As it was the pedals had to have their threads re-tapped to get them back on, and being 2 right pedals on each person meant we had no cleat useage, just standerd pedals.

So though it doesnt look brand new, it did look pretty awesome after finishing, and very retro with all the crome. No 120PSI tyres here, it was 60PSI and all standard car valves all the way! We did a few training runs around the neighbourhood and managed to sustain about 20km/ph fairly easily. We decided it was going to be a pleasure ride rather than race, we were just not fit enough or good enough to try anything more and it would have been silly to try with only 2-3 weeks training for a 42km race.

Since I’m also training for the oxfam Trailwalker Ive been trying to fit in longer walks with that, and thursday i went and walked 20km to Hamilton from home, whilst my husband was about to pick me up his car started playing up (gearbox) so when we went to Rotorua for the race, we decided to take mine.

This may seem ok to most people, but we have a family of 5 fitting into a 990cc Toyota Vitz here now, plus tents, bags, and a tandem on the back!

packedcarIn the boot was 2 tents (one larger, one smaller dome), bed rolls, blow up bed, my bag, food, bike gear, helmets, etc. That left no room for kids bags and pillows which sat on their lap. In all the confusion trying to pack that much gear into the car we managed to only remember to bring 1 blanket for my husband and I :/

So we got to campsite, put up tents, unloaded gear, etc and locked up the tandem, did race registration, found a couple geocaches, and then headed back to camp for a swim. I have to say here, i love the Top10 holiday parks, great service, and i KNOW the toilet isn’t going to be a long drop with bugs in it!


After having an awesome BBQ dinner, kids went to bed, followed shortly by us. The temp dropped fairly quickly and though we thought at first our only blanket would do combined with being crushed up against each other, we froze. I slept for about maybe an hour before waking freezing. Even with that single blanket over our heads, the air in the airbed went down as cold as the air outside, a nice balmy 6C. We stayed semi warm with socks, clothes and PJs on, so long as we were pressed up against each other. In fact we probably would have slept if that darned bird hadn’t started hooting from about 2am onwards. I think somewhere around 4-5am i tweeted

Forgot how fun camping was, freezing your butt off counting off the hours till dawn whilst contemplating ways to kill that noisy bird”

Luckily an soon after its friends all chorused in , and at 6am i got up and made a cooked breakfast of bacon & eggs and fried bread. It was still freezing, as my daughter and I setup at 7am for the bike race clad only in our shorts and cycling top. We were fairly warm by the time we got to the startline and made sure we sat in the son.

Race started well, the sun was out, the day was clear, i felt like I had slept well even though i must have only got 1 hour. The kids had slept well at least and were not grumpy, Chelsea and I chatted and made jokes and even sung badly through out. About 15km in a squeek got noticeably louder so i stopped to check the bike over. Good thing i had, turned out one of the pedals was half unscrewed! Pulled out the spanners from the back pocket and put the bike back together, and continued.

On the back stretch over the hill it was a mission going up hill, we would chant 2 syllable food related words to motivate ourselfs in time with the pedals much to everyones amusement.

Now to understand this fully, a normal bike can balance going fairly slowly. A tandem needs a bit more speed to be able to balance, so going uphill meant we had to just go a little faster than most. So people would hear us behind them ‘big, mac, big, mac, big, mac, milk, shake, milk, shake, milk, shake’ and then we would over take them. At one point some lady told us to add in ‘coffee’ which we most defiantly hadn’t thought of, so we did. The downhills were great fun, being heavier we pretty much let her go whilst screaming to guys in front “MOVE LEFT! COMING THROUGH!” as we went flying past. Lucky for us I had also fitted a 120 db air horn onto the bike also!

We were the first tandem to finish, and had a lot of comments about our awesome ‘retro’ tandem. In fact, we came first in the tandems doing the 42km! which was kinda funny because our Team name was ‘Last Place’. Ironicly we also came last because there was only 1 Tandem doing the 42km race! Bonus! There were about 10 Tandems doing the 2 laps, but im glad we didn’t !

After the race we cycled back to camp, packed down and refilled the car. Lastly i loaded up the tandem, and got into the car, at which point i said ‘has anyone seen my keys?’. We looked around the camp site, toilets, kitchen and saw nothing. I assumed it was in my bag packed at the very bottom of the car so used my spare car key on my husbands keyring. Went for a swim in the hotpools, then back to prize giving where we won nothing but a bit of sunburn, then headed home. By this time the hour of sleep and 42km bike ride was really kicking in.

Unloaded the car, and sorted everything out whilst husband went for KFC pickup duty. No keys in the car, no keys packed in any bag – oh dear! Hopefully they will turn up somewhere, however its no major as I have spares of both house and car (can you tell i loose them often?) Went to bed at 8:30ishpm and slept like a log!

Planning on a 2 night stay in Taupo in 3 weeks! we love camping! This time however taking husbands much larger car, and plenty more bedding!

Have you got any small McDs or BK toys spare? Please Read!

Heres an email from a friend, can you help him out?

Do you guys know anyone (singular or plural) that has McDonalds or Burger king toys and figures and plastic animals or that sort of thing (any really) they no longer want? I am looking for as many as i can get to use in a video project over the next couple of months. I need heaps. Any i do not use or have finished with will end up being given to preschools etc. If you know of anyone get them to drop them off if they can or if you can collect any and dump them here that would be great or Post to


PO Box 768,


Names etc would be great with them so i can give credit at the end.

Making a number of videos that will be educational and funny, covering Maori language and myths and legends and a few other (non-Maori) stories.