Social Media

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

So Microsoft have gone and made an all-cash, $26.2 billion offer for LinkedIn and I can certainly see the logic. After acquiring Yammer not so long ago, they’ve now neatly secured the enterprise social media market – through owning two of the largest players – and have the opportunity to develop a unique integrated internal/external offering. 

It’s also interesting that LinkedIn is going to be allowed to continue operating largely independently, and I for one think it’s a good thing… although it’s going to be challenging for LinkedIn to continue growing the network as they’ve already faced difficulties in this area. In part, those difficulties contributed to the overall decline of the share price and the recent profit warning – and that’s just allowed Microsoft to snap up a comparative bargain. 

But LinkedIn have continued to make subtle changes to their service (not all for the best – I’m thinking about Unlisted Groups here!) and continue to look at broadening their user base. The sub-apps they’ve released over recent months and years, for groups and recruiting, as well as their support for self-publishing via LinekdIn Pulse, are testament to that innovation culture they clearly have.

However, it’s likely that the 100+ million monthly active users of LinkedIn and 45+ billion unique page views per quarter, are clearly stats that Microsoft couldn’t ignore. Everyone’s busy buying user data these days it seems, and this is a highly relevant, business-specific dataset which is very closely aligned with the core Microsoft offering. 

Good luck to them I say. I think Microsoft has been much maligned over the years in the press and by the blogerati, but I actually think they’ve turned a corner with Satya Nadella at the helm. Office 365 is very good. OneDrive is improving (despite the reduction in free space offered and removal of the unlimited band). And Windows 10 is one of their best operating systems ever, in my opinion. It all just works. On multiple devices. And in an increasingly integrated and cloud-enabled way. So for that, I’m in support of this acquisition and will be keenly watching to see what comes of it.

Why I like Flipboard

Flipboard has been around for a while now and was arguably one of the ‘killer apps’ of the first iPads. It has certainly stood the test of time too and has evolved over the years. More recently, there’s been further development which has seen new features added, improving the overall appeal of the platform. It’s one of those apps that I have on all my devices.

Aggregated content

Flipboard originally started out offering aggregated content and it’s clear this is where its strength lies. Rather than subscribing to countless individual newsletters and feeds from the sites and publishers that you’re interested in, you can just create your own custom magazine, choosing the content you want from the publishers you’re interested in. Flipboard takes care of the hassle and presents the content in an incredibly user-friendly digital magazine format.

Self publishing

My magazine that I self publish is available here. I use it to store and share the stories that I find interesting, curating content from across the web and social platforms – typically spanning the usual topics of personal finance, technology, health and general news or current affairs. Occasionally, there are some instructables and DIY guides that I find interesting and would love to have a go of when I have more time, so I add them to my Flipboard magazine knowing that they’ll be there at a later date when I need them.



The bookmarklet is invaluable for curating content as you’re browsing the web. Simply go here and drag the Flip It button on to your bookmark bar. Then as you’re browsing the web if you see something interesting and want to add it to your magazine, it’s as simple as clicking this button. If you have multiple magazines, you can choose which one to send it to and you can also add your own comment or thoughts on the content as you do so.

Web access

One of the major recent changes the team at Flipboard introduced, was the ability to access the platform via a browser. Previously confined to the app on a mobile device, it’s now possible to browse Flipboard online, through a browser. It’s not as pleasant a user experience (unless you have a touch-enabled screen) as the mobile device, but sometimes it’s helpful to be able to quickly access one of your magazines for some content you’ve saved or curated for referencing later.

Where to get it

Flipboard on the web – here (and Flipboard Editor – here)

Flipboard on itunes – here

Flipboard on android – here

Online marketing planning case study

chessMy blog so far has been a place for me to share things that I find interesting as well as helpful tips and information that I’ll often refer back to myself. It’s almost like having a personal set of bookmarks that are accessible everywhere I go without having to use any bespoke service.

However, a friend has asked me for some advice regarding their newly launched online business and since I happen to work predominantly in the online / media / marketing world, I thought this blog is as good a place as any to write up my suggestions.

Although I’ve intentionally kept the name of the company anonymous, the principles behind maximising online opportunities for an online retailer apply can be applied by anyone.

The background

The company my friend works for is a niche SME online retailer that has decided to branch out in to a new range of products (home accessories and home gifts) outside of its existing offering (beauty products). Rather than expand the existing successful brand, a new separate entity has been created. A good, well designed web site has been constructed; an expansive range of over 400 niche products has been selected and available from launch at competitive prices; and some initial social media activities have been undertaken. So far, so good – they’re sounding like they’re doing a lot of the right things – but what can they do to take things to the next level?

Read more

How to disable automatic photo tagging in Facebook

Worryingly, Facebook have added an automatic photo tagging system now which suggests photos that you appear in, based on photo recognition, as opposed to relying on individuals physically tagging you in them. If you don’t want to have this feature active – which, incidentally, is enabled by default – follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Account >> Privacy Settings
  2. Scroll down the page and click on Customise Settings
  3. Scroll down to the section that says “Things others share”
  4. Click on Edit Settings next to “Suggest Photos of Me to Friends”
  5. Click on the button on the right and hit “Disable”

It’s as simple as that!

Social media tracking tools

It’s often useful to find out what’s being said about particular topics or news stories – and fortunately, there are a range of tools to help take some of the grunt work out of this labour intensive task. So, rather than having to visit each individual site, forum or blog that might contain information that you want to read, use some of these tools instead.

I’ve put together a selection of some of the tools I’ve come across and used previously, as well as a quick summary of some alternative options – including some paid-for applications. If you have others that aren’t mentioned here, please leave a comment and share your experiences. Thanks!

Read more

Customised LinkedIn buttons

I’m on the business networking web site, LinkedIn (

If you want to include customised buttons linking to your LinkedIn profile (like the one below), then just follow these simple steps.

View Matt Cody's profile on LinkedIn (this button actually links to my personal LinkedIn profile)

Read more

Tweetdeck for Twitter

I’ve started using a really handy application for keeping track of the various social networks I’m signed up to and involved in. It helps bring it all together into one place and means I can stay on top of what’s going on.

Sign up for a Twitter account here:

Social Media Revolution 2

I came across this animation style infomercial the other day and found it fascinating, so I thought I’d share it on here!

LinkedIn Super Guide

I’ve been researching LinkedIn as part of another project and came across this great resource billed as a LinkedIn Super Guide that includes Tutorials, Tips & Advice, and Tools links to different web sites and blogs. It’s definitely worth checking out:  HERE (published 12th May 2009).

Social media statistics

There are all sorts of facts and figures flying around concerning social media and, on the surface of it, the numbers are quite significant:


  • Over 18m active Facebook users in the UK
  • 50% of users return to the site on a daily basis 
  • The average user visits twice a day 
  • The average visit length is 25 minutes


  • It is now the UK’s 2nd biggest search engine 
  • An outstanding 15m unique visits clocked up every month
  • Every minute, 15 hours of YouTube video is uploaded


  • Estimated 6 million users 
  • Subscriber base is 63% male
  • Largest age demographic is 35-44 year olds 
  • 14% are considered as ‘stable career’ types
  • A quarter of users are high earners


  • Over 2.5 million users in the UK 
  • This is growing at an estimated 80,000 per month 
  • 60 million users worldwide
  • Spans 200 countries 
  • Average user age 41

It has also been reported that spend on social media marketing will reach $3.1 billion by 2014.

Clearly it’s an important (new) media channel, but developing a suitable strategy to engage with these users requires a different mindset altogether from the traditional marketing approaches that have been used over the years.

The question is, how should a strategy be developed that integrates with current activities, aligns with business objectives and delivers tangible or quantifiable returns on investment? That’s the key – and that’s what I plan on addressing in subsequent posts.