Welcome to Market Revolution's blog

Thank you for visiting Market Revolution's blog.

We live and work in exciting times - revolutionary times. Technology continues to recast the media industry.

The extraordinary advance of affordable personal digital technology and the stellar rise of social networks are both distrupting and transforming the media market making this a unique moment to be involved in the convergence sectors we focus on.

This is also our place to ruminate and comment on the world as we see it, we hope you enjoy and please join in.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Market Evolution launch new venture

Check out our newest venture FOR FANS. We have started a service that allows football fans to order their clubs' matchday programmes and have them delivered to their homes. Our thinking is that there are plenty of fans who cant get to the match who would enjoy the matchday programme. Our thanks to Telegraph Media Group who are our marketing partner in the venture.

click on www.forfans.co.uk and let us know what you think

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Credit Market Turmoil

I cant help thinking that the finacial instability of the credit markets is more serious than we are being told. When you read that Bank of England has had to step in to lend a big financial institution money from its emergency lending fund you begin - justifiably - to worry.

The frustrating thing for me about this current crisis is that a) its all at the door of the financial institutions and their over exuberance and b) ultimately I'm sure the average man in the street will suffer not the finance guys!

Thats wrong!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Stock market turmoil

Interesting though disturbing times in the stock markets around the world. Today the FTSE is down another 80 points as I write, following the global cycle of decline seen in the US and Asia in the last few trading days.

I've vaguely followed the hedge fund industry's growth and development over the last few years, but not really given it my full concentration, as it never seemed that relevant to me. Even less attention on the US sub-prime mortgage market, which to be honest I'd never heard about before it all went belly-up.

Hedge funds, or large betting accounts as you and I know them, seem to have been let down by their quant data modelling, which failed to deal with the major issue of the sub-prime crisis and resultant black holes in the finances of certain major institutions.

A lesson for us all I think, data is data, it's not the total solution, it needs a constant safety net of human interpretation, whether its a seriously complex piece of financial derivatives modelling, or a piece of quantitative market research.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The flip side of social networking

We like to have a broad view on the digital world we operate in, and our good friend, Employment Law guru Mr James Lynas, offers a different viewpoint on Facebook and how consumers are interacting with it, and how employers are using, abusing or simply banning access. If the trend of banning access from the workplace accelerates, how will this impact on our consumers digital lifestyles, and on the digital businesses operating social networking sites now, and over the next few months?

This article appeared in Personnel Today http://www.personneltoday.com/Articles/2007/08/06/41764/social-networking-sites-friend-or-foe.html

Social networking site Facebook is the latest darling of the internet with 3.2 million users in the UK.

The website enables users to display their real name and a photograph to everyone else on Facebook. While it is possible to limit a profile just to the users' friends, sadly not all users are aware that if they don't change their privacy settings all members of Facebook can see their profile. Indeed I have been able to look at the profiles of half of the HR professionals in London - and what marvellous (and often drunken!) holidays you all have.


Employers fear Facebook as a "social notworking" distraction. Like other sites, Facebook is certainly addictive and can consume large amounts of bandwidth and employers are certainly within their rights to ban access to the site. But a total ban on using Facebook will make your organisation look like it's run by clueless monsters which is perhaps not the best staff retention strategy. The best option for most organisations is to restrict access to lunchtimes and the hours before and after work.

Some ask what the use of Facebook is for an employer. One use coming to the fore in the media is as a means of vetting candidates as this quote from the Times, 17 July shows: "Jacqueline Thomson, from PR firm Brands2Life, said that she had turned down one applicant after learning that he had used Facebook "to criticise previous employers and discuss company information."

Personally I wouldn't employ anyone daft enough to leave their Facebook profile open to the public. An online search to check a candidate's past loyalty to employers is though a sensible use of Facebook. Less sensible is allowing uncontrolled and unmonitored searching of candidates by your managers.

Application forms and recruitment policies are honed over time by HR to prevent decision makers being influenced by irrelevant material such as a candidate's marital status, their hobbies, their favourite football team, their religion, their sexuality and their age. It's a helpful defence to a claim of discrimination to say "we couldn't have discriminated against you because you were gay because we didn't know you were gay." All this hard work by HR is at risk because of Facebook.

Each user joins at least one network based on geography (the London Network has 820,000 users), college or workplace (the BBC Network has 14,000 members (which says all we need to know about the use of the licence fee!). Indeed, your own organisation may have a network set up by staff which is not under your organisation's control. But as long as there are sensible guidelines in place a work based network can be useful in generating a sense of togetherness that large organisations sometimes lack.


Each user creates a profile which asks such questions as "are you interested in men or women?", "are you in a relationship?", "are you liberal or conservative?" (betraying its American roots) "what are your religious views?" "what's your date of birth?" which school or university did you go to?" "where have you worked?" "what's your job title?". This is great when you are trying to show off to your friends but is an open invitation to a prospective employer to discriminate against you. And a manager could use Facebook to search all job applicants and find out all the information necessary to discriminate against candidates and HR will be none the wiser.

Lawyers acting for failed candidates can use the questionnaire process under the discrimination legislation to ask questions asking about freelance vetting operations by managers and may even ask for IT records to check whether Facebook has been accessed by a manager at work.

So what can HR do to prevent managers circumventing the recruitment process by doing freelance research on candidates? Certainly you should revise recruitment policies to prohibit managers from making online searches against candidates using Facebook or indeed Google, MySpace or Bebo and make it clear that such off-piste activity will be considered a disciplinary offence.

If you think that an online search may be of value (and are prepared to take the risk of breaching Facebook's terms on commercial use of the site) your recruitment and internet policies should specify that online searches into candidates should only be done by HR.

HR should ignore any information relating the candidate's social behaviour - the only issues that should be the subject of vetting online are:

* Whether there are any inappropriate comments about a current or former employer which would show that the candidate is untrustworthy (though even here your policy might need exemptions for whistle blowing)
* Whether any published information relating to the candidate's employment history contradicts any statements on any job application form or CV.

If any negative information is discovered by HR from such a search you should print a copy off, place it with the candidate's file and store in accordance with normal good practice and record the reason for terminating the recruitment process for that candidate.

James Lynas,
Winckworth Sherwood

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

online publications brand trust?

More than three-quarters of newspaper and magazine readers regard web publications as just as trustworthy and reliable as their print counterparts, according to research.

this is so interesting - when we last polled readers on print versus online brand trust the results were the reverse of these latest numbers.

its critical that print maintain and builds on its trust and quality values as they are hugely important in battle to strengthen audience relationship.

we will repoll our respondents and publish the data. i hope to be able to tell you that results soon.

Business models continue to change

From Mediaguardian and FT.com

US online adverts to overtake newsprint ads in 2011

The rapid growth of online advertising is expected to see the sector overtake US newspaper advertising in terms of size by 2011. That's the finding of a widely-watched annual report by Veronis Suhler Stevenson. It forecasts that online advertising will grow by more than 21% a year to reach $62bn (£30.37bn) in 2011, making it bigger than newspaper advertising, which is expected to total $60bn (£29.57bn) that year. (Via FT.com)

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Massive growth in popularity of Facebook

Facebook recorded international growth of 270% in the past year, according to the latest comScore data, which shows the site's estimated unique user figure rising from 14.083m in June 2006 to 52.167m this June. (see mediaguardian for rest of article)

Our view from medialand in Soho is that the battle is only just starting to get serious in the war of the social networking sites. Momentum is everything in this game, you gravitate to where your friends already belong. Facebook is definitely on a roll, and our latest Periscope survey will be released to the panel in the next 24 hours to get the consumer view on this whole phenomenom. More to follow when we have the latest word from the users themselves.