TIGA shortlisted for Trade Body of the Year

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, has been shortlisted for ‘Trade Body of the Year’ in the prestigious Public Affairs News’ Awards.

TIGA is up against three other bodies in the Public Affairs News’ eighth annual awards. These Awards seek to recognise excellence across a growing and increasingly diverse public affairs sector. Shortlisted in the same category of‘Trade Body of the Year’ are the Airport Operators Association, Animation UK and the Energy Networks Association.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

“Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is an absolute honour and we are delighted that the work of our team has been recognised.
“TIGA, the association for developers and digital publishers, is focused on supporting developers and digital publishers through the provision of professional business advice, networking opportunities, and effective representation. Above all, TIGA successfully convinced the Coalition Government to introduce Games Tax Relief in the 2012 Budget, a measure which reduces games production costs. TIGA expects that this policy measure will secure 4,660 jobs and £188 million in investment over five years. TIGA will continue to focus on serving our members’ interests ever more effectively.”

Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:

“I’m delighted that TIGA has been shortlisted for the Award of ‘Trade Body of the Year’. TIGA successfully won cross-party support for Games Tax Relief and successfully encouraged the Coalition Government to back this measure. Games Tax Relief will make a significant difference to the UK games industry so it is excellent that TIGA’s achievement has been acknowledged.”

Ella Romanos, TIGA board member, CEO of Remode, and founder of Extended Play, the umbrella organisation which supports the South West games industry, said:

“TIGA does a great job in campaigning for the video games industry and in helping small companies to grow. I’m pleased that TIGA has been shortlisted as ‘Trade body of the Year’ and I hope that this achievement will drive TIGA to make further progress on a range of fronts.”

Notes to editors:

About TIGA:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. Since 2010, TIGA has won 12 business awards and has been nominated a finalist for 9 other awards. In 2010 TIGA won two business awards including‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum. In 2011, TIGA won eight business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum, ‘Outstanding Organisation’ from the Chartered Management Institute and two Global Business Excellence Awards, including‘Outstanding Marketing Campaign’. Richard Wilson won the ‘Leadership Award’ from the Trade Association Forum and the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award from the Chartered Management Institute. In 2012, Richard Wilson won the IoD’s East of England Director of the Year Award. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation. Also in 2012, TIGA won a Global Business Excellence Award for its ‘Outstanding Public Relations Campaign’ for Games Tax Relief.

TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For information about the Public Affairs News Awards, please see: http://www.publicaffairsnews.com/panawards/shortlist

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

Meet the Superhumans

As one era comes to a glorious finale, another one looms its head around the corner… As London 2012 Olympics won me, and much of the Nation, over – I am now looking forward to the impending Paralympic Games and the incredible people who make up its superhuman athletes.

Meet the Superhumans, the stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, exclusively on Channel 4 from 29 August to 9 September.

Welcome to a world with no barriers, a world where possibilities are endless and potential is limitless.

Channel 4 is broadcasting an unprecedented 150 hours of live coverage on multiple television channels as well as online, along with dedicated mobile and tablet apps. Multiple streams, live text commentary, sharp social media observations and much more will be available at http://www.channel4.com/paralympics

Some tickets for the 2012 Paralympics are still available at http://www.tickets.london2012.com/

London 2012: Closing Montage

Whatever you thought of the Olympics, whatever you did or did not watch, whichever Country or individuals you favoured or detested, and regardless of the sport you focussed your own attention on and whatever mood you might be in – I would advise that you check this out.

Once again, the BBC come out on top with a stunning montage to bring to a close their coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

 

The Death of SEO

Author: Ken Krogue @ Forbes

I had lunch back in March with Adam Torkildson, one of the top SEO consultants in Utah and one of the best in the country.

He said something to me that blew me away. “Google is in the process of making the SEO industry obsolete, SEO will be dead in 2 years.”

I posted his statement on my blog and immediately received a flurry of comments; many from his colleagues in the SEO industry who wanted to:

1.Weigh in on my statement that Adam is great (or crazy)

2.Promote themselves

3.Accuse me of writing a title for “link bait”

4.Declare how absurd Adam’s assertion was

5.Agree and prophecize their vision for the future

I have often used the (recently re-proven) phrase from the bomber pilots in World War II, “The flak only gets heavy when you’re over the target.”

Adam’s explanation about his claim made a lot of sense. I’ll quickly summarize and add some background information.

“SEO” means Search Engine Optimization.

There is internal and external SEO. Internal makes up about 15% of the process (I’m told it may be much higher now) and it means to design your site so it follows the best practices proven to rank high on Google. External SEO used to mean to write articles, press releases, blogs, comments, and content with embedded keyword “backlinks” to your site. Now it is changing fast to include social media strategies.

SEO has been traditionally divided into “white hat” or “black hat.” Black Hat is the obvious villainous practice of gaming the system by doing things to raise rankings that Google doesn’t want, and White Hat is just more subtle.

But what does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search they aren’t doing their job.

So by definition even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web.

Google proved Adam right one month later (to the day) with the “Penguin release” that is a code name for the algorithm that decreased search engine rankings of companies who were using schemes to artificially increase their rankings. Google decided to change the weight of their emphasis from “backlinks” more towards social media likes, shares, tweets, reddits, and 1+ (Googles obvious favorite.) In the world of digital media the emphasis is on follows, comments, and views as well. (Note: I have changed the wording slightly to clarify my meaning and make it more precise since I wrote it four days ago.)

What does that mean? Google used to think if you linked to someone on the Internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with social media it is more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be faked. Though many point out social can be faked as well.

The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one:

Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.

If you generate content and place it all over the web promoting and linking to your specific content, it is obviously fake. (And that is basically a big part of the history of the SEO industry, both black and white.)

And hey, I’ve done it myself. That is how I met Adam in the first place.

It is the overly aggressive marketers that always spoil it for everyone. Mmmm, let’s see… false advertisers, telemarketing at dinner time with predictive dialers, unsolicited faxing, email spamming, now SEO.

It was Seth Godin that said “all marketers are liars,” I’m a marketer, so I can say this.  I think it means that if you have to advertise a lot to change perceptions, it’s probably being “spun.” Think media, the lack of advertising on fruit and vegetables, and the current presidential race.

Adam told me that it is hardly about the links anymore, it’s about the metrics of engagement on your site.

It’s about social “shares”, and you can’t fake that (easily). Now with recent policy changes, Google knows who everyone is once they open themselves up on the social realm. They will be able to tell the fake people. Facebook already knows. Adam did a test by creating 1000 fake accounts a year ago, but today they have all been banned.

I asked him how they figured it out, he said “I’m pretty smart, but I have no idea. That’s why they hire PhD’s! That’s why Google bought Twitter’s data. They failed to get Facebook data, but they rely on Facebook’s internal API. Now social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.” He continued, “I’ve already seen them using it, I know.”

So what do we do?

Adam grinned with resignation, “It’s the Hubspot strategy of great blog content with a massive opt-in audience of social followers. It’s your InsideSales.com approach with strong industry research that people follow. And it’s old-school PR. PR has made a full-on 180 degree swing. I started in PR as a major. Now it is the ultimate, because it is about who you actually, really, know. It’s the buzz you create. And how much value you provide your community of followers in return.”

I summarized:

“So great content is king, and communities of avid followers make the king? And my friend Cheryl, of SnappConner PR will rule the world?”

“Yes, basically.” Adam went on, “Dell does a really good job. They have 1M followers on just one account in Twitter. Their team answers all direct messages from their community, and stays on top of their brand and reputation.”

I asked, “So how has this affected you?”

“We hardly do any of the old SEO stuff. It still brings results, but not like it used to. Google is pulling the rug out to provide better search for their audience. They are routing out the counterfeiters. Now it must be real, valuable, content, and lot’s of community value and interaction.”

So how does it affect entrepreneurs and business executives?

Simple.

Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Grow your internal thought leaders to where they can add value to your audience and positioning in the market. Follow internal SEO practices to make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it so compelling so people talk about it and share it.

Look to real social media community support, compelling PR, and real content; for that is where true SEO practitioners are turning more and more also.

Common sense, but not common practice.

WordPress Infographic

Author: Tony @ GraphicTony

Invention: The Sand Wedge

Gene Sarazen’s invention of the modern sand wedge is a series of well-worn tales that bears repeating.

1. While being taught by Howard Hughes how to fly a plane, Sarazen took note of how a plane’s tail adjusted downward during takeoff, spawning an idea.

2. The inspiration for the design itself came from Sarazen’s careful observation of ducks landing on water (naturally), particularly the way in which their bellies skimmed across the water.

Either way, and whatever tale you prefer, Sarazen reached out to his equipment company, Wilson, and had them send him half-a-dozen niblicks (the equivalent of a 9-iron).

Using solder, Sarazen experimented with different amounts of mass on the sole of the clubs until he found one he felt would easily extricate the ball from sand.

Sarazen took the club to the 1932 British Open, taking care to keep the club under wraps for fear it would be deemed illegal before play began. Sarazen then used the club during his win at Prince’s in 1932.

Ten Tips For Using LinkedIn

Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or have only just signed up, here are a few basics tips to bring yourself up to speed.  

1. Invest time in creating a complete profile

Complete means filling in every single section: skills and expertise, career history, adding an appropriate photo, a link to your company website and recommendations from the people who know you and your work best. Import your email contacts. This will help you to build your immediate network quickly and with relevant, interested people.

2. Join groups based on your interests.

If you are like me, try these three for starters: The Sports Business Exchange, World Sports Forum and Ecommerce and Online Marketing Experts. Post a discussion topic in each of these groups, whether it’s asking for advice for a problem you need help with, or some best practice from your job that you would like to share with others. When people respond, make sure you acknowledge their replies, and if you could be useful to one another in the future then send a connection request.   Assuming you got this far, there are other ways that you can really get the benefit of having an active and engaging LinkedIn profile. You need to learn how to build networks that deliver more value – and how you can become a more useful connection to others.

3. Build contacts through LinkedIn Signal  

LinkedIn Signal can help you build new contacts with shared interests. Change the search box option from ‘People’ to ‘Updates’ and type in “Sports Marketing” to find out who else shares views on that topic – equally, search whatever topic is of interest and relevance to you.

4. Have a voice.  

Regularly commenting on and sharing interesting and useful updates helps you keep in touch and be useful. Doing the same with second and third connections will help you engage and build new contacts in no time. When you’ve joined a discussion, share that with your LinkedIn contacts too.

5. Use the ‘People-you-may-know’ feature.

Click the ‘See more’ tab and seek introductions to relevant connections through your network. Be absolutely clear about why you would like to be introduced and what added value you bring by being part of their contact group.

6. Earn credibility by sharing your knowledge.

LinkedIn Answers is a good way of building credibility with new connections. Change the search box option from ‘People’ to ‘Answers’, enter keywords such as ecommerce and see if there are any questions posed which you feel you can answer. The person asking the question gets to vote on the best answer; if this is you, that’s also highlighted on your profile.

7. Make announcements through your status bar.

When you are going to an industry event, announce it on LinkedIn. Ask who else is going, arrange to meet up at the event and remember to add these new connections to your network for future reference.

8. Share content quickly using LinkedIn today.

Use LinkedIn Today to read the latest news relevant to your specific interests. This is a surefire way of sharing content from a rich variety of sources, which will position you as a more interesting connection to your network.

9. Personalise your LinkedIn address.  

Make the link to your profile more memorable by personalising it. Click on ‘Edit profile’, scroll down to public profile section and insert your name for a link which is now easier for people you meet to remember.

10. Research your industry.  

If you are looking for a career move, it’s a great idea to use LinkedIn to research organisations you have applied to and look at the skills and experience of the people that they recruit. Follow the company to receive company updates and news feeds and use your network to get introduced to connections who can give you a personal insight into what it’s like to work there.