Cupid 2.0 – A Dating Guide of the Future

Remember the anxiety attacks you had when dialing a girls’ phone number? Or waiting by the phone expectantly for a boy’s call?

No? Then you must be part of the Millenial’s Cupid 2.0 Generation.

This means you missed out on long hours on the phone (not a mobile phone, a landline phone, connected with wires, and real, solid buttons), where saying “bye” only means hanging up 2 hours later (“you hang up” “no, you hang” “no, you…”), and the “3 Day Rule” is long obsolete.

Now, you get to know your potential date first by Googling her name, adding her on Facebook, following her on Twitter, exchanging a few coy and flirty messages on WhatsApp or iMesssage, before finally going out on that first date.

A recent video by comedian Aziz Ansari griping about the woes of being single in this day and age, got me thinking – has technology taken all the fun out of dating?

People build up a bravado front, allowing them to project a confident, witty, and successful online persona – they take their time in crafting a perfect response to your text, filter their selfies, and spruce up their “About Me” sections. In real life, he or she is a shadow of his Social Media self.

I can say this with authority because I, myself, am a Millenial. I love, and am heavily dependent on the Internet. I have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and now, even ultra-hip Snapchat. I scroll through each of the feeds on my iPhone 5 a lot more often than I should.

Of course it’s definitely helped in forging and then building connections, both on a personal and professional level, but, (and this is not to discredit the lovely 93 people following my personal ramblings on Twitter and 893 “friends” on Facebook) whether dating, doing business or getting to know someone in general, I’m with Gen X. I think it should be kept traditional.

Where’s the fun in dating without face-to-face conversations, dinners, drinks, and long walks? Grilled seafood dinner by the beach at East Coast Park for a first date, or sharing an ice-kacang at Adam Road hawker Centre (it’s the best), make for lasting memories, rather than, “Remember that one post I liked on your Facebook wall?”

Just as dating is better in person, so is business. Directors will fly to all parts of the world for a face-to-face meeting, and to ply one another with the finest of wines – all to close that business deal.

That drive to woo someone over with solid skill and charm, in real life, does not seem to exist anymore. It’s just a flurry of connection requests on Linkedin, followed by a flirty “I viewed your profile” then an “I endorsed you for your SEO prowess” thrown in for good measure. Shouldn’t you put in that bit of an effort into fixing a date to meet, in person, too?

Nobody takes their time to meet anymore. Nowadays, efficiency is all about doing more things, with more speed. Siri allows you to dictate your text, so you don’t have to type them out. You can check-in for your flight on your phone, instead of joining the queue.

The recent news of SnapChat, and its ballsy (silly?) rejection of USD three billion (or more) offer from Facebook (because obviously it’s got its eyes on something bigger), further affirms the current generation’s obsession for instant gratification. It’s about living in the moment, because, YOLO.

I am not saying that dating, or business exchanges should be devoid of all things tech and social media. Exchanging sweet nothings on text, and putting up photos of a date night are perfectly fine, but if you want something to actually happen – you’ve still got to meet face-to-face..

Here’s a challenge to try out on your next date – romantic, or otherwise – try leaving both of your phones at home, or even in your briefcase, and see how that goes. Bearing with each other’s company for an entire meal, or even coffee, shouldn’t’ be so bad.

Are we turning into narcissists?

A recent debate on The New York Times addressed the possibility of social media turning us into narcissists.

Psychology professor Jean Twenge remarked that it isn’t clear if social media directly causes narcissism, but people who need a little pat on the back find comfort in social media. Writer and social media strategist Jeff Bullas argued that social media makes us stronger as we learn to accept different kinds of feedback – both praise and criticism – and there’s nothing narcissistic about that.

This made me think of a postcard I once chanced upon that read: Many people like to speak to appear smart in front of others.

While there hasn’t been conclusive evidence that shows every Facebook post is intricately linked to narcissism tendencies, many of us are guilty of trying to sound smarter than we really are with a carefully-crafted status update, or feel a sense of satisfaction when the number of likes start rising.

I’m a strong believer in the freedom of speech and expression – some like to post pictures of every meal as if it were their last; others update on their every move throughout the day, littering it with hash tags. No one’s likely to read it, but if there’s delight in sharing that information, that’s cool.

What I do appreciate though, is when my friends share groundbreaking news articles, discuss thought-provoking ideas and drop the occasional hilarious 9GAG meme.

I know I’m not alone in appreciating this. There are others who aren’t excited about self-serving social media behavior.

Expectations apply all the more to brand Pages. Upload a condescending or insensitive post and you’ll find your fans attacking the ‘unlike’ button. Condescending Corporate Brand Page has a wall of shame you’ll want to avoid.

Before we start crafting our next status update, it’s worthwhile considering if we’d make the same comment if we weren’t behind a digital veil, and give some thought to the intent behind saying the things we’re about to say. How is this going to lift the mood of those who follow me? Will it entertain, enrich or inform?

Is it a self-serving post about a new pair of fancy sneakers we recently purchased? Is it an exposé on the plight of foreign workers that should come to light? And more importantly – will what we’re about to say be harmful as it flashes across someone else’s news feed?

For brands in particular, can this be taken as insensitive and narrow-minded?

When we start putting more thought to the content we upload and its possible effect on others, it’s safe to say we’re moving further away from the territory of narcissism and headed in the direction of social consciousness. Trust me, you’ll not only appear, but probably also become genuinely smarter in the process.

Social Media – Threat or Asset?

Social media and breaking news

Social media is becoming or has become a part of everyone’s life – even the aunties and uncles have embraced it, despite their misgivings.

Unfortunately, the aunties and uncles were right, as many do turn the freedom social media brings into a stage for their mischief. In recent months, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of hacked social media accounts – most recently the tweet by ‘AP’ announcing explosions in the White House.

Perhaps motivated by the movie ‘Olympus has Fallen’, the hacker has decided to bring the plot alive in his own ways. He hacked into the twitter account of The Associated Press (AP) and tweeted the above. The impact of the bogus tweet is shocking. The 12 words tweet drove the Dow Jones Index down 145 points and sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reeling, wiping out US$136 billion.

The threat of hackers always exists in the world of Internet. However, there is no ignoring the fact that the fastest, cheapest and often most cost-effective way to achieve global coverage is, for most companies, social media.

Michael Gass, a new business consultant for advertising agencies said ‘Social media is a savior not a nemesis, an asset not a liability, a time saver not a time killer for ad agency new business.’

Hence, practice good working habits, and just make sure you account cannot be hacked.
(1) Limit 3rd party access
(2) Change password early and often
(3) Avoid Malware
(4) Log in and log out with care
(5) Check on your account regularly

We’ve all heard this.

But, if you’re a big shot…

Never before have so many people heard, screen-shot and shared, what you just said.

Need help with your social media? Drop a message to [email protected] 

Social media for journos, and journos for social media

I was going to write something about Facebook’s new open graph announcement, and how it seriously compromised my own privacy.

But then I started thinking about the wider applications of a search function that basically allows you to delve into the lives of others, pick out their ideas, pictures, comments, and then splash them about wherever you desire. On the cover of a magazine, as the star of the latest hilarious montage on Buzzfeed

My conservative, Western upbringing feels a bit queasy about the whole “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine, unless I tell you otherwise” proposition, but how awesome is it to know that every single person in the world now has the ability to sway, or contribute to the mainstream news, and to be discovered by millions of people who might be looking to connect with people who are doing exactly what they are doing?! PRETTY AWESOME!

Journalists – whether they are searching for an unflattering image of a celebrity, a profile shot of the victim of a recent tragedy, or simply collating people’s images of the latest freak snow fall – will LOVE on this open graph concept.

And at the same time, businesses, brands and people will THRIVE if they apply journalistic skills of story-telling and news values to their posts.

Many experts have touted 2013 as the year that journalists are employed as social media page managers for companies looking to achieve cut-through online.

They have also said that journalism will become increasingly reliant on social media.

It would seem the new Open Graph feature fulfills this prophecy, and will also open more than a few doors for businesses, and journos alike.

Want to find out about how your business can maximise the potential of new features on Facebook and other social networks?

Need help with your social media? Drop a message to [email protected] 

Welcoming in the Latest and Greatest Year Ever!

So, what exactly did we raise our glasses to the other night?
Is this the second day of an even newer age of digital social interactions? Are we minutes away from the next site through which we can pin pictures of our friends to our news feed, apply filters and hang out with connections with whom we share a common hashtag?
Or are we just going to muddle along like usual, living our lives out through every social medium that is available on our pocket smartphone?

Posts like this recent Mashable piece would have us believe that businesses and consumers alike will start looking for something a little less commercialised than Facebook – and now Instagram for that matter – in the very near future. That people will soon grow tired of promoted posts clogging their feed, and the “relevance” alogorithms that have turned regular friend-to-friend Facebook interactions into more of a bought popularity contest than ever before.

But if the New Year’s Day well-wishing I saw on my news feed was anything to go by, it would appear Facebook’s army of fans is not going to be switching teams in a hurry. With more than a billion users, there are still plenty of reasons to dedicate resources to your Facebook strategy, and revise it to suit current trends.

Social media examiner’s predictions for 2013 recommend you think in pictures. With photo sharing sites Instagram and Pinterest widening the playing field in 2012 and increasing their shares of social media traffic by 17,319 and 5,124 per cent respectively, it would be wise to invest in creative people who can make your business much prettier and more “likeable” online.

Many of the large retailers who experimented with Facebook’s e-commerce platform have since decided to stick with the status quo, but make sure you keep your eyes peeled for developments in this arena, as well as the latest and greatest “freemium” options (such as Facebook’s post promotions), to ensure your blood, sweat and tears have some degree of impact on the public.

One Forbes blogger reckons she achieved a much greater quality of life when she quit social media, and is urging readers to do the same. I wouldn’t say you should set a resolution to ditch social media entirely – not even your personal page (you need to walk the walk to talk the talk) – but it is a good idea to streamline your activity. What worked well last year? What was more headache than it was worth?

Rather than muddle along with erratic posts on 10 different social media platform, you’re better off concentrating on holding your ground and building your fans on the channels you know well – or freeing up a few resources to test out the new kids on the block and decide whether they are your cup of tea or not. We all know about the importance of a “like”, and so do the social networks. Only when the users, when YOU, like a network will it become a success. If you like something, chances are others will to, and you’ll be on to a good thing.

To a year full of doing things you like, and others like, too!


Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts

It’s not uncommon for most of us to have more than one Twitter account these days. If you’re in media/PR/marketing, you highly probably would be tasked to now handle the Twitters of your company or clients as well.

There are several apps out there which lets you effectively log into and manage multiple twitter accounts at one time, and Mashable has a great list to kick you off.

Too many apps in the webosphere? These Twitter management tools top my list:


1. Hootsuite

I swear by HootSuite. It’s easy to use, and the tab features make toggling between accounts an absolute breeze. Tabs are awesome. This app also lets you integrate other Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ and WordPress. But if, like me, the thought of having too many social media platforms on one app makes your brain freak out, then I suggest you stick to just Twitter.

Also, the logo is an owl, and I love owls.

2. SplitTweet

Another web-based app that I like is SplitTweet, mainly because the ninja-mole logo is cute. This tool also tracks brand mentions to let you better able to monitor your brands. Your accounts are also separated by coloured dots, so you can view all your feeds from all accounts in one timeline. Coloured dot or not, it can still get a tad confusing. HootSuite still wins for me. But cute ninja-mole logo.


The official Twitter app is actually really good for multiple mobile Twitter account management. These other Twitter apps havemy seal of approval too.

1. Slices (Love this, they have an in-built photo editing feature)

2. TweetFire

3. TweetDeck

4. HootSuite

5. Twitterific

Now, the thought of handling multiple Twitter accounts while on-the-go frighten me much. For starters, I can’t help but think of the possible consequences of accidentally switching Twitter accounts, especially when you’re on the go.

Think I’m a paranoid crazy piece of work? Imagine this now: In one of those late night, uh, stupors, you accidentally tweet something NSFW onto the wrong account. The horror. And we all know in the age of print-screening, there’s no such thing as take-backs.

So if you’re as paranoid as I am now (you’re very welcome), here’s a simple solution: Use different apps for ONE twitter account, as opposed to using one app for multiple twitter accounts.

And there are a lot of Twitter apps too, so unless you’re handling a hundred Twitter accounts (I’ve just fallen in love with you, call me), you’re good.

Facebook Still Most Preferred by Marketers

These days, your business just isn’t cool if you’re not using some form of social media. A report done by the guys over at revealed that amongst marketers, Facebook still remains the top of the social media pack.

The top five social media networks/tools used by marketers are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube, in that order. A whopping 92% of marketers use it to enhance their businesses, and 72% plan to increase activities on Facebook. And it comes at no surprise too; with 955 million monthly users and 852 million daily logins, Facebook remains the most frequently checked website on the Internet.

The Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012 is the fourth annual study done by SocialMediaExaminer to understand how marketers are using social media.

Also particularly interesting was the addition of the Photo sharing sites category in the report. 21% of marketers are using sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr to boost their businesses.

The study coincides with a more recent study done by RichRelevance, which is an analysis of nearly 700 million shopping sessions on leading U.S. retail sites. The study revealed that Facebook dominates as a source to drive traffic to online retail sites. Shoppers who click-through from Facebook account for the overwhelming majority of shopping sessions at nearly 86% (85.8%), followed by Pinterest (11.3%) and Twitter (2.9%).

While Facebook still rules, it’s clear that photo apps like Pinterest are gaining popularity too, marking the rising trend of visual social media marketing. Photos do speak a thousand words eh?

Oh, RichRelevance has a cool infographic on their study too, check it out:



Welcome one and all to the first ever Mutant Blog post.

If you are expecting bland corporate postings about public relations and marketing you are out of luck. While we will look at these areas here at Mutant Blog we plan on offering insightful, at times controversial, postings about the industry and going-on’s in the industry. Expect to see loads of insightful, witty content.

Coverage will include the more insightful such as – pr disasters, what went wrong, and why it went wrong. Insider news. Comment and analysis on the industry. The journey that is Mutant Communications. And occasionally the completely irrelevant but interesting diversions.

I hope you enjoy what we have to offer and please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any queries, comments or criticisms.

Enjoy the road.