At Sainsbury’s HQ, the team came up with yolk free eggs, we had a good giggle mocking up the packaging and our social media team conjured up a nifty little graphic about the benefits of such eggs. Continue reading “My April Fools’ round-up and a closer look at live streaming in journalism and customer service”
This wins the Internet
Too brilliant for the ‘and finally’ section, so I break with tradition and give you this bit of pure, unadulterated genius. Hats off to the DJ.
Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.
Are those Reebok or Nike?
The one with the dodgy banana
A tale of woe, customer service and, finally, redemption and happiness told through the eyes of Sainsbury’s customer @HBChapple and Chris from the @Sainsburys Careline team.
Not happy with peeling quality of @sainsburys @SainsburysPR bananas all 6 of them looking like this #outrage pic.twitter.com/9hEpB4I088
— Hugo (@HBChapple) May 16, 2014
@O_Goldsmith @sainsburys @SainsburysPR I made a cartoon to give you better understanding of my turmoil and sadness pic.twitter.com/0l4iKY94Cc
— Hugo (@HBChapple) May 16, 2014
@HBChapple @O_Goldsmith @SainsburysPR That's awesome, we've given it a go too… Chris. pic.twitter.com/zfuON4XDuK
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) May 16, 2014
@sainsburys @O_Goldsmith @SainsburysPR the plot thickens pic.twitter.com/39QKyKevu6
— Hugo (@HBChapple) May 16, 2014
@HBChapple Don't worry, the day's been saved. Chris. pic.twitter.com/e5T5QlPVPo
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) May 16, 2014
@sainsburys Chris saves the day! pic.twitter.com/d13zDJHyXo
— Hugo (@HBChapple) May 16, 2014
McDonald’s UGC burger
I love a burger. Dirty or posh, van or fancy restaurant. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. It doesn’t matter. A burger sorts me right out and I’ve had a few over the years. They come in all different sizes, combinations and tastes. And it is a very rare occasion indeed, where I come across a bad burger (fries are a different ballgame entirely. So much can go wrong with fries. But that’s for another day).
Now, making your own burger at home is not particularly difficult, but not something that I tend to do very much. But what if you could digitally build your burger, have all your friends vote for it and the one with the most votes gets added to McDonald’s menu?
There you have the simple, yet brilliant premise of McD’s latest #MyBurger campaign.
After careful deliberation, clicking and scrolling, I am proud to give you my BCG Burger: Bacon (because everything with bacon is just better), Cheese (two slices of black pepper cheese to make the beef pop and add some stability to the construction) and Guacamole (equal parts cashing in on the oh-so-trendy Mexican food craze, and also, guac is just so goooood) burger. Perfected by a generous sprinkling of jalapeño peppers for that extra oomph, rocket to give it even more of a peppery freshness, and held together with a brioche bun and OMG JUST GET ME A BURGER ALREADY.
The BCG now takes it’s place amongst all the other delicious creations, which you can drool over in the gallery section of McDonald’s My Burger site.
As you salivate over sooo much beefy goodness (on that, why the heck can you only make a beef burger?), you also get your fair share of burger stats. And which PR person doesn’t like a survey?!
- over 46,000 burgers made since the site launched this week
- over 100,000 votes cast
- at just 2%, pineapple the nation agrees that pineapple has no place on a burger (or on a pizza for that matter)
- pickles aren’t much better off, finding their way into only 9% of burgers flipped
- the must-have ingredient, next to glorious meat of course, turns out to be cheese – layered into over 43,000 burgers coming
Voting for a burger is simple. But what I really love about the voting process is McDonald’s reinvention of the Captcha. Rather than some strange maths question or indecipherable characters to prove that you are, in fact, a hungry human, you are asked to pick two items from McD’s menu by this prompt:
A gloriously simple and fun campaign, one that get’s McDonald’s customers actively involved in the brand by creating a burger that could end up in restaurants nationwide. And who doesn’t like sharing something tasty with their friends saying: “Look! I created this! Isn’t it great?”
My Bacon, Cheese & Guac burger for McDonald’s. Vote for it, they might end up making it https://t.co/bFToOc4Nqq #myburger
— Thomas Knorpp (@thomasknorpp) May 26, 2014
To celebrate the launch of their delicious new menu item ‘The Wing Roulette’, the clever chaps at Nando’s have come up with a spicy campaign centred around user generated content.
Customers are encouraged to not only brave the fiery madness that is the selection of 10 chicken wings dipped in peri peri sauce of unknown strength (ranging from the tangy mango and lime to the teeth-melting extra hot) but to then use their napkins and sauce covered fingers to produce some tweetable art along with the hashtag #wingroulette.
Nando’s have also added a Wingroulette companion game to their iPhone app that tells you which of your friends gets to eat which chicken wing (and here I was planning to order the 10 wings for myself…).
To keep the campaign going, Nando’s are relying heavily on the TV guide, creating finger puppet versions of popular shows like Game of Thrones and 24
View this post on Instagram
If Mondays were a person… #WingRoulette #GameOfThrones #FingerSelfie #Nandos #GoT
A post shared by Nando's UK & Ireland (@nandosuk) on
View this post on Instagram
Jack is back, again! #WingRoulette #Nandos #NandosSelfie #24 #JackBauer
A post shared by Nando's UK & Ireland (@nandosuk) on
But they’re also being good social media citizens and sharing the best of the #Wingroulette selfies from customers
“@xxLaineyOxx: Angel!! #wingroulette pic.twitter.com/f7DpVIO68U” It's our first heavenly finger selfie! 👼👌
— Nando's (@NandosUK) May 20, 2014
“@_roshyposhy: My finger selfie is better than yours😌 @NandosUK #fingerselfie #WingRoulette pic.twitter.com/jVMQ4kvRRp” 💪💪💪
— Nando's (@NandosUK) May 14, 2014
There’s many more #Wingroulette finger selfies on Twitter – a lot of people are keen to win their year’s supply of free Nando’s!
Bits and bytes
- Greg, a security guard for Arcadia sends an email asking his manager to approve holiday. Line manager accidentally forwards Greg’s request to all the company’s 3,500 employees. Hilarity and a trending hashtag #GiveGregtheHoliday is born (HT @CiaranM_). And yes, he finally did get his two days leave approved – and he also donated all the free stuff he received to charity. #GoodGuyGreg
- The Roman Catholic Church issued its 10 digital commandments this week and they’re actually not that bad (HT @a_little_wine). If you fancy a slightly less preachy, more practical take on keeping The Big Guy virtually happy, you could also choose to follow the Church of England’s 9 digital commandments (1 less than the Catholics. So chill.)
- Missed out on the London Marathon ballot? No worries, for next year’s race, you’ll be able to run the race in a virtual reality environment: on a treadmill that controls your avatar as it completes the 26.2 mile course
Videos of the week
I’m conflicted about this one. Adweek calls Coke’s latest commercial the first ever TV ad made completely from user generated content, which, as we all know, is complete and utter bollocks. Sainsbury’s did that with Christmas in a Day, thank you very much, next question, you utter muppets. But then again, Adweek also called this the best corporate apology ever posted to Twitter. Damnit. Anyway, just watch the clip.
Dutch drink Vifit either helps you concentrate on studying in the uni library while an attractive blonde does a strip tease or drinking too much of it causes blindness. I suspect the people behind this ad were going for the former.
Your iPhone’s annoying alarm tune remixed into EDM awesomeness (also, give his Breaking Bad remix a go, um, bitch).
My April Fools’ round-up; thoughts on organic reach; Honey Maid loves the haters and this week’s bits and bytes
Welcome to a slightly tweaked version to my bits and bytes. I realised that my weekly rant – while therapeutic for me – isn’t particularly good for finding things. Ideally, the little segments in here should be posts in and of themselves. But that would mean taking up blogging full time and, well, I love my day job a bit too much to do that. So, from now on, expect a summary at the top of each post and links to the sections in the post below to make it easier to browse.
Continue reading “My April Fools’ round-up; thoughts on organic reach; Honey Maid loves the haters and this week’s bits and bytes” →
Trashtag: Last week fish pun mania gripped the nation. This week, puns are still very much en vogue, even if they have turned trashy, as this exchange about a rogue trash can at a Sainsbury’s Local in London between @sainsburys and @Anthony_Hill. While perhaps not as epic as the previous effort, it’s good to see the various members of our Careline team getting in on the action. Anthony was good enough to save the conversation for posterity on his blog and tweet us the exchange.
This naughty bin keeps escaping from @Sainsburys pic.twitter.com/T0tDUdka6N
— Anthony Hill (@Anthony_Hill) January 16, 2014
Hell hath no fury like a social media geek scorned: Two guaranteed ways to piss me off.
The first: QR codes. Seriously. Just say no.
The second: Randomly include a reference to your social media account but not your handle.
I won’t spend any more time on why QR codes are a waste of time, but shouting about the fact that you’re on social by simply including a wee bird or a blue f? You’ve got to be kidding me.
So, I (along with many other like-minded individuals) were outraged this week when Transport for London put up posters notifying commuters about their travel alerts on Twitter. The poster has 4 wee Twitter birds making up the middle blue bit of the famous tube sign (so far, so good), it reads “Travel alerts on Twitter” (OK, still with you), and underneath that, in cheeky brackets, “OMG!” (stretching it chaps, but I’ll assume you were going for irony. Go on).
That’s it though. Not a single Twitter handle in sight.
Only TFL would run a poster campaign announcing they're on Twitter… and leave off their Twitter handle. pic.twitter.com/UKUn5RzZ4S
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt) January 13, 2014
But it get’s better. There is a link to TFL’s website, waaay down in the bottom right hand corner of the poster. But rather than taking you through to TFL’s social media page, it takes you to their page about the Tube. Now, to give TFL some credit, were you to do a search for TFL travel alerts on Google or Twitter, you quickly get to their Twitter channels.
Why make us work so hard to get the information that you’re trying to tell us about? We’ve barely managed to elbow our way into somebody’s armpit on a rammed Piccadilly train to Heathrow at rush our, so letting us know how long we’re to inhale a complete stranger’s body odour while hanging on to consciousness should be more straight forward?
Gonzo journalism for hipsters: I remember back at Uni, getting your hands on the new Vice was an event we all looked forward to. Having grown up in the rather more controlled environment of Singapore, the gritty photography and features in Vice were always an eye-opening read, and the wonderfully snide Do’s and Don’ts still bring a giggle.
Most recently, Vice has earned some serious kudos with its guerrilla documentaries and reporting: from Travel guides to the Philippines, to the epic three parter touring North Korea, and the surreal dinner featuring a Vice reporter, the Haarlem Globe Trotters and a cameo by Grand Marshall, Kim Jong Un. It’s no surprise that some of the more established media business have taken note and invested.
Who's heard of VICE media? Wild, interesting effort to interest millenials who don't read or watch established media. Global success.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 13, 2012
Now called Vice Media, Shane Smith’s media empire includes a massive website, a magazine, a record label, feature films, events (some of the best parties I’ve been to!), a book publishing division and, soon, its own news channel.
A news channel with that unmistakable gonzo journalism style, which puts the reporter into the story, an approach that Smith argues gleans the answers that young people seek. Something that I think many established media houses will keep a close eye on.
Creepy Emoji: French child advocacy group Innocence en Danger has given cute Emoji a creepy make-over in their campaign to warn parents and young people about the adult predators who might be behind online conversations.
Bits and bytes
- Facebook adds trending topics to remind people that there are things other than cat videos and baby photos. While cats and babies enjoy permanent popularity, Facebook is looking to surface content that sees a sharp increase in popularity over a short space of time
- Twitter now offers marketers the ability to target ads to specific users’ accounts, based on their bio information, follower count, verified status and past tweets
- “At times, it felt like I’d put my head into my phone. Interacting with all of this information becomes much more intimate.” A quote from a shaky split screen video in a piece titled ‘I Became a Robot with Google Glass‘, shows a first person perspective of what it feels like to wear Google Glass and how people react to the wearer
- How did BuzzFeed grow from a much-mocked LOL cat archive to a media giant for a new era? Wired magazine looks at the evolution in a highly entertaining piece. Interesting points: people don’t like fuzz (fake + buzz), we like to share and we like to share good news
- You love/hate the selfie, but have you heard of the felfie? The Guardian looks at the trend amongst farmers to take a selfie on their farm (farm + selfie = felfie) and how especially Twitter is so popular with farmers as they can connect with their peers and friends in what is otherwise a rather lonely job
Videos of the week: A compilation of Vine videos from Zach King that will blow your mind. More on how Zach does it on the Indie (HT @MindyB_).
Puma partner with Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Marco Reus and Mario Balotelli to test their new evoPOWER football boots. Over the top CGI, terrible acting from Thierry, and a generous helping of cheese make for a rather enjoyable ad.
‘Prankvertising’ is back with this hilarious effort featuring a projectile vomiting, remote controlled, devil-baby. The stunt was to promote the release of horror flick ‘Devil’s Baby’ (HT @tomparker81).
And finally: Tom doesn’t like to shut his cupboard, or how you take passive aggressive to the next level (HT @tomparker81, who assures me that he isn’t the Tom in question)
Fish puns, ask Jelly and you shall receive, social news with the NYTimes and this week’s bits and bytes
Fishy goodness: If it’s one thing I’ve learnt during my time in the UK, it’s that Brits love a pun.
Yesterday, @TeaAndCopy tweeted @Sainsburys: I tried to buy some battered fish from @sainsburys but it didn’t have a bar cod!
David Smith from our social Careline team was quick to respond with this triple whammy: @TeaAndCopy Were there no other packs in the plaice, or was that the sole one on the shelf? Floundering for an explanation! David.
@TeaAndCopy Were there no other packs in the plaice, or was that the sole one on the shelf? Floundering for an explanation! David.
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) January 10, 2014
The resulting ‘punversation‘ is a joy to behold and quickly spread via Twitter and onto the HuffPo.
Also, it reminded me of this wonderful ‘Little Story‘ about Sainsbury’s sustainably sourced prawns.
Have a question? Take a photo: If you have a question, somebody out there likely has an answer. Combine that with the fact that most of us have an Internet connected camera in our pocket and you’ve got the premise of the new visual question and answer app Jelly. Jelly allows you to ask and respond to image based questions.
Here’s co-founder and CEO of Jelly, Biz Stone (yup, same dude that helped give us Twitter) who explains it far better than I could. If that’s not enough, there’s more info on Jelly’s blog.
- The app (at least for iPhone) is still a bit wonky. For example, the only way to switch between Twitter handles at the moment seems to be to delete and re-install the app. Also, it murders your battery life – I suspect this might have to do with the high number of push notifications from the app alerting me to friends in need of answers
- Jelly works by tapping into your existing connections on Twitter and Facebook – and your connections’ connections – but it keeps all interactions contained within its walls. While they’re likely to open this up in future, it plays to the trend of a) mobile first and worry about the desktop experience later and b) it’s not about getting mass reach or fame, but to help each other out in small-scale yet meaningful interactions
- Swiping through questions is fun and simple and the wide variety of different questions is astonishing but also confusing. There isn’t a search or sort function and once you’ve dismissed a question, you can’t go back to it
- There doesn’t seem to be a way to block other Jelly users from asking or responding to questions, nor does the app respect Twitter blocks. Interesting to see how they deal with the inevitable abuse cases and ‘less welcome’ content
Finally, can those social comms bods, please agree to not go for the obvious ‘Would you prefer product a, b or c?’ questions?
Social media news: The team that runs the New York Times’ Twitter feed analysed some of their most successful tweets in 2013 (in terms of click-throughs and retweets), and looked at how they used Twitter to encourage a variety of types of reader engagement with their journalism. @michaelroston, staff editor for social media, sums up their findings and I strongly suggest you give the results your full attention.
For those of the TL;DR mindset (I doubt you’ll have gotten this far, but hey), here’s my take:
- Managing breaking news is about sharing approved and verified sources. To ensure accuracy, @nytimes will retweet journalists who are directly involvement in events instead of relying un unverified, third party sources
- They let their journalists break ‘news situations’ – even without links to the NYT: Letting our trusted reporters deliver some news first helps them connect directly with an interested audience, and delivers news in a timely manner without sacrificing our commitment to accuracy
- Using social for call-outs for sources
- Automated tweets are OK (automated in the sense that a new article that’s published to the site is tweeted automatically), but Tweets send via @nytimes performed better when they were written by editors: Twitter is a platform that helps extend The Times’s journalism to an audience that is not always the same as the one that visits our website directly. When we fit our storytelling to the medium, we do the best possible job of connecting with that audience
- Clearly stated tweets describing the gist of the stories work better than clever headlines
Minimal goodness: A lovely collection of minimal ads that make your brain work just that little bit more to get the point and provide that brief Eureka moment when you get the point. Sent to me by @stangreenan remarking that his favourite was the one for Haribo. I’d have to agree:
Bits and bytes
- On Vine? Make sure you have your web profile sorted as the six second video app makes the leap from mobile to desktop
- Don’t know where to go on your next holiday? You could use Sightsmap, a nifty heat map of popular places around the world
- Why is no-one is outraged about the New York Times redesign (despite the horribly intrusive related story pop-up functionality)? A playful post, but one that will leave anyone who’s ever worked on redesigning a website smiling. Also, you’ll learn what a hamburger is in terms of web design speak (HT @alexcole71)
- The San Francisco Chronicle will put all its reporters through social media boot camp in an attempt to to arrest circulation decline and remain relevant in the digital age. The two month (!) programme is all about introducing digital metrics and measurement tools. Let’s hope they’re also addressing the required mental shift from print to digital
- The reason why Netflix walked away from personalisation? The novelty factor: the new and unexpected is what delights customers, not a similar version of what they watched yesterday
- XKCD provides a brilliant comeback to the question: “Why can’t you just enjoy the view rather than always take photos”
Videos of the week: A case study from Kirby Ferguson, on the back of his excellent 4-part series Everything is a Remix about how creativity resembles remixing. He looks at how when it was launched, the iPhone borrowed from conventions and ideas outside of the smart phone realm to when the recent update of iOS6 was released, it borrowed from ideas within the smart phone realm.
It’s worth taking a look back at the entire series, the first and second films make the point that not only is everything today a remix, creation actually requires influence and that it doesn’t take any expensive tools or even skills to do so (anymore). The third film looks at how innovations truly happen and the fourth finishes on how our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity.
If you fancy a quicker summary of all that goodness, I’d recommend Kirby Ferguson’s TED talk that brings this all together – without the excellent films and animations mind you.
And finally: Movie Code, images of the computer code appearing in TV and films and what they really are.
Batfleck: As usual, the Internet exploded overnight as the news broke that Ben Affleck will play the new Batman (oh yes, all the hard-hitting news here my friends). Outrage is the best word that describes the reaction, with many people suggesting better caped crusaders on the #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck hashtag. As is often the case with curating the best of the Internet silliness, Mashable compiled their favourite suggestions for a better Batman than Ben Affleck (HT @stangreenan).
Of course, the obligatory fake Ben ‘Batman’ Affleck account already has 13,000 followers – and 1 tweet.
Brands getting in on the real-time marketing bandwagon included Pizza Express and Vue Cinemas but it’s really the less politically correct reactions from the fans that are worth a browse.
Our candidate #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck pic.twitter.com/RTHOjpWi6S
— PizzaExpress (@PizzaExpress) August 23, 2013
#SaintsFC: Gotta hand it to Southampton FC. Not only do they have Rickie ‘I create spikes in Saino’s Beetroot sales‘ Lambert, they ‘get’ social. After they successful campaign to thank fans for getting them across the 100,000 follower mark they’ve now become the first British football club to permanently display its official hashtag within its stadium seating (HT @tomparker81).
#SaintsFC becomes the first British football club to permanently display our official hashtag in our stadium seating! pic.twitter.com/oJtCRjIT2a
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 22, 2013
Trolls are here to stay: In a tremendous guest post on Wired, @JamieJBartlett argues that trolling and cyber-bullying have always played a part in web culture, a consequence of anonymity and the freedom to say anything – no matter how offensive. The only difference is that while trolls used to be confined to the dark underbelly of t’Interwebs, the proliferation of social media, ubiquitous broadband access and smart phones have brought world’s morons out from their hidden communities and into the mainstream and public consciousness.
A wonderful excursion into the history of trolling, flame wars, and the explanation for why you should never, ever, read The Comments – Godwins Law: “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches one” – this is a wonderful post that calls for people, especially young people and women, to be better prepared when they ‘go online’.
Social media wins customer support: 80% of customer complaints on social media receive a response within 12 hours, while only 37% of customer complaints on email received a response in the same amount of time. Now, there are a number of questions that I’d like to put to the guys at eDigitalResearch who studied 2,000 consumers, but what should also be pointed out is that the amount of customer complaints coming in via email is likely to be far larger than the amount of social media contacts. Still, it is indicative of the fact that companies are biased towards social media complaints due to their potential to becoming larger and possibly reputationally damaging issues.
Advantage Sharapova: Earlier this week, Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova announced she might change her surname during the US Open to ‘Sugarpova’ to promote her own confectionary range. In the end, the name change would have meant too much paperwork and hassle so it was dropped – ESPN seemed quite miffed at the whole thing, noting Sharapova should concentrate on Tennis, not gimmicks.
That however, would be missing the point of what I think was a clever way to spread the Sugarpova brand. After all, the story achieved world wide coverage – without Sharapova ever actually doing anything! The number of Tweets mentioning the word “Sugarpova” jumped from 50 to 9,000 in a day – and I’d argue, with all the coverage achieved and me telling you about it now, you have to conclude that the stunt most definitely worked.
Unfortunately for Sharapova: she’s had to pull out of the US Open due to injury.
Brands on Vine: See what brands are up to with Twitter’s 6 second video platform Vine – and keep your eyes peeled for Sainsbury’s latest effort celebrating being the no.1 for British apples and pears.
Hats off also to Aussie Bank NatWest for their superb use of Vine for customer service – quick, six second how-to clips to either explain how to change the settings in online banking, how to recycle an 4 pint milk container into a dust pale or how you can use an empty glass to amplify the sound from your mobile phone.
@KingJords Hi Jordan here's a video which will help http://t.co/sC5nzMCDk6 DR
— NatWest Help (@NatWest_Help) August 19, 2013
Embedded posts: Both Twitter and now Facebook are going big on embedded posts. The feature was already available on Twitter for a long time, but they are now displaying related news items alongside the Tweet you chose to embed. For example, @Eunner’s Tweet about the Asiana Airlines crash landing in San Francisco.
I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal… (at @flySFO) [pic] — https://t.co/E6Ur1XEfa4
— David Eun (@Eunner) July 6, 2013
The Tweet should shows headlines that are related to the 140-character-message – although it doesn’t seem to like WordPress). As Twitter puts it: “We think this will help more people discover the larger story behind the Tweet, drive clicks to your articles, and help grow your audience on Twitter.”
Never too far behind in copying Twitter, Facebook has also rolled out their embedded post option to all users (something that you’ve been able to do on Twitter for a few years now).
Content marketing vs. content strategy: A great summary of the difference between two entirely different concepts that are often – and incorrectly – use synonymously.
And while I’m rocking the marketing buzzword bingo – another thought provoking read via the Wall Blog about the rise of the ‘Always on Consumer‘ (this article also contains the beautiful ‘cross-channel’. Oh yes!). The fact that these people are permanently connected across multiple devices means that they require a communications approach that delivers a consistent and seamless narrative which they can enjoy no matter which of their many devices they happen to be brandishing at any particular point in time.
Videos of the week: I admit I cried when I watched this beautiful clip from British Airways from their ‘Visit Mum’ campaign. I can’t say that I have had a similarly long time away from my mum, but I do know what it feels like to come home to her amazing cooking and embrace after a year or so away. Love you, mum!
Clever stuff from Publicis in the Netherlands who installed a barrier in the carpark of one of the country’s most famous clubs that would only let guests leave if they passed a breathalyser test.
And finally: Hot Dog Legs.
It’s that time of the month where I compile some of our favourite tweets of the month. This edition contains a hilarious dose of Comic Relief goodness from our colleagues around the country, featuring everything from a gorilla in a mankini to a life-size T-Rex chomping its way through the South of England.
Facebook Home: Facebook is doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t do, launch a phone. Well kind of. Only not. It’s called Facebook Home and changes your phone into one giant Facebook app (I’m most freaked out by your phone’s lock screen becomes a direct link to your Facebook profile, messages and notifications. Privacy?). Facebook Home will come pre-installed on the ‘HTC First’ or you can convert your existing Android handset into a “Facebook Phone” by downloading the new software on 12 April. Unsurprisingly, the people at Twitter weren’t impressed.
Classy Brits: Class was the big story this week (isn’t it always?) with the BBC publishing the The Great British Class Calculator. No longer are there just three classes (upper, middle and lower), we now have seven; ranging from ‘elite’ to ‘precariat’. My favourite though has to be ’emergent service workers’, possibly the best euphemism for ‘hipster’ I have ever heard.
Now that’s one pissed off journalist: There is something poetic about beautifully phrased foul language. The Indie’s Tom Peck has provided a cracker.
Social media investor relations: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week unveiled new rules that allow companies to to make key announcements via Facebook and Twitter – only if shareholders have been alerted beforehand about which social-media outlet they should turn to (as to how shareholders are alerted, the SEC doesn’t say – suppose I wouldn’t be surprised to see @CompanyNameIR accounts popping up soon).
Blogs more influential than Twitter: An interesting post from The Wall Blog (who I suppose would agree) that blogs drive sales more than other forms of social media. Confirmation comes in the Technocrati 2013 digital influence report, that sees blogs come out ahead of Facebook, Youtube, Google+ and Twitter.
Facebook get’s in line: Great news if you provide customer service through Facebook. The big blue social network is launching in line replies on posts, allowing community managers to respond directly to questions. This will of course also make any type of topical interaction such as live Q&A much easier to manage on Facebook, so customer service and social media managers around the world should welcome this with open arms.
Sketchy customer service: Fast food deliveries that come in a cardboard box provide a great canvas and opportunity for fulfilling the demands of your customers. A splendid gallery of pizza box art at the behest of customers from around the world in this gallery.
Twitter for business: Twitter launched a page chock full of case studies from companies on how they use the micro-blogging service to meet their business objectives – hoping (I suppose) that you’ll end up using their services and tools and spend more money.
Faking it on Twitter: Faking a tweet isn’t the most difficult thing to do. Take a screenshot of an existing tweet from an account you’d like to spoof, modify it in your image editing software of choice, post it to t’interwebs as ‘check out what so-and-so said’ as a screenshot, adding that they’ve since removed the tweet (t’interwebs loves a cover-up!). However, this requires a basic level of image manipulation skills and a bit of effort – until now, with a new web-based software that allows you to fake tweets in a few clicks. Brian Solis looks at why this is a dangerous situation, one that I imagine Twitter can’t be too happy with!
Video of the week: Arthur C. Clarke completely predicts the Internet. In 1974.
Some of my favourite April Fool’s stories from this past week: with its Guardian Goggles video, the Guardian showed that they not only know exactly who their readers are, but that they also have enough of a sense of humour to poke fun at themselves.Meanwhile, Google went slightly OTT with their pranks – here are just three of them: Youtube announced that after eight years, they were shutting down the site to give the 30,000 strong jury until 2023 to announce the best video ever. Google Maps got a treasure hunt upgrade to find Captain Kidd’s treasure. Finally – a way to plug in your olfactory senses into Google search and find that smell you were always looking for. Or, to put it simply: Smell-o-vision! I’d argue though, that The Metro did the best with their made up April Fool round-up. Very meta.
Workplace etiquette in poster form: a beautifully designed set of posters for today’s office population. My favourite: “Respect headphones as a sign of intentional isolation”.
Mad Men Season 6: The penultimate season starts with a double episode in the US on Sunday, coming to Sky Atlantic in the UK on April 10th. To get in the mood I am rewatching season 5 and enjoying this post on Business Insider about how SCDP’s ads compared with the actual ads that ran in the 1960s. And yes. I am hyperventilating.
And finally: three new memes popping up over the last few weeks that are looking to take on the mantle of ‘the new planking’. First, we have Pottering. The trend looks to have kicked off in Oz and there’s a Pottering Facebook page with some quality efforts. I have to admit though, I’m quite fond of Vadering – something that has already made it into The Sun and The Metro. My favourite though has got to be Hadouken. Anyone with a mispent youth playing ‘Street Fighter’ will know the move and the precise flick of the wrist required to generate that devastating fireball will recognise these poses.