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A summary of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends is one of those annual must reads if you work in digital. So, I’ve had a look at the 196 page deck and picked out some of my stand-out bits. The full deck is embedded below, but you can also download it here.

Continue reading “A summary of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015”

Net Neutrality explained, CIA goes social, Sainsbury’s and Google launch Food Rescue

John Oliver explains Net Neutrality…

Veteran Daily Show and Senior Britishness Correspondent John Oliver has made a name for himself in the US during his time on Jon Stewart’s (more or less) daily comedy news show.

Oliver recently landed his own weekly show on HBO called ‘Last Week Tonight‘, essentially The Daily Show, but longer and without studio guests.

In a recent episode, Oliver produced the best summary of Net Neutrality I have seen. Period. From how and why it came about, to what it actually means, how ridiculous and wrong it is and – here’s where it get’s interesting – to what people can actually do to stop cable companies and ISPs from ‘fixing a system that isn’t broken’.

Utterly brilliant and this week’s must watch clip:

Not only is Oliver’s summary bang on, but his call to action to “Internet commenters, monsters and trolls” is likely to have been the cause of the FCC’s website going down, as he directs viewers to unleash their vitriol on the FCC which is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until July 15 (or, as it’s called in FCC Doublespeak: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet).

… or why I get my news from satirical news media

It is bizarre when a comedy news show such as Last Week Tonight does a better job of explaining what’s going on in the world that ‘traditional’ media.

In fact, a study found that another Daily Show alumni, Stephen Colbert, did a better job of teaching viewers about the role of money in US politics on his satirical news show than the actual news. The University of Pennsylvania found that viewers of ‘The Colbert Report’ were more informed about campaign financing than viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (OK, no surprise at the last one).

Now, I tried finding a clip of Colbert apologising to his viewers about actually informing them about the news. What I found instead is a clip of Hapless CNN Anchor and Marginally Less Hapless Media Pundit ‘analysing’ how Colbert does a better job of what CNN and news outlets should be doing.

My favourite part is when Hapless CNN Anchor says: “[Colbert] has this certain je ne said quoi, if you will, right, but, but, but, they dedicate, like, chunks of time on that show to something such as [campaign financing] and he pulls it off!

Later in that same clip, Hapless CNN Anchor goes on to concede, that of course a 24 hour news channel like CNN is at a disadvantage, because Colbert has an audience that keeps coming back and a room full of writers who helps him write the jokes!

The mind boggles not only at how oblivious Hapless CNN Anchor is to the words that are coming out of her mouth, that this actually aired on CNN, but that the clip below is hosted on CNN’s YouTube channel!

The CIA goes social

The @CIA joined Twitter and Facebook this week. Looking past the fact that they’ve had a presence on Flickr and Youtube for a while and, let’s face it, have been following all of us for longer than that, it seems they’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about the appropriate tone of voice on social, especially Twitter.

According to the CIA’s website, their new accounts will be used to share “the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook“.

Let’s have a look then, shall we?

It’s generated well over 250k retweets an a wave of public support and praise for an organisation that in recent time has had its fair share of cock-ups.

Despite the brilliance of poking fun at the Glomar Response and thereby harking back to (arguably) the golden days of spying during the Cold War, I really was very surprised at the almost exclusively positive reaction to the tweet.

Well, except for WikiLeaks.

And Gawker – their reaction is perhaps more eloquently put, by Vice.

I find the reaction, especially to the Tweet, immensely disconcerting. Almost as if that cheeky message somehow absolves the CIA from all the other controversies surrounding the Agency. Just have a look at their Twitter bio:

5JOHPoGTfq7OxdjlVU97-j8IwPr95buLZQZnPSXPmXM

Far less cuddly and cute now. We get shit done. That sure gives their first Tweet a slightly more sinister edge.

Over on the CIA’s Facebook, the reaction to Big Brother getting on board has been a little more tempered – both in terms of numbers but also fan-girling. This will be due in part to the nature of Facebook being more of a closed network but also down to the more serious tone in their first posts about the anniversary of D-Day.

Still, the reaction on Facebook is much more in line with the cynical tone that I’ have expected on Twitter:

Yu-Ds7P3NpXEj7pArc2oRrbltB_jhGTb_gHQBzTqggY

Still, spy-hats off to the spooks for a genius PR move – I’m looking forward to more unclassified content and a peek under that trench coat.

Sainsbury’s Food Rescue

We waste 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK. That translates as a loss of £60 per month for the average family.

Searches for recipes using leftovers have surged by 1/3 compared to last year, with 2/3 of those searches made via mobile devices.

This is why Sainsbury’s and Google have launched Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. The tool gives people practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of the fridge or cupboard.

Food Rescue will also provide some insight into what food the UK saves and how that differs across the country:

  • the most rescued ingredient is a potato
  • 176 Feed Rescue recipes have been made since launch
  • £1.30 aAverage saving per recipe

Bits and bytes

  • Whole Foods uses an internal photo sharing community where staff shares images from stores to glean insight into which displays work well without giving away a competitive advantage
  • Google now treats brand mentions as links. They’re not like ‘express links, things you can click that will take you some place else, but rather ‘implied links’. Which means that every brand mention is now a link to your website. Or, more succinctly as this marvellous info graphic from MC Saatchi puts it: PR = SEO
  • Twitter is in trouble: losing users, inactive accounts, too much noise. It has lost more than half its market value, a staggering USD18 billion, since late December.  Here’s how Twitter can avoid becoming irrelevant
  • Bit of ad-porn? Cannes Lions 2014 top 100 contenders, compiled by Per Pedersen, Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey

Videos of the week

Mexican retailer Coppel teams up with world freestyle champion @seanfreestyle to play a little prank on some unsuspecting kids.

On the slightly less skilled front, we have Zidane, Bale and Moura smashing up Beckham’s house while looking street in their Adidas gear.

And then there’s this fantastically bizarre clip by Polish window maker Drutex featuring Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo and Jakub Blaszczykowski showing students who’s best at keepy uppy only to then find out that great footballers not only have great skills in common, but also great windows. Windows for champions. Seriously. That’s the actual slogan (at least in the German translation).

And finally

Billy Jean on beer bottles

Print your own food, Yahumblr, Sharenting and this week’s bits and bytes

Print your own food: A chap called Anjan Contractor received a $125,000, 6-month NASA grant to build a prototype 3D printer that prints food. Meant for space travel, you don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to understand that it could also be used to provide food in the future when the population is higher and presumably natural food sources become scarce (HT @stangreenan and @a_little_wine).

Rather than pots, fresh ingredients, and a stove – the 3D printer creates food from basic powdered ingredients loaded in cartridges. Even better, because these cartridges contain simply the building blocks of various different kinds of food and have a massively increased shelf-life compared to fresh food, the amount of food waste would be greatly reduced.

It gets better. What’s the first dish Contractor is looking to print?

Pizza.

Source: Quartz

Yahumblr: Yahoo bought Tumblr this week for $1.1bn. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer set up her own Tumblr to announce the news – how else, but with an animated gif, the currency of the blogging platform (although, the Keep Calm meme? That’s sooo 2011). From the opening lines of her post, she is keen on making hard core Tumblrs know that Yahoo “promise not to screw it up.”

But why purchase a collection of blogs made up of cat images, animated gifs, porn (seriously, 1 in every 6 pages is NSFW) and sites dedicated to ‘Fuck yeah…’? They’re after a younger demographic and they’re hoping to sell access to it. Mayer did emphasise on an investor call that Yahoo would let Tumblr be Tumblr – but it’ll be interesting to see how Yahoo reconciles Tumblr’s naughty bits with the family friendly environment Yahoo has built up. The Harvard Business Review believes that it can work, but only if Yahoo listens closely to the Tumblr community.

Source: Marissa Mayr

Twitter security: Twitter has finally rolled out two-factor security. You link your Twitter account with your mobile phone and set it up so that you’re sent a verification message to your phone that you have to then input together with your password when you log in. That way you need the account password and your phone to log in – making it more difficult for accounts to get hacked.

The problem is that for corporate accounts that are managed by more than one person, this system won’t work because an account can only be linked to one phone number. Hopefully then, Twitter will add support for the Google Authenticator app.

Xbox One: Want to know what you’ll be getting your kids/yourself for Christmas this year? Microsoft’s new gaming console, the Xbox One.

Free McDonald’s for kidnap hero: A great bit of opportunistic PR from McDonald’s, which has decided to give the man who famously put down his Big Mac to help rescue three women held captive for years in a Cleveland house free McD’s for a year (HT @tomparker81).

A few hazelnuts short of a full spread: Imagine you’re the brand manager for Nutella. Over years, you’ve nurtured a relationship with a 40,000 strong fan community on Facebook. Every year, the page admin runs a Nutella appreciation day. A day where people share their Nutella inspired recipes and other odes to the Greatest Chocolate Spread The World Has Ever Seen (well, after Saino’s popping candy chocolate spread of course).

Happy days.

Then, unbeknownst to you, your legal department issues a cease and desist order to shut down the Nutella fan page. Obviously the fans went apoplectic, but through quick work, Nutella quickly reversed their position, wiping the chocolate from their face.

Sharenting: My social streams are full of people posting photos of their offspring. From the first ultrasound, to live tweeting the birth, Instagrammed photos of all early-life stages to jumpy six second home-video-vines of first steps and/or utterances. It bores the crap out of me. At least there’s ‘Unbaby Me‘, a handy browser extension that removes photos of babies in your Facebook and Twitter feeds and replaces them with whatever you’d rather see. I’ve gone for Imgur’s most viral RSS feed.

The Guardian looks at the pros (really?!) and cons of sharenting – the growing trend of young parents documenting their offspring’s development through social media.

Source: STFU, Parents

20 social insights: A thought provoking deck by @paulbromford about the top 20 things he learnt about social media last year. I LOVED slide #12: “Wifi is like electricity – people need it to do their jobs properly“. Then there’s #10: Trust. And #7: Relationships. Check it out for yourself – and do make sure you also visit Paul’s blog to see his notes on each slide (HT @AllThingsIC).

Tech and food: Two things I love and am ridiculously fortunate to combine in my job at Saino’s. So I was intrigued by a post from @nealunger about how similar tech and food blogging is. After all, both audiences form part of my target audience every day. Neal writes:

Both fields depend on producing large amounts of content for an obsessive and mostly financially comfortable user base. There’s a reason for the glut of well-funded tech and food web sites these days; a shitload of people read them, and advertisers want to reach that audience. To put it bluntly—tech and food publications both reach monomaniacs with money to throw around.

Tweet your afterlife away: According to the Beeb, Saudi Arabia’s religious police are employing an interesting (futile?) tactic to stop its population from using increasingly popular social media platforms to voice their political and religious views. They’re warning that anyone doing so “has lost this world and his afterlife“. They’ve obviously not heard of the Arab spring…

Social teens: Research from Pew Research Centre about teens, social media and privacy has found that teenage social media users aren’t too concerned about business or advertisers accessing their data. Do also have a look at some of the focus group quotes, as they provide an interesting snapshot of just how savvy teens are when using social media and how different platforms are used for different purposes.

Insight: Excellent advice from XKCD on adopting every new tech

Source: XKCD

Grid: Excel is a really useful program for calculations, recurring formulas and financial information. We also use it for many other purposes like content plans, weekly reports and contact lists. I’d argue that most of the things we use Excel are better done in other ways, yet it remains the go-to platform for organising information. Not much longer I hope, as this video for a new collaborative planning tool called Grid shows.

Video of the week: Clever stuff from – again! – McDonald’s with their Chalkboard versions of their menus. Such a simple idea to bring that down-to-earth, homemade and wholesome feel to a global brand.

And finally: Cat beards and of course, double cat beard.

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