Bits and Bytes

Thoughts on digital, running rambles and photos



Instagram’s Hyperlapse and how brands are getting on board

Time-lapse photography has been around for a long time. It’s always been a very manual, time consuming process. Timing systems and software have made the process easier and in recent years we’ve seen more an more moving time-lapse shots, where the camera is mobile. To get that to work, you need a rig to steady the camera while it moves. Not cheap and another layer of difficulty.

Instagram have just gone and launched a free iOS app called ‘Hyperlapse‘, making moving time-lapse photography easy and accessible to anybody who can hold an iPhone. You don’t even need a tripod to hold your phone steady, the app does this for you.  Continue reading “Instagram’s Hyperlapse and how brands are getting on board”

How to choose the right social media platform; Who won the #TubeStrike and this week’s bits and bytes

Been a while since my last update – holidays and life got in the way, but I did finish the London Marathon. It didn’t go to plan, but I managed to cross the line regardless. An absolutely brilliant day with seemingly all of London out to support the runners.

What social media platform should I use?

In what can only be labelled as shameless self-promotion, I wanted to point out a panel discussion I recently took part in about how to navigate the maze of social media platforms and choose the right one for your needs (there’s also a nifty Storify of some of the Tweets from the discussion if you don’t fancy reading the whole summary).

Hosted by @CorpCommsMag and @PreciseTweets at the London Museum, the panel also featured the significant talents of @AlexPearmain, @thebeaverhousen and @steeleworld

Continue reading “How to choose the right social media platform; Who won the #TubeStrike and this week’s bits and bytes”

Loving Edeka’s Supergeil, the Ellen Oscar selfie fallout and this week’s bits and bytes

Supergeil: Germany’s largest supermarket Edeka has a history of going for a more cheeky tone in advertising its claim to “Love Food” (Wir Lieben Lebensmittel), especially when promoting their own brand label “Good and Cheap” (Gut und Günstig).

They’ve had some fun in the past with a clip of two stoners out to fight the munchies in an Edeka, playing on the double meanings of words such as ‘Tüte’ (German for ‘bag’, but also for ‘joint’) and ‘Bon’ (German, weirdly, for ‘receipt’; funny, because when this French word is pronounced in German, it sounds awfully like ‘bong’).

Continue reading “Loving Edeka’s Supergeil, the Ellen Oscar selfie fallout and this week’s bits and bytes”

Chipotle’s ‘Farmed and Dangerous’, Facebook Paper, Google Lego and this week’s bits and bytes

Farmed and Dangerous: Last year, Chipotle’s quest for “wholesome, sustainable food” saw them develop the Scarecrow Game. The game puts you in the shoes of a scarecrow fighting to foil the evil “Crow Foods” and break its hold on food production and supply.

The game was promoted by a beautifully animated short film, aptly titled ‘The Scarecrow’:

In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.

The Scarecrow raised eyebrows, gained accolades and cemented the chain’s commitment to sustainable sourcing. It achieved wall-to-wall, worldwide coverage, with The Guardian positing that the campaign would set the bar for sustainable advertising and Venture Beat calling it the creation of ‘advergaming‘. Not everyone was impressed though, some critics thought the campaign to be manipulative and others felt the film was just too darn depressing and that it had put them off of eating at Chipotle.

Scarecrow looks to have had the desired effect though, as Chipotle are doubling down on original content with a four-part mini-series on Hulu (the on demand platform that brings together shows from some of the main TV networks in the US).

Called “Farmed and Dangerous“, the series explores “the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture” (HT @stanm).

Farmed and Dangerous

The show premieres on Hulu on February 17 and going by the trailer, they’re not kidding when they say ‘outrageously twisted’: the story centres around a fictional industrial agriculture company ‘Animoil’ that has developed a way to feed cows petroleum-based pellets, called PetroPellets. Cheaper than conventional animal feed, these pellets are completely “organic”, and they’re even available for a number of different livestock (aqua pellets are still in the R&D phase).

They do, however, have one nasty side-effect.

They make the cows explode.

Craziness ensues as the security footage of exploding cattle goes viral and Animoil end up in the midst of a massive PR disaster. Animoil’s CEO Mick Mitcherson is forced into action and tries to regain control over his company’s reputation – while at the same, the audience learns about the dangers of industrial agriculture.

It doesn’t stop there though. Chipotle have created a corporate website for Animoil, where you’ll find the CEO of Animoil Global responding to criticism about the safety of his PetroPellet product (yes, he is also on Twitter @BuckMarshall), as well as some fantastic greenwash in the corporate responsibility section. The site even includes a careers section with some fantastic job opportunities as ‘Astroturf fluffer’ and ‘Interpretive Health and Safety Manager’. Sadly, all the links take you through to a 404 page, but even that is beautifully made.

Chipotle are also connecting their ‘real world’ Twitter account with that of the imaginary CEO Buck Marshall – tweeting a link to an open letter by the CEO ‘to everyone with a mouths‘ in the New York Times.

While I really think the assets created on the back of this campaign are fantastic, I just can’t get the basic premise of exploding cows out of my head: if some people were put off from going to Chipotle after seeing a dystopian, albeit beautifully animated version of the food chain, I wonder how they’re going to react after seeing life-like cows disintegrate in Tarrantino-esque PetroPellet explosions on screen?

I suspect Chipotle is also worried about that effect, because even as it’s had a big hand in Farmed and Dangerous’ development, according to Time Magazine, Chipotle is only referenced once in four episodes, and the chain isn’t mentioned in the opening or closing credits of the show at all.

Also, going by this response to Chipotle’s tweet above, some people might actually think Animoil is real!?

Facebook Paper: It seems Flipboard, Pulse and Medium have had a remarkable effect on Facebook’s thinking as they borrow a lot of the look and feel of those platforms to create what looks like a dramatic and completely beautiful re-imagining of the Facebook mobile interface.

Facebook Paper is all about story telling and about making content look good – while at the same time keeping the features we’re so used to from Facebook in the foreground. Also, going by the intro film, Facebook has fully committed to mobile:

  • Paper uses the entire screen, with only “like”, “share” and “reply” buttons appearing in the bottom left corner,
  • it also makes full use of the accelerometer, where you’ll need to tilt your phone to see the whole image (as groovy as this is, I do hope there’s a way to switch it off as it could get annoying),
  • and there’s not a flippin desktop, laptop or tablet in sight. Every person in the film is glued to their phone, ignoring their friends. Dystopian future klaxon!

But more than just looks, Facebook Paper is about an entirely new concept that so far hasn’t really applied to the platform: discovering content. As Re/code notes:

The site has a wealth of public content on its network, posted openly by users so that any other Facebook users can see it. But until now, there hasn’t been an easy way for people to find it. Thus, if Facebook can organize that stuff by topic and make it more easily discoverable, it’ll inspire you to comb through it all — and perhaps to pen your own stuff that much more.

Facebook Paper is set to launch in the US app store on Monday, February 3 – I couldn’t find a release date for the UK.

Google Lego: Two years ago Google unveiled an experiment called ‘Build with Chrome’, a virtual Lego tool that let you play with tiny plastic bricks in your browser – that project is now finally open to everyone and it looks amazing. It only works in Chrome, so yore going to have to download that. Then you can happily spend hours building anything your imagination can muster, anywhere in the world, without having to worry about stepping on a brick in your bare feet, discarding two of those flat pieces because they’ve become inseparable over time, or about running out of pieces in a particular colour.

Bits and bytes

  • Coca-Cola were in trouble this week for treating the word ‘gay’ as a swear word on their Facebook page’s “share a Coke” function. Can’t tell if they’ve fixed it or if they’ve taken the whole thing down – I can’t seem to find the virtual personalised can generator app anywhere, so I assume it’s the latter (HT @a_little_wine)
  • A bizarre and terrifying post by Naoki Hiroshima about how he had his Paypal, Domain and  Facebook profile hacked – all in order to get to his extremely valuable Twitter handle @N (HT @a_little_wine)
  • Love Instagram? Love marshmallows? Why not combine the two with boomf, a service that prints your photos onto a marshmallow (HT @a_little_wine)

Videos of the week

The trailer for an inspiring film by Green Lions called Project Wild Thing. The film follows filmmaker and father David Bond as he goes up against the marketing departments of Apple, Disney and Mattel to convince children that nature is so much better than iPads, TV and plastic toys (Disclaimer: @Green_Lions is the production company that, together with @SAS_Creative, have helped us create Sainsbury’s Little Stories, Big Difference films).

Cycling Scotland’s road safety ad – banned because the cyclists featured in the ad don’t wear helmets and ride along in the middle of the flipping’ road. Outrageous. Five people complained to the ASA about this shocking revelation, however they had no problem (or any discernible sense of humour it seems) with cyclists being compared to a horse (HT @a_little_wine).

Super Bowl XLVIII is this Sunday, which means we have a good couple of hours worth of insanely expensive, over the top ads interrupted by footage of strangely padded, HUGE dudes crashing into each other as they chase an egg around a patch of grass for a few seconds at a time to look forward to (not even kidding: an average NFL has more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play). Anyway. Here is Bud Light’s insanely expensive and over the top Super Bowl effort.

And finallyThe ticket barrier on the London Underground that sings along to Blur (HT @VictoriaDove for sharing this and to @RitchAmes for creating this masterpiece)

#Twitter4brands, breaking news and this week’s bits & bytes

#Twitter4Brands: Twitter’s annual update on what’s what with brands and advertising took place yesterday. Some thoughts about it below, although it is by no means an exhaustive summary. Here’s another view from Matt Chapman on Brand Republic.

The fact that Twitter is the second screen shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it should influence how brands use Twitter to talk to their followers. 80% of Twitter activity in the UK is from mobile phones and people are tweeting about what’s happening in the real world.

I’ve talked before about this trend, so I won’t go into much more except to say that the Twitter TV book has been updated with new data.

The big news was about keyword targeting in timelines. And this one is going to be HUGE. Imagine you’re in a foreign country, your flight has been cancelled, you’re stuck and you need a place to crash. You don’t know anyone. You take to Twitter and voice your anger and frustration. You might tweet something along the lines of ‘Flight cancelled. Stuck with nowhere to go and no place to sleep. I need a hotel’. Perhaps throw in a bit of colourful language to round it off. What if there’s a hotel just down the road from you that has bought a keyword targeted tweet (say to the words ‘need’ and ‘hotel’ and that their message will pop up in anybody’s Twitter stream, provided they are within 5km of their hotel and they’ve used those two words in a public message).

Serendipity as Head of Twitter UK @TonyW called it.

Tone of voice was the big topic for the second half of the conference. The key point being that people expect brands to speak in normal language on Twitter, not in some sort of stilted, formal tone. There were many excellent examples, culminating in O2 winning the first ever Flock award for the most outstanding use of Twitter – interestingly, not for how O2 used the various promotional mechanics that Twitter showcased in the first half of the day, but for how they enter into real conversations with their followers. The most famous example of which was how they dealt with enraged customers during a network outage last year. Other excellent examples came from @The_Dolphin_Pub and @Mangal2.

Still not convinced? It’s not just Twitter who are saying that brands should be human on social media.

Finally, Gary Lineker showed up and talked about England going out to Germany at Italia90 on penalties (which I enjoyed very much) as well as the infamous Poogate (which I may actually have enjoyed more)…

… but he was mainly there to talk about how he uses Twitter to promote brand Lineker, Match of the Day as well as how he deals with trolls (Piers Morgan and Joey Barton received a special mention here).

I’ll leave it to @TonyW’s to sum up #Twitter4Brands – in just 5 tweets.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 19.54.55

Breaking news: There was a lot of it this week. From the Lion Air flight that skidded off the runway in Bali into the sea, to the Boston Marathon bombing, to the exploding fertiliser factory in Texas. The Boston bombing in particular horrified many. Much has been said about how news travels on social media – and that is how I found out about all of the above: from Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly though, in all three occasions my immediate reaction was to turn on the TV. An almost knee-jerk reaction to confirm these things had actually happened. The fact that the 24 hour news channels in each instance were already on the story was weirdly reassuring, yet the longer I watched them, the more facts were replaced by wild speculation and leading questions about all of our safety. It’s nothing new really, just in a week with some much bad stuff happening, I felt very increasingly angry at the media’s fear mongering.

Interesting then to read that news actually bad for you. Rolf Dobelli argues that news causes disruption, anxiety, shallow thinking – basically that it’s a waste of time. And as I’d like to join his movement of not consuming news, that would make my job pretty darn difficult to do. Dobelli doesn’t think that all journalism is useless: he does concede a special place for investigative journalism, reporting that goes deep and uncovers truth.

Now given my chosen profession, it’ll be difficult for me to just abstain from the news, but it should act as a reminder to turn off the incessant news stream every once in a while before we all lose our minds.

Or – you could immerse yourself entirely and join Guardian Witness. Similar to CNN’s iReport, The Guardian is inviting its readers to register, pick their assignment and provide images, video and copy to cover news events. As I write this, The Guardian is calling for stories about Syrian refugees, photos of sleeping pets and how budget cuts have affected you. A simple – and free – way for the paper to augment its eyes and ears and tap into a willing network of eager freelancers.

The news lifecycle: An interesting look at how mobile has not only influenced how people consume the news, but when they consume it. FT data shows quite clearly how people get up in the morning and read the FT on their phone or tablet first thing and on their commute in to work. As soon as they get to the office, desktop readers of the FT website spike and then slowly drop off during the day. Finally, mobile devices spike for a second time as people start their commute home again. On the weekends, desktop use is low, with spikes coming early in the day from mobile devices.

Why do you see the things you see in your Facebook newsfeed? It’s not as easy as just following somebody or a brand. It depends on four factors: previous engagement, the type of content your interacting with, how popular it is within your network and increasingly, how much negative feedback its received. Here’s a clever little infographic that explains what Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm is and how it works.

Facebook Home: It launched, they made an ad, then another one with Zuck in it (bad idea), and now most people are giving it a 1 out of 5 star rating. Ouch.

Geekgasm: HMV have come out of administration and are under new ownership. To celebrate, they’ve hidden Nipper in the source code of their revamped website. Kudos to HMV for this extremely nerdy Easter egg, although I cannot for the life of me understand why you’d check out the source code of a website (HT @TomParker81)?

Videos of the week: Check out this brilliant ad from K-Mart to advertise their new direct shipping service. Ship the bed!

The dove real beauty campaign continues with real sketches

and with an even better parody.

There is much Lego awesomeness in the world and this folding Buddhist temple blew my mind (HT @gin_lane).

Bringing Instagram and CSR together: FoodShareFilter is an Instagram-esque photo filter with a purpose. Download it, and the proceeds go to an agricultural program in El Salvador run by Manos Unidas, a major charity. What better way for Hipsters to Instagram the food they eat and make it worth their while?

Viral cake: If you’ve not seen the best viral cake resignation letter ever, you’ve clearly been living under some sort of rock.

And finally: Every Facebook birthday wall, ever.

Digital dualism and this week’s bits and bytes


It’s not often that a study in a journal on ethics gets much attention outside of academia, but if your study finds that PR professionals are in fact guiding the ethical decision making in organisations, that’s a different ballgame. In fact, when properly understood and practiced PR is ethical by its very nature.

Another week, another social media meltdown. After HMV it was Applebees’ turn in the US to go up in flames in front of the eyes of the world, in real time. A long post by RL Stollat on his blog, it goes through the timeline of how it kicked off and all the mistakes that the Applebees social media team were making in excruciating detail.

Who doesn’t love to hate corporate jargon? We all do. And I’d argue we’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Econsultancy has pulled together a list of horrors where, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’d be able to refrain from slapping some sense into the speaker. I mean, ‘phablet’? Really? Apparently this is such a problem in PR, that digital agency Twelve Thirty Eight have created the ‘Buzz Saw App’: a web-based tool that strips out all the jargon, providing you with the total number of buzzwords used and a percentage score.

I have nothing but love for Lego. They just get this social thing. Just in case you didn’t think they were awesome enough already, to celebrate their 55th anniversary, they came up with a series of 55 minimalist posters of nursery rhymes, stories and pop culture references — all in glorious Lego! See how many you can get right – this is not just your average, boring ‘like-bait’.

It’s social media philosophy time – hooray!

Two articles by @nathanjurgenson caught my attention this week. The first is about the phenomena of digital dualism, where he argues that the scale of how people see their interactions with digital extends from one extreme – strong augmented reality, where they see as digital and reality being the same thing – to the other – strong digital dualism, where digital and reality are kept strictly separate. Confused? Read his post and take the digital dualism test (personally, I feel most comfortable at the mild augmented reality end).

The second, is a follow-up piece to the digital/reality scale and the consequence of more and more people living in total augmented reality. Instead of watching your favourite band play your favourite song, you’re filming in on your smartphone to be posted later on YouTube. Instead of enjoying the view from the peak of that mountain you’ve just climbed, you’re taking a photo to share with your followers on Instagram. Instead of having a good old chat with a friend, you’re tweeting that great one liner you just came up with. Nathan argues that like photography before it, social media changes the way we perceive the world. Have you ever asked yourself: “Holy crap, this thing I’m doing/I’ve seen/I’ve heard/I’ve read would look great on my [insert social media profile of choice]? He writes: “social media users have become always aware of the present as something we can post online that will be consumed by others”. Or, asked in the form of a question: Are we more concerned by our own social media history, that we forget to enjoy the moment?

The aptly named Creativity Online recently posted a collection of 10 projects from 2012 that expertly combine creativity with technology – while keeping the customer front of mind. The list includes some great examples from retail, my personal favourites would be Red Tomato’s Pizza Fridge Magnet button. The button is given to the only the best customers and programmed with their favourite order – all they need to do is press it and their order is delivered.

Then there’s Hellmann’s Recipe Receipt, where customers in Brazil who bought Hellmann’s mayo at a participating supermarket would get a recipe using Hellmann’s and the other items they’d bought printed on their receipt (HT @cdceniza).

In this week’s videos of the week, the new Mercedes CLK will make you want to make a pact with the devil to get it and all the sexiness that comes with it – but watch the clip before you sign away your soul. Also, my apologies for not already including this last week, but I just had to include it.

Microsoft launched this clever Internet Explorer ad for all the children of the ’90s. The snappy wristband thingies? The 56k dial up modem? The chunky yellow water-proof Walkman? And the pinnacle of awesome, the Supersoaker? I loved them all. Will the clip make me switch to Internet Explorer and turn my back on Chrome? Who knows…

And finally: the best think you’ll read this week (besides this email, of course): Simon Rich’s fantastic short story ‘Sell Out’ from the New Yorker (HT @TomParker81). So good, I immediately bought Simon’s book afterwards.

#SocialBrands – my thoughts and slides

Today I had the great pleasure of speaking on behalf of Sainsbury’s at the Social Brand Conference in London. A packed day of brands and agencies talking about all things social media. From best practice customer service, content strategies, legal frameworks and ROI – there was just so much information to take on board and digest.

I spoke about how in today’s digital age, every crisis is now social, global and viral. I’ve embedded my slides below, but before I get to that, I wanted to put to paper some of the thoughts and inspiration from the other speakers that stayed with me.

Hats off to @Larssilberbauer from Lego for the work that his team has been doing. I’ve mentioned them on my blog before and I was very excited to hear first hand about how they go about social. What stuck with me the most was his deceptively simple approach to developing a social media strategy for Lego: If you understand people to be hard-wired to be social, then you have to understand what your customers social needs are. In the case of Lego, this is the need to build together and to show off that sense of pride you have when you’re completed your creation. Combine your business strategy with your customer’s social needs and hey presto, you have a social media strategy.

The results speak for themselves – just check out Lego’s brilliant “Brickmented Reality” campaign.

Lars then went on to talk about the simple yet entirely brilliant Lego social media driver’s licence. Put simply, a day-long course at the end of which Lego executives have to pass a theoretical and practical exam on social media. And much like any driver’s licence – if you mess up, it can be taken away from you.

A big theme of the day was that of agile social media teams (or SWATT – Special Weapons & Twitter Tactics, thank you @Jeremywaite for that bit of awesomeness) that sit somewhere between PR and Marketing and are not only plugged in to the big events and news stories of the day, but have the authority and resource to develop creative content for their brands to be a part of the bigger conversation.

With the Superbowl powercut fresh in people’s memory, no wonder then that it was Oreo’s ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ Tweet – created, approved and posted within minutes of the lights going out.

Other examples were Lego’s tribute to Neil Armstrong, Spec Saver’s cheeky ad on the back of the Eden Hazard/Ball boy incident and some more from the Superbowl:

@Jeremywaite provided the best definition of ‘Return on Investment‘ I’d ever heard at a social media conference: the actual definition of the concept, which was a very pleasant surprise.

ROI%  = ((revenue gained – investment) / investment) x 100

That definition coupled with his 1 slide social media report (Who is saying it? What are they saying? When are they saying it? Where are they saying it? and Why are they saying it?) will prepare you for any budget meeting with the CFO.

Finally on to @BruceDaisley from Twitter who showed a great clip about how the news of the recent helicopter crash in central London was shared on Twitter. The visualisation clearly shows how initial tweeters are at the centre of the story at the start, but then the power of trusted sources on Twitter during breaking news events such as Sky News and more prominently BBC Breaking News become hubs for the news (as I’m sure both Sky and the BBC will be happy to learn).

My mind is still buzzing from all the input, inspiration and ideas so I’ll leave you with my take on crisis comms.

Blogging, improving breaking news at Twitter and this week’s bits and bytes


Starting off with exciting news from the Sainsbury’s digital corporate affairs world, I am super excited to say that we have finally been granted official ‘blue tick of awesomeness’ status by Twitter for our @SainsburysPR account (thank you @simonlp). Equally exciting is the launch of the lifestyle PR team’s blog, where Kathryn and her team will be bringing you all the news from the world of fashion, home and entertainment. The first post provides a sneak peek at the Spring/Summer 2013 home & lifestyle show.

While we’re on the topic, here’s an excellent 8 point guide to blogging that not only sums it up perfectly, but also shows how it’s different from writing a press release or an article. From the importance of tweetable and descriptive headlines, writing upside down to inviting comments with questions and opinion – if you blog for work or privately, this is a must read, print, laminate and stick to the wall kind of document.

Twelve Thirty Eight have produced their annual review of PR jargon and practices that piss off journalists. Not too many surprises there I don’t think, but a good read with quite a few car-crash examples of what not to do in PR. Condensed here in The Guardian’s Greenslade Blog if you don’t want to go through the whole PDF.

Ideas of Year are looking for just that – creative ideas from the Great British PR industry – to showcase some of the best stunts, social campaigns, quick and simple media stories. At the end of the process, around 100 of the finest examples will be compiled in a coffee table book that’ll be published with PR Moment in March 2013. So if you have a campaign to enter, complete this form and submit it by January 20.

Hasbro came out with a clever PR campaign this week, asking fans of Monopoly to vote on which of the classic tokens will never pass go again. The Guardian and The Mirror have covered the story and Paddy Power made the wheelbarrow odds on to be axed, with the cat tipped to replace it. Head over to the official Monopoly Facebook page to save your favourite token!

Lego have been on a roll in regards to customer service recently and this week has been no exception: A boy lost his new Lego toys in Sainsbury’s. He wrote a letter to Lego asking them if they’d replace the toys. Lego’s response is pure customer service gold. The original Tweet has been shared thousands of times, ITV and other media outlets have picked it up, and I don’t have to tell you the importance of quick, empathetic, helpful, human customer service in a viral world.

Must watch video of the week: The totally epic, OTT, 3 minute clip for The Guardian and Observer Weekend™ featuring none other than Hugh Grant (really). Turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy (HT @TomParker81 and @tarasthompson).

Check out this excellent print campaign from Expedia using airport codes and luggage tags. Makes me want to book my next flight and check in – although LHR PHL LHR doesn’t really spell anything.

The guys at Oddbins are back and running yet another marvellous promotional campaign. After their cheeky anti-Olympics campaign in the summer, they’ve now turned their attention to four groups of people who, in 2012, did not always receive the love that they probably deserved. Throughout the four January weekends mothers, bankers & journalists, Germans (YES!) and gingers will take turns to receive 10% discount. I am getting ready for the German weekend.

We all know that the place for breaking news is Twitter. Something happens and people instantly come to Twitter to search for a keyword – often without getting much context. Looks like Twitter are looking to wrest that role of context provider from media outlets using a combination of clever algorithms and dedicated people: they are working to improve the search function with a real-time human computation engine that helps identify search queries as soon as they’re trending, sends these queries to real humans to be judged, and then incorporates the human annotations back into Twitter search results.

Still on Twitter, those crazy cats at @SolihullPolice are at it again, providing their followers with the best comedy crime fighting you could possibly squeeze into 140 characters.

No surprise given murky privacy settings, tax affairs, Instafail, and the new Poke App, but Ad Age doesn’t like Facebook very muchThink of Facebook as a self-absorbed, petulant brat, one that doesn’t understand how to play well with others — users, investors, partners, competitors. Perhaps they should send that to Mark directly – it’ll only cost them a $100. That’s one way to monetise your social network… (HT @stangreenan)

And finally: a ridiculously well done Brad Pitt Chanel N°5 commercial parody featuring Johnny Depp (again, HT @stangreenan).

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