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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”

Content strategy, #GrillMOL, Gifpop! and this week’s bits and bytes

Brandopolis: I came across this spectacular in-depth investigation of content strategy at top brands by @lydialaurenson: this epic, four part report covers everything from content strategy basics, how this obsession with content came about, to the hyper contextual future this trend of ‘all brands are publishers’ is heading towards. Chock full with case studies from some of the world’s biggest brands, I’d rate this as one of the best pieces of writing on digital content strategy I’ve come across.

If nothing else (and for you TL;DR fans) scroll down to the conclusions – best four bullet points you’ll read all year.

GrillMOL: A few weeks ago we welcomed @Ryanair to Twitter. You may recall that I wasn’t to impressed with their second tweet, outlining why they wouldn’t respond to customers:  because, gosh darn it, there’s just too many of them.

This week, they decided to go from one extreme to the other: #GrillMOL was the official Hashtag used for a 1 hour 18 minute live Twitter Q&A with Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.

I’ve had a quick look at some Sysomos data and the Q&A session from this week did put up some solid numbers: over 1,800 mentions, generating more than 4 million impressions. Interestingly, 72% of the audience was male – which, going by one of the first Tweets that MOL put out during the Q&A, doesn’t surprise me:

Absolutely daft.

However, the majority of his responses had O’Leary responding honestly and quickly to a number large number of questions ranging from that annoying fanfare when their planes land on time, to their shockingly horrible website – all with a healthy does of self-depricating humour.

The Daily Edge has a great summary of the things we learned from the Q&A, the Indie on the other hand thought it was a ‘crash landing‘ (much like their headline).

Ryanair’s reaction?

They thought it was so successful, they did it again today.

Gifpop! Everyone loves an animated gif. Well, I do. They’re particularly perfect for communicating specific emotions such as apoplectic rage, disgust or joy – often using scenes from films, TV shows or popular YouTube clips. Sites like the brilliant London Grumblr wouldn’t exist without them and online communities such as Reddit, 4Chan or Imgur – heck, the Internet – wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

And no, it’s not just silliness.

Have a look at Zack Dougherty’s beautifully trippy gif art.

Source: Zack Dougherty

Problem of course is that these mesmerising, animated, forever looping, wonderful gifs only exists on digital screens.

Not for long though, as a Kickstarter project by @rachelbinx and @shashashasha that uses lenticular printing to bring gifs to life. Called Gifpop!, the service has already crushed its funding target of $5,000 less than 24 hours of going online – with over 400 backers donating over $15,000 (The Atlantic has more about how it all came about).

Can’t wait!

Source: Gifpop! Also, OMG, it’s a gif of a Gifpop!

Jonathan Perelman from Buzzfeed doesn’t like banner ads: Or, to quote him: “You’re more likely to summit Mount Everest than click on a banner ad.” From the Guardian’s take on Perelman’s speech at the the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2013 – it sounded like many other people in the room agreed with his view that banner ads are (on the way) out.

He goes on to talk about ‘native advertising‘ – that dangerous amalgamation of content and advertising – an area that Buzzfeed excels in and has earned them 85 million unique visitors a month.

How do journalists use Twitter? Great little Q&A with @jenniferpreston about how to verifies Tweets when a story breaks and some of the principles she applies to source fast-moving stories.

Mobile or beer? Amstel, the Dutch Brewery company, has developed a clever little app that rewards you with free beer – if you don’t touch your phone for 8 hours. Called ‘Amstel‘, the app simply tracks how long you haven’t touched your phone.

Source: Amstel

Fast Company has more on the campaign – meanwhile, the question remains: could you go eight hours without touching your phone? (Or could you just turn it on when you go to bed and wake up to a free Amstel?).

Videos of the week: “Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine?” So begins the interview on Newsnight between Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand and my word is it good. That Brand is one eloquent customer.

Never not, part 2 – a beautiful 50 minute short film by Nike featuring some of the world’s top snowboarders, tricks, flips and a hell of a lot of snow.

A fantastic animation by Blank on Blank of an interview with Kurt Cobain on identity.

And finally: Workw*nkers

Apple goes colour/biometric, Twitter IPO/future, Phoneblok and this week’s bits and bytes

#JSFishFinger: We have a winner. The honour and a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher for being @SainsburysPR‘s favourite Fish Finger Sandwich was awarded to @DomSoar for his epic fish and chips with homemade mushy peas on thick buttered white bread with tomato and Tartare sauce. We were impressed with Dom’s successful work in bringing together two classic dishes in a most precise fashion. Tasty.

Colourful plastic cases and fingerprint ID: The new Apple phones are here. Charles Arthur reckons that the 5c will be popular, even if it’s not as cheap as many had hoped. The 5s however is the model that the Apple fan boys will be most interested in. A faster processor, a new camera alongside some new photography functions such as ‘burst mode’ and ‘slow motion video’ will appeal to the Instragramers and Viners out there.

The reaction to the new iPhones on social was rather negative as WeAreSocial were quick to point out.  Mentions of the 5c were mostly negative, with 45% of conversations criticising its design and 36% questioning its price. The 5s in turn was mentioned 66% less than its predecessor the iPhone 5 a year go. The Poke has taken a less scientific way of looking at the social response – they’ve just picked some of the funniest Tweets.

The biggest reaction to the new colourful range of iPhone 5c however went to Nokia, who, while Apple’s event was still running, tweeted an image of their range of colourful Lumia handsets and thanked Apple for paying them such a huge compliment by copying their idea.

Apple’s share also took a hit as investors were unimpressed with Apple’s pricing strategy and the lack of a distribution deal in China.

One feature with the new 5s that does terrify me a little though is ‘Touch ID’, the fingerprint passcode function, where you can teach your new phone up to five fingerprints that will then unlock the phone and even work as a password for purchasing music through iTunes. Apple was quick to confirm that fingerprint data is not stored on any servers and that they will only ever remain on the phone. However, with a phone inherently connected through mobile networks or wifi, I’d think it only a matter of time hackers are stealing your biometric data along with your phone number and any other data stored on your phone.

Also, if your password is compromised – you can change it. But what happens when your fingerprint is compromised? You can’t change that so easily. Boing Boing looks at this paradox of using biometric data for authentication and why it may not be as safe as we like to think it is.

And what the hell does the S and the C stand for anyway? Speed and colour? Or Same and Cheap?

Anyway – what I’m really excited about is iOS 7, the new operating system that launches next week!

Twitter IPO and new features for verified accounts: Twitter has also been busy this week, announcing their long-awaited IPO with a tweet – how else?

Secondary sales of Twitter stock have valued the company at upwards of about $10 billion (that’s 10 Instagrams, fyi), so one thing that is certain is that it will create much excitement over the next few months and a number of millionaires when it finally happens.

That tweet came almost immediately after the IPO tweet, as Twitter moved to announce a new feature for verified accounts (the ones with the blue tick). The new feature will allow the Justin Biebers of the world to filter their interactions: they can chose to see all their @mentions, just the ones from other verified accounts, or those that Twitter deems relevant. The move is meant to encourage Twitter’s most popular users to stay active on the platform – although they might end up just speaking to each other rather than their fans (which in Bieber’s case would be fine by me).

Where will it all go? Well, The New Yorker looks at what Twitter could look like in the future:

  • Twitter will continue its transition from tech to media company
  • What’s coming next is a more graphically intense platform that is led by mobile
  • They will likely match the new iOS 7 operating system with a cleaner look – for example, the menu buttons for home, connect, discover and your profile will disappear in favour of an UI that ancourages users to swipe left and right

Phoneblok: As we all know though, a phone really only lasts a couple of years before it breaks or becomes obsolete. @davehakkens argues that even though it’s often just one part that fails, we throw the whole thing away since it’s nigh on impossible to repair or upgrade. Just thinking of my visits to the Apple Store and I realise that I’ve never actually walked out of there with a repaired or upgraded phone. I’ve always walked out with a brand new handset.

Hakkens has come up with the brilliant concept of the Phoneblok – a fully customisable phone that is made up of little blocks that all fit together – almost like Lego. A quite brilliant idea, the idea is in a conceptual stage at the moment, but going by the support it is getting, I think this might become reality sooner rather than later.

On the Internet, everyone has a friend: A great piece in The Atlantic by @emmaogreen about how the Internet isn’t a place where everyone shouts at each other. Rather, it’s a collection of lots of small places where people are chatting among themselves about topics that they are interested in.

“In other words, anyone can find other people who share her interests, no matter how obscure those interests are. These communities might provide entertainment, but they also provide a place for groups to coordinate and rally offline action. This is especially important because of the low cost of entry – people no longer have to have a printing press and/or a powerful company on their side to find allies and make their voices heard in a public sphere.”

Moving on nicely from what people talk about on the Internet to some research from Ipsos about why people share things on social media. Quite simply, to share interesting (61%), important (43%) and funny things (43%).

Instagram catching up with Twitter: The Hipster’s favourite photo sharing platform has just cracked the 150 million active users mark, bringing it ever closer to the 200 million active Twitter users. What better way to celebrate this milestone that to follow Sainsbury’s on Instagram?

Videos of the week: Guinness have come up with a rather clever way of showing the true meaning of friendship and loyalty – and what it means to share a pint with friends

Extra shows us the cheesiest gum commercial ever

And an ode to Lidl (via @Treebd)

And finally: Happy 15th birthday Google. Here are 15 things about Google you probably didn’t know.

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