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Bits and Bytes

Thoughts on digital, running rambles and photos

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Apple Watch: a seamless connection between the digital and real world?

The Apple Watch is here. Kind of. It’s available for pre-order starting at £299 for the smaller Apple Watch Sport and goes up all the way to £13,500 for the Apple Watch Edition.

I pre-ordered mine on the first day possible and was still landed with a delivery window of sometime in June, so that gives me a lot of time to read reviews and worry that I’ve made a mistake and gone for the first iteration of a watch that is slow, needs a phone to do anything interesting and will undoubtedly get better with the following version (according to some of the first reviews I’ve read). Continue reading “Apple Watch: a seamless connection between the digital and real world?”

#SochiProblems, Facebook looks back at 10 years and this week’s bits and bytes

SochiProblems: To say that the Sochi Winter Olympics have a bit of a repetitional problem would probably get you on the podium at the understatement of the year award. Adding to the allegations of corruption and the ridiculous anti LGBT laws, and an Olympic Snowflake that was too afraid to come out, organisers also have to contend with athletes and journalists tweeting bizarre evidence of how ramshackle, unfinished and bonkers Sochi 2014 looks to be for visitors.

Of course everything is beautifully curated by spoof accounts on Twitter, with @SochiProblems the clear winner, by far eclipsing the official @Sochi2014 account. Meanwhile, @SochiGamesPR provides the spin in an attempt to deflect attention. Make sure you keep an eye on the #SochiProblems hashtag. Gold.

https://twitter.com/SochiProblems/status/431171207933591552

The Chive has pulled together a more comprehensive summary of the #SochiProblems.

And yes, you can also get your t-shirt

Facebook is 10: Happy 10th birthday to the social network that in the last decade made it socially acceptable to poke a complete stranger. It brought us the like button and an avalanche of baby photos from people that you didn’t speak to or care about in high school, but don’t have the heart to decline their friend request. Brands jumped in, some doing great work to help create a place for a community to come together around their products, many others providing fodder for the Condescending Brand Page.

How to celebrate their 10th birthday?

A clever viral (yes, this was actually viral) film based on the personal history of each and every Facebook user. Accessible via the click of a button, Facebook pulls together a collection of your early posts, popular posts and top photos starting from when you joined the network, right up to the present day, and assembles a version of your life on top of some twee twinkly folky music, images popping up in time with the saccharine tune.

Called ‘A Look Back‘, @stangreenan probably summed it up best: “it’s so lovely, it makes me wonder what parts of my soul Zuckerberg stole to give it to me”.

So we learn that if you want something to go viral, you make it about the person who is sharing it.

But there is another, equally powerful motivator for something to be shared: the spoof look back film. As many were generating the Facebook version of their personal history, the Internet got to work to create spoofs of the look back film from the perspective of Prince Harry, the Bible, and, of course, President Putin.

My favourite has to be the Breaking Bad version (warning: spoilers)

Bits and bytes

Videos of the week

GoPro released their beyond epic film of Felix Baumgartner Spacejump from 2012. Watch this on full screen HD if you know what’s good for you.

Jerry Seinfeld’s reunion with George was TiVo’s most re-watched Super Bowl commercial – and it’s actually quite funny.

And finally‘Tainted Love’ played by floppy disk drives.

Internal brand ambassadors, gamification at work, the power of Google Maps and this week’s bits and bytes

Halloween is coming: They’re carving some pumpkins in the food centre, fancy coming along and making a Vine? Ummm… Yes! Off I went this morning to Sainsbury’s ground level food centre (yes, I love my job) and watched @BethanyJStone carve this gruesome scene of a Ghost Pumpkin eating a wee Munchkin Pumpkin.

We thought we’d have a bit of fun and encourage our followers on @SainsburysPR to tweet us a video, photo or Vine, showing us how they carve your pumpkin. Our favourite entry will walk away with a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher.

The first entries have come in already, and we’re saving them all in a spooky little Storify.

Socialise your people: A wonderful post by @anitaloomba about one of the most overlooked and underused resource in the corporate social media space: the people that work for your company. Why don’t companies empower their people to use social media for their jobs? Why block people from accessing social networks or blogs from work?

The answers take many forms: Everyone will just waste time on Facebook. They’ll give away company secrets. How can we control the message? Make sure that what’s being said is in line with company policy? But we have to protect our network’s bandwidth – what if everyone is just streaming clips from YouTube? Viruses. Hacking. Where’s my tin foil hat!

In the end they boil down to the fear of losing control. Losing control over people and over what they say.

Newsflash.

That control is gone. It started crumbling with the advent of the smartphone and continues to fall apart as people become more comfortable bringing digital into their lives because it helps them plan their lives, communicate with the people they care about – and wait for it – work more efficiently and collaboratively.

Three massively important things that you have to keep in mind when going social: training, encourage sharing, and lead by example.

Games are everywhere: While we’re on digital/social trends in the HR space, have a gander at an interview with Adam Penenberg – author of ‘Play at work: How Games inspire breakthrough thinking’ – about gamification at work and how some Fortune 500 companies are using games to engage employees.

What makes games so powerful?

“A good game gives us meaningful accomplishment, clear achievement that we don’t necessarily get from real life. In a game, you’ve beaten level four, the boss monster is dead, you have a badge, and now you have a super laser sword. Real life isn’t like that, right?”

Giving up on social ROI: An interesting story on Business Insider this week touting the death (how original) of social media ROI. Usually one of those that I ignore as click bait, but this one was shared by my friend @kaifischer who tends to not share (too much) rubbish.

The article is about a new report by BI Intelligence which shows that marketers are moving away from expressing the return on investment in social less in monetary terms and favouring metrics that speak to audience building, brand awareness, and customer relations: reach, engagement and sentiment.

I wish I was there: Buzzfeed picked posted a story about an Instagram feed powered entirely by photos taken from Google Maps. Sounds pretty mundane, but not through the eyes of graphic design student @mmeghan who scours the world for beautiful places on Google Maps.

There aren’t many places that the Google Maps cameras haven’t been…

In what essentially is a simple process, Meghan drops the wee yellow man on a location that’s been photographed, takes a screen shot, transfers the image to her phone, and uploads it to the I wish I was there Instagram, using one of the many filters.

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Interstate 10, Arizona, USA

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Meghan’s eye for photography, composition and design clearly play a factor in her eclectic mix of images.

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Antarctica

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Any airlines or travel companies looking to hire a social media manager out there listening?

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206 Rodovia MA-026, Codó, Maranhão, Brazil

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Fight the Price: Hats off to the chaps at Co-op Electricals, who’ve come up with what I thought is an interesting twist on that old classic, a Twitter Retweet competition. Rather than just have people retweet a message to spread a message, the Co-op are allowing the number of retweets to push down the price of selected home electricals.

Twitter users are encourage to tweet something like: I’m driving down the cost of a Hotpoint Dishwasher with @thecooperative Electrical. Visit http://www.fighttheprice.co.uk to help #FightThePrice

fight the priceAs of this morning, I was tracking about 1,100 mentions of the #FightThePrice hashtag since it went live in September. From the three spikes, it looks like they’ve had three campaigns, all running for about a week – at which time they release a discount code that customers can then input on the ecommerce website and purchase the product.

FF Mark: One for typeface/design/Parallax scrolling aficionados. You’ll want a trackpad for this rather than a scroll-wheel.

Videos of the week: Last year Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space and hurtled towards the earth – breaking the sound barrier on the way. The world watched as the event was broadcast live on YouTube. Relive those bonkers 10 minutes from the perspective of Baumgartner in this epic point-of-view video just released by Red Bull.

For more than a quarter century, Saroo Brierley searched for his family before finding his way back home with the help of Google Earth.

A spooky bit of baking magic from Sainsbury’s with this how-to video for a spooky Halloween pumpkin cake. If you think you’re up to the challenge, you can find the full list of ingredients and instructions on the Live Well for Less site.

And finally: Fullscreen Mario (only works on Google Chrome)

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