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Another pun-off, TFL travel alert fail, say hello to Vice News 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.

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.

OMG indeed.

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.

Still.

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.

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 @SainsburysI 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.

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.

Quick thoughts:

  • 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”

    Source: XKCD

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.

Little Saino’s Stories, BA looks up, an ode to the selfie and this week’s bits and bytes

Little Stories, Big Difference: Often it’s little things that make a big difference. At Saino’s, those little things are often what customers don’t see, so we thought the best people to tell these stories would be our colleagues. Together with our Internal Comms and product teams, we worked with @SAS_Creative and @Green_Lions to create over twenty microfilms: all speaking to the value of values and all featuring our own colleagues. The first ten of these films are live now on our corporate site.

From reducing packaging, to homing bees, and tracing the origin of our bread – I really do think that these films go a long way in bringing our values and sustainability commitments to life in a customer friendly and playful way.

Meerkat moment: At this week’s Marketing huddle, @PoppyShute talked about the Coca Cola ‘Small Worlds Machine’ campaign. Poppy was kind enough to write a quick summary of Coke’s campaign:

This award winning online video campaign communicated the optimistic and feel-good message that what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart, and the result was an incredibly touching video that went viral on You Tube, with 2.4 million views to date. In March this year, Coca Cola set out to connect the people of India and Pakistan – communities only several hundred miles apart, but separated by decades of political tension and mutual hostility. Using state of the art, touch screen vending machines that acted as ‘live communication portals’ in Lahore (Pakistan) and New Delhi (India), they invited consumers to put their differences aside, complete an interactive task togehter, and share a simple moment of connection over a coke.

This is a great demonstration of a company using new technology to great effect, being locally relevant, and building brand values much bigger than just their product. Brace yourself to feel a bit teary.

#LookUp: A digital screen, live flight information and a wee clip of a nipper pointing up at the sky. Three rather simple elements that @British_Airways have brilliantly combined to deliver ever-changing billboards under the flight paths around Heathrow Airport. Such a powerful idea – after all, who hasn’t sat there looking at planes flying overhead and asked themselves the question: “I wonder where they’re going” (HT @G3Bowden).

Word of the year: “Selfie” has been named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. The official definition:

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary

The self-portrait has always been a part of art, Van Gogh created many self-portraits in the 1800s (he loved that straw hat) and when photography was invented, the obligatory mirror photo wasn’t too far behind (if Kubrick does it, it’s gotta be OK). Fast forward to today, and you’ve got Jon Snow Vining about the news

I’m sure that anybody with a camera has taken a self-portrait. Either with a front facing camera on a smartphone or the classic out-stretched-arm-click-and-hope snapshot. The Telegraph’s claim that ‘no man should ever be caught taking a selfie‘ is utterly daft and ignores years of art history.

Gratuitous use of one of my self-portraits in conjunction with some of the greats. I have no shame.

Perhaps it’s to do with the word ‘self-portrait’ bringing with it a certain level of artistic expectation. A selfie on the other hand feels more of the moment, more fleeting. The Oxford dictionary notes in its definition that a selfie is typically taken with a phone or webcam – by that logic, a photo taken with a proper camera is a ‘self-portrait’, not a selfie. Phew).

I suspect however that the problem with selfies is not so much their existence, but more about that most horrible of poses, the “duck-face” and those people that keep posting a new profile photo to Facebook every five minutes.

But then there’s a new horror on the horizon: The Sparrow Face.

A couple of guys a trend doesn’t make: Stalking the rich is a simple hobby nowadays with social media platforms allowing you instant access to celebs and their lives. The Mail has picked up on a “trend” where rich Arab who accessorise their obligatory super cars, powerboats and mansions with lions and cheetahs – photos of which are then posted to Instagram. Now, the images are no less bonkers and animal rights activists are bound to be up in arms about this, but what I love about this story is that The Mail shows a whole page of photos from two of these rich Arabs (HT @HelenRI).

http://instagram.com/p/cbTVRzgFwp/

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Simba ♥ ♥ #lion

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Clever Hobbitses: Those chaps at Google have put out another one of their Google Experiments – a must see for any Tolkien and The Hobbit fans out there. An interactive map of Middle Earth, featuring characters and locations from the upcoming ‘The Desolation of Smaug. A taste in the video below (epic soundtrack included) and this way to Middle Earth (seems to work fine on Safari too).

Beware of who you follow: The Register gleefully pointed out this week that David Cameron’s Twitter account @Number10gov was following a high-class escort agency on the social network. Suspect that the social media manager who runs the Twitter channel received a bit of a bollocking (HT @a_little_wine).

Twitter motors on: They’ve launched a considerable revamp of their mobile app. Interestingly though, they seem to roll out slightly different versions to different groups of users, test which ones work best and then go with the most popular option. Techcrunch has some more on this agile, highly iterative and data-focused platform roll-out strategy.

Twitter this week also rolled out their Alerts feature to the UK. Rachel from @AllThingsIC has a brilliant round-up of what you need to know.

Videos of the week: My favourite film from a series of three that tell the story of Sainsbury’s relationships with some of their suppliers. The Cow Whisperer is about how our Dairy Development Group works with over 300 British dairy farmers to help them look after their cows and secure a long future for their British Farms.

What do you get when you cover The Beastie Boys’ ‘Girls’, construct a colossal machine out of girls’ toys and film it all in the style of ‘OK Go’s ‘Needing/Getting’. Over 6 million views on YouTube in just a few days for an ad by toy company GoldieBlox and perhaps a generation of girls that will grow up to be engineers.

And finally: Histagrams

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)

Twitter biogs, TV ratings, storms; and this week’s bits and bytes

Quiz time: How many Sainsbury’s basics blurbs can you match up with the product they describe? As you’d expect, Lee, Sainsbury’s basics brand manager, scored a perfect 10/10. I scored a respectable 7/10. More of a by Sainsbury’s shopper, me (HT @G3Bowden).

Not enough?

How about testing your knowledge of Ikea and black metal bands in this brilliant (and genuinely hard) ‘Ikea or Death‘ quiz (HT @a_little_wine).

The future of journalism: Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, gave the AN Smith lecture in Melbourne this week. Her speech about journalism in the age of the open web is an absolute must read. And no, there isn’t a TL;DR version of this one.

Remember Mr Cake? You know, the chap that resigned from his job at the Stansted Border Force via a ‘resignation cake‘ in order to pursue his passion for baking and cake decorating. Well, he did go on to launch his own business and now he’s up for a Smarta 100 award for Best us of Marketing. Go on. You know you want to vote for him.

The Twitter bio – a postmodern art form: The key to Twitter is all about compressing your thought, insight or story into 140 characters. It’s a skill that – much like everything else – you learn through practice. The more you tweet, the better you get. But what many people don’t spend as much time on is their 160 character Twitter biography – along with the profile photo and background, the bit that let’s people know what you’re all about.

The New York Times takes a look at the art of the Twitter bio, from @HillaryClinton “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” to @TomHanks‘ “I’m that actor in some of the movies you liked and some you didn’t. Sometimes I’m in pretty good shape, other times I’m not. Hey, you gotta live, you know?” – the article looks at pitfalls and cliches to avoid.

While we’re on short form content, here’s a great slideshare by @GinnyRedish about writing for the small screen. It’s well and good to think about responsive design for websites – but what does that mean for content?

Twitter is not real life (well, TV): An interesting bit of data published by Twitter and Nielsen this week shows that the most popular shows in terms of TV ratings and the amount of Tweets they generated do not correlate at all. as the Wall Street Journal points out, it shows that Twitter’s user base “has a very different makeup than the mass-market TV-viewing audience that marketers spend tens of billions of dollars each year to reach. Twitter’s 49.2 million U.S. users generally skew younger and are disproportionately in cities, for example, according to marketers and media analysts.” The full report is out on Monday.

Social is the new coffee-break: Many brands and companies have moved chunks of their budget from traditional marketing channels to digital and social channels. Nothing new there. At the same time, many corporate networks block access to the same social network. The schizophrenic relationship between a select group of individuals who have access to social and are creating beautiful content and social campaigns and with those who don’t have access from their work computer has always struck me as particularly bizarre. Why put all that effort into building a social media following around your brand if you won’t allow your own people to look at it?

Andrew Keen pulls together 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office. And what do you know – they all make sense!

  • It’s self-defeating – everyone has a smart phone, so they’re doing it anyway
  • Banning something that excels at undermining traditional hierarchies? Yeah, right.
  • It’s today’s version of the water cooler
  • Multitasking actually makes us more creative
  • Social media makes us more productive because it opens up our minds

Bullet Journal: For the past two weeks I’ve been using a note taking system devised by @rydercarroll called ‘Bullet Journal‘. Described as an analogue note taking system for a digital world, I thought the video was really well done and the system works perfectly to capture all those wee actions and events that make up my disjointed and disruptive day where I get pulled from meeting to tweet to discussion to blog post – all in the same hour.

I’ve moved away entirely from Evernote and my iPad and now only use this ‘old school’ system and I love it. There’s something to be said about that great satisfaction of ticking things off a to do list, but also for the elegance of how the Bullet Journal system also allows you to build specific pages for projects or collections, track events on a day to day or monthly basis. And all you need is a notebook.

The Twitterstorm: Hats off to BuzzFeed UK for pulling together their post on the 29 stages of a Twitterstorm – based on the recent kerfuffle around online retailer Price Hound selling a rather ill advised kids fancy dress costume.

From initial discovery, anger, confusion, boycott, petition, satire, trending on Twitter, the media catching up, politicians getting involved, social media expert analysis to the official apology – all in the space of a few hours – the post takes us through (HT @G3Bowden).

Scarlett Johansson Falling Down: A year ago, Scarlett Johansson was photographed falling down while filming in Glasgow for the sci-fic flick Under the Skin. It’s taken the Internet a year, but the resulting photoshop meme is rather worth the wait. Knowyourmeme looks at how it happened (the meme, not the fall).

Videos of the week: How do you promote a remake of the classic horror flick Carrie? By creating a telekinetic coffee shop surprise and scaring the pants off of some unsuspecting customers – all while amassing over 30 million YouTube views in four days.

Downside – the mobile app that will get you talking to your friends again.

And finally: The Penis Beaker that brought Mumsnet to its knees.

Social media 101, digital trends, Computerphile and this week’s bits and bytes

Social media 101: The Guardian is really getting into this social media marketing thing. They’ve launched a dedicated section on their website dedicated to the topic. A great resource if you’re starting out in social or just want to stay abreast of the latest developments without things getting too geeky.

As a brief selection, there’s a piece on how Twitter has become the marketing platform where people answer back, why you should think mobile when thinking social media and tips on how to manage reputation on social media.

And while we’re on the basics of social – an actually useful ‘how to do social media‘ post by @mycleveragency.

Twitter history: Quartz have published a great timeline of how Twitter has been described by the New York Times since it was launched in 2007 to present day. A nifty way of looking at how Twitter, but also the NYT’s understanding of Twitter has evolved over time from

“This short-messaging service allows you to ‘micro-blog’ your life in 140 character bursts.”

to

“…which started out as a way to post short bursts of text, is slowly but surely evolving into a media-rich and never-ending stream of information and entertainment that includes short videos, photographs and advertisements”

More proof that Facebook has lost its cool: The news that Facebook is losing younger members and no longer cool is nothing new. These claims have been backed up with data and analysis and I’ve written about them here before. If you still don’t believe it or want further proof then you should check out this splendid post on HuffPo about why the kids don’t like Facebook anymore.

Predictive search: Google Now does it, many other search engines, apps and companies are working on it. A clever set of algorithms look at a whole host of data about your likes and dislikes, behaviours and habits, personal information and what ever else they can get their hands on to give you something that you’ll only realise you wanted afterwards.

The New York Times looks at why some people see this is as the holy grail of marketing and others see it as the death of serendipity and privacy. 

Social media trends: This top notch presentation by @kpcb about social media in 2013 has been online for a few months now and in that time has been viewed over 2.4 million times. It explains brilliantly how mobile plays such a huge part in social and provides gratuitous amounts of stats on social for the next few years (US centric, yes, but still useful).

Some key bits:

  • Facebook and Snapchat are best for sharing photos. Instagram and Flickr are very far away behind
  • Video is still huge and only getting bigger: 100 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute
  • Sound is catching up though: More than 11 hours of music are uploaded on Soundcloud every minute. The next big thing after sound: data
  • Despite all its reported trouble, the big blue social network Facebook is the biggest player, followed by Youtube, Twitter and Google+
  • The countries with the most prolific sharers: Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia. Those more guarded about sharing their lives online: Japan, Germany and Hungary

Computerphile: I’m not sure how I’ve missed this before but let me introduce you to my new favourite Youtube channel. Übergeeks coming together and explaining in simple English some incredibly complex things that we all use every day but don’t really understand. Like browser cookies, email, the world wide web or the clip that got me onto this channel in the first place: How intelligent is artificial intelligence? Proper geekgasm stuff. Love it.

Branded accounts are people too: The wonderful @usvsth3m posted an enjoyable listicle about the woes of managing a branded social media account. Definitely one where other community managers and social media bods will empathise.

For me, my pet peeve is the usual reaction I get when I speak to people outside of marketing/comms about my job: “Hang on. You just browse Facebook and Twitter all day long. Can I have your job?”

Oh. And poorly executed user journeys based on QR codes. But that’s more than a pet peeve. That’s more like a deep rooted hatred.

Videos of the week: Based on the Cannes award winning public service announcement campaign ‘Dumb Ways to Die‘, a version featuring dumb ways to die while playing GTA V (and yes, they are very dumb, but they are so much fun. The GTA V ones. Not the real ones) has popped up on Youtube.

And two related clips, the first of a woman who quits her job with an interpretive dance to Kanye West’s ‘Gone’…

… and the response from the company she left.

And finally: How much does the The Daily Mail hate you

Airline Twitter shenanigans, iDamp, Lyric Videos and this week’s bits and bytes

Social media insight: Social Media Week was on this week. I didn’t go to any events but I refer to @Garyvee‘s marvellous manifesto that pretty much covers the insight you can hope to garner from these events. Unlike these selections.

BU59bthCAAAyQywBudget Tweets, Part 1: This week, Ryanair Chief Exec Michael O’Leary announced at their AGM that the company would look to reform it’s abrupt culture and things that unnecessarily annoy passengers: “I am very happy to take the blame or responsibility if we have a macho or abrupt culture. Some of that may well be my own personal character deformities.”

Did this new found humility and focus on customer service prompt Europe’s biggest budget Airline to launch their own Twitter account? I don’t know. Their first Tweet was promising, showing some of that don’t-give-a-sh*t tone-of-voice they’re so (in)famous for.

Many RTs and responses followed – along with their second Tweet, a day later.

https://twitter.com/Ryanair/status/379944310029811712

Errr… right chaps.

By that logic, you haven’t quite grasped this whole social media thing and many other companies shouldn’t be on Twitter either. Do have a look at the responses to that Tweet – it’s telling to see what people expect from brands who come to Twitter.

I suspect that Ryanair won’t care too much about it… at least until they find a way for passengers to pay for the privilege of receiving Tweets?

Budget Tweets, Part 2: Meanwhile, Europe’s other budget airline also had a turbulent week on Twitter. EasyJet landed in some hot water when they stopped The Drum’s tech law columnist Mark Leiser from boarding a flight because he’d criticised the airline on Twitter.

The Drum have the whole story, here are the pertinent Tweets from Leiser and Easyjet (HT @TomParker81).

https://twitter.com/mleiser/status/382620916708282368

Tweetliner vs. Dreamliner: Completing the aeronautical Twitter theme this week is a rather nifty retweet competition from @BritishAirways, who pitted a Dreamliner and an Airbus A380 against a flight powered by Tweets tagged with #RaceThePlane. The competition was live for the actual duration of the actual flights (suspect they made sure they’d leave on time) and participants who tweeted using the hashtag had a chance to win free flights.

I’ve no idea how many tweets equate to a mile (the official microsite doesn’t seem to provide that info), but in both cases the Tweetliner beat its real-life competitor. The competition generated around 24,000 mentions of #RaceThePlane; the first flight peaked at a little over 8,000 and the second a week later at around 14,000. Reach, according to Sysomos, was around 132 million impressions generated from about 13,000 Twitter users. Not bad for the world’s first Twitter powered flight!

https://twitter.com/BritishAirways/status/382690657887719424

I share, therefore I am? A hypnotic animation from Simi Cohen about how today’s über-connected society could in fact lead to loneliness – even though the illusion of all our social media friends and followers would have us believe otherwise. 

Lyric videos: Remember, in the olden days, when you bought a CD and popped it in your Discman, and listened to your favourite band’s new album (Def Leppard, baby!), and then read the lyrics as the song was playing in the booklet (Pour Some Sugar On Me. They don’t write ’em like that no more)?

Good times.

Since then, the mp3 has killed the album and all we have are massive playlists of individual songs – and no idea what people are singing about.

The Internet looks to have come to the rescue with ‘Lyrics Videos’ – a bizarre, home-made sub-genre where fans combine the music and lyrics from their favourite song with their own footage. And according to the NYT, this trend is now so popular on Youtube, that artists like Maroon 5 and Katy Perry are producing their own lyric videos – often before their official music video is released to get interest in a new single going.

iDamp: Sad proof this week that some Apple fans aren’t terribly bright, when the online community 4Chan generated nine different fake Apple iOS 7 ads claiming the newly released mobile operating system would make iDevices waterproof

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 18.42.104Chan members took to Twitter to spread the word of this breakthrough new feature and troll Apple fans.

And yes, according to the reports, people actually fell for it!

In other Apple news: turns out the iPhone 5s’ fingerprint scanner was hacked by Chaos Computer Club. So much for that then.

Imgur beats Reddit: While we’re on slightly more left-field online communities, Buzzfeed reports that the image hosting service Imgur (built to support the online community and ‘front page to the Internet’ Reddit, because it didn’t provide its own image hosting service), now has more users than the community it was built to support. Even better: it doesn’t rely on venture capital and is profitable – unlike Reddit.

Correction of the year? From the Evening Standard.

Videos of the week: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show us how using #hashtags in real life will make you sound like a complete and utter tool.

Adobe asks if you really know what your marketing is doing?

And growing London’s skyline (well, tourist attractions and train stations) with geo-tagged Tweets

And finally: Sh*t PR Ideas [hit refresh to see a new one]

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.

Android KitKat, trolling BA, fish finger fun and this week’s bits and bytes

KitKat Android: The clever bods over at Google have launched an update to their Android mobile operating system. And as with previous versions (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean), the new OS is named after a desert: KitKat 4.4.

The entire campaign is a no holds barred parody of Apple – not in itself a new idea, Samsung have done it in the past and Nokia have even parodied the spat between Samsung and Apple – but with this one you can really see that they’ve committed completely to not only shooting their ad in the same style…

… but the copy and product descriptions on the über-slick site built to showcase the future of confectionery is a pitch-perfect piss-take of Apple’s tone of voice and dictionary.

My favourite features of the new KitKat:

  • Works perfectly in portrait or landscape for a panoramic taste experience
  • Maximum breakability is guaranteed due to the refined praline software, crisp waferware and its unique chocolate unibody
  • It comes in 2 mega-bites, 4 mega-bites or a chunky-bite option

and, my favourite

  • Compatible with all liquid accessories

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 21.54.39

How much does this kind of a perfect partnership cost?

Nothing.

“This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC. “The idea was to do something fun and unexpected.”

You’ll be able to buy special packs of KitKat Four-Finger and KitKat Chunky multipacks at Sainsbury’s.

Man buys promoted Tweet to troll British Airways: I’ve been flying regularly all my life and I’m lucky to say that I’ve never had my luggage go missing (writing this, I realise that my next trip is bound to be a disaster). I have however had many a ‘mare with Airline customer service. I’ve tweeted to complain but that tends to result in silence, stock responses or requests to call customer service numbers.

This week, British Airways passenger @HVSVN bought a promoted tweet after the airline had lost his baggage and hadn’t responded to his tweets for seven hours. After some rather snarky, nasty messages – borderline tolling, basically – the first ever promoted customer complaint made its way into the Twitter history books. Also, BA finally responded…

It doesn’t get better.

@HVSVN bought the tweet in the New York City and UK markets Monday night using Twitter’s self-serve ad platform. While he at first didn’t confirm the cost in media interviews, he has since tweeted the final cost and reach of the promoted tweet: 76,000 impressions for $1,000. Time has a bit more info on how @HVSVN went about targeting the tweets to make sure that it reached all the existing followers of British Airways.

Was it worth it?

That’s sooo 2006: The Guardian published their Media 100 list this week, a ranking of the most powerful people in the UK’s media landscape today.

Who came in at No.1?

I did.

Well, technically, so did you. All of us really.

An unbelievably unoriginal idea – after all, I’d already made it onto the cover of Time magazine as Person of the Year way back in 2006.

Source: Time Magazine

Communicating CR: With people demanding greater transparency, authenticity and accountability from companies than ever before, @SimonMainwaring writes that brands are increasingly taking three steps to respond:

  1. Sharing their purpose, core values and mission
  2. Moving sustainability marketing to corporate communications to tell the story of the good work companies are doing in ways that build their business
  3. Working with customers to fulfill the brand’s mission because they understand that “the future of profit is purpose, authentically executed”

New Yahoo logo: Yahoo updated their logo this week, after 30 days of changing the logo on their homepage to a different version. The familiar purple colour and famous exclamation mark remain – the later has been rotated to the right by exactly 9 degrees, which according to Marissa Mayer adds a bit of “whimsy”.

Source: Marissa’s Tumblr

I’m no typography expert so I don’t know if this is a good or a bad logo. But if you’re into that sort of thing, you should definitely give Mayer’s post about the relaunch a go where she ‘geeks’ about all the wee features and ideas behind the new logo. Quite frankly, I would never have picked up on any of them. I’m sure that a hell of a lot of work went into it and I think it looks good. But is it going to make Yahoo relevant to today’s web audience? For Flickr’s sake, I hope so…

Way To Safety: Mobile apps have become a part of life for many people. They help us organise our lives, check our email, find our way around town, figure out when the next tube is due, post updates to our friends, hurl birds at naughty piggies. Increasingly, augmented reality and layers of data are added to make apps even more powerful and helpful – possibly even to a such a degree that they could literally save your life.

Way To Safety is an app currently in development that  would help civilians steer clear of gunfire in urban warfare environments:

“Within 30 seconds after a shot is fired, the application will determine the source location of the shooter, the direction he was aiming at, the type and caliber of the weapon used and the number of bullets fired. This data will be sent to the nearby residents for free and we will also send it to the army, paramedics, press.” 

Terrifying and brilliant at the very same time (HT to Simon French for this one).

Fish finger sarnie challenge: Sainsbury’s new ad featuring by Sainsbury’s Fish Fingers kicked off a bit of a discussion on Twitter this week. Turns out that not everyone would stack the fish fingers like we did!

So, we decided to open it up to the weird and wonderful people of Twitter and asked them to show us how they make a fish finger sandwich. Our favourite photo, video or Vine stands to win a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher.

There’s already some good efforts coming through, some even made without any bread or fish fingers. We’ve had saucy combos, little umbrellas and even the inclusion of cheese, bacon and onions.

So if you fancy a go at the classic fish finger sandwich, tweet a photo or video with #JSFishFinger and you could be in the running for a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher.

Here’s @SainsburysPR‘s humble entry (with huge thanks to @a_little_wine and @TillieSeymour):

Video of the week: LG uses their ultra-realistic TVs to scare the wits out of poor job applicants. Brutal really – after all, they’re all leaving that room no closer to a job.

And finally: What Bale Earns

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