Welcome to a slightly tweaked version to my bits and bytes. I realised that my weekly rant – while therapeutic for me – isn’t particularly good for finding things. Ideally, the little segments in here should be posts in and of themselves. But that would mean taking up blogging full time and, well, I love my day job a bit too much to do that. So, from now on, expect a summary at the top of each post and links to the sections in the post below to make it easier to browse.
Twitter news: Much has been written about Twitter’s link to and role in breaking news, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is looking to hire a Head of News and Journalism to shape and drive the next growth phase of Twitter’s partnership with the news industry.
Fergie retires: The news that Fergie had finally hung up his hairdryer on Wednesday was announced via Twitter.
The story received the breaking news treatment from the media, trended worldwide in a matter of minutes and was mentioned in over 6 million Tweets in 24 hours. Some brands were quick to jump on the back of the news with the cheeky chaps at Paddy Power with easily the best effort.
Equally Brilliant was Nando’s “Fergie Time” tribute – opening all their restaurants in Manchester five minutes late (HT @stangreenan).
Wikipedia traffic predicts share price: A spike in traffic to a company’s Wikipedia traffic might be a sign that their share price is about to go off a cliff. That’s according to a study published in Scientific Reports, which looked at Wikipedia page view data from the last 5 years and compared it to shifts in share prices on the Dow.
Cause and effect: A couple of weeks ago at Twitter4Brands, Twitter told the assembled social media bods in the Tate Tanks that a 30% increase in positive Tweets is four times more effective in driving sales than a 30% increase in existing above-the-line advertising. No surprise that Twitter is looking to tout its various wares to digital marketers, but @wittlake points out there isn’t any proof for that statement. In a wonderfully argued post, Eric points out that it should read: A significant improvement in the quality of your product improves word of mouth and increases sales.
Is Google Glass just too dorky? Google Glass prototypes are being reviewed by influential tech bloggers and they are going slightly mental. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some new gadgets. Sure, I want to try Glass and yes, wearable computing is (probably) the way forward. And yes, these are the first mass produced prototypes, a first of its kind product. But what many of these reviews seem to miss is that the wearer looks like a complete and utter knob and unless Google (or some other company) figures out how to reduce the levels of knobness, I’m not sure this will take off outside the realm of the dorks. Or, as the guys at SNL see it:
Then again, as White Men Wearing Google Glass points out, if Google Glass didn’t exist, all these Silicon Valley guys would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes.
Hyperlapse videos: An amazing bit of programming, combining the imagery from Google Maps with and easy way to map out directions from A to B delivers some very amazing hyperlapse footage. Here’s one I made of Tower Bridge. That’s just using the web app, check out what you can do with a lot more time and programming know how or read more about how it works on the Teehan+Lax Labs site.
The maker movement: Nope, not some sort of religious thing – best to imagine this as the combination of DIY, engineering and tech. It’s not really new, ‘hacking’ things to make them do something that wasn’t their original purpose has been around for as long as human imagination. But as with many other things, digitisation, open source, t’Interwebs and most recently 3D printing has accelerated and increased what is possible. Staples is the first company that is selling 3D printers for $1,300 allowing you to design anything from cup holders, action figures to music records. Check out the video that is embedded for how chilled that small girl is drawing on the iPad, creating her own toy!
Digital influence = real life perks: American Airlines has launched an offer for their digitally savvy (self-involved?) passengers to score free access to their Admirals Club lounge – all they need is a Klout score of 55 or higher. An interesting move that will get people talking about upgrades – enticing others to also connect their social media accounts to Klout. Now, whether Klout is actually an accurate represtation of online influence? Doubtful…
Twitter life lesson: Dick Costolo, co-founder of Twitter, delivered the commencement address at Michigan University, his alma mater. An inspiring talk calling for students to focus on something they love and to not always worry about their next line but instead, to live in the moment. Good old ‘merican cheese, but enjoyable nonetheless.
The Youtube Map: A nifty mash-up of Youtube viewing, sharing stats, geographic and demographic stats gives you the Youtube Trends Map. No surprise that the ‘Dead Giveaway Guy’ is the most popular clip right now.
Videos of the week: Diet coke installs the world’s slimmest vending machine ‘Slender Vender’
While 7Up counters with the ‘Melting Machine’ – the world’s coolest vending machine
Clever use of of lenticular printing by Grey for an outdoor campaign for the ANAR Foundation in Spain
We’ve seen Hyundai’s botched attempt at promoting a car’s eco features. Volkswagen has come up with a different angle to promote their auto stop/start feature. Not sure it’s the best way to sell it though…
And finally: those movie snippets in The Simpsons with McBain? When put together, they make a complete (short) film!