Five things on Friday #134

Things of note for the week ending July 24th, 2015.

FIVE THINGS YO

Before we crack on, my friend Sarah and I have just finished our latest playlist, ‘A Full Day of Music, Vol 2‘ – 8hrs of awesome music that’s ready for your listening pleasure.

Didn’t want to blog it until I gave it you lovely lot first.

Listen now on Spotify

If you missed Vol. 1, that’s still available – here.

Right, shall we?

1. FACEBOOK V YOUTUBE (CONTINUES)
Sorry to keep wanging on about it but the predictions made at the end of last year (about 2015 being the year of the VIDEO ROYALE) just keep on coming true.

Youtube VS Facebook-01-01

This latest validation of our Mystic-Meg-like abilities comes in the form of Facebook [once again parking its video tanks on YouTube’s lawn by] giving its bajillion users a set of new video publisher tools.

These tools include:

  • The ability to block embeds on third party websites (just like YouTube)
  • Mark videos ‘secret’ (shareable / viewable by a single and direct URL (just like YouTube)
  • A new ‘video library’ to help users organise their videos properly (just like YouTube)

There’s a theme here (you might’ve picked up on it already).

Business Insider has more (via my trend-writing partner in crime, Marshall Manson).

(and yes, I know I like parentheses – deal with it)

2. LETTER FROM HELSINKI
Regular readers will know of my own long-term love affair with Finland. Here’s another POV on why it’s one of the best places in the world.

If you’ve not been, go.

If you have been, go again.

Whatever, just go.

PS. Visit Finland, if you’re reading, I’m available any time you want.

3. #CHUCKII
I’m still not entirely sure if I’m allowed to talk too much about this quite yet but screw it, you guys won’t tell anyone – right?

Converse announced its new shoe yesterday:

The Chuck Taylor All Star II.

chuckii

We’ve been working on some of the awesome social/content parts of this launch since January (I know some of my sharper-eyed Instagram followers out there definitely figured it out – the trip to the shiny new Boston HQ was so awesome it hurt) and it’s the most exciting project I’ve ever had the good fortune to work on, let alone lead.

The big reveal happened yesterday (read all about the shoe here and here) and some of our teaser stuff is already out in the wild – and there’s still a whole bunch more to come.

Get ready for more.

#Proud

#Ogilvy4Life

4. STEWART LEE ON THE BBC
Earlier this week, Stewart Lee wrote an opinion piece that criticised not only the proposed reforming of the BBC but also the nature of how said reform might take place.

At this point in FOTF, I would normally quote the article that I’m waxing lyrical about to give your fine eyes (yes, they are lovely – and you do look great today) a taster for what they might see in full should they click through BUT this is Stewart Lee we’re talking about here and if you know anything about Stewart Lee then you know he is almost nearly always unquotable. In that his words (and comedy for that matter) are best experienced in full.

In short: read this.

5. NOKIA MAPS, IN YOUR AUDI – WHAT?
There’s a rumour floating around that Nokia’s [actually very good] maps service – aka ‘HERE Maps’ – will be sold off very shortly. For a while, many thought it would go to Uber but the latest hints/news reports point to a triumvirate of Audi, BMW, and Daimler AG (read: ‘Mercedes’) agreeing to purchase HERE Maps in its entirety.

here-maps

Why is this interesting?

Two reasons.

First, it’s another chapter in the final days of the Nokia that I used to love. Believe it or not, at one point, HERE/Nokia Maps was better than Google Maps (some might argue that it still is – and they’d probably win). It’s definitely better than Apple Maps. But whatever – the maps product here (no pun intended) is solid. It’s a shame that it’ll no longer be a Nokia product per se but it’ll ultimately wind up somewhere it’ll get used widely and properly.

Second, many cars already come with Google Maps onboard. This move towards owning a maps product [as opposed to rent one] is certainly a smart one however what it’s really saying is that these car manufacturers (and there’ll be more than the three mentioned) are happy to move away from Google and its services. Moreso when you cast that against the backdrop of Google’s own automotive ambitions (see self-driving cars etc).

Big companies discovering that trusting Google might not be a good thing for them in the long run? What a surprise…

__________________

Bonuses this week are as follows:

wooooozh

STOP THE PRESS:
HOLY WHAT NOW NASA HAVE DISCOVERED ANOTHER EARTH WHAT?

WHOOOOOOOZH!

AMAZING!!!

Whatley out.

If you loved me, you’d click this.

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Five things on Friday #133

Things of note for the week ending Friday July 17th, 2015.

FOTF133

1. SNEAKING INTO NORTH KOREA
Nothing says ‘Welcome to an awesome list of stuff’ more than an immediate link to a whole bunch of other stuff. But this is really interesting.

Mental Floss (one of my favourite sources for just random stuff) has published this list of ‘10 things to know when sneaking into North Korea‘ and it contains gems such as:

It occurred to Sweeney [the author] that his room might be bugged, and in North Korea Undercover he recounts an anecdote from Michael Breen, biographer of Kim Jong-Il. Two Danish engineers were working on a project in North Korea, and one night in their hotel room, began complaining about how bored they were, one of them wishing he had brought a deck of cards: “The next day at work, their minder presented them with a pack of cards. The creepy bit is that they had been talking in Danish.”

And that’s not even the nuttiest part.

Go read it and see for yourself.

Next!

2. EUROPEAN NATIVE AMERICANS
In the brilliantly titled ‘Last of the Munichans‘ Monika Bauerlein explores the German obsession with Native Americans.

She writes:

Why are Europeans, Germans perhaps most famously, obsessed with Native Americans? So many reasons: The chance to delve into a past where the bad guys are not your grandparents. A crowded continent’s longing for wide open spaces. A romantic attachment to an idealized “authentic” humanity, rooted in the anti-industrial backlash of the 1800s.

Go for the words.

Stay for the photos.

Augus 2, 2011. Outside Berlin, Germany.  A German Indian Hobbyist. From 2011 until 2015, I photographed the elusive "Indian Hobbyists" situated in Hungary, Poland, Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as film stills from the popular Winnetou series and other Eastern European Native American films. The subjects in my series are not "ethnically" First Nations, but Europeans who use cultural mirroring, as practiced heavily in the sixties and seventies, to claim "Indianess", as well as present themselves as sympathetic to Native Americans. This hobby was once used as a form of psychological escape from grueling dictatorships embraced behind the iron curtain. Because this deeply private subculture is still present today, I wanted to explore whether imitation is flattery.

August 2, 2011. Outside Berlin, Germany.
A German Indian Hobbyist.
From 2011 until 2015, I photographed the elusive “Indian Hobbyists” situated in Hungary, Poland, Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as film stills from the popular Winnetou series and other Eastern European Native American films. The subjects in my series are not “ethnically” First Nations, but Europeans who use cultural mirroring, as practiced heavily in the sixties and seventies, to claim “Indianess”, as well as present themselves as sympathetic to Native Americans. This hobby was once used as a form of psychological escape from grueling dictatorships embraced behind the iron curtain. Because this deeply private subculture is still present today, I wanted to explore whether imitation is flattery.

Go see.

3. LAND ROVER’S ADVENTURE GRAM
Ever since the exceedingly talented Terence Eden created the first ‘choose your own adventure’ story in Twitter (go play), brands have tried to replicate it across multiple platforms for myriad campaigns.

The latest company to jump on this social media brandwagon is Land Rover, with the rather beautiful (yet seemingly ineffective – we’ll get to that part) ‘AdventureGram‘.

TOUCH ME AND DRIVE A LAND ROVER TO YOUR DREAMS

There are to three things to do here:

4. X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
You may or may not know but there’s a new X-Men film on its way out. It’s the third and final part of the First Class Trilogy – First Class being first, with Days of Future Past acting as part two. Those of you who were paying attention to the latter may have seen an odd after-credits scene.

This one, in fact:

maxresdefault

That chap is known as En Sabah Nur, aka the first mutant, aka APOCALYPSE.

If you watched the excellent 90s X-Men cartoon, then you’ll know him as this guy:

x-men_L30

Fans of the comic book will know Apocalypse as this guy:

Marvel-Comics-X-Men-Apocalypse-Art

He’s a BIG mutant.

Anyway, sorry – where were we? Oh, that’s right.

Following the pattern set by the previous films, Apocalypse takes place in a new decade (the 80s) and we’re promised another ‘period piece’ based upon that era.

Exciting!

Even more exciting, and literally just this week (yesterday even), the first press official shots were released and, if I’m honest, even if you have only a mere passing interest in this sorta stuff then you’ve probably seen them already.

Here’s one of them:

CKDaig6WEAAaXka

On the left? That’s Alexendra Shipp as Storm, looking great with a [completely on character] mohican. On the right, that’s the fantastic Olivia Munn killing it as ninja-badass-telepath, Psylocke.

But who’s that in the middle?

Is it perhaps one-time Power Rangers villain Ivan Ooze?

Or could it be Guardians of the Galaxy antagonist, Ronan the Accuser?

I mean, there’s no way it could possibly be Oscar Isaac as the 7″ tall, all killing, all dangerous master-race mutant, Apocalypse? I mean, surely not? He looks completely and utterly ridiculous (agree with me? RT this).

I mean, aside from EVERYTHING for one thing: surely he’s STANDING IN A HOLE. Marvel’s own Wikipedia has him pegged at being bloody massive.

So why is he smaller than Storm?!

Just look at how much better he looks simply by making him BIGGER.

Ugh.

And breathe.

OK OK OK – it’s just one photo. And Bryan Singer has done well so far, I’m sure even he can’t mess this up. Right? Surely?

Whatever.

Colour me concerned.

/rant

5. SOME POKEMON STORIES THAT MADE ME SMILE

pokemon

I like video games. I appreciate video games. As a hobby, as a passion, as an art form; I like video games. I’ve made new friends because of video games and have had some of the most awesome shared experiences with friends because of video games (most recently completing Arkham Knight, 100%, full Knightfall Protocol ending – and being able to discuss the intricacies with friends is actually awesome).

But what I love more is that video games can be a total leveller. They can break down barriers in class, age, sex, and sometimes being just so good at one kind of game – or even one particular game – commands so much respect that it changes the game.

This past week, Kotaku published a series of short (and all wholly true – one even has video) stories about Pokemon and how this gaming phenomenon has changed people’s lives.

You don’t have to get Pokemon to enjoy it. Hell, you don’t even have to get video games. You’ll enjoy it because humans are awesome and stories like these always bring a smile to my face.

_____________

Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • Instagram released its UK monthly active user number (spoiler: 14m). 
  • The FTC and the ASA are now super chuffed about how REALLY EASY it is, in the age of ephemeral content, chase down those evil unmarked social media ads. Right? #ad that.
  • And if you’re only reading one thing this week? Make it this: The web we have to save

Whatley out.

robots

PS. OH MY GOD THE ROBOTS ARE SO HAPPY!

LOOK AT THE JOY THEY’RE HAVING!

THEY ARE BOUNCING!

PLAY MUSIC!

DANCE!

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Five things on Friday [on Sunday] #132

Things of note for the week ending Friday July 10th, 2015.

it's late again; sue me

1. THE [NOT SO] SECRET DIARY OF A GEN Z TEENAGE GIRL
If you work in any kind of comms and don’t read Stephen Waddington’s blog regularly, in short: you’re doing it wrong.

Now that’s out of the way, this past week @Wadds published a guest post from his 16 year old daughter. Covering everything from her opinion and usage habits of the latest/greatest/most popular social platforms to the difficulties of teenage life (that you and I are probably no doubt far away from) it is a great read.

2. E. E. CUMMINGS.
An girl from Indiana once introduced to the works of E. E. Cummings and I’ve never really looked at, or treated for that matter, poetry and grammar in the same way since.

eecummings1

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

A post on Brain Pickings this week goes into detail about the man himself and if, like me, you’re a fan of his work, then you’ll find the additional insight equally pleasing.

3. THE CUBAN INTERNET
This isn’t new news. But it’s still super interesting (moreso if you’ve never heard of it before) and it also shows how the same thing that I mentioned in a talk about four years ago, is still developing and changing with ‘modern’ times.

3048163-slide-s-1-cuba-offline-internet

What am I talking about? The Internet in Cuba, aka – ‘Radio Bemba’

‘Huddled around a laptop at the bottom of a stairwell in Havana, a group of three teenage boys banter as they skip between video clips and music. A fourth arrives with some ice cream, which completes a scene reminiscent of teenagers killing time on YouTube. They play an amateur music video in which the singer, looking for a laugh, periodically bangs his head against the wall. Then Beyoncé. Chris Brown.

But this being Cuba—where the Internet is, for the most part, only available at some professional jobs, in foreigners’ homes, and in expensive hotels—this isn’t YouTube. What looks like a few teenagers surfing the web is actually a small part of an only-in-Cuba business that gives locals access to content from the Internet, offline, thanks to an army of human middlemen and thousands of flash drives.’

Still amazing. Even now.

4. UNSCRIPTED LINES
Building on the Raiders of the Lost Ark story from a few issues ago [item 2], this list features some of the more famous moments in film that were totally unscripted and completely improvised.

No?

Why not?

Oh. Like that is it.

Alright, I get it. Lists like these are ten a penny (for better or worse) but that doesn’t mean they stop being awesome. You will guarantee to know at least one of them so why not go read it and enjoy/marvel at the film knowledge geekerie you will be in possession of shortly thereafter.

Off you go.

5. THE DATA-DRIVEN MARKETING REVOLUTION
I was in the paper this week, The Guardian to be precise, and, silly jokes aside, the reason why I was there was actually really interesting.

data look at the data

A few weeks ago I was invited to join a bunch of people (all of whom were considerably smarter than me) for a Guardian ’round’ table (it was oblong) to discuss the future of data and what it means for media, marketing, and advertising.

The big news is the piece has gone live online so if you missed The Guardian on Thursday, you can now read up on all the smart things that the other people said.

_________

Bonuses this week are:

Until next week,

Whatley out.

next week

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Five things on Friday #131

Things of note for the week ending Friday 3rd July, 2015.

LOOK AT MY THINGS

1. THE LOST ART OF READING
I read a post this week, entitled ‘‘Marginalia’, the ‘anti-library’, and other ways to master the lost art of reading’ – and it actually made me want to read even more.

I’ve got the Kindle app on my iPad and on my phone too but bizarrely this had made me want to purchase a hardware Kindle so that my reading isn’t constantly interrupted by incessant notifications (mono-tasking FTW, yo).

Give it a read, see how/if it inspires you to read more too.

2. FACEBOOK EXPERIMENTS(?)
This has been everywhere of late (so much so that I was very close to not including it – this list is here to show you new things, yes?) but it’s still super interesting.

reainbows

After last week’s [phenomenal] decision by the US Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right, Facebook profiles everywhere turned awash with rainbow colours.

Facebook itself made it possible for its users to, in just one click, create a rainbow-variant of their profile photos.

h5Vt35

It didn’t take long for the more cynical network anthropologists to start joking about how it could be all be one big Facebook experiment.

For me, there are perhaps two schools of thought here:

FIRST: Mark Zuckerberg wears his political beliefs on his sleeve. The drive for equality and openness has been an underlying driver of all things Facebook since its inception (to its own detriment at times) and while it’s easy to dismiss it as ‘just another data test’, ‘you are the product’, etc etc – it’s not often such hidden motives are so well thought about.

Consider:

‘Hey guys! SCOTUS just announced that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right!’

‘What?! NO WAY!’

cue: campus-wide cheering

‘Guys! I’ve made this thing, look!’

*one click changes to rainbow*

‘That’s awesome – roll it out!’

We’ve seen how Facebook can get over-excited by its own inventions before. And I totally buy that this could be how it happened. It may have had the feature on the back burner for such a day or it may have even made it for PRIDE and the SCOTUS decision gave it the uber-amplification nudge that it needed. Who knows.

SECOND: With all the data collected from this service-wide (ish) photo u[date (and given all research conducted to date – see also ‘Dunbar’s Number’), you know that Facebook will absolutely be using this latest spike in mass-user profile change to further its ongoing research into networked behaviour and the effects therein.

So in answer to the question ‘Was the whole thing a social experiment or not?’ I propose the answer of ‘No it wasn’t, but the accidental data thereafter will certainly be analysed as if it was.

And why not?

In a world where slacktivism is encouraged/challenged depending on your opinion, knowing if a simple profile photo change contributed to any profound effect to the way users both interacted with its platform as well as each other, makes a very interesting white paper indeed.

Let’s just hope Facebook publishes it.

The Atlantic has more.

3. THE WALTZER KICK-STARTER
Nigel Edginton-Vigus has been capturing fairground art for over twenty years. Not just any old fairground art mind, specifically the art of the The Waltzer.

wlatzer

As Nigel himself explains in his Kickstarter video, the art of the Waltzer is actually quite surprising (covering everything from Will Smith to Hellraiser to Marilyn Monroe) and while the photography itself looks excellent, it’s the history of these rides that interests me the most.

‘What’s that love? You want another art book for the coffee table? Will do!’

Check it.

4. THE PRESS RELEASE IS DEAD
No, really.

I’ve known Mike Butcher for years. Editor at large of TechCrunch Europe nee UK and at the forefront of the tech / startup bleeding edge, the man has to deal with a LOT PR pitches.

And a lot of them are awful.

Mike is proposing a new system in its place.

In PR? Read this.

Ps. That smart lad Ben Matthews has gone and templated it for you too. What a ledge.

5. READ THIS
At the top of this week’s FTOF I extolled the virtures of reading.

Do me/yourself a favour and start with this heart-wrenching piece by Guardian US Correspondent, Gary Younge, ‘Farewell to America‘.

essential reading

Powerful. Moving. Saddening.

It’s the best thing I’ve read all week.

_________________________________

– – – Bonuses – – –

There are LOADS of bonuses this week, what will you do with all of this bonus goodness? Read it, maybe? Or just simply open in a new tab and only return to it in about a fortnight? Who knows what you’ll do. Either way, here that are:

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is, as the name implies, a new cut of the most recent X-movie with all of the previously cut Anna Paquin footage re-edited into the film, it’s coming to Blu-ray later this month and, as is the norm for these kinds of things, the first clips are appearing online. Worth a look.
  • The Greek Bailout in charts.
  • Stop saying ‘just’ (try it).
  • Here in the UK, we’ve been basking in MENTAL SUNSHINE all week. It’s gorgeous. If you’re enjoying the summer, then here’s the Spotify playlist you’ve been waiting for.
  • These backstage Hollywood photos are lush.

Right, that’s me done.

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE.

weekend

 

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Five things on Friday #130

Things of note for the week ending Friday June 26th, 2015.

THE THINGS THE THINGS

Batman: Arkham Knight is out this week and, aside from a few STUPID install issues, it’s a pretty solid game. So yeah, get it.

Right, on with the things!

___

1. FACEBOOK’S NEW AD UNIT(S)
Two interesting new things from Facebook this week. First is a new 360 / interactive ad unit which, if you ignore the terrible Michael Kors example shown, could be used quite well in regards to STORY-TELLING and stuff.

Check it:

facebookad

Re/code has the write up.

Moving on…

If you’ve ever heard of Lead Generation Twitter Cards (here’s a handy guide on how to set them up – you’re welcome) then you’ll know that they can be quite useful for… generating leads / email addresses etc (e.g.: if you just happen to run a semi-successful newsletter and are constantly looking for new ways to sign people up).

Well, the news is, it looks like that Facebook wants a piece of that action and is following suit with its own lead gen unit.

facebook-lead-gen-ads-hed-2015

While this is only in test phase at the moment it’s quite good to see further parity between these two social platforms. And hey, it’s ANOTHER WAY TO TARGET YOU.

This time around, Adweek has the write up.

2. THAT RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK STORY
You’ve all heard about it. You must’ve done. You know the one I mean, right? The way that the thing that was scripted got changed on the day by another thing that was unscripted. You know?

No?

Well, here it is, direct from the director himself.

(I love this).

3. MACCY D’S MCBIKES
Say what you want about McDonald’s (secrets and everything) but sometimes they come up with some really interesting bits and bobs that are actually quite handy.

Example? This ‘McBikes’ packaging that’s just been launched in Argentina.

mcbikes

Super simple. Super smart.

I like.

Source.

 

4. SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE
No seriously. Sit down. This might be the most amazing thing you read this week.

Ready?

I’m not kidding.

Seriously.

OK.

SCIENTIST’S HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW PART OF THE HUMAN BODY.

100% not kidding.

Why this isn’t bigger news, I don’t know.

Researchers at University of Virginia’s School of Medicine recently discovered a long-hidden system of vessels they’ve coined the “central nervous system lymphatic vessels,” which drain lymphatic fluid from the brain to the surrounding lymph nodes.

And:

This find is the neuroimmunological version of stumbling across a unicorn. Not only had the system gone undiscovered until now, but textbooks argued against its very existence. As a result, neuroimmunologists have struggled to understand the mechanisms of brain drainage and inflammation.

Still amazing.

BRAIN

Mind. Blown.

It’s hardly worth carrying on.

But I will.

For you, dear reader.

For you.

5. TALES OF GLASTONBURY, 1989
The weekend of the UK’s biggest festival is upon us (no, I’m not going – been a few times though – much fun, foggy memories, etc) and to celebrate, I thought I’d share this awesome photo set from Dylan Martinez of Reuters.

glasto2

glasto1

Photos courtesy of Reuters.

—–

Bonuses this week are as follows:

See you next week.

Ps. Liked this? Tell a friend.

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