Five things on Friday #116

Things of note for the week ending Friday March 20th, 2015.

5things

1. GEENA DAVIS IS AWESOME
There’s a lot to like about this ‘Geena Davis is still locked and loaded‘ piece from Bloomberg. This is just one example:

It wasn’t until she had a daughter, she said, and started watching kids’ movies with her, that the lack became clear. Davis noticed how few female characters appeared—sometimes only a mother, and it was weirdly common for that mother to die in the first scene. (“If we want to actually achieve parity,” she ribbed, “we have to start killing fathers.”) Davis canvassed, and realized her friends weren’t noticing, either. “And when I started bringing it up within my industry,” she said, “it wasn’t just that they weren’t noticing, they were sure that the problem had been fixed.”

I’d recommend you read the whole thing.

Geeeeeeena

2. PROBABLY THE BEST / ONLY PHONE WALLPAPERS YOU’LL EVER NEED
Yeah, helluva title that.

No pressure.

BUT WAIT.

American designer and artist, Molly Mcleod, designed these gorgeous wallpapers and I picked them up from PSFK earlier last week.

molly-mcleod-phone1-962x644

molly-mcleod-phone3-962x644

I’m running the ‘STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE’ one at the moment and it actually works. So yeah, these (and the others like them) are super recommended.

Get these and more, direct from Molly’s website.

3. TAKE ME TO CHURCH
This Ellie Goulding cover is quite something.

And hey, while we’re at it, why not watch this awesome video too?

4. WHAT’S MISSING FROM THIS 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL’S HOMESCREEN?
This has been doing the rounds a fair bit today so I thought, just in case you hadn’t seen it yet, I’d share it with you.

Basically, just under a week ago, a venture capitalist by the name of Bijan Sabet tweeted a photo of his daughter’s homescreen.

This is what it looks like:

homescreen

Notice what’s missing?

Yup. Me too.

If this kind of thing is new to you then I’d recommend reading the QZ article that I found this on as it links to a few supporting documents on the how and the why.

Whatever you do with this information, at least acknowledge how darn interesting it is.

5. SXSW INTERACTIVE

DSC_0173_3

(the view, behind me, from my front row seat to see Astro Teller)

I got back on Thursday morning and I have to say, SXSWi 2015 has probably made it into my top five all time top / favourite conferences ever. EVER.

Outside of the trends, updates, and lessons that I learnt from the daily lectures, panels, and interactive sessions (most of which I’ve already written up elsewhere (see: ‘Retail Revival’ for The Guardian and ‘Postcard from Day 5 @ SXSW‘ for The Drum), quite a few other [non-work-related] amazing things happened.

And, after taking a quick straw poll on Twitter on Wednesday, here’s a special SXSW-flavoured five things in your five things on Friday, just for you:

SXSW thing 1: OLD FRIENDS
After talking to each other on the Internet for nigh-on eight years, Mr Ricky Cadden (the original Symbian-Guru) and I finally met. What a great night that was.

Not only did I get to hang out with Ricky (and finally tick off the last mobile geek on my ‘People I know from the Internet but have yet to meet’ list) but my friends Myriam and Carlo were there too!

DSC_0014_4

^ This is 100% my happy place ^

SXSW thing 2: NEW FRIENDS
After fanboying over her website for a year and a bit I finally met ‘digital strategist’, author of Social-Creature, and all round super brain, Jenka Gurfinkel, and that too was a blast. We hung out with mermaids, we danced, we talked ABOUT OUR WRITING PROCESS (‘What do you mean you do layouts?’ – ‘What? Why do you think my stuff is so good?’ – ‘What?’), and then we ate tacos.

DSC_0165_3

Basically: winning at life.

Although it must be said, never more has the phrase ‘England and America are two nations divided by a common language’ been more truthful (I think we spent 50% of all conversation explaining what it was we were trying to say the first time around).

New friendships rock.
As does the Internet.

But you know this, right? That’s why you’re here. Right?

SXSW thing 3: ALL OF THE MUSIC
After spending nearly all of last summer trying to see them live in London, I finally managed to catch FUTURE ISLANDS live in Austin (thanks Spredfast).

FUTURE. ISLANDS.

They were so so so so so so so SO GOOD.

To top it off, they were supporting The Flaming Lips – who were also amazing. I don’t know if I mentioned it in a previous Five Things but Sony sent me an Xperia Z3 to try out a while back and the photos that took throughout that gig totally blew my mind.

I’m thinking about entering this one into some kind of competition.

DSC_0051_3

NO. FILTER.

Finally, on my last day in Texas, I managed to catch Odezsa at The Spotify House; that was pretty darn special too.

SXSW thing 4: ROBOTS
Out back in the exhibition hall you can find all kinds of wonders. I ran into Jon Andrews while I was there and he said ‘You have to go see the crazy Japanese guys with all their robots; you’ll love it!’ I did, and Jon was right.

ROBOTS

3D-printed, iPhone-controlled robots. Amazing.

There was also this guy that had this robotic arm. Like something out of Age of Ultron (Intel has photos and videos); it was as incredible as it was humbling. I turned to my company and said ‘We are living in the future!’ – the one thing I didn’t do was say ‘Oh man! Your robot arm is COOL!’ – because y’know, having an actual arm would be cooler.

Moving on.

SXSW thing 5: PEACE

And there’s not much more I can add to that.

So there you have it: SXSW Interactive, a place for learning, excitement, and amazing friendships both old and new. I’ve got a ton of notes to write up and a fair few presentations to give back to the office over the coming weeks to boot.

But between the sessions on Twitter, Big Data, and all that future gazing – I found time to reflect, rewind, and refresh my perspective on a few things.

Life is good.

Have a great weekend, my friends.

Whatley out.

______________

Bonuses come this week in the form of three trailers.

  • Here’s a fresh 1min trailer for Age of Ultron made up of 90% completely new footage (warning: definite money shots here you might want to save for the cinema). Got my tickets. You got yours?
  • Next up is a Japanese trailer for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. So. Excited.
  • Finally, this trailer for the video game, EVE ONLINE, is old but still awesome.

Liked this? Tell a friend.

No Comments »
Tags:

Five things on Friday #115

Things of note for the week ending Friday 13th March, 2015.

Five things weeeeee

1. THE RISE AND FALL OF HIPSTER RUNOFF
I have to admit, Hipster Runoff (HRO) completely passed me by back in ‘the day’. It was only via a recent conversation with a fellow nostalgia-wave content obsessive that HRO was uncovered and brought to my attention.

“HRO became a living document of a singular moment in internet history. A blip when a persistent weirdo, without the help of venture capital or a marketing firm, without getting swallowed by a media company, could simply blog his way into modest fame and profitability—and HRO did it while ruthlessly parodying the very readership, infrastructure, and culture that made the whole enterprise possible. It’s unlikely that anything quite like Hipster Runoff will happen again. And now it’s about to be pawned off to an Australian investor.”

FOR SALE: HRO

I know for some of you, HRO was the best thing ever and you’ll probably get a kick out the article I’m about to link to.  Those of you all fall out of that 2% of readers who know about HRO, you should read it too. Right, whatever.

The piece is entitled ‘The last Relevant Blogger‘ and it covers everything you need to know about HRO and its author, Carles.Buzz – it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve read all week.

Go read.

Oh, and when you’ve done that, go read Carles’ take on THE DRESS too.

I laughed, a lot.

2. SECRET CINEMA IS DOING STAR WARS
A bit of a divisive one this.

star-wars-secret-cinema

Some people be like:

But for others (myself included – but we’ll come back to that) the Secret Cinema experience has been tarnished one too many times. 

Take into account the 50% price increase on last year’s Back to the Future experience and, well, a fair few people aren’t biting.


From a personal perspective and after being dicked around a fair few times before, I swore that last year’s BTTF Experience would be probably be my last. The Brazil tickets my friends and I had got cancelled while we were on the train to the venue, Miller’s Crossing after that had incredibly rude staff/actors, and then, when Back to the Future came around, we had opening week tickets that also got cancelled and rescheduled.

In defence of Secret Cinema, the Brazil event was superb. As was Back to the Future. Once the tickets had been rescheduled, my friends and I ended up eventually having a good time at both. But for me, I’m done with the rollercoaster of just not knowing. Especially with this latest price hike.

I’m sure it’ll be a great experience for those that decide to go just as I’m also sure that something will complete mess up for them along the way.

But from now on: I’m out.

  • Tickets for the Secret Cinema event are available from 1pm. March 18th.
  • Tickets to the alternative Empire Strikes Back event I’m planning (100% not kidding – the feedback to the above tweet has been overwhelming!) will be available via this website nearer the time.

3. HOW TO PRONOUNCE ‘TRICKY’ BRAND NAMES
Business Insider put together this ‘handy’ video on how to pronounce tricky brand names. It’s fairly US-centric but still might be useful to those of you who never really know or want to ask how to pronounce certain brands…

 

4. SOME TV/FILM RELATED STUFF
This is a complete sham as I’ve got three things that are mildly related and I want to stick them under the umbrella of one thing. Deal with it.

First up: Netflix and Marvel have teamed up to create four exclusive series based upon the latter’s comic book properties. The first one out of the blocks it seems will be DAREDEVIL and the latest trailer dropped this past week and it looks AWESOME.

Second up: I recently returned home from a trip to Sydney (he types, from his hotel room in Austin, Texas – we’ll come back to that) and that 23hr long flight allowed me to catch up on a bunch of films that I’ve been meaning to watch for some time now. Of everything that I saw (and trust me, there was a lot) only two films really stood out for me and those two films I’m going to recommend to you now.

FILM 1:

Men, Women, and Children is a really good film that I’d heard about but not really paid that much attention to that follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives.

As each of the main players has their relationships tested, you get to see the variety of roads those people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – along the way. I would say I enjoyed about 95% of this film. There were a few niggles for me (mainly around America and its nigh-puritanical expectations around certain sociological norms) but overall, my list of ‘watchable films that have Adam Sandler in them’ has grown to two.

FILM 2:

Finding Vivian Maier on the other hand is a film I’d heard SO much about and had made a mental note in my head to watch it as soon as I remembered to. But then I forgot. But then I found it on the plane home and all was well. IMDb says that FVM is ‘A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers.’

And it is correct. It is. Her photos are staggering (you can see some on the website of the film) and they really do take your breath away.

That being said, the process of finding the photos, developing the photos, and the photos becoming famous, only really takes up about the first 20mins of the film. The rest of the picture explores the person behind the camera; who was she, where was she from, what kind of person was she – and it is a wonderfully put together documentary.

Recommended.

5. AWESOME TREE APARTMENT IS AWESOME
I really couldn’t say ‘Tree House’ – it just wouldn’t do it justice.

Verde_03

What you see above is a five-storey apartment building in Turin, Italty. Apparently built to evade Turin’s homogeneous urban look and feel, it uses plant life and trees to bring the facade of the building to life.

More:

“The undulating structure creates a transition from outdoors to in, holding 150 trees that absorb close to 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour. This natural absorption brings pollution protection to its residents, helping to eliminate harmful gasses caused by cars and harsh sounds from the bustling streets outside. The trees’ seasonal progression also creates the ideal microclimate inside the building, steadying temperature extremes during the cold and warmer months. The plants’ full foliage block rays of sun during the summer while letting in warm light during the winter.”

 

I love it.

Whatley out  x

__________

Bonuses this week are all fairly self-serving:

  • I got told off the other day for never really acknowledging being named as number six in this peer-voted top 50 list of influential people in social media marketing. That’s done then.
  • Promotion is actually official (we don’t talk about the picture).
  • I updated that millennial resource post again (aka ‘here’s a link to my blog’) now closing in on 20 different useful resources for anyone researching the hottest audience right now.

If you like anything you’ve read here today – do tell someone else about it and tell them where you got it from too. It’s nice to get new readers. Better yet, send them this link – http://eepurl.com/UtW8r – and they can sign up themselves…

No Comments »
Tags:

Five things on Friday #114

Things of note for the week ending Friday March 6th, 2015.

JPEG_20150305_070233_-984705877

I’m coming up to the end of my two weeks in Sydney and it has been a helluva trip. I’ve been out here supporting Marketing Academy Australia mainly (speaking to the new 2015 Aussie intake – good looking bunch that they are) but have managed to squeeze in some Ogilvy stuff too – which has been excellent.

Did I mention I got promoted? That’s a thing that happened as well.

Hurrah!

Speaking of which, I should probably write something up on both those things in a separate blog post or two in the future. Yes, I’ll do that.

Right, enough about me – you’re here for the THE THINGS.

Lots to cover this week: so much as happened that I’ve had to bump one item to next week! Astonishing. Shall we dive in already?

1. BEESTON’S LAW

BeestonsLaw

Heard of this one before? No? Following up on something from last week’s Five Things, Beeston’s Law states:

‘However tasteless or tenuous, a LinkedIn blog will be published linking a current event to marketing or branding.’

A fair chunk of Industry folk know that LinkedIn blogs are the depths of hell when it comes to the achingly terrible and Beeston’s Law proves it. Think of anything crass from ISIS to Ebola and there’s a LinkedIn blog to cover it. It really does make you sick.

Anyway, if you see something like this, please highlight it with the hashtag #BeestonsLaw; there’s a Tumblr and everything.

Zing!

2. A FORMULA TO STOP YOU FROM OVER-COMMITTING YOUR TIME
This, from the Harvard Business Review, is a thought-provoking read and well worth 15mins of your TIME. To quote:

“The single most important factor in feeling like a time investment success or failure is whether or not your expectations of what you will accomplish align with how much time you have to invest. The following time investment formula provides a mathematical way to understand the relationship between your expectations and your actual time budget. Once you have this data, you can then determine exactly what you need to do to get to a balanced budget in which you have enough time for what’s most important.”

The author has put an extremely well thought through construct of how to measure your time spent vs what it is you want to achieve against the only non-variable that you have every day: 24hrs.

To give the formula away in this article would be to take away from the thinking and explanation that are given throughout the main write up.

In short: give HBR a read and then see if your time management improves.

‘But how is that going to stop me from over-committing?!’

To quote the article once more:

“If you’re like most people, you’ll end up choosing the first of the three options—the greater-than sign—because you’ve made more external and internal commitments than you can realistically keep. This has created a lot of guilt and stress for you in the past. But now that you’re aware of what’s happening, you can adjust for the future.”

Nice.

3. MORE ON ‘THE VIDEO ROYALE’
Indulge me for a second. Remember that 2015 trends deck that Marshall Manson and I presented a while back? The one I keep going on about?

Well, in said presentation we talked about ‘The Video Royale’ and how native video uploads, cross-channel, would be the way forward for 2015.

We also said this:

“In 2015, Facebook will need to start getting serious on copyright and then, once that’s tidied away, consider revenue sharing for its best content creators…”

In last week’s FTOF (#113), I linked to that gritty Power Rangers video that everyone was going nuts about but, as I was about to hit publish, I ended up having to link to a story about how the whole thing was going to get pulled down pretty sharpish thanks to a copyright infringement claim from Power Rangers creator, Saban.

Sad times.

The good news is: those involved have struck a deal and the film is back online for good (but this time with extensive disclaimers about it not being official etc).

Hurrah!

The Verge has the full story (and the videos are up here: NSFW and SFW – if you haven’t watched it yet, you really should; it’s quite excellent) but one paragraph stood out for me in particular:

“Saban wanted the disclaimers present so that kids wouldn’t confuse his “super-violent film” with the decidedly friendlier Power Rangers show that they’re used to. The short, produced by Adi Shankar and starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff, went online late Monday and was viewed by around 12 million people on YouTube before being pulled on Thursday in response to a copyright notice from Saban. The Vimeo version was pulled even sooner. The film was also hosted on Facebook — apparently the only platform that it never managed to get pulled from. It remains there without disclaimers.”

Copyright holders won’t put up with this kind of thing for much longer and, as Facebook continues to grow in its video dominance, it really has to start taking this side of its business a lot more seriously.

When online publications start drawing attention to the fact that Facebook really doesn’t play ball when it comes to takedown notices, you know something is going to have to change and soon.

EDIT: this piece, ‘How you saved the Power Rangers short‘ from iO9 is really good too.

4. #QUOKKASELFIE
File this one under ‘perhaps the only reason in this world to own a selfie stick’, grabbing yourself a #QuokkaSelfie is the next big thing in Internet fundom. I read this piece on Mashable (forgive me), hit the photos, and then didn’t stop laughing.

JUST LOOK AT THEM

quokScreen Shot 2015-03-05 at 09.00.13 Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 08.59.39

Source.

5. OLIVIA WILDE, I LOVE YOU

Wild about Olivia

Esquire magazine invited Olivia Wilde to edit their most recent publication. They didn’t expect her to edit her own interview too. This is great.

6. SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
In an unprecedented move, our hero has thrown in an extra thing this week to cater for a special announcement:

Shaken Cocktails, the providers of the home subscription cocktail-maker kits (I’ve covered them before) have opened a Seedrs campaign to raise money to help expand their business. They’re well on their way to raising the £60,000 they need to help with their marketing efforts and business expansion in 2015 and I thought I should let you lot know about it just in case you might be interested.

I believe in these guys and I think you might too.

Check them out.

PS. Want to try Shaken yourself? Use this link and get £5 off your first box.

_______________________

Bonus items this week are were of the audio and visual variety (but then I added a couple more) –

 

And I’m spent.

Liked this? Tell a friend.

Whatley out.

No Comments »
Tags:

Five things on Friday #113

Things of note for the week ending Friday 27th February, 2015.

Singapore

I’m writing this to you from Sydney, Australia (G’Day, etc). The above photo was snapped as we came into Singapore on the way over. Bloody beautiful if you ask me.

Want some decent music to listen to while you read? Flick on over to yesterday’s Three Track Thursday and put some new music in your ears as you read on.

Shall we?

1. CLASS, IN THE PAST

Frank

Nothing like kicking off a list of THINGS YOU NEED TO SEE with a link to a list of THINGS YOU NEED TO SEE, right? Right.

In short, here is a link to a website that shows you (on one uber-long scrollable page – not split over several pages – oh no. Bonus points for that) ‘47 photos that prove people had more class in the past‘.

There’s a lot to love at that link.

Sigourney Weaver in a suit is a definite highlight.

Meow.

2. LEGO SPACE BOT
This is so much better than it sounds.

On Tuesday, I was sat in a restaurant in Manly Wharf, casually browsing Twitter, waiting for the next boat to arrive after finishing of a rather lovely steak and chips when suddenly and out of nowhere, someone retweeted @LegoSpaceBot into my stream.

My response was thus:

And it’s true. I was.

I had so much Space Lego when I was a kid but (and I’m sure most of you would be the same) you probably remember the amazing things you built (I dunno, like a moonbase maze for your hamster or perhaps a monorail track that could deliver bourbon biscuits from the top of said maze right up to the side of your cabin bed), not the original sets they came in.

Well @LegoSpaceBot changed all that.

Simply put: it’s just a bot, tweeting images from catalogues and original boxes, of the entire Space Lego range and IT. IS. AWESOME.

LOOK!

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 01.35.47Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 01.34.52 Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 01.34.36

AAAAAAMAAAAAZIIIIING.

From the super-massive Space Police ship (that had a secret car in the front) to the actual space monorail kit that I sellotaped to the walls around my room, to even more awesome Space Police Lego kits; if you had Space Lego when you were a kid, @SpaceLegoBot is your new best friend.

If only there was a way to repurchase them all somehow (damn).

Speaking of space…

3. THE SPACE WALK IN YOUR HANDS
This really blew my mind last week. I don’t know if you were paying attention last week but the astronauts up on the International Space Station had to do an eleven-hour space-walk to help prep the ISS for the arrival of commercial space taxis.

Care to read that sentence again?

Go on. I’ll wait.

Space. Taxis.

But that’s not the mind-blowing part. Oh no. This Tweet from Ben Hammersley was what really baked my noodle –

I read that. Retweeted it. Then did it myself.

I was travelling in a car at the time and being able to produce this MAGIC for all to see really was quite something.

As Hammersley says: watching someone WALK IN SPACE while you’re WALKING ON THE PLANET BELOW via a 5″ sheet of glass that is streaming said footage to you LIVE as you’re walking along the street is LIVING THE FUTURE stuff.

Wanna do it yourself next time?

You’re gonna need this link.

4. ONE SIZE [SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SPEC] FITS ALL

ONE IMAGE TO RULE THEM ALL

I recently worked up a new Twitter image template with one of the creative directors at Ogilvy based upon the whole ‘2:1 size is what you need for Twitter!’ thing being total bunkem (but we’ll come back to that).

I wasn’t planning on sharing it quite yet as I’m preparing a Twitter Card Masterclass: Redux presentation (as a follow up to the super popular original preso) and this was going to be a major part of it.

It probably still will be.

However, not being one to deprive people of useful information, I thought it’d be worth highlighting that a very smart chap over at Rackspace has also spotted this error on Twitter image sizing (basically, 2:1 is right, but you need padding or a ‘safe zone’ for text) and went about finding the correct image size for not only Twitter but for ALL platforms.

Important note: this is not a list of what size image you need for each social platform, but one master image size that works across all.

What I’m trying to tell you is: THIS IS REALLY USEFUL.

You’re going to want to bookmark this: ‘One image to rule them all

5. FEMINISM IS NOT A FOUR LETTER WORD
Shall I tell you what IS a four letter word? THOR.

THOR, BITCHES.

THOR is a four letter word. Not keeping up? Hang on, wait a second. You did know that THOR in the comic books is now a woman, right? Not that THOR the man we know and love has become a woman. No no. But that THOR (the man) is now Thor-the-unworthy and the powers of THOR (ergo ‘THOR’) have been bestowed on someone who is worthy. That someone is a woman and she is a badass.

[additional reading]

Some readers have been quite vocal in their disapproval of this decision and MARVEL, in its infinite wisdom, has continually given those readers a big F U. Which, fair play to MARVEL, doesn’t get any bigger than when it appears in the pages of the book itself.

It’s as easy as one…

THOR ONE

…two…

thor two

…three.

THOR THREE

Love. It.

via The Verge.

____

Bonuses this week:

_____

Enjoyed this? Tell a friend.

Whatley out.

2 Comments »
Tags:

Five things on Friday #112

Things of note for the week ending Friday 20th February, 2015.

ALL THE THINGS

1. ON THOSE GREEN BUBBLES
You there, reading this. Got an iPhone? Then this might speak to you. Those of you who don’t have an iPhone should keep reading too (as you might be offered some further reassurance over your decision to join in).

iPhone users have their own SMS-like service. If you’re receiving an SMS from another iPhone the message is sent via iMessage and appears blue. If you’re receiving a message from a non-iPhone then it’s sent via standard SMS and arrives green.

Like this –

12 13

Which means there is a very quick and visual way to see which friends / family own iPhones and which ones don’t. You know, so you can judge them and stuff.

Apple know it. Tim Cook has even said it.

Don’t believe me?

Read this: ‘It’s kind of cheesy being green‘.

It’s one part a depressing read on the state of human nature and two parts an interesting read on subtle product decisions that [can] influence culture.

2. MINGERING MIKE
Jon Ronson is one of my favourite writers and his occasional Guardian column is a treasure trove of brilliant worldly idiosyncrasies. His latest article does not disappointment.

Mingering Mike

The two sides of Mingering Mike: the soul legend that never existed‘ is a wonderful, sadness-tinged story made of cardboard, created through a mixture of depression, loneliness, and escapism, that ends with an exhibition at the Smithsonian.

This really is the best thing I’ve read all week.

3. OUR FEAR OF AI
The Singularity. It’s something that all of us will start hearing more and more about. To be honest, given the readership persona of this place, I think a lot of you will know about it already.

You can see it in the technology section of the broadsheets. It lives at the core of the science-fiction of trend of now (everything from TRANSCENDENCE, to EX_MACHINA, to this year’s upcoming AVENGERS sequel, to name but three, all feature smarter-than-human artificial intelligence).

If you don’t know about it; read up on it.

‘But where do I start?!’, you say. Well, right here.

With ‘Our fear of AI

“Because Google, Facebook, and other companies are actively looking to create an intelligent, “learning” machine, he reasons, “I would say that one of the things we ought not to do is to press full steam ahead on building superintelligence without giving thought to the potential risks. It just seems a bit daft.” Russell made an analogy: “It’s like fusion research. If you ask a fusion researcher what they do, they say they work on containment. If you want unlimited energy you’d better contain the fusion reaction.” Similarly, he says, if you want unlimited intelligence, you’d better figure out how to align computers with human needs.”

When one of the real world version of Tony Stark is working (read: ‘donating a shed ton of money’) to support ‘AI Safety’ programmes just as the fictional one is about to unleash an evil AI onto the Earth’s inhabitants, well, it’s time to sit up and take notice.

4. THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY
Last year, just before the World Cup kicked off, a cool little thing went around where you could subscribe to a World Cup Google Calendar that would, rather brilliantly, not only plot all the tournament’s games in your diary but also retroactively update those appointments with the scores of the games after they happened. It was in short: a bloody useful tool.

The month after it finished I was still thinking about how awesome that kind of calendar would be for other purposes. How do you build one for starters? What else could I use it for?

Well, I like going to the cinema (newsflash, I know) and I like writing up what I think about those films after I’ve been.

Through that passion, if you will, I think I can say I now enough about film to have a pretty good hit rate on what will (and will not) be a good film.

What if I used that skill, combined with data from movie release websites to plot UK release dates for upcoming films into a similar calendar and then update those very same dates with links to my reviews after I’d seen said films?

Just like the World Cup calendar but for film.

As a great developer once said to me ‘Nothing is impossible, James. You just need enough time.’ – one Sunday morning I set about setting up the calendar. I plotted three months or so ahead, then experimented with how it might work with some friends (thanks Matt), and after that, I blogged it and made the whole thing public.

coming soon

That was September.

Later that month I was giving a ‘Twitter Card Masterclass‘ on how to best use Twitter Cards. The end section went into a cases of bespoke Twitter Cards. Twitter Cards that Twitter had made possible for certain brands and for no one else.

One of those bespoke cards was a calendar subscription card from Burberry. Twitter didn’t make them available for new people and it wasn’t going to tell you how to build one either. On a flight to Dublin it hit me on how I could hack my own. So I did.

Oh, and it worked.

I shared the calendar, the idea, and the Twitter Card at Social Media Week London. After the event I had a really lovely chat with someone from Cineworld about the idea worked and how I’d been surprised that no one had made one before. Last week, Cineworld launched their own version.

Differences:

  • All your data belong to us. The thing about Google Calendar subscriptions is that Google gives you ZERO information on anyone subscribing. It doesn’t tell you how many people are subscribing nor does it confirm that there any subscribers at all. To get to the Cineworld version you have to either a) log in with Facebook or b) give up your email address.
  • The Cineworld version has multiple calendars available by genre. Because y’know, as a sci-fi fan you only ever want to science fiction films and never anything else.
  • The Cineworld version doesn’t let you filter by quality. That means zero curation… Which is a shame because that’s one of the KSPs of the original.

So yeah. I wanted to call this out because it’s actually really cool to see someone take something and actually try and apply it to a brand properly. And that’s great. The end product is slightly broken but at least they had a stab.

On the other hand, if you want to subscribe to a calendar of the best upcoming films then you know where to come.

5. ALL THE SNL
Saturday Night Live turned 40 last weekend and, as part of the opening ceremonies, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake (a pair who are well on their way to becoming the US versions of Ant n Dec) put together this stellar opening:

I’m yet to watch the whole thing but seriously… 40 years of Saturday Night Live? Amazing. If you know NOTHING about SNL then you should know that some of the most famous comedians and comedy actors have started their lives there.

You want some extra SNL love? OK, here are 14 behind the scenes photos from over 40 years of SNL (brilliant) and here’s a link to ‘Live from New York‘, the complete and uncensored history of Saturday Night Live.

Treat yourself.

Whatley out.

___________

Bonuses this week :

  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In Dresses. At the Oscars. On Acid.
  • Like video games but hate endless ad-filled websites? Plaaayed, launching soon from a couple of ex-CVG folk, might be just what you’re looking for.
  • How Not To Find A Boyfriend (this one’s a grower).
  • Run a Facebook page for a brand? STOP posting photos.
No Comments »
Tags: