Five things on Friday #188

Things of note for the weekending Friday August 5th, 2016.

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What a GLORIOUS DAY IT HAS BEEN!

Also: the newsletter is on time. What the flop?

Amazing.

Shall we?

1. GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, WATER PISTOLS DO

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If you’re an iPhone user, then you might already know that Apple’s latest firmware test release (aka – iOS 10 beta 4) features a number of really great emoji updates.

One of them though is perhaps not so great.

E.g.:

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You can see how this might be a problem.

Emojipedia has a great write up on the above (and more).

Go read it.

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2. PROPER TRANSFORMERS

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This live-action version of classic Transformers is actually brilliant.

And probably 10,000% better.

Go watch it.

Don’t even start me on the newly announced version of Hot Rod. Jeez.

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3. BANKING IN NEPAL

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This is amazing.

“In Kagbeni, Nepal, a village of fewer than 1,000 people nestled high in the Himalayas, rupees change hands inside shops and barley is traded for buckwheat in the streets, but there is no modern way to store wealth. The nearest bank is a three-hour hike away; while most villagers have a drawer or plastic bag filled with badly worn rupees, few bother making routine deposits or withdrawals. So when a family finds themselves with a little extra money, or in need of some, they look to their rooftops, where the Kagbeni version of a savings account is neatly stacked.”

Uh huh.

More here.

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4. FLOCK TO UNLOCK – UNLOCKED!

Hey, look at this NEW thing.

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About two yeas or so ago, if you worked in any kind of communications agency, you’d have had a conversation with a media agency about this SUPER NEW AND EXCITING new feature from Twitter called ‘Flock to Unlock‘.

Here is an article covering a Puma execution from August 2014.

If I recall correctly, the price of entry for use of said feature was about £50k. Might’ve been $50k. Can’t quite remember. Anyway, point being, jump back to August 2016 and Twitter have [finally] rolled it out for all and sundry with no huge media spend up front (seemingly, at least).

I think Marvel did it last summer too…

Yes, they did.

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It didn’t go down that well.

So look, ‘Flock to Unlock’ is now available. It’s got a new name and you can find out about the details over on Twitter’s blog.

Go on, off you pop.

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5. USE THIS

It isn’t new but it is useful.

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Thanks to TNW for the reminder.

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Bonus items this week are as follows:

And I’m done.

Oh.

One more thing.

What’s got two thumbs and is off to enjoy his weekend?

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Seven things on Sunday (FToF #187)

Things of note for the week ending Friday July 29th, Sunday July 31st 2016.

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Wow, I was tired last week! Thanks to those of you that spotted the missing item number three. For those that spotted it and didn’t email in, the big thing was supposed to be:
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3. THROWING A BBQ?
Buy some bananas and some chocolate – and do this. Then tweet @markofrespect and tell him I said to say thank you.
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Mind. Blown.

I know. Almost as much as that time I heard about grated bacon. Almost.

OK, so that’s the admin out of the way.

Onwards – to THE THINGS!

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1. TEAM BUILDING

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Kicking off things this week with this really quite excellent long read on creating the perfect team (via the NYT Magazine).

“Five years ago, Google — one of the most public proselytizers of how studying workers can transform productivity — became focused on building the perfect team. In the last decade, the tech giant has spent untold millions of dollars measuring nearly every aspect of its employees’ lives. Google’s People Operations department has scrutinized everything from how frequently particular people eat together (the most productive employees tend to build larger networks by rotating dining companions) to which traits the best managers share (unsurprisingly, good communication and avoiding micromanaging is critical; more shocking, this was news to many Google managers).”

What follows is an excellent analysis that uncovers the profound effect that group behavioral standards can have on the interplay, impact, and ultimately the overall success of the group involved. These norms may manifest themselves as unwritten rules or simply just part of the known culture.

If you work in a team – or are a member of any kind of group – then this is a must read.

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2. WHO’S TALKING?

In a week(end) where an old white dude proclaimed that the gender diversity debate was ‘all over’ (as well as a personal fave: ‘millennials don’t do leadership‘), was subsequently lambasted by an entire industry, and then pretty much told to go stand in the corner and think about what he’s done by his boss (it remains to be seen if he’ll be allowed back); you’re probably ready for some kind of useful tool to help test Mr Roberts’ theory yourself.

Right? Well, maybe.

Whatever, I’ve got just the website for you.

It’s called: are men talking too much?

CLICK IT!

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Dead handy.

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3. TWITTER FOR DUMMIES

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Twitter isn’t having the best of times right now (if anything, it’s mid-pivot and struggling to sell that in (that or it just needs to ‘enable instagram‘ – jeez)) however, be that as it may, some people are still only just discovering it.

If anyone ever asks you ‘What is Twitter and how do I use it?’, you now have a useful guide to hand – as written by the always-amusing Stu Heritage.

Save it for later.

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4. NO INTERNET

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Believe it or not I’ve spent several days and weekends completely disconnected from the Internet. TRUTH, I tell thee. TRUTH. That said, these days it’s genuinely quite hard to find places where you can escape the umbilical cord of connection and truly be alone in the world.

Fortunately, ‘White Spots’ can help you find them.

Fast Company has more.

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5. A BAG, DEAR?

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This week in GOOD NEWS, six months ago the UK introduced a 5p charge for any and all plastic bags normally just given out over the counter. Since then, plastic bag usage has dropped a staggering 85% since said charge introduced.

Too little too late? Or a sign of [better] things to come.

Read more.

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6. TINA THE T-REX

This is so awesome it’s probably my favourite thing all week.

I am so excited, in fact, I might slip into ALL CAPS.

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YOU GUYS. THANKS TO THE AMAZING PEOPLE AT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS, YOU CAN NOW TALK TO A TYRANNOSAURUS REX VIA FACEBOOK MESSENGER.

WANNA TRY IT?

GO TO THE NAT GEO KIDS FACEBOOK PAGE AND HIT ‘MESSAGE’

HERE –

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I TRIED IT AND IT WAS BRILLIANT.

LOOK!

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This stuff is wicked. I’m very much in a chatbot place right now (more, later) and to see wicked little executions like this really warms the heart.

Got kids? Let’em play!

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7. SEVEN MINS THAT SHOOK THE DNC

Khizr Khan. I hope you already know his name. If you don’t, go and watch his speech.

It’s incredible.

That is all.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • You may have already spotted this on your internet travels (and it’s a bit old now but), in case you missed it, Tesla’s Master Plan: Part Deux is well worth a quick glance [into the future of cars once more].
  • The [original] Addams Family set in colour is simply gorgeous.
  • Uber is building its own maps system; interesting against the backdrop of autonomous cars.
  • Mark Ritson is being Mark Ritson again (worth a watch)
  • Love Seinfeld? You’ll like this.

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Thank you, as ever, for tuning in.

If you liked it, tell a friend.

Until next time…

Whatley out x

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Seven things on Sunday (FToF #186)

Things of note for the week ending Sunday July 24th, 2016.

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Good evening. It’s 21:30 on a Sunday night as I start this week’s belated edition FToF (hence the title change) and I am quite sleepy. Having spent the weekend on a narrow boat somewhere in and around Banbury to say I am the epitome of chilled out would perhaps be an understatement.

1. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE?

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If you didn’t do it, you certainly know someone that did (I did it, obvs) and for one summer, it was all your Facebook feed would show you (YES it went viral and YES it was awesome but let’s all remember Facebook made an algorithm decision just at the right time eh?).

In September 2014, the BBC reported:

There have been in excess of 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Facebook, and 28 million people have uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts. On image sharing website Instagram there have been 3.7 million videos uploaded with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge. Justin Bieber’s has been the most popular – with about one million likes.

But did it actually do anything?

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In the same year, ALS received $98.2m – compared with $2.7m donated during the same period last year. Pre-ice bucket, the MND Association would receive on average £200,000 a week in donations. From 22 to 29 August, it received £2.7m.

An immediate and undeniable impact. Hurrah and hurrah again.

Two years on, The New Yorker has taken a look to see if that impact has lasted.

Good reading.

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2. KEYNOTE SPEAKER TIPS

Speaking of good reading. Stephen Waddington has been at it again. This time around, sharing his twenty tips on how to present like a keynote speaker.

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There be gold in dem hills.

Go digging.

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3. THROWING A BBQ?

Buy some bananas and some chocolate – and do this.

Then tweet @markofrespect and tell him I said to say thank you.

4. STRANGER THINGS

 

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I’ll put this simply: if you have Netflix, watch STRANGER THINGS. If you don’t have Netflix, borrow someone’s log in and watch STRANGER THINGS.

Evocative of everything from GOONIES to D.A.R.Y.L. to POLTERGEIST to EVIL DEAD to THE TWILIGHT ZONE to even GARTH MARENGHI’S DARK PLACE. If you’ve ever loved any kind of 80s supernatural / sci-fi film or TV show then you must, must, must watch STRANGER THINGS.

If you’ve never watched or seen any of the above things then just watch it anyway; the music is fantastic.

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5. BECKY WITH THE GOOD HAIR

What to say?

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First, I lifted this from Matt Muir’s newsletter – Web Curios (go sub).

Second, I had no idea what ‘Beck with the good hair’ meant, let alone implied.

Third, as Matt mentions, to see a ‘legacy fashion’ magazine, such as ELLE (in this instance) take so much time to critique its own mistake(s) is heartening.

Read: What do you see when you look at this cover?

Enlightening.

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6. SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON HAPPENED

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Historically this is where you get the best and newest trailers for some of the most embed them all here and let you click through to the ones you want. This time around, I made you a YouTube playlist of the best ones.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

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7. FILM CRIT HULK ON THE FORCE AWAKENS

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FILM CRIT HULK is one of my favourite film reviewers. The last time I featured his words here it was his STELLAR review of EX_MACHINA (there be spoilers there, so only read it if you’ve seen it). The thing about FCH is that he makes you think differently about the films you (think you) have seen.

This is a long read but a good one.

FCH – SMASH! – STAR WARS: TFA

Read it.

Then let’s talk.

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Bonus items this week are as follows:

  • There’s a super cut of all the time Game of Thrones alluded to Jon Snow’s destiny at this link. I really rather enjoyed it.
  • Speaking of crows, when a crow dies other crows investigate the crime and report it to their friends and family. TRUTH.
  • Need a gif? I got you a gif machine.

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And that’s it.

Thank you to all of you who hit reply last week, it was so awesome to hear from you and what you’re working on / finding exciting. My task this week is to reply to you all!

It’s 22:20 and I’m going to find you a comedy gif and then I’ll hit send.

EEunMNSJReI1qdB

Whatley out.

 

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Five things on Friday #185

Things of note for the week ending Friday July 15th, 2016.

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It’s 00:24 on a Friday night / Saturday morning and I’m just sitting down to write this week’s FToF. It’s been a long week. Two days leave at the start, a day in the office in the middle, then a two day client workshop. Basically: attempting to fit five days’ work in one day. You know how it is. I’m taking a break from my inbox to write this to you, now.

To that end, this week’s edition will be swift (I think – I haven’t written it yet) and full of random interesting bits for you to go off and read at your leisure. If you want to do something for me this week, then by all means RT this Tweet so others may find this newsletter.

Finally, before we crack on, the word ‘Pokémon’ appears only once in this publication – and that was it. I think you’ve read your fair share of hot-takes this week and I’m not about to add to them.

Shall we?

1. THIS WEEK IN CHATBOTS

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I’ve been building chatbots lately. I’ve built one for the office (still in beta – but early tests are good) and I’m in the middle of building one for my department. In short: they’re great. I’ll tell you more about them hopefully in a couple of weeks (when we start talking publicly* about them) but in the meantime, go and look up some chatbot-building services.

They’re really, really interesting.

In the interim, here are a couple of chatbot-related pieces that I’ve read this week.

First is ‘The Humans Hiding Behind the Bots‘ –

Amy Ingram, the artificial intelligence personal assistant from startup X.ai, sounds remarkably like a real person. The company designed her to take on the mundane tasks of scheduling meetings and e-mailing about appointments. If a bot had access to your calendar and was cc-ed on correspondence, why couldn’t it do the work for you? After she made her debut in 2014, users praised her “humanlike tone” and “eloquent manners.” “Actually better than a human for this task,” a beta tester tweeted. But what most people don’t realize about this artificial intelligence is that it isn’t totally artificial: Behind almost every e-mail is an actual human—someone like 24-year-old Willie Calvin.

Awww yeah. that’s right. Some of those bots out there, they’re human.

Second up is ‘K I get Uber‘ – I’m pretty sure someone sent this to me and I’ve forgotten who (sorry) but this is less human-as-bot more human-wowed-by-bot. If you’re unclear of how bots will / can / are already changing the world we live in, read this piece from MG Siegler.

 

*when we do, I’ll publish the drafted post I have called something like ‘X things I’ve learnt while building my first chatbot’ -it’s a hoot!

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2. SOUTHERN RAIL TYCOON

Southern Rail is in the press a LOT at the moment. It’s basically the poorest excuse for a rail service ever. SO OF COURSE someone has turned it into a video game.

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Called ‘Southern Rail Tycoon’, this browser-based game (mobile-optimised – while you wait for your train to arrive) allows you to play the role of Southern Rail and your objective is to CANCEL ALL TRAINS.

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Amazing. So cynical. So perfect.

Go play.

 

H/T Eurogamer.

 

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3. SNAPCHAT AND THE ART OF UPSTREAMING

A good thought piece on why (and how) Snapchat is becoming the default camera for many phone-owners.

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4. #POWERPOINTSOFTWITTER

I know a smart woman named Kate. Kate made a tumblr. It is amazing. Go look.

What’s it about? Clue’s in the name.

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5. HOW GHOSTBUSTERS BECAME GHOSTBUSTERS

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I’ve not seen the new film yet (and I might – early reports are good) but this 9min look at How [the original] Ghostbusters Became Ghostbusters uses the screenplay as the central analysis and builds out exactly how it became the film that we all know and love. Specifically looking at the PREMISE as the DESIGNING PRINCIPLE.

It is excellent.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

It’s 01:24 and I’m signing off.

Whatley out.

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PS. If you get this via email, hit reply and tell me something exciting.

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Five things on Friday #184

Things of note for the week ending July 8th, 2016.

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Christ on a bike.

It never ends.

How are you today? Well? Smiling? Safe?

Perhaps all there. I sincerely hope so.

I’ve just returned from the #BlackLivesMatter march / vigil on London’s South Bank and I’m feeling pretty raw. A black girl, probably only around 17, spoke to the crowd – ‘We just want them to stop killing us’. I was stood, watching and, I guess, participating in the vigil from around 18:30 onwards. I walked with them too, for a while, and listened to the cheers of the bystanders as we chanted: ‘Black. Lives. Matter. Black. Lives. Matter.’ – and yet I still couldn’t shake her voice from my head: ‘We just want them to stop killing us‘ – that word. ‘Us’. Here, in London, speaking for all people of her colour. I choked up. Tears in my eyes.

The march continued and I slowly wandered home.

It has been a heavy evening.

And now I am here. At home. Writing this for you.

Thing is with FTOF, I draft it throughout the week – so don’t expect any of the below to reflect any of the above.

Shall we?

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1. JUNO HAS ARRIVED

So, this is legitimately amazing. After an epic five year journey, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has arrived in orbit at Jupiter.

Look!

Juno

And, at the time of writing, Juno is waking up RIGHT NOW to take its first proper look at Jupiter close up. The closest look at Jupiter we have ever had. Ever.

Juno is on a 53 day orbit of the giant of our galaxy (to put that into perspective, the same satellite would take a mere 90mins to orbit the Earth – that is how much larger Jupiter is in comparison to our home) and, on August 27th – when Juno takes its next closest pass to the planet, it’ll start collecting data. NASA will be sharing those findings near the start of September.

So y’know – put that in your diary.

You can read more about the amazing Juno over at NASA (who, as usual, is doing a fantastic job of sharing everything online).

Oh, and while you wait, why not look at these amazing images of Jupiter’s North Pole.

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2. ADVERTISING LAWS / ETC

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) again this past week. Not just over the whole ‘we have no jurisdiction over the pack of lies that were used during the Vote Leave Brexit’ debacle. That’s a whole other thing.

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No, this week a friend of mine pointed out a timeline of events that I’d hitherto not really noticed.

Indulge me for a second.

Let’s start with the ASA CAP Code on ‘non-broadcast advertising‘. It reads:

Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such

This means they need to be designed and presented in a way that makes it clear they are advertising material. The medium or targeting will also be relevant when deciding what is necessary to ensure that consumers know they are viewing a marcom (see Recognising marketing communications and identifying marketers).

Got that? OK. We might revisit it later.

May 2013
A blog post called ‘One of these things is not like the others‘ highlighting the amazing differences between Nike communications and genuinely commentary / content over on the Wayne Rooney Twitter account.

September 2013
A complaint to the ASA about the above content was not upheld. The reasons into the why it wasn’t upheld can be found on the Social Media Remit page of the CAP Code (it’s used as an example against a similar complaint and well worth a read).

October 2013
A post appears on the The Drum entitled ‘The ASA must sharpen its teeth on social media; if we don’t police ourselves properly, the government will‘ (catchy). In it the author – ahem – complains that the ASA a) isn’t fast enough and b) doesn’t take into account longer-term sponsorship deals of sportsmen and women. It also raises concerns about potential governmental involvement if the ASA doesn’t step up the policing of its CAP code to a more satisfactory level.

In short: too much grey, not enough hard lines.

April 2016
The Competition and Markets Authority (the government agency known as the CMA) steps in and publishes a pair of open letters. One to Marketing Professionals and one to Online Publishers.

Key point:

“Misleading readers or viewers may not only damage your reputation – it also falls foul of consumer protection law and could result in enforcement by either the CMA or Trading Standards Services, which could lead to civil and/or criminal action.”

July 2016
This is amazing.

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The above is an example of a ‘Thunderclap’ tweet campaign. Thunderclaps are normally used for charity work. Helping those that need the attention lift their signal up from the Twitter noise. Deliveroo isn’t a charity, so probably paid money for these accounts to tweet these messages at this time.

Furthermore, each of the accounts shown has tens if not hundreds of thousands of followers – all looking out for comedy memes all day long. If the word ‘#ad’ is hidden in an image that you need to expand, is that ‘obviously identifiable’? A few years back – being this adventurous with the rules would earn you a slap on the wrist from the ASA and a naughty letter telling you to remove the Tweet (probably around 3mths after it was tweeted).

From what the CMA say, misleading viewers in this way could lead to criminal action.

We live in interesting times.

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3. THIS MADE ME LAUGH

Not kidding, this is an actual ad you can see on the Tube right now.

Joe’s response is perfect.

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Looooooooooooooooool.

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4. DEGREES OF SEPARATION

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This is really cool.

“How connected is the world? Playwrights [1], poets [2], and scientists [3] have proposed that everyone on the planet is connected to everyone else by six other people. In honor of Friends Day, we’ve crunched the Facebook friend graph and determined that the number is 3.57. Each person in the world (at least among the 1.59 billion people active on Facebook) is connected to every other person by an average of three and a half other people. The average distance we observe is 4.57, corresponding to 3.57 intermediaries or “degrees of separation.” Within the US, people are connected to each other by an average of 3.46 degrees.”

This ^ from Facebook’s latest research into just how connected we have all become. Clue: it ain’t six anymore.

Best thing about this research? If you’re logged in, it’ll show you your own number 😉

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IN YOUR FACE, ZUCK!

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5. THIS BOBCAT

This bobcat rules.

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Amirite?

a) Cool. Cat.
b) More, at the source.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • If you’re working in or have an interest about non-profit organisations then you should try and be in London on Friday August 12th and attend this barcamp. Tickets are free. Go check it out.
  • We live in a world where racists believe that their behaviour is acceptable. If you’re a witness to this and don’t know what to do, here is some rock solid bystander advice.
  • On the flipside – for an example of how the world CAN be – just look at this photo.
  • My friend Alfie Dennen wrote this piece about autonomous vehicles and the ‘trolley problem‘ – this is a really, really good read.
  • Here is a live stream of a live stream (where bears are fishing for salmon)

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I’m going to bed now. It’s late.

Have an amazing weekend, you beautiful people.

Whatley out.

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