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Bits and Bytes

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bits and bytes

Beme – are we ready for authentic social media?

Say hello to Beme – YouTube vlogger and superstar Casey Neistat’s new social video platform that has made it its mission to make social media authentic.

It’s a step change from all other social media out there: all of them allow for a carefully curated digital self through the simple function of reviewing what you’ve written, photographed or recorded before posting it. Some allow you to edit after you’ve posted.

Beme is the odd one out: no preview, no review, no filters, no editing, no second chances.

Continue reading “Beme – are we ready for authentic social media?”

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Understanding your medium and your audience is key to storytelling

A film titled “Most Terrible Fatal Crash Ever” sounds horrible and I’d argue the people clicking through to it are there to see scenes of desctruction.

Continue reading “Understanding your medium and your audience is key to storytelling”

How Casey Neistat made a viral video about making your own gold Apple Watch

We could make a viral video!

A sentence that anyone working in marketing or PR will recognise. Continue reading “How Casey Neistat made a viral video about making your own gold Apple Watch”

In a world without bros, who will invite you to the gunshow?

Organic Valley is a mission-driven cooperative owned by family farmers. They’re about organic sourcing, working together with farmers and their customers.

“We believe that when people work together in the spirit of cooperation, we can create change and make a true difference in the world. That’s why we formed our cooperative 25 years ago, to produce food for our communities that honors the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth.”

Continue reading “In a world without bros, who will invite you to the gunshow?”

Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?

Adidas have launched a new pair of football boots, and with them, a campaign graced by none of the world’s best footballers. Seriously. Adidas sponsor the World Cup 2014 winning side and they don’t include any of them? Instead they bring back Suárez despite having distanced themselves from him due to his ferocious appetite for Italian. Continue reading “Adidas embracers the haters, the future of PR and how often do you look at your phone?”

Net Neutrality explained, CIA goes social, Sainsbury’s and Google launch Food Rescue

John Oliver explains Net Neutrality…

Veteran Daily Show and Senior Britishness Correspondent John Oliver has made a name for himself in the US during his time on Jon Stewart’s (more or less) daily comedy news show.

Oliver recently landed his own weekly show on HBO called ‘Last Week Tonight‘, essentially The Daily Show, but longer and without studio guests.

In a recent episode, Oliver produced the best summary of Net Neutrality I have seen. Period. From how and why it came about, to what it actually means, how ridiculous and wrong it is and – here’s where it get’s interesting – to what people can actually do to stop cable companies and ISPs from ‘fixing a system that isn’t broken’.

Utterly brilliant and this week’s must watch clip:

Not only is Oliver’s summary bang on, but his call to action to “Internet commenters, monsters and trolls” is likely to have been the cause of the FCC’s website going down, as he directs viewers to unleash their vitriol on the FCC which is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until July 15 (or, as it’s called in FCC Doublespeak: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet).

… or why I get my news from satirical news media

It is bizarre when a comedy news show such as Last Week Tonight does a better job of explaining what’s going on in the world that ‘traditional’ media.

In fact, a study found that another Daily Show alumni, Stephen Colbert, did a better job of teaching viewers about the role of money in US politics on his satirical news show than the actual news. The University of Pennsylvania found that viewers of ‘The Colbert Report’ were more informed about campaign financing than viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (OK, no surprise at the last one).

Now, I tried finding a clip of Colbert apologising to his viewers about actually informing them about the news. What I found instead is a clip of Hapless CNN Anchor and Marginally Less Hapless Media Pundit ‘analysing’ how Colbert does a better job of what CNN and news outlets should be doing.

My favourite part is when Hapless CNN Anchor says: “[Colbert] has this certain je ne said quoi, if you will, right, but, but, but, they dedicate, like, chunks of time on that show to something such as [campaign financing] and he pulls it off!

Later in that same clip, Hapless CNN Anchor goes on to concede, that of course a 24 hour news channel like CNN is at a disadvantage, because Colbert has an audience that keeps coming back and a room full of writers who helps him write the jokes!

The mind boggles not only at how oblivious Hapless CNN Anchor is to the words that are coming out of her mouth, that this actually aired on CNN, but that the clip below is hosted on CNN’s YouTube channel!

The CIA goes social

The @CIA joined Twitter and Facebook this week. Looking past the fact that they’ve had a presence on Flickr and Youtube for a while and, let’s face it, have been following all of us for longer than that, it seems they’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about the appropriate tone of voice on social, especially Twitter.

According to the CIA’s website, their new accounts will be used to share “the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook“.

Let’s have a look then, shall we?

It’s generated well over 250k retweets an a wave of public support and praise for an organisation that in recent time has had its fair share of cock-ups.

Despite the brilliance of poking fun at the Glomar Response and thereby harking back to (arguably) the golden days of spying during the Cold War, I really was very surprised at the almost exclusively positive reaction to the tweet.

Well, except for WikiLeaks.

And Gawker – their reaction is perhaps more eloquently put, by Vice.

I find the reaction, especially to the Tweet, immensely disconcerting. Almost as if that cheeky message somehow absolves the CIA from all the other controversies surrounding the Agency. Just have a look at their Twitter bio:

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Far less cuddly and cute now. We get shit done. That sure gives their first Tweet a slightly more sinister edge.

Over on the CIA’s Facebook, the reaction to Big Brother getting on board has been a little more tempered – both in terms of numbers but also fan-girling. This will be due in part to the nature of Facebook being more of a closed network but also down to the more serious tone in their first posts about the anniversary of D-Day.

Still, the reaction on Facebook is much more in line with the cynical tone that I’ have expected on Twitter:

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Still, spy-hats off to the spooks for a genius PR move – I’m looking forward to more unclassified content and a peek under that trench coat.

Sainsbury’s Food Rescue

We waste 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK. That translates as a loss of £60 per month for the average family.

Searches for recipes using leftovers have surged by 1/3 compared to last year, with 2/3 of those searches made via mobile devices.

This is why Sainsbury’s and Google have launched Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. The tool gives people practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of the fridge or cupboard.

Food Rescue will also provide some insight into what food the UK saves and how that differs across the country:

  • the most rescued ingredient is a potato
  • 176 Feed Rescue recipes have been made since launch
  • £1.30 aAverage saving per recipe

Bits and bytes

  • Whole Foods uses an internal photo sharing community where staff shares images from stores to glean insight into which displays work well without giving away a competitive advantage
  • Google now treats brand mentions as links. They’re not like ‘express links, things you can click that will take you some place else, but rather ‘implied links’. Which means that every brand mention is now a link to your website. Or, more succinctly as this marvellous info graphic from MC Saatchi puts it: PR = SEO
  • Twitter is in trouble: losing users, inactive accounts, too much noise. It has lost more than half its market value, a staggering USD18 billion, since late December.  Here’s how Twitter can avoid becoming irrelevant
  • Bit of ad-porn? Cannes Lions 2014 top 100 contenders, compiled by Per Pedersen, Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey

Videos of the week

Mexican retailer Coppel teams up with world freestyle champion @seanfreestyle to play a little prank on some unsuspecting kids.

On the slightly less skilled front, we have Zidane, Bale and Moura smashing up Beckham’s house while looking street in their Adidas gear.

And then there’s this fantastically bizarre clip by Polish window maker Drutex featuring Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo and Jakub Blaszczykowski showing students who’s best at keepy uppy only to then find out that great footballers not only have great skills in common, but also great windows. Windows for champions. Seriously. That’s the actual slogan (at least in the German translation).

And finally

Billy Jean on beer bottles

Huge Presidential Cheesegate and Dominos delivers #pizzaonatrain

You come into my house?

Remember fish puns?

@TeaandCopy sure does and he was unhappy that Dominos weren’t rising to his pizza pun challenge. When it did finally take off, I was glad to see @Sainsburys join in with this cheesy effort:

And yes. I’d like to think that Ciaran looked a little like this anteater when he hit the Tweet button.

Huge presidential Cheesegate

The headline ‘We got a look inside the 45-planning process that goes into creating a single corporate tweet‘ caught my attention this week.

It’s kinda what I do, albeit in a slightly more streamlined efficient way. Reading it, I was perplexed. Was this a clever satire of the social media manager? Or was it really a piece about how digital design and advertising firm Huge goes about ‘doing social’ for brands like President and Audi?

@a_little_wine was quick to point out that, yep, that is a genuine article, no sarcasm, irony or parody intended. Here’s the author, Aaron Taube, confirming that it is in fact a straight report rather than genius satire.

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There are many things that got t’Interwebs giggling about this story, one of them was The Tweet That Took Two Months: at the time of writing, it had zero retweets and two favourites.

(Twitter loves a bit of irony and the Tweet now has achieved a bit more traction. President will be chuffed.)

My summary of this glorious event will never come close to that of @adcontrarian. So sit back, grab that fresh cup of coffee and enjoy his fantastic three-parter:

The thing to remember: not all social media managers are like this. Most of us can sort out a Tweet in, like, a month. Easy.

Pizza on a motherflippin train

Hungry funny man @IAmChrisRamsey found himself on a train to Newcastle with a hankering for pizza. Sadly, East Coast Trains don’t provide pizza on their trains. But, if you have over 270,000 followers on Twitter, standard menus don’t apply.

For a detailed look at how it all went down, Digital Spy have you covered. However, I couldn’t resist sharing these two tweets: Just look at how happy he is!

And of course, HUGE kudos to Dominos for making it happen.

Bits and bytes

Videos of the week

Google’s self-driving car. This was all over the news. In case you missed it, here’s their video showing it off. Me? I’m still waiting for my hoverboard, dammit.

Wall’s new idea cream ad wants politicians to say goodbye to serious. How appropriate…

Coke makes people work together if they want to enjoy their drink by creating a coke bottle that can only be opened by combining it with another coke bottle.

And finally

The Internet in Real-Time

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)

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