Webmongs! In a show of MASSIVE DEFIANCE I am today saying XXXX XXX (use your nous and creativity to establish exactly which expletive I am masking behind those cunning Xs) to my workload and instead channeling all my energies into bringing you some stuff off the web. You hear that, The Man? YOU HEAR THAT???? Eh? Oh.
Strangely enough, The Man’s ambivalence to my defiance is pretty analogue to my feelings about the new toy for grown-ups which has been launched today (as an aside, may I just quote the ever-wonderful Saul Williams here and reference the conspiracy-theorists’ anti-Apple belief…”no one seems to recognize the symbols come to life / The bitten apple on the screen, and Jesus had a wife…”…JUST SAYING, is all) – for a full, unexpurgated viewpoint click here (WARNING – BAD WORDS).
For those of you, though, who are fully intending to line Steve Jobs’ pockets even further and sit about stroking your new i-pets to the appreciative breathy moans of your i-onanist colleagues, can I suggest that you all get the Scrabble app, which is the best thing I’ve yet seen on the iPad. Apart, actually, from a demo of the Telegraph’s forthcoming app, which looks very shiny indeed (it won’t actually make reading the news any better, but it will make it prettier – and that’s what counts, eh? I despair, I really do).
Anyway, enough bitter misanthropy. Or maybe not; we’ll see how we go.
The Facebook Bit – So last week everything was looking dicey for Mr Z and his evil web empire of doom – May overall has been a tricky month, what with all these awkward privacy questions. A week is a long time on the internet, though, and now, thanks to a very well-thought out editorial in the Washington Post on Monday – an excellent example of mea culpa-style, ‘our idealism just ran away with us! we’re still nice guys, honest!’ apologism, imho – and some hastily implemented changes to the privacy settings interface, even the haters are on their way to being mollified. The fundamental point remains, though, that NOTHING is really totally private online. Deal with it, move on. Couple of other things while we’re here:
- As a demonstration of that last point, the very clever little app EVIL trawls Facebook for phone numbers that people have posted, and displays them at random. It’s not that evil – it excises the last 3 digits – but along with YourOpenBook it’s a salutory reminder of…er…what I just said
- But none of this matters, really, as Google Ad Planner has just confirmed that Facebook is now the #1 most trafficked website in the world
- Facebook are kindly providing us with another platform on which to laugh at the idiocy strangers; they are set to launch Facebook Q & A, which I have no doubt will be an inspiring testament to the power of collective intelligence. No, really, it will.
LinkedIn Deepens Twitter Integration – I’ll confess that this doesn’t massively excite me – it’s a smart move by LinkedIn, but nothing revolutionary – but it is significant in that it’s part of the growing trend of the big players in what convention forces me (reluctantly) to refer to as ’social media’ joining up with each other to create what is an increasingly standardised suite of social presences online. The more of these connections start happening, the harder it will be for new players to emerge and establish themselves. I think. Unrelated, but writing this has suddenly made me think of Voltron.
- Oh, and this is a rather good infographic showing relative LinkedIn penetration around the world, by the very talented @Vincos
MascotGate – Last week I mentioned Wenlock and Mandeville, the much-derided 2012 mascots, and how much I like them. I still do, despite this weekend having read that they were described by one commenter as ‘Terror Sperm’, which is borderline genius. Anyway, they have a Twitter account! Pretty sure it’s unofficial, but please follow them and show your support. Terror sperm need friends too. Also, this bit of poignancy can’t go unrewarded.
This is a map of London showing the locations where most photos are taken. It’s oddly beautiful, I think:
Favourite Campaigns I’ve Seen This Week:
- CNN Beyond Borders – Simple, powerful and well-executed; communicates the message in an unignorable way
- Volvo’s Augment Reality Treasure Hunt - Ok, so we all know that about 15 people are actually giong to play this, but nonetheless it’s a bold move, slickly produced. Credit to them for trying to be interesting
- Nokia: Conspiracy For Good – You can’t spit without hitting an ARG these days. Nokia’s turn this week, seeking to enlist players into the semi-mysterious ‘Conspiracy For Good’, to fight against the shadowy Blackwell Briggs organisation. So far, so ARG – this one appears to be unusally well put together, and there are live elements being introduced all the time. Worth checking out if you’re a Londoner (er, and probably a massive geek)
iPhone App that Pays You (allegedly) – Field Agent is an interesting iPhone app that effectively allows people (or brands) to set tasks for others to complete, offering them financial reward for doing so satisfactorily. Potentially very useful indeed for monotonous tasks that can’t yet be automated adequately – Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service has been doing the same for years, but without the mobile element. One to watch, as a trend rather than an app per se.http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/hank/wp-admin/post-new.php
You’d Never Get This One Past The ASA
The Swinger – No, not like that (there was going to be an image link there, but ’swinger’ is another one to cross of the list of ‘Google searches to perform at work with ‘Safe Search’ off’) – this is a litlle bit of code that takes any song and slows it a bit, just enough to turn it into a swing number. It’s fun, have a play.
And on that note, I depart – but not before leaving you an absolute avalanche of musical video stuff to enjoy / despise as you see fit. Have a cracking bank holiday, all of you. Except YOU. You know who you are.
1) I saw this this morning and already it’s my favourite video of the week. The Black Keys – Tighten Up
2) This is a truly brilliant animation to accompany Spacious Thoughts – NASA feat. Tom Waits and Kool Keith:
3) I had never heard of Tim Knol before seeing this (he’s a Dutch Indie Rocker, fact fans), but this is a lovely song and the video is jaw-dropping in its painstaking intricacy:
4) It’s been a good week for new music. This time it’s the turn of TSDOLE, who I’ve heard lumbered with the soubriquet ‘The UK’s Arcade Fire’. Poor buggers, what an albatross. Here’s the video for their excellent track Flagships (thanks @AlexanderVelky for the tip) :
5) Finally, my must watch / listen of the week. I am sure that Gideon Conn is an absolutely infuriating person to share a long car journey with, but this cover of Outkast’s Ms Jackson is technically brilliant. Just go with it – he’s a bit Asberger’s, but aren’t we all? No? Just me, then: