Thursday, 26 April 2012

Infographic: The incredible shrinking Yahoo

As much as I hate to admit it, or kick a brand when it's down, I very rarely use Yahoo at all.

To me, although the brand is doing, in my opinion, some of the smartest work in frictionless sharing that I've seen, a series of PR and personnel disasters over the past few years have really left the company on shaky ground. Let's run through their catalogue of errors before we get to the juicy infographic I found.
  1. Yahoo could have bought Google in 2002. They missed out.
  2. Yahoo tried to buy Facebook for peanuts in 2006. Well, peanuts compared to now.
  3. They could have sold to Microsoft. This would have solved a lot of the problems they are facing now, and given them access to a shit-ton of developing and scale.
So... What's next for Yahoo? Will they sink or swim? Can they turn this situation around?

Whilst we ponder that, check out this infographic, and let me know what you think in the comments section below!


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Infographic: Rise of the Slacktivist

Ok, quick story before I share the Slacktivism infographic with you. It's taken me 45 minutes to upload the infographic you can see below. 45 minutes! And it took help from my incredibly patient girlfriend too after I had a mini-tantrum. How silly/1st world is that...

I'm over it now though. Because I found the embed code. And now I just feel a bit thick. But hey - that's life.

It's little surprise then that I'm more likely than others to be a Slacktivist. It's not great, but hey, at least I'm not a chugger.

Here's an infographic illustrating what a Slacktivist is. Enjoy reading it - if you can be bothered.

The Rise of the Slacktivist
Thanks to: Sortable The Rise of the Slacktivist

Friday, 13 April 2012

It's Viral: Caine's Arcade

Every so often, a story comes along that genuinely makes you happy. This video is one of these stories.

Caine is a young boy in the United States who one day decided to build an arcade at the back of his father's car repair store. What follows is a fantastic short documentary featuring fully functioning arcade games made out of cardboard boxes, a slightly questionable loyalty card scheme (500 plays for $2?!) and a happy ending that would warm even the coldest of hearts.

This video went viral because it featured a universal story that resonated with people, a parable that makes you feel as if anything is possible if you try hard enough.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Changes to Google+: First impressions

Google+ have unveiled their first major overhaul since the service's inception last year.

Initial thoughts? They're going for the desktop approach, and I like the simplicity of it. Heading towards Windows territory perhaps? The layout certainly makes sense from a Chromebook perspective. Google want more of your life in their cloud, and this seems like a pretty intuitive way of doing it. Will people flock to use it though? I don't know - I still think the service is a bit too niche and male-skewed. It's yet to find it's key position within the marketplace, but I still think it's a great service, and I use it a lot.

I'm going to have a tinker with the changes, but just thought I'd give you a heads-up if you didn't already know.

For more on Google+ here's my initial review of the service.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Facebook buys Instagram: Great move?


So, Instagram has been bought by Facebook in a deal worth approximately $1bn US Dollars. I think this is a good move for both parties.

I'm a big fan of Instagram. It's one of the few apps that I use almost obsessively, and I'm pleased that the small team that runs it have snagged themselves killer jobs and a big payday.

The key reason why I'm happy with this is that Facebook seem to understand that the Instagram brand is strong enough to stand on it's own. Unlike Facebook buying Gowalla, which was a straight talent acquisition, this was a purchase of a brand that is already strong enough on it's own, and with Android users now being able to access the app, it has a great chance of scaling, and being wildly succesful. Gowalla, on the other hand, had already lost it's footing as a location-based social network, firstly to Foursquare, and then to Facebook. However, they had a smart team, and are a real asset to the company.

It's early days yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic that this is a deal that suits both parties, giving Instagram a bigger platform on which to reach out and compete, and giving Facebook a chance to tap into a market that was getting away from them (truly creative photo-sharing).

Thursday, 5 April 2012

It's Viral: Bone Pugs-N-Harmony

Now, this may be because I'm seriously dosed up on Lemsip, cough drops and too much sleep, but this video has totally made my day.

Why has it gone viral? Well, it's simple. It takes two staples of the internet - thirty-something nostalgia for the nineties and cute pets being dressed up, and mashes them together with a phat tune by Bone Thugz-N-Harmony.

It doesn't tell a story, it is what it is, and it's viral.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Your Password - Their Business?

How would you feel if you were in a job interview, and when you got up to leave, the person interviewing you insisted on following you out the door, went back home, ate dinner with you and then went to bed with you - just 'to get a better idea of what you are like as a potential employee'?

If you're a halfway normal person, you'd find that pretty creepy and abhorrent. It is. But it seems that some employers in the United States don't seem to attach the same characteristics to social media.

This situation was widely covered this week, when a story broke of a New York statistician being asked for his Facebook login details by a potential employer.

Here's the full story, courtesy of ACLU:
As the AP reports, in 2010, Robert Collins was returning to a job at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after taking a leave of absence following a death in the family. During a reinstatement interview, he was asked to provide his Facebook username and password, which the agency said they needed to check for gang affiliations. Although he was shocked by the request, Collins felt he had no choice but to comply because “I needed my job to feed my family.”
GANG AFFILIATIONS?!?!?!?! Now I know that Robert happened to work in a potentially sensitive area, but surely this is a step too far? I mean, what can you really infer from somebody's profile? We all, to a certain extent, project the best image of ourselves not just in interviews, but to our friends,  and colleagues. And what would constitute gang activity? Liking NWA or The Wu-Tang Klan?

As a character says in the popular Jim Carrey film The Mask 'Metaphorically speaking, we all wear masks'.

We have a right to privacy outside of work, and in many ways, it makes us more productive inside of work. You need to let off steam, within reason, and many people (rightly) see Facebook and Twitter as indulgent 'me time'. And as long as it's not harmful to you career or your employer, then that's fine. That's what social media policies are for in the workplace -  to protect your employer, and to protect you - to provide guidance, balance and fair use guidelines without cracking the whip.

Most employers I know here in the UK would blanche at the thought of such a flagrant invasion of privacy. But it's only a matter of time before a rogue one breaks ranks, and ends up the subject of a Watchdog report.

What do you think?