Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

13th February 2016

1) Interesting piece on the origin and history of large companies: The first multinational corporation was the British East India Company, which had its own army. This brief history of the corporation 1600 to 2000, highlights three distinct phases. “The human world, like physics, can be reduced to four fundamental forces:  culture, politics, war and business.’

2) Engaging and innovative approach from the new Quartz News app – an interactive ‘text style’ layout,  that encourages chatting, rather than reading.

3) Twitter in the news a lot this week and not in a good way. Its new Algorithmic display has  gone down badly with diehards, alongside concerns  with its poor growth. Here, however is a piece from the NYT, that suggests that Twitter should not try and compete with Facebook – instead modelling itself on some other template for success. ‘It could become a venture like Wikipedia, run by a nonprofit that depends on donations, or a business like The New York Times Company, a publicly traded enterprise controlled by a family that has a  preference for journalistic ambition‘.

Despite all these woes, Twitter has had some good news –  Its ad revenue is up 48%.

…and at least (unlike some other Tech giants)  they will pay their taxes.

4) Looking to change your parachute? A career in the Digital sphere looks interesting. New stats,  show that the average UK tech worker earns 36% more (or £15,000), and in some corners of the country they enjoy an 85% pay premium, over traditional non-digital jobs.

5) The Superbowl always throws up some interesting advertising learnings. Here are some of my favourites:

• Programmatic plays at the Superbowl – ‘Impression volume ramped up towards the end of the game and the rest of the night, whilst clicks and conversions rose steadily in the second half of the game and continued for several hours afterwards,  but dipped during the game.

• Snapchat was an official part of this year’s Super Bowl for the first time, landing four major sponsors – Pepsi, Amazon, Marriott and Budweiser,  for an NFL approved Super Bowl Live Story.

• The stand out ad was for a new Mountain Dew drink, ingredients = dew, juice, caffeine. I would have loved to have been in the brainstorm that came up with this name: PuppyMonkeyBaby.

6) Between Trump and Sanders, this seems like a pretty good idea to me – IBM’s Watson attempts to run for the US Presidency – ‘The Watson 2016 Foundation is an independent organisation formed for the advocacy of the artificial intelligence known as Watson to run for President of The United States of America. It is our belief that Watson’s unique capabilities to assess information and make informed and transparent decisions define it as  an ideal candidate for the job responsibilities required by the president‘.

7) The Growth of Vertical Video. Some outlets are turning their cameras sideways, whilst others are cropping horizontally shot video to fit a vertical screen. Snapchat’s seamless handling of vertical video is one reason publishers are focusing their efforts on that platform. National Geographic was one of the original publishers on Snapchat Discover.

8) You have got to praise the ingenuity – 7 Perpetual Motion Devices That Didn’t Work (video).

9) From The Guardian. How Facebook changed our friendships – ‘Facebook has built its business around our relationships – but as the site turns 12, are we just too busy for the emotional labour of ‘real’ friends?

10) Marvellous. Ocado develops ‘WhatsYapp’ smart collar to translate dogs’ thoughts…