Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

16th March 2016

The Re-birth of the City State. ‘Are technological, cultural, and environmental factors combining to disrupt the nation-state in favour of an ancient alternative? This piece is one of a number of current observations about the rise of the cities and the decline of everywhere else. ‘One way or another, we’re going to end up with a collection of city-states or clusters of megacities,” …“But how they’re arranged in relationship to one another — whether it’s a hierarchy or a meshwork — really depends on the political framework through which they evolve.’

How Masquerade will help Facebook compete with Snapchat. ‘Snapchat may have built its reputation on photo-sharing, but it’s clear that video is the future of social media.Whichever network can build out the most popular video functionality will steal a march on their rivals in the coming years.  Going back to 2004, love this early interview with Mark Zuckerberg on CNBC. Would you have invested?

How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a Digital Hell. The last 14 years, every time (the) database was queried about the location of an IP address in the United States it couldn’t identify, it spat out the same default location – a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem.

A perfect focus for satire, this US state is the target in Funny or Die’s spoof ‘anti-gay’ tourism commercial – Made in Tennessee.

Google introduces Dynamic Allocation – ‘Dynamic Allocation is a way for Google to offer advertisers on its exchange, a way to swoop into auctions for ad space and buy the best inventory if they can beat the going market rate. Publishers will benefit because they technically get a higher price from an advertiser through Google than if they had sold the inventory to a rival exchange’.

In the week of the Panama Papers, an interesting read on the advantages and disadvantages of our economic system. ‘Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters.‘ …and on a related subject, want to guess which tech companies hide the most money overseas?

Nicely done, these vintage-inspired posters of America’s National Parks pay homage to the 1930’s originals.

From Marketing Week. If you think the sales funnel is dead, you’ve mistaken tactics for strategy – ‘Can I again remind the reader of the difference between strategy, in this case working out what the stages are and which one to focus on in order to increase sales, and tactics – the various actions I will invest in to execute the strategy. One of the great problems of the new marketing world we live in is that all these dreary marketers who feel it necessary to prefix their job titles with the D-word, simply do not understand the difference between strategy and tactics.

There is no escaping it. For Generation Z, email has become a rite of passage. ‘Those in their teens or early 20s prefer to communicate via text, but they may have to burnish their email skills to get ahead with older generations’.

Not wanting to get into a ‘for or against’ Phil Collins debate ( I’m in the early Genesis camp, as opposed to Patrick Bateman) – but this is a very nice idea. Phil Collins re-shoots all his album covers for 2016 re-issues.