Five things on Friday #138

Things of note for the week ending Friday August 21st, 2015.

Things of note for the week ending Friday August 21st, 2015.


Your Friday wind down starts here…

I read this on the train to Northumberland last Saturday and, by the end, was in floods of tears. As the person said who recommended it ‘This reaches out and touches your heart’

It sits proudly at number one in this week’s Five Things and I implore you all to take the time out of your day and just read this.

I’ve got a fairly large network of ‘friends’ who live and work in social media. Of those several thousand people, there can only really be a small handful of people that are still investing time (read: bothering) with Foursquare and its [still oddly superfluous] check-in app, Swarm.

I count myself in that handful of people, and here’s why:

In the first instance, Foursquare can be incredibly useful when you’re investigating a new part of town (I trust it more than I trust Yelp, for example). The tips are pithy and gold is rarely far away (the occasional wifi password tip can be a God send) – in short: Foursquare, in its most recent form, is a pretty handy recommendation engine when you’re stuck in a strange place / at a point of indecision.

When it comes to Swarm, the use case is completely different – for me, at least. There used to be an RSS feed that you could use to pull into your calendar which retroactively put an event in every time you checked in somewhere.

But then that stopped working.


Fortunately, after tweeting about said woes, a wonderful person showed me another way to fix it. Hands together for IFTTT!

Look at the Internetty magic!


IF I check in with Fourswarm THEN an event goes into my calender.


Why am I telling you this? Well look, if you’ve stopped using Swarm, why not give it another go? It really is quite useful being able to look back in your calendar and actually see where you’ve been.

While it might not be useful for stuff like this –


– it will/could be/is useful when you’re out and about in future and you’re wondering exactly where it is that you went for that lunch/cocktail that one time.

You know what I mean…

Give it a go.

I was directed to this delightful website several weeks ago (w_w) and finally, recently (thanks pay day) spent some money there…

What is it? Well…


And it’s that simple really. The best bits from the [amazing yet super bustling] Ali Express, curated just for you.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 22.45.42

Go shop.

Forgive me, I’m about to link to a Buzzfeed post (but for good reason); this week I found a ton of (by ‘a ton’, I obviously mean an arbitrary number that makes a good list, in this instance ’31’) awesome photos from August 15th, 1969.


And ^ this one ^ is my favourite by far.


The rest are pretty darn good too.

Go see.

I do love a good read of Intelligent Life from time to time; it really is a corker of a publication. To round off this week’s FTOF, here is an excerpt from the latest [online] edition – covering a fantastic question:


‘What’s the most important school subject?’

As IL says itself::

The Big Question: a little learning is a dangerous thing. So what should we spend most time studying? Philip Pullman, Rose Tremain and five others choose their favourite subjects—whether they already exist or not.

The Philip Pullman responds with ‘Music’ and his justification is a delight.

The half that’s thrown away is the body, and all the ways it can move and feel and be intelligent and cause delight. And of all the things the body can do, the richest, the most interesting, the most emotionally and intellectually fulfilling thing is music. Every child needs to encounter music as early as possible, and I don’t mean just listen and then answer questions: I mean make, with voice, with clapping hands and stamping feet, with instruments of every kind.

Go read.


And that’s this week’s Five Things.

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BONUSES?” I hear the demons cry.

Here they come…


After last week’s veritable banquet of bonuses, this week they are few in number (but no less of interest):


You’re welcome.

Finally, this week’s minor-request-from-the-author-(in-exchange-for-a-rather-smashing-email-newsletter-blog-post-thing-that-gets-delivered-completely-free-of-charge-etc) is this:

I’d like to collate some testimonials on and about Five things on Friday. Some of you tell me on Twitter from time to time, others click the new ‘click to tweet’ buttons I’ve been playing with.

So please, this week, hit reply to this email (if you’re reading it online, ping me on (or on Twitter – either works; pigeons imminent)) and tell me what you think of FOTF.

If it makes it past the censors, it’ll be included in a future edition.

Thanks y’all, x

Whatley out.


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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

4 thoughts on “Five things on Friday #138”

  1. Wonderous Whatley!

    Your five things this week was a timely one – specifically the Swarm/4sq ditty…

    A question for you that the interwebz (even 4sq itself) seems unable to answer for me: why oh why are there two apps? I was previously a 4sq user and I’m certain that somewhere along the line – in true Facebook style – they enforced me to download Swarm as the new alternative to continue checking in. Since, I’ve been using Swarm only but… should I have both? What are the advantages of either? Any ideas…?

    James Whatley Reply:

    Lovely Lucie!

    Thank you for the note. I attempted to dig out 4sq’s original post about the app split, however this Q&A on Quora actually does a better job.

    In short: 4sq is for discovery. Swarm is for the game-y bits. Whether the split was a good idea or not [still] remains to be seen. Me? I use both for the above purposes. Recommend you so the same (especially in a new city).

    Big love,
    JW x

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