Things of note for the week ending Friday April 8th, 2016.
I’m writing this intro to you from Istanbul where I’ve spent the last few days relaxing on holiday (see! it does happen occasionally). In fact, the leader image above I snapped on the way back to Eminönü from Üsküdar on Wednesday. A perfect day was had.
Much has changed over the past week for yours truly and I’m fairly sure I can state with clarity:
I have never been happier.
For those that of you that don’t know, Five things on Friday is hosted via my blog, ‘this is my happy place’, and, as I type (and as you read) I am very much in said happy place. I hope, with all love and sincerity, that you are in yours too.
Maybe go hug someone.
OK, back? Brilliant.
It’s a fairly social-heavy edition this week but I’m sure you won’t mind.
1. BRANDS, BLOGGERS, AND MONEY – OH MY!
This is a must read if you are in the UK and satisfy any of the following criteria:
- You work for a brand looking to get bloggers to write about your product or service
- You work for an agency looking to get bloggers to write about your client’s product or service
- You’re a blogger (and we’ll use this term as a catch-all for all kinds of influencers; it doesn’t matter if you self-identify as a blogger, vlogger, vine-r, instagrammer (or ‘grammer – blergh), or whatever – if you create content that could infuence consumer decisions, this means you) that’s looking to partner with a brand (and by ‘partner with’ I mean make money from) by posting promotional content about a product or service
Thus far, the ASA, working with CAP, have issued (purposefully) grey advice about what you can and can’t do in regards to paying for blog content. The main thrust of that advice was ‘ads [on social platforms] must be obviously identifiable as such’.
Thing is, the ASA is an independent regulatory body paid for by the advertising industry. Three years ago, I wrote a piece for the trades entitled ‘The ASA must sharpen its teeth on social media: If we don’t police ourselves properly, the government will‘. You can probably guess what it was trying to convey…
Well, guess what? The government are getting involved.
The government department known as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently finished its consultation period regarding online reviews and endorsements and, as a result, has published its own guidance on what is and what is not permissible when it comes to paid for ‘opinions’ online.
Said guidance can be found in two open letters that the CMA have published this week.
- PDF for Marketing Professionals (brands/agencies)
- PDF for Online Publishers (bloggers/influencers etc)
Here’s one killer quote (emphasis mine):
Blogs, videos and other online publications influence people’s buying decisions. While paid-for editorial content is perfectly legal, it is important that you are open and honest about it with your audience, so that they do not think they are getting independent information when a business has in fact paid to influence the content. Misleading readers or viewers may not only damage your reputation – it also falls foul of consumer protection law and could result in enforcement by either the CMA or Trading Standards Services, which could lead to civil and/or criminal action.
As Starcom Mediavest found out to its detriment.
A hefty thing to kick off this week, I know. But it’s super important.
So y’know, don’t be a dick.
Sidenote: this whole noodle started when I tweeted a screengrab of an email I received a short while ago where the company involved asked me outright to break the above rules. I tagged the ASA, the ASA replied and tagged the CMA with some related reading. Really, really interesting.
There are more scalps on the way, you would do well to make sure you’re not one of them.
This section has a lot of MY FACE in it. You have been warned.
A couple of weeks back, I participated in The Drum’s ‘#SMBuzzChat‘, an hour-long Twitter Q&A session discussing a few different topics followed by a video interview (300 people have watched it – that’s the same amount of people that defeated Xerses at the battle of Thermopylae!) that goes out under the same name.
The questions for the evening were:
For those of you who missed it the original tweets (and subsequent reply chains) can be found by clicking on the images above. I’m good to you.
We had more questions planned but such was the response (and highly engaging conversation) we had to cut it short just to keep it in the hour. Hell, we even trended.
It was a BUSY night.
It’d been a while since I’d done one of these things and, if I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t know how it was going to go at all. Be that as it may, I have no qualms with telling you: I had the best time!
My host, Adam Libonatti-Roche, was brilliant throughout. Both with comedic back and forths over the table during the Twitter chat (as I struggled to reply to every. single. tweet. that came in) and in the recorded discussion that followed thereafter.
(tap ^ the image ^ for video)
The entire evening was superb; I really can’t recommend taking part in this enough.
Also – you wanna be on? There’s a form for that.
Finally, a couple of years back I chaired the judging panel for the Social Buzz Awards. Big fan. Proud of the industry, etc. I’m really impressed with both what Libonatti-Roch has done with helping to create a conversation around the Social Buzz Awards all year round (as opposed to the one night a year they’re on) as well as the high production values they’re investing in it.
Good job, guys. Keep it up.
3. ‘DETAILS’ ON THE SNAPCHAT USAGE OF U.S. TEENS
Image via Variety
Variety published a survey this week, all about how on cough Millennials use Snapchat:
“Roughly 44% of the 1,117 U.S.-based Snapchat users between the ages of 13-24 surveyed in February who said they had used Live Stories and/or Discover reported doing so on at least a daily basis. That percentage falls to 23% when weighed against all of the survey’s respondents, including those who didn’t report using Live Stories and/or Discover at all.”
And there’s a few interesting charts too:
Anyway, a few things:
First, I have it on relatively good authority that the results of this survey in no way reflect the actual usage of the described audience in this research. Discover, for example is much higher.
Second, the use of ‘millennial’ here is painful.
‘Millennial’ is not only a cheap, lazy, and boring way to describe a homogenous group of around 80 million people IN THE U.S. ALONE (seriously – they can’t ALL be into the same things), but it’s also often predicated by a vast misunderstanding of exactly how old this group actually is.’
So yeah, Variety published this research and:
a) No one verified it with Snapchat / asked Snapchat for comment (weird, no?)
b) The audience are not Millennial (specifically lower-end millennials and Gen Z (see the New York Times for my favourite definition)
c) It’s U.S. only
So why am I sharing? Well, it is actually a decent read (no, really) however do please always try and look / dig a bit deeper into the data whenever and wherever you can.
Go read it and see for yourself.
4. VR WARNINGS
OK, so this REEKS of an April Fool’s prank but, having dug around as best I could, I’ve been unable to verify it one way or another. Whatever.
Let’s talk about this guy-
You’ve probably have seen this already. I have. Many times.
And I love it.
However what you may not have seen is the response given to The Boston Globe:
‘A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) told the Boston Globe that this sort of activity was “not advisable,” as it would make riders less aware of what’s going on around them.“The MBTA and Transit Police remind customers of the importance of being aware of their surroundings at all times.”’
Can you imagine?
One year from now we could be seeing signs like this:
And that would be AMAZING.
5. FBI AND ANDROID
You may or may not [still] be following the whole San Bernardino / Apple / FBI case that’s been rumbling on for a few months now. (here’s the cliff notes) and, if you’re an iPhone user, you’re probably really quite happy that Apple didn’t go ahead and ‘build a backdoor’ into its OS (meaning that, should you ever become an enemy of the state, your embarrassing selfies would be SAFE).
However! What if you’re an Android user? How could the FBI or any other government mandated organisation for that matter get into your sordid little device-held secrets?
William Enck, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, and Adwait Nadkarni,
Ph.D. Student of Computer Science – both at North Carolina State University – decided to find out.
Proper good geeky read, that.
Bonus items this week are as follows:
- YODEL are awful. I’ve had my share of woes this week. But instead of me moaning, I’m going to let Terence tell you how it is and, as a result, I’m going to be adopting his solution from now on.
- NIGHTMARE FUEL
- MAKE UP – I’m a dab hand at stage make up (look) – long story – and THIS EFFORT, being sported by one Mads Mikkelson on the set of the new DOCTOR STRANGE movie, is amazing.
- CUBA – this is a great (and important) read.
- 3D printing in space. IN. SPACE.
And that’s me.
IT’S THE WEEKEND!
GO GO GO!
PS. Chunky edition this week. Like it? Send me your feedback!
Tweets/emails/carrier pigeons all accepted.