Five things on Friday #310

Things of note for the week ending Friday 7th February, 2020.

Newsletter #310: Introduction


Hello and welcome to Five things on Friday #310.

AND WHAT AMAZING NEWS TO START OFF THE EDITION WITH?!

If you’re new here, FToF is a [nearly] weekly collection of things I find the most interesting. Some chat, some gifs; standard newsletter fair.

How have you been?

The theme for this week for me at least is displacement. A week of moved meetings, adjusted resource plans, and general re-compartmentalisation – as you move from one client brief to the next. It feels like having one of those railway switches but on the M25.

A re-focus on DEEP WORK and the principles thereof is required. So I’m working on that. Other things that have been useful?

The Urgent and Important framework.

I’m almost certain I’ve mentioned it before but it’s a pretty good way of reframing and re-ordering the to do list when, well, when it all gets a bit too much. To be completely fair, I haven’t ever started using the direction in each box BUT by organising my tasks against U/I I can figure out which ones I need to swiftly vs the ones that can be kicked or that can wait.

Stuck with a never ending to do list? Try the urgent/important framework

Right.

Shall we crack on with the things?

LET’S.

1. THE SOCIAL MEDIA GEEK OUT

This week I had the enormous pleasure of being invited on as a guest for the excellent Social Media Geek Out podcast.

Recorded on Wednesday evening with Matt Navarra and Martyn Bryant, the episode covers off first the very latest social platform news and then second, a rather lovely chat about the state of social between three utter nerds.

I know I enjoyed it, YMMV.

2. THE GUARDIAN, FOSSIL FUELS, AND BRANDS

I think this one fell off the run sheet last week; in light of The Guardian announcing its intention to no longer accept money from fossil fuel firms (as I understand it, reducing ad income by about half a million a year), Mark Ritson wrote this piece about how ‘Marketers must follow The Guardian and stop enabling oil brands’ hypocrisy‘ – and it’s worth a read.

“The decision will have a significant impact on The Guardian’s bottom line. Big oil and gas companies like to do a lot of advertising. And they do it with the kind of global grandeur and double-page largesse that newspapers thrive on. But the boycott is even more significant because of the signal it sends to other media outlets and organisations. The tide is turning, finally, on the large oil and gas companies.”

I’ve seen changes.

They are happening.

As always not fast enough but they ARE happening (and I mention them on the podcast above). As the penny slowly begins to drop – for consumers, corporations, and brands (and legislation – in its achingly glacial pace begins to catch up) then the speed of change will come. Greenwashing your comms is not a strategy. Meaningful change that has a long and lasting impact; that’s the real goal.

——-

Tangentially, this podcast covering ‘How to become an ethical eater‘ not only features my old friend Rosie but also covers a vast amount of ground and education on how to improve your eating habits in the name of saving the planet.

3. THIS WEEK IN FACE MASKS

Ahh section three. A weekly thing that has morphed in a new beast known as ‘THIS WEEK IN (or AT)’.

This week: surgical face masks (that might help prevent the spread of disease).

Surgical face masks, like the one above (and like the ones I’ve seen on the tube lately) are on the rise. Predominantly due to the spread of the Coronavirus but also – perhaps – as a normalisation of an eastern trend that is creeping west. And why not?

As the Fab Five find out during Queer Eye in Japan, there a lot of reasons why people wear face masks.

So if you’re thinking about getting one, this is the section for you.

Which leads us to…

TWAFM #1. WHICH ONE DO YOU NEED?

If you’re genuinely worried or concerned about Coronavirus specifically then, according to livescience, a standard surgical mask will probably not do the job.

You need a specialised mask known as an ‘N95 respirator‘ (3M has a thorough guide on what kinds of mask protect against what).

TWAFM #2. HOW DO YOU WEAR IT?

If you ARE going to use a surgical mask while out and about, please make sure you WEAR IT CORRECTLY. This is a handy guide.

TWAFM #3. THE UNSEEN COST/BENEFIT OF SURGICAL FACE MASKS

Quartz has a fascinating piece on the issues that are appearing now that face masks are slowly becoming mandatory across China. Everything from Face ID unlock to facial recognition at a CCTV level is being impacted by this new form of health protection.

Worth a read.

4. HOW MCKINSEY DESTROYED THE MIDDLE CLASS

Provocative.

5. AND NOW HERE’S SOME STUFF ABOUT GAMING

Aside from being a part-time Stadia Troll, if you’re legit looking at streaming services this week then you’ve got a bunch of stuff to look at.

I’ve been looking at a couple of the other streaming/subscription options available for new and casual gamers.

First up is Nvidia’s GeForce Now, leaving beta and available for all to try today – FOR FREE.

I’ve been running the GeForce Now beta on my Macbook for a few months now and it is VERY GOOD. The great thing about it is that you can put it on any old laptop (within reason) and/or your phone (android only) and play the PC games you already own – on Steam, Uplay, Epic, Battle.net – and play them anywhere.

The amazing thing about this is that with GeForce Now, I can play Destiny with my PC-playing friends. So good is GeForce in fact that a couple of weeks ago I was able to join the fund-raising Destiny stream for the Australian Red Cross, with zero lag – all via GeForce. In fact, I played an hour of this without my Aussie mates knowing that I didn’t have a PC (see the 1hr and 50sec mark in this stream to see and hear the reaction).

As a side point: the gang raised over $25,000 AUS in the end; phenomenal work.

So yeah. GeForce is great and PC games are dirt cheap. So if you’ve got a decent internet connection this almost certainly a better streaming option over and above the surprised-it’s-not-dead-yet Google Stadia.

Other options if you’re open to streaming/subscribing vs going all in on games:

xCloud from Xbox. Still in beta (and the wait list is LONG) but definitely a sign of things to come (due for launch this year). Especially now as you’ve got Microsoft’s head of gaming saying that he doesn’t see Nintendo or PlayStation as competition anymore – purely based on their cloud gaming ability. The burn. It hurts.

That said, PlayStation Now (while poorly marketed) is a decent contender and, if you want to pick up a PS4 Slim (I don’t think you even need that these days; there’s a Windows app available) second hand and on the cheap, then this option is worth a look.

Any questions? Hit that reply button.

BONUS LINKS. YOU WANT EM? I GOT EM.

DERE BE GOLD IN DEM HILLS. GO DIGGING.

And finally… no one can explain why planes stay in the air. Pretty sure I heard this once on an episode of Brass Eye and thought it was a throwaway joke… but no, IT’S TRUE.

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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