Five things on Friday #335

Things of note for the week ending Saturday August 6th, 2022

INTRO

I was reminded yesterday (by the lovely Wadds, hello Wadds) that I used to take two months off – August and December – each year from this newsletter. And I thought ‘yeah, actually – taking the summer off FTOF would be nice, wouldn’t it?’

But it’s funny.

Committing to not writing it is sometimes just as hard as committing to writing it. I never really know week by week what I’m going to see or write about; what will make me want to boot up Substack and start collecting thoughts and links together; or whether or not I’ll even find the time to do it (example: it’s 0955 on Saturday morning as I start this edition, I highly doubt it’ll go out this morning, let alone today; we’ll see how we get on).

Point is: the writing comes when it comes (and it goes when it goes). So while the words are in my head, I’m going to keep letting them out as and when I can.

Plan?

Plan.

Thanks for reading, thanks for subscribing, and just thanks – it’s nice having people to speak to week in and week out. You’re all lovely.

Shall we crack on?

LET’S.


1. LIONESSES ROAR

Metaverse BS getting a bump to number two this week thanks to… well…

These incredible women.

Euro 2022: Lionesses win final with extra-time victory over Germany | UK  News | Sky News

To make this about the work for a minute, Alex Scott said it perfectly in the post-match analysis when she said:

“I’m not begging corporates to get involved because if you’re not already you’ve missed the bus”

And I thought yeah, she’s right. There’ll be a special layer of brands that get to be the headliners for the years to come and you know what – all credit to them.

Companies such as LinkedIn, VISA, Nike, EA… all of them have found their own ways to shine light on the women’s game over the years.

And they were there first. All credit to them. And of course, to the AMAZING winning England team (because they all read this and will be well happy to get a mention).

PS. Who else did I miss? Hit reply and tell me.


2. AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR THIS WEEK’S DOSE OF METAVERSE BS (SORRY ABOUT THE SMELL)

Sitting comfortably? Got a cuppa to hand? OK, let’s get into some stuff.

Earlier in the week, I found this ‘research’ from Bain & Co, entitled ‘Young Gamers and the Metaverse: How the Rules of Success Are Changing’ – and it’s all such rubbish.

For example, ‘Younger gamers expect to spend more time in the metaverse’

‘Metaverse-style games’ are not ‘the metaverse’ – by your own definition, Bain, you utter ball bags. That may sound harsh but this is the same Bain that also this week was told it was now barred from UK state contracts over ‘grave misconduct’ in South Africa.

Cool. Cool. So your data is bad AND you’re corrupt AF? GREAT JOB, GANG!

Moving on.

How about some more meaningless metaverse stats?!

This time from ‘Talkdesk’.

You can read the 14-slide PDF right here (as per, these stats were reported with no interrogation whatsoever). And, because I actually read the report, I can tell you that there isn’t a single mention of how the metaverse was defined for the survey anywhere in the whole document.

So I asked.

‘I can’t find the metaverse definition used for this survey. It’s not in the methodology, are you able to share it please?’

To their credit, they replied:

‘For the purposes of the survey, we define the metaverse as the new frontier of merging physical and digital worlds, including today’s proto-metaverse platforms.’

So… literally not ‘the metaverse’ then? For. Crying. Out. Loud.

We move on. Again.

The delightful (and now once more back in the UK) being known as Matt Muir put this on my radar earlier this week.

Image

Which, y’know should be kind of telling?

So say we all.

A few more things to tell you:

  1. Through a good mutual (and the mutual love of debunking modern metaverse terms as simply ‘gaming’), I’ve got to know JD Stringfield a little bit. He is very good on this topic. Not only has a new book out (mine is in the post) but also recently given a pretty good good interview with Digiday which is worth a read.

  2. Dior have released a skin for Gran Turismo 7. Vogue seems to think this is the metaverse. It isn’t.

  3. Tinder is reportedly ‘stepping back’ from its metaverse plans.

  4. I found the below tweet from the CEO of The Sandbox last week, challenging/addressing the recently reported DAU number (a little over 1100ish).

Good to know.

20-30k DAUs during special events is both highly conditional AND still not exactly record breaking (the whole thread is worth clicking through and reading, for additional context). If someone is pitching you an activation in The Sandbox, I ask again: who would it be for?

And finally.

If you’ve been following me for a decent amount of time then you probably know I like an experiment. I’ve tried podcasting, Spotify radio, Slideshares, and Linkedin – I’ve built Google Assistant add-ons, and Messenger bots… I like to tinker and play.

It helps me understand.

Anyway, that’s a very long way to say (and thanks to relatively popular* demand) I’ve been dicking about on TikTok.

Feedback welcome.

*like, three people.


3. THIS WEEK IN… GAMING

Your weekly gaming news bulletin.

Corfe Castle, recreated stone by stone in Minecraft

Playtime-wise, I had a dip into Fortnite with some friends last night – that was fun. And, thanks to the only Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played being Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube, I’ve downloaded FFVII (original) and I’m having a run at that.

Because why not?


4. ANONYMOUS CV TOOL

This is an outstanding piece of work from my old lot at Digitas UK.

Digitas UK Makes Proprietary CV Anonymisation Tool Available to Recruiters  Free of Charge | LBBOnline

According to The Drum:

“After developing its own CV anonymization tool to weed out bias in recruitment, Digitas quickly saved over 500 hours in the drawn out recruitment process. It’s now made the tech free to use for any company, including its agency rivals…”

It’s here.

It’s free to use.

And it’s bloody great.

Great job, Digitas fam. As important as it is impressive.


5. BATGIRL

Let’s just all take a moment’s silence and pour one out for Batgirl.

Damn shame.

Variety has the best analysis.

Bets now open on how long it takes for this to leak.

Side: Batgirl is a playable character in the upcoming Gotham Knights. So if you’re really missing out, maybe give this a go (it’s giving me solid Arkham vibes). IGN has a 16mins of Batgirl gameplay to show you.


BONUS SECTION

THIS IS THE BONUS SECTION. BONUS LINKS THAT BUMP US OVER FIVE THINGS BUT DUE TO TIMING AND SELF-IMPOSED WRITING RESTRICTIONS ARE LIMITED TO PITHY COMMENTARY ONLY.

ENJOY.


YOU ARE REACHING THE END OF THE NEWSLETTER. MIND THE GAP.

It’s been a full-on week.

A decent/chunky project moving through the business (all being well, I’ll be telling you about it later in the year), a trip back and forth to Bristol (including an awesome agency away day/afternoon/evening), and a top secret brief for a new project delivering early next year.

All that and I sign this off to you, I’m going to dive into either SANDMAN or PREY.

Can’t wait.

Hope you’re having a glorious weekend, wherever you are.

Until next time,

Whatley out x

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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