The Best Google Hangout EVER

Missed the first Social Media Week of 2013? This is what you need —

Biz / Whatley / Memes!


***** WATCH IT BELOW *****

This coming past Friday, February 22nd, Bizhan ‘The Biz‘ Govindji and me, James ‘Whatleydude‘ Whatley are hosting hosted our very own Google ‘ON AIR’ Hangout, entitled:

37mins of WIN: the Social Media Week in Review

The hashtag, #smWINreview is LITERALLY made of WIN.

37mins of non-stop banter and comedy about the funniest, weirdest, bestest and moving-est (yes, that’s a word) content from the best events from all across the globe. More details over on the Social Media Week event page.

When:7pm, Friday February 22nd 2013

On Deh Googlez (JOIN US)

We like memes. We can’t help it. They’re everywhere. The Internet likes memes too: the best ones become famous, and spread like wildfire. A good meme is simple to understand, and will generally make you smile, maybe even laugh. And that’s why we’re going to make sure that our Google+ Hangout is FILLED WITH MEMES.

And finally…


If you’ve got a comedy quote, or a meme, or if you’ve seen something brilliant from this past Social Media Week then do PLEASE get in touch! We going to be handing over to guests wherever possible to get different perspectives whenever possible.

See you tomorrow… on THE GOOGLEZ.


Ps. This is totally our entry to Social Media Week’s G+ competition. So if we win, expect many many many thank yous!

Five things you should know about Ubuntu Phone

My first post of 2013 is about mobile? Didn’t see that one coming…

Screen shot 2013-01-02 at 23.23.46

Ubuntu, from Canonical (an operating system I have never used (not an irrelevant point)), is coming to mobile. Haven’t you heard? OK, well watch the video embedded below (from about 5mins 20secs onwards) to get a brief rundown.

In fact, if you’ve got 20mins (like I had earlier, in the bath (there’s a mental image for you)), you should watch it all – it’s pretty good.

Got that? Right.

Five things you should know –

1. I am not an Ubuntu user
I’ll say it again: I am not an Ubuntu user. Not many of my friends are either. According to Wikipedia, Ubuntu is ‘the most popular Linux distribution on the market’. That’s a little bit like saying you’re the most popular kid in New Jersey but hey, who’s counting.

My point is (based on the super-scientific research of me and my mates – clearly) Ubuntu isn’t exactly consumer friendly and/or focused (yet). This might work against them, it might work for them. But we’ll come back to that one.

2. Oh my N9
The Nokia N9 was (still is, to be fair) a gorgeous phone. I still have mine. At the time, Meego’s SWIPE UI was innovative as hell and just so damn good to use. New Ubuntu for mobile has clearly borrowed heavily from Meego in this area.

Swipe left to do this, swipe right to do that; it’s a great interface. And, while I’m happy to see it being used, it makes me sad when I think about what the N9 might’ve been [had Nokia not decided to go all in with Windows Phone].

3. Disingenuous(?) Commentary
The super smart chaps spotted chatting in the video from 14mins onwards make some really interesting and valid points. But – and you may think this yourself when you watch it – the comments are bit generic and fluffy. But that’s not their fault, it was down to the questions asked and the edits made afterwards –



4. We’ve been here before, remember?
Back in November 2007 (a mere five years ago) Google (re-)launched Android into the world. ‘It’s an operating system for geeks!’ the nay-sayers yelled. And they were right, for a time. One might argue that is still very much the case BUT ONE WOULD DEFINITELY BE WRONG.

Android is the number one mobile OS in the world today. Five years after the industry signed it off as ‘just for geeks’. Alright Ubuntu isn’t Google but still, don’t discount them yet – sometimes being the underdog really helps. Speaking of Google…

5. Hardware vs Software
According to sources, a build of Ubuntu for mobile will be ready for download and installation onto Google Nexus devices within the next three weeks. If you made it through the video above, then you probably already know that ‘if your hardware works with Android, then it’ll also work with Ubuntu’ – which is basically Ubuntu saying ‘We work on Google phones!’.

That to me is awesome.

That means we are one more step closer to separating hardware and software in mobile. That means, like in the PC world, you could buy a Google Nexus device and then ostensibly install any OS you want on it [within reason]. This level of disruption can only be good for the market.

In closing:

Consumers don’t care for (or even know about) Ubuntu, but consumers didn’t care about Android when that first launched and look where we are now. The OS itself looks innovative and exciting, the market is screaming out for disruption (Windows Phone isn’t quite there yet), and perhaps, just perhaps, Ubuntu for mobile might be an(other) interesting way forward.



Comments are welcome, but there’s already an interesting discussion already happening over on G+ that may be worth your attention as well.



Five things on Friday #32

Things of note for the week ending August 10th, 2012

1. Christchurch Dedication
The building above is what’s left of the Christchurch Normal School that was damaged during the earthquake in New Zealand earlier this year. The additional images, that have been placed in as a kind of optical illusion, are only temporary as the building itself is due for demolition any day now. However, the work itself has meaning.

Mike Hewson, the artist responsible, wanted to pay tribute to the talented people that once lived there and covered the building with these mixed-media installations that did just that.

Thanks to Marek for the source.

2. Olympic Heat
Now that the first part of the Olympics is coming to a close, once wonders how the athletes themselves might celebrate. Well, wonder no more, ESPN has the scoop and they lay it down perfectly –

Home to more than 10,000 athletes at the Summer Games and 2,700 at the Winter, the Olympic Village is one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. To join, prospective members need only have spectacular talent and — we long assumed — a chaste devotion to the most intense competition of their lives. But the image of a celibate Games began to flicker in ’92 when it was reported that the Games’ organizers had ordered in prophylactics like pizza. Then, at the 2000 Sydney Games, 70,000 condoms wasn’t enough, prompting a second order of 20,000 and a new standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics.

It’s quite a long article, but the whole thing is worth a look. It’s a great read.

3. This is Now

This is Now pulls together real-time Instagram feeds and organises them by city. The usual suspects are covered and from Tokyo through to Sao Paolo, you can see exactly what’s going on where, right now.

And yes, of course I chose London – LOOK AT ALL THE OLYMPIC GOODNESS!

4. A man walks into a bank
Patrick Combs deposited a junk-mail cheque for $95,000 for a joke. The bank cashed it.
Free account set up required to read this article [on the FT] – but it’s worth it.

5. Thiel vs Schmidt
This isn’t new, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few weeks ever since it happened.

First, a re-cap:

Eric Schmidt is chairman at Google and Peter Thiel is ex-CEO and founder of Paypal. A couple of weeks ago they appeared alongside each other at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen and their topic of debate was ‘The Future of Technology‘.

Apparently these events tend to be quite plain and a bit boring (I can’t remember where I read it) however, this time ’round, Thiel wasn’t pulling any punches. Choice quote:

“Google is a great company.  It has 30,000 people, or 20,000, whatever the number is.  They have pretty safe jobs.  On the other hand, Google also has 30, 40, 50 billion in cash.  It has no idea how to invest that money in technology effectively.”

Which basically translates as Thiel saying ‘Hey! Google! You suck! You’ve run out of ideas!’

Thing is, while Schmidt didn’t actually agree with him, the two of them did kind of agree when it came to barriers to innovation, namely: the US government.

ERIC SCHMIDT: What’s very odd about this conversation is you’re saying technology doesn’t matter, that it’s all politics.

I didn’t say that. I said, in fact, it’s the only innovation available, which is your point.

But, you’re saying we’ve been stagnant for 40 years because of bad government policy. If technology ‑‑

I didn’t say we’re stagnant. I said our policies could be improved.

And then… most tellingly, the moderator of the session asks Eric directly –

ADAM LASHINSKY:  You don’t want to address the cash horde that your company does not have the creativity to spend, to invest?

ERIC SCHMIDT:  What you discover in running these companies is that there are limits that are not cash.  There are limits of recruiting, limits of real estate, regulatory limits as Peter points out.  There are many, many such limits.  And anything that we can do to reduce those limits is a good idea.

— The whole transcript is available to read online and I implore you to grab a cup of coffee and sit down and read it all. It’s brilliant. There’s just so much that’s alluded to… and it makes great pub-chat fodder too.


Whatley out.


Google bought Wildfire: Mind. Blown.

For $250m apparently. The mind boggles…


So what does this actually mean?

And why is it such a big deal?!

Well, as I explained to some friends earlier:

“They – Wildfire – are a preferred developer for Facebook and have probably built every amazing branded Facebook app you’ve ever used or heard of. Google BUYING them not only gives the big G access to a whole host of Facebook data, but is also a HUGE strategical move that is just mind-blowing in its scale and ambition. 

Google just walked into Facebook’s yard, picked up their ball, players and goals, and casually walked back home.”

Gaining preferred developer status is no easy task and Wildfire have been knocking out big brand Facebook apps/games/sweepstakes now for a good four years. Since March 2012 in fact, Wildfire have been the (self-proclaimed) ‘biggest social marketing company in the world’.

In 2011, Wildfire saw revenue growth of over 300% and surpassed a total of 13,000 paying customers, including 30 of the top 50 global brands. This makes us the largest social media marketing software company in the world.

Our platform has been used to power over 200,000 marketing campaigns throughout the world. Going global required some expansion, though, so we’ve grown our team to over 300 employees (from 2 in 2008). We put offices in London, Paris, Munich, and Singapore, which helped grow our international business by 500%, and now more than 24% of Wildfire’s revenue comes from outside the U.S.

That’s some impressive work.

I’ve seen presentations from Wildfire: everything from Polaroid and Lady Gaga to Virgin Atlantic and Vodka, there’s hardly any major brand out there that hasn’t been touched by these guys. Seriously, their customer list is immense.

And, try as they might to reposition themselves as a ‘social marketing company’, Wildfire are (or were) a Facebook company.

And now they’re owned by Google.

I’ll say it again:

And now they’re owned by Google.

— —

My immediate instinct is to yell: HOLY HELL! FACEBOOK ARE GOING TO PISSED!

But then I think more…

I think about how Wildfire also have deep YouTube integration, and I think about the cool stuff they’re doing (or were doing) with LinkedIn and Twitter too.

And you know what I do then?

I think about Google+

What does Google+ need more than anything right now?

  1. Big brands
  2. Big brand promotions
  3. Big brand promotions that deliver user engagement

Y’see, no matter what the numbers say, Google+ just doesn’t cut it right now. Not for brands, not for users, not for anyone. Wildfire can bring all those folks to the party, and more.

Don’t count on Wildfire (as we know it at least) to burn for much longer though, I mean it’s not like Google have a history of killing off a whole bunch of products – right?



Google just bought Wildfire.

Mind. Blown.



5 things on Friday #10

Five things of note from the seven days preceding March 9th, 2012

1. Baked Sprouts
I love brussell sprouts. Always have, always will. But I have never, ever had them baked. Until now –

Baked sprouts? Lovely stuff.

The girl served these up last weekend and well.. all I can say is: wowsers!
Give them a go, definitely (and some other things too).

2. The Seven Patterns of Innovation
I’m reading ‘Where Good Ideas Come From‘ at the moment [it’s great, you should read it], and this passage

– speaks to me on a number of levels.

First and foremost, when you think about the semantic web, the intelligent web, the personal web, web 3.0 if you will, one is tempted to consider how ‘intelligent search’ (results served up to you based upon previous searches, conversations and location) could well be an adversary to information serendipity.

Google is probably the most guilty of all parties in this particular area [how often have you clicked past page one of the search results – really?] and this ‘feature’ will only improve with the arrival of Google+ (constantly tracking our every move across Google-related services). Of course, there are services that can aid the accidental discovery; StumbleUpon springs to mind, although even that requires a certain amount of input around your interests…

My issue is, as William McKeen, whose quote sits above this text, quite rightly points out – sometimes the joy is in the looking, the surprising finding, the enrichment of serendipity. And it is escaping us all. How does one fight to retain this disappearing pleasure? Read more books, more magazines… seek out the unknown and be endlessly curious.

At least, that’s what I’m going to do.

3. Is Google+ a ghost town?
Speaking of the big G, a huge conversation kicked off about numbers and usage last week when I asked my friends if they had an opinion on the above question. Even if you have only a passing interest in all things Google+, its users and/or its potential usage – I would recommend you take a look. You might be surprised at what you find.

4. Adele vs Daft Punk
Nuff said.

5. Snickers
Back in January the above chocolate bar ran a ‘campaign’ on Twitter that involved celebrities such as Katie Price and Rio Ferdinand tweeting about said snack [but without really letting people know they were being paid for it until the very last minute]. Five tweets were sent by each, but only on the fifth tweet did the celebs let their followers know that they were sponsored – via the esoteric hashtag ‘#spon’.

People complained.

You can read more about the complaint itself when it happened, however the key parts are as follows:

“Since they got paid for sending these tweets, the ASA is investigating whether the celebrities’ first ‘teaser’ tweets should have indicated that they were part of an advert, and if the ‘#spon’ in the last tweet made it clear enough that it was advertising”
The Drum

With me so far? Good. Well, there are (new) regulations to help monitor this sort of thing but, it turns out that post-investigation, the ASA found Mars not in breach of the code. Make of that what you will, but if you do any kind of brand work on or via social media, then the whole case is worth reading up on. The media are watching.

Bonuses: CDs, yes or no? Free coffee for being the Mayor on Foursquare at Taylor St Baristas; an amazing hidden track from M83 aaaaand a cupcake vending machine





5 things on Friday #7

This week I am running horrifically behind; the notes I’m writing up have been in my Moleskine for well over a week (today’s the 27th of Feb and I’m backdating this post to the 17th!) and I have two batches to write up.

Right then, shall we?

  1. Chronicle
    I have a much bigger post to come about this film at a later date [read: when I get a chance]. In the meantime, seek it out. It’s worth it.
  2. SMW4x4
    Last week was Social Media Week and Monday saw four case studies given by four different agencies at the HMS President upon the river Thames. Hosted by This Little Lady Went To London and sponsored by Cloud nine Recruitment, 1000heads and BDMDigital, the event was not only about raising awareness around four (well, three) great pieces of work but there was a charitable angle too, with all ticket proceeds going to CRISIS. There may be some bias (I chaired the event in question) but it was by far and away the best night I had throughout Social Media Week: Samsung, Nokia and Brewdog all being well represented by their respective agencies.
    Good job.
  3. The Other Cinema
    Brief Encounter @ The Troxy. Feb 14th. Date night. Bliss.
  4. social@Ogilvy
    The launch of social@Ogilvy meant a fancy get-together across five pods on the London Eye. No more 360 Digital Influence, now there’s just social@Ogilvy. Champagne. Sushi. Awesome.
  5. Google+
    The second social media week event I managed to get along to was the afternoon hosted by Google+. With a programme of speakers that included Professor Robin Dunbar (yes, he of Dunbar’s Number fame) and demo after demo of how awesome Google+ can be, I must say I’m fairly sold [I event wrote my first Storify about the event]. All it needs now is users, in volume.
    I’m on Google +, circle me there.

Bonuses: Matt finding this awesome shirt, being interviewed for ‘Behind the Headlines‘ and rediscovering my love for all things Cat Stevens