Five things on Friday #31

Things of note for the week ending August 3rd, 2012

1. The London Underdogs
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well” 
– Pierre de Coubertin. Father of the Modern Olympic Games, speaking at the London 1908 Closing Ceremony.

And it is with that gorgeous quote that the spirit of The London Underdogs is built upon. Yeah, that’s right – let’s hear it for the Olympic Underdogs!

Here we are, at the mid-point of the two week extravaganza, and if you’re still yet to go (but have tickets to spend next week), get your posters from The London Underdogs.

Seriously, they’re awesome –

The London Underdogs

The London Underdogs

As the website says:

“We Brits love a good Underdog. The wild cards. The fighters. Those have-a-go heroes who haven’t a hope. We’ve never heard of them, we don’t know what they look like, and their fans are few and far between. But we cheer them all the same.

So join us, and together, we can show the world that it’s definitely about the taking part.”

Well done my friends, very well done indeed.


2. Cellophane Art: WIN

I absolutely love this artwork and have no idea why something like this has never been done before. ‘Cellograff‘, as its referred to by its creators, is French in origin, but universal in its appeal. I love it. I think you might too.

3. Blackpool’s Dune Grass
What is it? Have you seen it? Never heard of it? Watch this…

Blackpool’s latest addition to their pleasure beach takes the shape of these rather quite enchanting blades of ‘dune grass’. Conceived and created by the geniuses at Freestate, these kinetic sculptures have been in the works for several years and it’s actually quite lovely to see them at last, living and breathing in the real world – where they belong.

Super regular readers may recognise them from an earlier video… say, back in 2009?

I’m saying nothing.


4. Age-verified Following on Twitter
Earlier this week (or maybe the week before, I don’t remember), I was followed by the beer brand, Tsing Tao – Huzzah!

I quite like Tsing Tao and drink it fairly regularly, so a follow back was in order… but then, when I did, I got an auto direct message response.

Sidenote: auto direct messages suck. They’re spammy, impersonal and generally a one way ticket to an auto unfollow.

But this one was different, this one wasn’t asking me to subscribe to someone’s blog or to check out something else this new follower had done, no – this one asked me to confirm my age.

– I have not seen that before.

While this could be seen as merely a hoop-jumping exercise that alcohol brands go through to meet certain regulatory requirements (there’s no credit card details or anything that actually verifies a thing; I could be 17 and lie about my age), it does please me to know that these rules are actually being adhered to.

I’m not sure how long Twitter has made this feature available to brands, but I really like that it’s out there and I really like that Tsing Tao is doing things properly.

A cricket clap for for all of you.

5. (Fake) Injuries up your social status
This is old but apparently, back in 2009, it was fashionable in Beirut to sport your very own nose-job bandage. This trend was born out of the rise of the nose job in Lebanon and, given their expense, pretending to have had one implies that you have $1,000 to throw around on plastic surgery. Incredible.

Bonuses this week: as it’s that time of year, then it’s worth re-watching Monty Python’s Silly Olympics; More Olympics-based chatter from Herdmeister but this time focusing on what the event actually reveals about us, as human beings; and this map of the internet is awesome too.


Whatley out.

The Internet is Mental

This week, my friend Joey shared this photo on Facebook –

(1 share, 3 likes, 14 comments)

He had seen it on a Facebook page called Handpicked London  –

(2263 shares, 3025 likes, 185 comments)

Handpicked London link their image back to the source – aka – this tweet:

(826 RTs, 62 favourites, 284 replies)

Amazing how images travel, right?

The really funny thing is, the image above is nothing to do with the Olympics at all. In fact, it was taken about three and a half years ago, back in the early part of December, 2008.

How do I know?

Because I was there when I took it.

Peak Hours may mean lap sitting

(2989 views, 8 favourites, 6 comments)

It was lunchtime and I was on my way into central London to meet some bloggers I was hosting for The SpinVox Wishing Well, which had just opened in Covent Garden.

One of the bloggers in attendance was one Annie Mole – aka the editor of ‘Going Underground‘, London’s best London Underground blog. So, when I spotted this stuck on the inside of a Piccadilly Line carriage, I immediately snapped it so I could share it with Annie when I saw her.

The best thing was, after I took the original photo, the couple sat behind me tapped me on the shoulder and offered me their laps to sit on (to much laughter from our fellow passengers), it was a lovely moment.

Naturally, Annie Mole blogged it, and that’s about it…

Imagine my surprise when the image started trending nearly four years later.



Five things on Friday #30

Things of note for the week ending July 27th, 2012

1. The Olympics!

London 2012 kicks off TODAY and it’s going to be AMAZING.

And, while I don’t actually have any tickets to see any events (yet), I am in London and determined to have an awesome time.

Reading any of the press around and about this fair city [and its inhabitants] over the past few weeks will reveal that there are (still) so many naysayers and I am extremely proud to say: I am not one of them.

The next four weeks will see some fantastic human sporting achievements and I am SO up for this. The talent on show will be incredible and, what’s more – whether you’re walking the street, cabbing across town or simply traversing the Underground - everywhere you can just feel London filling up and it’s brilliant.

I am so in love with London right now…

Yes there’s a lot of people around and yes it’s going to be difficult, but the buzz and the excitement and the sheer joy of it all far, far outweighs all of that.

So here’s to the Olympic Games 2012: best of luck to all competitors, from all countries.

And best of luck to London, you’re looking great right now and you’ve got so much to shout about.

Buckle up and, of course: Bring. It. On.


2. Lego Relativity

Background (plus more photos) and of course, the original work. Nicely done.


3. Decent Cinema Advertising (at last)
Thanks to advances in digital technology advertisers can now schedule against films by the day, as opposed to by the week. What this means is more relevant content, being served up to the right amount of eyeballs.

Why this might not be that exciting for some, there are some brands that are rubbing their hands with glee over the amount of freedom and creative opportunities that’ll come with this ‘upgrade’. I for one, as a paying cinema-goer, welcome the change and look forward to better cinema advertising.

Because right now, most of it sucks.

– source, Marketing Week


4. Google Ripples
I upgraded my Google Nexus S to the latest version of Android – aka ‘Jellybean – recently and that, combined with the newly refreshed G+ app for iPad, has made me start getting into Google+ properly.

It’s still fairly quiet (in my circles of friends at least) but it’s growing. My G+ profile is where you can find me (and is also linked at the top right of this page) and, from now on, all future blog posts will have a ‘G+1’ button at the end – so if you like it, you can ‘plus one’ it. Damn they need some new nomenclature…

Anyway, all of that aside one of the coolest things about Google+ is the way that you can track the way content travels around using Google ‘Ripples’. This past week, to test it out, I put up an old photo from my trip to Wyoming and encouraged folk to share it to see what ripples we could create.

The output so far looks a little bit like this –

Data visualisation rocks. If you’re interested in helping with this experiment then please publicly re-share the Google+ post and, once that’s done, you’ll show up in the Ripples too!


5. The view from the International Space Station
…is breath-taking. Hit ‘HD’, then play full-screen. This will blow you away.



Have a great weekend folks,

Whatley out.

Five things on Friday #18

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 4th, 2012

1. Jack White
First, this fairly-lengthy [but totally worth reading] profile piece from The New York Times ‘Jack outside of the box‘ was a great read at the start of the week. They really do mean it when they say ‘Jack White is the coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time’.

If anything, just read it purely for the comedy Tom Jones anecdote midway through…

Second, White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, launched this week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 100. Nicely done. The album is pretty damn good – listen to the album [Spotify link] now, or just give the first track, Missing Pieces, a go below –

2. Marvel Movie Universe Infographic
It struck me last weekend, after seeing the quite frankly awesome Avengers Assemble, that what the world really needed was some kind of visual timeline of how all the movies overlaid on each other and affected each others’ respective stories.
After all, it was revealed a couple of years ago that Iron Man 2 would set before the events of The Incredible Hulk (what, you didn’t know?).

Back to the point – my brain figured that someone had probably made this thing already and hey, a quick Google later, it turned out they had!

Huzzah! The image above clicks through to the monster version but Slash Film has a clearer, listed description, for the more discerning viewer.

3. Switch Off
No, not another attempt from me to tell you all how important it is to unplug from time to time. Instead, a huge mural reminding us (well, me at least) to do the same.

Part of the Polish Katowice Street Art Festival, I think this is quite magnificent. There’s a whole other set of photos to be viewed over on My Modern Met. Great stuff.

4. Olympics-based Tweeting for brands (or lack thereof)
I read a blog post from Rax Lakhani recently, entitled ‘Will your brand be tweeting about the London 2012 Olympic Games this Summer? Think again.‘ It’s an interesting post as it talks about what will and will not be allowed in the realms of social media throughout this summer’s Olympics and, vitally, has the documentation to back it up.

Key quote?

Companies that are not Olympic sponsors cannot link themselves with the Olympics. For example, Company X cannot tweet: “Good luck to Jane and John at the Olympic Games!”, because it links their brand with the Olympics and Olympic athletes.

Alright, this is only slightly difficult to monitor BUT, am I the only one who smells snake oil around the potential / opportunistic Lawyer + Social Listening partnership? It will be an interesting few months over the Olympic period, especially when it comes to social.

5. Today
Is a big day for someone very dear to me. It’s not been an easy road but, at last, we’re at a turning point. As we head into the weekend, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not far now.


Bonuses – this week has been a week of long form reading. First with the Jack White piece I mentioned above; then ‘Mysteries of the Connected Age‘ via The Wilson Quarterly; and finally ‘The Deceptive Nature of Bipolar: a First Hand Account‘ from the inspiring, moving and yet ever-insightful CALM Zone.