Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

10th Feb 2018

‘Despite the advances of social media, the number of friends we can have seems fixed at 150, but finding a way to transmit touch digitally could change that. Touch, satisfies a whole host of our biological needs. Physical contact boosts our endorphin activity, making us feel better and potentially having a direct positive impact on our immune systems.

‘In the wake of Facebook’s announcement that it would deprioritize publishers’ content in its news feed, the need for publishers to diversify their traffic sources has never been more urgent. In the U.S., HuffPost hasn’t let the Facebook feed changes deter it from growing niche communities.’ Another response is to plan more topic-specific newsletters.

From McKinsey. ‘Why Digital Strategies Fail’ – 1) Fuzzy definitions and, 2) Misunderstanding of the economics of digital. ‘Most digital strategies don’t reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it means to compete.’

‘Quantum computers are straight out of science fiction. Take the “traveling salesman problem,” where a salesperson has to visit a specific set of cities, each only once, and return to the first city by the most efficient route possible. As the number of cities increases, the problem becomes exponentially complex. It would take a laptop computer 1,000 years to compute the most efficient route between 22 cities, for example. A quantum computer could do this within minutes, possibly seconds.’ Imagine how much fun they could have with passwords and accessing databases.

‘The executive begins by taking the stage and working through a thick PowerPoint deck, each slide packed with the latest business buzzwords. As the minutes tick by, I see the audience slump back in their chairs.’ If we all hate jargon, why do we keep using it?

Nice piece from @mariapopova. ‘Aesthetic Consumerism and the Violence of Photography: What Susan Sontag teaches us about visual culture and the social web.’ ‘Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs, is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted.’

From Adweek. ‘Why travel brands are particularly ripe for digital innovation.’ ‘The travel sector is already disrupting itself and disrupting itself again, because it has all the makings of things that are going on in the consumer markets right now, which is in the direct-to-consumer, service-based moment. Most of what is coming in the marketplace right now, are people trying to disintermediate as much as possible.’

Who Killed Time Inc.? ‘Time Inc. was especially vulnerable. It lived within a giant entertainment conglomerate, Time Warner, which always had other priorities. Its key decision makers, who had long track records of editorial achievement and business success, could not move beyond the old print paradigm. Its weeklies, bi-weeklies, and monthlies were ill-suited to the internet’s real-time, high-volume pace.’

This from The Economist’s look at the ‘Jihadist Women’s Magazine sector’ (Al-Qaeda chick-lit) : ‘How To Please Your Holy Warrior, make your house ‘a paradise on earth’ and other domestic tips’.

Creative Review’s perspective on the best ads from the SuperBowl.’ Humour replaced politics in this year’s Super Bowl commercial breaks, with the best ads of 2018 aiming to make us laugh rather than cry.’ You may have heard that the Philadelphia Eagles won the game, but based on this tweet, looks like it was UK ad agency Lucky Generals.

Finally, this short video is from a while back, but is still a rather sweet illustration of how strength can be drawn from unity. Originally an ad for a bus company, this is ‘It’s smarter to travel in groups.’