My Five #17

Horse meat in your burger? The demise of the high street. Why I love the cloud. Friday thoughts from Joe Friedlein.

You are reading: My Five #17

My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Joe.

1. The high street is melting

Another week, another big brand (or two) going into liquidation. Recent months have seen the demise of Comet, HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster. It is a little unsettling as these bastions of the high street crumble around us, but there is also plenty of good news to be found regarding the retail sector, with the likes of Argos and ASOS announcing good results.

Call me biased, but it does appear that the appetite to embrace the online channel has become the deciding factor on how a retailer fares. The brands that are dropping off are those that have simply not altered their model and have been the most hesitant to invest in e-commerce.

To be honest, I think it is a shame to see some familiar faces vanish but life is tough and it is the organisations that adapt to change that thrive.  Ignore online at your peril (and come and talk to us if you need help!)…

2. Nothing like a bit of horsing around

Another retailer, Tesco, has been making headlines this week thanks to the introduction of a large slice of horse in their burgers.

It has been the mane news on several sites. I can’t pretend that it hasn’t made me laugh, despite having a few burgers at the weekend (I still have a bit between my teeth). Tesco replied to a customer who had asked whether they stocked Red Rum by saying they would ‘look into the issue and get back to him soon’. Rumours abound that they are putting uniQuorn in the veggie burgers too. I don’t know, is eating horsemeat really that bad? Let’s put it to the vote. All those in favour say aye, all those against say neigh.

Joking aside, Paddy Power did well to react to the story and offered odds on what animal other than a cow would be found next in a supermarket burger. A good example of reacting to the news agenda and promoting your brand.

I also found myself drawn toward Google Trends (my goto weapon of choice for measuring interest in something) to see what sort of impact the news had and was greeted by one of the more extreme examples of a surge of interest:

Horse Meat in Burgers

A final word on the matter – stay away from the burgers. Just eat the meatballs. They are the dog’s b######s!

3. Facebook introduces graph search

Is Facebook going head to head with Google? The launch of search graph certainly introduces another way to search for things and the addition of endorsements from your friends means that it should be a very personal search experience.

It is a US only beta at the moment, so I can’t really say much more but it is an interesting, albeit inevitable, development by Mr. Zuckerberg. I think it is fair to say that reactions have been mixed and Facebook’s somewhat questionable history regarding privacy may prove to be an issue, but it is one to watch.

I just hope that it doesn’t encourage even more social spam. I am all for asking your friends for their opinion on something but am definitely not a fan of brands begging for your ‘likes’.

4. 200 million and counting

LinkedIn has announced that it has reached the 200million registered users milestone.

Google+ will probably be laughing with its 400million users, but there is a big difference in registered users and active users.

Few would argue that LinkedIn is the daddy when it comes to work / B2B networking and I think we should congratulate the platform on the achievement. It may be polluted with plagues of recruitment consultants, but that is purely a symptom of its success.

5. Planning in the cloud

I love the cloud! Here at Browser Media towers, we are now almost entirely free from any installed software and live / operate through a web browser. You should probably never admit to enjoying accounts, but I have to confess to absolutely loving Xero since we moved over a few months ago. Not only is it generally MUCH nicer to use than Sage, the fact that I am not tied to my desktop in the office is liberating.

This week, I have come across Gantter, which is a cloud based project management project. Think Microsoft Project, but online. Initial impressions are very good and Microsoft must tremble when they see such a product. Definitely worth a look if you like your gantt charts.

Almost forgot… It is free.

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