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 Ali.
1. Diana’s death – pre social media
There’s been a huge amount of media coverage about Princess Diana’s untimely death recently for obvious reasons – 20 years since that accident in that tunnel in Paris. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, as probably do most people and wonder whether we’d all remember that moment in quite the same if it had been delivered by an email, Facebook, or a friend’s WhatsApp message?
The Independent reflects on how different things might have been if these events had happened in today’s social media age: hoards of citizen journalists would have been desperate to uncover details around the story alongside the mainstream media, and images would have flashed around the world in a matter of seconds. I’m glad we were saved that.
However, social media isn’t just a tool that allows oversharing but it can be a powerful asset in time of distress: it allows us to find out if family and friends are safe following a disaster (FaceBook Safety Check), find solidarity and solace with others in times of distress and in the case of one friend recently, via a very forward thinking funeral director, it was used as a brilliant tool to collect memories about a recently deceased family member.
When Diana died, if the BBC is to believed, they were aware that she’s passed away several hours before they could actually report it (until officially confirmed by the Palace) but they tried to soften the blow to the public by changing the tone of their broadcasting. Conversely, in today’s social media circus, news often hits us immediately like a big thwack around the face in all its gory detail, but for all the negativity surrounding it, let’s not forget the good social media can do as well.
2. Green paint spoiler
London Underground, in all its wisdom, is trialling green paint markings on the Victoria Line platforms at King’s Cross to indicate where carriage doors will open, in order to allow passengers a clear and efficient way to exit trains. What it doesn’t seem to have considered is that the exact same spot is where other passengers will be eagerly awaiting to board. So where previously, only experienced commuters had ‘the knowledge’ to stand in exactly the right spot, now every man and his dog does too, making certain areas of the platform even more congested and potentially dangerous. Hope they’ve bought plenty of paint stripper!
20yrs of personal tube platform expertise and competitive commuting advantage rendered useless by some green paint. pic.twitter.com/d56ok8Kssg
— not furious at paint (@yodaniel) September 12, 2017
3. Need a wee – there’s an app for that
Silicon Valley’s coffee and cocktail serving The Creamery is heralded as one of the places to meet up and do deals in San Francisco. As you might expect, busy execs are simply too timed pressured to do what the rest of do when we need a wee and join a real queue – so instead the cafe has installed Good2Go tech which allows patrons and passers by to join a virtual queue instead.
The tech is actually quite clever in that patrons needs to be in or near a store to access it which thereby drives footfall in to retailers and potentially additional revenue too. It’s only available in San Francisco at the moment and not yet on Android but it looks like more is coming soon.
4. Roald Dahl Day
It was Roald Dahl Day this week, and a splendiferous time to celebrate the amazing language created by the wonderful wordsmith. From his understated garden shed, his ‘writing hut’, making notes on his favoured yellow paper, he apparently added 500 new words to the English language, and those of us with young children will know that a new Dahl dictionary has been created, which gives us an insight in to his ‘Gobblefunk’ language – for when a normal adjective just won’t do. If only we could use such frothbuggling (silly) delights such as svollop (demolish), exundly (exactly), muggle (confused) and gloriumptious in everyday copy!
5. iPhone X
So I couldn’t not talk about the new iPhone X release that top-trumped its predecessor within a matter of almost minutes at the launch on 12 September. Setting aside the facial recognition fail for another day, where exactly did the iPhone 9 disappear to? Did someone forget? Can Apple not count?
The new phone (to be pronounced iPhone Ten according to the company) will be released to celebrate ten years of the iPhone and as we all know, wanting to have the latest shiny model is a powerful marketing tool in itself. Those who have recently upgraded to an iPhone 7 and were feeling quite pleased with themselves, may well feel very out of date if an iPhone Ten is shortly to be available – it just sounds like there’s an incredibly big gap between the two in numbers alone.
However, Apple has been quite clever. If you can’t afford the hefty £1,000 price tag, then hey, you can still upgrade and get a mighty fine iPhone 8 and feel good about yourself. It’s a win-win from Apple and a clever marketing tactic.
At Browser Media, we’re all still a little knocked sideways by the price – with conversations in the office being around ‘how many iPhones would it take to pay off your mortgage?’, and ‘when will iPhones become legal tender?’
Loving this meme of someone commenting on the same: