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We’ve all done it – perhaps early in the morning when putting off waking up, or perhaps when at work putting off... erm... work. Maybe you won’t admit it to your friends, but we’ve all done it.
It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s ok. I do it too.
Maybe it’s a “wisdom of the crowds” thing, or a “wikinomics” thing. Or maybe just a lazy way to make sense of this crazy online world in which we live.
In this post, I undertake some serious investigative online journalism to find out what the internet actually thinks about the internet, using Google search’s fancy auto-fill tool.
Read on – it just may change your life.
Starting things off, let’s be real – Google is not God. Now, I’m not going to start a long philosophical discussion about whether or not there is a supreme being, that’s what Fox News is for.
However, apparently, Google is an undefined friend. Sort of like that friend on Facebook who changes their name to something mega hipster-ish, so they can show the world how unique and cool they are, only you can’t remember who they are and wind up unfriending them. Speaking of which...
STOP PRESS! Facebook is down! How on earth will you be able to see what your long lost friend from primary school is doing?
But clearly, the one to notice here is the misguided notion that “Facebook is dying.”
I mean, it was just yesterday that they released their annual results, including $791m profit (not bad) and share prices hitting an all-time high. Plus, 62% of Facebook ads are now being served on mobile. (Source: Wall St Journal)
So, perhaps God Google missed this one.
2009 and 2010 was the golden age of Twitter, where you could pick up followers by tweeting about your super awesome thoughts on a daily basis.
Times have changed, and Twitter has been usurped by both brands and celebrities. While Twitter claims it has played a fundamental role in social change (i.e. the Arab Spring,) there’s still those Nigerian girls who #arestillbeingheldhostage.
Whether or not it’s better than Facebook, well, that’s another question. I like Twitter for the quick, ever-changing access to pictures of cats, but I like Facebook for the algorithmically optimised access to pictures of cats.
OK, thanks Google, that’s helpful. I would also like to point out that cats are not dogs, up is not down, and that email is not dead.
Big Data is...
Remember when memes were restricted to East End or Brooklyn hipsters who were so much more ironic and witty than the rest of us? Then hipsters joined LinkedIn, and I rue the day that happened.
Now, LinkedIn newsfeeds are filled with sort-of-funny memes that really make us stop and think about the world around us. Like the “Big data is like teenage sex” meme, which says something like:
You get nekkid in your parents’ basement with a young lady and then mom comes in without knocking and you still, to this day, cannot ever mention that fateful night to her.
(That happened to my friend, let’s call him... erm... “Larry.”)
Anyways, whether Big Data is bullsh*t or not, that’s beside the point. It probably is the future, and if it’s not, well, at least there’s always teenage sex. No wait, can’t make jokes like that in Britain these days.
I’d like to personally give a heartfelt “screw you” to Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen, I know you’re reading this. Screw you.
Why? Because you made the selfie happen everywhere. I get it, you were paid a bunch of money by a phone manufacturer to picture a bunch of beautiful people at the Oscars. And now, everyone is doing it too, unfortunately, it’s not restricted to just the beautiful people.
The thing about the selfie is this: it is creating an online culture of unfounded megalomania. The personas we create on Twitter, Facebook and the like are not our true selves. You never see someone post their real problems in life (unless, of course, they’re seeking sympathy). These platforms have allowed us to create our “ideal” selves, which are usually quite some distance from our real selves.
Life, according to our social profiles, has ceased to give us lemons. All we get now is lemonade. And rainbows. And unicorns.
I, for one, hope the internet has reached “peak selfie.” However, I suspect this is not the case, and that we’ve got many more years of people showing us how amazing their lives are, so amazing in fact that they can’t find a friend to take their picture for them.
Nom nom nom! Programmatic is clearly the modern version of the Cookie Monster. I guess so, in the sense that it often needs cookies to survive (ZING!).
But, this shows something else interesting. It shows the confusion that persists in digital advertising around programmatic trading. Is it a strategy? Sort of. Does it work? Sometimes. Is it a word? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is.
I, for one, think there’s a huge opportunity to combine machine learning with all sorts of marketing channels, with online media buys being one of the early movers. However, until there is a unified understanding of what programmatic is, well, the advertising world won’t be eaten just yet.
Check out Ben Davis' beginner's glossary of programmatic advertising for a run down of some key terms.
Lots of things are...
SEO, email marketing and PPC are all dead. Or they’re not dead. Or they’re misspelled.
Instead of buying in to this tripe, here’s a clip from Weekend at Bernie’s. Even when something is dead, all you need is a couple of local ne’er-do-wells to prop you up. Oh, hello, SEO, email marketing and PPC agencies!
(Kidding! Love you dudes!)
Content marketing is…
Well, luckily, at least content marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it’s apparently SEO’s grave-digger. And apparently it’s the only form of marketing that matters anymore.
I particularly like the bottom one – because, well, content marketing isn’t new. Do you remember the good old days, when “content marketing” was called “marketing?”
The only thing that’s different now is the ability to produce more content and distribute it across more channels. But, like a stupid monkey once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times...”
There is an over-supply of average content, and an under-supply of quality content. This has resulted in apathy towards “free guides” and “whitepapers” and “reports.”
To make matters worse, what’s happened in the last few years is numerous types of agencies have rebranded themselves as “content marketing agencies.”
First there were SEO agencies, then PR agencies, and then contract publishers. And now, content marketing is the dream!
But I’m pretty sure it’s been around for quite some time, and that it’s nothing new.
Take, for example, a book I heard of that’s about Google God. It was written hundreds of years ago and has been used to promote the beliefs, morals and parables to billions of people since.
For sure, content marketing is new, it’s science.
Well done Brussels: you’ve done the impossible. You’ve made all of Europe’s online experience worse with the passing of one stupid law!
Remember the good old days, say April 2013, when you could look at a website with ignorant impunity? Now you can’t, and most sites have annoying pop ups asking you to accept cookies.
This search shows the confusion this law has caused. Consumers aren’t aware of what cookies do, and as a result this law has hardly made the internet a safer place.
So thank you, Brussels, for proving that, despite public opinion waning against the European Union, you continue to pass laws that restrict good, honest capitalism.
Responsive Design is...
Know what else is hard? Nuclear physics, curing cancer, and ending world poverty.
Web designers, I feel for your plight. Perhaps we should start a subsidiary called “CFWD,” or the “Care and Feeding of Web Designers,” because we all can sympathise with the struggles you face in this cold, hard world.
Clearly very good at adding one word onto things.
Boring garbage. Sort of like the time I threw out the DVD commentary for The Hangover Part III.
Erm... Google: Aren’t you worried about this clear case of trademark infringement, especially on your own site?
What? 10,000,000 college students can’t be wrong.
Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?
I had no idea this simple app that does nothing but send “Yo’s” would turn into a charged political debate on racial & sexual equality, and dried grapes.
The internet is for...
Well, they left out “gambling” and misspelled “porn,” but yeah, this about sums it up.
Any I’ve left out?
Chuck your own into the comments below. Do it, or you’ll make Google angry, and you wouldn’t want Google to strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, now, would you?