The Best Tumblrs of 2014

The internet has been on top form this year, and it's only fair to do a round up and give credit to the geniuses behind these timely, hilarious beauties. So put the cat away, make a cup of tea and have some LOLs with my top Tumblr picks of the year! Museum of Selfies

museumofselfies

A slightly more creative version of the over-saturated trend of the 'selfie' (that's not completely self-indulgent) - why did nobody think of this earlier?

If Paintings Could Text

ifpaintingscouldtext

The title explains it all - giving paintings a (witty) voice, using the medium of texting.

House of Carbs

houseofcarbs

As a lover of puns (and food), I'm kicking myself that I didn't come up with this one. Genius.

Will It Beard

will it beard

Inspired by the infamous Will It Blend, Will It Beard asks all the important beard-related questions in life such as: Straws - will it beard? (answer: yes, it will!)

Beyonce vs. Zombies

beyoncevszombies

A clever mix of great illustrations of our Bey in different Zombie apocalypse situations with lyrics from her songs as captions. Great fun.

Source Code in TV and Film

sourcecode

Ever wondered what the code used in your favourite TV shows and films mean? And whether they're completely made up or actually real? Someone has gone to the trouble to find out...

Love Grandpa and Grandmaster Flash

grandmaster flash

When you mix Grandparents and Facebook, hilarity ensues!

Drunk Furniture

drunk furniture

We've all been there - apparently so has the furniture.

The MTV EMAs 2014

mtvemas  

 

I was lucky enough to be invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Glasgow at the weekend, for the annual MTV Europe Music Awards. Scotland has been host to the EMA's (now in it's 20th year) only once before, and this year promised to be the best yet.

With performances from Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, U2 and Slash, MTV were set to make it an International affair, featuring not only the latest pop acts to top the charts, but also some of the most successful Rock icons of the 20th Century.

An event like this was worth getting up at an unsociable time on a Sunday morning - I was up and out of the door just after 5am. After a swift security check and a smooth flight (got to love domestic flights), we arrived in Glasgow around 10am and headed straight to our hotel to check in. It was then time to collect our wristbands and tickets (for the main event and the pre-party) and get ready.

 

mtv1

 

The mail out to attendees stated that we would be standing on a raised platform close to the awards stage, so we should prepare to be on camera and dress to impress! My friend and I sensibly chose dresses that we're both glamorous yet comfortable, and most importantly, weren't completely weather inappropriate (it was around 4 degrees in Glasgow at the time).

 

mtv2

 

At 5pm we were transported to the Glasgow Science Centre, where the official pre-party was taking place. Drinks and food were provided, and there were several photo booths (with props) to make the most of - which, of course, we did.

 

mtv4

 

mtv3

 

A short walk across the bridge and we were at the venue for the main event, the SSE Hydro - the Hydro is ranked in the top five busiest indoor entertainment arenas in the world alongside such iconic venues as Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 in London.

Once inside - this was our view. We were in the VIP area right next to the awards stage, giving us prime location to spot and snap the host, Her Minajesty, and the other award presenters (including Jena Malone, David Hasselhoff and Jourdan Dunne).

 

mtv5

mtv6

 

We were given wristbands to wear and were told that they would be lighting up at some point during the event. As Enrique Iglesias appeared on stage, it all became clear that the audience were going to be part of his stage performance, and the venue lit up in thousands of colourful dancing lights - all changing colour in sync with each other, and in time with the music!

 

mtv7

 

For those of you that missed the awards, here are the winners:

  • Best Video - Katy Perry 'Dark Horse'
  • Best Female - Arianna Grande
  • Best Male - Justin Bieber
  • Best Pop - One Direction
  • Biggest Fans Award - One Direction
  • Best Look - Katy Perry
  • Global Icon Award - Ozzy Osbourne
  • Best Song - 'Problem' Arianna Grande
  • Best Rock - Linkin Park
  • Best Hip-Hop - Nicki Minaj
  • Best Worldwide Act - Zhou Bichang
  • Best Alternative - Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • Best New Act - 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Best Electronic - Calvin Harris
  • Best World Stage Performance - Enrique Iglesias
  • Best Song with a Message - 'Pretty Hurts' Beyonce

 

We were so excited to be given the chance to attend the EMAs and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Fingers crossed I get to go next year - after all it will be hosted in Italy. Milan, here I come!

 

 

Weekly Viral Vaccine 29-10

Everything this week is Halloween-themed, obviously! So let me show you some of the best spooky things on the web this week!  

1) The Ultimate Halloween prank!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfEelkmpqc8&w=560&h=315]

 

2) Oreo is winning at Halloween!

https://instagram.com/p/uq717ORtDd

 

3) For those who like Michael Jackson - Thriller sung in 20 different styles

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNsRs5dKyA&w=560&h=315]

 

4) For those who REALLY like Michael Jackson - The making of Thriller

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VimSwGDyFhU&w=420&h=315]

 

5) The Infected Rick - for The Walking Dead fans (that's like, everyone, right?)

The-Infected-Rick2

6) Zombie-proof bike - you can now be a bike snob and take out some undead hordes at the same time

zombie-apocalypse-bike-1

 

7) Head in a jar - the perfect Halloween prank to scare the bejeezus out of your housemates

face-in-jar-prank

 

8) Cutest/ scariest Halloween costumes for your little ones

LL_halloween_HIPSTER-528x501

Weekly Viral Vaccine 22-10

Some more weird, wonderful and downright odd things from the internet this week! 1) Hilarious One Star Yelp Reviews of Gorgeous National Parks - there's just no pleasing some people!

cave man

2) Introducing The Vending Machine Supermarket!

vending

3) All of the Superhero movies coming out between now and 2020 - you're welcome!

superheroinfo

4) This cool music video brings some classic album covers to life

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR4QKAib3sM&w=560&h=315]

5) Hilarious translated TV show titles from around the world - my fave has to be 'Crazy in the Area'!

crazy

6) Paralyzed artist learns to paint with her mouth - truly inspirational!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpGYYGktEAo&w=560&h=315]

7) A ranking of 40 Halloween Candies from nastiest to raddest

Haloween kitkats

8) This woman has some incredible make up skills!

Weekly Viral Vaccine 15-10

After a week relaxing, snorkeling and tanning on the lovely islands of Malta, I'm back to bring you closer to some of the funny, entertaining and odd things on the web.  

1) The Walking Dead pancakes (this is incredible!)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGsafsZ3x-c&w=560&h=315]

 

2) The 15 best closing songs in films - can't forget this one...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDt0bNNnWiE&w=420&h=315]

 

3) Epic GoPro bridge ride (rather him than me!)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pap50wcUs&w=560&h=315]

 

4) A Plant-Blood Veggie burger? Yep, you read me correctly!

plant blood veggie burger

 

5) Paintings from Plane windows - I simply love this, and am amazed that noone had thought about it before...

plane window

6) Baffling foreign versions of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune - the Polish one has to be the best!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvbomBnAhMQ&w=420&h=315]

 

7) Obama of the future found on the New York Subway

obama

 

8) Space cats is well worth a follow on Twitter - just a couple of gleaming examples below as to why

space cats3

space cats2

space cats1

 

Twitter following Facebook following YouTube

It's no coincidence that in the same week both Twitter and Facebook announce major new developments - this is the social world we live in now, people. Platforms, like people must continue to evolve (or pivot) in order to survive. Both platforms in question have announced they're doing just that, and while one has been welcomed by social media users, the same can't be said for the other. twitter-analytics

 

Let's start with Twitter, just a few days ago they let slip that their timeline feature will be changing in the coming months - instead of the current reverse chronological timeline (where users see content from people they follow equally) to an algorithmic timeline, mimicking Facebook and their strategy of delivering content to users that they (Facebook) think they (the users) want to see - based on their recent and most frequent interactions.

Twitter's move towards 'curating' rather than simply showing tweets organically, is designed to show users content that they are more likely to interact with - this is great news for brands and advertisers, but not so much for Joe Bloggs who just wants to see tweets from (all of) the people he follows.

The recent development of showing 'favourites' in the timeline was just the beginning in a string of experiments to see what works the most effectively from a consumer point of view. With the news that 75% of Twitter users buy products online every month, it's no surprise that Twitter are focusing on Twit-commerce and the link between user behaviour and consumerism.

 

 

view-count

 

On the other hand we have Facebook's move to become more like YouTube - with the announcement of view counts to celebrate delivering 1 billion views per day.

Giving YouTube a run for it's money, Facebook will be showing view counts on all publicly posted videos from individual users, pages and public figures. This transparency could ramp up advertising competition and finally force many advertisers to rethink their spend on TV in favour of Facebook advertising.

On top of that they will also be adding video suggestions to the end of videos, to keep people watching (much like YouTube). There is also a new option for video publishers to include a new 'call to action' link at end of a video, and will have access to more in-depth analytics detailing unique users and dwell-time.

 

Weekly Viral Vaccine 08-09

Happy Monday y'all - here's what's been happening on the internet this week: 1) Giant Mutant Spider Dog - this is both hilarious and completely genius!

spiderdog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) More puns like this, please - Again, complete genius

 

3) IKEA Bookbook - IKEA trying to be clever about Apple, but coming off a little smug in the process...

 

4) London Meat Map - fine the best places for meat in the big smoke

London Meat Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly - This hashtag is now trending in the UK. Why not spend a fag break/ lunch hour guessing some of them?

Have You Tried Hyperlapse Yet?

Despite Instagram being only four years old, Instagram has just launched a new tool to allow its users even more ways to show their creativity and record special moments in their lives. Just 6 days ago Instagram announced the arrival of a new app, Hyperlapse, which has already one of the most popular free apps on the App Store. The app allows fans to capture high-quality time lapse videos on their phone.  

[vimeo 104409950 w=500 h=281]

 

There are countless time-lapse apps available to download at the moment, but what makes Hyperlapse different is its in-built stabilization technology resulting in smooth, moving time-lapse videos with a professional finish.

Hyperlapse is now available through iTunes and the App Store.

Check out these 13 amazing Hyperlapse videos for inspiration, then start shooting!

Weekly Viral Vaccine 01-09

Happy Monday - have a gander at these oddities from the net over the past week: 1) Divorce selfies are now a 'thing', apparently...

divorceselfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can now add that to the list of other bizarre selfie 'trends' (including but not limited to: death-defying selfies, Altar selfies and Funeral selfies):

deathdefyingselfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alterselfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

funeralselfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The Japanese have taken it a step too far (again), this time by promoting their Pizza Hut restaurants run by cats!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No7xzD80un0&w=560&h=315]

 

3) Here are the 22 types of hangover, expertly illustrated using stuffed, dead animals (as you do). I don't know about you but I'm ALWAYS no. 4...

22hangovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Emmy cocktails inspired by award-winning shows - my fave has to be the Breaking Bad (yum)!

breakingbad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) What would happen if geek girls acted like geek guys? Hmmmm...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UohmGU-Gng&w=560&h=315]

6) Finally, it's only taken 14 years but someone's finally created a Shaggy flow-diagram

IMG_8565.PNG

Social Bites: Facebook Updates

Will Facebook's new call-to-action buttons change the future of online shopping? Over the last few years Facebook has become more and more business focused; with younger users shifting to other platforms (Twitter and Instagram) to interact with their peers and in their place brands now taking a more dominant presence. It came as no surprise then that last month Facebook announced that it was testing a "buy" button on a selection of sponsored ads and pages. If successful (and well received by the general public) they could be rolling this out to all advertisers.

 

CTA button

 

This new function will provide users to buy a product from their favourite brands without having to leave the platform - its a win-win situation for both advertisers and users. For those of you wondering if it is safe or not, here's what Facebook have to say:

"None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases".

This development was a natural progression for the platform, considering that they had already dipped a toe in the water of added features designed to help advertisers reach more customers earlier in the year. The Custom Audience tool was given an additional five call-to-action buttons for marketers to choose from (Shop Now, Sign Up, Learn More, Download, and Book Now), broadening the options for brands, particularly those that don't sell tangible products.

If you follow the evolution of brand engagement practices on social platforms, it is no surprise that this development has come about. In an attempt to regulate the amount of spam and raise the quality of content from publishers on the platform, earlier this year Facebook announced that brands are no longer allowed to ask for 'likes' or shares within their posts. Instead brands are encouraged to advertise on the platform to ensure their message reaches as many people as possible.

 

Cross-device reporting for ads coming

This week Facebook has announced cross-device reporting as a new feature within Facebook Insights. This will allow advertisers to see how people move between devices (on mobile apps and on the web) before converting.

 

crossdevice

 

Understanding user behaviour and experience is essential to advertisers to give their customers the best experience and ensure their ads reach the most relevant people at the best time and place. It is now commonplace for people to be using two or three devices at work or at home, simultaneously - and up until now it's been tricky to pinpoint which ads are being seen on which devices alongside on which devices the conversions then occur.

Early tests with selected advertisers show that gaining an understanding of how users interact with their content and how their device behaviour and preferences affect their actions, is invaluable:

According to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ Manager, Social Media, Karlijn Vogel-Meijer, “We learned that our customers get inspired to travel on their mobile device and afterwards book a ticket through desktop. This knowledge helps us better understand how our mobile media spend contributes to conversion on other devices.”

The cross-device report uses data from the Facebook Conversion Pixel and Facebook SDK. For more information on why cross-device measurement matters, read the news story on Facebook for Business.

 

You Can Now Manage Facebook Ads On The Go

Are you a community/ brand manager whose social life is taking a beating due to asking friends if they have a laptop and wifi password you can borrow? Are you constantly nipping off to set up and monitor ads over the weekend for your clients? It needn't be a nuisance anymore, now that Facebook have launched a new feature that allows you to manage your ads on the go.

ads2 ads1

Last month Facebook launched the new Ads Manager feature within the Facebook App (iOS, Android and mobile site). Marketers will now be able to:

  • Pause or resume campaigns
  • Edit budgets and schedules
  • View insights
  • Respond to alerts

This feature is expected to be available to all advertisers by the end of the summer.

Instagram Announces New Suite of Business Tools for Brands

Instagram is proving to be one of the primary platforms for brands. With it's video and image editing functionality it allows and encourages creativity, something that brands such as Oreo and Starbucks continue to push the boundaries and set new standards for other brands.  

oreostarbucks

 

 

Being creative and executing innovative ideas means nothing though, if you can't prove it's success. New platforms are merely toys these days without the Insights tools for brands to prove their success and secure future funding for creative social media campaigns. It took Facebook around 4 years to launch Facebook Insights, and Twitter around 6 years before they quietly rolled out Twitter Analytics. Now it's Instagram's turn. Over the next few months, they will be rolling out a set of new tools to help brands assess the effectiveness of their paid and organic content.

 

These tools will provide data for the following three areas:

Account Insights

This will show brands how effectively they are improving their brand awareness through reach, impressions and engagement.

insta1

 

Ad Insights 

Shows data on the performance of paid campaigns (reach, impressions and frequency) for each individual advert.

insta2

 

Ad Staging

Allows brand teams to create, review and collaborate on ad creative for new campaigns.

 

These new updates will ensure that brands can access real-time insights on their campaign content and make live amends to optimise the performance. This feature is only currently available to existing Instagram advertisers, with a view to rolling out to other select brands in the coming months.

It is not clear yet as to whether this feature will be made available to the general public (non-advertisers on the platform), as per Twitter Analytics, but it will be interesting to see how brands use it to their advantage to improve the performance of their creative campaigns.

More info on the update can be found on the Instagram for Business Blog.

Weekly Viral Vaccine 25-08

We've taken a bit of a break, but now we're back with more weird and wonderful stuff from the Internet.

Here's our top 5 for the week:

1) Walrus gets choked up after receiving a fish cake for his birthday

walrus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) This week's best ice-bucket challenge (come on, there are too many now)

https://vine.co/v/MLivKHja1Mw

 

3) The new version of jam sandwiches in the VHS recorder

kids-these-days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Miserable Men (out shopping) has it's own Instagram account: http://instagram.com/miserable_men

 miserable_men

 

 

 

 

 

5) In memory of the late Richard Attenborough (RIP), here is the Jurassic Park theme sung by Goats

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8apI6x2Qyg&w=560&h=315]

 

 

Vine Cranks Up A Gear

vine camera Since Twitter acquired Vine almost two years ago, not a lot has changed for the platform - you pretty much got what you signed up for with the first version; six second looping videos recorded on and directly uploaded from your phone.

On Wednesday of last week, Vine announced their new update which tech sites were quickly jumping on and touting as a game changer in the social space. Designed with the attention-span deficient generation of today in mind, Vine became an instant hit with young audiences all around the world, but failed to really take off with brands and businesses (with the exception of comedians - who continually found new ways to push the 6 second capacity to the limit). This all changed just a few days ago when Vine announced the new functions on the updated version of their platform, including time-lapse, ghost mode, undo, but the biggest development is the new 'import' button that allows you to upload a previously filmed piece of video content.

Vine posted the below video introducing the new camera features on their blog...

[vimeo 103853748 w=500 h=250]

 

To find out more about what the new features are and how to use them, click here for Mashable's guide.

No longer will Community Managers and Content Editors for brands be sat fumbling for hours with a makeshift steady-cam crane for their iphone, trying to film a stop-motion, 6 second video - now they will be able to import existing videos, edit them and share them with their Vine followers much more easily than before. And that's just the FMCG brands - working in film I know that this development will change the way in which entertainment brands use Vine in their social media campaigns moving forward, as the creative ideas we've been pitching for so long are actually now possible. We can create teaser Vine trailers and edit new content together to seed to Viners, finding a new way of engaging film audiences.

I worked on one of the UK's first national Vine brand campaign for Kids Company (when I worked at AMV BBDO) - although it was a great project to be part of, and a massive success, I can't help but think how much more creative we could have been if functionality (at the time) had allowed - everything from the sound effects to the end cards had to be captured in the shot.

MakeItStop

More info on the project can be found here.

 

 

Weekly Viral Vaccine 19-08

There's something for everyone this week - from Doctor Who, to Disney Princesses and Bizarre Japanese Ads...  

1. shark whisperer - not just for horses!

2. Ping Pong Cats - has to be seen to be believed

3. How good is your hearing? - warning - you may be severely disappointed with just how old your ears are!

4. The Tardis spotted on Google maps - and you can now go inside

Tardis on Google maps

 

5. The weirdest ad for Sushi you're ever likely to see

6. What our subconscious sees -  Interesting article on how and what we see

7. Slam poet dazzles with story of obsessive compulsive love

8. How to take your own Man of Steel photo - Just when you thought this sort of thing had run out of steam...

9. Know your tongue - I'm so glad I do now, thanks Innocent!

tongue

 

10. If Disney Princesses had Instagram - I have a feeling there will be a lot more of these now...

11. Useful maps - to help you make sense of the world

 

 

 

Weekly Viral Vaccine 11-08

This week, we've got everything from cakes to cats, Minions to Jeremy Clarkson. Enjoy! 1) Alan Partridge cake - creepy looking, so pretty spot on then

2) Indoor clouds - ever wondered what clouds would look like indoors? A Dutch artists has made it a reality - awesome stuff.

3) The world's deepest swimming pool - 100 feet deep might not seem like that much, but check out the photo. Another reason to visit Belgium

4) 7 practical effects in film you probably thought were CGI - For those who are jaded by the over (and often poor) use of CGI in films, take a look at this and have your faith restored in the magic of real effects

5) Jeremy Clarkson car art - Relax, it's just a spray job...

6) Vinylize - the ultimate in cool, bespoke spectacle design; wear your favourite record on your peepers

7) Daft Minions - what the little dudes get up to on their days off

8) Free apps for iPad - top 25 from Mashable (good to have some useful links in here too)

9) CatShark - As it's Shark Week...

 

 

Hmmm, Pinteresting: 3 Great New Social Media Sites

Attention folks, there are 3 new social media kids in town and they are here to stay! So get signed up and start using these bad boys ASAP while they're still relatively young so you can show off to your mates and sow them how to use them.

 

First up - the best, Pinterest:

 

 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard and social media site that allows you to upload, like, 'pin' and share your favourite images and videos on the web. The site's mission statement is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." It is fully integrated with Twitter and Facebook so your followers and friends can keep up to date with what you like.

The terminology: On your profile you can create 'boards' where you categorize the images you like and 'repin'.

The site launched as a closed beta in March 2010, then as invite-only open beta (as it remains today - email me for an invite). In August 2011 Time Magazine included Pinterest in it's '50 Best Websites of 2011' column.

Pinterest now has over 10.4 million registered users according to Inside Network’s AppData tracking service (a massive leap from the 1.68 million registered users in September 2011).

 

This Is My Jam:

 

 

This Is My Jam is a new social tool that allows you to select and share your favourite song for upto a week (you can change your 'Jam' before this, but if you don't it will appear on your profile and on the homepage of those that follow you for 7 days). It recently changed from invite-only beta to public beta, so now everyone can join. It has a simple sign up process that allows you to sign in with either Twitter or Facebook, and then add the other so that you can share your latest 'Jams' with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

A simple and easy to use Social Media site, it is unique in that this is the first music focused one that successfully achieves what it sets out to do - Watch this space over the next few months - This could well be on a par with Twitter and become an essential Social Networking tool for music fans.

This Is My Jam actively encourages users to discover new music (as well as share their existing favourites) by placing emphasis on the 'social' aspect of the site - when you log on the home page is filled with new 'Jams' that people you follow have submitted. What's really interesting is that there is no search bar to find new songs, only a search bar to enter your new 'Jam' into - they also drive home the importance of social interaction on the site by suggesting new people to follow based on: most -liked jams this month, popular current jam, most-liked among friends, and past jams include 'x' (artists who have featured as your 'Jam' before).

 

Letterboxd:

 

 

Letterboxd is the ultimate social networking site for film geeks; An online film-diary of sorts, where you can log the date and time you watched a movie, as well as giving it a star rating and a review. With an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-navigate interface, it makes early adopters of the film social media angle (such as Get Glue and Flixster) pale into insignificance.

The simplistic nature of the site reflects it's tagline: 'Your life in film'. Users can not only log their watched films, but also follow other users to see what they have been watching (great for looking for film recommendations) and create lists to share with other users.

There is a vast range of titles available to search from and any that can't be found can be added to the TMDb (The Movie Database) with relative ease. There is no mobile interface as of yet, but once it goes public I expect Android and iOS will follow up with official apps (once their own API has launched).

Letterboxd is currently in private beta so you can either add your email address to the waiting list on the homepage, or get in touch for an invite.