Image courtesy of Amazon, should you wish to purchase this fine tome
Some slightly alarming news out of Parliament this week, with suggestions that search engines and social media portals should censor the internet in case any sites offend anyone, break the law or break any superinjunctions.
That sound you hear is jaws dropping across the country.
This was from a report by the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, issued on Tuesday, which even urged the consideration of legislation to force Google and others to develop technology to block offending information. Google’s reaction the next day is outlined here.
The general consensus is that this is idiotic and impossible to police, as Google says. But we’re in an era where these sorts of communications have yet to be defined. The government sees views published online and in social media as falling under the ‘publishing’ definition; subject to the laws of libel and defamation where the publisher is liable. But Google sees online content as more like “phone calls”. For a government getting flack from all sides, these definitions are important – although they seem to be of course forgetting that Google isn’t actually the publisher of said pages – merely the indexer, which complicates the matter further.
Either way, it’s very important reading which has had me looking up the laws that came into place during the pamphleteering boom of the 17th century.
Are we in trouble if the government doesn’t understand how the interpipes work?
Contributed by PR and Marketing Manager Claire @claire_foss
It wasn’t me
Some of you might have experienced a moment of sadness (or embarrassment) when you discovered a friend/colleague or loyal follower had unfollowed you on Twitter. I have been fortunate enough to experience this first hand, as I struggled to send a former Yomego employee a private message. I won’t name and shame them… (hi @richrust!).
Months later, after heavy discussion on Twitter, the company has officially announced the existence of an ‘unfollow bug’, causing users to randomly unfollow people without realising. While it caused a few blushes and much denial in the office, this could create a far greater problem for brands, should a follower look to get in touch over a problem.
Twitter has admitted it is working on the problem, but how will we know if it is ever fixed?
Contributed by Insight Executive Mark @MisterMumble
Image-driven sharing platform Tumblr continues to grow at aphenomenal pace, with Monday seeing to its 20 billionth post, a figure which has doubled in the past six months. There are now almost 50 million hosted blogs, and as of January the platform served 120 million people and reached more than 15 billion page views a month. Dealing in billions of anything is pretty mind-boggling.
With Facebook changing its design to become more image-led, Pinterest becoming the fastest ever social network to reach the 10 million unique monthly user mark, and Instagram still exhibiting phenomenal growth, social media users are clearly expressing an appetite to engage with each other through images and rich media rather than text. Expect to see this trend continue.
Contributed by Insight Executive John-Paul @johnpaulfox
Eagle-eyed Googlers may have noticed a new addition to the standard navigation bar this week. Nestled in-between standard Google fayre such as ‘Maps’ and ‘YouTube’ is a shiny, new ‘Play’ button that re-directs users to Google’s recently overhauled ‘media consumption’ portal for music, apps and books.
Doesn’t sound like much on the surface; however the move highlights Googles desire to steadily amalgamate all of their services into a single, one-stop portal with the ability to take on the Facebooks and iTunes of the world.
Will it work? It’s tough to say. When you download iTunes you do so because you want to be part of its service – you want to buy into the experience and all the media and device syncing fun that comes with it. Likewise, when you go on Google you’re probably there for a reason – to search. However, leveraging their 86% market share in the search industry to ‘force’ their product portfolio on users is not a sure-fire way to increase adoption (see also: Google+). Ultimately Google needs to focus more on increasing the attractiveness of its platforms rather than just their visibility. If only it were as simple as “build it and they will come”...
Contributed by Account Manager Sam @cooltweetbro
Domino’s grabs a slice of the mobile market
No stranger to bold moves in social, Domino’s reported chunky sales figures this week which it’s attributing to a series of digital marketing initiatives. £1m in sales came exclusively from the company’s friendly smartphone app, which lets you track the progress of your order from construction,
Contributed by Community Manager Annie @anniefiddle