Is social media polluting the web?

2008 and 2009 have been incredible years in terms of social media evolution. Twitter is just one of the numerous examples that show how people need to feel more present and connected on the web.

What started as a micro-blogging website in order to show other people what's on your mind -a bit like the Facebook status- has now become an amazing way to share links, pictures or any other type of content on the web. In fact, I don't know many people who actually use Twitter to say "I just made a warm soup, it's nice" or "It's sunny outside, might go for a walk".

I myself started using Twitter so that my friends and family back in France could read some sort of "flash news" about what I was doing. I didn't have the time to send out emails all the time so I thought this was a cool way to share this. But with time and with my number of followers growing, I didn't feel like sharing these things anymore and started using Twitter in a totally different way.
Now, and like 90% of the people I follow, simply send out links of my findings on the Internet: interesting articles, funny videos, my thoughts on some topic, etc...

Sites such as Digg, delicious, stumbleupon and so on are great for this matter. It also helps people index their site pages, UGC or blog articles and drive targeted traffic to their website.
A website who does not contain small links for its readers to share the content is a (huge) mistake in 2009 where everything happens online and in real time. If you want to be out there, then help the buzz create itself naturally. It sure will if your content is valuable.

As you can see below this article, I have a little sharethis button which lets anyone share this article if they want to. There's also a digg and retweet buttons at the top left corner of the article. I haven't really included this for personal branding reasons but I want to offer my readers a good, simple and easy way to share the article if ever they believe it's worth it. I use those quite often on other websites and let authors of interesting content get the credit they deserve, when they're worth it.

However, I was very surprised at the number of social media bookmarks/sharing websites...
One of the best examples could be the addtoany. This button which I included just after this paragraph, looks just like the sharethis one I am using already. The only difference is that it offers, well... quite a few extra sites! Yes, you're not dreaming, that's a total of 123 websites plus email and browser bookmark..! (There's even a search bar on the widget in order to find the site you may be looking for...)

I personally don't know half those sites and yet, I consider myself pretty "aware" of what's available out there!So, do people need that many? Is there enough space for these hundreds of websites or only a few have any promising future?
I am really wandering if that's not just the trend of the moment. But I'm afraid this "social" dimension of the web is slowly starting to become polluted. Too many is sometimes too much!

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how all this will naturally evolve but as far as I'm concerned, I'm sticking to only a few popular ones.
If you have any thoughts about all this, please share!
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How smaller can we get?

The video below compares the different scales of some of the planets and stars surrounding us in the universe. Interesting, amazing but also scary, it really will make some of us think twice about our very own existence and goal.
Now I don't mean to freak any of you out but our missions to the Moon and Mars may seem like only the beginning of a very long journey!

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Coca Cola and The Open Happiness factory

Coca Cola has been known for their original ads. Everyone remembers their TV ad ressembling the famous and successful video game GTA (you can view this ad at the very bottom of this article). The soda company had already started advertising on the theme of happiness via this video and has now made it its global code line.

After announcing the Happiness Factory movie coming soon, Coca Cola has launch a series of ads around the world as well as music videos meant to become summer hits in Western Europe and the USA. With the help of several artists such as Cee-lo Green, Brendon Urie (from Panic at the Disco), Patrick Stump (from Fall out boys) among others, this Open Happiness Project is meant to be a hit.

I like some of these ads but not the Open Happiness Project music video.
What do you think?

Coca Cola - Yeah yeah yeah

Some Open Happiness ad

Open Happiness Project (music video)
the one I don't like

GTA-like Coca Cola ad
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Great animation videos from Tomek Baginski

Tomek Bagiński is a Polish artist and animator who has produced several beautiful computer generated videos. Several years ago, I have discovered his work through his award winning short film Fallen art and Oscar nominated short movie The Cathedral. This last video had struck me by its quality (don't forget it was made in 2002!).
He has also worked on the game cinematics of The Witcher which according to my previous flatmate (Polish as well!), is great in terms of graphics. You can view the two short films below, as well as a 3rd one entitled Undo made by Marcin Wasko. The two artists may have worked together on previous projects but my inexistant skills in Polish made it impossible for me to understand their biography and past work so I apologise if I misinformed you!

Fallen art (2004)

The Cathedral (2002)

by Marcin Wasko
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Some of my favorite TV ads - Part 1

Here's a selection of some of my favorite TV ads, regardless of how old they are. You've probably seen most of these videos before but it's always a pleasure to watch some of them again, especially if you've got some time to kill on your rainy Sunday afternoon...

Charal (French meat brand)

Discovery Channel




Bud light


Fox Sports

Soesman language training

Zazoo condoms
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The Hyde Tube, or how to sell your video

The Hyde Tube is a great place to spend some quality time. The name, of course, reminds us of Youtube and this is for the simple reason that it gathers a great collection of short movies, artistic clips, viral videos or just advertisements.

The concept is interesting: Film makers which are mostly amateurs, submit their videos as an idea, project or concept to the site. Then one of the film directors from the Mr. Hyde agency reviews it and if interested, goes further in developing the project.
This is what describes the concept on the website: "The commercials you will discover have all been directed by directors who had never made commercials before. You will note quality is present. Our directors are not beginners, they have all made one or more very good short film.
With the advice of Hervé Lopez, former Art Director at TBWA Paris, they are able to adapt rapidly to commissionned work."
There is also a user guide for both the directors and the clients on the website for further information. The agency is present in Paris, London and New York.

The videos are all viewable (for free of course) here.
You can also learn more about the Mr. Hyde agency on their website.
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The history of the Internet - Video animation

Internet has become part of our everyday life. Most of us now working in an office use a computer for most of our tasks, and often connected to the Internet. During our time off, we like to surf on the web, communicate, read articles, watch videos, share content and so on.

But do most of you actually know how the Internet appeared? Or how it evolved from military or scientific purposes to the #1 means of entertainement and hobby? It's been only a few years and yet, it's now everywhere. The animation below will answer these questions!

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Viral video chart

Viral video chart is a great website that gathers all viral videos found on video hosting/sharing websites. It ranks them by number of views and comments in the last 24 hours, last 7, 30 or 365 days and shows for each of them the statistics and evolution of the "viral" trend.

The statistic tracker gives good detailed information about when the viral effect for the video has taken off and shows the evolution of it in a simple graph. It also lists all recent blog posts about the video, as well as the "buzz by languages".

For all of you who want to stay posted with all the latest video content out there, this website is a great way to do so. Although they do not have a twitter account to follow (yet), you can still subscribe to their RSS feed, newsletter, youtube channel or myspace page.

Everything's here:
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TwittARound - Merging Augmented Reality and Twitter!

Following my post from last Thursday about Augmented Reality (which you can read here), here is another interesting application soon available on iPhone and perhaps Android phones using the same technology and merging it with the use of Twitter!

The application name is TwittARound which as you guessed it would implement tweets in an AR (augmented reality) environment.

I could not find exact information on who is actually developping this application but it appears to be a German developper by the name of Michael Zoellner.

It's surely something twitter addicts might be interested in! It's fun but not sure to which extend you can really use it apart from playing around. Anyway, have a look at the video below.

PS: If any of you has more information, don't hesitate to share! Thanks!
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Bored on a Saturday night? Try Youtube movies and Vuze HD

YouTube movies
With 250,000 videos uploaded every day and around 100,000,000 videos in total, YouTube is by far the largest video hosting/sharing website.

There is so much user generated content that it is very easy to quickly find yourself lost and watching the proper content to entertain you.

If you are spending some time at home and feeling a bit bored, if there is nothing interesting to watch on TV or simply want to watch a video but don't really know what, well there is a special page on Youtube that might be of your interest.

This page, located at offers many videos from short movies to animations, documentaries, full length movies and so on. The content is divided in different categories to make it easier to browse and find something that you will like. Don't stay home in the dark with your arms crossed and go have a look :) YouTube movies

Vuze HD Network
Vuze, formerly known as the peer 2 peer giant Azureus is great sharing platform. Although you can still use it to download torrents (movies, music, games, programs, etc...) illegally, they also offer a wide selection of documentaries, trailers, videos and also full length movies, most of which are in high definition (HD).

The download speed will obviously depend on your Internet connection but is still very fast (many people share this legal content too). Each video has a built-in rating/comment system so you can easily review a video before actually downloading it.
The main difference with YouTube is that you do not access the content via their website but need to go through their program. It doesn't take much space on your computer and is easily removable so don't hesitate to give it a try!

The HD network is available either on their website or via their program (downloadable here) and you can download the videos you like in just one click.
If a channel has interesting content, you can also subscribe to it via their internal RSS like option.

It's all free and you don't need to subscribe anywhere! So enjoy!
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Augmented reality - It's coming!

Since I was a kid, I've always been very excited about all the technologies and innovations coming out every year. I have grown up since but I still am pretty excited, especially with what is called augmented reality.

I truly believe this will quickly evolve and slowly become part of our every day life within a few years. I am sure most of you heard about it already but I wanted to show here some nice videos explaining a bit more what it is, how it works and most of all, what uses we can make of it.

I have started hearing about augmented reality a couple years back at most and probably one of those geeky science related websites but couldn't imagine how we could exploit the technology in any other way than cool lab experiments.

The first advertisement I have seen using augmented reality was for the Mini car brand in Germany. The "bar code" was printed on the back page of a magazine and offered the readers to login on the Mini website with their webcam and scan the barcode for a surprising result. Have a look at the video below if you haven't seen it.

After seeing the above video, I was really looking forward to future usage and see how brands would start making great use of this tool. I know for a fact that other car brands such as Toyota have made similar advertisements later on.

Anyway, if I'm talking about augmented reality, it's also because we have seen some new applications in the past weeks developped for a series of smartphones. I won't talk too much about them and let you enjoy. The one below was developped for Londoners with the London tube map. I know another one has been developped for NYC as well.

Today, released on their blog a preview of a new app they are currently running as a beta version. They will make it available in the upcoming days/weeks. This one doesn't show the subway stations but all types of addresses around you: hotels, restaurants, comedy, cafés, etc... and more importantly pubs and bars :)

And for those of you who want to know more, here are several other usages we could make of them. Don't hesitate to google them, videos are starting to flood video hosting websites. Minority report here we come!

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Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris

Every year, on the 14th of July, France celebrates its national holiday, the Bastille Day. This is a great symbol in the French history as it was the spark that lighted up the country's revolution in 1789. This year was also the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower as well as the 220th anniversary of this historical event.

You can read more on the wikipedia article here.

Although I could not find a full collection of high quality pictures and high definition videos of the spectacular fireworks that are traditionally held that day, I have come up with a short selection below. Hope you will like it!

All pictures were found on flickr. Thanks to Franck Lassagne, cyril.letonnelier and paracetamol_p1.

Below is a one of the videos found on Vimeo. It was made using tilt-shift photography. It is actually a series of 6,000 photographs taken over the 30mn during which the fireworks took place. Enjoy!

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We Are Hunted - The Online Music Chart

With stopping its free music listening service (at least in Australia) and with the French or the popular limiting their service to a few European countries or the USA, there aren't so many options for Australian residents to listen to some streaming music.

One of those few options is the website we are hunted. Naming themselves "The online music chart", it regroups the 99 most popular songs of the moment, regardless of the music genre. You can browse all the songs or artists on the charts and by week or month.

Listening to the latest songs is possible when clicking on the artist/song image.
You can also access the description page of each artist and follow recent articles about each of them, or check out their popularity chart evolve.

I tend to log once a week to discover the latest "hits".
If you have a site or blog that talks about music, don't hesitate to submit it in their "Add your blog" page . "We Are Hunted is always on the look out for great Music News from around the web. Submit your RSS feed, and we will do the rest."

Anyway, have good music session on we are hunted!
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"static : pulse" A visit of Tokyo in HD

I don't post videos very often on this blog but this one has caught my attention.
With the new generation of DSLR cameras able to film in High Definition, we see an increasing number of videos such as the one below.

The following video was shot in Tokyo with two Canon DSLRs... and the rendering is beautiful. I also really enjoyed the music. You can view the video below, visit Samuel Cockedey's website or his vimeo profile.

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FREE SEO e-Book!

If anyone of you is interested in learning more about Search Engine Optimisation, then you should definitely have a look at the following book.

This book, entitled SEO Secrets, is the work of Glenn Murray, a SEO Copywriter from Australia.

Although some parts of it might seem like basic knowledge to some of you, it also goes into more details and reviews all the different aspects of search engine optimisation.

This 213 pages ebook discusses in clear words:
  • what SEO is
  • what are the different methods of optimising your site or blog in order to increase its page rank in search engines
  • what are the do's and dont's of search engine optimisation
  • how to optimise the content of your blog/site
  • how to use social media
  • how to monitor your progress... etc

Read more about this great book or buy the printed version at Divine Write. You can also download the PDF version found on Divine Write.

{Post edit: The PDF version is not available anymore. However, I still recommend you buy the printed version.}
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Why any company should use social media

Here's an interesting presentation my good friend Brian has done recently.
It highlights in simple words why any company should consider using social media as a way to advertise or simply connect with their audience/customers.

Enjoy the slideshare presentation below.

You can also visit his blog and/or twitter.
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Scary Ideas - Advertising archive is a website that gathers and archives both videos and prints from the international advertising industry.

As the title suggests it, most of the ads you find there come from "scary" ideas. Well, not really scary but different and out of the ordinary. You will find hilarious ones as well as meaningless ones.

Next to each post is a detailed information brief that usually includes the country and advertising agency name. It's a good website if you want to see how creative some people can be and if you want a daily dose of fun and inspiration. Posts are added on a daily basis and you can stay posted thanks to their RSS feed and/or twitter account.

If you like out of the box thinking, then go have a look at their website! Scary Ideas

Below is a video that I just watched and still don't really understand the whole plot! Try to guess what the ad is for before the advertising message comes up at the end! Anyway, enjoy or not!
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Stuck in Customs, a beautiful travel photography blog

I have wanted to share this website for a while. I've been following Trey's posts for nearly two years now and it is one of my favorite photography blogs. In fact, it is now the most visited travel photography blog on the web!

Trey Ratcliff's blog, stuckincustoms, is an amazing collection of shots taken from all around the world. His photographies are mostly HDR (High Dynamic Range) of landscapes, skylines, architecture, every day sceneries and portraits.

He is quite active as he posts a new picture nearly every day. For those stuck in the office like me, it is always a pleasure to have a 2 minute break and check out his last picture.

If you are interested in doing HDR rendering to your photographs to give this sort of beautiful painting effect, then you will love the tutorials Trey has come up with. They are very detailed and will help you come up with some nice pictures of your own. I just read today that his 216 page photography book entitled “A World in HDR” is now ready and can be purchased on his website.

Hope you like it!

Enjoy his website @ stuckincustoms
You can also follow him via RSS or twitter
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The new Olympus PEN - Video

If you haven't heard of the new Olympus Pen series, then it's about time you start reading about it! SLRs give you much more freedom in terms of photography settings than normal compact cameras. The only issue is the size and weight. I know for a fact that I won't constantly carry my SLR around!

The new Olympus series are a little jewel, merging both the qualities of a regular SLR and the compact size of a normal camera. As you can see on the picture, it also gives you the freedom to switch between different lenses just as you would do with a SLR.

Now I won't be talking too much about the camera itself as I don't consider myself an expert in photography, but you can read more on the Olympus website.

What I wanted to share with you is the promotional video Olympus has come up with for this camera. The Olympus Pen series were very popular 40 to 50 years ago and the video retraces in a way the story of this historic camera.

I was very pleased with the video below as I have myself done stopmotion videos in the past and believe me, it's a lot of hard work! (a stopmotion video is actually a series of hundreds and sometimes thousands of pictures which gives a special artistic rendering.)

The description of the video is as follow, Enjoy!!
This is the PEN Story in stop motion. We shot 60.000 pictures, developed 9.600 prints and shot over 1.800 pictures again. No post production! Thanks to all the stop motion artists who inspired us. We hope you enjoy :-)

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Google announces its Chrome OS

Google announced today their future operating system on the company's blog. This doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, I think most of us were expecting Google to launch a full operating system in the years to come.
But what is surprising is the browser function and name. It has been named Google Chrome OS, similarly to their browser launched late last year.

According to Google, this new OS will be browser based. Now that's something new! But what exactly would a browser based OS be like? Well for now the blog post doesn't tell us much more. We know it will be lightweight (so I guess fast), reliable and secure, and more importantly open source. I've always believed that in the medium-long term, there will be a merge of the traditional desktop of your computer with your browser to bring you a much more adapted user experience. And that's exactly what is happening. Google says: "We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web."

Google says its new operating system is designed for notebooks and laptops, as a first step, before it will be brought to desktop computers. Chrome OS is still at an early stage but talks have been carried out with constructors and it appears it will be available to consumers around the second half of 2010. Is this new OS is meant to replace Google Android currently running on an increasing number of smart phones and notebooks? Not so sure but I guess my best answer to this one would be "Let's just wait and see!"
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Murmur - A piece of art 2.0

The artist Christopher Baker has come up with an original idea for his new art piece.
He installed 30 small thermal printers that continuously print Facebook and Twitter statuses. The printed messages all contain onomatopies, or small words such as ohhh, argh, eww, grrrr and so on.

You'll read more information about the artist's motivations on his website. Below is a video to give you a better idea of what the final installation looks like. Yes! Art has evolved!

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What the hell is #moonfruit ?!

I won't write an essay about Moonfruit as most of you probably heard about it already.

Moonfruit is a website that lets you design your own great looking site in a few easy steps. They have different types of templates (journal, video blog, business, travel blog, etc.) that you can use and customise.

In order to celebrate their 10 year anniversary, they've decided to give away 10 Macbook Pro laptops.Now in order to enter the draw, you simply need to tweet a message with the #moonfruit hash tag. Knowing the popularity of Apple laptops, having a chance to get one for free obviously got the attention of the Twitter community.
The problem lies there. This online contest drew so much attention that at some point, around 20,000 tweets (Twitter messages) were sent every hour using that tag (still around that rate at the moment I'm writing this post).

I searched the #moonfruit tag on Twitter search and within about 5 minutes, there were already over 1,600 results and counting (see below).

Three main issues could be raised:
  1. This kind of contest using Twitter was surely launched in order to profit from the popularity of Twitter. Although this could be very true, it can also lead to an opposite undesired effect. This huge amount of tweets using one similar tag may quickly be seen as some sort of spamming. The Moonfruit will probably benefit from this craze in the end, but many people can have a bad image associated to the website name, and that's one thing you might want to avoid.

  2. Secondly, I have noticed that a lot of people use these commercial hash tags for completely unrelated purposes. Most of which simply want to benefit from the popularity of this keyword with this easy rule: The more popular a keyword is, the more it will be searched and therefore the more people might read your tweet. Hash tags were created in order to discuss a particular topic. But if so many messages become "off-topic", then the whole point of the hash tag is debatable. For example, out of the last 4 tweets containing the #moonfruit tag, 2 persons make a joke, 1 person obviously has no clue what it is, and the last one makes a pointless tweet that doesn't have much sense (to me at least) using multiple tags.

  3. And last but certainly not least, some people have written articles about how these kind of tags could "break" or "kill" Twitter. Don't hesitate to read the article on Mashable concerning the #gorillapenis hash tag attack on Twitter. Personally, I'm not so sure it would actually kill it. However, it definitely does have a negative impact.
In conclusion, brands should definitely be careful on how to use Twitter. In this particular case, the Moonfruit website probably increased their brand awareness by a million but with success rise problems and let's not forget what Newton taught us: "With every action comes an equal and opposite reaction."!

So much said about #moonfruit in this post when the initial purpose of it was to simply give you guys the link :)

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The initial purpose of this website was to offer beautiful wallpaper designs with nature as the main theme so that people spending too much time on their computers could "feel the essence of nature and the outdoor existence on their desktop"!

There is one "exhibition" per year (2005-2008 so far) grouping over 100 wallpapers.
Enjoy! Desktopography

My favorite
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Offending (?) Microsoft ad

Okay, don't ask me why I'm posting this! I just thought it would be interesting to show you guys one of Microsoft's video ads.

I don't know if Microsoft deliberately tried to silence this video or it was meant to go only online as some sort of viral marketing operation. Perhaps some people found it too offending or simply disturbing! If any of you has more information, please comment, I'd be interested to know.

Enjoy! Microsoft's offending ad Read the full post

Illegal advertising is a blog on which you will find some of the best "underground" ads, from viral to street marketing, banned ads, spoof ads and so on.
The website does not limit itself to US ads so you will find a good selection of international campaigns. A small description next to the ad will sometimes give you further information about it.

They also have an RSS feed and Twitter for those who want to stay up to date.
Find them here: Read the full post - The community of the international advertising industry

You've read it in the title, is an online community designed to bring advertising agencies, professionals or fans together. After signing up, everyone can then discuss any idea via articles or forums and learn from others by sharing their point of view about a particular topic.

On top of this, ihaveanidea organises events including a "portfolio night" where advertisers can meet and review other advertiser's portfolios. These events, organised around 35 cities in 22 countries, continue to grow in popularity and size.

Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. Read the full post - The advertising twins archive

Bienvenue on Joelapompe!
If you don't know this website, then you should definitely have a look. Joelapompe gathers all ads around the world that have been copied somewhere else by some other advertising agency.

From prints to TV ads, this archive will either make you laugh or cry.
Visit or follow them on Twitter Read the full post

PsD - Photoshop Disasters!

We all remember the great Dove Evolution TV ad where the average looking woman is turned into a beautiful one after layers of make-up and photoshop editing (Youtube video).

Image editing is being widely used on every media, from TV to magazines to banners.
Fortunately, the PsD blog tries to gather all the worst image edits you can find out there.

Go have a look, some of them are really worth a good laugh!
PsD - Photoshop Disasters Read the full post

78 Photography Rules for Complete Idiots

If you like photography but all the ASA, flare, contrast... keywords are a maze to you, then perhaps you should have a look at this helping yet funny article giving basic rules about photography.
As far as I'm concerned, rules 12, 15 and 46 are my favorites! Read the full post

Unconventional website!

I came across the website of this (crazy?) Dutch flash developer.
It is technically/visually impressive, very funny but somewhat messed up! I strongly advise you to have a look at this... Turn your volume on and set the site in full screen for a full experience! Read the full post

Free Google Adsense report

Following my last post about the free Google Adwords report, here is another one for Google Adsense this time.

This 40-page PDF report, entitled Adsense arbitrage - Still alive and well from Brad Callen and Michael Plant, might be useful to some of you. If you're trying to monetise your website or blog, probably it is worth a look. Find the report here: Read the full post

Free Google Adwords report

I found this 85 page PDF report entitled Brad Callen's Google Adwords made easy that might be of an interest to all those of you using Google Adwords or wanting to know more.

Find the report here: Read the full post

Google Voice is cool...

Google Voice is cool... but do you need it?

Here's an interesting article from Kevin Purdy reviewing the different features of this new Google tool. Read more on Read the full post

Russia's Got Talent - Fake or no Fake?

Is this some real footage from the TV show "Russia's got talent"?
Or some viral video for Cult Cola energy drink? If you have any idea, don't hesitate to comment on this post!
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New Evian water TV ads

Drink Evian, it keeps you young!

I love the new TV ad!
Following the famous swimming babies TV ad (, here are... the skating babies! Read the full post

No Global Ad Recovery Until 2010

According to a GroupM study, the advertising industry won't recover from the global crisis until 2010. Read the article here: Read the full post