Some of the digital stories that have got us talking at Brass this week, including Draw Something, Twitter’s sixth birthday, John Carter, Friends Reunited revamped and an e-petition for the new £10 note. Read on and share your thoughts as always in the comments bit at the bottom!
Sarah Thompson, Account Manager
My name is Sarah and I am an addict. I think it’s okay though, as I seem to be amongst 30 million+ others.
My addiction is Draw Something, the new social game quickly becoming an iPhone and Android phenomenon. My addiction started at approximately 11am yesterday morning and I have since begun 11 games, taken 95 turns and earned 169… 172 coins.
Taking its inspiration from Pictionary, as a game it’s definitely nothing new. Saying that, I would argue that Pictionary is an absolute classic!
Maybe that’s it? It’s the perfect mix. A ‘classic’, available as modern, Words With Friends-esque asynchronous gameplay?
If only it used UK English, I would have guess JELLO a lot sooner.
Roz Sheldon, Project Manager
I spotted this week that Friends Reunited (now owned by Brightsolid ) will be re-launching on the 27th March. There will be a focus on memories and nostalgia in order to try and differentiate itself in a space currently dominated by Facebook. Since the extraordinary rise of Facebook, which now has more than 850 million members, Friends Reunited’s popularity has dwindled, now only attracting 1.5 million unique visitors per month. I personally signed up for an account around five years ago along with 24 million other now inactive users.
So what’s new… and will the re-launch encourage us to revisit our accounts?
Friends Reunited has signed a deal with the Press Association and Francis Firth to provide access to over 10m “memories” on a new-look site. The site’s users have been promised access to a new photographic archive of around 350,000 images which may be relevant to key moments in their lives. There will be 10,000 nostalgic collections for people to enjoy browsing, ranging from “I Can’t Believe We Wore It!” to “Maggie Thatcher’s Britain”.
The evolved proposition advances the Friends Reunited proposition of finding old school friends by showing people “Remember when…?” moments and encouraging members to find and share memories.
This will be facilitated by a ‘keep’ function which allows users to save and share items of interest and “family boxes” for small groups to share private memories.
Showcasing images, events and places from the past, the new website also offers brands and individuals the opportunity to store and showcase their own heritage in the form of embedded video, music players and catalogue viewers.
Chris Van der Kuyl, Brightsolid’s CEO, says he felt confident that the strong privacy settings would also mean a lot of people would feel more comfortable storing parts of their heritage on Friends Reunited rather than other social networks.
Will it tempt you to revisit the site?
Leah Kayles, Social Media Editor
A news story that caught my eye this week was that of the online petition to feature Second World War code breaker Alan Turing on the new £10 note. I didn’t know there was going to be a new £10 note to be honest, but I had heard of Alan Turing.
A vital contributor to the war effort, Turing’s homosexuality (which was illegal at the time) was overlooked in light of his mathematical genius throughout the war, when he worked cracking German ciphers at Bletchley Park. In 1952 though, when his services were no longer required, Turing was convicted of gross indecency as a result of his sexual orientation, and undertook chemical castration as an alternative to serving jail time. He committed suicide by ingesting cyanide two years later.
Many people still don’t know who Alan Turing is, or what an important part he played in Britain’s history.
Since the petition went live on Wednesday, it has had over 8,000 votes (and counting). Although Gordon Brown issued a public apology for Turing’s treatment in 2009, a campaign to grant his official pardon was rejected by the government this year.
In this digitally-enabled world, however, people have the ideal opportunity to take things into their own hands and ensure that Turing’s hard work and memory is not forgotten.
The link to the e-petition is in this story’s title.
Alex Heaton, Senior Digital Account Manager
If we look at the history behind this film many are completely surprised that the author wrote Tarzan, inspired many famous authors such as Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke and pushed the limits of science fiction, generations before many of his peers. Many are also surprised to find that John Carter was based on the book ‘A Princess of Mars’ which is in turn part of the Barsoom series consisting of 14 books. These books are out of copyright and are thus available to download and read for free by anyone with a smartphone, tablet, Kindle, PC, etc. I wonder how many people have actually read these books since they became free to download and read.
I tend to read quite a lot of sci-fi and occasionally download a free book or two when I find myself short. A year or two ago I came across these books and ended up reading all of them for free on my iPhone. Whilst admittedly they are quite fantastic in good and bad ways for the modern audience, they are also lots of fun and very addictive reading, making them great for a bit of escapism after a busy day – think Star Wars mixed with LOTR mixed with a bit of Avatar. As a result of reading and enjoying the books I’m 100% going to go and see the film (although I haven’t actually gone yet).
If we also look back at other sci fi/fantasy films that have been a success in recent times, such as Harry Potter and LOTR, each has had a groundswell of excitement because the books have been read and enjoyed by a lot of the film-goers. Interestingly, The Golden Compass was a massive financial success around the world except in one country where the books hadn’t been read very much (the USA).
So, if reading the books guarantees seats at the cinema, then why didn’t Disney spend their £100m marketing budget on marketing the free books? If they had, perhaps they might have turned a flop into a massive success.
Sally Barr, Online PR and Social Media Manager
Wednesday marked Twitter’s 6th birthday. As with all sixth birthday celebrations, we played musical statues, ate too many Party Rings and found 10 mind-boggling facts to mark the occasion.
• 11 Twitter accounts are created every second – that’s 1 million whole Twitter accounts opened every day!
• 340 million tweets are posted per day
• It took 3 years, 2 months and 1 day to tweet to the billionth Tweet. It now takes less than three days for that many to be posted today.
• The record for maximum tweets per second to date is 12,233, which was set during Superbowl 2012
• The highest number of retweets a tweet has had on record is 100,000
• The day of highest morale on Twitter is apparently Christmas day, one of lowest was the day Michael Jackson died
• There were 574,000 tweets about Steve Jobs’ death during an 80-minute period
• It will take 86 years for these guys to tweet the full bible. Four months down, only 85 years and 8 months to go!