Tag Archives: google

Can you really trust your Google search or Facebook feed?

When you “google” something you get the same results as everyone else don’t you? When you post something on Facebook, it has an equal chance of appearing in all of your friends’ news feed right? Wrong!

You may not be aware of it, but developers, particularly those who develop social media sites and search engines, are writing sophisticated algorithms to filter content to make it more relevant to you. Have you noticed that Facebook profiles and pages you view or comment on, or photos of friends you “like”, seem to appear more often than others in your news feed? That’s right, content is being filtered in terms of popularity and relevance to you. But what if you wanted to broaden your mind and find out what’s going on in those less “popular” profiles and pages? Well you have to seek them out, which takes time and effort that many of us are not willing to spare. While these algorithms are designed to filter out the irrelevant information they are sometimes blocking out important information that we might want to hear about.

This interesting TED talk we watched on Monday by Eli Pariser brought up some interesting points about the unintended consequences of these algorithms: we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

While Facebook is a great source of entertainment and information its quickly becoming a bit of a popularity contest: the pressure for brands to gain exposure by gaining the most comments or “likes” is building and seriously increasing the need for exciting and engaging content. We might not like it, and might prefer a more democratic way, but it’s a jungle out there and only the most engaging brands will survive. At Brio Group we can help you create engaging content for your branded Facebook page and help you claw your way to the top of the news feed.

Filtered content is not the only thing you need to be aware of – the online ads you see are also highly targeted to your interests and online behavior which I’ll be talking about in my next blog post about Facebook Ads and DSPs. So stay tuned!

Yours in information,

Accidentally legendary

A good friend of mine brought a very interesting site called 9-eyes.com to my attention recently. This site shows a collection of fantastic images that were caught by Google maps with Street View. I’ve shown you a few of my favourites here, but there are plenty more. It just goes to show some of the best photographs don’t require fancy equipment, just to be at the right place at the right time.

Yours in shooting from the hip,


Is your brand a fractal?

Influenced by Lee’s original blog about fractals, I started to think about how fractals can be used for brands. I came to the conclusion that fractals are a good paradigm / framework to model your brand.

The definition of a fractal according to Hyperdictionary is:

A rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a smaller copy of the whole. Fractals are generally self-similar (bits look like the whole) and independent of scale (they look similar, no matter how close you zoom in).

If a brand is the total experience you get from interacting with a product or company, then a good brand will emanate a consistent message or culture both internally and externally. By taking a fractal point of view when creating a brand, we can design total experiences where all aspects, large and small, reinforce each other.

If your brand is a fractal, then any interaction with part of the brand will reflect the interaction with every other part of the brand, as well as the complete brand itself.

An example of a fractal brand is Apple.

As a whole, the Apple brand exudes a culture of lifestyle, imagination, innovation, quality, aspirations and empowerment through technology. Apple is a successful brand because they maintain this culture at all contact points. Their TVCs stimulate the imagination and promote the liberation found in their innovative products; the interior design of their stores give the feeling of quality and usability, as does their website; the staff are knowledgable and continue the theme of empowerment as they cheer for you when you’ve bought a product.

Is your brand a fractal? Look at ways to integrate all aspects of your brand, from your logo design through to how the phone is answered.

Yours in fractals,

(Image courtesy of Julia Map)

10 Gadgets that Changed the World in 2010

Technology makes great strides every year, but in 2010 gadgets brought us much closer to the future of our dreams. Below are 10 devices that changed the world for the better.
1. The Apple iPad
Announced in January, only to be mocked about its name, the Apple iPad has silenced its doubters. More than seven million have been snapped up around the world, including more than 200,000 in Australia.Google reports the tablet’s unusual name became the fastest-rising search term in consumer electronics.
2. Xbox 360 Kinect
Microsoft promised it in June 2009 and late this year it delivered.
3. 3D televisions
In home-entertainment circles, 2010 was the year of 3D. The trend arrived on Australian shores on April 12 when Samsung became the first TV maker to bring 3D plasma and LCD screens Down Under.
4. Miniature cameras
Advanced digital cameras just keep shrinking – and this year they shrank into unprecedented forms.
5. Addictive apps
With the Apple, Google, BlackBerry, Windows and Samsung app stores begging for new apps to feed hungry phone users, it’s little wonder that 2010 gave birth to some of the most innovative programs for mobile phones.
6. National broadband
A select group of Tasmanians this year plugged into a national network that could change the way we live.
7. Big-screen smartphones
Touchscreen phones were big last year, but never as literally as in 2010.
This year a handful of phones bucked the miniaturisation trend and grew in size. While these phones remained slender, displays grew to four inches or more.
8. Small tablets
They didn’t make the same impact as their 9.7-inch rival (that would be the gadget at number one), but small-sized tablets are arriving and thriving.
9. eBooks for everyone
Electronic books trickled into Australian hands last year through Amazon.com, but the trend truly took off in 2010 when more digital tomes became available locally.
10. More channels
Remember when TV lovers had just five channels available? This year an extra three free channels appeared.

I wonder what Gadgets will change the world in 2011.

Source: The Brisbane Courier Mail.

Yours in Technology,

Google’s new $1.9bn home in New York

With over 2000 employees, Google has decided to upgrade its office to one of the largest, most historic buildings in New York. The former Port Authority building has a helipad on the roof, and elevators that are big enough to fit 18-wheel semi-trucks.

The building was specifically chosen by Google, because it sits almost directly above the Hudson Street/Ninth Avenue fibre-optic cable highway. The fibre-optic cables travel in large bundles under the New York asphalt. The previous owners of the building knew that this would boost the value of the real-estate and decked out the building to have equipment set up in a ‘network-neutral’ meeting room, allowing tenants to connect with each other and the fibre-line. Because of this, the building has become an important telecom carrier hotel. Read more in this article.

Nice move Google! I hope the interior design will measure up to the Zurich office!

Yours in design,

Aussie James West tracks down the Trans in time for Thanksgiving

Each year there must be millions of emails about Thanksgiving preparations hitting American inboxes from loved ones. Nothing unusual there. It’s a big holiday and no doubt takes loads of organising.

Florida’s Tran family send dozens of preparation emails each year; but unbeknown to them the James West (one of their relative’s partners) they’ve been emailing was in fact not the James West they intended. For the past three years, 28-year-old James West from Sydney had been receiving the emails along with family photo updates and even inside goss of what will join the turkey on the dinner table. And then it appeared his appetite finally kicked in.

After three years of disregarding the emails, James West, who traditionally doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving decided to change this in 2010. His mission: to track down the Trans and ask for a real invitation to Thanksgiving. The Aussie broadcast journalist filmed a sweet and sincere video My Thanksgiving Plea: Tracking down the Trans and kicked off a YouTube campaign to help rouse the attention of the Trans. It’s been reported some Tran family Googling also helped West meet his time-sensitive mission. But first, watch his plea here:


So, this pursuit indeed has a very sweet ending. West made it to Thanksgiving thanks to the welcoming hearts of the Trans. To watch a series of videos documenting the adventure visit James West’s blog where you’ll find Operation Tran.

news.com.au and CNN have followed the story, and even Mashable have reported on it too. Some news readers celebrate West’s pursuit while others label it ‘stalker-like’. Of course there are going to be cynics, but I’d high-five West if I ever ran into him. Good on him for having some fun with some mistaken identity emails and making some friends along the way.

What do you think? If you were the Trans, would you open up your home to Mr West?

Yours in the digital revolution,


Android’s share of market jumps 600%

In the third quarter of last year, Android accounted for 3.5% of the market, now, they are at 25.5%!

Can you believe it? This puts them ahead of Apple, Microsoft and the makers of Blackberry, with the main takeover prominent in North America.

In the third quarter of 2010 more than 20 million handsets running Android were sold worldwide. In the same time Apple sold 13 and a half million iPhone’s while RIM sold 12 million Blackberry’s.

Google are now in the game with mobiles which started off slow, and is now, the leading OS on Smartphones.

Your in mobile,

Blekko vs Google

Blekko is the new search engine taking on Google.

The site’s users will be able to assign tags to search results, making it return more relevant results to what the user is actually searching for; rather than Google returning heaps of results from ehow.com and answers.com that barely give the user the answer they’re looking for. The problem with those results are that they generally come up first in Google searches.

Blekko has over 3 billion web pages in its index, yes, I know, that is not exactly a small number, but when you compare it to Google’s over 1 trillion, then I suppose you can see how I think that 3 billion is not exactly a big number.

Other search engines that have given it a red hot go are Delver, Silobreaker and Cuil. Meanwhile, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have recently joined forces to try and compete… it’ll be interesting to see how that is working out!

Yours in search engines,