3 Things I Loved Online This Week

The internet is a crazy thing. It’s amazing and infuriating in equal measure. It’s become a major element in our modern lives, so much so that we often take it for granted.

This week brought yet more examples of the digitally-driven age in which we now operate.

We heard how the highly anticipated latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise has teamed up with Covergirl to launch a themed make-up line in advance of the movie release. Companies are now capitalising on the profitability of “geek culture” and before you know it the prophecy will be realised: the geeks shall rule the world (yay for me!)

We then witness our teenage magazines moving from an era when boy bands graced the front covers to this year’s “Oh My Vlog!” with, you’ve guessed it, the Millennial stars of Instagram and YouTube taking pride of place. Granted, it’s currently a one-off special, but times they are a-changing.

And so, despite all the good it brings, we blame the internet for sucking up our precious, life-limited time.

To the point where even people like me who spend our careers learning about it, implementing it, evaluating it, still have periods of self-doubt when we wonder if it all makes a difference. And then this happens:

Social Media for Medical Research

Last year I lamented the rise and fall of the Ice Bucket Challenge, one of the greatest viral phenomenons of our time, but not without its own challenges. From critique of its monetary value for ALS/MND, to confusion over charity ownership of the craze, it came and went like all great viral hits do.

I joined the chorus of doubting voices about the actual effectiveness of such campaigns given the lack of precedence but now we have proof. We knew it raised over $200 million for ground-breaking research and this week news emerged of a major development in tackling the disease, a development funded by the very money the Ice Bucket Challenge generated.

A Platform for Next Generation Creatives

Marketing news this week brought the scandal that was “McTheft” when fast food giant McDonald’s apologised after their latest campaign imagery seemed to pull heavily from that of an existing storyboard created by freelancers whose prank montage recently gained viral notoriety.  If Creative Agencies are now taking inspiration from relative “nobodies” who can find creative space online, then my how the tables have turned.

Tackling Bigotry in a Digital World

In a move of emotive ingenuity, thousands of Polish people in Britain donated blood instead of going on strike (as called for by their home media) in a bid to demonstrate their importance and commitment to the UK economy. The hashtag #polishblood trended all day and it was one of those grassroots campaigns that really warmed the cockles of your heart! In times of austerity, racism towards migrant workers and immigrants is rife while sympathy for striking workers is at an all-time low. This course of action was undeniably more powerful and more persuasive to the cause.

Yes, this week at least, the Internet won.