Friday 5 — 8.15.2014

By Friday Five

digital playbook

  1. Lots of buzz about the U.S. Government’s launch of a new SWAT-team digital service, and its digital services playbook. The tenets above are clear and proscriptive, and, true to the complexity of digital transformation, allude to the tremendous change management effort required. It’s not trivial to enable institutional culture shifts like “Address the whole experience from start to finish” and “Default to open.” Read about the launch, and check out the full playbook.
  2. Email is both our dopamine-producing fix and a time sink that’s the bane of our existence. This list of gmail productivity plugins can help ease the pain. We’ve covered before — Boomerang can delay email sends to conceal the shameful fact that you were looking at spreadsheets until 2:30 am.
  3. But maybe we can help kill email off, instead? Collaboration tool Slack is doing a pretty reputable job of it for a number of startups out there.
  4. Is Buzzfeed a media company or a technology company? Andreessen Horowitz invested $50 million in Buzzfeed this week, with the view that a tech-first media company with rising traffic and robust native advertising might be the one to crack the future of news code.
  5. Long before Uber became a verb, directionally-challenged folks like me were avidly using the app to avoid getting lost in cities designed by sadists, like Boston. Uber’s new cruise control provides drivers and passengers alike turn-by-turn directions to make finding one’s way even easier.

Weekend fun: If you used any form of social media this week, you’ve no doubt seen the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and cash for ALS. Notable participants have included Mark Zuckerberg, Martha Stewart, the New England Patriots, and Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. Questlove is not amused.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective pointers to compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally. Try out the Friday 5 archive, or sign up to get a weekly email.


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