Friday 5 — 9.4.2015

By Friday Five

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  1. When Instagram changed photo sizes to allow more options than square, there was predictable hue and cry. Eugene Wei eloquently explains why social networks should not adhere slavishly to features, but focus instead on the power of their network of users.
  2. There’s a lot of rhetoric about what it means to be “digital first” or “digital by default”. The UK Government summarizes in 18 concise points what digital by default looks like, and how it can be measured. The points are applicable beyond government to virtually any enterprise tech service.
  3. What are the trends in email newsletter typography and rendering? An analysis of 50 newsletters reviews elements like line width, message weight, and how serif or sans serif fonts are used. Related: Google switched this week to a sans serif logo, and the design community seems mostly to approve.
  4. If you’re a publisher serving ads on mobile, you are probably anxious about the new ad blocking capability coming to iPhone and iPads with iOS9. And the impact may extend beyond ad serving, and affect organizations using analytics software like Google Analytics and Chartbeat.
  5. It’s no secret that Facebook and Gmail analyze your profile and email behavior. It may be surprising that they can use that information to discern your political leanings, and serve advertising accordingly. This initial research from Harvard created Republican and Democratic profiles on both services, and documents the results. One consideration for email marketers: Gmail may eventually relegate messages it feels will not resonate to the “Promotions” rather than the “Primary” tab.

Weekend fun: Most people’s Instagram photos of their flawless beach days and bouillabaisse provoke FOMO; hipster Barbie takes it to a whole new level. Maybe just give up and embrace your inner geek — why not build a drone with 54 propellers, and take flight?

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 for a weekly email.


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