Friday 5 — 11.7.2014

By Friday Five

Restaurant Reservations

  1. This week Google Maps is rolling out a new redesign with improved ease of use. Beyond the clean look and brighter palette, note the increased surfacing of transactions through the map, like making a restaurant reservation through Open Table or booking a car through Uber.
  2. Reddit’s Bit of News bot summarizes news that’s shared on Reddit as it reaches a certain click-popularity threshold, and then pushes those summaries to an app. It’s a great example of ideal human-algorithm partnership. The humans do the smart discernment, and the algorithm figures out when and how to share more broadly. Check out this good write-up about the Bit of News bot.
  3. With Google Analytics, you can create so many custom reports that it’s hard to know where to start. This article compiles and reviews 12 useful, downloadable report templates created by GA experts. Hours and days and content efficiency reports are particularly useful for bloggers.
  4. As we all store more documents far from our hard drives, there’s a greater need for seamless integration with daily office applications. This week Microsoft announced a new integration with Dropbox, just as Google launched a Chrome extension to let you access Drive files from apps.
  5. Big Moose Is Watching You tells the fascinating story of LL Bean’s strategic use of customer data from the very beginning, when they targeted nonresident Maine hunting license holders with direct mail. Today, the company uses data to provide sophisticated “omnichannel” presentation, and takes an approach that favors highly relevant offers to customers over brand awareness.

Weekend fun: Geek out with Brian Cox in the world’s largest vacuum chamber, minus 800,000 cubic feet of air. Watch to the end for the full child-like glee when the predictable occurs.


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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