Friday 5 — 12.4.2015

By Friday Five

cyber monday traffic by device

  1. Nike shoes, Star Wars droids, and hoverboards were among the popular products shopped for on Black Friday. If you were shopping from the comfort of your couch, you were in good company: Smartphone sales nearly doubled year over year, from 9.1% to 15.2 %. Read the full report [PDF], and ignore Wired’s snark that Cyber Monday is over.
  2. In recent years LinkedIn has evolved from a static resume site to an active publishing platform, but the mobile app experience has consistently lagged. This week’s clean app redesign reflects an effort to make up for lost time, but the level of noise for users remains a challenge.
  3. GE’s branded content podcast, The Message, hit #1 in iTunes. NiemanLab reports on the savvy partnership and light touch that led to popular success, as well as the challenges of branded content in podcasting.
  4. As mobile becomes central to digital strategy, the importance of decidedly unglamorous testing comes to the fore. Read this handy guide to painless mobile testing for a nuts and bolts approach to getting the job done.
  5. If the internet is addictive, should we regulate it? This essay points out that while we acknowledge the internet’s appeal, we put the responsibility for regulation on the users, rather than the tech companies. We are notoriously poor at estimating our smartphone use — recent research found some young adults checked their smartphones 85 times a day, roughly double the amount they estimated.

Weekend fun:  If you had doubts about the internet’s ability to transform society, look no further than the trend of babies named after Instagram filters. But the absurd is not limited to the digital: to celebrate theMonty Python reunion, the Brits have put a giant dead parrot in Potters Field Park. (Original sketch, for reference.)

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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