Friday 5 — 12.20.2013

Friday 5 — 12.20.2013
  1. Mandatory reading for web design geeks: Snow fail: Do readers really prefer parallax design? New research poses good questions about user orientation to parallax scrolling, which may be better suited for content heavier on video and other visualizations rather than text.
  2. NPR continues its leadership in forward-looking digital initiatives by securing $17M in grants. $10M will pay for the development of a new, presumably mobile-first platform to provide a personalized, location-based listening experience for content from NPR and affiliate stations.
  3. Harvard’s Berkman Center published its annual compendium of essays in Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World. Sections include governments, companies, and citizens as actors in the digital world. Favorite excerpt: Potentially lost in the debates over privacy, security, and surveillance, is the fact that access to information plays a critical role in human development, governance, and economic growth across all sectors, including health, education, energy, agriculture, and transportation.
  4. What’s App, a company of ~50 employees, is up to 400M users — and added 100M over the last four months alone. But how will all these social messaging apps make money? Some smart plays are emerging around e-commerce, with flash sales and sticker products driving revenue in Asia.
  5. This terrific, long read outlines a step-by-step approach to digital marketing success. Written by digital marketing evangelist and bigtime analytics nerd Avinash Kaushik, the piece provides great guidance on how to focus your analytics efforts and avoid endless “data puke”.

Weekend fun: In case you’re suffering through an awkward office Christmas party or Yankee swap today, let me ratchet up your holiday envy: Bill Gates is an awesome Secret Santa.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective links about compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally.

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