In our newsletter of two weeks ago, we wrote about @PigSpotter, a South African Twitter celebrity who tweets and retweets road blocks and speed traps in South Africa from the safety of his Blackberry. Since the writeup, it’s been reported that the South African Police Service has laid charges against him, and that he’s hired a lawyer to help defend him.

This brought up the question here at RAAK HQ: How anonymous can someone like @PigSpotter be, exactly? What does an organization like the SAPS have to do to discover some random Twitter user’s true identity?

3G Security

Tweeting from the Desktop

First of all we’re looking at the network traffic associated with the Twitter API. This is a small portion of network traffic that flows between a Twitter client (Hootsuite, in this case) and Twitter when a I tweet the message Testing API traffic:


The interesting to note was that, contrary to my expectations, my username was not directly associated with the tweet. It is, however, a trivial task to match up a specific public tweet with its twitter user by searching for the message on the public timeline.

If a larger portion of the above message is revealed, you can see fields meant to contain location information:

Since Hootsuite does not support location information (location doesn’t really make a lot of sense for a desktop client) these fields are empty. On a mobile client with location enabled, the location information will be included, of course, and open for the world to see.

Tweeting from a Mobile Device

Network traffic from a mobile device is intrinsically less secure, due to it’s airborne nature. As a result, there’s more security built into mobile communications protocols. GSM has long been poked full of holes, providing practically no security at all anymore. 3G has built on this though, relying on stronger encryption algorithms and proper authentication protocols.

A successful, practical attack against the KASUMI encryption protocol that 3G is built on have been demonstrated, but the attack is not of practical use in 3G’s specific implementation of the protocol.

There are, however, two other factors to consider.

All of South Africa’s mobile bandwidth have been allocated inside a very wide band of frequencies originally allocated to the military. Many people believe that this have been done to facilitate compliance to existing military radio equipment, used to analyse 3G traffic in real time. Conspiracy theory or not, this is a definite possibility to consider when you’re breaking the law.

The main hurdle in the public lawbreaker’s path, though, is mobile providers’ enforced data retention policies. This practically nullifies any security provided by the network from a government point-of-view. By law, a government can at any point ask mobile providers for a log of their 3G traffic over a specified period of time. This involves no traffic analysis or deciphering whatsoever.

Tweeting from a Blackberry

Blackberry supports encrypted connection from mobile devices to an encryption device relaying traffic on behalf of mobile phones. This device, called a VPN device, is typically located in the Blackberry user’s company intranet. When it comes to public traffic, this mean the traffic is encrypted over a VPN tunnel to the Twitter user’s office.

From there, however, the traffic travels in clear all the way to Twitter’s servers – exactly the same scenario as for desktop clients. It will lead any investigations directly to the VPN device’s location, without them even needing to do any mobile traffic analysis. In this case, they will come knocking at the door of the user’s employers.

Whichever way, it seems that breaking the law on a public network like Twitter is not a good idea. Not if you want to stay out of jail.

Twitter Ads

Twitter announced this week that it will make their ad service 'Promoted Tweets' more targeted. This will allow advertisers to serve Twitter users more relevant messages based on the people and the brands they follow. Just like Facebook and Google.

Interesting from an advertiser's point of view, but based on Twitter's security scare this week, it surely will bring up questions about spam and security in general, an issue Adriaan tackles below in his Tech Insight of The Week.

Gossip Corner – Is Facebook developing a phone?

Techcrunch went big this weekend with a report claiming that Facebook is secretly building a mobile device. Facebook denied it with such vigor that The Telegraph reported on a survey done by MyVoucherCodes to find out how many people would actually buy it. It turns out to be a whopping 24 percent of 1485 people surveyed.

Then today Techcrunch got an interview with Mark Zuckerberg himself to clarify what their position is on mobile:

I guess, we view it primarily as a platform. Our role is to be a platform for making all of these apps more social, and it’s kind of an extension of what we see happening on the web, with the exception of mobile, which I think will be even more important than the web in a few years – maybe even sooner.

Get Human

We've said for a while that Social Media can create new ways of doing Customer Services that are more direct and more human. The current systems are often too mechanical and a major source of frustration. Innovation company IDEO acknowledges this power with a good blogpost and some case-studies. As they say:

New communication tools are supporting open access, robust feedback, direct participation, and immediacy of information.

Facebook Places

Facebook Places launched in the UK this week. As with any change on FB, some people did react defensively, but it will surely bring the concept of 'checking-in' into the mainstream (see RAAKonteur #5).

One thing's for sure though. If Facebook wants this to become an efficient positioning and advertising tool for local companies, they will have to sharpen up their usability. For instance, compared to Foursquare, claiming your business or venue as an owner is pretty complicated, involving the good old-fashioned way of scanning utility bills. Ouch!

And when you finally get there there's not a lot you can do with your venue. As the Customer Service guy told us: "At this time, it is not possible to edit a Place on the mobile site or the web"

Diaspora, the anti-Facebook

Since their massively successful Kickstarter fund raising exercise, there's been a lot of talk about Diaspora. They describe themselves as 'The privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network', aka the anti-Facebook. 

Last week they released some screenshots and made the source code available to developers. The feature list is still pretty basic, but we'll be keeping an eye on this. 

Can I have a '93 iPad please?

Here's a fine example of how a good user experience can increase your sales.

A steak house in Atlanta has swapped their traditional wine menu for an iPad. The fact that diners get access to reviews, can compare wines and browse more laterally has caused their wine sales to go up by 11% in a few weeks. 

Creative of the week – Pesi

A few months ago an American artist called Pesi used the social funding platform Kickstarter to pitch an arts project called 1024 bits of you and me. He wanted to make 1024 paintings but lacked inspiration. So he asked 'the people' to submit words that he would visualise. In return for $10 'the people' would then get their painting after the show.

Great idea, we thought. So we plegded, the project reached its target of $10,240. And this week we received a little picture about our work in progress.  


Tech insight of the week – Twitter: Big on Social, Small on Security

This week Twitter was hit by its first widespread worm. Our tech insight looks at Twitter's security situation, and finds a few seriously alarming flaws in the social giant's approach to security. Read More »

This week, in the wake of the Twifficiency debacle, Twitter fell prey to an embarrassingly simple Javascript injection attack. The attack manifested itself in the form of the first widespread Twitter worm. This obviously had everyone up in arms about Twitter’s lack of real-world security – once again.

This is just the beginning of Twitter’s security problems though.

Twitter Security

Before we start digging into the really scary stuff, let’s look at the issue at hand: how did this worm happen?

You can read a detailed description here (scroll down to how the hack works)

1. Untested HTML sanitizing code

In short, the code meant to sanitize links posted to Twitter did such an terrible job of it, that it allowed Javascript to be inserted into links. This is like building with thick stone walls, but forgetting to put a roof on, because you didn’t think stuff will enter that way.

2. Basic Authentication up to August 2010

Let’s backtrack a bit. Not a decade. Not even a year. In fact, about one month. Twitter still allowed Basic access authentication, which involves sending the user’s username and password in clear over the Internet to the server. This was not 1991 – it was last month!

3. Flawed OAuth implementation

To add insult to injury, Twitter’s implementation of the OAuth protocol is flawed by design, and relies on the application’s private key being sent to Twitter when the application authenticates itself to Twitter. This is the equivalent of not having a front door key for your fortified stone building, but rather a password, that, when shouted loud enough in front of the gate, will cause it to open. (Open Says-a-who?)

This goes directly against the guidelines laid out in the OAuth RFC – it means an application will always need it’s private key to be embedded in the application in some way or another, putting it in the hands of anyone who’s downloaded the application. That pretty much does not make it a private key anymore, does it? A very simple way of retrieving such an application key is demonstrated here.

Anyone in possession of an application’s private key can authenticate themselves to Twitter as the application.

4. Lack of permissions granularity

Then, another big one: Twitter’s application permission set contains a grand total of two settings: Read-only and Read & write. At this point it’s justified to say WTF.

As a result of this medieval permissions granularity, every single application with access to your account can read your direct messages, which are supposed to be private. Now, a while ago I criticized Facebook’s extended permissions in one post, and praised them in another, for what they did wrong, and what they did right, respectively. Well, Twitter don’t have them. Twitter’s entire permissions scheme is built on an allow nothing/allow all granularity.

As far as security is concerned, Twitter lives in the dark ages, and they will soon have to be yanked out of their ignorance, or their whole world, as well as the social world of us, their users, is going to crumble from beneath them. This is a cry of desperation.

The story behind Dominos Social Media success

Earlier this year Dominos Pizza reported a 29% rise in profits, a feat they ascribed to Foursquare and other social media tools. RAAK contacted them to find out more and they happily obliged. 

Social Media for teenagers? Think again.

The average age of a Facebook user is 38! And more than 61% of Facebook users are over 35. The average age of Twitter users is 39, Linkedin 44 and MySpace 31. See this infographic for more.

The SEO implications of Google Instant

Last week Google launched Google Instant. User can now get instant feedback – as they type – on whether their search queries are correct. Cool. But what about the impact on websites and SEO? Econsultancy featured some educated guesses by SEO experts that are worth considering.

Android on the rise

While Nokia has a new boss, trendspotters predict that the Android will be the world's second biggest mobile operating system, pushing Blackberry as well as Apple down the pecking order.


Whatever mobile platform will become most popular, the app culture will somehow be part of its success. Early adaptor Stephen Fry has just launched his autobiography The Fry Chronicles in app form. And not just as an eBook. The MyFry app comes with a nice-looking visual interface and content tagging, which cleverly enables people to read it in a non-linear way.


Are URLs the new cookies?

Twitter's yearly traffic is up 400%. But the traffic on their own website is up by only 100%, with users preferring the use of clients like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Twitter has now announced a redesign of their .com site, which they hope will make it a far more popular destination. Techcrunch did a good appraisal.

But Twitter's real power may lie in the humble URL shortener. Alistair Croll points out that:

Web marketers obsess over the "funnel" — the steps from first contact to purchase. They try to optimize it constantly, tweaking an offer or moving an image. They want to know everything about a buyer or a visitor.

Web analytics is a huge industry, but the tools marketers rely on to understand visitors are breaking. Cookies, long the basis for tracking users, need web browsers to store them. In a world where we share URLs via email and social networks, those cookies get lost along the way, and with them the ability to track viral spread of a message.

And when we're talking apps this problem becomes worse. However, because Twitter controls the core of its service it does not have this problem. Croll again:

This is why short URLs are so important. URLs survive the share. Because the interested reader is forced to go to the URL shortener to map the short URL to the real one, whoever owns the shortener sees the engagement between the audience and the content, no matter where it happens. That's why URLs are the new cookies.

Spot the pig

A South African is being hunted by police for his reporting of police road blocks on Twitter. A debate over circumvention of the law versus citizens organising against corrupt police has eschewed.

Is this evidence of the malevolence of the crowd or another Ushahidi? At first @pigspotter reported road blocks himself. Now his 'crowd' are sending him reports and he Retweets it. Read an interview with him here. Thanks to @Kuberkoos for the informing us.

Creative of the week – Evan Roth

Remember those GIF animations? Those were the days. Now, artist/researcher and founder of the Graffiti Research Lab Evan Roth has edited his archive of his old school animations into a 10-minute GIF-fest.

Tech insight of the week – Death of RSS? Or Death of XML?

This week saw a flood of Death of RSS posts, tweets, and statuses. Most of these came in the wake of the announcement that Bloglines, the web-based RSS reader, will be shutting down on the 1st of October. It made Adriaan think about the Death of XML.

This week saw a flood of Death of RSS posts, tweets, and statuses. Most of these came in the wake of the announcement that Bloglines, the web-based RSS reader, will be shutting down on the 1st of October. There was more than one well founded criticism of all this doom and gloom, one of them a short, angry post, consisting of almost nothing but a chart depicting Google Reader’s obviously exponential growth to date.

So – what’s all this then?

Unfortunately I cannot, and do not want to, make anything of the fact that Blogline is shutting down. A supermarket in my hometown once shut down when I was small, but somehow groceries just didn’t seem to go out of fashion. This debacle, along with the fact that RSS is built upon XML, did make me think about an entirely different issue though: the death of XML.

Death of XML

To be fair, I should rephrase it as The probable death of XML as communications protocol, possibly leading to the timely demise of XML altogether, sometime in the next 50 years. But that would’ve been just too long and awkward for a title.

I’ve been in love with XML ever since I started using it. Mostly because I’m an engineer, and XML is a complicated solution to a simple problem. XML is beautiful. XML is well formed, it’s extendable. You can use it to fill an entire page with a single tag, and thousands of nuances of attributes which might or might not be used in future. Many a late night we spent around the whiteboard, arguing over the exact schema to design for a specific problem – all of them being right, fo course, but each person believing in the superior beauty of their own schema.

I have wasted months, if not years, of my life on XML. It was months well spent.

Then came JSON.

JSON still makes me think of an array written a bit differently. There’s no design to it, and most arrays and objects can be converted to JSON by a three year old doodling on a piece of paper. The conversion algorithm is so simple, it can be implemented on dried leave.

This is why, shortly after AJAX became big in web development, even though the X in AJAX stands for XML, programmers started using JSON to replace XML as the communications protocol in AJAX.

The Twitter API supports both XML and JSON formats, with the JSON format being listed on top on all pages of their API documentation, a decision based on format popularity. The Facebook Graph API returns JSON only. The API has the following sentence in their API documentation:

” … note that json is the default response format. but xml is also available … “

All of this makes me believe, as a communication protocol, XML is in the process of making way for a more agile successor. It will be missed.

In Dominos Pizza’s June earnings report their CEO Chris Moore reported the company had increased its pre-tax profit by nearly 29%. By all accounts this was a fantastic result.

Dominos Social Media

Dominos Social Media

Mr Moore points to the rise in online orders — which now account for 32.7% of all orders — as proof that their web and social media efforts are paying off. Moore reports that when it comes to the web, “Our main Facebook site now has in excess of 36,000 fans … In addition, we have led the way with social media initiatives such as affiliate marketing, our superfans programme and the development of a link up with Foursquare.”

RAAK wanted to find out more. So we asked Dominos to share a few secrets with us and they obliged.

RAAK: How does your affiliate marketing and Superfans scheme work?

DP: Our social affiliate tool is free to install on a user’s social network profile page, website or blog and we then pay them a commission for any Domino’s sales generated.



Our Superfans activity is a weekly competition on our Facebook page – every Friday at 5pm we reward the Pizza King and Queen, a free pizza based on how many new friends of theirs have become fans of our page.

RAAK: How do you use Facebook to drives sales?

DP: Facebook provides a great way for us to engage with our fans and customers. It’s an ideal platform for promoting our latest products and promotions, as well as collecting their feedback and views. Many of our franchisees also have their own Facebook pages for their stores and use them opportunity to highlight their own deals and in-store offers.

RAAK: Every Wednesday, the mayor of any Domino’s store receives a free small pizza. In addition, any Foursquare user who checks in at a Domino’s store via Foursquare and spends over £10 will receive a free garlic pizza bread, which of these incentives, being the mayor, or merely checking in, do you think were most positive for your business?

DP: Our customers are heavy users of social media so it makes sense for us to communicate with them in this way. Following the success of our recent Facebook superfan initiative and affiliates’ widget, Foursquare was the obvious next step. We think both incentives have worked well so far as they give our customers another reason to go in-store.

RAAK: Dominos does not have stores with dine-in restaurants in the UK. Online sales is a major and growing revenue stream for Dominos. Foursquare is all about going to physical stores. Isn’t it odd for you to use Foursquare since your primarily a delivery service?

DP: Local marketing activity is a key part of our strategy and new tools such as Foursquare, which encourage people to engage with their nearest store, provide another great opportunity. In addition, we’ve just launched a campaign around lunch with our new oven-baked subs, which are ideal for people to either order for delivery or pick up themselves from their nearest store during a lunchbreak.

RAAK: Did you find that there is a problem of users gaming the Foursquare system to become mayor of Dominos?

DP: Foursquare already has measures to ensure users are physically in or around locations when they check in by checking venue location, venue radius, device location and device accuracy. If Foursquare thinks a user is far away from the venue based on those criteria when they check in, it will display an “Oops, it looks like you’re a little far away” message. If Foursquare thinks a user is consistently far away from where they’re checking in, they won’t award the user with points, badges or mayorships for check-ins that don’t appear legitimate. As a result, we’re confident that users aren’t cheating the system to become a mayor of Domino’s.

Dominos Superfans

Dominos Superfans

RAAK: Many businesses struggle with the question where to put social media in the company. Be it PR, brand, direct response, online or even customer service. How do you do it?

DP: Because of the wide and varied nature of social media, we share the activity between a number of departments, including marketing, PR and customer comments. Marketing and PR tend to lead ongoing activity such as Facebook and Twitter, with support from our customer comments team as needed. Our marketing team and digital agency arrange our proactive communications and
activities, such as our recent YouTube takeover to promote our lunch campaign.

RAAK: Facebook has just launched Places. It has a userbase several times the size of Foursquare. Do you think it’s an interesting marketing opportunity?

DP: We’ve had great success to date with our Foursquare promotion here in the UK so it will be interesting to see how Facebook Places is received by both brands and the social networking community. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it.

RAAK: You are launching an iPhone app. What do you hope your app will achieve?

DP: Online orders account for such an increasingly large proportion of our business so a Domino’s app was the obvious next step. We wanted to make it even quicker and easier for customers to get a piping hot pizza, wherever they are. In true Domino’s style, the new app does just that and also adds in a bit of fun, which builds on the great success of our interactive pizza tracker. We hope our
customers will app-solutely love it!

RAAK: Dominos seems to have embraced social, mobile & location. Why do you regard it as important?

DP: We spend a lot of time looking at the demographics of our customers and making sure we’re communicating with them using the latest, most popular and relevant media. Social, mobile and location all fit within our core marketing strategy as an effective means to reach our target audiences.

RAAK: Have you considered services like Groupon as part of your strategy?

DP: We already use a number of voucher code websites as part of our very successful affiliate marketing programme. We’re always looking at possible new sites to partner with and, of course, this would include the likes of Groupon, among others.

RAAK: Why is Dominos so forward thinking compared to other brands in the social and online space?

DP: We’re always looking for new ways to communicate with our customers and the latest innovations to enable us to do this. We’re excited by the growing number of opportunities available and want to make sure that as well as delivering delicious, piping hot pizza, we’re also a brand that people want to engage with and keep looking out to see what we’ll do next.

The more you Like, the less you Pay

We’ve talked about Groupon and Pay With A Tweet a few times as an example of how to harness the power of social buying. This week we saw 2 examples of brands that understand that mechanism really well.

Uniqlo set up a system called Lucky Counter, where, if you tweeted about the product, you could bring down its price. Not just for yourself, but for all other people that took part in the campaign. Obviously there was a minimum price set, but people managed to get the price of a jumper down from £24.99 to £9.99. Not bad value for a Tweet.

Another example that was less publicised was Skoda Belgium who also this week launched Fabia I Like. Their currency of choice was the ‘Facebook Like’: the more you Like, the less you Pay. The difference here is that they only sell 1 car and use an auction system to decide who gets to buy. Less social and more of a PR stunt. But still an interesting example.

Cash location

According to a report from the US based ABI Research, location-based marketing will increase from only about $43 million this year to $1.8 billion by 2015.

Find a good blog

Ever since Technorati shut down its Blogger Index, it’s been quite a hard slog to find large blogs in different categories. Google’s own Blog Search only returned blog posts on particular search terms. But now there’s a new way to search for Blogs on Google. Try it with say, financial services or Wags.

Wave in a box

Sure, Google Wave is dead. But even Google Wave’s biggest detractors thought the tool did explore powerful new ways in which people could collaborate on documents and more. The good news is that Google has announced that they will open-source Wave’s code. They call it Wave in a Box.

Who pays for Social Media?

Companies are waking up to social media. But which department’s responsibility is it? And perhaps more importantly – who pays for it? Brand? PR? Direct Response?

Shag the bear

A neat example of how you can use YouTube in a creative, interactive way from TippEx this week. After watching a short movie where a hunter is about to shoot a bear, you get asked to influence the story. Whatever you put in will load a different movie. And yes, they anticipated that we all would put in ‘made sweet love’.

TippEx YouTube

Creative of the week – Dominic Wilcox

My new project to make a creative thing each day for 30 days. If you would like me to spend a day at your work/home/whereever email me #adf

That was a tweet from Product Designer and all round creative thinker @dominicwilcox a few weeks ago. As part of Anti Design Festival, he’s now doing exactly that: make a new thing each day of the month. See what he can do with one of those pop-up train food tray thingies. And how he turns a bread into a lamp. Hopefully we’ll get him over to RAAK HQ before the end of the month.

Dominic Wilcox - Bread Lamp

Tech insight of the week – Twitter’s new API: prepare to mainline your tweets

The effects that Twitter User Streams and Site Streams are going to have on application user experience is bound to blow the most desensitized, information-soaked mind of even the most hardcore Twitter addict … at least for a while. Read More.

Perhaps calling it Twitter’s new API is a bit of a misnomer, since Twitter announced User Streams and Site Streams in April already. It is still in beta though, and developers have only been given access to it last month. On top of that, we are not allowed to build public apps with it yet. So, in a sense, it is new (if, like me, you’re a bit old fashioned)

Twitter User Stream

So, what’s the deal with these new API’s anyway?

In the past (which is now) Twitter applications have had (or still have) to request data off the Twitter timeline one batch at a time, using the Twitter REST API. Each batch consists of 20 – 200 tweets. In other words, the developer of an app will decide to poll Twitter, say, once every few minutes, effectively asking Twitter if there are any new Tweets. This is like registering a poste restante postal address, and going to the Post Office each time you think you might have post.

To make things more difficult, these API requests are rate limited. That means you’re not allowed to go to the Post Office as often as you like. If you do, the security guard will close the door in your face when you try and go in, and only let other people in. Sounds frustrating, huh?

See why the Stream API have developers sipping their Caffeinated Root Beer with renewed vigor?

Suddenly, you get a post box in your front door. And every time a letter arrives it finds its way into your house, as if by magic! This is what User Streams are all about. Instead of making numerous calls to the Twitter API, a connection is made, and kept open. Over this connection, Twitter then sends any relevant tweets as soon as they get it. It is the future! No more rate limiting!

Site Streams are even more powerful. This is a single connection over which numerous users’ tweets are sent. Think, for instance, of an application with a number of users. The application won’t have to create a User Stream connection for each one of its Users, but it only needs to open a single Site Stream and all its users’ tweets are sent over that stream, leaving the sorting for the application. This is like a block of flats sharing a kind of premium post box – one that gets special attention from the Post Office.

So, what will the end user experience be?

No more insane refreshing to try and see all your Tweets in real time – by default, any well written application will deliver your timeline in realtime. Imagine the user experience on searches, especially ones that return a lot of results. At the moment the result is delivered in large batches of results, a while apart. It makes it very difficult to follow it in realtime.

In future you’ll see these as they arrive at Twitter, one by one, giving a very good indication of the speed at which they arrive. The future is now – it’s time to tweet like an addict.

Number 7 already. The RAAKonteur is getting old. Only kidding. We’re fresher than ever. Below are the stories from the world of social & digital that made us sit up this week.

Social Media Optimisation – from SEO to SMO

Search is down. Seriously. In the US the use of search engines has gone down by a whopping 16% year-on-year.

While SEO and Paid Search campaigns are certainly not dead (9 billion searches in July), it does confirm that a lot of web traffic is generated through social platforms, i.e. recommendation and word of mouth. Yet another argument to make your brand and online presence also Social Media Optimised.

Use your audience to market

Point in case: this piece of Nielsen data shows the power of social in online ads. Their research tested 3 kinds of ads on Facebook: a standard homepage ad, an ad with social context (where they show your friends that are already fans) and impressions that originated from the homepages of friends that have engaged with a brand.

While ads have of course a high reach, it found that combining an ad with earned media (i.e. the ‘organic impressions’ that originated from friends) made the campaign 3 to 4 times more effective.

Healthy society

Last week we wrote about how policy makers and government could use incentive systems from games and social media to ‘nudge’ for better behavior. Yesterday Foursquare announced their first cause-related badge in conjunction with MTV: STD testing.

All change at Brandspace

MySpace is – yet again – implementing a number of changes, including allowing users to post to Facebook. It also claims it is the place for brands to find traction on the net. Its chief revenue officer, told AdWeek this week:

“MySpace is a social-activation platform. We’re drop-dead amazing at getting consumers and creators to participate.”

But without a major redesign of its functionality it will keep haemorrhaging users. And without users we agree with eConsultancy – all this change will be blowing in the wind.

All change at Apple too

Actually, we wouldn’t want to be at MySpace HQ today. Apple’s announcement about Ping, its social network for music, must make a few people there nervous.

Even though the service is getting mixed reviews, it’s interesting to see that Apple is building on its strength (entertainment content) and is adding a social layer to it. Let’s see how good they are at it.

Email becomes a platform

In RAAKonteur 2 we told you how email was becoming more social with services like Rapportive. A number of other cool new services for Gmail has just been announced, prompting Read Write Web to enthuse that finally email is becoming a platform, much like the iPhone, WordPress and Facebook.

Besides Rapportive we particularly like Wisestamp, which allows you to display your latest Tweets or Blog posts in your email signature.

Creatives of the week – Chris Milk, Arcade Fire & Google Chrome

Last week we complained about the lack of creativity in music videos and boom, this week we get The Wilderness Downtown, an interactive ‘project’ for The Arcade Fire.

To show off the HTML5 power of their Chrome browser, Google worked with director Chris Milk to make a super-engaging film that integrates Google Streetview in a rather impressive and very personal way.

Tech insight of the week – Under Twitter’s hood

The beauty of Twitter is its simplicity and atomicity. Very little of its technical complexity is hidden. This does not mean however that there might not be a lot of information in each tweet. To the contrary.

In this blogpost we explore how a bit of lateral thinking can get more out of Twitter.