Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Joe.

1) Simply Brilliant

Matt mentioned the 2015 John Lewis Christmas tv ad a couple of weeks ago. I have to confess that I hate it. I loved the penguin but this year’s offering winds me up on a number of levels and I am going to boycott John Lewis for the next 3 months!

I was, however, laughing out loud last night when I saw Aldi’s response for the first time. A great excellent example of reacting quickly and succeeding:

2) Say NO! to black Friday

I have unsubscribed to more emails this week than the rest of the year put together. A horrible epidemic of blackfriday-itis has most definitely spread across the Atlantic over the past few years and I do not think it is a good thing.

black friday

It seems that I am not the only one and there is a growing swell of opinion that concentrating retail activity into a handful of days in the year is not actually beneficial to anyone. We all love a bargain and retailers have traditionally relied on sales to boost revenue, but the frenzied buying that has been seen in recent years is scary and retail analysts have proven that it is not good economically.

I am not the only one to be thinking along these lines and a growing number of retailers are turning their back on black Friday and offering the promise of good value throughout the year. Bottoms up to Oddbins for their stance and sensible blog post. Other groups are also using the day to highlight a somewhat questionable tax strategy, but have yet to see any of these ads myself.

3) How do you rank no.1 on Google?

The million dollar question to which there is no simple answer.

Google has, however, just published a fairly comprehensive guide to how their quality team assess the quality of a webpage. It is available to download on the Webmastercentral blog and is worth a read.

The simple fact is that there is no silver bullet and you must devote a lot of effort to truly understand what your site visitors want and making your site excellent for those visitors. Content remains king. The guide is quite a read, but you can find a good (but still quite long) summary  on the MOZ blog.

4) Don’t believe everything you see

Adrian Gee is a name that you may not recognise but you may have seen some of his videos on your internet travels. He has built up quite a following as a result of some interesting ‘social experiments’ videos.

Recently, he posted a video that showed some very unscrupulous individuals stealing from a ‘blind’ person. A damming picture of our society was shown and it attracted a lot of media attention.

As it turns out, the unscrupulous individuals were not who we thought they were. They were actors and the whole video was staged.

You can see the background and watch his reaction to being outed in the following video (4:30 for the moment the lie is exposed):

He has subsequently come clean and admitted that it was indeed a fake and listed other videos which are not quite what they seem. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here….

5) #BrusselsLockdown

There is a bit of a tradition to post cute pictures of cats on our My Five posts.

This week saw a small onslaught of cat pictures on Twitter after the authorities requested people not to share anything related to their operations after the appalling events in Paris.  A nice response given the horrific situation.

cat picture

You can search for the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag on Twitter or there are some good collections at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34897645 and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brusselslockdown-belgians-respond-to-terror-alert-with-cat-pictures-to-confuse-suspects-a6744746.html.

Have a great weekend!