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 Matt.

1. Great white lie

A lot of Facebook and Twitter users were left red-faced this week after liking and sharing what they believed to be National Geographic’s ‘Photo of the Year’.

Wow indeed.

As it turns out, the competition has nothing to do with National Geographic and the photo isn’t even a real photo at all.

Not a real shark (well duh) - Source: Shutterstock

Not a real shark (well duh) – Source: Shutterstock

National Geographic did not see the funny side, but did take the opportunity to share some awesome non-fake shark photos from awesome real-life photographers.

2. Internet of sh*t

IoT (the Internet of Things) is a term used to describe physical devices, often referred to as ‘smart’ devices, that are a capable of connecting to a network.

Since the first internet connected toaster was unveiled at a show in 1989, the IoT ecosystem has grown considerably, and gotten a little out of hand: from connected plant pots that alert users when plants need more water, toothbrushes that send analytical brush reports, and cutlery that buzzes if you’re eating too quickly, the vast majority of connected devices are superfluous at best, utterly pointless at worst.

My new favourite Twitter account, @internetofshit does a great job of finding the best of worst that the IoT has to offer, such as this (Warning: NSFW language):

3. A freelance revolution?

A new website called Freesist announced itself to the world earlier this week, with the following Tweet:

Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, what this Tweet does not tell you is that ‘join the revolution’, actually means ‘work for zero reward’. According to the website, ‘Freesist lets you find people who are willing to work for a valuable exchange, rather than money.’

Not surprisingly, the response has been less than enthusiastic, especially amongst the freelance community:

4. Offended people are offended

There’s a game causing a lot controversy this Christmas, and for a change it isn’t Cards Against Humanity. Santa vs Jesus, a Kickstarter funded game in which players compete to win the most “believers”, has been met with a lot of criticism due to its ‘offensive, shocking and blasphemous’ nature (the words of one Amazon reviewer, not mine).

Another reviewer grumbled, ‘I find it in the poorest of taste and offensive. Jesus (complete with nail holes in hands) and Santa with their followers/friends fighting over a Christmas tree. How upsetting!… Take it out Amazon.’

Yet for every bad review, the game has received many more positive, and given the amount of free publicity the company has received as a result of this debate, they’re unlikely to care too much one way or another.

Tongue in cheek fun or poor taste? You can cast your vote here.

5. Genius overpriced rock

Fashion retailer, Nordstrom is selling a rock in a leather pouch for $85 and people are losing their minds over it. The product has been on sale all year but went viral earlier this week when it was discovered and Tweeted by some eagle eyed shoppers.

nordstrom rock - My Five 213 - Browser Media

The general response to ‘Medium Leather Wrapped Stone’ has been disbelief, even anger at the sheer audacity of putting a rock in a hobbit’s coin purse, and trying to flog it at close to 100 bucks.

Social media aside, the press coverage has been crazy; CNN, Gizmodo, Huffington Post, GQ, Cosmopolitan – the list goes on and on – have all covered the ‘story’ and most have done Nordstrom a massive favour by linking to the product.

Nordstrom appears to have failed in its quest to make the humble rock this season’s must-have accessory, however what it has done is inadvertently created one the best pieces of link bait I’ve seen this year. Jokes on you, media.


Also published on Medium.