mnmlist: The Week in Social: Google vs Death, saying ‘yes’ to mystery, e-begging Groomzillas and The Fox is a proper hit

Google are out to eliminate death with their latest offshoot. Why we should vote ‘yes’ to mystery but ‘no’ to flying this couple’s parents to one of their four global wedding shindigs. And The Fox has cracked the US Top 100. Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

The Week in Social: Google vs Death, saying ‘yes’ to mystery, e-begging Groomzillas and The Fox is a proper hitGoogle vs Death

Google is no stranger to innovation and risk-taking. It’s short history is littered with staggering successes and some noble failures, but not content with self-driving cars and Google Glass, the company now wants to have a shot at tackling mortality. The soon-to-be-announced Calico company will ‘attempt to solve some of healthcare’s most vexing problems, ’reports Time.

Not much is know about the firm as yet but the CEO is Arthur Levinson who previously headed up biotech innovators, Genentech. Time speculates that Google will most likely seek to leverage its data-processing power in any attempt to prolong human life.

“In some industries, it takes ten or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Healthcare is certainly one of those areas,” said Larry Page. “Maybe we should shoot for the things that are really, really important so ten or 20 years from now we have those things done.”

Don’t feed the models

Crowdfunding has emerged as a viable way for people to find money to finance their projects without depending on the traditional outlets such as banks and venture capital. While there are risks associated with depending on funding from a lot of small investors, the model is attractive to community groups, tech developers, artists and now a couple of attractive models want your money to… fly their parents to their wedding.

Eric Turner and Morné Coetzer are getting married in South Africa next January and have turned to to raise $7,000 [UPDATE: the page has been removed] to fly Turner’s parents from Houston to South Africa for the event. The Internet, unsurprisingly, is not amused that the couple who met a year ago and since then ”have travelled the world together. London, Paris, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Ibiza, Houston, San Antonio, Austin” plan four events worldwide to celebrate their union.

One commenter on the crowdfund page is evenhanded: Story is sweet and best of luck to you, but… Accommodate the parents and those closest to you, don’t accommodate casual friends by having 4 different events. Asking invited guests to donate to a charity in lieu of gifts is commendable: you guys are not a charity though. You’ve created a sob story out of arrogance and have definitely created a new definition for crass.

Not everyone is annoyed; the couple have raised over $4,000 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, One Step Malawi are hoping to raise £5000 to build a school for orphans.

Voting ‘yes’ for mystery…

Musicians were the real early adopters of the crowdfunding model. This was largely out of necessity as the traditional model of record company backing collapsed or was rendered unnecessary by cheap technology.

However, having to be promoter, distributor and manager as well as artist has its downsides as Phil Elverum of Washington-based act Mount Eerie discovered when he received a polite request to exchange an album bought at a gig.

Elverum responds: You are not purchasing a reliable product like pants.  You are voting “yes” for mystery.  I know that I might resemble a store, with my website and merch table and all these commodities, but I am an artist and I believe that music should remain unpredictable and occasionally frustrating, and ultimately rewarding, magical.

The entire – very civil – exchange is both entertaining and illuminating as the roles of artist and businessperson continue to blur.


Here’s The Fox by Ylvis. This promotional clip for a Norwegian variety show is going viral with its almost 40 million spins on YouTube landing it at number 29 in the Billboard Hot 100. Makes Gangnam Style feel like a challenging BBC 4 documentary…


Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media and product delivery for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.