are x-factor clips overly manufactured to go viral?

In a social media course I attended yesterday, we had a look at This X Factor / Daryl Markham audition clip, or a slightly abridged version of it. It seemed a well put together reality piece, but when I was rewatching it while working on another monitor, I noticed how much the swelling music, and the person running at the end felt – staged? What do you think: tugging too much at the heartstrings, or is that the point?

takeaway pho noodle soup

A week or more ago I had a craving for Pho soup, so I checked Helen’s blog for ideas and found an early review of this Pho place. When there’s a baby to factor in, spontaneous restaurant meals are a little harder to come by, and so I opted for takeaway.

When I saw the effort put into the takeaway presentation at An Restaurant (a place in Bankstown that sells only Pho noodle soup), I thought a blog post was in order.

the takeaway bag

Normally when you open up a takeaway bag, you’re at a loss as to which meal is which. If you’re lucky, someone will have scrawled a vague description of one or two of the dishes on their lids, but that’s as far as it goes.

Here’s an unboxing of the Pho. First, at the top of the bag is a bag containing bean sprouts, basil and chilli.

beansprouts, chilli, basil

Remove that bag, and you can see the takeaway spoon and chopsticks, a printed set of instructions in two languages, and the first of the sauces.

chopsticks, spoons, sauces

Here are the instructions up close.


Under the instructions are the meat-noodles-and-greens packs, and some more sauces.

meat and noodles

Oh, and the soup containers are sealed, and then bagged to avoid any liquid spill. Here’s the entire contents.

unboxing complete

Follow the instructions (microwaving the relevant ingredients in order, so that everything is safe to eat, and you’re ready to enjoy the Pho soup at home.

all the ingredients heated up

What’s the best takeaway experience you’ve ever had?

ready to eat

The future of copy-pasting on news sites?

37 signals shows off the new “Smart” pasting at The New Yorker site. When you copy something to the clipboard, the URL of the article, and a “read more” link are appended to the excerpt.

In general I like the idea of having this option, but I would prefer to be able to permanently disable the feature if it’s causing me problems.

With such sites seeking to monetize everything they can, I think we’ll see more features like this: I would expect, sadly, that they’ll be used more for copy-protection purposes than to help users share content.