Who is @GCHQ's "barneyrooster"?

The British intelligence service GCHQ has been on Twitter since January 2016 - however they only sent their first tweet today. Hello, world. https://t.co/SROtSsE8KB — GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016 As I never tire of saying, Bitly is a terrible at keeping your data private. Simply add a + on to the URL and you […] Read More

Inferring Facebook's Mobile Use Via Bit.ly

Analysts estimates are always interesting to read - especially if you know the real statistics which they are trying to prophetize. Even when someone releases "official" statistics, they're usually hard to verify independently, and even harder to analyse by region. Benedict Evans - who I've had the pleasure of meeting at Mobile Monday - published […] Read More

No One Scans QR Codes - Apart From These 25 Thousand People

Earlier this year, I blogged about seeing these QR codes appearing on some train tickets. The campaign itself wasn't that great - a poor call-to-action and a decidedly mobile-unfriendly site - but I was interested in how many people had scanned them. Thanks to bit.ly's practice of exposing everyone's statistics, we can see exactly how […] Read More

The Perils of URL Shortners

I'm not a big fan of URL shortners - bit.ly, t.co, goo.gl, ow.ly, etc - I understand the need for them, but they seem to offer a fairly poor service in terms of privacy and usefulness. Take this recent example from Vodafone. Aside from the obvious downsides (user doesn't know where the link will take […] Read More

Facebook's Mobile Adverts - Real Stats

Facebook has been getting a lot of criticism for its lack of mobile revenue. A fact it tried to hide from its IPO. Much ink has been spilled, but is it really necessary for Facebook to worry? Here's a quick case study. Facebook has, in its infinite wisdom, decided that I would be interested in […] Read More

More Real QR Statistics

Wandering through London today, I noticed that Southbank London has put QR codes on its posters. I've mentioned before the dangers of using Bit.ly as a QR code generator - as it allows us to peek at the codes' performance statistics. Here are the codes on the posters - click for bigger. As all the […] Read More

Bit.ly Considered Unsafe (for QR Codes)

(After Ben Metcalfe's post on the the vb.ly sage). As a mobile Internet consultant, companies often ask me which QR generator to use. There are many worth considering, but I always tell clients to avoid bit.ly. The security of Libya Internet organisations are probably not an immediate concern (you did know that's what .ly stands […] Read More

Tracey Emin, Cambridge University, QR Codes, Statistics and Bit.ly

I spend yesterday wandering around London and, as is my wont, spotted some QR codes which I think may interest readers of this blog. Tracey Emin The Hayward Gallery are having a Tracey Emin retrospective. At the start of the exhibition is this rather odd QR code. Why odd? Three main reasons. It leads directly […] Read More

Getting Images from a Foursquare Checkin

"Oi!" shouted Whatleydude, "Get Dabr to show images from foursquare checkins!" "Righty-ho sir!" I said. I started coding furiously. Of course, things are never quite as simple as I first thought.... So, how do we go from http://4sq.com/fgIWov to ? 1 Expand the URL Get your Bit.ly API Key. http://api.bitly.com/v3/expand ?shortUrl=http://4sq.com/fgIWov &login=YOUR_BIT_LY_USERNAME &apiKey=YOUR_BIT_LY_API_KEY &format=txt You […] Read More