Spring is out, read about it on Facebook





Another new media milestone was reached 10 days ago when web research company Parse.ly announced Facebook has overtaken Google as a referral source for news. The newsfeed now delivers proper news, in addition to breaded cats.

Facebook has certainly become my favourite real news source. Following events unfolding has become so much easier, because Facebook's algorithms learn what you respond to and intuitively delivers what you want. This means the days of print publishers doing research after the fact about reader habits is simply no longer valid.

Analysing Facebook link trends to stories and news provides much better insights into who the followers of a particular news source are, compared to traditional readership research.

What I also like about Facebook’s news referral capability is that good, but old stories seem to pop back into one's personal news feed via friend likes. Take this example from Business Insider about a Mad Man's perspective on life as a creative in an agency. Without a referral system to news sources, a gem such as this would have disappeared. (By the way, Business Insider itself understands the fundamentals of the new newsroom. Advertising’s out. Value-adding product sales is in. The news is just a conduit.)

My father was an avid reader of newspapers. As a lexicographer he followed word use in general media and scissored interesting snippets from newspapers for dictionary use. Facebook’s newsfeed now reveals a much richer array...






It’s incredible how we’ve just managed to spring straight into summer from winter this year. A few weeks ago we were still wearing scarves and boots and this week the average maximum temperature was 28 degrees C in Jozi. What happened to waiting until September? It seems to me that just like our lives, the seasons have sped up. Not that I’m complaining. I love this time of the year!

Spring always heralds new beginnings, a serious clean-up and change. It’s a time to slough off winter, no matter how comfortable it’s been, and get into the last quarter of the year before the end of year holidays creep up on us. At The Toast, it means we have six months of our financial year under our belts, with another half dozen to go. We see this as “the glass is already half full” and the half-way mark of this year’s business marathon. Hopefully it’s all downhill from here!

We are really excited to be welcoming Quinton Hoffman to The Toast from 1 September as senior designer. Quinton worked with us in our magazine publishing past and will be a valuable asset to our design team.

This time of year also has a tendency to go really fast. It shouldn’t, technically, with the longer days, but somehow it just does. Scarily, we’ve probably got a month before retailers will start advertising Xmas…



The Flying Toasters

The name for our Toast sporting team may be The Flying Toasters, but we don’t often get a chance to work on our true flying skills. But when the chance came up recently to hop into a chopper to the bush, we were there like a bear!


Our Cat Parade

Barloworld Equipment kept The Toasters on their toes with a number of Cool Cat campaigns this month. Here’s some of our recent work.


Rumours were doing the rounds on social media that it would appear as if there were two moons on the evening of the 27th of August. Many were fooled into believing that Mars will pass so close to Earth that it’d appear to be the same size as the moon, creating the impression of two moons rising together.

But for anyone looking, Mars did not appear anywhere close to the size of the moon.
NASA explains that to the unaided eye, Mars looked like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon. The red planet did appear six times bigger and 85 times brighter in the night sky than it normally does, but nothing close to the size of the Moon!

The expectation created of a “double moon” blew the reality of the phenomenon completely out of proportion. However, the story was definitely generated a lot of interest. According to Grimsby Telegraph in the UK, a Google search for double moon shows up 136 million results.

Read more here
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