New Zealand Tourism, Twitch Chats, Google AMP, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, February 24, 2016


The government of New Zealand has released a bunch of tourism data sets. “A new online one-stop-shop for tourism data will help businesses and regions take advantage of unprecedented growth in the industry, Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says. The New Zealand Tourism Dashboard brings together a range of tourism datasets produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Statistics New Zealand.”


Twitch will start archiving the chat of its broadcasts. “The bedrock of Twitch is its community and a good deal of watching a live broadcast’s fun comes from interacting with the regulars who show up in chat. And while you can always check out an archived video if you miss when your favorite streamer goes live, you’re missing out on a chunk of the experience because chat wasn’t saved along with the clip. Until now. As part of the live-broadcasting service’s bigger push toward video-on-demand, Twitch is including the chat log with each previously aired video.” Read the article for a couple of twists for this, it isn’t just “everything” archiving.

Interested in Google’s AMP initiative? Is your site hosted on Then you are already AMP-ready. “AMP (also known as Accelerated Mobile Page) is an open-source project that borrows some ideas from Facebook’s Instant Articles and brings them to the open web. An AMP-enabled page loads four times faster, and it could be useful when you are in the middle of nowhere with a bad cell reception. The WordPress team has followed the project and worked on its own implementation of AMP. Starting today, any website on now automatically supports AMP.” If you self-host WordPress there’s a plugin available; see the link for details.

Pocket is going to start experimenting with sponsored content. “But these aren’t the crappy click-bait you see below lots of blog posts. ‘We’re being very choosy” Pocket founder Nate Weiner tells me. “We don’t want this to become the bottom of the barrel content.'”

Congratulations to the Library of Congress for archiving its 100,000th veteran’s recollection. “Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of America’s war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from them and better understand the realities of war. These 100,000 collections are of veterans’ first-person narratives from WWI though the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”


Not TOO creepy: using Facebook Messenger to track friends’ sleeping habits. “Soren Louv-Jansen, a developer at Tradeshift, discovered a way to track his friends’ sleeping habits through Messenger by coding a simple program that gathers digital IDs and receipts left behind by the platform.”

Your Wednesday Weird: Two Thomas the Tank Engine-themed Twitter accounts got into a fight.

Good stuff from New Scientist: Barks and _ebooks: why we love robo Twitter accounts. The Lonely Project sounds like a terrific idea.


Wow. It looks like France is about to present Google with a very high tax bill. “France is seeking 1.6 billion euros ($1.76 billion) in back taxes from U.S. Internet giant Google (GOOGL.O), criticized for its use of aggressive tax optimization techniques, a source at the finance ministry said on Wednesday.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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