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Zoe Kleinman | 17:32 UK time, Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Screengrab of Isaiah MustafaOn Tech Brief today: Sweet smell of success for Old Spice, the two-second love affair and the end of the road for the oldest PC games magazine.

• It's not often that Tech Brief feels particularly fragrant but the web is buzzing today over an ad campaign launched by traditional men's aftershave Old Spice.

Former American football player Isaiah Mustafa is appearing in a string of YouTube videos voicing personal replies to tweets sent in the direction of @oldspice on Twitter - Gizmodo, the Huffington Post and Digg founder Kevin Rose are among those to have received a video answer to their tweets.

A rather breathless Jordan Stone at Digital Prescription reports :

"It's still early in the year, but I think we might have 'the social media campaign' of 2010. Managing to bridge their ATL activity with one-to-one responses via social media is brilliant, but the fact that the responses are so consistently funny puts this over the top."

• Take That once sang that it only takes a minute to fall in love... unless you're a marketing e-mail in which case you have about two seconds, according to e-mail analyst firm Litmus.

Paul at Litmus blogged about his findings, based on a trail of four million opened messages, where 51% were deleted within two seconds of being opened. He said:

"In the best email campaigns, 77% of people fully read the message - On average, 0.12% of readers printed the email - In one campaign (a coupon), 4% of people printed the message - On average, 0.63% of readers forwarded the email - In the most viral campaign, 9% of readers forwarded the email"

Rock Paper Shotgun says a succinct goodbye to PC Zone magazine, launched in 1993, which is set to close after the next issue is published on 2 September:

"Farewell, then, to the UK's first PC games mag. Trails were blazed. It Was Important. And now it's gone."

Jon Orwant, engineering manager for Google Books, Magazines and Patents has announced on Google's blog that the web giant will fund 15 research projects totalling almost $1m into the analysis of digitized texts:

"Shouldn't we be able to characterize Victorian society by quantifying shifts in vocabulary--not just of a few leading writers, but of every book written during the era? Shouldn't it be easy to locate electronic copies of the English and Latin editions of Hobbes' Leviathan, compare them and annotate the differences? Shouldn't a Spanish reader be able to locate every Spanish translation of "The Iliad"? Shouldn't there be an electronic dictionary and grammar for the Yao language? We think so."

•Craig Newmark, founder of social network Craigslist, is campaigning in Washington for a more open US government, writes the Economist. The Obama administration could learn a lot from the success of Craigslist, suggests the Babbage blog:

"Perhaps Mr Obama could tap Mr Newmark's experience more widely, appointing him as the government's own chief customer-service representative: if federal services were all as cheap, simple and useful as craigslist, that really would be a public-sector revolution."

Some of the more unusual items to appear on Craigslist over time have included replica Pope hats, 300 stuffed penguins and a bathroom for rent.

Perhaps not quite the sort of openness the Economist had in mind.

If you want to suggest links or stories for Tech Brief, you can send them to @bbctechbrief on Twitter, tag them bbctechbrief on Delicious or e-mail them to

Links in full

Jordan Stone | Digital Prescriptions | Old Spice - social media campaign of 2010?
Paul | Litmus | New Email Metrics: Two seconds to make an impression
Jon Orwant | Google Blog | Our commitment to the digital humanities
RPS | Rock Paper Shotgun |Bye-bye PC Zone
Babbage | The Economist | Mr Newmark goes to Washington

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