It was an election week but #AlexFromTarget trended, a major digital marketing acquisition, teenagers have a more nuanced view of privacy than you might expect, Millennials are set to dominate the workforce, a look at listening habits, Zuckerberg comes clean on Messenger, BuzzFeed DIY quizzes, another week of the soap opera behind the scenes at Uber, the use of small data, deciding what to measure, the best branded content of October and more, it's This Week in Digital.
A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week, I compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, business, digital communications and marketing in order to keep leaders up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in your job. And now you have the option of just subscribing to this newsletter if you wish.
If you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links by subscribing to the This Week in Digital Magazine.
- US midterm elections were Tuesday; the Empire State Building, with its sophisticated lighting system, teamed up with CNN to light the building with the election results throughout the evening. (Twitter)
PHOTOS: @CNN lighting the #EmpireStateBuilding with midterm Senate election results! #CNNElection pic.twitter.com/Y7HXcQa4xC
— Empire State Bldg (@EmpireStateBldg) November 5, 2014
- Ad conglomerate Publicis, still stunned from the failure of the Omnicom merger, is acquiring digital marketing powerhouse Sapient for about $3.7 billion - and the odd man out throws some barbs. (WSJ and Business Insider)
- Social media influencers are often misunderstood - and in some cases are resented - by their non-digital colleagues. If you really want to understand why these influencers are valuable to your company, take a look at six traits they share. (Inc.)
- The truth about teenagers, the Internet and privacy: to put it in Facebook's terms, it's complicated. (Fast Company)
- And just like that, productivity plummeted. The Internet Archive now has 900 classic arcade games available on your browser. Chalk one up for cultural heritage in the digital world. (PC World)
- Longtime platform and network BlogHer has been purchased by SheKnows, a female-centric platform. (AdAge)
- According to Edison Research's report The Infinite Dial 2014, 39 million people listened to a podcast last month. What's with the renaissance of podcasting? (Edison Research and New York Magazine)
- Mark Zuckerberg offered an explanation as to why Messenger was pushed as a standalone app. The bottom line: apps can - and should - do only one thing well. (The Verge)
- Facebook is Preferred Marketing Developers program is now known as Facebook Marketing Partners. Substantial changes include dividing up teams based on what objective they specialize in (ad technology, media buying, small business solutions and content marketing) to allow clients to focus on different objectives such as awareness, content optimization, lead generation, etc. (Inside Facebook)
- SnapChat is incorporating brands into its "Our Stories" collections - an advertising type that's similar to TV - particularly around live events. (AdAge)
- Could LinkedIn beat Salesforce at its own game? Some think so, particularly with the amount of thought leadership currently exhibited within the platform. (TechCrunch)
- Microsoft has fired its global advertising team as part of a larger plan to eliminate some 18,000 jobs. (Business Insider)
- The cloud is getting crowded. Move over, iCloud, Flickr, Google+, etc.: Amazon now offers unlimited photo storage and backup to Amazon Prime members. (The Verge)
- You know those ubiquitous BuzzFeed quizzes? You're about to see more. BuzzFeed announced that users can now make their own quizzes. Sorry, brand publishers. You have to pay for that feature. (BuzzFeed)
- A 26 year-old woman took Uber home on Halloween after her birthday celebration. When she awoke the next day, she was greeted with a $360 bill, which she promptly crowdsourced payment for. (Business Insider)
- Airbnb needs to figure out how it will evolve its relationship with cities. An interview with CEO Brian Chesky examines that. (McKinsey Insights)
- Kara Swisher takes a look at the Uber Man himself, CEO Travis Kalanick - and his fiery temper that is directed at regulators, the taxi industry, competitors (attempting to hamper Lyft's fundraising), and even customers. To quote one of Uber's early investors, "It’s hard to be a disrupter and not be an asshole." (Vanity Fair)
- It looks like the culture is working: Lyft is suing its former COO, who they claim stole confidential documents before departing to become the COO of Uber. (TechCrunch)
Metrics / Measurement / Big Data
- It's indisputable: of the 50 most innovative companies of 2014, strong innovators are three times more likely to rely on big data analytics. (Forbes)
- Big data is like being at a cocktail party with hundreds of people and being unable to hear any of them. What about using small data? (Holmes Report)
- Contrary to popular belief, everything is measurable in PR. The question is, what's worth measuring? Before doing creative work, it's important to determine how to measure what matters most. (SHIFT Communications and Think with Google)
Legal / HR
- Not only did hackers get 56 million credit card numbers in the recent Home Depot security breach, but they also made off with some 53 million email addresses. (ZDNet)
- 2015 marks the year when Millennials will become the majority of the workforce. This study takes a look at the collision course of cultures between Millennials and traditional employers. (Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding)
- Content marketing is experiencing something of a crisis of confidence. Is it worth it? The key is to match what you spend with areas where consumers spend time. (Venture Beat)
- A new twist on content: storytelling within gaming platforms. Kevin Spacey addressed this in his keynote at Content Marketing World in September, and now he debuts in Call of Duty. This portends an opportunity for brands as well as actors. (New York Times)
- A roundup of the best branded content in October includes:
- A series of short holiday videos from Sofia Coppola for The Gap.
- Honda's double-sided story with an extraordinarily creative use of video.
- A captivating story with original content, multimedia elements and interactivity for Cole Haan by the sophisticated content studio at the New York Times.
- Twitter's mapping of NFL fans across the country
- An extraordinary 46-minute documentary on the future of fashion from Electrolux.
- Netflix's outdoor GIFs.
- Ouija's 20-second Snapchat ad.
When You Have Time: Essential Reading / Listening / Watching
- Lewis Carroll, in his mathematician and logician life (before he wrote Alice in Wonderland), wrote an essay called "How to Learn," in which he outlines four rules for digesting information and mastering the art of reading that still resonate today. (Brain Pickings)
- Cutting across the digital divide between the CMO and CIO in four steps. (Econsultancy)
- Sometimes the Internet is a strange place. This week, for seemingly no apparent reason, #AlexFromTarget started trending. Less than 24 hours later, the unsuspecting cashier had over 330,000 Twitter followers (nearing 700K at the time of publication) and was the top trending topic, and later in the week, he appeared on Ellen.
Image credit: TechCrunch (Flickr)