Scott Monty

Scott Monty

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.



Collaborative Economy

  • 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

Legal / HR


  • 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. 
    • It turns out the joke was on us, as 48 hours later, it was revealed that it was a stunt - one that proved the power of the teen social media machine. Or was it? The Twitter account that posted the first image of Alex is now locked down. (GigaOm and Mashable)

Image credit: TechCrunch (Flickr)