Uber's no-good, horrible, very bad week, more 2015 predictions than you can shake a stick at, putting the 'no' in innovation, updates to Facebook's search tool, Instagram surpasses Twitter but Twitter doesn't care, the biggest media company of the future, the data behind binge listening to podcasts, understanding the quality of your audience, the FTC cracks down on agency social media activity, the evolution of the collaborative economy 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 subscribing just to this newsletter if you wish.
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- It's nearly 2015, and that means the usual trope of predictive posts are already out there. But this one is unlike the others. Shel Holtz takes a look at 15 of the essential things communicators and marketers should focus on in 2015. (IABC's Communication World Magazine)
- And for a look at mobile, Aaron Strout rounded up a number of heavy-hitters to determine mobile/location-based predictions for 2015. (Marketing Land)
- As long as you're thinking about the end of the year, consider these five email marketing year end tasks to keep your list on the high functioning end. (Awaken Your Superhero)
- The Sherlock Holmes of digital marketing believes in being consumer obsessed, not killing the butterfly and connecting the dots, among other things. (LinkedIn Pulse)
- Related: don't put the 'no' in innovation. (YouTube)
- You can finally search for more than just friends or pages on Facebook - now you can search for posts. (Search Engine Land)
- Facebook is promising a number of new features and improvements to its publisher tool, including improved Insights, Interest Tagging and Post End Date that will allow publishers to have time-sensitive material phase out. (Facebook Media)
- Hachette is experimenting with Twitter, allowing authors to sell books from directly within tweets, keeping users on the site the entire time. (New York Times)
- The photo-sharing app announced that it will now offer verified accounts and has surpassed 300 million users, making it larger than Twitter. (TechCrunch)
- Twitter's Ev Williams isn't fazed. (Fortune)
- For a little fun, check out Instabattle, that site that pits Intagram accounts against each other. (Daily Dot)
- In an effort to keep top talent from posting on other video channels, YouTube is offering incentives and bonus to some of its top stars. (WSJ - subscription required)
- And it's probably worth their while to stick around. Jeffrey Katzenberg predicts that "Within five years, YouTube will be the biggest media platform of any, by far, in the entire world." (The New Yorker)
- Uber has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. The transportation disruptor was under scrutiny as one of its drivers in India was arrested for allegedly raping a passenger (Reuters), which resulted in officials banning Uber in Dehli. (WSJ India RealTime)
- On top of that, Uber has been banned in The Netherlands, Spain and Thailand (TechCrunch) and has launched in Portland, OR without regulatory approval from the city. (Oregon Live)
- And Uber is being sued in its home state as Los Angeles and San Francisco for unlawful practices. (The Guardian)
- Speaking of San Francisco, the storm that hit the city resulted in some significant surge pricing, despite Uber's pledge to refrain from inflating prices due to "abnormal disruptions in the market" that came out of a New York lawsuit. (SFist)
- An enterprising individual even created a site that tracks price surges during weather: UberStormSurge.com.
- Proof that Uber is moving into the logistics business: they've just launched UberFresh, a $3 food delivery service in the Los Angeles area. (Los Angeles Times)
- China's Baidu is investing some $600 million in a partnership with Uber. (TechCrunch)
- Home grocery service Instacart has raised $100M on a $2B valuation. (TechCrunch)
- If Instacart reminds you of WebVan (for those of you around in the late 1990s and early 2000s), it should. The problem with all of the web-based services back then: we weren't ready for them. (Wired)
- We're seeing a shifting of power now that is transforming business. While it's not a utopian dream, neither is it the end of business as we know it. It's important to understand the New Power. (Harvard Business Review)
- What are the best podcasts for business-savvy listeners? They include HBR's Ideacast, Marketing Smarts, the $100 MBA and Duct Tape Marketing, among others. (Fast Company)
- In a recent issue, we mentioned Serial being the House of Cards for podcasting; this report from Stitcher looks at the data behind binge listening with tips on frequency, length and more. (Medium)
- Best Buy found itself in hot water this week. One of its stores plays a crucial role in Serial, and the company tweeted, "We have something you need. Unless it's a payphone. #Serial" Critics were outraged and the company pulled the tweet. (Mashable)
- There was no such backlash for Sesame Street, however.
Is it Thursday yet? pic.twitter.com/8RNA0Z6RcV
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) December 10, 2014
Metrics / Measurement / Big Data
- Who's going to make the best CEOs of the future? Because of increased reliance on the importance of data, it's likely to be the CMO. (Adweek)
- Related: The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits by Russell Glass (Amazon affiliate link)
- You may have an audience, but is it the right one? Here's how to measure the quality of your audience. (SHIFT Comm)
- One of the quickest ways to get to better insights: visualize your data. (Occam's Razor)
Legal / HR
- Just because you work at an agency doesn't mean you can flaunt the FTC rules regarding social media and promotional material. The FTC has ruled that agency employees - much like brand employees - must disclose a relationship with the brand for full transparency. (Adweek)
- The Future of Marketing series continues with Christopher Penn interviewing Mitch Joel. (SHIFT Communications)
When You Have Time: Essential Reading / Listening / Watching
- LeWeb took place in Paris earlier this week, and for us one the highlights was seeing the output of Jeremiah Owyang's presentation on the Collaborative Economy. Jeremiah celebrated the first anniversary of Crowd Companies, which was launched at last year's LeWeb (disclosure: I am on the board of advisors for Crowd Companies). Calling 2015 The Year of the Crowd, Jeremiah outlined exactly how robust the market is (over 9,000 startups with over $8 billion in funding) and got some nice coverage out of it. (Slideshare and Upstart Business Journal)
- The original structure of the collaborative economy has grown as well: the 6-hexagon honeycomb has doubled: the original categories of Goods, Food, Services, Transportation, Space, and Money have been joined by: Health and Wellness, Logistics, Utilities, Corporate, Municipal and Learning. Read about the full impact on Jeremiah's site. (Web-Strategist)