Downvoted at Reddit, a crisis in corporate trust, BBC news may go digital-only, trying to explain Twitter, no more Likes, Google jumps into ridesharing, Uber puts up a fight, Ira Glass proves podcasting is working, get on board with Slideshare, the director of the Office of Personnel Management discovers you can run but you can't hide, doodling is good for the brain and more, it's This Week in Digital.
A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week, we 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. Please subscribe - either to the full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
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- The upvotes have it. After some 200,000 redditors signed a petition calling for the end of Ellen Pao's tenure as interim CEO, the executive and Reddit's board have agreed to go their separate ways. This caps an extremely tense couple of weeks for Pao, who was under fire for not understanding the needs of the community. The link sharing and trolling site is now in the hands of Steve Huffman, one of its original founders.
- At least she took a crucial step during the crisis: she issued a sincere apology to the community earlier in the week.
- Speaking of crisis, there's a trust crisis afoot - not only does the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer indicate that trust between the public and companies is faltering - but that brands that choose to be candid and demonstrate accountability in their communications tend to outperform their competitors.
- Microsoft has acknowledged the folly of its Nokia acquisition with another 7,800 layoffs and a restructuring that will cost the company a one-time writedown of $7.6 billion.
- Slack's CEO uses the analogy of a well-run restaurant to show what it takes to make companies succeed. It comes down to culture, but empathy and collaboration are essential.
- The future of BBC's television news service may be completely digital. In a cost-cutting move, BBC 3 may become an online-only news channel. This is an interesting development. Because news gathering is so expensive and television viewing continues to shift to multiple devices, this might be a critical and defining move for many news organizations.
- Lots of interesting findings in the Accuity Group report 2015 Next Generation of Commerce Study. Over 2,000 individuals were surveyed as part of this study. Some of the insights:
- 60% of respondents said they see too much sponsored content.
- Facebook rivals the authority of print publications.
- TV and print media still own the market for branded content that drives new customers.
- Transparency and speed are factors that cause consumers to turn to third party companies for delivery, over brands or retailers.
- Nine years in, and we're still having trouble defining what Twitter is. This might be something for the new CEO to concentrate on. A succinct and compelling vision will help unite all stakeholders.
- The next CEO of Twitter might be an insider: the board is focusing on Twitter's top sales executive Adam Bain as the leading candidate.
- Likes are no longer a valid form of measurement; Facebook is concentrating on outcomes as it provides insights and reports to advertisers. How do you Like that? We're finally closing in on a more reasonable and meaningful measurement for Facebook engagement.
- Facebook's biggest competition isn't other social networks - it's chat applications, particularly in Asia.
- You now have more control over your News Feed than ever. Users can now choose friends and pages they'd like to See First, in order to prioritize the content that is relevant to them. If you like what you see here, please follow me on Facebook or like my official page and select See First in the dropdown by "Like".
- After a defeat in California a few weeks ago about the categorization of its drivers, Uber is striking back with a motion to oppose the class certification of the three drivers who brought the original suit. Uber indicates there's no "typical" driver and that their 160,000 drivers have nothing in common. Nothing, that is, other than using the Uber app to pick up passengers who expect a superior riding experience that conforms with all of Uber's requirements, including a minimum acceptance rate that in some markets is as high as 90% of all ride requests - oh, and handing over 20 percent of their fares.
- Frustrated by local politics and a recent law passed by the County Commission to regulate transportation by requiring all drivers to get licenses and permits for running a taxi service, Uber announced it is leaving Broward County, Florida. Lyft has also withdrawn.
- Airbnb has launched in Cuba with over 1,000 listings - despite a lack of private Internet access for most Cubans. How did they do it?
- Google is getting further into the ride-sharing business as it tests its new app RideWith in TelAviv.
- How does Spotify compete with Apple Music? Well, aside from a smarter freemium model, Spotify is urging iPhone customers to pay directly, rather than through the App Store (lest Apple take a bit out of them).
- Ira Glass now owns This American Life, which Chicago Public Media sold to him for onging profits of the show. A clear indication that podcasting is going more mainstream by the day.
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- Slideshare is one of the most content-rich platforms available today and your company should be using it in some meaningful way. So take a look at this complete B2B marketing guide to Slideshare.
- Content marketing vs. native advertising: how do you compare the ROI of each? N.B.: the author of the piece is the head of promotions for a content marketing agency, so that that into account.
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- While automated sentiment can be helpful in terms of volume, it's no substitute for human intervention. Ultimately, a hybrid model is ideal.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Facebook is considering changing its data policy for mobile advertisers that may require them to hand over data on customers that install their apps.
- The Office of Personnel Management data breach is bigger than initially thought. Originally, reports indicated that some 4 million individuals were affected; it turns out that the data of over 21 million people is at stake. Katherine Archuleta, OPM's director, has resigned.
- For a complete look at the saga, The Atlantic has The Hack That Took Down an Agency Director.
- It's funny - every major federal data "oops" starts out the same way: a small breach, then something more serious, then a huge mess. If the federal government took a look at the correlation between trust and candor above and started communicating similarly, they might find that the public actually trusts them. But federal employment has traditionally been a CYA operation.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Even though we live in an increasingly digital world, there's still room for pencil and paper. It turns out that doodling is good for the brain - something humans have known since our prehistoric days when our ancestors drew on cave walls. Two of our favorite tools for freehand doodling and notes are are Levenger ruled note pads and Staedler 2B pencils (slightly softer than standard No. 2 pencils).
- Two people were trapped in the Brecon Beacons national park in Wales this week, when one - who was carrying a selfie stick - was struck and killed by lightning. That settles it. Even God hates selfie sticks.
I consult with agencies and brands to help them improve their corporate and digital acumen. Please get in touch if you'd like to put my experience and digital smarts to work on a project, to advise your group, or to address an audience at your next corporate or industry event.
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