A dentist and the Internet claim their latest victims, the rise of BuzzFeed TV, few brands are prepared for moments of intent, Twitter doesn't get Periscope, Facebook aims to monetize its messaging apps, Instagram may be taking in more mobile revenue than Google and Twitter in two years, LinkedIn to syndicate its users content (for free), the college president that became an Uber driver, determining who owns an audience, CVS and IBM's Watson pair up for predictive analytics in healthcare, how security experts stay safe online, what a digital detox does to you and more, it's The 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. Based on subscriber feedback, we're now shifting to a Monday morning release. Please subscribe - either to the full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
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- By now you've probably heard about the dentist who hunted and killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe. And you've probably heard about that the Internet doled out justice. We could have told you all along how it was going to play out.
- NBCUniversal is set to make a deal with BuzzFeed and VoxMedia. Could this mean BuzzFeed TV?
- We've said it before and it's great to see it backed up by data: if you want consumers to trust you, it doesn't hurt to be more transparent.
- Although most organizations understand mobile's impact on customer expectations and the need to respond, only 2% of marketers report actually having the capabilities necessary to identify, deliver, and measure moments of intent.
- Amazon continues to push into the original content business, this time signing the former Top Gear team that left BBC under a cloud. The program will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime members.
- Donald Trump's campaign has fired a staff member based on Facebook posts the individual made several years ago. What you share online says a lot about your character. And it can always come back to haunt you.
- If you need to get up to speed on your digital marketing chops, Christopher Penn is offering a Marketing White Belt course in this handy e-book. Highly recommended (and one of our affiliate partners).
- Google's foray into the automotive field is serious - they have a stealth subsidiary robocar company.
- The company is expanding the focus of Google Glass to include users in the healthcare, manufacturing and engineering workforce. Hands-free devices could be a game-changer to many of these.
- Google+: a failure of epic proportions.
- Twitter reported Q2 earnings this week, with quarterly revenue up 61% but user growth stalled out at only 8 million new users, confusion about the product and a glut of unsold advertising inventory. The company is in the midst of hiring a new CMO to address these and other issues.
- Twitter is still hunting for its next CEO. Ben Parr has three qualities Twitter's next CEO should have. While we're at it, here's what Twitter doesn't need in its new CEO.
- Twitter decided to livestream its earnings call on - what else? - Periscope. Except it went less smoothly than expected - almost embarrassingly so. Twitter may own Periscope, but this week, Twitter got owned by Periscope.
- If you upgraded to Windows 10, you were treated to a decent Twitter app for Windows.
- Facebook is learning that if you want more TV advertising dollars, then you need to sell advertising like TV. The social networking giant is caving to demands and selling GRPs (Gross Rating Points) to advertisers who are used to the old media model.
- The good news is that according to Nielsen, Facebook works to help TV ads reach new audiences when a cross-platform campaign is used.
- Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most intimate extensions of the Facebook empire. How then will the social network giant determine to earn revenue from these messaging apps? It looks like it's through customer support to begin. If history is any guide to how this will play out, get ready for some self-promotional messages.
- LinkedIn is building a syndicated network of content. The catch is its INfluencers - the select 500 whom it recruited early on to write commentaries - won't be partaking of any financial gain.
- In its Q2 earnings report, LinkedIn exceeded revenue expectations and showed modest user growth. But its stock still tanked.
- The power of visual communications demonstrated in numbers: by 2017, Instagram will surpass Google and Twitter in mobile ad revenues, earning some $2.8 billion globally.
- But as brands continue to mix with Instagrammers, they're not always consistent about how they disclose the relationship. It's not just a good idea. It's the law.
- Snapchat is the fastest growing network when measured by the first four years of a site's existence. Of course, between social media adoption and smartphone availability, 2010-2014 is vastly different than 2004-2008, Facebook's first four years.
- Snapchat is on target to make $50 million in revenue this year; but it still needs a CFO. If the job is so pressure-filled, maybe they'll get an executive who can disappear after limited amount of time.
- Vine isn't like the Instagram of videos any more. "It’s more like the entertainment industry." - Jason Mante, Vine’s head of UX.
- And where do you think 15 of Vine's hottest stars live? In a luxury apartment complex on Vine Street in Hollywood, of course. But how do they make it big in the entertainment industry beyond a four-inch screen?
- Uber is now worth $50 billion after its latest funding round of $1 billion, which includes an investment by Microsoft and the Indian division of a media company.
- Separately, Uber announced it will be investing $1 billion in India over the next 9 months. India represents the second largest market for Uber after the U.S.
- Uber is piloting a program called Xchange Leasing that gives UberX drivers access to vehicles that are leased by Uber. The program is partnering with a number of dealerships in California, Georgia and Maryland and drivers can return the vehicles after 30 days if they opt out.
- To test out how Uber affected his community this university president became an Uber driver. Never discount the value of education by experience.
- Another name for this burgeoning industry is the "sharing economy." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
- Put another way, when Uber, Airbnb and others flout the law, it's more akin to nullifcation - a willful flouting of regulation, which can lead to an imbalance of power:
As allegedly “innovative” firms increasingly influence our economy and culture, they must be held accountable for the power they exercise. Otherwise, corporate nullification will further entrench a two-tier system of justice, where individuals and small firms abide by one set of laws, and mega-firms create their own regime of privilege for themselves and power over others."
- There is legal uncertainty around how businesses should classify freelance employees in the collaborative economy. This is due in large part to the high profile decision on an Uber case by a California court that ruled that a driver should be considered an employee of the company.
- Pandora is allowing brands to purchase a full hour of programming for its free listeners (up from the standard 30 minutes). Initial tests show a 30% rise in purchase intent. It's an interesting experiment as Pandora continues to balance subscriber revenue with advertiser revenue.
Social Fresh Conference, Sept 23-25 in Tampa, has less than 100 tickets left. This year's speaker list is outstanding! Featuring Jay Baer, Scott Monty, Chris Brogan, Twitter, HP, Patron, Priceline, Buffer, The Today Show, American Eagle and more. Social Fresh is one track, with no fluff — filled with highly actionable and practical content.
- When you're posting content across the web, including your site, tweets, Facebook posts, videos on YouTube, etc., who owns the audiences that you're building? It's an important consideration as we move into the post-social web.
- If you're in public relations or communications, you need to understand and begin using content marketing.
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- Struggling for what to measure? Here are six marketing metrics that your CEO cares about in a handy cheat sheet format.
- CVS is partnering with IBM's Watson to use predictive data to circumvent chronic diseases in certain patients.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- The U.S. is retaliating against China for the unauthorized breach of the Office of Personnel Management database that resulted in the exposure of personal data of some 20 million Americans.
- How often has your data been exposed to hackers? Here's a handy tool to find out.
- How do security experts and non-experts stay safe online?
- Me? I use two-factor authentication whenever possible and my preferred password management system is Dashlane.
- Actor James Woods is suing Twitter for $10 million over what he called "defamatory and derogatory" tweets from an individual using the name Abe Lists. Such an action would require Twitter to unmask the pseudonymous individual.
- Twitter is deleting stolen jokes based on copyright grounds. Writers and comedians have asked the service to crack down on accounts that re-tweet their jokes without attribution, and Twitter is complying with some requests. Maybe James Woods should just write some jokes about himself.
- New York Magazine ran a piece on the Bill Cosby story in which 35 of his alleged victims were shown on its cover. Coincidentally, a hacker took the site down with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack - not because he was pro-Cosby, but he because hated New York.
- The site took the attack in stride, posting the story to its social network pages and resolved the issue within 24 hours.
- The good news is there are plenty of options for publishers these days, and a site takedown does not mean they need to go dark. Coupled with the story in our Content section, it's an important lesson in reaching your audience.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Last year, a Seattle-area CEO decided to make a $70,000 minimum wage for his employees. While many lauded the decision and proclaimed the executive a progressive visionary, there was a significant and surprising backlash. Consider this part of the law of unintended consequences.
- If you've ever thought about going on a digital detox, here's some motivation: being too connected results in narcissism, loss of empathy and insomnia. But here's what really happened when a group of digitally-connected individuals was subjected to days without their devices.
- We all procrastinate. You might be surprised to know that procrastination is more a function of our emotion than of time management. Here's how to get out of the cycle of procrastination. Something to read the next time you're procrastinating.
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.