Scott Monty

Scott Monty

While ad blocking continues, trust blocking seems to be of greater concern, the Internet idiot of the week, the future of TV is the web, Google is under antitrust scrutiny, Facebook gives journalists better tools and everyone better Notes, the one line that works for every New Yorker cartoon, how to get your Uber rating, how Airbnb used design thinking to succeed, Oyster shuts like — well, like an oyster — seven golden rules for content marketers, it's not a funnel, it's a fish, the OPM data breach included fingerprints, the four human desires, our regular trivia feature and more, it's The Week in Digital.

A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.

Each Monday we publish 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. A new issue is available every Monday morning. Please subscribe to keep up to date on developments.

News items are in regular text; additional commentary has been added in italics.

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In-depth video preview of The Week in Digital - September 28, 2015
Posted by Scott Monty on Sunday, September 27, 2015


  • The ad blocking continues: in the US and UK, 1 in 10 people block ads; in Germany, it's 1 in 4; in France, nearly 30% of its online population blocks ads. And it's not getting any better.
    • Case in point: Millennials in the US, two-thirds of whom use ad blockers.
    • And they're not alone in their dislike of mobile ads: baby boomers hate them too.
    • Anyone see a trend here? Yes, ads are a necessary trade-off for the content we want, but holy hell — what are we doing when there's this much aversion to the craft? Sure, there's a technology and even an ethical angle to address, but what else should the marketing industry be doing at this point?
2/3 of US Millennials block ads

  • Related: click fraud continues to be a significant issue, with ad spending being counted against "bot" views of ads — including traffic that publishers buy without the knowledge of the advertisers who pay them. It's been an issue for some time, but in an era when trust and transparency are at a minimum and technology — particularly ad tech — drives more decisions, the industry needs a better code of ethics to prevent this kind of thing. 
  • Volkswagen experienced a major corporate crisis this week when it was found to have evaded proper emissions testing on some 11 million vehicles through software that was designed specifically for that purpose. It now faces a huge crisis of trust.
  • Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals didn't know when to quit as he defended the 5000% price increase of a 62 year-old drug his company just acquired, and he made himself the Internet's Most Hated Man (of the week) with his tone-deaf tweetsCrisis and executive communications 101: when you have a problem — particularly when that problem is a mouthy CEO — stop talking.
  • The Apple Car is getting closer to reality, as the company indicated it would "ship" its electric vehicle in 2019. It should be interesting to watch Apple go from one of the highest-margin businesses to one of the lowest. Hope the shareholders are ready.
  • Business Insider, one of the hottest online news sites, may be purchased by German publishing behemoth Alex Springer for $560 million. An impressive feat for editor and CEO Henry Blodget, who made a second career for himself after he was banned from the securities industry.
  • Netflix's CEO doesn't want you to get wrapped up in TV vs. online video. In 20 years, it's all going to be the same.

Trivia question: What common mobile activity has claimed more lives than shark attacks this year?*

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  • Google
    •  Google is under antitrust scrutiny — in the US this time, not the EU — for favoring its own apps and services in the Android platform over those of its competitors.
  • Facebook
    • Facebook's new Mentions app for Verified users is more Twitter-like than Facebook, with up-to-the-minute trending topics, integrated live video and Q&A sessions. It's a valuable tool for journalists and other media personalities, and we've been experimenting with it (see above).
    • The Washington Post is going all-in with Instant Articles, publishing every single one of its 1,200 or so stories per day directly on Facebook.
    • Reminding us that it purchased Oculus Rift for $2B, Facebook has released 360-degree video that allows viewers to interact with the content, shifting their point of view as the video plays. Initial collaborators are GoPro, Saturday Night Live, VICE and others.
    • Facebook Notes have been updated, with a more modern feel, the ability to include and caption photos, post links, format text and more. In this regard, Facebook is becoming more of a comprehensive publishing platform that rivals Tumblr or Medium.
    • But please — Medium is not a publishing tool, according to its founder. It's a network

Collaborative Economy 


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Metrics / Measurement / Data

* Answer to the trivia question above: 

More people have died from taking selfies than from shark attacks in 2015 so far. Twelve deaths can be attributed to selfies, while eight are related to shark attacks. And yet the Kardashians somehow manage to keep thriving...

Privacy / Security / Legal

When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading 

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I advise 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 consult with your group, or to address an audience at your next corporate or industry event.


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