The ad industry needs digital philosophers — and a moral operating system, the conflict between advertisers and consumers, mistakes that may be sinking your new business efforts, the death of the link (thanks to social networks), Twitter's rough week, Facebook expands in India and Google in Indonesia, an institutionally conservative industry adopts Facebook at Work, a major report on the collaborative economy, the challenges ahead for podcasting, knowing what and when to measure, some crazy legal developments from Europe to Australia, our weekly trivia challenge, the podcast pick of the week 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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Live video preview of The Week in Digital - Nov. 1, 2015
Live video preview of The Week in Digital - Nov. 1, 2015
Posted by Scott Monty on Sunday, November 1, 2015
- In this provocative article, MediaPost posits that the advertising industry may need digital philosophers as it grapples with the limits of technology with respect to morality.
- In a related TED talk on the need for a moral operating system, Damon Horowitz observes that "We have stronger opinions about our hand-held devices than about the moral framework we should use to guide our decisions." Well worth your time to watch - so much so we embedded it below.
- To see the lengths to which some have gone, did you ever wonder how many floppy disks it would take to fit an Atlantic article? The article itself is no problem. But once you include all of the ad technology embedded on the page, the number grows. Significantly.
- Even though we know it's wrong, fraudulent ad networks still survive, as these two researchers found out. See the analysis behind how they did it and see if it applies to your site.
- So it's no wonder that, with inappropriate content that is intrusive and overbearing, we have to wonder are advertisers and consumers are in conflict?
- While one slide in Chuck Porter's (of CP+B fame) presentation read "The War Is Over. PR Won," the fact is that PR and advertising need to work more collaboratively than ever. And with advertising and marketing controlling 90% of typical budgets compared to communications' 10%, there's no PR win. However, the significant trust that consumers place in earned media should make you think twice about where you're spending.
- Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute [disclosure: a sponsor of our newsletter below] makes the case for 5 mistakes that may be derailing your new business efforts.
- B2B marketers are using video mostly for brand awareness and engagement. But how B2B marketers are optimizing search for their videos varies widely.
- Speaking of video, if you're considering going without traditional television, here's a handy guide on cutting the cord.
- If you're trying to differentiate your blog, there are a handful of ways to do so related to how much time you put into it. Special thanks to Mark Schaefer for including our site on his list of examples.
- Most U.S. bloggers rely on social media to drive traffic to their sites, with only 8.7% relying on paid advertising. This is a concern as the rise of Facebook's Instant Articles and Twitter's Moments could mean that links become something of a quaint relic.
- According to Boston Consulting Group, America's top 10 favorite brands range from Apple to Walmart and Coca-Cola to Chick-Fil-A. What do these brands have in common? The ability to forge an emotional connection with consumers — which can turn negative just as quickly. These are the brands that have "apostle customers" that consist of about 2% of their customers but drive the majority of sales. Tune in later this week on our site to learn more about influencer programs.
- I help brands create emotional connections with customers and have a great deal of experience running influencer programs. If this is something that interests you, please get in touch.
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- Google is bringing Internet access to 100 million Indonesians with a network of balloons in the stratosphere. You can bet that this is a key market for Android phones in the near future. Google has the ability to create devices and a network to supply emerging markets.
- After reporting its better than expected Q3 earnings, Twitter had a rough week, getting hammered for a Q4 that will be below analysts' estimates for revenue. It's user growth has also stalled.
- New CEO Jack Dorsey thinks that Moments is one product that will pull Twitter out of the doldrums. And with a World Series television ad for Moments, he's pulling out all of the stops.
- With its conversion lift reports, Twitter is helping advertisers understand the impact of their Twitter ads.
- Users clearly want to see Twitter succeed. They're even helping with the #GiveTwitterASlogan hashtag effort.
"Twitter. Shout into the void alone, together." #GiveTwitterASlogan— Mother Redcap (@AngeMaryClaire) October 13, 2015
- Mark Zuckerberg, in India, held a town hall to announce the expansion of Internet.org and a stripped-down version of Facebook for Indians.
- Facebook updated its real-names policy, making it easier for pseudonymous users to confirm their names.
- Facebook at Work signed its largest client yet: 100,000 employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland. This could be a significant competitor to the likes of Slack, Yammer, etc. in the future.
- Messenger will feature new message requests instead of the dreaded Other (99+) inbox, making it even more frictionless for use as a main messaging and phone system. Take a deeper dive with this article, for it shows the strategic efforts that Facebook is making in order to create dependence and dominance on what is already a leading messaging service.
- The Notifications tab on the mobile app is about to become more user-friendly, including upcoming events, sports scores and TV reminders, based on Pages you've liked, and geographically-relevant updates. For smart marketers, there are some possibilities here.
- Instant Articles are shared more widely than links, as Facebook continues a dedicated push into the news media industry. The next wave of participants includes local publications, as well as a mix of traditional and digital media.
- Whither Flipboard? With sale talks stalled and the exit of some executives, Flipboard's future is being questioned. Flipboard has been a superb resource for our purposes, with The Week In Digital magazine among the places we curate links.
Trivia question: Why is Facebook slowing down the Internet speed of some employees every Tuesday? *
- The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy, a report from Crowd Companies and Vision Critical, says that large companies can compete in three strategic areas to remain relevant.
- Related: an interview with Crowd Companies founder Jeremiah Owyang on the FIR Podcast Network.
- Interestingly, in Burson Marsteller's most recent Crisis Survey, companies indicated that their greatest concern is disruptive competitors in their industries that can overpower them.
- Flytenow, the aviation version of Uber and Lyft, is locked in a federal regulatory battle right now. Because technically customers are sharing the cost of fuel with the pilots, while the feds believe Flytenow is running an illegal charter business. As long as I don't have to give the pilot directions, I'm fine with it.
- Airbnb is following Uber's lead by hiring a former Democratic political operative to take on regulatory battles in cities across the globe.
- Airbnb is big. How big? It is now poised to act as a distribution channel for independent hotel chains, just as Amazon has done for independent booksellers.
- The on-demand economy has turned us all into middle management, with the ability to do performance reviews on the spot. Typically, employees earn their way into management positions. But any self-entitled jerk can be a customer. Come to think of it, they can be managers too...
- At this point, nearly 30% of Uber's ride volume comes from China, and it's coming ever more popular with business customers. How? It's a slow but steady race and CEO Travis Kalanick says that Uber runs on passion and resilience. And on customers not providing tips to drivers (see #1 reason why people use sharing services in the analysis on the New Rules report above).
- Android officially welcomed podcasts to the Google Play system. Podcasters can go to the Google Podcast Portal to submit their shows for listing in Google Play.
- Despite the recent interest in podcasting, there are five hurdles that the industry must clear.
- The Secret Histories of Podcasting is an intense and personal look at how this industry came to be. Well worth a listen.
- Podcast Recommendation of the Week. This week, check out Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything. Walker himself is a Radiotopian and he personally connects the dots on all of his fascinating stories Subscribe today. Do you have a podcast recommendation for us? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
- More of your content is being viewed on mobile devices than ever before. With only 9% of users staying on a site if it doesn't satisfy their needs, micro-moments count. In order to keep them from tuning out, make your content useful in micro-moments.
- Even as ESPN shuts down Grantland, there may be an opportunity (missed?) for a brand (or several brands) to buy the rights to Grantland.com.
- There's no roadmap to content marketing. If anything, it resembles more of a choose your own adventure.
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- Zignal Labs has launched a Newsroom tool in addition to its impressive Command Center. This is the only solution we've seen that monitors cross-platform media in real-time, making it a must-have for all crisis managers. [Disclosure: Zignal is a client.]
- IBM is close to buying the Weather Channel's digital assets, to help make Watson's predictive analytics even more accurate. Or inaccurate, if you've burned by your weatherman.
- One of the most overlooked efforts in measurement tends to be how to tie it back to your business objectives. Here's how to tie your marketing efforts to business results in five steps.
- When it comes to measurement, are you a short-term reactionary or a long-term visionary? Both are important, but make sure you're being guided by the right one at the right time.
- Don't miss this informative piece on getting the most out of your social media measurement. The what and the when of what you measure is extremely important.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- EU tech companies are creating the European Tech Alliance, a lobbying group to influence EU governments and institutions.
- Amid confusion and fatigue, the European Parliament has passed a net neutrality vote that did not include the closing of loopholes, and thus leaves "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" in the hands of companies.
- A South Australian court ruled that Google is legally responsible when defamatory web sites are shown in its search results. Complicating matters is the jurisdiction and U.S. law, which protects publishers and companies like Google.
- If you want a full and truthful answer from Siri about music, you'd better subscribe to Apple Music. If you ask Siri about the top music charts and you're not an Apple Music subscriber, Siri will tell you she can't look up the music charts. Is Apple Maps a subscription service too? Because those results have been questionable in the past.
- This may make your head hurt. Sony Music sent a takedown notice to a video creator because they say one of his videos is infringing on their content. However, Sony Music purchased a license that very video from him in the first place. It's the case of a robolawyer gone wrong, which happens. But this time, Sony Music is refusing to back down. Lesson: get your legal department connected with your...legal department? And again: we can't get robolawyers to sort things out but we want self-driving cars?
* Answer to the trivia question above:
- Facebook is slowing down the Internet on Tuesdays to 2G speeds so employees can better understand emerging markets like India. And T-Mobile customers.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- The Internet of Things is a thing. And most people use the Internet of Things in four ways: devices at home for security purposes, quantify the self (e.g. exercise bands), optimize machines and enhance experiences.
- Signing your email "Best" might be less than optimal.
- Doing a keynote or a major presentation typically requires you to have a big idea with a compelling story. But what if you don't? Here's how you can find your big idea.
- That TED video mentioned above on the need for a moral operating system:
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I advise brands and agencies to help them improve their communications 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.