You may have heard the Super Bowl is upon us, AOL: Rise of the Machines, where were you when Facebook went down? Twitter ramps up its product development while Facebook ramps up real-time content and ads, Snapchat and Tumblr launch new features, podcast listening is up, the rise of freelance influencers, a new resource to bolster your marketing analytics mind, 16 things, grappling with authenticity 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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- Many brands wonder why it is that they don't see results in social media or online communities. This story effectively illustrates why you have to actually participate, not "get your message out" or "get people to talk" for you. It's a story of belonging. (Business Insider)
- AOL is reorganizing its sales staff as it feels the effect of programmatic advertising. (re/code)
- Also feeling the effects of the market is IBM, which is expected to reorganize amid massive layoffs after machine computing taking second chair to cloud computing. (IT World)
- Amazon is getting into enterprise email, as it launches an email service for companies. (The Next Web)
- Super Bowl XLIX is upon us, and that means so are the ads. Here's the full roundup of Super Bowl commercials. (Esquire)
- And if you're really into Super Bowl ads, Dish TV is featuring Reverse Auto-Hop on its popular Hopper ad skipper. The catch? This one skips the Big Game in favor of only playing commercials. (WSJ CMO Blog)
- When asking "who do you trust most?" the answer used to be the media; however, now it seems that more people trust search engines. (Marketing Charts)
- Facebook and Instagram went down earlier this week - the victim of a DDoS attack, some say. Facebook denies this (TechCrunch)
- Facebook has launched a Super Bowl hub in time for the big game. All content related to the event will be at facebook.com/superbowl. (The Verge)
- In addition, Facebook is squarely going after Twitter as it offers real-time ad targeting during the Super Bowl based on what people are talking about. (Reuters)
- First they came for YouTube and I said nothing. Then they came for Twitter and I said nothing. Now Facebook is aiming its sights at Yelp and Foursquare as it gives location-specific place tips for iPhone users. (Venture Beat)
- Twitter is releasing group direct messaging and 30-second video direct on the platform (Twitter blog)
- Snapchat introduced Discover, a way to find content from a variety of editorial teams. We assume that this will include the $750,000 ad buys from brands as well. (Snapchat blog)
- Pinterest needs more men - and is willing to filter out the "girlie" stuff to get them. (Venture Beat)
- Medium does not to ad deals based on number of impressions; instead, it relies on TTR - total time read. (AdAge)
- Could Medium be in for some competition? Tumblr is introducing new features that include the ability to host long-form writing. The question remains whether gif-happy Tumblr users are ready for long-form content. (The Next Web)
- The Uber Economy - Is the company destroying full-time work, entrenching us in part-time purgatory, or empowering America's most independent workers? (The Atlantic)
- We're bound to see a lot of "Uber for _____" this year; here's one: Roadie, the Uber for shipping, has launched. (TechCrunch)
- Remember social media influencers? Well, the collaborative/maker movement is birthing a cadre of influential freelancers whose impact may be more immediate. (Web Strategy)
- Americans listen to 21 million hours of podcasts every day. (International Business Times)
Metrics / Measurement / Big Data
- Digital analytics can be insanely complicated. But Avinash Kaushik breaks it down into understandable bits. (Occam's Razor)
- If you're in the PR industry, have you heard of the Barcelona Principles? Originally drafted in 2010, they're an advancement on previous thinking. And yet PR measurement is still broken - so how to fix it? (PR Daily)
- If you're tired of trying to justify the impact of Facebook activity on your bottom line, you'll want to read this: Facebook announced Lift, a feature that helps brands understand the financial impact of their efforts. (Adweek)
- Want to go from data zero to marketing hero? Chris Penn's new ebook Marketing Blue Belt is just the thing you need.
- You're a brand that's in the midst of embracing a newsroom strategy. But should you build it or buy it? Either way, freelancers are the answer. (Contently)
When You Have Time: Essential Reading / Listening / Watching
- Andreessen Horowitz have listed their 16 things that have their attention. Good categories overall - worth a dive into each. (a16z)
- Blogging pioneer Andrew Sullivan has decided to stop blogging, citing nearly 15 years of nonstop daily writing and a desire to get his life back. (The Dish)
- Two on authenticity: The Authenticity Paradox that looks at how important it is for leaders to understand the power and limitations of authenticity; and Managing Authenticity: The Paradox of Great Leadership is about understanding your strengths and limitations and controlling your emotions at the right time. (Harvard Business Review)
- Trademark analyst Scott Galloway takes a look at the waxing and waning of the "four horsemen" of innovation: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google - and what it means for the future of the marketplace in this 15 minute thought-starter. Of note it how businesses appeal to three things:
- Th instinct to survive (head)
- The ability to love (heart)
- The desire to propagate (libido)
And, just to check if you've read this far, here's the money quote from the video above:
"As you move down the torso, the margins get better." [Click to tweet]