A big week for Facebook at f8, Twitter says "up, Periscope," how to out a lying Yelper, Google stays in the game with in-app options and a smartwatch, Facebook offers to host news stories directly on its site, some amazing Airbnb success stories, how one city regulated taxis so heavily that ridesharing has soared, the economics of podcasting, the impact of zero-based budgeting on measurement, Larry King tweets - but you'll never guess how, an essential video on the power of heliotropic leadership 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 our full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
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- The traditional newspapers are in decline. A photojournalist spent five years chronicling the slow death of the industry amid harsh realities of the digital world. (The Guardian)
- A new survey by Pew Research Center finds that the majority of the population in most nations now uses the Internet every day. (The Atlantic)
- You know who loves brands? Brand managers. After all, this is the group that's most likely to talk about brand love. Consumers, on the other hand, not so much. They just want a reliable product that does what it claims to do in the course of their busy days. (Ad Contrarian)
- Check out this clever idea from Dunkin Donuts in South Korea: a particular sound emitted from Dunkin radio commercials triggered a coffee-scented air freshener on buses, and when passengers were dropped off near store locations, they were more likely to buy coffee. (Now I Know)
- Speaking of coffee: SAP has opened a coffee shop in Palo Alto to encourage a place for innovators to gather and exchange ideas. (Ars Technica)
- Comcast has decided that what it needs is note an overhaul of its corporate culture, but rather more social media customer service reps. (The Consumerist)
- Here's one way to out dishonest Yelpers: use your store's surveillance video footage to show they're lying. (San Francisco Eater)
- Not to be outdone by last week's Apple Watch news, Google and Intel are teaming up with TAG Heuer for a luxury connected watch. (Bloomberg)
- YouTube is releasing a livestreaming update, focusing on gaming and esports. (Daily Dot)
- The FTC reported that Google skewed search results, purposefully demoting competing shopping sites in its own favor. (WSJ and Marketing Land)
- Google is working on a project that will allow users to pay bills directly within Gmail. (re/code)
- Facebook is offering to host publishers' content directly on Facebook (as opposed to sending people back to news outlets' websites) and splitting the ad money.
- Naturally, a powerhouse like BuzzFeed is happy with this arrangement. Be sure to click through to watch the video with Jonah Peretti explaining why. (re/code)
- But Dave Pell cautions news organizations not to take a flying leap of faith, because tech companies understand tech, not news. (Medium)
- Facebook's f8 developer conference was this week, and during the presentation Mark Zuckerberg referred to Facebook as a "family of world-class apps to help people share in different ways." (Venture Beat)
- Facebook for the Internet of Things: the company introduced new SDKs for its Parse mobile app development platform, to let developers incorporate data from Internet-connected devices. (Venture Beat)
- Messenger for Businesses: the Messenger app will have the potential to support shopping, receipts and package tracking, among other things. (Facebook)
- Embedded Video Player: now videos will be embeddable outside of Facebook, putting its video platform on a more level playing field with YouTube. (The Next Web)
- Facebook has created Blueprint, a program that combines online courses, in-person training and certification on campaign optimization and measurement, to help agencies better understand Facebook's offerings. And no doubt, to steer more ad dollars in its direction. (MediaPost)
- Twitter introduced Periscope, a Meerkat rival that it purchased in January. (Twitter)
- It seems that Periscope's killer feature is the ability to replay video (Meerkat leaves you with dead links in your Twitter stream).
- Be careful: that livestreaming selfie addiction is costing you. The wireless providers must be rubbing their hands together with glee. (Mashable)
- Twitter is testing autoplay video ads. (re/code)
- Foursquare will be used to power location-based tweets in a new deal between the location app and Twitter. (Medium)
- Twitter loves T-Mobile CEO John Legere. Why? Hint: it's about data, not advertising. (Ad Age) [Disclosure: client]
- In one image, here's why advertisers are so excited about Snapchat. But be careful about assumptions: 45% of 100 million is a lot less than 16% of 1.4 billion. (re/code)
- Ever wonder what the top Airbnb in each state is? Wonder no more. (HuffPo)
- Here are the secrets that six-figure earners on Airbnb. (Fast Company)
- Uber (and its ilk) wouldn't work if it weren't for two things: a market need that's scalable and a working class willing to work for wages that are affordable to customers - in effect, inequality. The problem is they're literally eliminating the middlemen, which means there's no upward mobility to being an Uber driver. (Quartz)
- On the heels of the news that Uber vehicles outnumber cabs, New York City's taxi industry wants to put a curb on Uber "until this could be studied." Knowing how government works, Uber could go public, split into three companies and start another line of business before the Taxi License Commission figures it out. (USA Today)
- Another rape by an Uber driver was reported in Philadelphia this week. (Philadelphia Magazine)
- Times Internet of India has made a strategic investment in Uber, similar to Baidu's investment in China. The arrangement is designed to drive more awareness. (TechCrunch)
- Kauidi and Didi, the two largest taxi-hailing apps in China, are merging. Between the two, they account for over 99% of the market in China and are owned by Alibaba and Tencent, respectively. (Forbes)
- In 2009, the Santa Monica city officials arbitrarily determined that there were too many taxis for its residents, so they restricted the number with municipal regulations. The joke is on them, as the five taxi companies permitted to operate in the city saw more than a quarter of their business evaporate between 2013 and 2014. Hmm. And we wonder how a regulated Internet is going to turn out? (The Atlantic)
- By now you've noticed that there seems to be "an Uber for" everything. This poem chronicles exactly what we've got so far. (Quartz)
- Content marketing is hard. It's akin to journalism (and see above for the struggles that the newspaper industry is undergoing) and it requires significant resources, including a grand strategy and an equally grand budget. But there are ways to overcome these content marketing challenges. (eMarketer)
John Cleese will be keynoting at Content Marketing World 2015 in September. No mention of whether he'll do a silly walk or a silly talk, but you can register here.
[Disclosure: affiliate link]
- A fascinating look at the economics of podcasting and how the opportunities are ripe for media companies, if they play their cards right. So far, the "native ad" approach that gives online print publications so much angst is a perfect fit here. (Columbia Journalism Review)
- If you think they've been successful on the web, then BuzzFeed's podcast debut should be equally as impressive. Their new weekly show, Internet Explorer debuted. And no doubt they got clearance to use that name since Microsoft announced they're killing Internet Explorer in the next Windows update. (WSJ CMO Today)
- In a new report, streaming music providers are having a difficult time converting ad-supported listeners to regular paying customers. (Business Insider Intelligence)
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- Heinz and Kraft will merge, and ad agencies ought to be worried. The combined company will implement "zero-based budgeting," meaning that managers will have to justify every cost they need. (WSJ CMO Today) As B2B companies spread efforts across a wide range of marketing channels, a cross-channel view of analytics becomes critical to them. (eMarketer)
- Google has a way to determine the impact of online video on brand metrics. (Think with Google)
- ICYMI last week, SHIFT Communications (my employer) has long been a pioneer in progressive PR and oscial media. From the creation of the Social Media News Release to hiring a technical wizrd like Christopher Penn, it's been on the cutting edge. This week SHIFT was named a Google Analytics Certified Partner, giving credence to its mantra of data-driven PR. (SHIFT Communications blog)
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Radio Shack is filing for bankruptcy. But in the event of the dissolution of the company, who owns your data? (Bloomberg)
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- You too can tweet like Larry King - that is, if you have a dedicated voicemail and an assistant who transcribes the messages into tweets. (Washington Post)
- It's always difficult to get employees to try something new - especially technology. But there are steps businesses can take to help skeptical employees adopt new technology. (Harvard Business Review)
- What is heliotropic leadership? Harry Cohen does a fine job of explaining why being genuinely positive will reap massive results in your daily dealings. Watch this 16-minute video to see how the power of positive is a wonderful thing. (TedX) [And take it from me - someone who spent six years around Alan Mulally - it's amazing and inspiring when done right.]
Image credit: DKW F8 Cabriolet (Wikipedia)