News Corp gets more digital, a new ad blocker blocker, U.S. digital trends,Flipboard puts together a resource for marketers and communicators, Twitter gets Lightning fast, Facebook allows you to prioritize what you see, Uber has a rough week, LastPass and the Houston Astros get hacked, an essential report on the sharing economy, the great secret of influencer marketing, a long read on the marketing machine 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 the full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
If you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links and more by subscribing to the This Week in Digital Magazine.
- Last year, the New York Times digital report was greeted with surprise and awe. This week, News Corp - owner of the Wall Street Journal - announced that it would be cutting jobs and shifting resources to digital media. Areas for hiring include mobile offerings, interactive graphics and data-driven journalism.
- If history is any guide, look for this trend to continue at other reputable news organizations and brands.
- Brands have had to worry about ad blocking technology more frequently in the last year. So, ad tech veteran Ben Barokas is launching Sourcepoint, a solution to block ad blockers. That's right - an ad blocker blocker.
- We're just waiting for the next inevitable iteration: a blocker to block blockers that block ad blockers. Or put more simply, an ad blocker blocker blocker. [TWEET THIS]
- What do customers want? Everything! When do they want it? Now! Their list of demands includes: access to services faster than ever, 24/7 access and connectivity, access on an increasing number of platforms and more. Companies are on point to innovate and meet customer demands more and more each year thanks to technology.
- While social media gets a lot of press, there are plenty of reasons to still feel bullish about email marketing.
- "Social thinking" is more than just Facebook, Twitter, or the latest craze - it’s about understanding the concept of social insight. While traditional insights focus on individual motivations, social insights put this in the context of interpersonal relationships, communities and society. This and other observations from the report on digital trends in the U.S. market by WeAreSocial.
- Flipboard launched a resource and community for marketers, communicators and brands. It's called FlipMarketer and you can follow it here. [This Week in Digital is included as one of the resources, FYI.]
- And if you're new to Flipboard, the Flipboard User Guide is a great set of links to help you get started.
- Twitter announced new features to help people discover products and places: product and place pages and collections that will have more information about a place, service, product or brand.
- An interview with the leader that some think should be the next CEO of Twitter includes many nuggets, including who should acquire his company, Nuzzel.
- Twitter will begin operating even more at the speed of real time with its new Project Lightning, a visually-driven, curated collection of tweets. One thing Facebook will never beat Twitter at is real-time news. This is the kind of innovation that should have been more regular under Dick Costolo's watch; we're just glad he gets to see it get a start before he departs.
- Google and Storyful are teaming up to create YouTube Newswire, a dedicated channel that will be a resource for journalists looking for verified user-generated content.
- There's another app available from Facebook: Moments allows you to privately sync photos with friends with whom you share experiences and to get photos back from them that you're in.
- If you're tired of seeing updates from friends at the top of your News Feed that are hours or even days old, a new feature called See First will ensure that you get information from the people you choose more quickly. The implications for brands and marketers are obvious; the price tag as of yet is not.
- Did you know that 87% of posts to Facebook Pages go ignored? Active Facebook pages respond to only 37% of user posts.
- That's not surprising, given the revelations behind counterfeit Facebook farms.
- Check out this Bloomberg Brief on "The Sharing Economy." It's a nice overview of the concept, naming conventions, economic implications, commentary and more.
- A deeper dive into the W-2 (full-time) employee vs. 1099 (independent contractor) employee explores what the future of labor might look like - including the possibility of a new class of worker in the future. A dependent contractor?
- It was not a good week for Uber. They're one of the casualties in the argument for a new class of workers, as the California labor commission ruled that drivers are employees of the company, not independent contractors. Uber later issued a statement that the ruling applied only to that single driver, not their entire fleet.
- New York is cracking down: New York City seized 496 Uber vehicles for illegal pickups (street hails) and 22 Uber drivers in East Hampton have been arrested because they violated a new ordinance requires drivers to register a physical address in town.
- The company is also on the receiving end of a $50 million lawsuit from a mother whose daughter was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver.
- While Uber is a strong logistics company, it hasn't fared well in the delivery arena. But Amazon is there with a solution: getting your neighbor to deliver the packages. Now all they have to do is figure out a way to get your neighbors to stop stealing the deliveries from your porch.
- Airbnb is valued at more than $24 billion on $900 million of revenue - that's more than Marriott International. Here's how the secret math works.
- While you're at it, take a look at the billion-dollar start-up club.
- Apple Music is free for the first three months; after that, here's where your $10 a month goes.
- Singer Taylor Swift doesn't like the notion of musicians, writers, singers and artists going hungry for three months (she notes that she can afford it, but newer artists are at a disadvantage) and she will not debut her new album on Apple Music.
- UPDATE: Apple says that it will pay artists during the three-month trial period.
- Meanwhile, Slash from Guns N' Roses is putting his music on (and his faith in) BitTorrent.
- Podcasting is growing at a slow and steady pace. Expect the same to continue.
Time is running out. Tickets for Content Marketing World 2015 in September are selling quickly. Join your colleagues to get the best information about the content marketing industry.
[Disclosure: affiliate link]
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- In addition to Twitter getting better at real-time, Google is expanding Google Trends to include real-time trends backed with data pouring in immediately.
- Zignal Labs is teaming up with the Washington Post to enhance real-time news and to power the Post's morning briefing with PowerPost. This will undoubtedly be important in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
- Mobile marketing analytics seem to be stuck in a rut. Not enough is known about cross-device behavior or even about platforms and only basic measurement is possible at this point.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- A New Jersey dentist is suing a former patient over a Yelp review. Hey, how about not using lawsuits as a substitute for customer service instead?
- The St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated for hacking into the Houston Astros' computer system. It's not as serious as Chinese intelligence hacking into the OPM files, but at stake: closely guarded information about players as revenge for poaching one of the Cardinals' management.
- The FCC is fining AT&T $100 million for throttling the speed of the Internet of customers who were part of their unlimited data plan.
- A huge security flaw in Apple's iOS and OS X platforms could allow hackers to steal your passwords and data.
- Related: password keeper LastPass was hacked last week. If you'd like to try out Dashlane, our preferred password system, use our code: dashlane.com/en/cs/3bb86395
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Here's a long read from Harvard Business Review on what marketing needs to do to change with the times. We were particularly struck by this observation:
Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day. Yet in most companies the organizational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago.
- Influencer marketing has a dirty little secret: while you can certainly gain access to "influencers" by paying them, it's a small(ish) group of people whose opinions are as fickle as the variety of paychecks they receive from brands. So, be careful what you wish for.
- If you do happen to be working with an influencer (or are one yourself), familiarize yourself with the FTC's latest disclosure guidelines.
- Distraction continues to be a problem in our busy lives. There are ways to conquer digital distraction, of course. Whether it is caused by our technology-rich surroundings or a desire to escape having to think about heavier topics, a new theory posits that it's more about autonomy. Don't ask me; I couldn't make it through the whole article without being distracted.
- The Tampa International Airport gets its wings this week, as it takes a little boy's lost stuffed animal on a journey and sends him photos to show him it's in good hands until he returns.
ICYMI, I'm launching a consultancy to help brands and agencies with 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 or to advise your group.
Image credit: Tampa International Airport Facebook Page