Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

An amazing week for Amazon, an unfaithful tech wizard at Ashley Madison, a real-life remote control causes Fiat Chrysler to issue a software update, mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications, mobile and analytics industries, Google can track you even more closely, scheduling real-time ads in advance, the difficulty of wooing YouTube stars, the latest GMOOT* app, how content can drive a massive brand lift, strategy trumps technology in digital success and more, it's The 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 additional ones - by subscribing to the The Week in Digital Magazine at smonty.co/flipdigital.

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



  • Google
    • Google Maps will now track your whereabouts in Your Timeline, even matching photos you took with the places you visit. When considered in conjunction with the RideWith driverless car app, Google is going to know just about everything about you - even more than it currently does. Let's just hope that Ashley Madison doesn't get a hold of it.
    • If you're a Google+ user and you haven't switched to the Photos app yet, you have until August 1st to do so. That is the date that Google is shutting down Google+ Photos
    • YouTube hasn't heard a resounding huzzah for its plan to implement an ad-free subscription service, but that hasn't stopped it from pushing ahead anyway. At issue for YouTube content partners: their content might appear on other video platforms, so they might not want exclusivity with the video giant; and if they opt of out of the paid model, they're barred from posting their videos on the traditional advertising-supported version.
  • Twitter
    • Be careful if you're criticizing brands on Twitter. No, really criticizing them. Herbalife has filed a court petition to discover the identity of a user - @AfueraHerbaLIES, who has been tweeting false and damaging statements about the company. 
    • Managing to anger people who didn't even know it was an option, Twitter announced that it is unilaterally removing wallpaper backgrounds from accounts. It's only for the home and notification pages for logged in users, and the intent is to show a more unified and consistent experience for non-logged in users. Of course, that explanation wasn't enough to stop Internet outrage or conspiracy theorists.
    • If you've ever cringed at some of the purchased trending topics or ads during major real-time events, or perhaps issued yourself a dope slap after forgetting when National Root Beer Float Day landed (It's August 6. You're welcome.), then you should be pleased that Twitter has developed a calendar of live events that brands can buy real-time ads against - in advance. Something that makes it easier for lazy marketers to game events with faux-authentic real-time marketing? Why yes, I'd love to. /sarcasm 

Collaborative Economy 

  • Lyft is partnering with Starbucks to give Starbucks Rewards to passengers who use the ride-hailing service, in an effort to boost its loyalty program. Expect it to launch later this year. But will they stop at Dunkin Donuts for me?
  • Speaking of loyalty, celebrities like Kate Upton, Ashton Kutcher and Neil Patrick Harris came out of the woodwork this week to support Uber's efforts to stand up to New York City.
  • Between that, the De Blasio feature on the app, an email campaign and good old fashioned protesters, it worked. The city will conduct a four month study on the environmental effects of on-demand car services. The score is now Uber 1, De Blasio 0. We wonder if the "environmental effects" includes the disgust, dismay and nausea that taxi passengers suffer when subjected to a dirty, noisy, un-air conditioned cab with a vanilla car freshener, a dashboard full of warning lights and a surly driver.
  • One has to wonder: ethically, is Uber a better choice than a taxi?
  • As the collaborative economy grows - both in people served as well as in awareness - more large companies are getting on board. With over 190 documented examples that range from crowdfunding to the maker movement and more, big companies are no longer sitting on the sidelines. But will profitability follow?


  • According to research through May 2015 by Triton Digital, streaming audio listeners are a mobile bunch. Over 75% of listening time between 6 am and 8 pm every day occurs on mobile devices. Pandora continues to lead the crowd in adoption.

It's almost here! Tickets for Content Marketing World 2015 in September are almost gone. Join your colleagues to get the best information about the content marketing industry.

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  • This study shows how content can drive a massive brand lift, through subscription-worthy content, deeply engaged readers, the development of trust and purchase intent.
  • Disney has always been smart about content. If you'd like to get a glimpse of Disney's strategy circa 1957, you'll see it places their film business at the center of everything they do, with television, music, parks, comics, licensing and publications all playing off of the films and each other.

Metrics / Measurement / Data

Privacy / Security / Legal

  • The parent company of Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men, the site for adults who want to cheat on their partners, is the latest victim of a data breach / hack. Of particular note is that the hackers are planning to expose data of customers who participated in a so-called paid "data wipe" program that allegedly rid the Ashley Madison servers of users' data. The full statement from The Impact Team is available on Krebs On SecurityCall us naive, but we're astounded that 37 million people used those services. BTW, the site's slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." We'll how short the life of the site is. Meanwhile...
  • Of course, the kind of data breach that occurred at Ashley Madison could happen anywhereIt's just that other online businesses are likely less nefarious. Unless it's Gawker.
  • And if you're a Jeep customer (or any vehicle that comes with its own wifi connection), you might have cause for some concern as hackers worked their way into a car this week. Of course, if you rely on your phone for your connected car, as with Ford (my former employer) or Automatic (for which I'm an advisor), you have less cause for concern. Then again, if you're the CEO of Ashley Madison and you drive a Jeep...
  • If you're about to head into the streets with your hair on fire now, take a quick read about the two most overhyped security threats to calm yourself down.
  • But if you're a Lifelock customer, you might have reason to be concerned: the FTC filed a complaint that the data protection company was not adhering to an order and settlement that required the company to establish and maintain a comprehensive security program to protect sensitive personal data users entrust to the company as part of its identity-theft protection service.
    • We recently became aware of IDShield, an identity theft protection company that insures you with up to $5 million in coverage and Kroll private investigators who will help resolve any issues. We're testing out the service and will have an interview with IDShield's CEO soon.

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

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

*GMOOT = Get Me One Of Those