Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

It's Jack's Moment at Twitter, if you thought Peeple was bad, wait until you see Sniply, Microsoft ascendant, imagining the future when a tech giant fails, Pew Research's social media usage report, Facebook and television, the hot program for tech entrepreneurs, native ads may fall victim to ad blocking, Amazon helps out with security and compliance gaps, 15 tools to help you get more done each day, our weekly trivia challenge, the podcast 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.

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.

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Live video preview of The Week in Digital newsletter - Oct. 10, 2015
Live video preview of The Week in Digital newsletter - Oct. 10, 2015
Posted by Scott Monty on Sunday, October 11, 2015


  • Last week we shared the folly of Peeple, the purported app that lets you rate other people. This week, we have Sniply, a company that will allow anyone to overlay an ad on your site. While the creators of the technology claim that it "can be used ethically or unethically," they're doing nothing to stop the code from being used in a nefarious way. Be sure to check out the entire article and the comments on this one. With some of the recent breaches of trust, we have to wonder whether or not technology is getting the better of our ethical judgment.
  • If you want to get up close and personal with your customers, going beyond surface-level "loyalty," you'll want to read the 2015 Brand Intimacy report. Brands that create an emotional attachment with their customers have an average of five percent more revenue growth and 11 percent profit growth over the S&P 500.
  • Take a look at the 25 most powerful U.S. brands on social media. You might find a surprise or two in there.
  • Microsoft held an event in which they announced the latest Surface Book, Surface Pro, Lumia Phones, a fitness band and other significant innovations that put Microsoft closer than ever to being considered along side Apple, Facebook, Google and others. Windows 10 is impressive and its mobile integration is an important step to making it widely accepted.
  • Strategy and tactics are not the same thing. And yet, we often see marketers rush headlong into platforms, with an inconsistent approach due to a lack of vision. Or, as Lee Odden puts it, part of the problem is that "many marketers are tourists in the digital world."
  • We all love the idea of content on demand; who has space for all those DVDs and CDs any more, right? Well, if you're buying access to media through the cloud, what happens when an access-granting tech giant fails?
  • Pew Research now pegs 65% of adults as social media users, a nearly tenfold increase over a decade. Young adults continue to be the power users at 90%, while seniors over 65 have risen from just 2% in 2005 to 35% in 2015. For more details and breakouts see the Pew Research report Social Media Usage: 2005-2015.

Trivia question: Facebook hinted at a "dislike" button, but instead came out with how many different empathetic emojis in its Reactions feature?*


  • Google
    • Google might be rotting your brain. Kaspersky Labs found that up to 40% of people trying to remember information immediately refer to Google and don't try to think of it themselves. And 25% forget it immediately after looking it up. What was the first part again?
  • Instagram is five years old. The most surprising part about Instagram is that no one has ruined it yet. The real secret was keeping marketers at bay for so long and working with them closely to ensure they appreciate and mimic the style that Instagrammers have come to love.
  • Reddit unveiled Upvoted, a shot across the bow at Gawker and Buzzfeed. The news site has interesting content surfaced from Reddit itself, but it's a little different from the main site: no comments are allowed. For some who have been the victim of the hostile environment of Reddit's comments, this might be a marked improvement.
  • Medium founder Ev Williams noted that they're taking Medium to the next level, with easier writing and editing capabilities, a focus on mobile and a renewed commitment to making Medium more of a network than a writing platform, where people can connect over emotionally-charged writing. A nice tie-in to the Brand Intimacy Report above.

Collaborative Economy 


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  • Native advertising has been all the rage lately (even though its ancestor advertorial is virtually the same thing). However, what's new is this: native ads may be susceptible to ad blocking when they're served across many sites via ad technology. This should send a chill down the spine of every marketer. And it should give us pause to consider whether doing everything "at scale" makes sense.

What if you could put together a plan, a strategy, and a budget rooted in reality that gave you the resources you need to succeed? In less than one hour, you can build a data-driven customer journey and emerge with an actionable plan to prepare you for 2016.

data-driven customer journey and marketing planning framework

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Metrics / Measurement / Data

Privacy / Security / Legal
Image credit: JD Hancock (Flickr)

* Answer to the trivia question above: 

  • Facebook unveiled six empathetic emojis in its Reactions feature that will be piloted in Spain and Ireland. In addition to Like, you'll be able to express Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry. If they had one, we'd have clicked the Meh button on this news.

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

  • You're busy (that's why you're reading this curated newsletter rather than searching for the content yourself). Here are 15 tools to help you get more done each day.
  • Scientists have discovered that social networks do a great job of making something seem common when in fact it isn't. It's the majority illusionBottom line: don't believe everything you read.
  • Even though it's titled "My Father's Fashion Tips," it's for everyone. Tom Junod's award-winning piece is more about overall style and a son's relationship with his father, and is an exemplar of good writing.
  • Just for fun: Part 6 of Dave Pell's Just Admit It. We'll give you a flavor: 
"You already bought that new watch. The watch ads can’t figure that out so they keep following you around the Internet for a few more weeks. But I’m sure that self-driving car is totally safe."

Did you enjoy what you read this week? If so, please consider becoming a patron, which means you can pledge as little as $1 a month — or any amount you wish — to help support this newsletter by going to Patreon.

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

Top image credit: "Villainc" by J.J. at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons