Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

It's the year-end predictions, the questionable decision to unbundle, virtual assistants abound, Facebook live video expands, local services get a boost, Uber's dual fate in Seattle and Austin, Airbnb and landlords, video and marketing strategy, shutting down one service guarantees an exodus to another, Watson goes open source and Holmes uses artificial intelligence, the trait that separates great marketers from good ones, plus our weekly trivia challenge, the podcast pick of the week and more, it's the final edition of The Week in Digital.

A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry. If you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links — and additional ones — by subscribing to The Week in Digital Magazine at smonty.co/flipdigital.

Please note that this will be the final edition of The Week in Digital. We'll be rebranding and relaunching in 2016. Thank you for all of your support throughout the year and have a very Happy New Year.

We're using Facebook Mentions each Sunday evening at 9:30 pm ET to bring you 15 minutes of commentary and previews of what to expect from the week's newsletter. If you follow on Facebook and tune in every Sunday night, you can get a preview and join in the commentary as well.


  • This is the time of year when you see the predictions for next year. In this case, eMarketer has six predictions for what will happen in 2016.
    • Included are the rise of mobile payments, marketers will participate in messenger apps, voice-activated search through smartphone-enabled personal assistants, the shift from mobile shopping to mobile buying, and Facebook becoming nearly entirely mobile.
    • As equally important to cover are five predictions for what won't happen in 2016.
      • Ad blocking won't get solved, the definition for a viewable impression won't be determined, Facebook won't kill YouTube, young people won't abandon Facebook, digital ad spending won't surpass TV.

    • But let's not let 2015 get away from us without a little reflection. The Guardian notes that 2015 was the year of the email newsletter. As you're reading this, we'd imagine you concur. Even thought it may seem like a throwback, logically it makes sense; the rising streams of content across your mobile device means that a predictable and more private communication via email makes an impact.
    • Facebook made a splash with the unbundling of Messenger from the main Facebook app. But companies are finding that unless they have the scale of Facebook, unbundling isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
    • The war against ISIS will increasingly be fought online. Which is why the U.S. is recruiting students to help on Facebook and YouTube.
    • Last week we reported that Netflix hogs 37% of the Internet's data. Now with its new video encoding, Netflix uses less data than previously.
    • Virtual personal assistants are the future. And while Siri, Cortana and Google Now are well established, Facebook's M drove more buzz than its competitors. This is what happens when you release it primarily to the Silicon Valley-area self-anointed technology royalty, who are typically enamored with the latest shiny object Anyone remember Ello?
      • If you'd like to know what it's like to have your meetings scheduled by a virtual assistant, meet Amy. She's been my assistant since I started by own business six months ago.


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    *B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends (Content Marketing Institute & Marketing Profs)


    • Yahoo
      • The questionable decision making continues at Yahoo, as noted in a report submitted to Yahoo's board by hedge fund manager Eric Jackson. It includes outsized salaries, investments, purchases and budgets for parties and trips.

    Trivia question: What is Uber thinking of replacing its five-star rating system with? *

    Collaborative Economy 


    Content / Customer Experience

    Privacy / Security / Legal

    Measurement / Metrics / Data

    * Answer to the trivia question above: 

    • Using thumbs up, thumbs down, smiles and other options, Uber is testing out a system of rating with emoji.

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

    "Curiosity is the cure for boredom. There is no cure for curiosity."
    - Dorothy Parker

    Each Monday we publish this 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.

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    I advise brands and agencies to help them improve their communications 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.