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NPR says "no comment" amid more trolls and wasted effort; Facebook is becoming television, Google is becoming Ma Bell; Gawker found a buyer and a dead end; proving B2B marketing to senior management; Twitter needs more urgency; success in the on-demand economy is around routine convenience, not luxury; Uber and Ford are jockeying for self-driving car dominance; the CEO's guide to customer experience; the sound of silence amide digital noise; get trivia and the poem of the week exclusively on The Full Monty podcast.
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- I'm heading to Cleveland for Content Marketing World September 7-8, 2016.
- I'll be keynoting at Brand ManageCamp from September 15-16 in Las Vegas.
- And it's back to Vegas to keynote at Pubcon on October 11.
- Interested in having me speak at your event? Please check out my speaking page and get in touch.
- NPR is removing the comments section from its website, beginning August 23. It becomes the latet media company to join this growing trend. While it would seem that it is taking the "public" out of National Public Radio, this is actually a smart step. Tune into Episode 8 of The Full Monty podcast for more on this topic.
- Related: TIME has a long piece on how trolls are ruining the Internet. And how they might be ruining us on the process.
- Hulu, Vice and other new media services are preparing to gather in New York for this year’s NewFronts, as Facebook and Google watch ad dollars pour in and television executives stand by helplessly.
- The Wall Street Journal is loosening up its paywall a bit, to allow 24-access to Journal- or susbcriber-shared content. With its nearly 950K paying subscribers, our guess is that this is a way to entice additional subscribers to reach their goal of 3 million subscribers by 2017.
- In the publishing industry, the biggest concern among digital advertising executives is viewability. The same could likely be said for digital ad execs at brands as well.
- Gawker found its buyer: Univision bought the company for $135 million. While it's a relief for the bankrupt, lawsuit-ridden entity, they don't make it out completely whole; Gawker.com is shutting down this week as part of the acquisition. While this may seem like schadenfreude for some, the fact is that it should scare you that a multimillionaire has the power to silence the press.
- Mitch Joel had a thought-provoking piece called Marketing Automation Must Die. It's cluttering up inboxes and making cold calls even more dreaded. Technically, it should be that bad marketing automation must die.
- How can B2B marketers prove their worth to senior management? More than just generating leads and sales, they can also position their brand against the competition.
- With so much focus on visual communications lately, Geoff Livingston asks which of these five photo sharing networks is right for you?
- There's nothing wrong with ghost blogging or speechwriting for an executive. But when they don't even review your work, Gini Dietrich says don't you dare let them call it thought leadership.
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FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
- Facebook Live gets an upgrade today: iOS app users will have the ability to host two-camera live videos. Stay tuned for ours.
- We know Facebook has aggressively pushed Live video because it wants video to be the dominant source of content consumption on its site, but is it too much, too soon? Mark our words: Facebook will be the new TV.
- For those worried about Messenger bot spam, good news: now, a Messenger bot can, with certain exceptions, only message someone within 24 hours of that person interacting with the bot. Thank goodness. That MonkeyPet was really starting to annoy me.
- Facebook has a new app that is only for people under 21: Lifestage, which relies solely on video. Take that, Snapchat.
- Are you constantly annoyed that Facebook shows you Top Stories instead of Most Recent updates? Now you can permanently set Facebook to Most Recent.
- Buffer has the most complete, up-to-date version of a Facebook ads guide.
- Instagram has a new 'Events' channel that grabs clips from live events. It's eerily similar to Snapchat's 'Live Stories' feature in its Discover section. Take that, Snapchat.
- The New York Times, National Geographic and Sports Ilustrated are all using Instagram for compelling visual storytelling.
TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- One of the things holding Twitter back: its lack of urgency. Looking at what CEO Jack Dorsey promised investors in his first call, it's a stretch to think he's achieved any of it. Now is the time to step up.
- So naturally, the answer is stickers.
- Here's a fictional letter from the CEO. Wishful thinking. We've got our own advice for Jack Dorsey in Episode 8 of The Full Monty show.
- Are you ready for some football? Twitter is. They've secured the rights to live stream Thursday night NFL games.
- Twitter's share of the U.S. social networking audience is slowing, with only a 2% growth year-over-year.
- Google is discontinuing its Hangouts on Air live video feature of Google+, opting instead to support YouTube Live. While this may be seen as yet another nail in the Google+ coffin, it's the right move, as Google already has massive adoption and familiarity around YouTube - a platform which the company heavily supports.
- In addition, the company launched Duo, a competitor to FaceTime. Duo will also support audio-only calls soon. The big Silicon Valley companies move closer to being telecommunications companies.
- Snapchat acquired Vurb, the mobile search and recommendation app, for $110 million. The additional technology could ease the user interface confusion that greets so many new (especially older) users.
Collaborative / Autonomous Economy
- Success in on-demand delivery means becoming a routine convenience rather than a luxury. But the economics don't work — and some gig economy companies are misleading customers. Remember: Amazon took nearly 20 years to post a profit.
- You have to know what job customers are hiring you to do before you can hope to create the perfect solution for them. Enter, Airbnb.
- We now know why the GM-Lyft acquisition didn't go through: Lyft was seeking $9 billion. They could have at least given GM a discount for using a friend's code.
- Transport for London, the body that regulates taxis in the city, is posing regulations to require drivers to pass an English test. Uber predictably reacts by throwing a fit suing them. "Regulations? You can't have regulations. We'll sue you!" More of the same in Uber's streak of petulance.
- That $100 million settlement for Uber drivers who want to be treated like employees? A judge has denied Uber's offer to settle.
- If you want an Uber in India, you don't even need to use the app. It's as simple as dialing them up.
- Simultaneously, Uber's main competitor Ola has shut its TaxiForSure and laid off 1,000 people.
- Uber and Volvo entered into a $300 million deal for autonomous vehicles. And Uber bought Otto, the self-driving truck company.
- Get a self-driving Uber to pick you up. The only requirement? A trip to Pittsburg and luck of the draw. But this isn't a fluke. Uber's CEO is bullish on self-driving vehicles for its fleet.
- The only ones surprised about this move? Uber's drivers, who now feel as if they've been used (they have) and that they'll be irrelevant (they will).
- Ford is committed to producing fully autonomous vehicles without gas pedals, brakes or steering wheels by 2021. That would help reduce the number of airbag recalls.
- Speaking of recalls, we've already seen how this will play out:
AI / BOTS
- Chat bots are going to be disruptive to the marketing world. Those that utilize artificial intelligence will transform advertising, making emotional connections to consumers that will transcend today's more transactional engagements.
- Here are five ways that AI can enhance the customer experience.
Virtual Reality / Audio
VIRTUAL / AUGMENTED REALITY
- Intel has VR headset called Alloy that is an all-in-one system, with all of the cameras, sensors and input controls built-in. The easier and more comprehensive that companies make VR technology, the faster the adoption by mainstream users.
- Pandora is expanding its offerings, with its traditional free service, as well as two monthly subscription options in the U.S. and in new overseas markets. Pandora needs to increase its visibility and offerings amid the competition in this space.
- Spotify is committed to early learning with its Kids and Family section that encourages parents to read and sing along with their children.
- Program of the Week. This week's recommendation is Be Less Typical - Car Sales, recommended by Patrick Hennessey. NPR style storytelling podcast framed around automotive employees changing the perception of what a car sales professional is. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
- And in case you want to check out our latest:
Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- From McKinsey: the CEO guide to customer experience. To improve the customer experience, move from touchpoints to the journey: observe, shape, perform.
- Performance pricing hasn't yet caught on in influencer marketing. While cost per engagement (CPE) sounds nice in theory, it’s challenging in practice.
- According to a recent Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans think auto dealers are unethical. This puts them on the same level as telemarketers and members of Congress. Ouch.
- "The problem is there appears to continue to be a 'church and state' separation of automaker and dealer that neither side seems totally willing to eliminate. It’s easier to point the finger at the other side than actually to do something to change things."
- According to March 2016 research, less than half of marketers feel confident their organization understands the customer journey. Only slightly more feel confident in their use of data. Actually being the customer would help.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Hotels operated by Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood and Intercontinental were hit with malware last week that may have divulged credit card data.
- According to a study, we ignore security alerts on our computers 90% of the time.
- WhatApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype — communication tools that piggyback on data plans —must abide by strict security and confidentiality rules.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- Here are five strategies for reporting metrics from your newsroom.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- "Increasingly our standard defense against the social unease formerly known as the awkward silence is not to make noise but to stroke our little talismans of talkative silences. We outsource our incidental chat, idly checking email or Facebook or sending a text, hoping that the fleshy aggregation loitering in soft focus beyond the crisp horizon of our smartphone will soon move on." What does "silence" mean in the age of digital noise?
- If it strains you to participate in small talk, you might try the app A Curious Question, which gives you up to 300 questions to ask in awkward social situations.
- An independent bookstore in the UK is vying for more attention of its patrons as it eliminates WiFi. Go figure - making people read in a bookstore!
- Productivity hack: 25 tips, tricks and time-savers for Gmail users.
- The humble pencil has quite a history. Take note.
- Medium's Ev Williams discusses how ideas bounce from one person's head to another.
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