Changes in the publishing world, from shorter stories to ecommerce; it's crisis time for Samsung and Wells Fargo — both are raging fires in more ways than one; Twitter is now without a suitor; Facebook goes to work; Google shows Facebook how to do news; Yahoo may be without a suitor soon as well; email is growing in importance; Uber undercuts the subway and harasses Latin American drivers with drones; President Obama on the future of AI; VR -gimmick or soon to be ubiquitous?; dueling audio streaming services; Silicon Valley's (non)impact on the American worker; the Bone Zone; Blue Light Special on Archive.org and more in this week's edition of The Full Monty. Get trivia and the poem of the week exclusively on The Full Monty podcast.
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- The Wall Street Journal is reorganizing its newsroom as it aims to reach 3 million digital subscribers. The result will be shorter, snappier and more creative stories.
- CNN launched a personalized business news app, CNN MoneyStream, which allows users to follow their favorite companies, topics, and CEOs as they would follow sports stars. Personalized news is poised to become a big thing in the near future. No two users' news home pages will be the same.
- Similarly, many companies still need to adapt to the deep connection their customers and employees have with their mobile devices. The smartphone is qualitatively different than a tablet. It provides freedom from the form. It enables a new approach to human–device interaction: an approach that doesn’t mimic an individual sitting at a desk with a piece of paper, doing a task.
- Chief communications officers say that digital communications and employee engagement are among their top priorities. Also of importance: cyber security and shareholder activism.
- BuzzFeed introduced a shop as part of its ecommerce strategy. This is one way that publishers are diversifying in order to normalize their revenue streams. Think research, events and more.
- I joined Newsmodo to discuss the collision of journalism and branded content. Would love to hear what you think.
- This week in crisis:
- Samsung got one of the worst pieces of news that a brand can get: the US Department of Transportation banned any Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones from being brought on board planes, powered on or off.
- Wells Fargo's embattled CEO John Stumpf stepped down after its months-long soap opera of pushing unnecessary accounts on unsuspecting customers. It's a textbook case of crisis mis-management and could have been handled much better in order to protect its reputation. It's also one of the topics of this week's Full Monty podcast.
- Here's the definitive cord-cutting guide, based on your viewing habits.
- Flipboard announced Storyboard for brand storytelling. It's much more fluid and lighter than creating an entire magazine, and it allows users to share an in-depth narrative by stitching together formats such as video, articles, images, gifs and sound. In this way, it's much more similar to and even expands beyond Facebook's Carousel ads. Disclosure: I'm what Flipboard calls a "super user" and I paid a visit to Flipboard's HQ last week. Please check out my magazines on Flipboard.
- We still need to be careful about how we're messaging people, whether it's in ads, over email or via text.
- Email is evolving and time spent with it is growing, according to Adobe's Email Survey 2016.
- According to consumers, they still prefer being contacted by email and Millennials in particular spend the most time with it.
- Most Millennials have installed ad blockers and 14% have them installed on mobile and desktop devices.
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TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- As indicated last week, Salesforce has officially ended its bid for Twitter. Twitter now has no major bidders left. And the cheese stands alone.
- Twitter is now at a major inflection point. "On the one hand, [you have] the market's lack of faith in Twitter and, on the other, Twitter users' profound engagement with the service. [That] is really at the heart of what's happened to the company in recent years." This commentator's opinion? Twitter should go private.
- Twitter's woes signal the end of the social wars. Although smartphones and social media remain as important as ever, the war to control those platforms are over. The future is virtual reality, hardware, video and artificial intelligence.
- Twitter will not host Flight, its annual developer conference this year, instead focusing on smaller regional events.
- Periscope will now allow streaming from professional video devices other than your phone, through Periscope Producer. This is in a bid to woo more professional videographers to the service.
FACEBOOK / INSTRAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- You can now stream Facebook videos on Chromecast and Apple TV. The merging of digital, streaming and traditional TV is almost complete.
- Bleacher Report will broadcast live high school sports using Facebook Live. Professional sports organizations should pay attention to this. See previous item.
- Workplace (formerly Facebook @ Work) is here and it's set to compete with Yammer, Slack and other existing systems. Since employees are already on Facebook all day, this should be an easy transition, right? RIGHT?!?
- Facebook still has a fake news problem. Since it fired all of its human news editors, it has repeatedly trended fake news stories.
- A fake Instagram account had a noble cause, but is hoodwinking users a good idea?
- Business Insider's team is betting on Instagram Stories over Snapchat.
- Snapchat is seeking Hollywood content partners to make original programming for its Discover channel, specifically short-term content, which could include reality-type shows, comedy, animation and prank shows.
ALPHABET / GOOGLE
- Google News is adding 'Fact Check' tags to news items it has indexed, to help particularly with US election-related items. Facebook ought to try this.
- Google is about to divide its index, giving mobile users better and fresher content. Currently, Google has a single index of documents for search. They plan on releasing a separate mobile search index, which will become the primary one.
- Verizon indicated that Yahoo's massive data breach may constitute a material development, meaning the entire deal may be on hold.
Collaborative/ Autonomous Economy
- Airbnb is providing landlords a financial incentive if they'll let their tenants rent out units to travelers. The arrangement would give landlords additional revenue, but most landlords have been reluctant to get on board with it.
- If you're an Airbnb host, there's some additional revenue in the works for you too. According to the company, when you provide your guests with a hair dryer, you'll see $10 more a night on average.
- Uber and Gilt are selling passes for unlimited use of uberPOOL in New York City, undercutting the competition. uberPOOL is now cheaper than taking the subway. Sounds responsible.
- Uber is using drones to advertise to drivers stuck in traffic. It's only a matter of time before some frustrated driver shoots one down.
- If the drone routine works, Uber's next conquest may be Latin America.
- GM's ride-sharing service Maven hit the streets of San Francisco. The ZipCar / Getaround competitor hopes to make a splash with the tech crowd.
- It's Uber, but for pitching investors inside an Uber. Hail an uberPOOL in a three-hour window in New York and you may have a chance to pitch your idea to a venture capitalist inside. Bonus if it's for another Uber-for-X idea. It's the Russian nesting doll of venture capital.
- Germany orders Tesla to remove 'Autopilot' from its advertising, claiming that it is misleading.
AI / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- Interview with Barack Obama and MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito on AI and its impact on society, medical research, self-driving cars, and more. President Obama is a special guest editor for the November issue of Wired.
- Google wants to make its Assistant more human, so they're hiring comedy writers.
- X.ai launched a pro version of its AI scheduling service for $39 a month.
Virtual Reality / Audio
VR / AR
- Is VR just an overpriced gimmick, and nothing more? One columnist thinks so.
- Not if you're Sony. The latest PlayStation with VR has sold "many hundreds of thousands" of units.
- VR may have started with gaming, but it's destined for virtually every other industry.
- Amazon Music Unlimited launched. It's like a streaming music version of Prime. Look out, Spotify and Pandora.
- Pandora responded with Pandora Plus, an ad-free option as the middle tier of its three-tier system.
- This American Life introduced Shortcut, a tool to make sharing audio easier. This could not only transform the way audio is shared, but how it is discovered as well.
- Marketers are looking to amp up their digital audio spending. US marketing and media professionals will allocate an average of 11.6% of their ad budget and inventory to digital audio placements by mid-2017.
- Program of the Week. This week, our recommendation is not a program, but a network. It's Macmillan Publishing's Quick and Dirty Tips network, which began with Grammar Girl. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
- And don't forget to subscribe to ours via email or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spreaker or SoundCloud.
Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- In the rush to acquire new customers, we seem to have forgotten about the lost art of customer retention.
- Retailers instinctively know they're losing to ecommerce competitors, but don't know what to do about it.
- Related: Amazon is expanding its grocery business with convenience stores and curbside pickup locations.
- You may not realize it, but your entire Internet experience is being manipulated with the clever use of colors.
- What are marketing leaders focused on? Influencer marketing and employee advocacy programs. The Gartner report also notes that investment in social engagement and social customer service technology is on the upswing, with two-thirds planning to increase their investments in the coming year.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- The federal government warns of DDoS attacks that may be coming via cellular gateways. Some of the infected devices power automotive and industrial equipment.
- A Chicago disability rights group is suing Uber over wheelchair access.
- Another setback for Uber as two drivers were just granted unemployment benefits.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- It's not just Facebook; advertisers have issues with ad measurement systems from other platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest.
- As more publishers expand to new audiences around the world, here’s how they can find and activate on trending stories to build regional newsrooms.
- Big data will modernize your crisis communications plan. But only if you let it.
- Analytics cost Ted Williams a good 15 points on his batting average. And baseball is reviving the practice.
Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Too many distractions and not enough jobs. Is Silicon Valley bad for the American worker? Certainly not the Facebook @ Worker.
- Thought and cognition are not the same, and perfectly illustrate the difference between art and science.
- Management guru Peter Drucker seems to have been a visionary, as his writing is still fresh. How did he do it? In his own view, he was a historical writer who used education, culture, art, music, and historical consciousness in his approach. Or, as Shakespeare wrote, "What's past is prologue."
- The modern bookstore got its origin in London in the late 18th century; this is the story of how it happened.
- The latest Internet meme sprouted out of the second presidential debate, as Ken Bone was introduced to the world. He quickly got an Uber deal and became an instant celebrity before we found out too much about him in his Reddit AMA.
- So the question remains: where do you go when the Internet finds you embarrassing?
- Someone just uploaded their complete collection of Kmart in-store background music to Archive.org.
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