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We move from fake news to censorship; the state of social media 2016; streaming video wars; Facebook addresses affordable housing; Snapchat is changing how we think about social networks; Airbnb works with the EU; an important 4-part series on Uber and its economic impact; chatbots improve customer experience; the future of autonomous vehicle ownership; how one journalist became an influencer; looking at the silent film industry for VR direction;the evolution of a data-driven company; Sherlock Holmes was the original technology distruptor and more in this week's edition of The Full Monty. Trivia and the poem of the week are now exclusively on The Full Monty podcast.
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Upcoming Speaking Engagements
- Social Media Marketing World 2017 in San Diego, March 22-24, 2017
- While stories about the prominence of fake news continue to swirl (including a Stanford study that found that most students don't know when news is fake and the solution: How to Tell If You're Reading Fake News Site on Facebook), we found a few articles that prompted us to create This Week in Censorship, which in and of itself is simply an extension of This Week in Fake News:
- Facebook is reportedly creating a censorship tool that will allow it get into China. The tool will allow it to suppress posts appearing in people's feeds in specific geographic areas. Clearly, this will allow state government to block any news that it doesn't want its people to see. Talk about fake news.
- Snapchat and Apple tend to exercise more control over their news offerings, which is why they don't have a fake news problem.
- And don't miss the story about the fake news detector for Facebook that led to a fake news story about its inventor — until Facebook blocked it.
- Amazon is cracking down on fake reviews in a number of ways: first, by deleting "incentivized" reviews; and secondly by allowing no more than five reviews per user per week — unless they've made verified purchases.
- Amazon also suppressed a number of negative reviews of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s new memoir before it was even released, as many of the comments came from a link from a pro-Trump Reddit forum. Glad to see Amazon is draining the swamp.
- Social media is moving away from simply being an innovative marketing technique to more of an integrative force. You'll want to read all about it in Altimeter's 2016 State of Social Business report.
- Integration is an essential part of digital transformation, and these 12 digital transformation strategies from GE (client), Domino's and Scotiabank are worth learning from.
- A look at the current state of location-based marketing as mobile technology advances with things like sensors and augmented reality.
- The streaming video wars continue: Netflix how offers users the ability to download its programming — the holy grail of streaming. And AT&T's DirecTV launched its own streaming service with over 100 channels. Meanwhile, Amazon has held talks with the NBA, MLB and NFL and others to stream live sports.
- According to data published in November, about half of US advertising and marketing executives identified artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented realities, the internet of things and “conversational marketing” as critical emerging technology for marketing.
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TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- Should Facebook buy Twitter? According to one columnist, Facebook's commitment to live video makes Twitter an attractive add-on. Between Facebook's fake news problem and Twitter's troll problem, it would be a match made in purgatory.
- Twitter has finally hired a VP of product, a former Googler who worked on Gmail, Gchat and Inbox.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- Facebook is stepping up to address the issue of affordable housing in its hometown.
- It's finally happened: Facebook has overtaken traditional media in its advertising haul. "But we're not a media company," Zuckerberg keeps insisting.
- You can now play games in the Messenger interface.
- Facebook is testing a feature that will allow users to find free public Wi-Fi.
- The assault on Snapchat's features continues as Facebook offers Collections, a feature like Snapchat's Discover that will bring news articles, videos, listicles and other content to the News feed.
- Also in that vein, Instagram will notify users of screenshots taken of private temporary messages.
- Instagram also launched disappearing Live video and messages, another intended Snapchat killer.
- Snap's new Spectacles have been one of the most-anticipated product introductions of the year. In New York, customers lined up around the block to get a set.
- Snap has become one of the world's most innovative and influential consumer technology companies, revolutionizing how we think about social networks.
Collaborative/ Autonomous Economy
- Airbnb is softening its stance against regulators in London and Amsterdam, showing a compromise that might act as a template for other cities. The new position is that hosts are limited in the number of nights a year they may rent their homes.
- A new service in Rome is offering ride-sharing on scooters and a chance to make a love connection. Think of it as Tinder meets Uber for scooters. Friends, Romans, countrymen…lend me your scooter.
- Lyft now offers upfront fares, so riders can see exactly how much they'll pay - just like Uber.
- In Denmark, prosecutors have indicted Uber due to the behavior of two of its drivers there. An interesting wrinkle for a company that is constantly trying to keep its drivers at arm's length with respect to being considered employees vs. contractors, yet trumpeting their screening process. You really are judged by the company you keep.
- Meanwhile, Uber argues at the EU's top court in Spain that it's an app, not a transport company. Vaguely similar to Facebook's refrain about not being a media company.
- Uber wants to make drivers' jobs more pleasant with the addition of a "Compliments" section of the app, where riders can leave feedback and provide a written note for their drivers. Or you know, you could actually talk to them, like a real human being.
- Don't miss this four-part series Can Uber Deliver? Using data on the industry competitive economics, the series addresses the question of whether Uber’s aggressive efforts to completely dominate the urban car service industry has (or will) increase overall economic welfare.
- Part 1: Understanding Uber's Bleak Operating Economics. Uber is a fundamentally unprofitable enterprise, with negative 140% profit margins and incurring larger operating losses than any previous startup.
- Part 2: Understanding Uber's Uncompetitive Costs. Uber is the industry’s high cost producer, with a significant cost disadvantage in every cost category except fuel and fees where no operator could achieve any advantage.
- Part 3: Understanding False Claims About Uber's Innovation and Competitive Advantages. Uber has not in fact introduced major product/technological/process breakthroughs that create huge competitive advantages incumbents could not match.
- Part 4: Understanding That Unregulated Monopoly Was Always Uber's Central Objective. The belief that monopoly power can be a major source of financial returns is widely held among the venture capitalists that funded Uber, and its spending priorities and marketplace behavior have been totally consistent with a company pursuing global industry dominance.
- A look at how autonomous vehicles are accelerating into the mainstream and at eight trends affecting innovation in the auto industry.
- In the future, your car is self-driving. But who owns it? Four scenarios on the future of ownership of autonomous vehicles.
- Apple submitted a letter to NHTSA, advocating that new entrants to the automotive industry should have the same testing rights as incumbents. Is Apple preparing to get back into the autonomous vehicle business?
- Ford and a number of German automakers are teaming up to form a new joint venture that will build a network of ultra-fast chargers in Europe.
- With the increase in highway deaths, NHSTA is looking for ways to block apps that may be distracting drivers. Maybe they'll give us our apps back when we finally get fully autonomous vehicles. But I still want my flying car.
- Flying car, you say? They're closer than you think. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen is thinking about flying cars, IoT, VR, AR, and other disruptive technologies.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- Chatbots are being used to improve the customer experience. And while automated messaging has been around for a while, today’s chatbots combine machine learning with artificial intelligence to create enhanced user experiences.
- Artificial Intelligence is big business. Google, Facebook and Microsoft are remaking themselves around AI. And others will follow.
- A global McKinsey study found that a high percentage of jobs will be automated, including high-paying ones. But not for decades - probably.
Virtual Reality / Audio
- Looking at the past and at a related industry can sometimes provide insight and clarity. In this case, how the VR industry mirrors early days of the silent film era.
- Pandora share rose last week on reports of an acquisition by SiriusXM.
- Spotify has a wealth of user data, and they put it to creative use with an ad campaign. Favorite billboard: "Dear person who played 'Sorry' 42 times on Valentines Day: what did you do?"
- RadioPublic is interested in tackling the lingering challenges of podcasting - namely, understanding who engages with their content and making podcasts more discoverable.
- Program of the Week. This week, our recommendation is Science Friday, suggested by Ted Wright. Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the source for entertaining and educational stories about science, technology, and other cool stuff. 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 oniTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spreaker or SoundCloud.
Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- The story of how a journalist became an Instagram influencer, with the help of an agency.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Uber wants to track your location, even when you're not using the app. Creepy.
- A U.S. presidential commission found that the government and private sectors must work together to improve the security of digital networks. The commission also recommended to increase the pace of technology adoption in the federal sector.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are often not the intent; DDoS can be used as a diversionary tactic while a hacker accesses other systems for more significant impacts. Much like the way a pickpocket distracts you to miss what he's doing.
- Hacking isn't just for high-end criminals; all it takes is a simple $5 device and your password-protected computer can be hacked in minutes.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- From data-resistant to data-driven: the evolution of the data-driven company.
- You've got your latest marketing technology stack all set to go. But what good is marketing technology without a mission? Your brand to the rescue.
- Now that chatbots are here, it's time to figure out how to measure them.
Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- With all of its focus on technological advances on the most minute area of our lives, some think that the bigger picture is being missed because Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Problem.
- How you package your product is just as important as the product itself. Evidence? A tripling of search results for unboxing videos in three years. "Unable to purchase desirable products, kids all over the world can--in some small way, through the unboxing videos--indulge in the repetitive viewing of someone else in a state of euphoric consumption." How Watching Other People Unwrap Gadgets Became Big Business.
- Sherlock Holmes may be known for his magnifying lens, (non-existent) meerschaum pipe and deerstalker hat. And while he may have lived in the Victorian/Edwardian eras Sherlock Holmes was the original technology disruptor.
- FM 22-5 is a U.S. Army field manual published in 1946. Section II contains Qualities of a Leader, which are just as applicable to managers today.
- If you're traveling this holiday season, you'll want to know about these six must-have apps for the worldly traveler.
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