Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Fool Me Once — April 1, 2019

Fake news fakes out April Fools' Day; personalizing your drive-thru preferences; ethics needs advisory boards; the future of newsrooms looks bleak; retail requires physical and online together; the latest social network; Facebook's commitment to stopping hate speech; YouTube ignored similar requests; beware TV networks; Spotify to surpass Pandora users; Huawei's engineering is a terrible security hole; the EU's new copyright rules are vapid; Uber tried to stop Lyft every way it could; Airbnb is bigger than Hilton; capturing data for business impact; how coffee led to the downfall of an empire; and more in the Fool Me Once edition of The Full Monty for the week of April 1, 2019.

The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating essential digital business intelligence every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing.


Top Story
Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
Retail Apocalypse
Privacy / Security / Regulatory
Measurement / Analytics / Data
Mental Nourishment


I consult and advise brands and agencies through Scott Monty Strategies, which I founded after serving as an executive at Ford Motor Company. I've worked with digital communications teams, customer service leaders, and C-level executives at companies like WalmartMcDonaldsT-Mobile and IBM on issues related to strategy, crisis communications, customer experience, and digital, social and content strategy. It's all about better strategies to improve customer relationships and grow business. I welcome the opportunity to explore a relationship with your team.
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Top Story

As you know, April 1st officially marked April Fools' Day. In the last decade or so, brands have stepped up their efforts to fool customers and the public with pranks that range from the subtle to the outrageous.

Thanks to the advent of online scams and the inability by even the most intelligent people to detect fake news, we've seen a bit of a retraction of activity. Many people have expressed disdain or dread at the date, even vowing to remain off of social media for the day. In the U.K., government officials even asked media outlets to refrain from publishing traditional spoof stories on April 1.

This is nothing new for humans. We've been gullible from the beginning, wanting to believe those who approach us earnestly for help. But fool us too many times, and we become immune to such requests. This is the moral of Aesop's classic The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Have we become the Internet who cried wolf?

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About this week's image: "Stańczyk during a ball at the court of Queen Bona in the face of the loss of Smolensk" by Jan Matejko depicts Stańczyk, the court jester during Poland's height. Besides his work as a court jester, he has been described as an eloquent, witty, and intelligent man who used satire to comment on the nation's past, present, and future. His usual mirth is gone, as he is deep in thought following the news that Poland lost the city of Smolensk to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy (Russia).

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
  • When it comes to autonomous vehicles, what's the acceptable death rate? Vision Zero in Sweden has an idea, and it involves makers of vehicles and roadways taking responsibility. (Automotive News) It's an interesting concept, given that vehicles are a leading cause of death today, and that safety should be paramount to any vehicle developer. Having consequences connected with actions is an important concept.
  • Manhattan is implementing congestion pricing, the first such city in the U.S. to charge a premium for vehicles in particularly busy areas of the city. The proceeds would help to underwrite subway repairs. (New York Times)  

Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.

Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
  • The Plain Dealer is laying off about a third of its unionized newsroom staff. A Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor statistics from 2008 to 2017 found overall newsroom employment dropped nationally by 23 percent and in newspaper newsrooms employment dropped by 45 percent. More than 2,400 media jobs have been eliminated so far this year, according to Business Insider. (Cleveland.com) The future of the news industry is in jeopardy, largely due to online offerings. Please support your local news organizations.
  • If you'd like to see a CEO self-immolate on social media, look no further than Elon Musk. (Agility PR) While he's incredibly engaged with customers, he also damages his company by ignoring legal and regulatory requirements for publicly-listed companies.

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Retail Apocalypse

Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 


News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.
  • There's a new social network that isn't new at all. The one with the best conversion rates and engagement. (New York Times) One might argue it's not that social either. But it's effective.
  • Almost one-fifth of an average email’s total opens occur within the first hour of sending. Opens slowly decrease after the first hour, to the point where a little more than half (51%) of emails are opened by the 7th hour after they have been delivered. (Marketing Charts)
Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ


The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.

  • To BBC or not to BBC? The BBC claims that Google isn't directing people to BBC Sounds (its own podcast service) but to its own. And now BBC has blocked Google from accessing its site. Bottom line: Google Podcasts pulls directly from all podcast providers, giving them equal access to data and listeners. (Podnews) Really, BBC?
  • Anchor launched a new "analytics suite" for both Android and iOS mobile devices. (RAINnews)
  • According to a forecast on digital music listeners, Spotify will surpass Pandora in terms of users by 2021—one year sooner than predicted last year. (eMarketer)
  • Spotify acquired true crime studio Parcast to expand its own podcast content. (TechCrunch)
  • Google is auto transcribing podcasts and saving that metadata for search. (Android Police)
  • Program of the Week: This week's show is American History Tellers from Wondery.  Every part of your life — the words you speak, the ideas you share — can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? The events, the times and the people that shaped our nation.

If you don't already, please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, 7 minutes of weekly business commentary, many times with a historical or literary twist. What's past is prologue.

Try this at home: "Alexa, play the latest episode of The Full Monty."

Privacy / Security / Regulatory

Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
  • The U.K. slammed Huawei because its engineering is so bad that it has inadvertently left huge national security holes in its devices. (Bloomberg)
  • When Max Vest found hidden cameras in his Airbnb late at night, he dressed, grabbed his things, and headed for the door. One problem: the man allegedly recording him was in the next room. (The Atlantic)
  • The E.U. approved copyright rules over the objection of activists. New rules will require tech platforms to sign licensing agreements with authors, musicians, and news publishers if they want to post their content online. One component of the new law, called the “link tax,” would require sites like Google News to pay a fee when summarizing a story and linking to it. (Axios) They'll also have to proactively remove unlicensed copyrighted material from their platforms instead of waiting for complaints to roll in before acting. And you thought Brexit was a disaster?
Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ

Measurement / Analytics / Data

The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.


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    Let's chat and see if I can customize a session for you.

    Mental Nourishment

    Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.

    Top image credit: Stańczyk by Jan Matejko, 1862 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)


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