When Algorithms Cheat, who checks them? 

Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t.

Buy Box

Unseen and almost wholly unregulated, algorithms play an increasingly important role in broad swaths of American life. Read More


Are Brands Catfishing for Sales with Your Selfies?

Washington said her image has been used on multiple beauty and style online shopping sites, and she thinks they may all be affiliates of DressLilly.com.

Source: People Can’t Stop Laughing At This Wig Site’s Hilariously Bad Edit Of A Stolen Image | BuzzFeed News

Read More

World’s Biggest Data Breaches Visualized

Bubble Map Infographic Largest Data Breaches

GOTTA BE A BETTER WAY: eyewitness videos on social media present ethical dilemmas

As news sharing on social platforms gathers steam, breaking news videos shot by eyewitnesses are going viral every other week. The phenomenon raises a host of questions for publishers, platforms, and eyewitnesses themselves. How can journalists ensure videos are authentic and judge whether it’s ethical to re-publish them? How can social platforms prevent fake news content from proliferating? How can journalists minimize harm to eyewitnesses who are suddenly thrust into the center of a breaking news cycle?

Source: ‘There’s gotta be a better way’: Ethical dilemmas surround eyewitness video



Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years

Raise your hand if you are not the least surprised:

For the past two years Facebook only counted video views of more than three seconds when calculating its “Average Duration of Video Viewed” metric. Video views of under three seconds were not factored in, thereby inflating the average. Facebook’s new metric, “Average Watch Time,” will reflect video views of any duration. That will replace the earlier metric.

In its note to clients, Publicis said the change wasd an attempt to obfuscate Facebook’s earlier miscalculations.

“In an effort to distance themselves from the incorrect metrics, Facebook is deprecating [the old metrics] and introducing ‘new’ metrics in September. Essentially, they’re coming up with new names for what they were meant to measure in the first place,” the memo said. Read More

Can Someone Please Explain Humor to Amazon


Real Winners of the Olympics

dataviz olympic medals population


The International Olympics Committee prohibits press from making GIFs 

Listen up, you media rapscallions. The Olympics is about to start, and I must remind you there will be no GIF-making. None at all. Especially not if you agreed to the IOC’s access terms.

You want to turn a historical moment into a shareable, looping clip that brings joy to the world by celebrating the human race’s determination to continually reach further than its own grasp? Well don’t!


Source: The International Olympics Committee prohibits press from making GIFs | The Verge


Welcome to the experience economy

“…business value is no longer derived from having a big brand in the traditional sense, but rather, having a big micro brand – highly engaged, with the right audience and the ability to demonstrate repeated sales from known customers.”

Source: Welcome to the experience economy


The Internet of Things has a dirty little secret: it’s not really yours

What we really need from those building the Internet of Things is commitment. Companies should step up and guarantee the longevity of their products, no matter the cost or bind it might put them in. If I buy a thermostat, it should last at least five years — at least enough time for me to start lusting after something else. Read More

Internet 101: Sometimes You Just Gotta Take The Damn “L” 

Yeah… I’ma tell you like Will Evans told me: if somebody messages something reckless / ignorant / snarky at you, “Mmm–How many followers they got? Only 127 people care what this cat got to say? Not Even worth the time.” That’s been my litmus test for twitter fingers for the longest. Jordan breaks that shit down into math, “I don’t respond to people with 40,000 tweets and 400 followers.”


+Commentary: This is an interesting and very funny look at the psychology behind Twitter, with some really great tips & hints.

Read More

Graphic Means 

The documentary, Graphic Means, which is now in production, will explore graphic design production of the 1950s through the 1990s—from linecaster to photocomposition, and from paste-up to PDF.

closeup necklace

Staples Canada Clowns Kris Jenner

Staples Canada Tweet Clowns Kris Jennery

And gets over 50,000 Retweets! With 56k Likes!?!?!
Read More

UX Design shouldn’t be “cheap” and don’t ask it to be either

5 Reasons Why UX Design is Not Cheap

With users becoming more digitally savvy and with the advancement of new technologies, there is increasing pressure placed upon web designers and web agencies to provide “stand-out websites” that impress on a visual and functional level.

Source: 5 Reasons Why UX Design is Not Cheap



Suddenly: BuzzFeed Has A ‘Dark Side’ and ‘Copyright Infringement’ Problem?!?

Who knew? Oh yeah, those of us who used to work in media.

This pair of articles, from incensed, and righteously indignant folks about this seeming new phenomenon which can’t be anything other than a fresh awakening to the economics of the situation they fostered, created, and now are suddenly upset by.

Let’s deconstruct for a few minutes, shall we the systemic problem, not the “new” one that they seem to make this. It is no different from any systemic problems, and the same people get rich off the unpaid labor of the many are doing so in this situation. Read More

Is Your Marketing Strategy Contextual?

Why Contextual Marketing Is Important To Your Business

Contextual marketing is personalized marketing that enhances the customer’s experience based on a customer’s real-time behavior.

The chart above shows different marketing approaches before and after context is implemented.

One thing you’ll notice is the shift in what metrics are valued at each approach.


Today’s customer will remember an experience with your brand before they remember your brand message. It’s best to focus on creating experiences instead of simply targeting customers.

Source: Why Contextual Marketing Is Important To Your Business | DBI

Find your parade and celebrate #Pride with your city. #PrideForEveryone

Find your parade and celebrate #Pride with your city. #PrideForEveryone

Source: Find your parade & celebrate Pride with your city. #PrideForEveryone


YouTube Introduces New Ways to Help SMB Make Better Video Ads

YouTube wants to turn video ads on its platform into a DIY possibility for small- and medium-sized businesses. Today, Google is launching three ways for SMBs to create video ads for YouTube that are—at least for the most part—free.

Source: YouTube Is Introducing New Ways to Help Small Businesses Make Better Video Ads | Adweek


#TBT Emergence of the Online World in 1995

The Internet Society: Emergence of the Online World in 1995


ThrowbackThursday Online World of 1995

In 1995, the internet turned what was once a place for researchers and the technologically proficient into a household concept.


Read More

Twitter introduces emoji-targeted advertising: Eggplant industry rejoices

hamburger hamburge taco praise hands emojis

Hamburger, hamburger, taco, praise hands? Yes, we know you’re hungry by the emojis you tweet out, and now advertisers will too.

Twitter has unveiled a new feature allowing advertisers to target specific users with splashy ads, all based on the emojis they tweet out with their daily musings.

With more than 110 billion emojis tweeted out since 2014, this could be a massive cash cow for advertisers.

Source: Twitter introduces emoji-targeted advertising; eggplant industry rejoices | CNET

+Note: Could Facebook & the others be far behind? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below about being targeted by your emoji usage.

Please DON’T Delete This Tweet:

do you ever have a dream where your mouth is the hoop & the basketball boys are shooting all the good treats into it swish swish swish

Read More

The Inconvenience of $1.50

One of the many insidious aspects of late capitalism is its ability to force a competition between time-saving and wage-saving.  The convenience of technology necessitates further trust in and reliance on the rest of society.


Throughout my life in capitalist cultures, capitalism has taught me, us, to think that saving $1.50 every time we shop is savvy. Bargain hunting has even been elevated to televised sport: Design on a Dime or Extreme Couponing come to mind. If we know anything about a commodity it is how much it costs and speculations on how much we can underpay are seen as responsible financial planning.


I and everyone else have little information about which soap helps retain collective bargaining power or which brand of toilet paper supports union-busting political action committees. The social life of things prior to their arrival on shelves is purposefully obscured by a veil of individual consumerism.

Source: The Inconvenience of $1.50 | Cyborgology


I’m calling B.S. on A.I. by Aki Ranin

Algo is not A.I.

The reason a lot of these companies are tagging their selfies with #machinelearning is that they have some cool algorithm. Sweet I.P. bro! News flash: algos are not intelligent. Algos take in data that you hand-picked, and probably pre-formatted, complete some operation you specified explicitly, and produce results which are predictable.Intelligence is not predictable. Intelligence does whatever IT thinks is best.

Source: I’m calling B.S. on A.I. by Aki Ranin | LinkedIn


Infographic Internet Minute 2016

60 Seconds on the Internet: 2016

Infographic Internet Minute 2016

IFTTT social media streamlining_recipes

Streamline Your Social Media with recipes from IFTTT

Browse Recipe Collections on IFTTT

Source: Recipes to Streamline your Social Media | IFTTT

+Note: We will be testing a few of these out, let us know in the comments which are your faves!

STOP IT: These do not work

this collection of around the web

Flachback Friday: Foolproof and Incapable of Error

HAL 9000 Advertisement faux vintage mock ad faux IBM logo

Delete.That.Tweet [GQ Version]

delete this tweet_but don't want to wade into politics

This is tasteless on so many levels, using Straight outta Compton face-swapped with politicos while invoking our sitting African-American President? So many wrongs.

Apparently they got carried away with all the momentum behind #DeleteYourAccount→

Read More

Woman checking cell phone newsprint overlay 1200x600

Limited Time Offer: [UPDATED-extended]

Having troubles getting noticed on social media? Tried everything, but nothing seems to work? Well let us help.

We have a very limited offer for a select few with $600 to get the best bootcamp available. At the end of it you will not only have an optimized web presence, but also a strategy for turning around your social media usage to get bigger bang for your buck. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot.  Read More

Twitter’s newest feature makes it easier to embed timelines

Twitter is now letting developers add timelines to Websites with an update to its Publisher Website that lets them plug in a URL and get an customized feed.

Source: Twitter’s newest feature makes it easier to embed timelines



Why you should care about Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling By a Storyteller

The Story Cycle: Why you should care about storytelling and your brand




With the way social media has evolved over the last 7 years, telling a story that connects with your target audience on a personal level is what will help you stand out from your competitors. Park suggests (and I agree) that using visuals to share you story will increase engagement dramatically. Park says to start with a visual that tells the story, and bring it full circle with a call to action at the end.

Source: The Art of Storytelling By a Storyteller


The Sociology of Unfollowing on Twitter

The average person unfollows 15 to 16 people in that time period. According to the article, people are more likely to be unfollowed when the relationship is:

  1. one-way (such relationships are ‘fragile’ and they are two and a half times more likely to be unfollowed)
  2. new
  3. not informative

Moon’s interviews further showed that people who tweet too often and who consequently dominate a timeline are more likely to be unfollowed, as are people who tweet on uninteresting, mundane or political topics.

Source: The Sociology of Unfollowing on Twitter | The Other Sociologist


Online Efforts

Are you getting the most from your online efforts?

Getting the Most from an Online Customer Community

Four best practices.

  1. Don’t underestimate the amount of work that’s required

  2. Don’t just recruit “fans” for your community

  3. Measure the ROI

  4. Create a brand for your community

Source: Getting the Most from an Online Customer Community | HBR

+Commentary: Great read from Harvard Business Review, while ostensibly for community managers, it can be applied very broadly to all your social media practices as a micro-business or in any micromarkteting efforts. Read More

Deray Kafka Jack Dorsey Recode Talk Twitter

#StayWoke or Still Snoozing? Optics, Broken Promises, and Twitter

Sweet Jesus, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke Shirt Is Incredibly Embarrassing

A Twitter-branded #StayWoke T-shirt: a truly powerful message from Jack Dorsey, the CEO of a company with a 3 percent black/Latino workforce, one that just appointed a white man as its head of diversity to boot. Read More

Muhammad Ali

Rest in Power: Muhammad Ali

RIPMuhammadAli-cover alt

HOW I WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked above him.

— Muhammad Ali

LoveWins 10m Tweets_cover-dakrolak (comp)

Brands React to: #LoveWins 

Should Your Brand go Gay-For-Pay During Pride Season?

Wondering if your brand should show support for Marriage Equality or Pride Celebrations? 2015 seemed to confirm that you should.

So, in case you weren’t on Social Media (*gasp*) since Friday morning, in which case this post might be irrelevant to you, then you might not have noticed the profusion of rainbows coloring every icon, profile picture, and post. They were kind of hard to LoveWins 10m Tweetsmiss, as statistics rolling in on Monday morning proved. You can be forgiven, or even granted immunity, if you didn’t greet this with an enthusiastic embrace, don’t worry not all of us did either. Read More

The Internet and the Rise of Microbrand Watches

One recent trend that has come about in the last couple years thanks to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter is the rise of microbrand watches. Big brands such as Omega, Rolex and Seiko, still dominate the market, but the allure of smaller brands that produce high quality, custom-made watches, is gaining appeal globally.

Source: The Internet and the Rise of Microbrand Watches


#TBT Emergence of the Online World in 1995

The Internet Society: Emergence of the Online World in 1995


ThrowbackThursday Online World of 1995

In 1995, the internet turned what was once a place for researchers and the technologically proficient into a household concept.


Read More

Now We’ve Heard it All: “Like our Page or Move Out!”

This landlord said ‘like’ me on Facebook or get evicted

How far will a business go for a Facebook like? Read More


Never-Ending Myths About Online Abuse

After building online communities for two decades, we’ve learned how to fight abuse. It’s a solvable problem. We just have to stop repeating the same myths as excuses not to fix things.

Source: The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse —@anildash Medium

+Commentary: This is a great read…and necessary, since constant reinforcement of this idea demands disabusing the trope that we should just “ignore it” for it to go away is utterly insane. It hasn’t worked, and frequently leads to business lost, a damaged brand, a reduction in ability to provide for yourself or family. It can at times even be physically violent & threatening. This not only affects the people who are targeted but will extend to those they love, the businesses they work at, and other tertiary lives.

Read More

What’s Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke T-shirt mean?

Deriving from “stay awake,” to stay woke is to keep informed of the shitstorm going on around you in times of turmoil and conflict, specifically on occasions when the media is being heavily filtered- such as the events in Ferguson Missouri in August 2014.

Source: What’s Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke T-shirt mean? | Fast Company

+Note: It means the term has jumped the shark. It means we can retire the phrase now, because if the head of one of the least diverse companies can wear it, in the presence of Deray, then it really doesn’t mean anything anymore. This response from the article perfectly sums it up:  Read More

GLEAMsocial cover_Tee Jamel_UFC Chickfila Lemonade Fresher Than Beyonces

The “Other” Beyoncé Effect:

Yet Another Company Forgot About the Don’t Mess With Beyoncé Rule

Read More

Twitter Data Visualized for #GameofThrones Usage

How every #GameOfThrones episode has been discussed on Twitter

Read on to learn about how we built this visualization, and what we’ve learned about Game of Thrones—and its fans—from it. And for any of you who aren’t caught up… Warning! The rest of this post contain spoilers from Game of Thrones.

Explore this  interactive visualization to see how the audience relates to the characters relate and them to each other, their popularity & emojis used about them helps track certain sentiments.

Read More

GS Most Popular May 2016-comp cover



Click Here to see the full List

What Women Want [Infographic]

How Women Want to Interact With Brands Online

According to a new study conducted for Adweek by product review and discovery platform Influenster, brands need to move even further toward mobile if they want to make meaningful connections with women. Read More

Why we need more protections for Video on Social Media

More than 30 men ‘rape teenage girl in Rio’ and post video on Twitter

Police in Rio de Janiero are hunting for more than 30 men suspected of participating in the rape of a teenage girl. Two of the attackers posted pictures and video on Twitter of the assault, which has shocked the country and raised concerns over serious crime in the city.

Source: More than 30 men ‘rape teenage girl in Rio’ and post video on Twitter | The Independent


Twitter Cards just got a Spotify Soundtrack

Twitter tunes into Spotify to soundtrack its audio cards

Spotify tells me, “As part of today’s launch, Spotify tracks can now be featured within Twitter Moments providing another great way to discover new music.” And Twitter wrote, “Any Tweet or Moment with a Spotify track link will play the audio in-line, so you can listen to the song without having to leave your Twitter feed. The music conversation on Twitter is massive, the three most followed people on Twitter are musicians!”

Source: Twitter tunes into Spotify to soundtrack its audio cards | TechCrunch


gShift: Heirarchy of Web Presence Optimization

gShift  pyramidal infographic that helps visualize the how to optimize your web presence

Practically every digital marketing budget in 2016 includes line items for both SEO and content marketing… the inclusion of influencer marketing is a must. The right influencers will enhance brand discoverability and audience development, boosting reach, results and ROI.


Source: 6 Reasons to Boost SEO & Content with Influencer Marketing


Why stealing jokes on Twitter matters to whiney cry-babies 


Retweets do lead to exposure, which can lead to offers of work. Many people I know have been approached for (paid) writing jobs purely on the basis of their personal Twitter accounts. Many of them aren’t writers or comedians by trade, but this gives them an opportunity to do something they enjoy and make either essential or additional income. In some cases it has even led to entire career changes. It has genuinely changed lives and bank balances.

Please take time to read the whole thing, as we are going to dive in-depth into attribution, theft, intellectual property, etc… in the coming days:

Source: Why stealing jokes on Twitter matters to whiney cry-babies | Ben


Information Architecture [Infographic]

usbilla Information Architecture IA infographic different layouts UX UI

"Man Paid prostitute with charity money and a primate"

You don’t know until this happens to you

Zany Zoo "Man Paid prostitute with charity money and a primate" Galago

“It’s my first time ever recovering a monkey from a prostitute,” Detective Rick Lowe told FOX12.

Zany Zoo Pets: This post is in regard to the recent news being…

FB post for Zany Zoo

Source: Zany Zoo Pets: This post is in regard to the recent news being…

+Commentary: Yes, this can happen to you to, and when it does you won’t be prepared. You can however take precautions & have a plan for mitigating the damage. Do you have one?

This is a good example, not great, but certainly better than 99% of the ones we’ve seen, the responses to comments both for & against Zany Zoo are good as well. There are a few things you can do in preparation, and certain pitfalls you can avoid in advance of anything going down in your comments section.

Read More

Schrodinger’s Audience: How News Analytics Handed America Trump

The Republican primaries with Trump have been far more entertaining than the primaries without Trump. CBS chairman Les Moonves has remarked that Trump’s candidacy “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Ross Douthat has likewise noted that Trump is “such a gift to our industry.”

But I think the simple explanation puts the emphasis in the wrong place. Trump’s media dominance isn’t caused by public demand for Trump. It is caused by the media’s new tools for looking at the ratings! Read More

Satan’s Credit Card: Is The Future Of Money — Mobile Payments?

Satan’s Credit Card: What The Mark Of The Beast Taught Me About The Future Of Money

The first thing you’ll notice if you ever decide to surrender your wallet is how damn many apps you’ll need in order to replace it. You’ll need a mobile credit card replacement — Apple Pay or Android Pay — for starters, but you’ll also need person-to-person payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Then don’t forget the lesser-knowns: Dwolla, Tilt, Tab, LevelUp, SEQR, Popmoney, P2P Payments, and Flint. Then you might as well embrace the cryptocurrency of the future, bitcoin, by downloading Circle, Breadwallet, Coinbase, Fold, Gliph, Xapo, and Blockchain. You’ll also want to cover your bases with individual retailer payment apps like Starbucks, Walmart, USPS Mobile, Exxon Speedpass, and Shell Motorist, to name but a few. Plus public and regular transit apps — Septa in Philadelphia, NJ Transit in New Jersey, Zipcar, Uber, Lyft. And because you have to eat and drink, Seamless, Drizly, Foodler, Saucey, Waitress, Munchery, and Sprig. The future is fractured.

Source: Satan’s Credit Card: What The Mark Of The Beast Taught Me About The Future Of MoneyBuzzFeed News


BuzzFeed is experimenting with news video 

In the same way that BuzzFeed started out focused on lighter content like listicles and then moved into narrative and investigative journalism, the company is taking steps to insert more news into its video operations. Executive producer Henry Goldman is moving from Los Angeles into BuzzFeed’s New York newsroom, starting Monday, to lead an effort to develop a more concerted video news strategy. Goldman previously oversaw BuzzFeed Motion Picture’s unscripted and documentary projects.

Source: BuzzFeed is building a New York-based team to experiment with news video | Nieman Journalism Lab


NodeXL #databythebay: Graph Details

The graph represents a network of 448 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “databythebay”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 18:18 UTC.

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Ad Blockers: Saving Data and Time? 

I confess, I use ad blockers. I block ads. I even had an ad or two on my website and still I use them. I can’t even say I’m anti-ads. I want sites to make money and the people providing them with content to get paid, but honestly, ads drag down web pages something awful. More and more reports are bearing that out.

Read More

The Fundamental Concepts of Good UX

UX Fundamentals: The Concepts #Infographic

User Experience is an increasingly expansive discipline but the key concepts remain largely the same. These are some of the main things that contribute to the UX of your site and the things you need to consider when implementing a UX strategy.

(follow the link below to read each of these principles explained)

Source: The Fundamental Concepts of Good UX | Usabilla Blog


Study: Google scrambling our perception of science reality

Google 2010 view

remember when google looked like this?

“The first thing a lot of people turn to for information is Google, and that’s great because there is more information out there than ever,” says communications expert Dietram Scheufele of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a co-author of the new Materials Today  journal study. “But Google is shaping the reality we experience in the suggestions it makes, pointing us away from the most accurate information and towards the most popular.”

Source: Study: Google scrambling our perception of science reality


Did You Notice?

Instagram Made a Huge Change—and It’s Not the Logo

On March 15th, Instagram announced that it would eventually be changing people’s feeds and no longer displaying images chronologically but rather in accordance with some proprietary algorithm. Instagram–now a division of Facebook–claimed that such a change would benefit users, because they miss about 70 percent of images in their feeds, according to the firm’s calculations. A change ensuring that people see the images they are most likely to appreciate, seems, at least at first glance, to be quite positive.

Read More

Nate Silver unloads on The New York Times

To those with their ears attuned to fissures in the media world related to data journalism, the use of the word “data” was pointed. That, plainly, was what Silver responded to. The site’s election podcasts generally feature Silver and several other of the site’s election team discussing the race, with particular attention paid to polls.

Read More

DTT: MTV News reinforces White Supremacy!?!

On today’s edition of Delete That Tweet [DTT:], we focus on this:

MTV News reinforces white supremacy with Exposure Trolling clickbait

If an article is good, you really don’t have to write an inflammatory headline, to wedge into a trending topic like you are a tabloid magazine. This is a fact.

Read More

Your Brand’s Continuing Saga

Content Marketing Is Moving Toward a Zen State of Storytelling

Following the long game of this theory is interesting for advertisers because many of the scenarios end with them enjoying the same benefits as entertainment executives. In other words, as content marketing continues to grow, quality becomes more important than quantity. And, as the quality of content marketing grows, a brand’s product offering begins to resemble merchandise. This is a good thing because when the lines between your story and your product blur, your product has become the merchandise of your brand’s continuing saga. And what happens then is really good: an increased cycle of engagement, multiple steams of revenue, and more consumer demand for new products and new content. Of course, it also brings increased sales and a stronger brand.

Source: Content Marketing Is Moving Toward a Zen State of Storytelling | Adweek


Is Your Facebook Newsfeed Rigged? 

Facebook relies on editors’ judgment for trending news feed, documents show

But the documents show that the company relies heavily on the intervention of a small editorial team to determine what makes its “trending module” headlines – the list of news topics that shows up on the side of the browser window on Facebook’s desktop version. The company backed away from a pure-algorithm approach in 2014 after criticism that it had not included enough coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, in users’ feeds. Read More

Confessions of a Social Media Exec

+Note:  Do click the picture & read the whole thing, it is depressing from beginning to end, of which this last bit is the punchline. That said this is a very specific & large company too, but it has several quotes in there we will feature later as they are what you see or read when dealing with the people in charge.

What’s next?

Influencers are going to start disappearing. Brands are going to start realizing the amount of followers you have doesn’t mean shit. Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing. You can’t rely on content creators all day long. For the influencers, their entire business is about relationships and friendships. Someone was at Vice, so uses their friend to do photography. Someone knows someone else at Instagram so gets featured on the trending page. We live and die by these platforms today.
Read More

“Everyone is a media outlet”

Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay [2010]

For website content publishers and content creators, there’s a debate raging as to the rights and wrongs of curation. While content aggregation has been around for a while with sites using algorithms to find and link to content, the relatively new practice of editorial curation — human filtering and organizing — has created what I’m dubbing, “The Great Creationism Debate.” Read More

You Can Strategize (Infographic)

Check out these seven steps to better utilize digital tools to innovate in your company.

Source: 7 Ways Managers Can Strategize More Effectively in the Digital Age (Infographic)


The Atlas of Emotions

The Atlas of Emotions Eckman

The Atlas of Emotion is a tool to help people better understand what emotions are, how they are triggered and what their effects are, and how to become aware of emotions before acting on them. Read More

Why you shouldn’t blog on Medium

I don’t know how they did it. But they somehow pulled it off. Medium is only about content. And nothing else. Ev Williams, Founder & CEO of Medium even said it in his latest post Taking Medium to the next Level. He said that Medium is primarily about the content.

Sounds about alright, you’d say. Sure, content is always great. I love content. But what it does is that it completely kills the person behind the content.

Source: Why you shouldn’t blog on Medium | Yann Girard

+Note: Also see Content is great but Context is key

When the News Loses Its Soul

Facebook’s algorithm will control journalism if we let it

Gizmodo‘s Michael Nunez delved into the lives of Facebook’s contract journalists in a well-shared piece:

Over time, the work became increasingly demanding, and Facebook’s trending news team started to look more and more like the worst stereotypes of a digital media content farm. Managers gave curators aggressive quotas for how many summaries and headlines to write, and timed how long it took curators to write a post.

Read More

nytlab cover photo

RIP: NYT Research and Development Lab

Eulogy for The New York Times R&D Lab

The New York Times R&D Lab, a groundbreaking department of applied creative technology that helped one of the great institutions of journalism see how it could thrive amidst a changing media ecosystem, died Monday in New York City. It was eleven years old.

Apparently the requirements for being on the R&D Lab staff required that you be generous and deeply collaborative in addition to being uniformly brilliant.

Read More

eveeeeezy screencap thumbnail (cover comp)

Evelyn from the Internet(s)

Woke this morning to find the “new” way YouTubers (YT’ers) are succeeding. This video is funny, and of course whoever puts together Beyoncé’s stadium tour saw fit to include it in the segues between performances. Watching this young woman lose her sh*t on the internet is also funny as hell. Read More

Illma Gore (crop) 'Make America Great Again'

F/UP: Illma Gore

Illma Gore: ‘If anyone is going to be threatened by a small penis, it’s Trump’

Artist whose painting of nude Trump went viral gives her account of being the target of his campaign’s hate machine and being physically attacked in LA

Read More

“We’re Going Digital”

What's the Big Campaign Idea? We'll Figure it out later. Marketoonist Tom Fishburne

Should campaigns be media-driven or idea-driven? Lately, it feels like the media tail is wagging the campaign dog. Many campaigns are built around a media platform, as if the media platform alone …

Source: “We’re Going Digital” cartoon | Marketoonist: Tom Fishburne


ProTips: #Twitter Search

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Could Do With #Twitter Search

+Note: Was skeptical at first but found a few we didn’t know. Click the picture above or the link below to see the full list by Social Times.

Source: 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Could Do With #Twitter Search | SocialTimes


Lessons in Social News Reading (con’t)

4. Cellphone news users spend the most time reading long-form content when arriving at an article from an internal link, least time when arriving via a social network

Those who arrive at a long-form article by following a link from another page within the same website – such as a homepage or a suggested link from another article – result in the greatest amount of time spent with the article, an average of 148 seconds.

Read More

GOOD NEWS: Long-Form Readers like Mobile!

Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World

One particular area of uncertainty has been the fate of long, in-depth news reports that have been a staple of the mainstream print media in its previous forms. These articles – enabled by the substantial space allotted them – allow consumers to engage with complex subjects in more detail and allow journalists to bring in more sources, consider more points of view, add historical context and cover events too complex to tell in limited words.

Source: Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World | Pew Research Center

Vogue, you taking lessons from Cosmo?

“Hair Inspiration. Check.”


Lupita Nyong’o Claps Back at ‘Vogue’ for Saying Audrey Hepburn Inspired Her Met Gala Hair

+Commentary: See this is what you’re not gonna do. Please follow our advice & hire more diverse people to cover these things, get a guide and take a clue if you absolutely must run with a story about a Black Woman’s hair. Comparing to Audrey Hepburn, to your anything, just take a moment and think about it. This is Vogue…not some trash rag tabloid. That no one in the chain of command saw a problem with this, is the problem. Not the story itself, that is pretty common these days in beauty & fashion magazines. Read More

Old Navy Ad comes under attack

Old Navy Tweets sets off racist firestorm

So the seemingly harmless tweet above was trolled very hard and specifically. Causing us to note, but also finding it had longevity beyond just the day  it happened (a weekend, so went largely unnoticed or unreported upon) and today sees it trending again for being called out by Senator & former Presidential hopeful John McCain’s son.

Jack McCain fires back on Social Media:

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Does Twitter Have A Future?

Deray thinks so. Fresh off his loss of the Baltimore Mayoral race he is opining about what he thinks makes Twitter valuable as a social network and platform. We couldn’t disagree more stringently:

deray mckesson and jack dorseyWhile we’ve written about it on several occasions, and at length, always highlighting & focusing specifically on why it is important, necessary, and likely to survive. We aren’t however as cavalier as Mr. McKesson. Who is a favorite of Jack (perpetual CEO & Founder of Twitter) and one could say apparently the sort of accolades, encouragement the teams at Twitter would want. Not however what they need to hear.

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1+1= Part 11

You can really only measure success by one thing: How much time and freedom you have in what you create. All the rest is a lie. Not the Facebook clicks, nor Instagram Comments or the number of celebrities who retweet you. Let’s breakdown the ordinary cycle for how artists use the web.

Everything You Need To Know About Publishing

Part 11: Your Math Might Be Off


SHARE_800x800 Everything about Publishing

New Here? Check out Chapters 1-10

What you can learn:
  • Social Media requires the most expensive thing: TIME
  • Both a blessing & the curse of social media
  • Cure for what ails your slumps
  • Keeping up with the Tweeters & Facebookers equals disaster

Read More

Color Psychology+Marketing: The Know-It-All Guide

Color theory and color psychology in marketing are something content marketers must understand. Color can hurt or hinder content marketing efforts.

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Does Follower Size Really Matter?

Instagram Marketing: Does Influencer Size Matter?

One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make when implementing an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram is selecting the wrong influencer(s). We have an obsession with size in America – bigger always has to mean better – so it’s natural to gravitate toward mega-celebrities that have tens of millions of Instagram followers as an influencer target for your brand. We’ve just completed a new study, however, that showcases why this may not be your best bet.

We recently analyzed more than 800,000 Instagram users, with the majority having at least 1,000 followers. This amounted to a total of approximately five million total Instagram posts that we looked at, and the results may surprise you – when it comes to Instagram influencers, better things come in smaller packages.

Source: Instagram Marketing: Does Influencer Size Matter? | Markerly Blog


Behind Those Corporate Prince Tributes

Don’t expect corporations to resist co-mingling their brands with the equity of departed stars anytime soon.

“I think everyone got revved up around Bowie’s death and possibly felt they had missed out and suffered a lost opportunity when they didn’t pile on,” Hanlon said. “Prince gave them a second chance.”

Source: Behind Those Corporate Prince Tributes


Higher engagement with micro-influencers?

As Instagram follower numbers rise, engagement decreases, according to the findings of a new study.

Source: Brand marketers see higher engagement with micro-influencers: Survey | Marketing Dive


Spend more time you say? Gladly.

News Feed FYI: More Articles You Want to Spend Time Viewing

For example, we’ve found that there are stories people don’t like or comment on that they still want to see, such as articles about a serious current event, or sad news from a friend. Based on this finding, we previously updated News Feed’s ranking to factor in how much time you spend reading a post within News Feed, regardless of whether you opened the article. We also previously updated News Feed’s ranking to take into account times when someone clicked on an article and came straight back to News Feed as we learned that this often happened when the article someone clicked on wasn’t what they had expected from the post or the headline.

Source: News Feed FYI: More Articles You Want to Spend Time Viewing | Facebook Newsroom


Infographic: Everything Flows Through Prince

Prince Infographic of his Career RIP #PrinceGoneTooSoon #RIPPrince #PrinceRIP #Prince)

GLEAMsocial-Prince-Little-Red-Corvette-1800x800 chevrolet ad_brand use

We Will Return Shortly, Don’t Worry

As our clients know too well, we are not taking the news of Prince’s passing well. So please give us to next week to reply to any inquiries or resume our series. Until then, see the best brand response to this wold of grief:

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Data Processing System

Payroll Database System Retro Vintage

The On-Demand Economy Is Growing

New data shows a rapidly expanding consumer base.

Source: The On-Demand Economy Is Growing, and Not Just for the Young and Wealthy | HBR


The Story So Far: Parts 1-10

Everything You Need to Know About Publishing
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Part 1: Everything you need to know about Publishing

Part 2: Know Thyself and Thy Target

Part 3: Are you really paying attention?

Part 4: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Part 5: Remedial Math for Internet Haters

Part 6: Blah Blah Blah

Part 7: Long-Tail Theory of life

Part 8: Where’s the Love?

Part 9: Your Voice is the most important thing 

Part 10: Finding love in the long-tail

Ten Years of “Shoes,”

the Story of the First Great Viral Music Video, Betch

Oh my god, we found Kelly, and we interviewed her.

Source: Ten Years of “Shoes,” the Story of the First Great Viral Music Video, Betch | NOISEY


New mediums need new monitors

When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet

But the most appealing factor of live streaming – raw content at the touch of a button – is also its biggest threat: The inability of companies to monitor live content has spawned an entirely new set of serious safety and privacy issues for users. The freedom to live-stream just about anything, anywhere in the world, has prompted a new and uncomfortable predicament for social media companies: What should they do if – or when – a crime is being live-streamed on their platform?

Source: When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet | BuzzFeed News


Part 10: Finding love in the long-tail

So we keep making a big to-do over loving and long-tails. But you don’t have to be a dragon to get both. Well it helps, but is unrealistic.

[New Here? Missed the previous chapters?]

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What you’ll learn:
  • Stop buying them chocolates & flowers
  • Measure to reinvent
  • Love is everlasting
  • Keeping the romance fresh
  • Counting on the longevity not the immediacy

Read More

Let us wonk out for a second

Outlier Detection with Parametric and Non-Parametric methods

Dealing with Outliers is like searching a needle in a haystack

by Jacob Joseph.

An Outlier is an observation or point that is distant from other observations/points. But, how would you quantify the distance of an observation from other observations to qualify it as an outlier. Outliers are also referred to as observations whose probability to occur is low. But, again, what constitutes low?? There are parametric methods and non-parametric methods that are employed to identify outliers. Parametric methods involve assumption of some underlying distribution such as normal distribution whereas there is no such requirement with non-parametric approach. Additionally, you could do a univariate analysis by studying a single variable at a time or multivariate analysis where you would study more than one variable at the same time to identify outliers. The question arises which approach and which analysis is the right answer??? Unfortunately, there is no single right…


Source: Outlier Detection with Parametric and Non-Parametric methods | DataViz


It could happen to you too

Facebook Removes The Shade Room For “Violating Community Standards”

The Shade Room is a thoroughly modern publication, existing nearly entirely where its audience exists — on social. However, publishing directly to social networks, as Nwandu has pioneered, puts the fortunes, and readership, of TSR into a third party’s hands. Namely, Facebook’s, Instagram’s, Twitter’s, and Snapchat’s.

Source: Facebook Removes The Shade Room For “Violating Community Standards” I BuzzFeed News


From Hottakes to Hot cakes?

Artist who painted nude Donald Trump threatened with lawsuit

Read More

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Part 9: Your Voice is the most important thing to…

So you want to be taken seriously & paid what you are worth? Seems like an easy request, but how to get the attention of those that will hire you. Especially when you don’t have legions of followers and likes to back it up as a calling card. Know your voice or all else is lost.

[New Here? Missed the previous chapters?]

SHARE_800x800 Everything about Publishing

What you will learn:
  • Why your voice is so important today
  • Everything you need to know is in the dashboard
  • Well, actually it requires work
  • Core principles always point to a path
  • Writers both know their voice and stifle it

Read More


Is big data unfair?

How big data is unfair

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As we’re on the cusp of using machine learning for rendering basically all kinds of consequential decisions about human beings in domains such as education, employment, advertising, health care and policing, it is important to understand why machine learning is not, by default, fair or just in any meaningful way.

This runs counter to the widespread misbelief that algorithmic decisions tend to be fair, because, y’know, math is about equations and not skin color.

Source: How big data is unfair | Moritz Hardt

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Part 8: Feel the Love?

Or suffer the consequences. Blurb it?! How do you describe the romance between you and your followers on social media in under a few hundred words? It can’t happen.

[New Here? Missed the previous chapters?]

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What You’ll Learn:
  • Love is always a two-way street
  • Never mistake the love for something else
  • Turning that love into money or support shouldn’t be easy
  • Lines of Communication Matter
  • Giving leads to receiving

Read More

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Do algorithms marginalize our lives and choices?

Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives

Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives - Columbia Journalism Review

As online users, we’ve become accustomed to the giant, invisible hands of Google, Facebook, and Amazon feeding our screens. We’re surrounded by proprietary code like Twitter Trends, Google’s autocomplete, Netflix recommendations, and OKCupid matches. It’s how the internet churns. So when Instagram or Twitter, or the Silicon Valley titan of the moment, chooses to mess with what we consider our personal lives, we’re reminded where the power actually lies. And it rankles.

algorithms cjr article

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The Customer and the 500 Error 

Source: The Customer and the 500 Error | CommitStrip


Interesting Thought

Part 7: Long-Tail Theory of Life

Blurbs are for the TL;DR crowd, but also help you for the long-tail that is your life. Before you write it, you sorta have to know what the whole thing is about, right? Well maybe. You have to know what the reader might want to know, and then tease them into sticking around.

[New Here? Missed the previous chapters?]

Website Design Process Infographic

Long-Tail Personified

What you will learn:

  • If you don’t think about it in advance, they won’t
  • Are you interested in the immediate or the future
  • Pleasure Principle has no friends here
  • Slow burns beat viral every time

Read More

Content is king, but context is god

Every single tweet, every comment you leave, every post, every image you make becomes part of your brand. Period. Every time you post, you need to be laddering it back to your brand’s goals. Your core story needs to be consistent and your personality needs to be constant too. Doing this sets up a larger narrative, the broad context, for your content to succeed and have a clear message.

Source: Content is king, but context is god | TNW



Whoops, Did They Really Post This?

Yes. Yes they did!

Whoops, did we really post this? 😜😉😂 Double tap if you know it's true! Ha!

A photo posted by Post Planner (@postplanner) on

We got a response from the “consultant” that created this post (and pictured above), placed it on several different sites, and still can’t explain why it is offensive or what branding purpose it serves other than as a test. So we are going to politely as we can unpack her statement below of how she “did help us understand it” and why she is so gleefully looking forward to us “publishing” it. She isn’t quite sure what she got herself into, so let’s help her.

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Help us understand this:

like if true_what does this mean to post planner bad branding
+Commentary: How is this helpful to their brand? Why the watermark and seemingly simple humor? This confounds us from a “brand” that is simply an SaaS [Software as a Service] entity. This isn’t to say it is bad, but when brands act like people on Twitter, while people are acting like brands then we fall down into a rabbit hole like inception.

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Micro addition for macro view 

Micro enterprises will be able to take part in the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) for the first time this year, now that a new Micro Brands award category has been introduced.

Source: Micro addition for macro view of awards, Companies & Markets | The Straits Times


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Part 6: Blah, Blah, Blah

Blurb goes here and we love blurbs. Knowing you aren’t likely to read much past this but really hoping to tempt you to, we think up something smart & funny to say. Then you the reader with your interest piqued will read on… {and hopefully share & comment!🙂 }

[Missed out on previous parts?]

What we hope you’ll learn in this part:
  • Make it matter, make them matter.
  • Remember: YOU MATTER!
  • You’re never more appealing than when you help others
  • Help them, help you
  • You’ll come a long way this way

Read More

E-commerce editors?

The newest rainmaker at publishers: E-commerce editors

Publishers from Business Insider and Gawker to Hearst and BuzzFeed have not only added “commerce” to the revenue mix — it’s often little more than affiliate links — but they’ve hired out editorial staff that specializes in creating commerce-minded content. These new comm-tent creators need to be one part editor, one part salesperson.

Source: The newest rainmaker at publishers: E-commerce editors | Digiday


The dark side of Guardian comments

How should digital news organisations respond to this? Some say it is simple – “Don’t read the comments” or, better still, switch them off altogether. And many have done just that, disabling their comment threads for good because they became too taxing to bother with.

But in so many cases journalism is enriched by responses from its readers. So why disable all comments when only a small minority is a problem?

At the Guardian, we felt it was high time to examine the problem rather than turn away.

+NOTE: some really great interactive visualizations go along with the data accompanying this article at the link below:

Source: The dark side of Guardian commentsThe Guardian


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Part 5: Remedial Math for Internet Haters

Nothing makes us titter like people getting mad that they didn’t get enough likes on something. What will make us howl even quicker is people who think getting a lotta likes on something means anything either, or as a measure of their popularity! Then when we want uncontrollable belly laughter that might make us wet our pants we watch the big internet companies report on their “user” numbers.

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What you’ll learn in this installment:
  • Vanity metrics hurt & often kill dreams
  • Your paying attention to all the wrong things
  • Use this simple trick to see clearly
  • We all hate math, hence the dashboard
  • What they can’t or won’t tell you
  • Why all analysts are liars

Read More

The Evolution of Trolling

The internet has a problem, and that problem is people. Dramatic incidents of public harassment, abuse and threatening behaviour are never far from the news, and during recent years, public awareness of this unpleasantness has grown dramatically. With it has come an understanding of the harms done, not just by high-level threats and abusive behaviour but by a more insidious culture of dismissal, denigration and disrespect that surrounds them. Read More

Billion NYC Taxi+Uber Trips

1.1 Billion NYC Taxi and Uber Trips analyzed and visualized

An open-source exploration of the city’s neighborhoods, nightlife, airport traffic, and more, through the lens of publicly available taxi and Uber data.Images are clickable to open hi-res versions.

Source: 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi and Uber Trips analyzed and visualized | DataViz


Great Brands Don’t Just Happen Without a Fully Integrated Strategy

Branding-Process-Diagram Read More

New York City has more Uber cars than yellow taxis—14,000

Source: New York City has more Uber cars than yellow taxis—14,000 | Slate


Customer Journey Mapping

Many marketers were schooled in the marketing funnel. In the traditional funnel, consumers move lockstep in uniform sequential stages from awareness to purchase. The specific stages might vary, but…

Source: Customer Journey Mapping cartoon | Marketoonist 

Wish more sites did this:

Why your news site should be more readable for the visually impaired

Over eight million Americans have trouble with their vision. Here’s how newsrooms can (and should) design with them in mind.

Source: Why your news site should be more readable for the visually impaired | Nieman Journalism Lab


Must Algorithmic Feeds Become the Norm?

The question is: Do algorithmic feeds create a better user experience or do they enable social platforms to better serve advertisers?

When Instagram announced that it would be using an algorithm to order content, the decision was justified in part by the claim that users are missing out on 70 percent of the content they’re subscribed to; an algorithm could potentially show users more of what they follow. This provides a natural boost to advertisers, given how Instagram users engage with brands on the platform.

*empahsis ours

Source: Are Algorithmic Feeds Becoming the Norm on Social Media? | SocialTimes


Tell us in the comments your thoughts about Algorithmic vs Chonological:

Why Responsive Design Goes Wrong For Mobile UX

The number of internet users that access pages in the web through mobile devices rises daily. To get to this market, which represents a large percentage of the target market, most marketers have made their websites more mobile friendly. This is common especially where they operate in a tech savvy environment meaning the surfers use mobile devices to access their content. Website developers have used the responsive design to create this mobile friendly sites. The responsive design allows pages to resize based on the size of the screen being used to access it. In some instances this can work to perfection but this is not always the case, sometimes it results in websites failures.

Source: Why Responsive Design Goes Wrong For Mobile UX | AnP Websolutions


Big Data + Business Intelligence = Big Intelligence?

Turning raw data into actionable insights has been the goal of many a business since the 1990s. Back then, ‘business intelligence’ was the buzzword, and since the tweenies and teenies it’s been ‘big data’. Now the two are combining (‘Big Intelligence’, maybe?) as the promise of big data is finally capable of delivering the business intelligence that companies have long dreamed about. Read More

Part 4: Measure once, Twice Cut

If you’ve been paying attention, and not just to the likes and shares, you can often predict what will happen next. It far less like rocket science and more like doing the accounting for your business. Figuring out what is working and worth it, as opposed to that which is easy but a waste of time.

What you’ll learn:

  • As previously, you have to measure or all is for naught
  • When measuring to always remember prevailing wisdoms are futile
  • Value is a proposition, always
  • Your worth is always self-defined
  • The key is not give up just before it starts to work

Read More

Dispelling common held myths about blogging

What I Learned from Analyzing 1700 Blog Posts

by Ben Gregory

But wait a minute — does this prove that Tuesday or Thursday is the best day to post? Because what this actually shows us is that Tuesday is the most popular day to post (and by a narrow margin at that.) But is it the best? I’m glad you asked…


Answer: It seemingly depends on the company, but there do appear to be a number who publish their most successful posts on Tuesday. Now, whether or not that is because they too believe that Tuesday is the best day to publish and thus save their best posts for then I can’t say. But it won’t matter either way if it isn’t statistically significant.

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Part 3: Are you paying attention?

So how do you know what to put out there and what not to? Today our society rewards the quick fix, the share without attribution, and ends in repeatedly being told this economy favors giving it away to get them hooked. Let’s investigate why that sort of fortune only favors the bold & vainglorious.

See Part 1: Everything you need to know about Publishing

See Part 2: Know Thyself and Thy Target

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What you’ll learn:

  1. Everybody’s doing it, why can’t I?
  2. The average attention span on the web is miniscule
  3. How to find your worth when you feel worthless
  4. The only person who has the power is you
  5. Truth hurts, sometimes
  6. Let the power of analytics soften the blow (hint: It always points you in the right direction)

TL;DR: At 8 minutes to read, there is really no one way to sum this up neatly. If you don’t have those precious few minutes, then reading this isn’t going to make any difference or give you the time. Yet if you want to know why all your best attempts are failing, it is because you are using the wrong yardstick to measure your success. You also might not know what you are worth. Which means you probably should read beyond the blurb. This is about managing your expectations and theirs.

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