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

Advertisements

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

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

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


 

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

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

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


 

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:

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 2: Know Thyself and Thy Target

In this second installment we explore the two most foundational things. Knowing yourself & knowing your target audience. After testing all the industry advice we can say without fail that almost all of it is worthless. Useful in a very limited sense, and what is often missing is the most important thing. Their value proposition is you need to hire these consultants to help you figure it out. We’re giving that away for free.

Everything you need to know about publishing cover crop

See Part 1: Everything you need to know about Publishing

Read More

New Features! New Video!

New Headaches, new rules, new workarounds?

Yesterday Facebook rolled out on the heels of its press barrage about Instant Articles, and all they portend for the blogging world another announcement too. Let’s not beat around the bush the Insta-Articles will probably benefit more the “content creators” types than the typical blog. Yet, they are working directly with WordPress on an open-source plugin which seems to put the weight of both behind something that means you should expect to be more stable & reliable.

Your Business Story_New Facebook Feature 02 (comp)
Read More

When all else fails create a mnemonic acronym

D.E.A.L. and L.E.A.N.

Back in October, Mr. Cunningham penned an open letter on behalf of the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) telling content providers and others, “We messed up.”

Read More

micro brand Makes the New Yorker

Are Micro-Apartments a Good Solution to the Affordable-Housing Crisis?

 

“If micro-units become a form of low-income housing only, it becomes stigmatized.” In other words, going that route might have risked damaging the micro brand among those who seek both market-rate and low-income housing. The observation subtly underscored the importance of optics when it comes to small apartments. An affordable “shoebox,” as it were, was much more likely to be controversial than an expensive one.

 
Source: Are Micro-Apartments a Good Solution to the Affordable-Housing Crisis? | The New Yorker

#oscarssowhite Illustration by DAKrolak GLEAMsocial

Oscars vs #OscarsSoWhite

or: Majority Illusion Paradox and Backlash vs The Oscars

(for most that title will be too wonky. Below is the article that inspired it followed by commentary about how you too can benefit from scrutinizing your “network” of assocations and might even win your own David vs Goliath story)

Your Network’s Structure Matters More than Its Size

Researchers at the University of Southern California recently uncovered the majority illusion, a paradox within social networks that makes some ideas, behaviors, or attributes appear widespread even when they are not. Since we can’t keep an eye on what the entire world is up to, we’re limited to witnessing what our social network says and does. At times, well-connected members within our network can skew our perception of how common an idea or behavior actually is.


Read More

photo from: http://travelationship.com/united-states-holocaust-memorial-museum/

When Algorithms Go Bad

Filed Under: What were they thinking?

Google Information Box for Hall of Faces

When You See What is Wrong: Share

Last night HBO premiered a teaser two months from its premier of Game of Thrones. It is entitled ‘Hall of Faces’ Teaser. So naturally wanting to remember what the name of the actual temple is we did a search.(Actual answer: House of Black & White) When the ‘Google Information box’ above showed up to the right of our search results we were shocked. Do you see what might be out of place there?

Read More

What We Noticed Last Night

Are the current awards shows really ready for the 21st century? How are they evolving to meet the challenges of the new landscape? Let’s look a little deeper than the surface, shall we:

Social Media & Awards Shows 2016

The most notable play for modernizing the national fascination that is Awards Shows in the US came with the 86th Academy Awards in 2014. It’s most notable moment was Ellen Degeneres taking the selfie seen around the world. She live-tweeted the whole thing thanks to a Samsung tie-in. To many a critic and armchair enthusiast there were many groans, understandably. That wasn’t our opinion.86oscars_logo (comp)

That doesn’t however mean they weren’t groundbreaking, and even if you’ll permit — ahead of their time & the curve. Two years ago, it wasn’t atypical to have people second-screening, as that had been happening for me & others for quite a while. In fact since I can’t watch these events with all my friends because they are scattered across the country & the world. Regularly during such live events we partake in posting updates across many different sites and joking along with each other, express our outrage or mere disappointment. This is actually more pleasurable one could argue as sitting in a room full of drunk rabblerousers saying the exact same thing. It is asynchronous in that way. Silent, save for the clacking of keyboards or touchscreens clicking, and available during the commercial breaks to vent.Grammys-Nominees-2016
This still happened last night, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you missed it. It seems that in these unprecedented times that there really wasn’t much made about it. Sure it trended, as it should or any will. Even given no stiff competition from anything else on a Monday night. There were (as of now) over 7 Million tweets about the Grammys and that is a fair showing, less than the Super Bowl but beyond respectable.

Read More

Shape Up or Break Up?

Your Choice:

Fresh on the heels of Valentine’s Day, and returning to work the next morning seemed a good time to take stock of how your marketing or branding efforts pay off. Where it matters, in the hearts and minds of your customers. In your office right now maybe you or someone still has that thoughtful bouquet that their loved one sent them, fading as it were, from sitting there all weekend.

That is how you should view your efforts, what is their shelf-life, and how does it play out over all the touch-points and life-cycle of a typical consumer. This sounds like heady stuff, but it some of the most basic psychology. heartbeat of heartache_inforgraphic header

Read More

heartbeat of heartache_inforgraphic header

Customer Relationship Goals

Summary: A good friendship or romantic partnership takes work. The same goes for customer relationships. Today’s consumers are looking for brands with experiences that feel personalized and effortless and will last long beyond the transaction. Great customer service keeps your customer relationships strong. And it can keep the love (of your brand) alive.

Read More

Illma Gore (crop) 'Make America Great Again'

HotTakes: Illma Gore

What not to do if you are an artist

Last night a dear friend almost got themselves unfriended, blocked, and reported to the authorities. What was their crime, and what was the trigger? They posted a painting/drawing of a naked Donald Trump via Instagram, plus had it cross-post to Facebook.

When scrolling the last thing one expects to find, or has ever, is art that is particularly challenging. Jarring one at first glance, and yet satirically funny, it was still enough to reflexively reach for the block button.

The piece in a barely-SFW is below the fold:

Read More

Rise of the micro-brands

In today’s open market, micro-brands have never had such a low barrier to entry with accessible manufacturing in the same facilities as established brands, social media to use for promotion, and a huge community of creative cyclists who long to create things they want to use themselves. It’s never been a better time for new brands to have a crack at taking on some of the older players in the kit game and shaking up the industry.

micro-brands


Source: Rise of the micro-brands: Introducing the CyclingTips Emporium | CyclingTips


 

Great Thoughts from the founder of Pinboard

Fan Is A Tool-Using Animal

Below are some highlights of the talk, or take-away points to the talk that seemed to be far-reaching when dealing with social media. Read the whole thing by clicking the picture above or following the link at the bottom. Read More

9 Key Analytics for All Business Models

An exploration of 9 types of business actions, common tactics and the analytics data that supports them. Read More

UX or UI? Maybe Entrepreneur?

How to move forward when you have too many ideas

True entrepreneurs have an uncanny knack for seeing opportunity in everyday circumstances. What to some people, is merely a frustration — for instance, the absence of an app to handle some desired tracking function — is a clear source of inspiration for the entrepreneurially-minded. But seeing potential businesses on every street corner and in every daily frustration can overwhelm an entrepreneur’s to-do list. You can end up with idea overload — too many ideas to pursue and too few resources to execute on them all.


Source: How to move forward when you have too many ideas | VentureBeat 


 

Internet Famous not all it cracked up to be?

The sad economics of being famous on the internet

The disconnect between internet fame and financial security is hard to comprehend for both creators and fans. But it’s the crux of many mid-level web personalities’ lives. Take moderately successful YouTubers, for example. Connor Manning, an LGBT vlogger with 70,000 subscribers, was recognized six times selling memberships at the Baltimore Aquarium. Rosianna Halse Rojas, who has her own books and lifestyle channel and is also YouTube king John Green’s producing partner, has had people freak out at her TopMan register. Rachel Whitehurst, whose beauty and sexuality vlog has 160,000 subscribers, was forced to quit her job at Starbucks because fans memorized her schedule.

In other words: Many famous social media stars are too visible to have “real” jobs, but too broke not to. Read More

Small Business Saturday: Shop Small

Will you #ShopSmall on this Small Business Saturday?


Source: Small Business Saturday | Shop Small® – American Express OPEN


 

Winning the ad blocking war:

Former Red Bull marketing boss launches manifesto for change

Can brands penetrate the wall that consumers are building to block their ads? Huib van Bockel, the former head of marketing for Red Bull and author of The Social Brand, says the answer is ‘no’. And they shouldn’t even try.

It may be a grim comparison but in those cases we are essentially in our little bunker trying to shield ourselves from the very ad messages we create, while bombarding others who haven’t got around yet to download the ad blockers. But they will. If there is one thing we know about the human race: it’s that when it gets targeted, when it feels attacked; it will defend itself, it will build a wall. And that is exactly what they are doing now.


Source: Winning the ad blocking war: Former Red Bull marketing boss launches manifesto for change | Marketing Magazine


+Note: This an honest assessment of the willful blindness that some marketers go through in order to try and circumvent the wave of blocking that is sweeping the industry.

 

Post-Emotional Performative Web? 

What is a world in which commercials make you cry?

In his book named after the idea, sociologist Stjepan Meštrović describes contemporary Western societies as postemotional. By invoking the prefix “post,” he doesn’t mean to suggest that we no longer have any emotions at all, but that we have become numb to our emotions, so much so that we may not feel them the way we once did.

This, he argues, is a result of being exposed to a “daily diet of phoniness”: a barrage of emotional manipulation from every corner of culture, news, entertainment, infotainment, and advertising. In this postemotional society, our emotions have become a natural resource that, like spring water, is tapped at no cost to serve corporations with goals of maximizing mass consumption and fattening their own wallets. Even companies that make stuff like gum. Read More

Negotiations: Currency of Attention

Now, it’s reasonable for me to expect that the site requires a revenue stream. It’s reasonable to expect that there’ll be some way to monetise my presence there. But that’s it; that’s where the line is. In every other context in life, I get to choose whether to participate in the resulting transaction. With advertising, though, you’ve made the decision for me – in fact, several decisions: the means, format, and currency of exchange.

It’s the last one that’s particularly troubling. Without even giving me the chance to opt out, you’ve declared – as soon as I stepped in the door, and before I’ve looked around – that I owe you the currency of attention. Read More

How Long Does It Take for Social Media Marketing to Start Paying Off? 

According to Crowl, almost half of marketers in a survey reported that they used social media for two years before they saw an impact on sales.“Conversely, 49 percent of all marketers taking this survey report that social media has not helped them improve sales,” the report states. “This may be because they lack the needed tools to track sales.” Read More

Marketing’s New ‘Power of Now’

In a world of infinite information and product choice, consumers hold more power than brands. For retailers, this means embracing marketing’s new ‘power of now.’


Source: Marketing’s New ‘Power of Now’ – Think with Google


Open 24 Hours

Many retailers are making headway on some of these elements. Yet few seem to truly understand that historical advantages are fraying. They don’t seem to get that immediacy is redefining the definition of relevance.

Read More

Use Ad blockers and you are the new hot ad-targeting segment

The idea of pushing ads at people who have made a deliberate choice not to see them might seem bizarre. But as a demo that’s young, male-skewing and tech-focused, they’re an attractive audience for certain advertisers. Ironically, in their extreme measures to reject the interest of advertisers, ad blockers are just making advertisers more interested. Think of it as the negging of The Ad Game.

“We have long anticipated that ad blocking would eventually reach a level where some brands would be unable to reach their audience,” said Sean Blanchfield, CEO of PageFair, which sells tech that circumvents ad blockers. “This is now happening, and agencies that represent video games brands (e.g., Xbox, Playstation, EA, Activision and Ubisoft) are beginning to actively seek a way to market to ad block users.”


Source: Ad tech always wins: Ad blocker users are the new hot ad-targeting segment | Digiday


 

Ad blocking

Fifteen years ago, when I began writing about Permission Marketing, I pointed out that when ads are optional, it’s only anticipated, personal and relevant ones that will pay off.

And advertisers have had fifteen years to show self restraint. They’ve had the chance to not secretly track people, set cookies for their own benefit, insert popunders and popovers and poparounds, and mostly, deliver us ads we actually want to see.

Alas, it was probably too much to ask. And so, in the face of a relentless race to the bottom, users are taking control, using a sledgehammer to block them all.

[…]
Read More

Micro-Brand Usage Local Newspaper

Two tenants have taken up residency; Plan B Restaurant and Everything Fresh market. This is the eighth location for Plan B, which occupies approximately 5,000 square feet. This micro-brand is co-owned by Al Gamble and Shawn Skehan, who have been in the restaurant business in the Hartford area for more than twenty years and “have a love for good food and good drinks and wanted to create something that was truly an American concept,” explained Rachel Hurvitz, Marketing and Design Manager. “You can’t get much more American than cheese burgers, craft beers and bourbon. Plan B is “unique because we really focus on quality ingredients, we grind all of our beef fresh in-house every day, it has never been frozen, has no antibiotics, no hormones, all vegetarian diet, and is USA Source Verified. We also have an amazing Craft Beer selection with 14 rotating draft lines and a Bourbon line with over 100 selections. We have a lot of salads and a summer menu which features local farms and their products.”
* emphasis ours, not in original


Source: New restaurant transforms old post office buildingMinuteman News Center


 

Micro-brand in Financial Times

Some of the more promising projects involve small top-floor apartments with generous windows and west-facing balconies that ensure there’s decent housing stock for those who don’t need a garden and a garage, preferring simply to bound down the stairs to pick up breakfast, locally sourced produce for the dinner table and a few bottles of beer brewed by a nearby micro-brand.

A little further south, the Roncy district proved to be the best example of a street that was so brimming with local life that it was almost tricky to stay on the sidewalk. In between new pizza joints and gourmet pantries, traditional businesses catering to the local Polish and German communities were displaying their Easter wares and owners were chattering away in Canadian-accented Germ-lish.

* emphasis ours, not in original


Source: The Fast Lane: Some neighbourhoods are streets aheadFT.com


 

Small-to-Microbrand

However it is the opposite end of the spectrum – budget Android tablet – which are grabbing a large slice of the market. Budget tablets from the likes of Amazon, Asus and hundreds of unknown “small-to-micro brand vendors” in the Far East are “eating up tablet market share” according to Canalys.
 
“Vendors such as Nextbook in the United States, and Onda and Teclast in the People’s Republic of China ship more units than some of the major international top tier vendors in their home countries. The rise of small-to-micro brand vendors has proved that there is a demand in for entry-level Android tablets in every country and in every region,” commented Shanghai-based Analyst James Wang.

*emphasis mine


Source: Tablet Tipping Point: Why New Microsoft CEO Needs to Make Mobile Work | IBT.com


 

Facebook Likes Are Not “Vanity Metrics” ?!?

Really, tell us more?

In the past month I have attended two webinars with thought-leaders from the social media marketing space in which one of the luminaries referred to Likes on Facebook as “vanity metrics” as if this were uncontestable common knowledge. This was troubling for three reasons. First, it reveals engrained prejudices about social media that are simply false. Second, it suggests a profound ignorance about the mechanics of social media platforms. Third, it indicates that direct-response thinking still dominates much of the discourse around social media marketing.

Read More

How to Persuasively Build and Promote Your Brand Online [INFOGRAPHIC]

How to Build and Promote Your Brand Online INFOGRAPHIC

In the following infographic, originally published by FreeWebsite.com, discover some very valuable tips on building your brand online. They include tips like “custom tailoring your message,” “standing out in the marketplace,” “utilizing social media,” and so much more. It’s not going to be a walk in the park but it is certainly obtainable and should be the goal of any small business.


Source: How To Effectively Build Your Brand Online [Infographic] | Search Engine Journal


 

Can people find you from their computer or on the go?

People are now connecting to your business and to the web from Game Consoles, Smart TVs, and even Mobile Phones or Tablets. People are watching video everywhere, much to our surprise and maybe yours.

With ever faster speeds possible via mobile networks and more devices able to access your home or business wifi. Access is now everywhere.

Can your business say the same?

Read More

microbrands wiki entry

Pricing

Pricing tactics

Micromarketing is the practice of tailoring products, brands (microbrands), and promotions to meet the needs and wants of microsegments within a market. It is a type of market customization that deals with pricing of customer/product combinations at the store or individual level.


Source: Pricing | Wikipedia


Edited into Wikipedia: Insertion found between 13:32, 28 April 2009