The other day I sat in on a webinar about using social media data in marketing. The webinar was fascinating – and the accompanying Twitter discussion was even better. Towards the end of the conversation, one of the presenters made the point that marketers need to give customers something in exchange for access to their data. He named a few possible benefits to consumers, but they were all just dressed up forms of personalized advertising. On Twitter, I commented that, “The problem is that the things you get in exchange for giving personal data are custom ads – valuable to the company, not you.” Then I sat back and watched the retweets roll in. Continue reading
I get a lot of spam – on this blog, on my work blog, and my corporate website. It feels like the snow that’s still coming down even though it’s March. (When will it stop?!) Most of it is rubbish, utter nonsense that I delete out of hand, easily recognizing it for the gratuitous references to Viagra, work from home jobs, or off-shore e-mail providers.
But, sometimes there’s something about it that makes me stop and pay attention. The way that, even though it’s cold and you wish it would hurry up and get to spring already, perfect snow can still make you think of Santa and Christmas magic. There’s something about them and the way they’re written than makes me think that they can’t all be from a computer program in China. And maybe there really is a long lost Nigerian prince who needs my help. Continue reading
I love autocomplete and the insight it gives you into the zeitgeist of the internet. I purposely take my time when entering search terms so that Google will throw inadvertently amusing (and sometimes racist) suggestions at me.
Recently @mattshirley41 decided to explore what his fellow netizens think about the United States and mapped the results. The United States Is… maps autocomplete suggestions for the 50 states. Continue reading
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve thought, “I’ve found my people?” That was me, Friday night, at the Booker T. Cleveland Society for the Learned, which might be one of the world’s coolest book clubs. Meeting monthly in bars, the society’s rules are simple and basically boil down to, you must bring a book and swap that book before the night is out.
The group is pretty self-selecting. Mainly young professionals. Dorky enough to want to go to a book club. Outgoing enough to talk to strangers in bars. Snobby enough that they will judge your book, and you, by its cover, thank you very much. So, clearly, I fit right in. Continue reading
Or, The Opening Ceremony Challenges Copyright Law, Whether it Means to or Not
Like millions of others around the world, I spent last night watching the Opening Ceremony. Unlike millions of others, the part that captivated me wasn’t the parade of nations, but the “Second Star to the Right” theatrical sequence.
In this bit of public theater, director Danny Boyle reclaimed the British people’s ownership of their children’s literature, the rights to which have long since been sold off to various corporate interests. Depicting Mary Poppins battling Captain Hook, Voldemort, and the Queen of Hearts, Boyle claimed these beloved characters as part of the broader British narrative. In doing so, he challenged the idea that these characters, or any characters, can belong to someone. Continue reading