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Preview: Holtz Communications + Technology | Blog

Holtz Communications + Technology | Blog

blogging at the intersection of communication and technology

Published: 2017-12-15T17:36:00+00:00


Friday Wrap #243: RIP Storify, easier tweetstorms, we like long tweets, distrust’s cost, and more


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News Storify is shutting down—Storify, the curation tool that made it drop-dead easy to curate content around breaking news or issues, will shut down permanently on May 16. Users can still access Storify 2 if they pay for a Livefyre license. Takeaway: While I haven’t used it in a while, Storify was my main curation tool for a couple years. It never took off the way it should have (though it was front-and-center in a couple breaking news situations), but its purchase by Livefyre was followed by Livefyre’s acquisition by Adobe. In addition to lamenting Storify’s demise, its shutdown is yet another object lesson in relying on a technology you don’t own. Read more Facebook pushes back against allegations it’s destroying society—An early Facebook executive claimed “the short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works.” Facebook’s PR department pushed back noting the time that has passed since the exec left the company. “Facebook was a very different company back then, and as we have grown, we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too. We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve.” Takeaway: It is interesting that Facebook is not denying any of the former executive’s allegations and the executive in question later claimed he was talking about “the long-term effects of social media in general,” not just Facebook. Read more Twitter launches “threads” for posting tweetstorms—Twitter’s iOS and Android apps now include “threads,” which lets you tap a plus (”+”) button to enter the next section of your tweetstorm. You can include up to 280 characters in each segment and add the same amount and type of media (images, videos, etc.) to any tweet in the thread. You can also go back and edit any tweet in the thread. When you’re done, tap “Tweet all” at the top. You can also add new tweets to the thread later. The current limit: 25 entries in a thread. Takeaway: Making it easier to send tweetstorms should encourage more people to create them. Expect a lot of fun twists on tweetstorms, especially from clever brands. Read more Instagram adds ability to follow hashtags—Now you can follow a hashtag on Instagram; it’ll show up along with the posts and Stories in your feed. Advertisers won’t have access to the hashtag-following feature for now, but Instagram “could sell brands on paying to have their posts inserted into a hashtag’s feed or Story.” Brands might also be able to create hashtags people could opt to follow. Hashtag hijacking could also become an issue, although Instagram is adding a “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” option you can use if you find irrelevant or inappropriate hashtag-related content. Takeaway: Letting people find content by topic rather than person makes great sense to me. Brands don’t have to sponsor a hashtag if they adopt one that pulls great content not just from their own feed but from others sharing similarly-themed posts. Whether brands use it or not, a lot of people are likely to follow hashtags related to topics they care about, which means brands should start paying attention to those hashtags people are following and add related content. Read more Apple introduces new podcast analytics—iTunes is still the top podcast source and to accommodate desire for better analytics as podcasts become mainstream, Apple has rolled out a beta of its new podcast analytics service. The tool lets podcasters “track unique devices and playback metrics for their podcasts, including when listeners drop off in the middle of a show.” Takeaway: As podcasting becomes big business, better analytics are in demand for setting advertising rates and determining wheth[...]

FIR Podcast #117: A Dilly Dilly Episode


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network. Doug Haslam and Ike Pigott joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… A Weber Shandwick survey that found few employees strongly agree that their experience working for the company matches up with the employer’s brand A small craft brewer poked the Bud Light bear and got very creative cease-and-desist letter for its trouble LinkedIn is letting Slideshare fall into disrepair YouTube’s crackdown on objectionable videos is sweeping up content creators whose videos are fine Some people are taking money to link to content they produce for sites that rely on contributor networks for content In this week’s Tech Report, Dan York asks if you’ve received the redesigned Snapchat app yet and reports on an update to Mars Edit, another data breach, Apple’s acquisition of Popup Archive, and an attempt to create a blockchain based encyclopedia Connect with Doug on Twitter at @DougH and with Ike on Twitter at @ikepigott. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: Doug Haslam’s  career has spanned a variety of disciplines within the communications field: radio technology, editorial production, public relations, marketing, social media and digital. Currently a senior consultant with Stone Temple Consulting, Doug began with public radio, producing news and thoughtful sports programs, moving into technology public relations, and currently to social media and content strategy for brands of all sizes and industries. Doug’s love of media has come full circle, as his most recent positions have seen him taking full advantage of his content creation skills, managing social media and brand publishing programs for a wide variety of clients. After more than 16 years in television news, Emmy-winner Ike Pigott left to feed his passion for crisis communication. While building his consultancy, he started working with the American Red Cross – first as a local communicator in Alabama, and finally as the Director of Communications and Government Relations for a five-state region. It was during his time at the Red Cross that he pioneered the use of social media, developed the first disaster-response blogs, as well as the non-profit’s Twitter account all the way back in 2007. For the last seven years, Ike has worked as a communication strategist and spokesman for Alabama Power, an electric utility that serves more than 1.4-million customers. He helped shape the Social Media Guidelines for Alabama Power’s parent, Southern Company, and serves on the system-wide Social Media Advisory Council. In addition to media relations duties and serving as editor of the corporate NewsCenter site, Ike works across the company to help individuals and departments get the most out of social media tools. Ike has been a featured speaker at dozens of communication conferences in the United States and Europe, and is considered a thought leader in the integration of social media in utilities and other regulated industries. Links for this episode: Report on Weber Shandwick’s study,“The Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide” Bud Light hires old-timey town crier to issue cease-and-desist to craft brewer Has LinkedIn Ruined Slideshare? YouTube algorithm to de-monetize “offensive videos” sweeps more than intended How Facebook will overtake YouTube as the biggest video platform How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, FastCompany, and the Huffington Post Google penalized BlogDash for link schemes I made my shed the top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor Links from Dan York’s Tech Report: Snapchat’s redesign Mars Edit update Millions caught in virtual keyboard app data breach Apple has acquired Pop Up Archive, an interesting startup that makes podcasts more searchable The Wikipedia competitor that’s harnessing blockchain for epistemological supremacy [...]

Friday Wrap #242: A prescription video game, messaging for kids, paying to link to earned content


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News Video game aims to replace prescription medications—An ungodly number of children take medications for ADHD but the developers of a video game have demonstrated that playing it delivers the same benefits without the side effects. “In a study of 348 children between the ages of 8 and 12 diagnosed with ADHD, those who played Akili’s action-packed game on a tablet over four weeks saw statistically significant improvements on metrics of attention and inhibitory control, compared to children who were given a different action-driven video game designed as a placebo. The company plans next year to file for approval with the Food and Drug Administration.” Takeaway: The idea of a video game getting FDA approval as treatment for a medical condition is mind-blowing. It’s also not the only game being put to this purpose. A VR game in a winter-like landscape has been shown to give relief to burn victims. Once these treatments go mainstream, expect more to follow. Read more’ YouTube reveals four-step plan for providing brand safety—After a host of companies suspended YouTube advertising after their ads were published alongside pedophile-friendly videos, the company announced a four-step action plan for ensuring brand safety. “The action plan includes hiring more people to review content, expanding its use of machine learning to vet content, creating a regular report that will provide more transparency around how it goes about removing videos and comments that violate its policies, and implementing stricter advertising criteria to give marketers more peace of mind about where their ads are running.” Takeaway: One hopes this is just the beginning. Companies selling advertising by algorithm will face increased scrutiny from companies concerned about their reputations. If your company advertises online and hasn’t looked into where your ads are showing up, now’s the time. Read more Walmart drops “Stores” and hyphen from its name—Effective February 1, Wal-Mart Stores will officially be just plain old Walmart. The legal company name is only used in a few places, but the decision to formalize the Walmart name is based on the increasing volume of business the company does online. Takeaway: Renaming to expand the definition of what a company does is nothing new. AARP used to stand for American Association of Retired Persons, but with memberships available to anybody 50 and over, the organization serves a lot more than just retirees. My own company recently dropped “Builders” from its name; it’s just Webcor, leaving room to engage in related activities beyond just construction. Read more Facebook introduces messaging app for kids—Messenger Kids is for the under-13 set, letting them text, send videos and photos, draw on pictures and add stickers. Parents have to okay whom kids engage with and Facebook swears data collection will be limited and kids won’t be advertised to. The company worked with children’s advocacy organizations (among others) to develop the app. Takeaway: Like it or not, kids under 13 are using apps of all kinds and knowing how to engage online is a skill they should have in hand by the time they reach that age. Parents should take a very active role in their kids’ messaging activities, but banning it outright just doesn’t make sense anymore. Read more Instagram is moving Direct messaging to a separate app—A new standalone app from Instagram will separate Direct Messages from the main app. Users in six countries will participate in a test, including Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. The app has a heavy Snapchat vibe: “When users open it, the camera pane will open, emphasising the app’s focus on creating new material (photos and videos) to share[...]

FIR Podcast #116: Is More Annoying Content the Future of Media?


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network. David Spark and Ryan Williams joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… Henry Blodget’s recent presentation on 14 things you’ll want to know about the future of media Some of the ways communication and marketing annoy us that communicators and marketers may not realize are annoying Whether internal communications still needs to prove its value How one Brazilian media company managed its digital transformation (by focusing on people instead of technology) The conference trend toward high-profile speakers who are completely irrelevant to the focus of the conference In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on Snapchat’s new design, Twitter’s expansion of Twitter Lite, and Mozilla’s annual report (and its focus on its work for an open Internet) Connect with David Spark on Twitter at @dspark and with Ryan on Twitter at @willy26. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder the brand journalism firm Spark Media Solutions. Spark has worked with brands such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, and Indycar Racing. He’s reported on the tech scene for more than 18 years in more than 40 media outlets, and is the author of “THREE FEET FROM SEVEN FIGURES: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows” available at Ryan Williams specializes in internal communications, research, and leadership development. He has a passion for servant leadership and shares the positive impact it can have on the lives of employees and organizational performance. His experience has involved strategy development, service improvements, communication audits, change management, and employee engagement. He facilitates planning, designs research, constructs effective questions, communicates results, and produces action. Ryan has won five International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Gold Quill Awards and was recognized by the International Public Relations Institute (IPR) with the Golden Ruler Award of Excellence for Measurement in 2004 for his work with the Alberta Medical Association. Ryan earned his Masters of Arts in Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2007, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration with a major in Community Development from The University of Alberta. Links for this episode: Henry Blodget’s 14 things you’ll want to know about the future of media 10 ways companies are annoying us…and don’t even know it Does internal communication need to keep proving its value? How a Brazilian media company managed its digital transformation The greatest distraction on earth: the intractable draw of the celebrity presenter at Dreamforce Salesforce is everywhere: What does it do again? Links for Dan York’s Tech Report Snapchat is separating social from media Introducing the new Snapchat Snapchat Remakes Itself, Splitting the Social From the Media Twitter Lite in the Google Play Store in 24 more countries Twitter Lite for with lower data usage becomes available in 24 new countries Mozilla’s 2016 annual report [...]

Friday Wrap #241: A new form of protest, the future of media, Alexa for the office, and more


The Wrap was delayed again this week as I settle into my full-time job. Thanks for your patience. I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News It’s YouTube’s turn to introduce Stories—Whether Snapchat stands or falls, it should be remembered for launching the Stories trend. YouTube is the latest to adopt the wildly popular feature with “Reels,” currently undergoing a test, is “YouTube’s spin on the popular ‘stories’ format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators,” according to a senior product manager. Creators will be able to pick which of their videos to make available for 24-hours through Reels. Takeaway: Is your company producing Stories anywhere yet? Given their popularity, coming up with a Stories plan isn’t a bad idea. Read more End of net neutrality rules will hit marketing—One expert says the impact of the FCC ending the definition of internet providers as common carriers will be “profound.” One example: freemium marketing has been built on the idea of uniform availability. Everyone who found your company could sign up as part of their modest monthly internet fee. Without net neutrality, however, some companies may find themselves blocked because they compete with a similar offering from the blocking ISP. Or they may have to pay an access fee to reach potential customers, thus boosting the price of freemium’s formerly low-cost strategy. Or some customers may have to pay a lot more to use the free product, especially if it involves video.” Takeaway: And that’s just one likely effect. Others affect inbound marketing and content marketing. There is still time to voice your support for net neutrality. Read more Bots invade FCC’s comment system—Just as bots were employed in efforts to influence voters in the 2016 elections in the U.S., the comment system used for public feedback on FCC proposals has been infiltrated. More than 1 million comments in favor of repealing net neutrality rules originated from spambots. Takeaway: Elections were just the beginning. Any organization soliciting public input needs to be vigilant for automated attempts to game the system. Read more Artificial Intelligence, Smart Audio, and Chatbots Alexa goes to work—Amazon has introduced Alexa for Business, which will let companies build their own skills and integrations. The conference room is the first target for Alexa for Business, which is working with big-name audio conferencing providers like Polycom. “There are also more practical uses for Alexa in a work setting, such as changing the temperature in a particular conference room or turning the lights on and off. Plus, Alexa for Business has all the same capabilities as a regular old Echo, letting users get information about news, weather, set timers and alarms, and ask questions.” Takeaway: Not to mention that the “drop-in” feature would let anybody call anybody else in the company simply by saying, “Drop in on Bob.” With the addition of a few more features (like the ability to leave a voice mail), smart speakers could make the office phone obsolete. Read more Voice is the key disruption—With the announcement of Alexa for Business, Amazon has planted a flag on the future of voice. The company’s CTO “described a future that isn’t as distant as it once was, where surgeons can talk to equipment while performing surgery, or parents can ‘scream’ at their devices while dealing with a busy schedule.” Takeaway: Start planning for voice technology. Ignoring smart audio now is like ignoring the web in 1998. It will be the interface to much of the AI and other technologies that are becoming central to communications. Read more Also… Starting in early 2018, d[...]

FIR Podcast #115: Digital Coloring Book Ads Are Here…And They Work


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network. Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips and Lynette Young joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… When to send your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotional emails if you want customers to actually open them Can Google and Twitter (or media outlets) introduce provenance to facts in order to help readers know when what they are reading is true? The growing importance of “brand safety” to chief marketing officers Honda is using Facebook ad targeting for something other than selling cars. Could it open the door to other non-commercial uses of targeted advertising by brands? New digital ad formats—including VR, AR, 360-degree video, and interactive content—are starting to deliver real results. In his tech report, the Internet Society’s Dan York talks about new data breaches, the latest update to the Gutenberg editor (which will be part of Wordpress 5.0), another Facebook appropriation of a SnapChat feature (this time it’s streaks), and the FCC’s plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. Connect with Jen Phillips on Twitter at @jenzings and with Lynette Young at @LynetteRadio. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the principal at 4L Strategies, consulting and providing content development for a variety of industries. She has worked in communications and public affairs for 20 years. Her background includes work in electoral politics, government, lobbying, and public affairs PR work. She also brings nearly eight years of experience in digital and social communications and media analysis to her role at 4L Strategies. She worked in Fleishman Hillard’s Public Affairs practice, handling grassroots communications, coalition building, and communications strategy for clients with public affairs concerns. She also worked on a variety of grassroots marketing programs for clients to build support and enthusiasm for product line extensions for some of the most recognized names in consumer products. At CustomScoop (an FIR sponsor), she managed a team of media analysts who provided business intelligence to Fortune 500 companies through monitoring and analysis of the then-emerging field of social media. Jen is also a town elected official, serving as a Library Trustee. She was elected to the position in 2013 to complete an unfilled seat, and was reelected in 2014 and now serves as vice chair of the board. Lynette Young is co-founder and Director of Marketing ClaimWizard, a software-as-a-service workflow management system for the public adjuster industry. She is a marketing technology strategist and published author with focus on digital marketing and implementation services. With over 25 years in technology, 17 of those years in digital marketing, she is well positioned as a “full-stack marketer” giving her a distinct advantage in today’s fast-paced business and environment. Over her professional career, Lynette has worked with clients of all sizes ranging from Google, Twitter, Harlequin Publishing, and American Airlines to HVAC installers, an email marketing service provider, local appliance retailers, other agencies, corporate franchises, and public adjusting firms. Lynette heads up the ClaimWizard digital marketing products and team. She maintains her speaking, mind-mapping, and podcasting activities at Purple Stripe Productions. Links for this episode: The optimal days for sending Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails $5 billion was spent online on Black Friday this year Can a line of “provenance” help to address fake news? The growing importance of brand safety Honda is using Facebook ad targeting to find owners with defective Takata airbags New digital ad formats are getting results Snapchat and AR advertising Links for Dan York’s Te[...]

Friday Wrap #240—or is it the first Wednesday Wrap? Either way, it’s a double issue


It’s the Wednesday Wrap! Knowing the holiday weekend is upon us, I decided to combine the items that would have appeared in a Friday Wrap last week with those I have collected so far this week (so there will be no Wrap on Friday). I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News CompuServe’s forums are shutting down—A long time ago, I was an assistant sysop on CompuServe’s PR & Marketing Forum (PRSIG). I even remember my CompuServe ID (76346,627). My memories of CompuServe—even when it was all text—are still good ones. There was a real community in the PRSIG, with real collaboration and genuine sharing. Of course, CompuServe is a footnote in the history of the digital world and its forums have been gone for all practical purposes for a long time. However, it turns out that the forums still existed in some format as part of Verizon (which acquired AOL, which had acquired CompuServe back in 1998, long after I’d stopped using it). Now, though, Verizon will eradicate those forums once and for all on December 15. Takeaway: I shall shed a tear. The world has moved on from CompuServe and its primitive interface, but there has been little to emulate the forums since. It was likely the fact that there were no alternatives back in the day, which brought everybody who had figured out the value of online communication before 1990 and wanted to connect with others on business topics to this one gathering place. The range of options and tools that have followed are breathtaking and wonderful, but we pay a price for all that choice. Farewell, PRSIG. Read more The end of Net neutrality—The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to end Title II regulations on the Internet, returning it to an information service classification as opposed to a telecommunications one. The move opens the door for service providers to create “fast lanes,” delivering content faster for companies that pay for it and throttling the speeds of that that don’t (as long as they disclose it). Takeaway: This is a political football, but the simple fact is that companies like Google and Facebook may never have achieved their current levels of success if they had been subject to large fees in their early years just to have their content prioritized over the bigger companies (like Yahoo) who had the resources to afford it. Net neutrality ensures all content is treated the same—including your little startup that would struggle to find users frustrated by the slow speeds they’ll experience unless you pay up. Read more Honda finds a non-ad use for audience targeting and it’s brilliant—More than 10 million vehicles in the U.S. haven’t had repairs made that are necessary in the wake of the Takata airbag scandal. To reach owners of its vehicles that need fixing who haven’t responded to recall notices, Honda plans to use Facebook’s custom audience tool, usually used for selling stuff to people. Honda will use the tool “to match encrypted email addresses associated with recalled vehicle identification numbers to Facebook users.” Takeaway: Who knew Facebook’s advertising tools could be used for social good? Well, a lot of people, and it has been used to encourage people to register to vote, among other things, but this is the first time I have heard of a brand using it for something like this. I hope other companies are inspired to find their own non-commercial uses for audience targeting. Read more Mixed messages around a Hannity boycott—At first, brands seemed to be uniting around calls for a boycott of Fox News’s Sean Hannity over his support of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. But after tweeting their endorsement of the boycot[...]

FIR Podcast #114: Stupid chatbots


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network. Chris Christensen and Christopher Penn joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… Todd Defren’s departure from SHIFT Communications, the PR agency he co-founded in 2003 (and which was acquired by Canada’s National PR about 18 months ago) Podcast “super listeners” could be the next advertising sweet spot Travel podcasts (including the three Chris Christensen hosts or co-hosts) are coming into their own A head-to-head competition between human and chatbot Instagram account managers produces some interesting results United Airlines is auctioning off pieces of a 747 to loyalty members Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity Waiting to respond to a crisis costs you customers In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on the evolution of Facebook Stories, Facebook’s rebranding of its “Mentions” app, and Google’s crackdown on AMP users who create teaser pages. Dan also updates stories from last week, including the release of WordPress 4.9 and the “Freedom on the Net” report. Connect with Chris Christensen on Twitter at @chris2x and with Christopher Penn at @cspenn. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: Chris Christensen is the CEO at, a website that helps connect companies with relevant bloggers, writers, podcasters, videographers, and other content creators. He’s also the host of the Amateur Traveler Podcast, which he’s been producing almost as long as this show, since June 2005. He recently introduced Passport, a new podcast with co-host Leif Pettersen focusing on travel marketing and PR, which is part of the FIR Podcast Network. He also co-hosts the podcast, This Week in Travel. Chris is also a coder; he was a director of Engineering for TripAdvisor, Executive VP of Engineering and Operations for LiveWorld, and a manager at Apple, designing and programming server solutions. Christopher S. Penn is Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications. Chris is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, AI for Marketers, introduces marketers to the different types of machine learning and how AI is impacting content creation, conversations, content distribution, and analytics for marketers. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee” marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero. Links for this episode: Are podcast’s “super listeners” audio advertising’s next sweet spot? The travel podcast comes into its own Should you let a bot manage your Instagram account? Chatbot use is on the rise United Airlines to auction off Boeing 747 hardware to MileagePlus members AI is the “new electricity” The AI-powered SEO process: Associate Four new AI tools that will help you be more productive Waiting to respond to a crisis loses you more customers Links for Dan York’s Tech Report Update: WordPress 4.9 is out Update: &#[...]

FIR Podcast #113: Not a 280-character episode


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network. Neville Hobson joined host Shel Holtz for the monthly installment of the Hobson & Holtz Report. Neville and Shel had a chinwag (as Neville would say) about these topics: A follow-up to our KFC story (about 11 herbs and spices); the social media team struck again. Twitter has made its new expanded 280 character count available to almost everyone. Not everyone is happy about it. Uber’s new CEO took an investigator’s advice and scrapped the company’s old values statements. Instead of simply crafting a new one, he crowdsourced it to his employees, who responded in a big way. The traditional media thinks the fake news problem is elevating trust in the traditional media. Audiences don’t agree. When pregnant moms get information from a website with social media elements, they’re more likely to get their children vaccinated and keep those vaccinations up to date. There are lessons here about mixing content and social media that go beyond healthcare. A startup aims to change the CV forever, which could also change the nature of employment. Meanwhile, Microsoft has connected Office 365 and LinkedIn’s Resume Assistant. Taylor Swift’s attorneys created a crisis that could have been averted with advice from a PR professional. Dan York’s Tech report includes Dan’s take on Twitter’s new character count along with more news from Twitter, including a technical issue affecting search results around words related to sexuality, longer name lengths, and problems with its user verification process. Dan also covers the impending release of WordPress 4.9 and The upcoming “Freedom on the Net” report. Connect with Neville on Twitter at @jangles. Be sure to listen to Neville’s Small Data Forum podcast. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About Neville Hobson: Neville Hobson was co-host of The Hobson & Holtz Report for over 10 years. For over 15 years, Neville has been a voice of experience and influence when it comes to speaking about digital technologies, disruptive change in workplaces and marketplaces, relevant trends to pay close attention to, and what it all means for your business. His experiences embrace deep understanding and subject-matter expertise in contemporary business issues that include social, digital and cognitive technologies, connecting that with a career in traditional public relations, marketing communication, employee compensation and benefits communication, and investor relations. Based in the Thames Valley some 30 miles west of London, Neville works either from his home office or from a client’s location; or from wherever he has a good network connection. Links for this episode: KFC’s social media team generated more buzz from its stealth “11 herbs and spices” gag Twitter expands its character count from 140 to 280 Neville’s post about Twitter’s expanded character count Brands jumped into the new 280-character craze Uber’s CEO crowdsourced the new values statement (which he calls “norms”) The LinkedIn post from Uber’s CEO about the company’s norms Study finds the media thinks the fake news epidemic is elevating trust in the media       Fake News: The Neutron Bomb Explodes More infants get vaccinations after moms are exposed to social media messaging Blockchain-abased CVs could change employment forever Microsoft Office 365 users to get LinkedIn-powered Resume Assistant TED Talk on how blockchain could eliminate the need for trust JP Morgan’s AI software took just seconds to do what lawyers spent 360,000 hours doing How Taylor Swift’s overzealous legal team created a PR mess Links from Dan York’s repor[...]

Friday Wrap #239: Big Brother Really Is Watching


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News Twitter doubles character count—Twitter has officially expanded the character count for a tweet to 280 characters. Most of those testing the new limit in late September didn’t generally take advantage of the longer count, leading some to believe that most tweets will remain short; only 1% of tweets created by the test group reached the 280-character limit, while 9% of the control group—still using the 140-character limit—reached the cap. Still, as you’ll see below, some users were ready to try out the new expanded count. The 140-character limit will continue on the site’s Chinese, Korean, and Japanese sites. Takeaway: There has been much winging about the new character count, but I suspect it’ll just settle into being the new normal and won’t make much of a difference to Twitter or how people use it at all. Read more Brands jump on Twitter’s expanded character limit—Brands have been experimenting with the new 280-character limit on Twitter, seeing just what they can do with the expanded count. National Geographic loaded a tweet with animal emojis and the hashtag #280characters, a hashtag that has been embraced by everyone playing with the possibilities. Emojis were a popular approach (used by Sony, DiGiornio Pizza, Charmin, and Spotify, among others), though KitKat repeated the lyric of its jingle and the TV series “Law and Order” SVU ran its well-known intro voiceover (“In the criminal justice system…”). KrispyKreme shared a photo of glazed donuts and tweeted, “Who needs #280characters? A picture is worth a thousand words.” Takeaway: Was any of this necessary? Did any of it sell more toilet paper or pizza? Is this kind of crap the reason anybody follows a brand’s Twitter account? Maybe I’m just cranky today, but shouting, “Look at me, I’m using 280 characters!” seems fairly lame. Read more Blowback over an old media relations tactic—A lot of companies freeze out publications that give them bad coverage. (Apple is famous for it.) The Walt Disney Company probably figured it was just employing this age-old tactic when it banned the Los Angeles Times from film screens because of its negative coverage of Disney’s business operations. That, however, led other media companies to boycott Disney, leading Disney to walk back its ban. The film journalists joining the boycott earned a lot of praise for their solidarity. Takeaway: While I can’t in a million years imagine tech journalists boycotting Apple’s press events over a colleague the company has blacklisted, other industries should take note. Find another way to handle dissatisfaction with the press covering your organization lest you be accused of “bullying and press censorship.” Read more REI’s #OptOutside campaign gets interactive—In 2015, REI kicked off a movement by closing on Black Friday and encouraging its employees—and customers—to stay away from stores and spend the day outside. The campaign is back for a third year with a digital twist to help people figure out what to do and where to go. A new #OptOutside site features an experiential search engine. Type in a location and an activity (kayaking in the San Francisco East Bay, for example), and you’ll get curated experiences, organized by hashtags, as well as practical advice, like what kind of food to bring.” The site also features 20 user-generated videos. Last year, 7 million people and 700 organizations joined the event, which has become a bona fide marketing asset for REI. The site, which I assume will be prom[...]