Mastodon: Here to stay or DOA?

MastodonThere is so much hyperventilating over Mastodon, the upstart social network du jour, that it’s easy to drop it into the same bucket as all the other presumed Twitter killers moldering in their digital graves.

Which is exactly what a lot of people are doing. Without even giving it a once-over, they remind their followers of Ello, Plurk, Jaiku, and the laundry list of other social hopefuls. And let’s not even start on the trash heap of Google’s varous attempts.

I’m not ready to proclaim Mastodon a keeper. Odds are, in five years when the next startup hits the scene, the doubters will ask us to remember Ello, Plurk, Jaiku, and Mastodon… Read More »

Friday Wrap #212: Workplace for free, introducing Mastodon, cyborgs at work, engagement efforts fail

Friday Wrap #212 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

PepsiCo withdraws Kendall Jenner ad—PepsiCo’s record of living its values has been undermined by a tone-deaf commercial that critics have accused of appropriating a serious message from the Black Lives Matter group for the purpose of selling cans of soda. Even Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter has expressed her displeasure, leading the company to withdraw the commercial. Some analysts speculate this ad misfire will have longer-lasting fallout than most and could hurt sales.… Read More »

One True Answer and the declining relevance of search

honeycrisp applesA few nights ago, my wife asked me to bring her an apple. “There are Envies in the crisper in the refrigerator,” she told me.

“There are Honeycrisps in the bowl on the counter,” I said. I don’t put apples in the refrigerator because grocery stores don’t. But this entirely forgettable exchange led me to ask Google Assistant, “Should I be refrigerating apples?”

It was just a passing question, nothing I would have sat down and Googled. The ease of a single long-press of my Android phone’s home button and asking the question the same way I would an agriculture worker at a farmer’s market let me satisfy this passing curiosity in an… Read More »

Voice tech is the new interface to everything

The Conversation Frontier

If you want an influencer to have conversations about your products with her followers, you can pony up some big bucks and hope she has the time to engage with each and every fan who reaches out to her. Or you can do what CoverGirl did. After getting 16-year-old dancer, model and TV personality Kalani Hilliker Kalani Hilliker's Botonboard, they studied her conversational style across her various social media accounts, then unveiled a chatbot on the Kik mobile messaging platform that simulates conversation with her.

Hilliker has 3.3 million followers on Instagram alone. A lot of her fans flocked to the clearly-labeled chatbot, generating 14 times more… Read More »

Friday Wrap #198: Marriott’s reality series, a fake news search engine, an autoplay assassination

Friday Wrap #198I 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 testing notifications for breaking news—Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey insists that Twitter is a news platform, a channel for sharing what’s happening right now. Reflecting its desire to be a news app, the company has started testing notifications of breaking news. When a truck crashed into a Berlin Christmas market, Twitter pushed a news alert of the event to some users via the Twitter Moments tab; it had done the same when Fidel Castro died. The takeaway: While I don’t… Read More »

Friday Wrap #192: Election connections, Messenger milestone, emoji URLs, fake news, PR in B2B

Friday Wrap #192I 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

Lessons for marketers from the presidential elections forecast inaccuracies—Virtually all the polls, including those from highly-respected data experts, were confident of a Clinton victory. The fact that they got it so wrong should give marketers pause about the approach they take to the data analysis that has become so integral a part of their work. The lesson: Access to data doesn’t matter much if you don’t analyze it correctly. The big mistake in the election… Read More »

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