There are so many recent articles to read about communications measurement. We’ve looked at most of them, and here are the good ones:
Invasion of the PR Body Snatchers
The ultimate Turing Test? Algorithms are rapidly replacing PR jobs, and lots of people don’t notice the difference.
- The Washington Post’s Heliograph bot wrote 500 stories on the U.S. election last fall. Read more at “If a Robot Wrote This Story Would You Notice?”
- Meanwhile, Indiana University just announced that it will be replacing a staff person who writes and posts severe weather alerts with an automated system.
- It’s only the the beginning. At Forbes you can read “How Advancements In Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Public Relations.” Spoiler: Algorithms already choose much of the news and content we see. Beware the robot you don’t know is there.
- And, for relevance to measurement in particular, see our article “Will Your Measurement Insight Job Be Taken Over by a Robot?”
Banner Ads Pulled: Who Cares?
- Don’t ad so close to me. Advertisers are pulling hundreds of millions of dollars in business from Google and YouTube because they are worried about appearing next to extremist or offensive content, says USA Today. The recent The Full Monty has an excellent review of news on this topic. See also Bill Comcowich’s summary of the situation, “The Extensive Fall-out of Google’s YouTube Ad Scandal.”
- But it’s no big deal. Not to some, it turns out:“Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results,” says The New York Times.
- Ordering a pizza by tweeting an emoji to Domino’s is so last year. Now Business Insider tells us How to Google Using Emoji. Meanwhile, linguists are very excited about investigating emoji, and emoji measurement is not far behind.
- And for the data scientists among you, check out Jeremy Stanley’s “Deep Learning with Emojis (not Math)” for how emoji math saved 618 years of shopping person time per year.
- Thumbs up. Facebook, a major enabler-by-financial-incentive of fake news, now has begun to join the fight against it, with an as-yet-limited rollout of a third-party fact-checking tool that alerts users to “disputed content.” This is a very wise move for FB, as it is probably the least trusted social media source of news.
- Two thumbs up. Facebook, Mozilla and others announced the launch of a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism. The nonprofit, called the News Integrity Initiative, will be based at the City University of New York.
- Conspiracy theory. In “UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it” Danny Westneat writes about Kate Starbird who has discovered “strange clusters” of wild conspiracy talk, which when mapped, “point to an emerging alternative media ecosystem on the web of surprising power and reach.”
- Trump tweets, truly? Some months ago The Measurement Standard ran David Robinson’s post “Text Analysis of Trump’s Tweets Confirms He Writes Only the (Angrier) Android Half.” Now The Atlantic carries the ball a bit further with “A Bot That Can Tell When It’s Really Donald Trump Who’s Tweeting.” Spoiler: It appears that of late The Donald is writing fewer and fewer of his own tweets.
- No law against lying. Meanwhile, a California state lawmaker pulled proposed legislation that would have made it illegal to publish “false or deceptive statements” on elections. The Electronic Frontier Foundation declared it “obviously unconstitutional.”
- Random acts of content. Among the bazillions of content marketing articles written about content marketing, few are as cogent and sensible as Mark Shaefer’s plea to Stop Committing Random Acts of Content. (We wrote about his Content Shock concept last year in “The Tragedy of the Commons and the Death of Content Marketing”.) In a nutshell, he says:
- Plan ahead,
- Do it R.I.T.E., and
- Commit to the long term.
For Your Next Cocktail Party
- Uber drivers are the new lab rats. From The New York Times comes “How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons,” an animated and interactive examination of Uber’s “…extraordinary behind-the-scenes experiment in behavioral science to manipulate [drivers] in the service of its corporate growth. …Employing hundreds of social scientists and data scientists, Uber has experimented with video game techniques, graphics and non-cash rewards of little value that can prod drivers into working longer and harder…”
- Gold, baby, gold. Here’s your reward for reading this far: inbox-worthy newsletters that deliver no-frills links concerning recent developments in measurement, communications, and marketing. Vital reading: