As 2017 comes to a close, communicators are taking a look back over the year’s accomplishments and using some of the knowledge they have gained to ensure that 2018 is an even better year. Whether that means doing more for existing clients, engaging new ones, or investing in themselves by taking courses or attending conferences, the compulsion to make each year better than the prior one is in all of us.
To wind down the year, here are the posts and pieces that caught our eye this month.
Analytics, AI, and Tech News
- Forbes examines Forrester Research’s new report on Artificial Intelligence, highlighting what could be ahead for AI in the coming year. In the post 10 Predictions For AI, Big Data, And Analytics in 2018 they look at a variety of ways big data could impact us. Among the predictions: easier analytics, deploying AI to make decisions, and the doubling of the “insights as a service” market.
- Mashable’s post Getting real about AI notes that as the popularity of artificial intelligence increases, so do the number of rumors about this technology. IBM, a leader in AI research and development, identifies the top five myths surrounding AI and explains why they aren’t true.
- For anyone interested in seeing how incorporating AI can directly affect a company’s bottom line, take a look at Alibaba, which introduced an AI “fashion consultant” to shoppers in China, assisting them with everything from selecting items to summoning a salesperson to find coordinating pieces. In an era where brick-and-mortar stores are struggling, this could mean AI to the rescue.
- A post on The Verge titled Facebook is using AI to spot users with suicidal thoughts and send them help takes a look at how AI is being used right now; data, social media, and artificial intelligence are being combined to help people who might be considering suicide. The program has been active and in testing in the US for a few months, and it’s now being introduced in other countries. It will not be introduced in European Union countries, where existing data protection laws prohibit scanning user data in this way. The AI identifies potential problems, and then humans provide additional assessment to determine if action is needed.
Apps, Social Platforms, and AR/VR
- Why Instagram Is the No. 1 Social App for Young Stars Like Vanessa Hudgens, Cameron Dallas, Dove Cameron, and More: Instagram is forging its own identity among a competitive landscape of social platforms. It has become especially popular for young celebrities, influencers, and digital personalities, as it is “where you follow the people and things you love.” With 500 million daily users, this platform has a lot of potential for brands to engage with audiences and craft influencer marketing campaigns.
- Vanity Fair takes a hard look at the rise of social channels in The End of the Social Era Can’t Come Soon Enough and asks if we are over-communicating ourselves to misery. Although anecdotal, the disclosure in the article that venture capitalists, journalists, and even employees at these social platforms no longer use them is interesting–and startling. Is this a trend, or a blip?
- What kind of apps catch the attention of Silicon Valley investors? Facebook and Google dominate the consumer app business and people now download fewer apps, making it difficult for new apps to compete. Despite these challenges, one Silicon Valley investor explains that smaller apps can still experience viral growth with the right product features. Jeremy Liew, one of Snapchat’s first investors, reveals the criteria he looks for before investing in an app.
- Traditional search engines could be getting a makeover, and to determine what that means for social platforms, Venturebeat takes a look Behind Pinterest’s push to make the world pinnable. Current search relies on user’s intent but can fall short when people struggle to describe what they’re looking for. In recent years, Pinterest has worked on developing visual searches, which use algorithms to match users with products for sale.
- According to a piece in QZ, The future of computing is holograms. Looking Glass, a startup with offices in Hong Kong and Brooklyn, could change the way we use computers and upend current AR and VR technology. In late November of this year, the company announced the launch of HoloPlayer One, a portable device that connects to a laptop and displays three-dimensional, interactive holograms.
PR, Marketing, and Podcasting
- We’ve covered the rise in data-driven journalism, and how it affects PR professionals. A piece on Forbes titled How To Generate Newsworthy Data provides examples of how to turn some of the data that companies collect into newsworthy pitches.
- Speaking of journalists, if you’ve ever wondered how reporters in DC—sometimes literally—chase down a story, this piece is for you. As part of the New York Times’ Insider series that allows readers to peer behind a variety of job curtains, Capitol Hill reporter Jennifer Steinhauer describes how news in our nation’s Capitol building is procured in A Long-Time Capitol Hill Reporter on the Art of the Hallway Interview.
- Social Media Today takes a look at the customer’s side in How to Use Intent-Based Social Listening to Improve the Customer Experience. Social listening offers brand’s a look at the unstructured voice of the consumer, which provides insight on the customer experience. Ben Shute of Social Media Today explains how listening with intent allows professionals to leverage the data collected with social listening.
- Google Analytics is many a measurement professional’s best friend (or, it’s right up there with Excel). Vertical Measures walks through step-by-step on how to use Google Analytics to generate more leads in How to Generate More Website Leads with Analytics, looking at tactics focusing on landing pages, sources, and how to use that information to make solid marketing decisions.
- Are Podcast ‘Super Listeners’ Audio Advertising’s Next Sweet Spot? The Knight Foundation and Edison Research delve deep into the world of podcasts, and discover that “super listeners” may represent a sweet spot for marketers and advertisers. Advertising Week notes that these dedicated and fanatical podcast listeners are engaged, supportive people who trust the information they are receiving through podcasts—and trust is a rare thing these days.