Twitter to Filter its Feed for Relevance; What it Means for Brands and Publishers

Posted by Jim Anderson in Opinions on September 16th, 2014 at 11:01 am

For social media fans, the big news of the moment is that Twitter may be considering ways to replace its classic feed — every tweet and re-tweet from everyone you follow, in reverse chronological order — with a feed ordered by algorithmically-determined relevancy to the user. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto suggested as much at a conference in New York last week. “Putting that content”—relevant content—“in front of the person at that moment in time is a good way to organize that content better,” Noto explained.

The speed and scope of any such changes are far from clear, but this issue seems unlikely to go away.  The emergence of algorithmically-curated content is both inevitable and desirable.

The arithmetic is pretty obvious.  Today there are about 6,000 tweets per second flowing through Twitter.  Even users who follow a modest number of people, brand and publisher Twitter handles will quickly find the quantity of information to be overwhelming and hard to deal with.  It’s a symptom of Twitter’s significant success, but it’s still a problem for most users.  It’s an unruly, often challenging user experience — an overabundance of content that we can’t possibly process. Not only that, an unfiltered feed...

Shining A Light On Beacon Misconceptions

Posted by Jeff Hasen in Ad Networks Wireless on September 16th, 2014 at 9:42 am

Merriam-Webster describes a beacon as “a strong light that can be seen from far away and that is used to help guide ships, airplanes, etc.”

In 2014, it could revise the definition to include a piece of hardware used to guide marketers.

Last year it was showrooming at retail locations that was most watched in the holiday season. This year, many of these same brick-and-mortars, and many others, have something else to keep an eye on - beacons installed to execute personalized and contextually relevant mobile app experiences, and drive foot traffic, brand awareness, and incremental revenue.

I’ve learned a lot about beacons through a new relationship that I have with Mobiquity Networks, which has developed the leading shopping mall-based mobile advertising network.

One misconception around beacons is that mobile device owners will be pestered by so many offers that the permission that they granted to receive marketing messages will be rescinded. That surely won’t happen if brands establish business rules that address consumer wants and desires.

Just look at the messaging channel. Thousands of brands have successfully engaged with consumers through permission-based mobile VIP clubs in large part because they understand that messages should only be sent when they provide value to the...

Uber Understands You Can’t Spell Capitalism Without API

Posted by John Manoogian III in Emerging Platforms Opinions on September 16th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Uber driver showing the Uber app
B2B needs a sharing economy. And Uber, loved and feared Silicon Valley titan, wants to lead the way. Their latest move to open their API to partners (around a dozen right now) allows Uber’s users to order cars directly from third-party apps like OpenTable and Hinge. But the real winner in this scenario (aside from our arms, which will never stretch to hail a cab again) is the mutual benefit partners receive. Yes, there’s a revenue sharing component of the deal, but more importantly, there’s a symbiotic relationship at play here that extends beyond dollar signs and new users, though those details certainly don’t hurt. In tapping into other apps—and allowing other companies to dip into theirs—Uber is truly expanding its potential. It’s also being strategic in these new partnerships by selecting companies that, like it, provide a valuable service to consumers. Uber is proving that it’s only through connection and pooled resources that we can all grow (and profit) individually.

An open API is the hallmark of a modern, healthy business. The best companies understand that success is found in interconnectedness. Some of the companies they’re teaming up with make...

Don’t Get Lost in Translation: How to Communicate Web Analytics to Your Team

Posted by Brian Gruber in Opinions on September 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am

When your car's "check engine" light flashes on, what’s the first thing you do? You could call a mechanic, or you could pop the hood and take a look yourself.

If you’re like me, you probably call the mechanic.

Web analytics are your website’s dashboard. They update you on the health of your site, alerting you when it needs maintenance. And just like your car’s engine, if you don’t have a basic understanding of how they work, you’re not going to be able to do anything about it yourself.

Unlike a car, however, there’s no mechanic to call. Instead, you have the brainpower of multiple teams at your disposal, with different skillsets and knowledge. So it’s vital that each of these teams has a basic understanding of analytics and can use its skills to improve your site and keep your business’s engine purring.

Spread the Analytics Gospel

The question is: How do you ensure that each division understands the often-complex world of visitor data? There are a few things you can focus on to get your teams on the same page:

1. Teach the lingo. Like any specialty, analytics comes with its own technical jargon. When discussing this data with non-tech people, you may...

How Smartphones Have Changed the Entertainment Industry

Posted by Morgan Sims in Entertainment on September 15th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Smartphones have changed a lot about modern life. The entertainment industry has certainly experienced a lot of challenges. Here are four ways that smartphones have changed the industry.

Audiences are Laughing at You, Not With You

The evolution of 4G phones has changed the way that people experience the world. It doesn't take long before smartphone owners start to rely on their devices for everything from directions to Internet access.

As people have gotten used to carrying small, Internet-ready devices, problems from past decades start to look humorous instead of dramatic. Iconic '80s movies like National Lampoon's Vacation and Friday the 13th look silly to audiences yelling at main characters to just call someone for help.

When the Griswolds get lost in the desert, older viewers who grew up without mobile technology have to explain to younger audiences that Google Maps wasn't an option. When a murderer creates havoc at Crystal Lake, young viewers throw their hands up in disbelief because no one calls the police.

When TV and cable stations air movies made as recently as two decades ago, they have to know that young viewers will find the plots frustrating because they don't seem relevant to the way people solve problems...