Emerging tech: Your bookmark for 2019

Data has a better idea “We know from human history that developments in technologies over the centuries, ranging from the Industrial Revolution through to the invention of the automobile, then airplanes and so forth, the landscape of progress is littered with human casualties. People die because of these things being tested.” A provocative statement, the first thing you hear in episode 1 in the third season of the Digital Download podcast that I did with host Paul Sutton last month in which we discussed emerging technologies and communications and what’s predicted to hit the mainstream within the next two to three years. That statement was intended to sharpen focus on the dilemmas confronting all of us when we want to try something new or radically different to advance our knowledge, our well-bring, our development, where there are risks in doing so. It’s an extreme example of risk and consequence on the journey to that
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For Immediate Release 155: Did neglect kill SlideShare?

slideshare-tombstone For the September episode of the monthly Hobson & Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR 155, I was the solo host with Shel away. Doing the show like this reminded me of the old days of FIR when Shel and I recorded a weekly show for over ten years, where one of us would typically do it all solo if the other was away. This was one of those times! Anyway, you have a show to listen to so here’s what’s in this month’s H&H Report: In his Tech
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SDF Podcast 21: Attention, meaningful content and post-apocalyptic novels

monitor Our latest podcast ended up being a tad longer than planned – clearly a sign of a lively, engaged discussion. In talking about various aspects of the attention economy, we managed to hold each other’s attention for a good 45 minutes. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. Many ‘attention economists’ these days quote Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon and his observation that a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. It is certainly a quote that has aged well, and one can only wonder what Simon would make of the world now, 47 years on from his famous statement. Sam doesn’t quite see the crisis of attention that brands often lament. But quality and controllability matter more than ever, and producers of content – especially the advertising and media industries – need to up their game to stay relevant. Users control their online experience through ad blockers
Thomas Stoeckle
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For Immediate Release 152: LOL (TM)

Febreze Neville Hobson joined FIR host Shel Holtz for the August edition of The Hobson and Holtz Report on the FIR Podcast Network. Topics included…
  • P&G is attempting to trademark common Internet acronyms, including LOL.
  • Texting has become a common tool in political campaigns. Will it find its way into marketing?
  • Gen Zers will outnumber Millennials within a year. There are implications for communicators.
  • Should your company be on IGTV?
  • A look at vanished technologies from Gartner’s 2017 hypecycle of emerging technologies.
  • Engagement on Facebook is plummeting.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

Listen Now

(Or download the MP3 file) Links from this episode:

SDF Podcast 20: GDPR, ePrivacy, copyright and antitrust: the EU’s long game

Show notes for this episode written by Thomas Stoeckle. “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” A modern version of this 18th century thought experiment by the philosopher and cleric George Berkeley might read: “If the EU fines a big tech firm billions of dollars, and no one has the power to enforce it, has it actually happened?” A recent opinion piece on AdExchanger discussed the connection between Google’s $5bn antitrust fine, and the enforcement of fines for GDPR non-compliance. Europe is committed to taking a stand against corporations when it comes to privacy rights of consumers, intellectual property rights of content producers (although the planned law is controversial), and anti-competitive market positions. But there is potential tension between the goal of harmonizing privacy law across EU member states, and implementation and
Thomas Stoeckle
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For Immediate Release 147: Tell Me a (Facebook) Story

Neville Hobson joined FIR host Shel Holtz for the July edition of “The Hobson & Holtz Report” and conversation about these topics:
  • Starbucks and plastic straws (listener comment from Kris Gallagher)
  • British Airways asks customers to post personal data on Twitter ‘to comply with GDPR’
  • Will Facebook Stories (and Instagram Stories, Messenger Stories, WhatsApp Stories, and Snapchat Stories) change how marketers use social media?
  • Whatever the EU does about copyright laws, expect it to change social media globally
  • Chatrooms come out of closed beta at Reddit
  • Facebook has suspended Crimson Hexagon from accessing data while it investigates how that data is being used
  • New buyers of smart speakers want to reduce the amount of time they spend looking at screens
Also, Gini Dietrich shares her thoughts on companies shrugging off the “E” in the PESO model she helped develop, Dan York has his Tech Report, and more. Special thanks to 
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Social Web Update 23.07.18

My weekly annotated summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.

Love the Numbers

Gender breakdowns of social media usage are instructive, and the subject sometimes of heated dinner conversations. Debate this, for example: Why do more women than men use Pinterest? Here's Statista's May 2018 report on  social media usage in Canada . . . by gender. Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.43.13 AM.png



The photo and video-sharing platform appears to be testing more broadly allowing public account holders "to manually kick people out of their pool of followers",  functionality that has always been available for private accounts. The ubiquitous green activity ‘dot’ is coming to Instagram! Instagram announced last week that you’ll see a green dot next to your friends’ profile pictures when they are active. The dots will appear “in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox Continue reading "Social Web Update 23.07.18"

Twitter removes fake followers to build trust in follower counts

Twitter profile If you’ve noticed a sudden drop in the number of people following you on Twitter, the likeliest reason would be action taken by Twitter last week as part of its efforts to build trust and confidence in follower counts – the number of people who follow others on the social network. In an announcement posted on July 11, Twitter said it had begun a global action to remove suspicious accounts from users’ followers, describing it as a step to improve Twitter and ensure everyone can have confidence in their followers.
As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down. Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.
Before and After
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For Immediate Release 143: Fired by mistake by an AI

Neville Hobson joined FIR host Shel Holtz for the June edition of “The Hobson & Holtz Report” and conversation about these topics:
  • An employee was mistakenly fired by an AI system and managers stood by powerless to correct the mistake. Was AI really to blame?
  • IBM has introduced an AI designed for debate, which could mean there’s finally an unbiased devil’s advocate to point out the flaws in your business plan.
  • There is no minimizing the threat to the Internet posed by the draconian copyright restrictions the European Parliament could vote into law as early as the first week of July.
  • A couple of PRSA members are proposing an overhaul of ethics rules to make sure they apply to the group’s executive board (and making their case hasn’t been easy).
  • The World Cup is using a Video Assisted Referee, which would have applications far beyond sports.
  • Facebook is testing paid monthly
    FIR 143 The Hobson & Holtz Report
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SDF Podcast 19: Is GDPR much ado about nothing?

GDPR Ten days after the EU General Data Protection Regulation came into action, the SmallDataForum convened to provide initial assessments and perspectives. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. Are we witnessing comedy or drama? Much ado about nothing or the end of the world as we know it? Clearly it is much too early to tell, and yet (of course) we found a lot to discuss, from varying levels of preparedness (not just on businesses’ side, but also among governments, regulators etc), to impacts on the data-driven digital advertising business, to the next level of EU rule regarding electronic communication, the so-called ePrivacy Regulation. Among the early legal cases, the most prominent so far is Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems’s challenge of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram (reported by the Irish Times). Sam points out that Schrems, the man behind the None of Your Business website (www.
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For Immediate Release 139: Augmented PR

Neville and Shel get together via YouTube Hangout for the May 2018 installment of “The Hobson & Holtz Report,” with conversations about…
  • GDPR, which officially went into effect on Friday May 25
  • BuzzFeed’s live-streaming experiment on Twitch
  • CIPR’s white paper on the role of Artificial Intelligence in public relations
  • Google is under pressure to up its podcasting game
  • Google lets you see your history of interactions and it’s a lot less creepy than Facebook
  • Generation Z will bypass politics and engage via consumerism
  • Dan York reports on GDPR, Airbnb’s travel “stories,” Anchor’s new mobile import feature, and WordPress’ 15th anniversary
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

Listen Now

Or download the MP3 file. Links from this week’s episode

Creative Storytelling: Picture This: It’s Not Just the Words – It’s What You Do with Them

Creative StorytellingGuest Post by Mary Wascavage Every morning I listen to the Elvis Duran Morning Show on my way in to work. I like to be entertained throughout my commute, and Duran’s show doesn’t disappoint. It’s talk-show-meets-freak-show with popular contemporary music added in for good measure. This one day, in particular, Duran told a story about the man who inspired his career choice. By chance, he met his idol – a fellow on-air personality – who gave Duran one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard:
Paint a picture with your words.
That sounds easy, but it honestly isn’t. You know that phenomenon when you arrive at your destination and you have no idea how you got there? That was me on that day. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had just heard, and how excited I was to tell you about it in this post. Of Pictures and
Mary Wascavage
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It’s As If Those Parkland Kids Learned from a Pro

parklandGuest Post by Paula Kiger “You have to promise me you won’t share this.” The coordinator of a group of social media advocates said this via Facebook one night about eight years ago, on our private page. What could be so bad that I was being warned strongly against sharing it outside of a closed Facebook group? When the time came to watch the video, our coordinator appeared—no makeup, sweats, not as put-together as she would have required of herself for a broadcast beyond a small and trusted group. It would not have mattered to me what she was wearing or whether she had makeup on. She proceeded to tell us, with resounding sincerity, how grateful she was for our work on the project.
She put her pride aside and spoke from the heart.
More about her later. For now, I want to talk about what the students from
Paula Kiger
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Our Industry, Your Answers: Breaking Down the 2018 JOTW Communications Survey

communicationsGuest Post by Scott Kaminski Corporate communications and PR can be a lonely business of sorts. As communicators, we are sometimes holed up in self-imposed exile creating content for others to deliver on ever-shrinking budgets. Or are we? A recent survey conducted by Ned Lundquist’s Job of the Week (JOTW) in partnership with Sword and the Script Media, LLC sought to find out the true status of our industry. Conducted in February 2018, the online survey solicited the thoughts and opinions of 5,500 JOTW newsletter subscribers, mainly consisting of senior in-house and corporate communications professionals across a variety of industries. Let’s hit it. Let’s Talk Money The idea of doing less with more is not uncommon to communicators. And 63% of survey respondents cited budget as their top challenge – even as business and employers expected them to do more with a rapidly increasing list of things to do. As
Scott Kaminski
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SDF Podcast 18: Inertia, ethics, and breaches of trust

Data, data everywhere, but ethics in short supply. The latest episode of the Small Data Forum podcast follows the classic narrative arc of a three-act story. Beginning, middle, and end. The set-up, the confrontation, and the resolution. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. And although our wide-ranging discussion did run the risk of leaving all three co-hosts in the depths of despair, Neville HobsonThomas Stoeckle, and I end up hoping that the asteroid NASA predicts is hurtling towards earth can be diverted from its nihilistic path. This episode’s show notes were written by Sam Knowles. We kick off considering the implications of Google recently losing a landmark “right to be forgotten” case in the UK courts. For me, the case says more about national (courts) and supranational (the EU) organisations looking to flex – and being seen to flex – their regulatory and legislative muscles in the face of the
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Creative Communications: Lessons from Health and Wellness Brands

Creative CommunicationsGuest Post by Hanna Knowles Look better. Be stronger. Get fit faster. Feel young again. Before and after. These messages are tired and far from creative. Yet, health and wellness brands refuse to let them go. These communication approaches popup from healthcare companies, to athletic wear, to fitness apps. When the masses are using the same communication strategies, it’s time to stop and pause.
Instead of following the herd to captivate and activate your audience you must flex your creative muscles.
The following examples focus on health and wellness brands, but the takeaways apply to any industry. Let’s dive in. Unique Appeal: Uplift Studios Goes Beyond Physique Located in New York City, Uplift Studios is a fitness center opting for a unique appeal. Instead of promising stronger and slimmer bodies, it promises overall female empowerment. This message is so central to its mission that its Instagram feed could be easily
Hanna Knowles
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Social Web Recap 07.05.18

My weekly annotated summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts. 
          <img class="thumb-image" alt="Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 3.51.05 PM.png" data-image="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/5aea170688251b860c8ec442/1525290765853/Screen+Shot+2018-05-02+at+3.51.05+PM.png" data-image-dimensions="612x336" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" data-load="false" data-image-id="5aea170688251b860c8ec442" data-type="image" src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/5aea170688251b860c8ec442/1525290765853/Screen+Shot+2018-05-02+at+3.51.05+PM.png?format=1000w" />


Chart of the Week

The chart above is a snapshot of Snapchat's earnings in the first quarter of 2018. You don't need to be a financial analyst to recognized that users and advertisers are truly pissed at the messaging apps redesign. Global revenues have cratered and earnings per share saw a loss of $0.17. (See CEO Evan Spiegel's comments below.)



This could well be a dedicated Facebook update given all the announcements made last week at , or coinciding with, Facebook’s annual developer conference (F8). Here is a list of the major announcements (except those affecting Instagram and Messenger which are handled individually below)
  1. Facebook is expanding its testing of upvote and downvote buttons on comments Continue reading "Social Web Recap 07.05.18"

For Immediate Release 134: We start with Starbucks and end with drones

In this April edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Neville and Shel talk about…
  • Starbucks’ response to a racial incident in Philadelphia that went viral and sparked protests
  • In an effort to reduce “noise pollution,” Ghana wants Muslims to issue the call to prayer via WhatsApp
  • The line between earned and paid media is blurring and consumers don’t care which is which
  • There’s a reckoning coming for terms and conditions
  • Augmented Reality is making huge inroads (except in corporate communications)
  • Journalists in developing countries are using drones and sensors to cover environmental crimes and pollution
In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on what he found when he downloaded his Facebook data, Jordan Peel’s deepfake PSA from Barack Obama, why Chrome’s article recommendation feature could drive huge traffic to publishers, Flickr has been acquired by SmugMug (which plans to revitalize the photo service), and Mozilla has issued a call
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Social Web Recap 23.04.18

(My weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts. )
          <img class="thumb-image" alt="Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 10.49.07 AM.png" data-image="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/5ad609be758d4681c2ff1e8e/1523976649482/Screen+Shot+2018-04-17+at+10.49.07+AM.png" data-image-dimensions="798x449" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ad609be758d4681c2ff1e8e" data-type="image" src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/5ad609be758d4681c2ff1e8e/1523976649482/Screen+Shot+2018-04-17+at+10.49.07+AM.png?format=1000w" />

Chart of the Week

These are all the numbers you need to recognize that social media use continues to increase . Simon Kemp reports in TNW that "the number of people around the world using social media grew by more than 100 million in the first three months of 2018, reaching almost 3.3 billion by the end of March." In the year since 2017, the number of internet users has gone up by 7.0%, active social media users by 13.0%, unique mobile users by 2.0% and active mobile users by 14.0%



Four months after introducing its Lens Studio platform which allowed creators to build augmented reality objects or 'world lenses', Snap is now "releasing Continue reading "Social Web Recap 23.04.18"