Cambridge Analytica’s closure is a pyrrhic victory for data privacy

Alexander Nix, former CEO Web Summit, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/websummit/37576109284
Just 46 days after revelations that Cambridge Analytica harvested millions of Facebook profiles to predict and influence voters in the US election and Brexit referendum, the data analytics company has announced it will close. So too will its parent company, SCL Elections. Some may see this as a victory in the fight against covert or unacceptable me...
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Martin Sorrell leaves WPP with stormy waters ahead for the ad industry

Sea Containers House, London Gareth Kegg
The abrupt news that Martin Sorrell will step down as head of his advertising empire raises many questions for his 200,000+ staff, but also for the advertising industry as a whole. Anybody who has dealt with Sorrell (myself included) will be in no doubt of his ferocious grip on numbers, his ability to rapidly read and retain the bigger pictures eme...
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Web Curios 11/05/18

Web Curios 11/05/18
I went to the seaside last weekend. It was LOVELY, apart from the racist graffiti (residents of Broadstairs - you're right, it  is  OK to be white, and literally NOONE is attempting to tell you otherwise! I promise! Also, looking around, I'm not 100% convinced that it's you who need to worry about being unwelcome) and the seemingly endles...
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The world of the Pi-Hole ad blocker

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Pi-Hole is a network-level ad and tracking software blocker. Rather than a package such as AdBlock which sits on the client (ie the user's web browser), Pi-Hole intercepts any attempt at calling an ad from the web page back to the ad server, thus preventing an ad from being shown. It's prevention rather than cure-level. Anyway, Bloomberg has writte...
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The effects of virtual reality

The effects of virtual reality
Marco Gillies is a researcher and lecturer on virtual reality at Goldsmiths. He has written a long and considered piece on the effects of VR on children, but there's enough in there that anyone interested or involved with VR should have a read. Enter your quote here...VR has been touted as an " empathy machine " because it allows us to experience w...
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Why anger is good for advertising

Why anger is good for advertising Nathan Keirn
Jim Carroll, the former Chair at BBH, has written an excellent piece about why slogans are good for advertising, citing contemporary politics as a comparator for their effectiveness. Like any well-crafted copy, the best political slogans define how we feel about an issue; compress it into something clear, precise and strong; find fellow feeling wit...
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The shady world of Amazon reviews

The shady world of Amazon reviews Domdomegg
This should really come as no surprise to anyone, but people have been making money from a grey market which has sprouted up around writing and gaming Amazon reviews. Groups have been started where their writers take a cut from every review posted. All of this seems rather obvious and shoulder-shrugging, until one remembers that sole...
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Google wants to tidy up online election advertising

Google wants to tidy up online election advertising © Bwag/CC-BY-SA-4.0
Google has announced that it is making media buying for US political organisations much harder. The buyer will need to be a government-registered US citizen, with the ad itself containing information as to who is paying for it. There's more to come. This summer, we'll also release a new Transparency Report specifically focused on election ads. This...
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Surviving the pace of change

Surviving the pace of change
What happens to our physical, social, and cognitive load when the pace of change gets even faster? This RAND article contains the inevitable futurist crap (3D printing) alongside some cut-out-and-keep  ​Harvard Business Review ​-esque tidbits.   As we go faster and faster, the opportunities to take control are dwindling. But they're not a...
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Tim O'Reilly does some future-gazing

Tim O'Reilly does some future-gazing
​"Why simply adding an app doesn't change the game for taxis" is the subtitle of this one. Presenting a couple of weeks ago at a PWC conference, O'Reilly talks through the next steps for the networked economy, including market dominance by the incumbents (and in this case we mean Amazon, Facebook  ​et al ​). There are 95 slides, so there's ple...
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Pricing lessons from startups

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First Round Capital's Tyler Gaffney talks about B2B startup pricing, from the point of view of running a VC which has funded over 30 companies: When it comes to your first paying customers, these folks represent much more than income and validation of your early work. Each of these, Gaffney points out, is an invaluable data point. "If you're trying...
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The slow death of linear television

2873745549_315e833fee_b R Barraez d'Lucca, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahul3/2873745549
GroupM has launched a report entitled  ​The State of Digital 2018 ​. We'll report on its multifarious other statistics in subsequent articles but the standout one is that, globally, watching television online will surpass watching linear programming within the year GroupM also examined programmatic trends: on average across reporting countries...
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Web Curios 04/05/18

HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE! After a brief hiatus born of my having the selfish temerity to step away from the web for a long weekend - did you take care of it? is it  ok ? I worry, you know - Web Curios is back, ready to almost immediately clock off again as we look forward to celebrating the May Bank Holiday in inimitable British style.  So, a...
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A gender decoder for job ads

This is an excellent piece of work from Kat Matfield:  Without realising it, we all use language that is subtly 'gender-coded'. Society has certain expectations of what men and women are like, and how they differ, and this seeps into the language we use. Think about "bossy" and "feisty": we almost never use these words to describe men. This li...
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Yanis Varoufakis on the state of the nation(s)

Yanis Varoufakis on the state of the nation(s) El Desperttador / Wikipedia
​There's so much in this article from Varoufakis that it's pretty much for everyone, irrespective of which sector you work in. It used to be an axiom of liberalism that freedom meant inalienable self-ownership. You were your own property. You could lease yourself to an employer for a limited period, and for a mutually agreed price, but your propert...
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Facebook: you'll never leave

Facebook: you'll never leave Iwan Gabovitch
In a very well-produced long read for  ​The Verge ​, Sarah Jeong talks about the cognitive and emotional load put upon her by even attempting to do something so simple: quit an account. In this case, however, it was Facebook, and leaving it detached her from her social circle as well as from the service itself. I experienced a severe bout...
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How Airbnb scaled 100x

How Airbnb scaled 100x Open Grid Scheduler, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/opengridscheduler/19915395410
Former Airbnb director of product Jonathan Golden has written a post on Medium on how the business scaled and experienced considerable, rapid growth. Marketplaces are notoriously hard to start, but amazing if they work. In my six years at Airbnb, I watched it scale over 100X on every metric: listings, users, revenue, employees, and, yes, sometimes ...
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Adult media use and attitudes: Ofcom launches UK report

Adult media use and attitudes: Ofcom launches UK report Monty Python's Flying Circus
 This is the latest iteration of Ofcom's regular report, which in this case uses research data from 2017. 88% of adults are online; those who are online spend a day a week connected; 62% of online respondents have a Facebook account (but this is declining); 11% of online respondents use WhatsApp as their primary social service, an almost 3x ju...
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Facebook is the crack den of emerging economies

Facebook is the crack den of emerging economies Rulenumberone2, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/rulenumberone2/34455816955
​Bloomberg ​ has a good piece about Facebook. Despite the multitude of woes and concerns regarding the Zuckopticon's business practices and data retention/commercialisation policies, emerging markets around the world have solidly embraced the social network and won't let go. One study found that 30 percent of online sales in Southeast Asia occurred...
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Who am I in the digital age?

Who am I in the digital age? Carl Nenzen Loven, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/nenzen/9304028538/
​The ID Question ​ is a excellent series of articles from the  ​How we get to next ​ story team which focus on issues surrounding personal identity across the world.  Written by  Padmaparna Ghosh and produced by friend of Imperica Anjali Ramachandran , there are currently 5 "episodes" in a series of 6, supplemented with bac...
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