Major changes to online privacy – except in the U.S.

Some big changes are coming to online privacy, especially when it comes to companies like Google and Facebook.  The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) establishes a new set of rules designed to give people more control over their data. Think about how much of “you” is online.  Things like who you associate with, … Continue reading Major changes to online privacy – except in the U.S.

Is Facebook looking at moving media content out of the news feed?

Facebook is thinking, apparently, about moving Page feeds out of the newsfeed everybody sees and moving them to a new Explore Feed that’s buried under the More menu on the mobile site.  That means publishers and media companies that have spent years building an audience and gotten hooked on using Facebook for promotion, branding, and … Continue reading Is Facebook looking at moving media content out of the news feed?

Is Google Fiber sputtering? Dropping 8 markets and new television services

Is Google Fiber struggling?  The rollout of high speed Gigabit internet has been slower than expected and the company has cut back on the markets where it’s installing.  In October, it scrapped plans to expand into 8 markets.  It’s been hampered by both the cost and time it takes to deploy, while competitors in impending … Continue reading Is Google Fiber sputtering? Dropping 8 markets and new television services

Apple ditches Bing for Google search

In 2014, Apple dropped Google for its search and switched to Bing for iOS and Mac.  Now, it’s dumping Bing and going back to Google.  The same goes for Siri as well. “Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent … Continue reading Apple ditches Bing for Google search

Facebook to punish slow loading websites

Here’s another reason to make sure your website loads quickly.  Facebook will give priority placement to sites that load fast. “…we’ll soon take into account the estimated load time of a webpage that someone clicks to from any link in News Feed on the mobile app. Factors such as the person’s current network connection and … Continue reading Facebook to punish slow loading websites

Pebble (gone), Jawbone (liquidating) – is Fitbit next?

You couldn't go anywhere this past holiday without seeing Fitness trackers all over the place.  Just about any place that sold electronics, or the big department stores, all had Fitbit displays on hand - many of them right by the checkout lanes.  Wow, what a difference a few months makes for the various companies selling … Continue reading Pebble (gone), Jawbone (liquidating) – is Fitbit next?

Facebook discussing metered paywalls for publishers on platform

Publishers that have tried out Facebook’s Instant Articles have been pleased with the speed in which pages load, but not necessarily pleased about the economics.  By keeping readers within Facebook’s walled garden, publishers didn’t see the activity translate directly to page views – and exposure to the accompanying ads.  Ad space on Instant Articles have … Continue reading Facebook discussing metered paywalls for publishers on platform

In today’s media world, you need to be a Multi-Platform Seller

If you needed more proof on why you need to be a Multi-Platform Seller (MPS) to be successful in advertising today, look no further than Borell's Annual Survey of Local Advertisers. It's no longer traditional media or digital, it's a mix of both.  74% want a package that works. 74% buy digital and traditional together … Continue reading In today’s media world, you need to be a Multi-Platform Seller

Amazon moves causes Best Buy to lose $1 billion in market cap overnight

Recode reports that Amazon has been hiring folks to provide in-home installations for electronics and smart home devices.  The operation is up and running in 7 markets so far. Smart home gadgets are selling, but Amazon reports higher than normal return rates, in part because they can be tough to set up the first time.  … Continue reading Amazon moves causes Best Buy to lose $1 billion in market cap overnight

Gmail will no longer scan your email and target ads

Did you even know that Google was scanning your Gmail messages and then targeted advertising to you based on the contents?  They were.  Now, Google says they won’t do it anymore.  Well, kind of.  They’ll still scan and use the info, but just not serve ads. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned … Continue reading Gmail will no longer scan your email and target ads

Three questions for Ford’s new CEO

GUEST POST:  University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business  The future arrived early for Ford's new CEO, Jim Hackett, who recently replaced Mark Fields after the automobile giant lost patience with its former leader just three years into his tenure. David Kirsch, a management and entrepreneurship professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, says … Continue reading Three questions for Ford’s new CEO

New Study: Cord-Cutting is accelerating in 2017

Cord-cutting is growing rapidly.  After years of relatively small number of consumers ditching their cable and satellite connections, the number of people opting for going it alone or smaller video bundles has grown dramatically in the last year.  According to a Magid Broadcast study of consumers this April (reporter by Axios), the number of cord-cutters … Continue reading New Study: Cord-Cutting is accelerating in 2017

Game Changer:  Google confirms built-in ad blocker coming to its Chrome browser

It’s been rumored for a while, but now Google confirms it will update its Chrome browser to include an ad blocker.  If your site has what Google terms “unacceptable ads,” it’s going to block all the advertisements on your site.  The list of what is unacceptable will include pop-ups, videos that are set to auto … Continue reading Game Changer:  Google confirms built-in ad blocker coming to its Chrome browser

It’s over: Mobile has won

We passed the tipping point in 2014.  Since then, the use of mobile has exploded.  If you’re still focusing on your desktop website first, you’re way behind. 71% of web traffic in the United States is mobile, according to ComScore.  Mobile usage is larger than desktop in almost every country.   Developing nations see an even … Continue reading It’s over: Mobile has won

Can’t find qualified employees? “Upskill” them.

If you think it’s getting harder to find qualified employees, you’re not alone. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. employers report difficulties filling jobs due to lack of available talent. That’s up from 32% reported last year at this time, according to the Talent Shortage Survey from Manpower Group. For the seventh straight year, skilled trades … Continue reading Can’t find qualified employees? “Upskill” them.

Facebook’s 10-year road map includes typing with your brain, listening with your skin, and no more smart phones

Mark Zuckerberg laid out his 10-year road map at the F8 Facebook developers conference and hinted at some of the projects in the works at the social media company.  It’s either genius or madness. Cameras, Zuckerberg said, were really the first augmented reality platform.  Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist of Oculus Research, shared his vision for … Continue reading Facebook’s 10-year road map includes typing with your brain, listening with your skin, and no more smart phones

Despite new tech chips in credit cards, fraud jumps 33%

I got that call on the weekend.   Somebody had used our credit card to try to book an Uber ride.  Since we hadn’t left the house that morning, I knew it wasn’t a legitimate charge.  I’m happy the folks at Chase knew it wasn’t right and called. One of the things that tipped them off was … Continue reading Despite new tech chips in credit cards, fraud jumps 33%

Lessons in Leadership from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

“Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?” That’s how Jeff Bezos started out his annual letter to shareholders. While the text talks about what he’s been trying to instill into the culture at Amazon, the message applies to any business and its leaders. Bezos has been reminding people that’s it’s Day 1 for Amazon and has … Continue reading Lessons in Leadership from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

How Twitter ditching the “egg” will stop harrassment

  The default profile picture for lazy people that haven’t uploaded their own photo for their Twitter profile is an egg.  Maybe I’m a little dense, but I never realized the reason for the egg was – according to Twitter itself – “a playful reference to how eggs hatch into birds.”  Birds, of course, “tweet” … Continue reading How Twitter ditching the “egg” will stop harrassment

Is society as we know it “broken?”

66% of US thinks it is, 58% around the world agree. It’s not just you. People around the world are questioning what’s happening their world these days. In fact, More than half (58%) think their society is “broken.” 71% lack confidence in their government and even more, 81%, lack confidence in their political party. The survey, … Continue reading Is society as we know it “broken?”

Morning inspiration: 19 quick quotes on being happy

Here are 19 quick quotes to help you remember, happiness begins by looking inward: “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” — Margaret Lee … Continue reading Morning inspiration: 19 quick quotes on being happy

Trouble in Paradise? Digital ad spending growth rates plummet

Standard Media Index (SMI) unveiled its review of online digital ad spend in 2016 and the numbers show some warning signs for publishers. After years of high double-digit growth in online ad sales, the market slipped into mid-single digits in 2016.  By 4Q 2016, the number slipped into the low single digits, and in December, the … Continue reading Trouble in Paradise? Digital ad spending growth rates plummet

Looking for inspiration? 18 quick quotes about attitude

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have … Continue reading Looking for inspiration? 18 quick quotes about attitude

Broadband Only homes rising, 15% get TV without cable or satellite

  In 2013, just 9% of US residents did not subscribe to pay-TV (cable or satellite)  to get television.   By the third quarter of 2016, that number had risen to 15%. That equates to 17 million broadband-only homes, according to TDG (The Diffusion Group) as reported in MediaPost.  Park Associates shows the trending:  last year, … Continue reading Broadband Only homes rising, 15% get TV without cable or satellite

Shifting consumer shopping habits lead to surge in major retailer bankruptcy filings

2016 saw a surge in retail bankruptcy filings, most of which were blamed upon shifts in consumer spending behavior. Some of those that filed for bankruptcy reorganization or liquidation were Aeropostale, Direct Buy, Sports Authority, Vestis Retail Group, Golfsmith, Movie Stop, Backwoods Retail, Nasty Gal, Pacific Sportswear,  Hancock Fabrics, and Total Hockey. Additionally, just before Christmas, the Limited stores … Continue reading Shifting consumer shopping habits lead to surge in major retailer bankruptcy filings

Are restaurants that don’t accept cash the next trend?

Sweetgreen restaurant chain is in the “fast casual” category, serving up healthy food choices.  What won’t be on the menu in 2017 is... cash. Starting mid-January, they will stop taking cash at 64 locations.  The  company says it will speed up transactions by as much as 15%.  Employees touching cash and then handling food is … Continue reading Are restaurants that don’t accept cash the next trend?

At what point does new technology become mainstream?  

Commercial mobile telephones were actually invented in 1949 by AT&T, but it wasn't until the early 70's that phones were truly mobile - not tethered to vehicles.  I remember when neighbor kids would want to ride in my car so they could call Mom at home and tell her where they were calling from. They … Continue reading At what point does new technology become mainstream?  

A place where writers write, and readers read

Medium is the platform you may not know about, but you should.  It was started in 2012 by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and has become a place for people to debate Trump, Clinton, and Brexit – amazingly in logical, rational debate (for the most part). Medium is a place where writers write and readers read.  … Continue reading A place where writers write, and readers read

Brand loyalty is not dead, even for Millennials and new parents

Brand loyalty dead?  It makes for a catchy headline and fits the narrative new-age brand marketers are selling: 90% of the leading household goods brands are losing market share on consistently low-growth categories – Study by Catalina The story goes that in the post-media age (whatever that is), consumers – especially Millennials – aren’t flocking … Continue reading Brand loyalty is not dead, even for Millennials and new parents

Facebook ends ad practices that target/exclude users based on race

It seems like Facebook is getting battered a lot these days, but I’ll give the folks at Facebook some credit.  Most companies, faced with a lawsuit – especially one that claims you are violating the Civil Rights Act and excluding minorities from opportunities – would lawyer up and shut up. Facebook is taking a little … Continue reading Facebook ends ad practices that target/exclude users based on race