It’s a great book, it has no typos!

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And you really have to check out this hotel, it’s dark in your room at night. And quiet, too.

Quality is now a given. Quality alone is not remarkable.

Surprise and delight and connection are remarkable.

       
August 31st 2014 Uncategorized

So @akires has turned me into a street fruit looter (apples and peaches!)

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So @akires has turned me into a street fruit looter (apples and peaches!)

So @akires has turned me into a street fruit looter (apples and peaches!)

August 31st 2014 Uncategorized

So akires has turned me…

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So akires has turned me into a street fruit looter (apples and peaches!) http://instagram.com/p/sWAkkTCmCh/

August 31st 2014 personal

This could come in handy…

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This could come in handy at @automattic. Anyone have access yet? http://ut.getrocketboard.com?ref=VyBpDTXT

August 31st 2014 personal

Colorado has better whiskey than…

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Colorado has better whiskey than Wyoming.

August 31st 2014 personal

Did Google acquire Game Maker and Distributor CiiNow?

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Google was officially assigned the pending patent applications from CiiNow last Wednesday (August 27, 2014) in a transaction that was reported as being executed at the end of July. From searching through the USPTO, I don’t see any other patents assigned to CiiNow, so that appears to have been all they owned. The USPTO assignments […]

The post Did Google acquire Game Maker and Distributor CiiNow? appeared first on SEO by the Sea.

August 31st 2014 Uncategorized

“Facebook Is a Weatherless World”

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The post “Facebook Is a Weatherless World” appeared first on John Battelle's Search Blog.

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This quote, from a piece in Motherboard,  hit me straight between the eyeballs:

Facebook…will not let you unFacebook Facebook. It is impossible to discover something in its feeds that isn’t algorithmically tailored to your eyeball.

“The laws of Facebook have one intent, which is to compel us to use Facebook…It believes the best way to do this is to assume it can tell what we want to see based on what we have seen. This is the worst way to predict the weather. If this mechanism isn’t just used to predict the weather, but actually is the weather, then there is no weather. And so Facebook is a weatherless world.”

– Sean Schuster-Craig, AKA Jib Kidder

The short piece notes the lack of true serendipity in worlds created by algorithm, and celebrates the randomness of apps (Random) and artists (like Jib Kidder) who offer a respite from such “weatherless worlds.”

What’s really playing out here is a debate around agency. Who’s in control when you’re inside Facebook – are we, or is Facebook? Most of us feel like we’re in control – Facebook does what we tell it to do, after all, and we seem to like it there just fine, to judge by our collective behaviors. Then again, we also know that what we are seeing, and being encouraged to interact with, is driven by a black box, and many of us are increasingly uneasy with that idea. It feels a bit like the Matrix – we look for that cat to reappear, hoping for some insight into how and whether the system is manipulating us.

Weather is a powerful concept in relation to agency – no one controls the weather, it simply *is*. It has its own agency (unless, of course, you believe in a supreme agent called God, which for these intents and purposes we can call Weather as well.)  It’s not driven by a human-controlled agency, it’s subject to extreme interpretation, and it has a serendipity which allows us to concede our own agency in the face of its overwhelming truth.

Facebook also has its own agency – but that agency is driven by algorithms controlled by humans. As a model for the kind of world we might someday fully inhabit, it’s rather unsettling. As the piece points out, “It is impossible to discover something in its feeds that isn’t algorithmically tailored to your eyeball.” Serendipity is an illusion, goes the argument. Hence, the “I changed my habits on Facebook, and this is what happened” meme is bouncing around the web at the moment. 

It’s true, to a point, that there’s a certain sterility to a long Facebook immersion, like wandering the streets of Agrestic and noting all the oddballs in this otherwise orderly fiction, but never once do you really get inside Lacy Laplante’s head. (And it never seems to rain.)

The Motherboard article also bemoans Twitter’s evolution toward an algorithmically-driven feed – “even Twitter, that last bastion of personal choice, has begun experimenting with injecting users’ feeds with “popular” content.” Close readers of this site will recall I actually encouraged Twitter to do this here: It’s Time For Twitter To Filter Our Feeds. But How?.

The key is that question – But How?

To me, the answer lies with agency. I’m fine with a service filtering my feeds, but I want agency over how, when, and why they do so.

I think that’s why I’ve been such an advocate for what many call “the open web.” The Internet before Facebook and mobile apps felt like a collective, messy ecosystem capable of creating its own weather, it was out of control and unpredictable, yet one could understand it well enough to both give and receive value. We could build our own houses, venture out in our own vehicles, create cities and commerce and culture. If anything was the weather, it was Google, but even Google didn’t force the pasteurized sensibility one finds on services like Facebook.

As we like to say: Pray for rain.

 

The post “Facebook Is a Weatherless World” appeared first on John Battelle's Search Blog.

August 31st 2014 Google

Gillmor Gang: Summertime Blues

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Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. This one seems more like an AA meeting for Apple addiction, as the Gang stumbles around pretending to be interested in Twitter tinkering with the Favorites model while just killing time until September 9. The reason we’re in reasonable humor is that we know we’re in for… Read More

August 31st 2014 apple, Facebook, Twitter, video

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Weekly-Pulse-2014

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Here in Boston, we’re soaking in the warm weather while we still can. If you find yourself with some free time when not winterizing splashing around in your pool, check out a few of our favorite digital marketing articles from our feeds this week.

Millward Brown Acquires InsightExpress To Bolster Digital Measurement

It’s been an exciting week in our office with announcement that we will be growing the Millward Brown Digital family! Our acquisition of InsightExpress takes our capabilities to the next level, allowing us to provide the ultimate behavioral and attitudinal solutions. Take a look at this article to learn how our expansion will help our clients achieve optimal marketing effectiveness and get digital right.

10 Surprising Things You Should Know About Social Media

Keeping up the latest social media trends can seem like a never-ending task. Chances are some of the information you’ve been hanging on to is outdated. This infographic by Entrepreneur features a collection of social media facts that will likely surprise you. Check it out to learn what your followers expect from you, capitalize on trends, and spruce up your social strategy.

With SEO, There Is Now A Difference Between Data And Wisdom

Forbes interviewed two digital experts, Bruce Clay, President at Bruce Clay, Inc. and Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager, Webmaster Outreach at Bing about the newest SEO trends. Take a look at this article to read expert advice on how search engine changes should be impacting your strategy, what opportunities you should be taking advantages of, and what mistakes you should be avoiding.

Search Marketers: The Time To Focus On Mobile User Experience Is Now

Marketers are currently in the process of hopping on the mobile bandwagon. For many, developing mobile SEM has been a trial-and-error process. This article by Search Engine Land highlights the successful implementations while underscoring the shortcomings. Check it out to make sure you brand falls on right side of the divide.

Mobile Marketing: Stop Ignoring the Modern, Connected Customer!

For consumers, mobile means convenience, so if you aren’t utilizing mobile formatting, you’re missing out on a huge segment of the digital population. This post, and podcast, from B2Community discusses how thinking mobile from the get go will benefit both you and your consumers.

Marketing Automation is Only The Beginning: How Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Marketing Forever

Marketing automation is here! Sort of. It’s shaping up to become a multibillion dollar industry, but right now it’s still in its infantile stages. This article by PR2020 provides a strong overview of the realities of marketing automation and the prospects it may come to offer.

August 31st 2014 News, SEO, Social Media

Turning passion on its head

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Instead of, “do what you love,” perhaps the more effective mantra for the entrepreneur, the linchpin and maker of change might be, “love what you do.”

If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we’re going to do important work.

       
August 30th 2014 Uncategorized