Marketing’s New Digital Role Is Shortchanging IT – Chris Taylor – Harvard Business Review

As evidence of marketing’s central role, just look at which department in your firm is commanding the fastest-growing share of the technology budget and attracting the lion’s share of data analysts and data scientists. There are fewer marketing majors at the controls of marketing decisions than ever before, as the skills needed to participate in the revolution have been redefined. With data analytics as the driver and automation as the goal, marketing departments are scrambling to pull in skills that would have lived purely in IT and in the quant labs of financial service firms. These skills are now reaching beyond data analysis to encompass information architecture, application development, and technology project management.

via Marketing’s New Digital Role Is Shortchanging IT – Chris Taylor – Harvard Business Review.

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Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless – Vox

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world.

An estimated 2 million people take it annually, at the bequest of corporate HR departments, colleges, and even government agencies. The company that makes and markets the test makes somewhere around $20 million each year.

The only problem? The test is completely meaningless.

via Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless – Vox.

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The Pew report’s dark predictions about the future Net

The Pew Research Center talked to 1,400 thinkers in the digerati and the experts ruled: The future online looks bleak. Predictions include government crackdowns on online freedoms, more surveillance, less trust, and big companies pushing little creators out of the picture. The report, called “Net Threats,” isn’t exactly beach reading. Here’s a snip of an article about it in the Washington Post:

Soon enough, almost all human activity and the Internet will be inextricable. My heartbeat, connected to a cloud-based health monitor, is content that welds the person and the machine. The video I watch is content, but so is where and how long I watched it, and what I did next.

via They Have Seen the Future of the Internet, and It Is Dark – NYTimes.com.

If you’re getting it for free, you’re the product. And in the world of big data, our very actions are products to be bought and sold – and controlled. It’s maybe a little surprising that Phillip K. Dick and George Orwell weren’t included in the survey.

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What to Learn from the Man Who Managed Reddit’s Community of Millions

Social Media is the outdoor advertising of the Web. You take the message to other platforms where the people are and use that platform’s tools to engage.

But long before Facebook and Twitter showed up, social media was the comments and trackbacks you found on blogs or the posts and threads in phpbb or vbulletin forum sites — affinity and niche communities, but no where near the massive scale we see at those social media mega malls with today’s huge penetration of internet access in the market. The biggest scale was at AOL, but AOL didn’t see its users as a community, they saw them as an audience of customers.

Just like Mom and Pop shops rising against the big boxes and superstores, might there be new opportunities to start building community sites again and work the long tails and niches? Relevant advertising is a key component, or some kind of exclusive value proposition for a membership model. But how to manage scale with lean approach and real human touch is the operational foundation. This piece from firstround interviewing reddit’s community manager is fascinating and well worth the time:

Reddit is considered one of the world’s leading news and social sites, with over 5.5 billion pages served to over 100 million unique visitors spanning 186 countries. It’s also known as one of the most engaged, vocal and opinionated communities on the web. It’s given birth to international movements. It’s found lost children. It’s sparked fiery debates in the media over what the internet should and shouldn’t be.

Given the sheer volume, you’d expect the community team to be huge, but it’s still in the single digits. You’d expect a sophisticated big data machine. What you’d find is a human approach that relies more on intuition than numbers. And yet, the millions of people who post, observe, and return day after day have enshrined it as a sacred part of their lives.

How can you make your company’s community feel so connected? Heard? Engaged? In this exclusive First Round Review interview, Reddit’s General Manager and former Community Manager Erik Martin shatters assumptions and talks about how to win by making community management more about the heart than the mind.

via What to Learn from the Man Who Managed Reddit’s Community of Millions.

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Here’s what proper e-mail etiquette looked like in 1982 – The Washington Post

Getting e-mails from businesses or politicians is incredibly common today. But it wasn’t always like that. An MIT paper from 1982 explained how users should use ARPAnet, the academic research network that preceded the Internet. We’ve come a long way in 32 years:

Sending electronic mail over the ARPAnet for commercial profit or political purposes is both anti-social and illegal. By sending such messages, you can offend many people, and it is possible to get MIT in serious trouble with the Government agencies which manage the ARPAnet. It is considered illegal to use the ARPAnet for anything which is not in direct support of Government business. At the AI lab, we use the network to talk to other researchers about all kinds of things. For example, personal messages to other ARPAnet subscribers for example, to arrange a get-together or check and say a friendly hello are generally not considered harmful. This is one of the ways in which we adapt the network environment to our community. It is very clear that without that sort of freedom, the network could not have evolved to its current point of technical and social sophistication.

via Here’s what proper e-mail etiquette looked like in 1982 – The Washington Post.

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Introduction to Behavior-Based Design — Medium

In general, when a behavior doesn’t occur, it’s because at least one of the three following things is missing (or insufficient).

Motivation

Ability

Trigger

In order for a behavior to occur, a person must first be motivated and able to perform the behavior. Then, if they have an ample level of motivation and ability to perform the given behavior, they will follow through when cued/triggered.

via Introduction to Behavior-Based Design — Medium.

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Mario Garcia: What Today’s Audiences Want

Found this in a recent blog post by Mario Garcia:

1. Today’s audience has a big appetite for news and information, and so they appreciate the constant flow of information.

2. Today’s audience also wants a bit of the curated, or “static” editioning that comes two or three times a day, at a specific time and in which they get a reassurance from the editors of their favorite news source about stories they ought to know about.

3. Today’s audience, constantly saturated by the never ending flow of information, wants a sense of finality at some points during the day: my workout has come to an end, the movie is finished, I have gotten to the last page of the newspaper or magazine.

Satisfying the audiences’ needs as described here is one of the most interesting challenges facing editors and designers in the newsroom.

What do you think? Is Mario on to something? What data would back this up?

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The making of The Guardian’s NSA Decoded

Two great pieces, one by and one an interview of Gabriel Dance, break down some of the approach in multimedia storytelling and the technical aspects of The Guardian’s excellent NSA Decoded interactive feature.

Gabriel’s interview with Justin Ellis of Nieman Lab is here. He and Feilding Cage co-wrote a piece for Source about the tools and thinking behind the project.

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