Light posting this week as I’m traveling for business. I’ll pick back up with my Daily Digitals next week.
Data science: Not a real thing, or a thing not worth less than six figures?
[deep breaths] OK. The premise of this headline hinges on the fact that the head of a database vendor (!!!) wrote a piece saying data science is dead and that data scientists are little more than query writers. [heavy sigh] I think I deserve a gold star right now for all the restraint I’m practicing not to deliver a full-blown rant and turn my attention back to the Gigaom piece which I believe when they say that the scope of the role of “data scientist” varies widely. And that is, I think, a more interesting point to contemplate.
Nielsen: TV and Online Advertising Will Merge by 2020
I’m just sharing this because I’m glad we finally have a date on this grand event. I’ve been asking for it to happen for ten years and Nielson says Santa is finally going to deliver.
Five Things the FTC Will Get Tough on in 2014
I wanted to read this article but I’ve reached my reading limit on AdAge for my free account. Well, the headline sounds interesting/terrifying. The blurb I see in Feedly says the first thing is “De-Identification” and the summary remark is pretty neat. So, I’m sharing this one anyway even though I haven’t read it. And instead I’ll pop over to Adotas and check out “6 Trends that Reinforce the Need for Unified Data Collection.”
As Competitors Focus On Tech, Epsilon Is All About Services
Very interesting discussion with one of the leaders over at Epsilon. They talk DMPs, services, media, agencies, matching… a lot of stuff. I do find the service-focus to be an interesting strategy when it seems that everyone including some agencies are shifting to try to become more product-focused due to the lower overhead and recurring revenue streams.
Oracle Dives Deeper Into Paid Media With Partner API Program
Another trend that seems to be very big among platform providers is the development of partner API programs and development ecosystems. Oracle has just announced theirs and Google is expanding their apps partner program as well.
One Last Blast:
- Privacy Groups Challenge Facebook’s Purchase Of WhatsApp
- Newly Updated “Inbox Pause” Utility Lets You Check Email On Your Schedule, Not Theirs
- A Look At Lumus, The Amazing Lens Technology That Is Going To Change Wearables
- Together, Spotify And Echo Nest Want To Build The Facebook Connect Of Music
- Study Shows Why It’s Worth Your Employer’s Money To Buy Everyone Walking Desks
- Facebook will finally roll out a News Feed redesign
- MEDIA VOICES: Hearst’s Native Ad Approach Starts with Clear Branding
- Hispanics Rely Heavily on Digital Devices for Local Shopping
- Vimeo sticks to its no-ads approach
- Brands’ Organic Facebook Reach Has Crashed Since October: Study
- DataXu Adds Video To Private Exchange Capabilities
- Spotlight On Search: Yahoo! Gemini Vs. Google Enhanced Campaigns
- The Data Machine
- Don’t Fix RTB
It was a rather slow news day this morning. I guess everyone is jetting off to Austin for SXSW.
Mobile Bot Traffic Reportedly Grew 30% In 2013
Which year was the year of mobile? 2011? 2012? 2013? Is it this year? Whatever. Everyone’s been talking about mobile for a long time. Well, I feel like you know you’re really making it when people are trying to cheat on you. One report says you’re driving 30% of commerce traffic now. The bots are here and Linked in is expanding their ad product into your space, too! Congrats, mobile. Looks like you’re really coming into your own.
Who Should Own My Data Management Platform?
This VERY interesting piece on DMPs showed up in my Google alert email this morning. I’m kind of surprised because it came to me through my Google alert, which rarely delivers me anything really good or juicy. And this piece is on Click Z which tends to have a much more tactical than business or strategic view. I guess that fits this piece. But still. Very interesting read that surprised me this morning.
It’s Alive! Facebook’s Atlas Ad Server Adds Rich Media API Program
I don’t really have anything to say here. I was surprised to come across Atlas in my feeds is all. Seems like everyone is talking DFA when it comes to ad serving, but I guess FB is still fighting the good fight against the Google leviathan. But not only did they show up on AdExchanger, they also made a headline on Adotas.
One Last Blast:
- I Tried BroApp and It Did Not Turn Me Into an Awesome Boyfriend
- Twitter Talks to Ad Agencies About How to Market Twitter
- Marketo Sets Its Sights On B2C
- Meet Yuanyuan Pao, BlueKai’s 20-Something Data Cruncher
- Verizon gets highest marks in RootMetrics’ new network tests, but AT&T keeps its speed crown
- Dark Horses In The Cross-Device Targeting Space
- Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good?
- Apple Bringing Full-Screen Video iAds to Mobile
- Ad fraud gotcha down? Pixalate now offers advertisers real-time fraud detection and ad blocking
Are you looking for some industry news that doesn’t mention SXSW even once? Well, this isn’t it, but I promise that will be the only reference to it today… OK, two references if you include the headline.
Most everything else in my feeds was about Dish Network, secure phones, and bitcoin. And only one of those things shows up in my list of main stories. Enjoy!
Yahoo to End Facebook, Google Sign-In on Its Web Properties
The cynic on my shoulder wanted to start my commentary on this news by saying that this change is a bad idea, but I actually do understand the approach (On the same grounds that I found the original use of those logins to be a strange decision.) and I like cheering for Yahoo!. In my gut, I believe they’re finding a nice stride in a new model under Mayer’s leadership. So, I get this change and I hope they don’t lose too many users over it.
The Accountability Gap: Can Offline Sales Actually Be Linked To Digital Ads?
This article isn’t what I thought it was going to be. What I thought it would be was a look at the challenges associated with data onboarding in a world that still relies very heavily on ever-fragile cookies. What it’s actually about is how there is a data barrier for some sectors in analyzing the impact of their digital spending. He considers CPG brands specifically. I always think it’s worthwhile to note the importance of context, so here I would underscore this lesson: not all technical and analytic capabilities delivery the same value to all companies. See? I stated that lesson without using the word “panacea” nor any cliches about rising tides or magic bullets.
England health data fiasco provides perfect case study in the importance of trust
Hot in the wake of one of the articles I shared yesterday about how PII is necessary for Big Data analytics in fighting diseases, here’s a piece on the British National Health Service which has gone all Big Data over the past few years. Aaaaaand apparently all that sensitive data wasn’t handled and protected correctly. This is a completely hideous situation.
Why the internet TV pact between Dish and Disney breaks new ground for cord cutters
Dish Network showed up a lot in my feeds since yesterday mostly because they penned a deal with Disney and announced a lot of things. As the author of this piece says, it seems like Dish will be creating some sort of internet-based television service Not everyone is rosy about the news. Especially since part of the deal also seems to involve limiting Dish customers’ ability to fast forward through commercials. And in support to the news, Dish bought a bunch, 176 to be exact, wireless broadband airwaves licenses in an auction from the FCC.
One Last Blast:
- More DMP Investment: Lotame Receives $15M In Funds
- Meetup’s Multi-Day Outage Was Due To A Newer, More Powerful Type Of DDoS Attack
- A Digital Wallet That Works Almost Everywhere
- APIs Are Bridging the Mobile App Gap
- Yahoo to End Facebook, Google Sign-In on Its Web Properties
- T-Mobile’s BlackBerry Promo: 94 Percent Traded for a Different Smartphone
- ‘Fixed’ app helps iOS users fight parking tickets
- As Myanmar opens up, will mobile money emerge?
- Why the internet of things is big data’s latest killer app — if you do it right
- Cable, Distributor-Caliber Metrics At The Advertiser Level Will Reinvent TV Ad Buys
- Silverpop’s Ecommerce Launch Underscores B2B-B2C Convergence
- As Mobile Ad Prices Rise, Some App Developers Shift To Ad Tech
Happy Mardi Gras! I know with five articles below you won’t believe me when I tell you it was kind of a slow news day this morning. Maybe Facebook will buy someone today so we all have something to talk about.
Rise of the ‘platisher’: The Washington Post starts tech arm
This is a sign of the times. We’ve all seen the Lumascape of the display ecosystem. It’s so fragmented that consolidation is pretty much inevitable. The acquisitions we’ve seen by technology providers is one manifestation of this disintermediation process and this “platisher” business is another. My prediction is that advertisers and publishers will not only have by want providers in the middle to optimize processes in the ecosystem, so the notion of publishers building their own platforms strikes me as something that is probably only sustainable for the very large publishers. Maybe WaPo is such a publisher, I don’t know. But I don’t see “platisher” as a term destined for a long life in the industry.
Does your private data really need to be that private?
Right off, let me just say that I am generally not persuaded by utilitarian arguments like the one presented here. “[T]he public good outweighs the benefits of keeping information private”. I am not comfortable with the idea that we might steamroll the individual’s interests while trumpeting how many people we’ve “helped.” Personally, I think most privacy issues are addressed by putting control in the hands of users who are the only ones who can gauge their sensitivity to having their data get out there. I also think pitting interests of privacy against problems of public health is a bad place to start. It doesn’t seem likely that anyone would want to hinder the process of finding cures for diseases. When it comes to privacy, it seems that the consumer’s concerns stem from two worries: embarrassment and exploitation. I think if these researchers want to get their hands on PII in order to work on health issues, they should try to figure out how to address those issues.
If You Want To Measure Incrementality, Do It Right
Here’s an interesting tidbit from the attribution game. I’ve often wondered how this could be calculated; unfortunately, this article really doesn’t provide a good answer for that. But I do like knowing that folks are working on it.
Is One-To-One Communication Worth It?
Joanna O’Connell’s latest piece on Ad Exchanger looks at the industry view of the 1:1 consumer relationship. There are some interesting comments here, but I think what is more important is what isn’t said here. Specifically, 1:1 relationships between brands and consumers are simply not possible in some contexts IF the marketer wants to be a “good” player in the space. More to the point, there are places where marketers must necessarily regard their consumers as part of a group of consumers who share common characteristics in order to balance the value that powerful technology provides against the threats to privacy that come with it. In those cases, the relationship is between one brand and one audience, rather than one brand and one individual.
Fraudulent traffic: adventures in ad farming
Read this piece to see just how easy it is to commit ad fraud. The combination of low barriers to entry, high “profit” margins, and relative impunity is why ad fraud is a huge problem in the space. As this gets more attention, expect changes to overcome it.
One Last Blast:
- Designing A Successful Ad Strategy For Your Mobile Game With Native Ads
- Study: Massive Online Courses Enroll An Average Of 43,000 Students, 10% Completion
- Researchers Find That Twitter Can Locate HIV Outbreaks
- To secure your data you have to secure the device
- The $150 Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard Is A Keyboard For Your Living Room
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Ben Horowitz’s Honest And Real Take On Entrepreneurship
- Bulletin: Advertising Trade Press Discovers Television
UPDATE: One more good link that just got sent to me:
As I type this, I am on a business trip. It’s late. I should have been asleep four hours and 47 minutes ago because I have to get up early and get a flight back. But a couple of articles I saw today have me thinking. Bear with me while I tie them together.
Fast Company: How Always Being Busy Makes You Dumber
Insanely busy people get easily distracted and overwhelmed, the authors say. Since their calendars get so packed full, all they can think about is the short-term–leading to poor decisions like counterproductive multitasking, neglecting relationships for work, and losing themselves in their inboxes.
The second article also comes from a friend and coworker, Noel, who posted this on Facebook.
Washington Post: Recline, don’t ‘Lean In’ (Why I hate Sheryl Sandberg)
Here’s the thing: We’ve created a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.
The author is talking about women, but it really applies to everyone.
Early in my career, during my first ever gig at managing people — yes, the one in which I screwed up in a number of educational (hashtag learnFromMyFail) ways — I used to love to come into work before the sun came up. I really loved my work and I felt jazzed about having a fresh, brand new day ahead of me. And I liked getting started before everyone else because it let me catch up on things that happened during the night when I wasn’t working.
Of course, not much happened when I wasn’t working because I also liked to work long after the sun went down and most school children should have been in bed. This was because, again, I really loved my work and there was plenty to do, so why not do it? (I am sure my employees were thankful that I was a hold out against getting a Blackberry.)
Well, the reason is both plain and complex: I was a manager and it annoyed the hell out of my employees. I shall now elaborate.
Trey’s first and primary rule of management is that it is the manager’s job to create a context where employees can succeed. That sometimes means making sure the work space is up to snuff — not too hot, not too cold, etc. It sometimes means providing them with tools, information, guidance, and education they need to accomplish the group’s goals. Obviously, that also means telling them what the goals are. It actually entails a LOT of stuff, which is why I am skeptical of management positions where the job description includes also doing the work of the team itself.
That does not mean that managers don’t work and that they don’t have non-manage-y stuff to do. Nor does it mean they aren’t part of a team that also has goals and a manager, etc. (If you think managers don’t do work, then you probably aren’t or should not be a manager.) But as a manager you’re tasked with directing your employees and resources toward accomplishing certain ends and you have to figure out how to make that happen and clear the path so that — you guessed it — your employees can succeed. Without belaboring the point, that’s what managers do all the way up to the CEO of a company.
So, as a young manager, there I was happily working long hours, sending emails, doling out work, doing what I thought I should do as a manager — and making my employees miserable in the process. They would come in every morning to a slew of emails from me telling them to do this or that. Reminding them of some event or policy. Whatever. Emails everywhere. And those emails kept coming all day long while they worked. There was literally no reprieve from the onslaught of asynchronous communications from their manager. And as you can tell from this blog post, I can be pretty wordy at times.
My desk used to sit in the corner facing a couple of windows with beautiful views of the city and the local university campus from nine floors up. Reflecting on those days, I think I was lucky not to have been defenestrated.
Here’s the thing: people need to rest. There are times in our work lives when the pressure is on. Sometimes the pressure goes on for days or weeks or even months. But as the pressure stays on our enthusiasm, creativity, productivity, and general love of our work life wanes. I’m sure there’s a study somewhere probably reported on by the Harvard Business Review that shows this, but it’s late and I’m not feeling like chasing a wild Google goose right now.
What made my constant bombardment with emails such a pain was that there was no reason for it. It’s not like we had a huge project to complete or some major deadline over our heads. This was just normal operations where we had plenty of time and resources to accomplish our goals. I was artificially driving up the pressure on my employees. Can you imagine what would happen if we had been under real business pressure? It would have been inhumane, I think.
And on top of putting undue pressure on my employees, it also put a bit of undue guilt on them. I didn’t expect them to work the hours I work, but when others failed to meet expectations or commitments, I often heard people say, “Not everyone can work the hours you do, Trey.” I didn’t mean to, but by working so many hours it put the suggestion to some that they weren’t working as hard as me or that maybe they felt like maybe I thought they were lazy.
However you care to see it, I was not creating an environment where my employees could succeed.
If you are a manager who perhaps likes to work long or irregular hours, I think there are some things you can do to alleviate some of the artificial pressure that can result from hitting people with a ton of emails at 3am.
- Go ahead and write the email, but perhaps wait to hit send until you’ve had your first cup of coffee in the morning. (Some email programs will even let you schedule delivery, so you don’t even have to remember to check your drafts folder!)
- Try to work a standard 8-hour day even if you like to get started early.
- If you simply can’t work a standard 8-hour day — which is a very common situation for lots of reasons — at least try to leave early on Fridays or something and make a show of highlighting how you’re not a robot and that you need your rest, too.
Actually, I think the first bullet is probably all you really need, but a single item on an unordered list looks weird and the other two aren’t the stupidest ideas I’ve ever had.
I still like having an hour or two each day where I get to work at my own pace without the disruptions colleagues naturally bring into a work day, so I usually start things early. But I make a point to clock out at the end of the business day unless I have some good reason to work late. That isn’t because I’m a shirker. It’s because I know I need my rest so I can be at my best and everyone else needs a rest from me, so they can be at theirs. And that would go double or triple if I were a people manager right now.
So, managers, please take a break. Drink plenty of water. Get lots of rest. You’re just not as good a manager when you don’t.
* Items of personal interest, possibly off-topic
** Worth a click through and a quick glance
*** Contains some notable trends that my be worth recalling later; educational
**** Includes an important industry trend/fact/event
***** Must read. Important industry news. (These will be rare in this type of post because I try to pull these into the morning posts.)
- ** How Google Glass Is Redefining Tech Etiquette h/t Paul Hsieh
- *** Netflix Is Chasing HBO, but It’s Already Passed Plenty of Big Cable Guys
- **** Women Outnumber Men For The First Time In Berkeley’s Intro To Computer Science Course
- * LinkedIn Finally Lets You Block Other Members
- * Y Combinator-Backed Ambition Offers A Fantasy Football-Style Approach To Motivating Sales Teams
- *** Bye Bye, WhatsApp: Germans Switch To Threema For Privacy Reasons
- ** Technology Unlocks “Economies Of Unscale” For Small Businesses
- * AfterCredits Tells You If A Movie Has A Super Secret Bonus Scene
- * Job Bank Chief Apologizes After Anti-Millennial ‘Humility Lesson’ Backfires
- ** When it comes to our data, none of us are in control
- ** Atlassian Launches Git Essentials For The Enterprise
- * Privacy-Focused Blackphone From Silent Circle Goes Up For Pre-Order For $629
- *** How Mobile Ad Net Orange Advertising Built A Programmatic Channel
- *** Designing for freedom: Meet the people putting user experience at the heart of online privacy
- * Brands that took a social stand against Arizona anti-gay law
- ** This former SEC analyst wants to make corporate filings easy to search and even beautiful
- *** Apple Makes Big Improvements In iOS Management Tools For Enterprise And Education
- *** A Long Tail of Whales: Half of Mobile Games Money Comes From 0.15 Percent of Players
- * Study Finds Homes on Embarrassing U.K. Roads Are 20% Cheaper
- ** 5 Successful Marketing Methods In The New Age Of Digital Consumption
- * Google Expands Underwater Street View To New Locations
- *** Always Be Selling: TV, Social And Measurable ROI
- *** LiquidM Rolls Out New Fixed Pricing Model For Mobile Ads
- ** Semantic App Search Engine Quixey Now Digs Into Apps Themselves To Serve You Direct Results
- ** The Dark Legacy Of @Facebook.com Addresses: They Poisoned iOS Contact Sync
- * Report: NSA Bugged Top German Officials After Obama Ordered Cease Of Spying On Chancellor
- *** Corporate Investors Move Into The Accelerator Market
- * The Epic App Brings Kids’ Books To The iPad — And Makes Them More Fun, Too
- * It’s Not Magic, It’s Talent And Sweat. Ha, If Only Silicon Valley Worked That Way
- * Know Thy Selfie
- ** Hands On With Reporter, An iOS App That Wants To Help You Understand Your Daily Life
Well, this is my last day in California this week. I’ll be on the airplane tomorrow morning, so I won’t have a #DailyDigital post, but be on the look out for a #LostLinks post to tide you over until Monday.
Expect a Seismic Shift in Video Consumption
Solid piece from the CEO of Nielson on the factors changing the television space. For folks in tech, until recently, television has tended to be rather closed off by technical, contractual, and traditional barriers. But we’ve seen changes happening and this piece predicts further, even more radical changes. Welcomed changes, I think, for business and consumers alike.
WTF is viewability?
Digiday’s piece on viewability! The question of viewability has been getting a growing amount of attention due to growing awareness of the amount of fraud in online advertising.
Time Inc. Debuts Global Private Exchange, Powered By Google
I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of this. Time Inc. is a big publisher. Google is a big Google. But… private exchange. They are working the programmatic angle and it seems like the scale is there. So, this could be really cool and successful. But it could also just kind of sit there for a while as so many private exchanges have.
Gravity’s Amit Kapur Says Personalization Is Going To “Explode” This Year
The real content here is in the video here. I’m sharing this because I think this is a pretty daring prediction. Personalization has been a small part of web tech for a long time, but site/content personalization companies just haven’t “exploded.” Part of the issue is the cost to run the technology outside of a company that also produces the media. BUT! Perhaps that’s what makes this a smart move for AOL.
Scale: A Third-Party Data Killer
I’m linking to this piece because I disagree with SO much of what the author says. Yes, some of the mechanical points he makes are on the money, but others betray an extreme bias toward online behavior data that I think is simply myopic. Part of what appeals to me personally about the digital space is the fact that we no longer have to look at data and customers in these disassociated silos. We KNOW that the conversion funnel crosses online and offline boundaries and that successful marketing organizations need to coordinate their efforts to create a path to purchase that is consistent and consumer-focused no matter where the customer is encountering the message. OK. I will stop preaching now.