Spotting hype (Weekly update)

Avoiding fraud

None of us want to get left behind. But technology is particularly prone to damaging hype. Some of it is completely ridiculous. So I’ve written a brief guide to spotting hype. In short, keep your eye out for things that are impossible, bad value or without enough reach.

Avoiding ISIS

This week a series of brands decided that the risk of appearing next to ISIS on YouTube was too risky. So they pulled their advertising.

Media expert friends tell me that fiddling with YouTube advertising settings is effective at minimising this risk (at the cost of slightly more expensive inventory). But Google can also fix this: I’ve jotted down some back of the envelope figures on what they need to do.

Cambridge Analytica & Trump (again)

The debate about Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s election and data continues, here and in many other places. All the evidence I can see is that they did smart testing, but nothing particularly innovative. I’m writing up a presentation on it this weekend – let me know if you want a sneak preview of a draft.

AI: Hype vs reality

AI holds tremendous potential, but many struggle with knowing when to use it. Here’s a good grid to understand when computers are most helpful.

Selling by SMS

I love SMS. The most underrated channel. Here’s a new campaigning tool built on SMS & Facebook Messenger. And a musician using it to sell records.

A new model for professional services consulting?

The brilliant Venkatash Rao has launched a consulting business with a difference. You subscribe and get unlimited help, by Slack. The big question for me is whether this scales – but I could see some interesting alternative models here from those offered by traditional consulting firms.

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