Speed summary of a useful research report from Microsoft (download) on our multi-screening digital lives; how we use second screens whilst watching TV – based on ethnographic research and a survey of 3586 adults in US, UK, Canada, Australia and Brazil in early 2013.
If analytical psychology interests you as creative stimulus (and it should…), check out this great video walkthrough (below) on applying Jungian archetypes to marketing from Step Change Marketing. Although my PhD supervisor once quipped that (outside marketing) there are few card-carrying Jungians left, within marketing, generations of planners and creatives have found Jungian archetypes a rich and useful creative framework.
Turn on your radio-activated tooth fillings and cover your windows in aluminum foil because someone – no one knows who, for sure – has asked that Gawker writer Max Read’s homemade NSA PRISM t-shirts be removed from the Internet. Read created the t-shirts as a joke, selling a grand total of three items before Zazzle shut down his store after citing “infringement claims.”
The T-shirt uses the NSA PRISM logo which itself was stolen without attribution from a photo made by a British television host named Adam Hart-Davis. The logo originally appeared in the Powerpoint made by NSA spooks to explain their exciting new project to potential software partners.
It is technically against the law to make merchandise bearing federal logos (but the law is laxly applied) so Read is technically in the wrong. But really? What shadowy cabal of intellectual property holders contacted Zazzle to have the t-shirt pulled? What’s to stop a mild-mannered reporter from creating his own NSA shirt? Does our nation’s security apparatus really have so little else to do than pull rank on Zazzle? I’ve contacted Zazzle directly but I suspect their press office is currently being muzzled by threats on their lives and the lives of their families (or is enjoying a nice Saturday afternoon). Either way, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
UPDATE – Zazzle wrote:
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Yesterday I wrote about the ongoing CNET editorial independence issue. I said that the editors and journalists at CNET were part of the problem, and suggested that they either publish their (assumed) dissent, or resign, or both.
A conversation began in the comments of that post, with some people saying that it isn’t reasonable to expect people to resign.
From Danny Sullivan:
I think a lot of CNET staffers probably aren’t resigning, Mike, because they have families to support, as well as themselves. It’s not exactly a great economy out there. I think what Greg did was very brave, but not everyone is that brave nor even able to make that type of move.
I don’t blame people in today’s publishing business for wanting to line up work first. Not everybody can be sure of being able to support their families, and when they’ve been screwed by their employer, they shouldn’t be expected to *immediately* screw themselves too. But don’t be surprised to see more leaving.
There were similar comments on Twitter. These comments were often combined with statements my position wasn’t valid because I have made some money selling my business.
As just one example, David Carnoy, Executive Editor at CNET, says:
@arrington In your post about @CNET you neglected to disclose $$$ you made from selling out to AOL. Easy to walk when you had your BIG EXIT.
And finally, some people have said that it’s only reasonable for people to resign if they have another job lined up.
Hunter Walk, in a comment to the original post, says:
Let’s see other journalists stand with their brethren and start a “free the CNET staffers” fund that can be tapped by any CNET journalist who wants to walk away but needs the money to do so. Mike, I’ll match up to the first $500 of your contribution
I think some of these are valid points and worth exploring.
First, sure it’s easy for me to say they should just quit their jobs when I’m not the one doing it and I may have more financial security than most or all of them. If I worked at CNET, had a family to take care of and had little financial breathing room I cannot say for certain that I’d resign. My family would certainly come first (and second, and third). It’s a fair point.
Second, I agree that it would certainly be easier for CNET people to resign if they knew that they had another job waiting for them.
Still, I think there are some profound issues to think through that drive to the core of what it means to be a journalist, and these issues are worth exploring.
What does it mean to be a journalist? If I have bias here, it isn’t in net worth. It’s that I don’t respect what I’ve called the Priesthood of Journalism. Journalists hold themselves apart, and above, the common person. They have rules designed to ensure their objectivity and impartiality.
Among those rules – “Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.”
it doesn’t say “unless you report to them,” or “unless you might lose your job.”
No, journalists hold themselves to a higher standard. Situations like CNET are exactly what journalists are supposed to fight. That’s why we entrust them as the fourth estate.
Is the pushback here because we’re just talking about tech press and not real press? What if someone at the New York Times was under express orders not to write about a political or financial scandal? Would we say it’s ok if they were at risk of losing their job and maybe not being able to pay their mortgage? Hell no, we’d consider that reporter as part of the overall conspiracy. “Just following orders” doesn’t cut it there, and the tech press should hold themselves to those same standards.
Journalists are supposed to put the people first, even before themselves. Around the world and throughout history journalists have died to get the truth out. We’re not talking about losing a job and having trouble paying the bills. We’re talking about things like having your head removed from your body.
Of course covering the latest tech gadgets isn’t quite the same thing as covering a bloody civil war. It’s not as important, or dangerous. But there is still quite clearly a principle at stake here. If a tech journalist needs financial security before doing what their conscience dictates, I’m not sure they should be calling themselves journalists at all.
Would it be ok for a CNET reporter to take a bribe to cover or not cover a certain product? Or what if CBS said “in appreciation of you not leaving after this debacle we want to give you all a 10% spot bonus.” Would that be ok? But what if they really need that bribe or spot bonus? What if they have a sick kid and can’t pay the hospital bills? Is it ok then?
To me, every paycheck a CNET reporter receives from here on out is just a bribe. A bribe that they are accepting in exchange for putting up with CBS telling them what they can and cannot say. By staying they are making it easier for companies to do evil in the future.
“It comes down to *why* we do this job. Do we have a burning passion to report the truth, or simply a desire to eat?” – Lee Hutchinson
So to end this I’ll say this. I don’t think CNET reporters are bad people for not quitting, and I quite understand that some of them may not be in any kind of financial position to even consider it. But as this crisis passes, perhaps those that couldn’t make that hard decision should consider if, over the long run, they should continue to call themselves journalists. Perhaps a new line of work, one where the public isn’t relying on them, is a better choice.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
If you’ve ever wondered why birthers, inside jobbers, and other conspiracy theorists won’t simply take the truth at face value, two researchers at OSU have found that we tend to ignore – and reject – instant corrections to data.
The study, performed by R. Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks, examined what happens when untruthful information is immediately corrected in a news story. While some programs claim to call out false information automatically, such systems make users “more resistant to factual information.” That’s right: the more truth we read, the more we tend to believe strongly-held lies.
“Humans aren’t vessels into which you can just pour accurate information,” said Garrett. “Correcting misperceptions is really a persuasion task. You have to convince people that, while there are competing claims, one claim is clearly more accurate.”
The scientists gave participants one of three pages of information about electronic health records (EHRs), a potentially divisive topic for some. One page showed false information and “inaccurate statements were italicized, enclosed in brackets and displayed in red, and a detailed correction appeared at the bottom of the page.” Others read a post with errors, were given a three-minute task, and then shown the corrections. Finally, others were given the page with false information intact.
Later, the researchers asked “how easy or difficult it would be for several groups (including hospital administrators, government officials and others) to access electronic health records.” Those who supported EHRs tended to get higher scores on the test while those who were opposed to EHRs answered as if they hadn’t been corrected at all. In short, the corrections made no impact on their opinion and later accuracy of information.
To extrapolate, if you’re a supporter of President Obama (or any figure, really), corrections to inaccurate information would change your recall of that information. If you’re against him, the corrections wouldn’t matter. The bottom line?
“We would anticipate that systems like Dispute Finder would do little to change the beliefs of the roughly one in six Americans who, despite exhaustive news coverage and fact checking, continue to question whether President Obama was born in the U.S.,” said Garrett.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
First Amendment protections are a solemn oath designed to preserve a functioning democracy; they in no way logically extend to protecting the capacity to inflict harm on vulnerable citizens for mere amusement. For good reason, New York City Councilman Peter Vallone is considering criminal charges against Hurricane Sandy prankster Shashank Tripathi who spread malicious rumors about power outages over Twitter (under the handle, @ComfortablySmug).
While some argue that being a jackass isn’t illegal, since the Constitution’s inception, courts have held that all rights carry the burden of caring for our fellow man. Thomas Jefferson himself said that citizens have “no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
During the height of chaos, Tripathi tweeted widely spread rumors about blackouts.
During a storm, scared citizens act erratically, and could have made life-threatening decisions based on the fact that there would be no power. Tripathi, to his credit, apologized and resigned as Congressional candidate Christopher Wright’s campaign manager. “During a natural disaster that threatened the entire city, I made a series of irresponsible and inaccurate tweets.” Still Vallone worries that without legal punishment, less responsible jackasses with a smartphone will repeat rumors for attention. “I think the consideration of criminal charges will assure this kind of stuff doesn’t happen again,” he told Buzzfeed.
The case against criminal charges was well-argued by TechDirt founder Mike Masnick in the beautifully titled, “Being A Jackass On Twitter Shouldn’t Be Illegal; Public Shame Should Be Enough.” Masnick argues that public shaming has clearly worked, and that legal action would snowball into unnecessary censorship.
Yet, the public shaming case doesn’t acknowledge when there should be limits on free speech. For nearly a century, the Supreme Court has held that citizens who shout “fire!” in a crowded theater are responsible for the deaths caused by the ensuing stampede.
The same holds true for “public hoaxes,” like when in 1919, a negligent reading of H.G Wells’ War of the Worlds, led New Yorkers into mass panic over a fake alien invasion. “Families rushed out of their homes, traffic jams clogged the streets, church services were disrupted, and chaos ensued,” writes lawyer and radio producer, Justin Levine. “Hospitals treated people for shock and hysteria, while police switchboards were so swamped with calls that they could not conduct regular business.”
The Federal Communication Commission again upheld the rule when a radio announcer caused panic after imitating an official warning of a nuclear attack during the first Gulf War.
The case against public shaming is that, during a crisis, Twitter isn’t a magical marketplace of ideas, where citizens are given sufficient time to weigh competing claims and come to a reasonable conclusion. Adrenalin is pumping, there’s not enough time for credible sources to sniff out the truth, and people get hurt.
For those worried about snowballing censorship, constitutional law expert Richard Delgado provides a nice legal bright line, saying that unprotected utterances “invite no discourse, and no speech in response can cure the inflicted harm.” By the time New Yorkers knew the truth, faint counter-whispers against the rumor on Twitter may have been too late to make up for the harm done.
Twitter is a powerful tool of free speech, but thinking that social media is an oasis of truth is a fantasy. We live in a society, and our actions can hurt. It belittles the First Amendment to confuse the solemn obligation of enlightened discourse with the capacity to cause panic for mere amusement.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Lying’s a lot harder than it used to be. Examples — Boss: “Where are you?” Employee: “On my way to the office.” Boss: “Show me.” ||| Mom: “Where are you?” Son: “At Jimmy’s house” Mom: “Show me.”
With geo-coded messages, you have to be where you say you are. Whether it’s a parent, employer, or spouse, anyone with a little power over you can demand you verify your location.
Sometimes you’re running late. Sometimes you aren’t where you’re supposed to be. You might be still in bed when your boss calls, or a kid could be biking through the night with their little hooligan buddies when they were supposed to be safe asleep at a friend’s house.
But until recently, the only thing someone had to go on was your word. They asked you over a voice call where you were, you told a little white lie, and then rushed to be where you said you were before they found out.
Now, someone could request a screenshot of your blue dot on your mobile map. Or that you send a geo-coded Facebook message that shows your current location. Hell, they could force you into a video call and request you to show the traffic you’re supposedly stuck in, or the house you’re supposed to be at.
Even if not demanded, this information is now getting passively transmitted, sometimes by default. A friend and I were exchanging geo-coded Facebook Messages the other day when he asked if we were still on for a meeting I was late to. For a split second I wanted to say I was already en route. Not true. Still lacing up my shoes.
So I told the truth, “Hey, sorry I got a late start but I’m still at my house. About to leave.”
If you don’t think it’s happening now, ask some savvy parents or people with suspicious spouses. It will only get more common if data-as-SMS protocols like iMessage gain geo-coding capabilities, which have plenty of consensual use cases
Taken to the extreme, that might mean we can’t hide from Big Brother governments. But in our personal lives, the ability for others to technologically verify the truth will persuade us to tell it more often.
Like it or loathe it, this is a new social contract we’ll have to adapt to.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Gizmodo posted a “story” yesterday entitled “We’ll Pay You for Photos of Mark Zuckerberg.” Desperation aside, this is as crazy as it is stupid (And we’re not even sure it’s legal).
See, Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of a company. Sure, that company is all about sharing with friends, but when you have more than 14 million people subscribed to your page, sharing a photo or a link on Facebook becomes an entirely different beast. He’s scrutinized on everything that he’s ever publicly shared. Just take a look at the IPO hoodie bonanza.
So it makes sense that a CEO, a businessman in its truest sense, wouldn’t want to be splashed across magazine covers and speculated about on gossip columns (which is essentially what Gizmodo’s media network, Gawker Media, is centered around). He kept his wedding fiercely private because marrying your long-time girlfriend, and likely one of the only women you can trust, is an intensely private affair.
So why bother him? I mean, if I (as a reporter) witnessed Zuck beating his dog or something totally insane, I would probably snap a picture and send it to my editors. It’s our job to expose the truth even if the truth is messy. It’s not, however, our job to sick the wild masses onto CEOs so we can rake in clicks from pictures of Zuck walking his dog. (From what I’ve heard, most public sightings of Zuck consist of him and Priscilla walking the dog — thrilling, I know.)
There are a couple of things to consider here:
Everybody cares about Zuckerberg, so these photos are sure to bring in some traffic. He’s a fascinating fellow, who changed the world in a very real way. Plus, he’s hella rich, and rich people are interesting. The same was true for Steve Jobs — people prodded into his life as they could, taking pictures of his car and perhaps too fiercely delving into his medical history. But did he like it? No.
Did he deserve it? Hells no!
Now, I understand that media can get a little cut-throat. Hell, Gizmodo basically ruined its reputation as a real tech blog the moment it paid for that iPhone 4 and got into a spat with Mr. Jobs. Sure, the site probably saw more traffic that day than it ever has (or ever will again), but now it’s a tech culture blog that never gets invited to any Apple events.
And guess what? They’ll never be invited to any Facebook events either once they get a picture of Zuck picking his nose.
Just like any of us, Zuck has the right to keep his private life off of Facebook. And Gizmodo’s price of $20 per photo is even more desperate than their story’s headline.
I’m disappointed, Giz.
Good luck dodging amateur photographers, Zuck. (And buy yourself a nice hat and some sunglasses. Looks like it’s going to be a long, weird summer.)
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Google is smart on shopper insights, and we’ve just been reviewing “Zmot: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” an excellent free ebook on social shopping by Google’s Jim Lecinski.
One big idea. You’ve heard of the “Moments of Truth” consumer journey.
Of course, the Zmot is not new news per se, it’s essentially the familiar ‘word of mouth reality check’ we’ve been using since we first started talking to inform discovery and decisions; we’ve been arguing for some time that borrowed experience facilitated by social technology creates a powerful viral loop in the consumer journey that makes consumers smarter.
The big insight? Social media is showrooming by proxy. But Google has captured the essence of this brilliantly in a “moments of truth” journey. So what?
What does the Zmot mean for you and your business? Two things.
1) If the Zmot acts as first reality-check in the consumer journey, then it is gate-keeper and agenda-setter for customer acquisition. 25% of Dell’s new customers are the result of a positive Zmot. That means that the if the Zmot is to be a frictionless bridge between advertising and personal experience, it should be consistent with the two, and there should be know advertising/expereince disconnect. Which in turn means that sales and marketing needs to work hand in hand and work back along the consumer journey from experience to advertising, creating an coherent journey; ’start with the smile‘ of product experience, and work back.
“We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumer is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another way: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?”
Article courtesy of Social Commerce Today
The episode and transcript of the This American Life episode retracting Mike Daisey’s piece about Apple and Foxconn are now live. If this is an issue you care about, you should listen to the whole thing.
As host Ira Glass announced yesterday, the show found “significant fabrications” in the story, to the point where “we can’t vouch for its truth.” For example, Daisey admits that he never met a worker who had been poisoned by n-hexane, as he claimed in the episode (which was a version of his one-man show “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”) Many other aspects of Daisey’s account, like his meeting with allegedly underage Foxconn workers, were also disputed by his translator, although Daisey still says that they happened. In a blog post, Daisey says he stands by his work, but he regrets allowing TAL to excerpt the show because it’s “not journalism.”
One of the most amazing things about the episode was the fact that Mike Daisey is, in fact, an eloquent critic of Mike Daisey. At one point, Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz (who tracked down Daisey’s translator) asks, “Does it matter if the things you’ve said in this play are untrue?” Daisey replies:
Yeah I think the truth always matters, truth is tremendously important. I don’t live in a subjective universe where everything is up for grabs. I really do believe that stories should be subordinate to the truth.
To which I can only say: Yes. Even if “most of what he said was, technically, true” and “his mission to help the oppressed was a good one” (as our own John Biggs put it yesterday), it sounds like Daisey still failed to get the facts right. To borrow his own phrase, he subordinated the truth of what he actually saw to the larger story that he wanted to tell.
Daisey seems to be a member of the William Faulkner school, which holds that “the best fiction is far more true than any journalism.” Except he isn’t willing to call his show fiction. When asked if he should label his show a “work of fiction,” Daisey pushes back, arguing that it’s true “in a theatrical context” (at which point I started to think about Bill Clinton dissembling about “the meaning of word ‘is’“). Glass says:
I understand that you believe that but I think you’re kidding yourself in the way that normal people who go to see a person talk – people take it as a literal truth. I thought that the story was literally true seeing it in the theater. Brian, who’s seen other shows of yours, thought all of them were true. I saw your nuclear show, I thought that was completely true. I thought it was true because you were on stage saying ‘this happened to me.’ I took you at your word.
The real tragedy here is it reduces this enormously complex, difficult issue into the story of one man. Luckily, no one seems to be saying, “Okay, well, Mike Daisey’s story was untrue, so I don’t have to think about that stuff anymore!”
This American Life closes its retraction with an interview of Charles Duhigg, one of the reporters of an investigative series in The New York Times about Apple. Duhigg goes into a lot of detail about what we know and don’t know about how Foxconn treats its workers, and what Apple is doing about it (again, listen to the whole episode). Ultimately, he says we still need to ask ourselves, “Do you feel comfortable knowing that iPhones and iPads and, and other products could be manufactured in less harsh conditions, but that these harsh conditions and perpetuate because of an economy that you are … supporting with your dollars.”
It’s something that people have said before, but it’s something that we need to be reminded of again and again. Which is what Mike Daisey did.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch