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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    Facebook is not honoring its side of the data deal with users

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 21, 2018 at 1:22 PM
    I think everyone has “Facebook Article Exhaustion” right now. But Brian Barrett’s Facebook Owes You More Than This makes a somber, important point:

    This is not a screed about deleting your Facebook account. It’s not a rant about online ads. It is an argument, though, that Facebook has been a poor steward of your data, asking more and more of you without giving you more in return—and often not even bothering to ask. It has repeatedly failed to keep up its side of the deal, and...

    Spotify and the business of making hits

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 21, 2018 at 6:00 AM
    Spotify has been in the news quite a bit recently, especially since their IPO announcement. The best article I’ve read so far about Spotify’s business model (and challenges) is Ben Thompson’s Lessons from Spotify:

    Spotify’s margins are completely at the mercy of the record labels, and even after the [lower royalties] rate change, the company is not just unprofitable, its losses are growing, at least in absolute euro terms.

    Ben goes further to explain how difficult it would be for...

    Google Reverts Zero Search Results After Search Community Feedback

    by rustybrick
    Mar 21, 2018 at 5:08 AM
    About a week ago, Google launched a feature to show no search results on the search results page, it was called zero results and only showed up for calculations, conversions and time queries...

    When life becomes too “easy”

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM
    In The Tyranny of Convenience Tim Wu argues that life has become… well, too easy:

    But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on...

    The three kinds of distance in remote collaboration, and where to focus

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 19, 2018 at 5:33 AM
    Erica Dhawan and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic have some good suggestions in their article How to Collaborate Effectively If Your Team Is Remote. I found this part particularly interesting:

    First, consider that there are three kinds of distance in remote collaboration: physical (place and time), operational (team size, bandwidth and skill levels) and affinity (values, trust, and interdependency). The best way for managers to drive team performance is by focusing on reducing affinity...

    Google Shopping Actions For Voice Shopping & Assistant - There Is Confusion

    by rustybrick
    Mar 19, 2018 at 4:48 AM
    Google announced this morning the introduction of Shopping Actions. Google say this program "gives customers an easy way to shop your products on the Google Assistant and Search with a universal cart, whether theyâre on mobile...

    How YouTube leads viewers down a rabbit hole of extremism

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 18, 2018 at 1:52 PM
    Two related articles about YouTube caught my eye over the past few days. The first, Zeynep Tufekci’s YouTube, the Great Radicalizer explains how YouTube’s algorithms almost always lead people to conspiracy theory videos:

    It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful...

    How science fiction helps us understand the economy

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 18, 2018 at 1:32 PM
    Annalee Newitz wrote a really interesting essay on how economic anxieties are creeping into fantasy and science fiction stories. From The Rise of Dismal Science Fiction:

    We’re used to science fiction providing us with commentary on technology, and vocabulary to discuss its more worrisome consequences. But underlying our fears of robots stealing our jobs or corporations turning us into consumer droids are more basic anxieties about money—and science fiction is increasingly reflecting...

    Google Promises To Review Feedback On Zero Results

    by rustybrick
    Mar 16, 2018 at 4:53 AM
    As you know, Google is now sometimes showing no search results on the search results page - instead, Google is just showing answers for queries related to time, conversions and calculations...

    How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction

    by randfish
    Mar 15, 2018 at 10:28 PM
    A few months ago, I settled on a name for my new company. Since the launch two weeks ago, I’ve received the question, “why SparkToro?” a few dozen times. Unlike my prior entrepreneurial venture (in which I started with the very awkward SEOmoz.org, and later rebranded to Moz.com), I was far more thoughtful and intentional this time around. And since…

    The post How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction appeared first on SparkToro.