Facebook lays down new rules for social media researchers

Facebook researchWhen people found out that they were unknowingly being used as virtual guinea pigs in a Facebook social experiment, they got angry. The researchers were surprised and the Facebook tech team was “unprepared for the reaction the paper received when it was published.”

I’m not surprised by either response. People don’t like it when they feel like they’ve been tricked and researchers and techies have a tendency to be narrowly focused on the goal. You can tell me I’m unfairly painting these groups with a broad brush but in the majority of cases it’s true. It has to be true – because it’s how they get the work done. A researcher can’t get personally or emotionally involved with the subjects in an experiment because it would taint the results. It’s not a jab, it’s how it is.

Lawyers for Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna & Arianna Grande threaten Google with $100M lawsuit

iStock_000022742288MediumA California attorney has sent a letter to Google execs, practically promising a $100,000,000 lawsuit if the search engine continues to allow nude photos to show up on various Google websites. The photos in question were exposed as part of an Apple iCloud hack and include the private photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna, Arianna Grande.

The letter accuses Google of having a double standard:

If your wives, daughters or relatives were the victims of such blatant violations of basic human rights, surely you would take appropriate action. But because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights, you do nothing – – nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue from your co-conspirator advertising partners as you seek to capitalize on this scandal rather than quash it. Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimized women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimize these women.

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German regulator tells Google to stop mixing and matching data

puzzles-compilation-1440672-2-mThe Hamburg Commissioner of Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) gave Google a tongue-lashing this week saying that Google’s profiling practices affects the privacy of users “beyond the admissible degree.”

The main concern is Google’s ability to mix and match data from various Google properties in order to build a more detailed user profile.

Google does not use sensitive, personal information for advertising purposes but the German regulator is still concerned about the depth of information that Google can get its hands on.

A press release from the Hamburg Commissioner of Data Protection and Freedom of Information states:

[By combining information from different products] it may be possible:

  • to compile detailed travel profiles by evaluating location data,
  • to detect specific interests and preferences by evaluating search engine use,

Local marketers say they prefer direct mail over digital

neighborhood-413603-mHave you checked your mailbox today? Not the one on your computer or smartphone – that metal one in front of your house. Not as exciting as it used it to be, is it?

Let me put on my swami hat and guess what’s in your mailbox. . . . bills. . . . circulars. . . direct mail offers from local businesses.  .  . and a couple of you got a card from your mom. (You never call anymore.)

Even though most of us prefer email to physical mail, 81% of local businesses are still using direct mail as a way to reach customers.

Funny thing is, according to The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report  even though more local businesses use direct mail, they’re more satisfied with the results they get from email.

70% of B2B marketers are producing more content, but only 21% are able to track ROI

The B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove–say that 10 times fast–is out and provides an interesting, if not concerning, glimpse of how B2B marketers are approaching their marketing strategies.

First, an alarming number haven’t written down their marketing strategy, which means, should they not turn up for work one day, their company is up a certain creek, without a paddle:

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Hoping that more equals more, B2B marketers are pumping out more content this year versus last year:

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Lastly, only 21% of surveyed marketers report any kind of success in tracking their ROI, with 15% not even bothering to track!

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Mobile marketers measure conversions but hope for brand awareness

Every success guru will tell you that goals have to be measurable. If you don’t have a means of measuring results you’ll never know if what you’re doing is effective. And, you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where the end point is.

Waterfall asked 155 marketing, CRM and data analytics from a cross-section of industries this question:

mobile-marketing-effectiveness155 answers isn’t a very good sampling but even if they’d asked 155,000 people the answer would have been the same. Why? Because counting and measuring lead conversions is easy. There are tools that tell us when someone clicks through on Twitter. We have tools that tell us if they bought something when they hit the site. We have ways of matching up our customer list with our Facebook follower list.

Paypal and eBay to split! New CEOs will take the reins

paypal ebayAfter years of saying they’re better together, ecommerce giants eBay and Paypal are splitting up. It’s big news – big as any Hollywood couple divorce announcement and us kids are worried. Will we end up in the middle having to choose which parent we favor over the other? I hope not. eBay and Paypal have been a part of my life since both companies launched.

eBay bought Paypal in 2003 and it was a match made in reseller heaven. Once they combined forces, it became extremely easy to process payments for eBay sales, complete transactions and ship. (I buy all my eBay postage through Paypal with just a few clicks.)