Net neutrality is just as confusing

What Reversing Net Neutrality Really Means

We’ve treated the internet like a public treasure until now, thanks in large part to the net neutrality policies championed by many technology advocates. This has led to widespread adoption of online connected services, many technological breakthroughs and the creation of an entirely new economy. Because the internet is unfiltered and uncensored, information travels freely in a utopian, libertarian dreamland. It’s a blessing and a curse, net neutrality.

Hold onto your smartphones, though. The FCC announced a change in the way it would regulate the internet. Essentially, the government is going to stop restricting internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon or Comcast from blocking or otherwise slowing down data streamed from the websites you visit online. That means these companies will for the first time ever have the legal right to block content that travels over their internet pipes.

Some are decrying this as the end of the free and open internet. Here’s why that isn’t true on its face, and what you can expect as companies shift control over what you do online. Especially what that might mean down the road for marketers like myself. Read More

Algorithms Gave Us Charlottesville

We’re all still trying to process what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. You probably know white nationalists met with otherwise peaceful protesters, resulting in several deaths. By now, you’d think we were over this kind of outward racial animosity. We were wrong.

What was striking was the appearance of the average marcher. All looked young. All looked like they had some means, as if they could fit into any crowd in America without being noticed. Yet at the same time, they could harbor this hate and spread their misinformation. Such is the nature of the internet communities that fan these flames.

There’s a hidden culprit, though. One that fomented the flames faster than any man could. Predictive algorithms took what might have started as a simple curiosity and turned it into outright hatred through a series of escalating and insulating options. And that doesn’t bode well as we move to an even more digital future. Read More

A Clear Day in Trump's America

How to Thrive in Trump’s America

Last week, we began living in Trump’s America. For some, this is a welcome change after eight years living under a president who didn’t share their values. For others, this is a terrifying prospect threatening to roll back progress and forge ahead toward a dystopian future. I have my thoughts on where this will take us, though it will be an adjustment for everyone.

Except maybe for me. I spent five years at a marketing agency under a very Trump-like figure. In that time, I went from copywriter to vice president. Now, I’m sure it helps that I’m a straight, white male. However, it’s very likely working in such an environment uniquely prepared me for living in Trump’s America.

While the parallels won’t be perfect, here’s some of my advice on how to make the most of the next few years and come out on top. Read More

Celebrity Deaths - Gone But Never Forgotten

Analyzing the Spike in Celebrity Deaths in 2016

In many ways, 2016 has been an absolute tire fire of a year. Not for me; we’re doing great. But for a lot of people, this year can’t end soon enough.

One reason 2016 has been just so miserable has been the seemingly endless onslaught of celebrity deaths. It seems like every week someone new passed away, including this very last week of the year. With just a few days left to go, everyone is counting down to 2017 and hoping no one else dies.

Is this a new phenomenon? Yes and no. Celebrities have always died. Do we just notice it more now? Maybe. Buy why? And why now, in a year so filled with turmoil? Read More

A Few Thoughts on the Election

This is not a political blog. It never will be, nor should it be. It’s a blog about business and digital marketing. My goal in writing it is to provide tips and insights that business owners can use to improve their advertising and enhance their digital presence. I even had a wonderful personal story about a job interview ready to post last week. However, with the uncertainty facing us as a country following the recent elections, I feel the need to share my thoughts on our situation.

I posted this to my personal social media last week in response to other’s reactions. It was my way of staying calm through a chaotic period. Often, the best reaction to such tumult is to stay measured and analyze the situation, planning your next course of action by what is known at the time. There’s your business lesson for this week, kids.

I didn’t expect the reaction that my post received. Read More

The Horror of Candy Control

Juxtaposing Candy Control With Gun Control

In the wake of the horrifying shooting in Orlando last week, a story about candy control had me thinking about its broader applications. The American gun lobby has fought tooth and nail to protect the rights of citizens to buy as many guns as they possibly can, regardless of the cost to society. They’ve redefined the second amendment as their constitutionally enshrined right to unfettered capitalism with grave consequences.

At the same time, Mars Incorporated recently announced they’d look to remove their products from other sugary treats. No more M&Ms on ice cream sundaes or Snickers in pie form. You could call it “candy control.” It’s a move that could hurt them, at least in the short term, as they’re basically leaving product sales on the table in favor of what’s perceived as the public good.

Why have these two industry heavyweights approached mass consumption in the modern world so differently? It’s part regulation, part moderation. Read More