By now, you’ve probably heard that Facebook is going to make news publishers work harder to have access to their audience. While details are fuzzy, it looks like the Facebook algorithm will shuffle the news feed and favor posts from people you know, versus brands and publishers you follow. The social giant claims this is to help them combat the spread of fake news and include more valuable information to people. It’s almost certainly about generating more ad revenue.
This is scaring a lot of people, especially online publications who derive a ton of traffic from Facebook right now. It’s a legitimate challenge to their current business model. Should you be worried, too? Let’s look at what’s happening and what you can do about it to figure that out. Read More
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
As someone who loves data, I often use stat speak in everyday situations. I also forget that most people have no idea what I’m talking about. It happens from time to time, even when explaining campaign results to clients. So I step back, take a deep breath, and explain exactly what it is I mean when I refer to medians, standard deviations and positive correlation.
This is my guide for some of the most common misunderstandings related to stat speak. I plan to mostly use this as a reference the next time one of them comes up in conversation. And now you can, too. Read More
If you wire a rat’s brain in such a way that every time he pushes a button he receives a pleasurable sensation, he’ll push that button until he dies. At the expense of eating, drinking and everything else that makes life worth living. Just pushing that button, over and over again, until he perishes.
This, in a nutshell, is how algorithmic thinking works in practice. And their liberal use is starting to affect our society.
We’ve already discussed how algorithms think, how they’re created by humans, how they can be flawed and how you can outsmart them. But what if you don’t want to? What if you want to lay back and accept the almighty algorithm as your lord and savior and heed it’s every word? That’s when things get messy.
The endless march of optimization wants to amalgamate the world’s information, guess your desires and shorten the route you take to get pleasure at the expense of all else. It’s how the Facebook news feed works. It’s how Google search results work. It’s how Pandora and Amazon recommendations work. It will be how the world works, if the robots have their say.
And that may be the end of curiosity, ambition and the human independent thought experiment. Allow me to explain. Read More
At Digital Pudding, we do a lot of website strategy. Everything from copy to sitemap to development and design, we have our hands in all of it. We outline important pages, write the content, design the website and bring it to life through the magic of programming. Before we can do any of that, though, we need to have a strategy for what we want to accomplish with the website. What ultimate goal do you want it to achieve? What do you want people to do when they get there? How do you want it to be found online?
A good website starts with a modern, adaptable website strategy that keeps in mind certain trends that will be important to being seen online. What new developments have come about that makes this different from the way websites were built in 2006? Here are a few to think about when it comes to your website strategy. Read More
Algorithms very well may be the future of marketing, as well as life in general. These powerful and mysterious beings are all-knowing, all-seeing and determine everything from Google search results to Netflix recommendations to driverless Uber cars. And they’re getting stronger every day.
I, for one, would like to welcome our new robot overlords. Their control of our every hope, thought and desire has really ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity for all. Long may they reign! /sarcasm
In all honesty, algorithms aren’t really anything to be afraid of. Except when they are. What does that mean for marketing? And what can you do about it? Can you really compete with an algorithm and outsmart it? Let’s explore. Read More