Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 16, 2017 5:23 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #390

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for InterestingTilt the WindmillHBS, chair of StrataStartupfestPandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another: 

  • 1000 different people, the same words - Kieran Snyder - Medium. "Mining data for people's personalities is an interesting hobby. In this analysis, AI company, Textio, looked at how companies' job description wordings have underlying patterns, and what they say about that company's culture. 'When your PR talks about work/life balance, but your team consistently advertises jobs that are work hard/play hard, your team is the one telling the truth.'" (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - LessWrong. "In this time of political and social controversy, it's important to remember that no universally tolerant society can survive. Specifically, to remain tolerant, it must be intolerant of one thing: Intolerance. This is from 2009, but never more relevant. 'The thing about online communities, though, is that you can't rely on the police ignoring you and staying on the job; the community actually pays the price of its virtuousness.'" (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How the Index Card Cataloged the World - The Atlantic. "The digital age is in so many ways a perfecting of a simple technical invention: the index card. But where did the index card come from? Turns out Linnaeus, the guy who first systematized genetic heredity, more or less invented index cards in the process." (Hugh for Alistair). 
  • New York City Wants to Audit the Powerful Algorithms That Control Our Lives - Gizmodo. "I'm not sure how much good this would do, but the more people talk about, and try to understand the ways in which algorithms are and will shape our lives, the better." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • AI isn't just compromising our privacy--it can limit our choices, too - Quartz. "Technology scares us. It's a fact. We're humans. Fire bad. Anything new freaks us out. Plus, unlike when we discovered fire, we've also learned, have grown, become more educated and learned from our mistakes. Of have we? In this fascinating piece, an argument is made: will our free choice be taken away as artificial intelligence delivers on its promise? Before you go screaming, take a second to consider this notion. If AI can truly deliver, in theory, it should know us better than we know ourselves, and the output of it will be either the best decision for us, or the one that makes the most sense. If that is true, where does choice go?" (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Norway becomes first country to end national radio broadcasts on FM - The Guardian. "Norway is the first country in the world to shut down national broadcasts of it's FM network. No, radio ins't dead in Norway. They have, simply, completed the transition to digital radio. What are they left with? Better sound quality, more channels, much more functionality and, according to them, at an eight of the cost of FM radio. To me, this smells less like the shift from traditional to digital, and more like a country self-aware enough to ditch legacy technology when something better is right in front of them. When will other countries follow suit? It's hard to complain about a media channel (and their performance), when there is a better and different solution that might make listeners and advertisers fall in love with it all over again." (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel

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December 14, 2017 8:46 AM

Content Marketing 2018 - The Next Chapter

What is the future of the content marketing industry?

As the saying goes, "change is the only constant" and that applies just fine when it comes to understanding the future of the content marketing industry. One of the people who has been leading the content marketing charge is my friend, founder of Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World, Joe Pulizzi (he's also the author of several incredible bestselling books including his latest, Killing Marketing, and who can forget Epic Content Marketing and Content Inc.?). This is Joe's last year at the helm of this business (he sold the business to UBM in June 2016), and it's a bittersweet moment for me. I've known Joe since, basically, day one. I have been a speaker at nearly every single one of his events, and have been a massive evangelist for him and his business. Joe is always there for me... for this community. He's one of the good ones. We need to celebrate people like him much more often. One of the many favourite emails to get from Joe is his annual request to take part in the Content Marketing Institute's predictions for the coming year.

Welcome to 2018 Content Marketing Predictions.

From their announcement: "In 60+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2018, some of our favorite content marketing colleagues and compatriots share their thoughts on what it takes to build an audience; how advanced technologies and newer techniques - like AI, voice-enabled search, and virtual reality - will impact the content landscape; how troubling trends like 'fake news" and data breaches will add complexity to the marketing equation and more."

Where do I stand?

Here was my prediction: "I believe 2018 will be the year where brands publish more and more content natively on external platforms. I have been seeing this trend of 'hub + hub' versus 'hub + spoke' for some time, but it's becoming more and more apparent that brands will be publishing less and less content on their own platforms (or using their platforms more like archives)." 

It's true: this is the changing landscape of content marketing today.

It looks like this prediction is becoming more of a reality. How did this massive change happen? The Six Pixels of Separation content strategy that Mirum has been nurturing and developing since 2003 has been challenged more than ever before. In short: Getting you (and people who have never heard of us) to sit up and take notice is getting harder and harder. Most consumers no longer venture out to explore corporate websites and blogs. They live and breathe in social media spaces like Facebook, InstagramSnapchat, LinkedInYouTube and beyond. From a purely text-based content consumption perspective, they're more inclined to stay within LinkedIn or read in spaces like Medium. Consumers will still stay true to both the major publication publishers as well as their trusted trade and industry publications. So, what happens when your company posts a brilliant article to the corporate blog? Candidly, it's getting harder (and more expensive - in terms of time and money) to get consumers to head over there, consume and care. Time and time again, brands are arriving at the same reality: if they post the same article on Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium or their industry trade publication's website, it gets tons of heat, attention and care. This is where content distribution strategies trumps content marketing. This is also an indicator that buckling down on your owned property (instead of growing your reach and attention where the consumers are) could be a more costly (and risky) proposition. The value, of course, is now coming from those brands that have built up their email lists and are offering their clients (and prospective customers) more exclusive and valuable content via email. This will come as a shock to those who (wrongly) think that email is dead and/or on its way out. Email is only dying for those that have been using the channel as a way to advertise (ad nauseam) to their list, and not to those who are nurturing, respectful and engaging with that most trusted database.

What else is going to happen in content marketing?

The result of this prediction compilation is a meaty, quick-hit of what we all have to think about over the coming year, when it comes to content marketing. In this past year's edition of 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2018, you will better understand the type of content, platforms, technologies and businesses that will shape the landscape moving forward. As always, a personal thanks Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose and the team at CMI for including me in this initiative. 

You can check it out right here: 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2018. What went right for you this year?

By Mitch Joel

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December 12, 201711:02 PM

Do We Blame The Algorithms When Advertising Goes Wrong?

When things go wrong in advertising, it looks like brands are throwing the algorithms under the bus.

And you thought it was just the agencies who took the brunt of the damage when mistakes are made? It is not. Look no further than Internet Radio to see how this is unfolding. Internet radio has consistently been an area of high growth in advertising spend (and based on the success of podcasts, connected speakers, voice platforms and the troubles of terrestrial radio, it doesn't look like it is going to be slowing down any time soon). Still, Internet Radio is not podcasting. In fact, it works almost exactly like terrestrial radio. It has scheduled programming, measurable audience, and time slot ad buys. The big difference (or value for brands) is the simplicity of digital insertions (the publishers can drop ads in and out with ease across multiple shows over date and time). But, there's one fatal flaw that many brands haven't considered: it's largely a wild west on the content front. Without knowing it, many brands are unwittingly sponsoring some fairly unsavory shows including those supporting racism or even terrorist thinking. So, is this a wake up call about the medium or another example of marketer laziness with programmatic buying? How should brands proceed? Is it easier to keep making the same mistake over and over again (while blaming the algorithms) or do we have a deeper problem going on here?

You may want to listen to this: Beancast - Episode #476 - So Very Gassy.

This week, I discussed this topic along with Emily Binder (Beetle Moment Marketing), Kate O'Neill (K.O.Insights) and host Bob Knorpp on the very excellent BeanCast Podcast (which I've been fortunate to be a guest on in the past). We didn't just tackle the current problem of Internet Radio advertising. In this episode, we also discussed brands and their inability to truly be friends in social media, ads.cert and what this means for the digital advertising business, and Facebook's new Messenger For Kids apps. 

Take a listen and jump into the fray...

By Mitch Joel

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December 10, 2017 7:30 AM

Future Proof With Minter Dial - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #595 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Back in early 2002, when I first got started in this agency business, I was networking as much as possible. One of the first major local executives that I met was Minter Dial. A man with an international reputation who was senior leadership at L'Oreal. We became friends, but Minter moved on. I believe that Minter and I bonded so well, because we were both interested in very divergent cultural spaces, while developing very corporate lives at the same time. To give you some context, Minter Dial is an American, with French citizenship, born in Belgium, educated in England, living in France and married with two children. He is the author and producer of the award-winning documentary film and book, The Last Ring Home. A personal and moving story that traces the lives of his grandfather and grandmother through WWII. The film, which has won multiple awards, including Best Foreign Film, Best Documentary and Best Screenplay, was shown on PBS in May of this year. On the professional front - after a 16-year international career with the L'Oréal Group -- including nine assignments in France, UK, USA and Canada -- Minter launched The Myndset Company, a boutique agency providing business speaking and consultancy on leadership, branding and digital strategy. Most recently, Minter co-authored (with Caleb Storkey), Futureproof - How to get your business ready for the next disruption. The book explores the three core mindsets and twelve disruptive technologies that brands must have to grow and succeed... and to get ready for the next disruption. Enjoy the conversation...   

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast #595.

By Mitch Joel

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December 9, 2017 5:37 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #389

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for InterestingTilt the WindmillHBS, chair of StrataStartupfestPandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another: 

  • Postmortem: Every Frame a Painting - Tony Zhou - Medium. "The YouTube channel Every Frame A Painting has been doing visual storytelling for years now. And, with this post, they wrapped things up. 'My name is Tony and my name is Taylor, and this concludes Every Frame a Painting.' I hadn't been following their story, but if you're a creative type working today, this is a fascinating read -- and I have a few hours of videos to catch up on." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • I Made My Shed the Top Rated Restaurant On TripAdvisor - Vice. "If true, this is a scathing indictment of ratings sites. If not, it's the best example of trolling I've seen on the Internet in recent years. Either way, you need to see this -- if only for the behind-the-scenes photos of food staging." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Is There a Limit to Scientific Understanding? - The Atlantic. "Science is still pretty bad at describing real complexity, and still terrible at explaining our own brains. Maybe that's a constraint of human consciousness, and a limit of our ability to truly understand the world around us." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Kick Against the Pricks - The New York Review of Books. "Laura Kipnis pulls no punches in this snarky and wise overview of the spate of powerful men falling on their, er, swords. The article is more remarkable in its shading beyond black and white." (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • Ambient AI Is About to Devour the Software Industry - Technology Review. "Amazon. Oh, Amazon. When you mix artificial intelligence and machine learning into cloud platforms, something really big is/will happen. Not enough people get it, understand it or are ready for the ramifications. From this article: 'This shift promises to be the biggest transition for the software world in decades. The easy availability of on-demand machine learning, combined with tools for automating the design and training of AI models, should, in fact, have an increasing impact on overall economic productivity, according to some economists.' It's not about new software. Not at all. As the article surmises: '...cloud-based machine learning is about to take the software industry by storm--and, by extension, to rewire the entire economy.' Yes, the entire economy." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 'Let the soul dangle': how mind-wandering spurs creativity - Aeon. "If all you are ever doing is transitioning from deep work into a Facebook feed, into YouTube, into dinner, into Netflix and beyond, you are busy trying to fill your day. Being active is so important. No doubt. But what about just letting your mind wander? How about just giving yourself a beat... a long beat... a long walk... or just do nothing. Literally, nothing. Not even a meditation or mindfulness session. Nothing. Just put your mind out on a clothesline and do nothing until it dries. What could happen? Perhaps... maybe... a massive breakthrough?" (Mitch for Hugh). 

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel

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December 7, 201710:54 PM

The Legendary John Patitucci On This Month's Groove - The No Treble Podcast

John Patitucci is this month's conversation on Groove - The No Treble Podcast. You can listen the new episode right here: Groove - The No Treble Podcast - Episode #36 - John Patitucci. Who is John Patitucci? What has not... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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December 3, 2017 6:45 AM

Into The Speaker Lab With Grant Baldwin - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #594 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to. The number one question that people ask me is: how did you become a professional speaker? I don't believe... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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December 2, 2017 5:48 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #388

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, Pandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks,... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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November 29, 2017 2:26 PM

Mini Gift Guide For The Tech Traveller's Business Person In Your Life

Normally, I shy away from gift guides. This year is different. I travel about 150,000 miles per year (for some that's insane, for other that's called "February"). With that, I am always super specific about the gear that I travel... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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November 27, 2017 8:54 AM

Holiday Tech Gift Guide And More On This Week's CTRL ALT Delete Segment On CHOM 97.7 FM

Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio out of Montreal (home base). It's not a long segment - about 10 minutes every week - about everything that is happening in the... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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