“It’s becoming quite apparent to us that the world of playing the perfect music to people and the world of playing perfect advertising to them are strikingly similar,” says Eric Bieschke, Pandora’s chief scientist.
The original Netflix prediction algorithm — the one which guessed how much you’d like a movie based on your ratings of other movies — was an amazing piece of computer technology, precisely because it managed to find things you didn’t know that you’d love. More than once I would order a movie based on a high predicted rating, and despite the fact that I would never normally think to watch it — and every time it turned out to be great. The next generation of Netflix personalization, by contrast, ratchets the sophistication down a few dozen notches: at this point, it’s just saying “well, you watched one of these Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life, here’s a bunch more”.
If you have been following the Jenny McCarthy news the last week or so, you probably already have an opinion about her politicking around a particularly unscientific strand of autism therapy and spreading false information about vaccines. My son has high functioning autism (I post related stories I find informative here), and while most of my energy goes towards his therapy and development, I find myself becoming more and more angry about McCarthy’s narcissism masked as thought leader and family representative. It’s selfish, dangerous, and now with this latest thing, pretty presumptuous, as she bundles “many families who are courageously dealing with this disorder” into her talking points. As though we’ve all chosen her as our speaker. It’s infuriating. This morning, I read this wonderful (and concise) response, “Jenny McCarthy, Autism Families Are Not Your Shield”, and wanted to share it here as well.
Stand up and distance yourself from your previous stances on vaccines. That would be leadership. Tell your organization and your parent convention that some of these “therapies” are harming children and you won’t promote them. That would be leadership.
Using autism for self promotion, like you are doing here, that’s not leadership.
Recovering the Classics is a collaboration between DailyLit, Harvard Bookstore, and Creative Action Network. Pulling original cover art from a variety of talented designers, Recovering the Classics offers customers a chance to buy a copy of a classic with the cover art they choose on the site. So many wonderful titles to choose from! Another wonderful reason to read a physical book once in a while (or gift one).
Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Dinosaurs! WTF? – a blog covering the conservative dinosaur readiness movement.
It’s fair to get sad about species that went extinct in 2013, but we can all smile at the ten new ones discovered, like this Chondrocladia Lyra! She’s a carnivorous sponge discovered off the coast of California.
Uh, so this is a really big deal and my husband is going to only be partly insulted when he receives it this holiday. Tile App locates “laptops, wallets, keys, guitars, bikes, you name it. Just attach the Tile on to an object and locate it with the included app, it allows you to check how close you are to the missing item, within a 50 to 150-foot range. You can monitor up to ten Tiles on your smartphone.” They also happened to make a really great video to show how it works which you can watch over at Bless This Stuff.
“I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read.”
UX Archive logs screenshots of various apps performing their functions, and enables users to browse and easily view how they each handle certain protocols. Categories like Onboarding, Searching, Reading, Purchasing and Creating enable designers to make connections between what works and what might not, and to really synthesize the different experiences across various apps. All this information allows the most information possible to advise those of us working on new projects, and as more screenshots filter into the archive, the better off we’ll all be!
But say you find TPM on Flipboard, decide it’s great and add it to your viewing routine on Flipboard. Probably you just keep reading us on Flipboard. Clearly you like Flipboard or you wouldn’t be using it. So why would you start visiting TPM? You likely won’t. That may be great for you. It’s definitely great for Flipboard. But is it great for us? Not really. It boosts my ego, I guess. And more people may know about us. But where and how does that turn into our ability to convert that ‘audience’ into a revenue stream that allows us to create our product? I don’t think it does. Or it does in so in such a trivial and unquantifiable way as to be meaningless.
How does he know that users don’t connect the dots back to the site after using Flipboard to discover them? He’s basing a ton of his opinion here on that assumption. I know for my own experience, I love using tools like Flipboard, Feedly, etc. to discover new sites, and when I like them I add them to my reader, and I visit those sites and open those links and share the articles I like here and other places. Maybe the majority of users don’t convert in that same way. That said, I do understand his issue with the fuzzy logic around how things like reach and brand awareness are benefiting them when their goal is to find revenue streams to keep producing their work. I totally get that.
However, if you’re cutting off from your readers in an attempt to own every page view so your banner ads are more valuable (not saying that’s his plan, more so pointing out that the plan in general is a bit more traditional and focused on hard data like CTR and direct streams), you’re holding yourself back from real potential in terms of both revenue and reader growth. I don’t quite get it, despite understanding (and sympathizing with) large-scale digital news sites that are now struggling to manage million dollar solvency issues annually, much like newspapers scrambled to do years ago. It’s about a clear-cut cost-based analysis for Marshall, but I’m not sure he’s correct as he cuts off values that don’t ‘directly’ influence revenue.