For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving

In the July installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: A 15-year-old participating in a work experience program took over the Twitter account of the beleaguered Southern Rail in the UK. The response to #AskEddie was undoubtedly a welcome break for Southern Rail’s social media team, but what did it ultimately accomplish? The online publication Quartz experiments with display-type ads in the text of stories that let users ask an artificial intelligence-based chatbot

Labour won social media election - Guardian front page

For Immediate Release 92: Marketing failures of the UK’s Conservative Party

We said we’d do one episode together of the For Immediate Release podcast as a ‘limited return engagement,’ emulating The Hobson and Holtz Report that Shel and I did for ten years. We did do that with episode 84 in April. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do another one, and so we recorded episode 92 yesterday. In keeping with our ‘hefty but good’ slogan, Shel and I enjoyed a conversation over an hour and forty minutes that

Question Everything

SDF podcast 8: Seek out those you can trust

In the latest episode 8 of The Small Data Forum podcast, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles, we explore whether following the ‘interesting times’ of 2016, we are seeing some sort of ‘regression to the mean’, with a right wing populist not succeeding in general elections in the Netherlands, with Emmanuel Macron becoming president of France, and with Chelsea FC winning the Premier League (following Leicester City’s surprise success last year). And such

How does Big Data convert into Business Value? #SmallDataForum podcast episode 7

A topic that’s dominated our conversation in recent episodes of The Small Data Forum podcast is fake news and related issues. In episode 7, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles, we consider world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s call to action on what he sees as three big challenges for the web: Loss of control of personal data; Spread of misinformation; and Questionable political advertising. The second one in particular – spread of

Google Perspective

Commenting: A matter of perspective

One of the great benefits offered by the social web is the open way in which people can connect, not only via the obvious means of social networks but also through engaging in discourse and conversation in the commenting sections of websites, blogs, etc. Open conversation and the sharing of different points of view are foundational activities for many online publications, from mainstream media sites to individual blogs. To many, enabling readers, visitors and communities to comment on articles, reports,

cognitivedress

How to put AI into cognitive perspective

Among the big topics that will dominate the news in 2017, a prominent one will undoubtedly be artificial intelligence or AI. It’s a huge topic, one that gathered momentum in 2016 to grab our attention and showcase both opportunity and risk with news and opinion often focused on a dystopian future that has plans to eliminate jobs currently done by human beings and replace them with robots. (Or maybe not.) Wherever you look, there’s so much differing opinion on the impact of AI and

Fake Smiles

Topical issues for business communicators right now

On Monday January 2, I had a blast being a guest co-presenter on the For Immediate Release (FIR) podcast episode 68 with Shel Holtz, CC Chapman and Dan York. Over the course of a lively 97 minutes – FIR podcasts always go for the long listen – we discussed, debated and opined on topical issues that are on the attention-agenda for many communicators. Here’s the headline list of what we discussed: The incoming press secretary for President-Elect Donald Trump has

The Fourth Transformation

The Fourth Transformation: A vision of the near tomorrow from Shel Israel and Robert Scoble

One of the things I like most about The Fourth Transformation, the new book from Shel Israel and Robert Scoble published in December 2016 that I just finished reading, is the way in which it will help you to join up the dots and begin to understand the fundamental, disruptive and accelerating changes we already see around us brought by advances in technology – notably, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) – and massive shifts in

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