SDF podcast 10: Big Data is never a be-all and end-all

Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and Thomas reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. We agree that, unlike last time, Labour did better than the Conservatives digitally at this

Fearless Girl

How to get the media on board to end AVE

One of the hurdles along the road of seeing an end to the “advertising value equivalence” (AVE) measurement metric that’s decried by many in the PR and measurement communities is persuading organisations to stop using it. The issue with AVE is well summarised in a white paper published by The Institute for Public Relations in 2003, in which this succinct text appears: We urge you to move away as quickly as possible from statements of the nature, “Our news coverage

Royal Courts of Justice

How Twitter Works – a legal opinion

Most reasonable people are aware that if you publicly publish something defamatory about someone else that is false, you can be sued for libel. If you lose the legal case, it can be expensive for you in terms of damage to your reputation as well as a financial cost. (Related: the difference between libel and slander in UK law.) And I’d add that most reasonable people are also aware that the same rules on libel apply to all methods of public communication, including online.

How can trust help the #PanamaPapers innocents?

The revelations from the mega-leak of data about the financial shenanigans of the wealthy and powerful, dubbed the #PanamaPapers, continue to roll out globally since the eruption last weekend opened up a Pandora’s Box (what some would call an Aladdin’s Cave) of consequences. At the heart of this scandal is 2.6 terabytes of data representing some 11 million individual documents about the business and financial affairs of clients of the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca stretching from end-2015 back to

Open is better than closed

Who can predict what will happen in today’s fast-moving world, asks CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. […] I don’t know where all this goes but in periods like it, open systems like America’s will do better than closed ones. The US often looks like a dysfunctional country because all its problems are on display and debated daily. Everthing – economic strategy, monetary policy, homeland security, police practices, infrastructure – is out there, open for constant criticism. But this transparency means that people

How to solve the ad blocking question

If you run ad blocking software on your computer or mobile device, you’re either preventing the appearance of obtrusive, annoying ads that sometimes block content and add code that slows down the loading of the site you’re visiting, especially on mobile devices; or you’re strangling the revenue lifelines of companies who need to advertise to keep their businesses running, or enable media companies to keep paying for great journalism. That’s pretty much what the current situation looks like, divided into

A new guide to help you verify digital content from any source

Verifying facts before publishing a news story is one of the cornerstones of trusted behaviour that we have traditionally expected from the mainstream media. Even in the disruption of traditional sources of news over the past decade – with the rise of social media, of newer sources of news and information that compete with the traditional, of newer digital platforms from which to make news and information available, and in changing behaviours of people from purely consumers to creators (citizen

The Sun’s ‘walled content garden’ brings together print and digital

Today, The Sun newspaper becomes the latest national mainstream medium in the UK to erect a barrier to its content on the web where access to that content is only available now if you pay £2 per week. Switchover to The Sun’s new paywall-fronted site began yesterday evening, and the new site went live overnight. When you land on the website now,  you’ll see The Sun as the screenshot above shows, requiring a log-in before you get to any meaningful

Unfiltered social reporting from Boston

Hot on the heels of the Boston marathon bombings last weekend comes another frightening event in the United States, this time a fatal shooting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in neighbouring Cambridge late on Thursday night US time. As I write this, it’s still very much a breaking news story with sketchy reporting in the mainstream media, certainly here in the UK. Yet social media is a mass of reporting from individuals on the ground. Citizen journalists

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