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

Thought / via Pixabay CC0

SDF podcast 9: Either back to the future or fast forward to a new normal

In the latest episode 9 of The Small Data Forum podcast, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Sam Knowles and me, we enjoyed a wide-ranging, lively conversation over the course of 45 minutes on topics as diverse as the 2017 general election campaign (what went wrong for Theresa May and the Conservatives with a clear focus on the politics) and the latest global communications report from the Annenberg School of Communications (we focused especially on PR and AVE).

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

Facebook News Feed

How to play your part in fighting fake news

One of the scourges of modern connected times is the rise of so-called fake news, a phenomenon that’s invasive and pervasive and a driver of distrust about what you read, see and hear online as well as fear, uncertainty and doubt about the sources that publish it. And not only such reactions upon immediate discovery, but also the unwitting spread of fake news by those who publish, talk about or share such content without knowing it’s false. It’s not new

Generation Z vs Millennials: There’s quite a difference

For much of the past decade, Millennials has been the generation that was the comparative one whenever anyone talked about behavioural and other differences between generations in contemporary society. Not only in the cultural and consumer contexts but also in the workplace. It’s fair to say that marketers and brand managers now understand a great deal about that generation in terms of behaviours, expectations, preferences and other consumer indicators. Employers understand much about them in terms of workplace expectations and

Mastodon, the hot new social network like Twitter, kind of

A new social network started up six months ago and began picking up speed last week as it echoes the early days of Twitter. It’s called Mastodon and was born out of frustration with changes being made on Twitter, according to an interview with founder Eugen Rochko in The Verge. Last year, after Twitter began moving away from a purely chronological feed, Rochko began building the back end for what would become Mastodon. Instead of building a unified service, Rochko

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.

Tim Berners-Lee

Addressing privacy and fake news on the web: Tim Berners-Lee’s call to action

The recent rise and spread of so-called fake news is a topic that’s generating a great deal of opinion on what to do about it. I’ve weighed in, too, in a recent episode of the Small Data Forum podcast. Now, on the 28th anniversary of the founding of the World Wide Web, its creator Tim Berners-Lee offers compelling perspectives on this contemporary phenomenon, outlining three challenges for the web and, as he puts it, what we must do to ensure it

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,

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