For Immediate Release 100: Locked and Loaded

Using Twitter

In the August episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: The Society for New Communications Research has launched an initiative to assess options for the communications industry to address fake news. An artificial intelligence bot can detect plagiarism (85% of the time). Supporters of US President Donald Trump are amplifying their tweets through a little-known Twitter feature that lets you create and name a Direct Message group. And let’s talk about that twice-daily folder the president gets filled with only positive coverage about him. Agencies are cropping up that focus exclusively on Generation Z. The Westin hotel in Buffalo, NY, is putting an Amazon Echo in every room. Ask Alexa for a toothbrush […]

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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 named Hugo for more information about just the stuff you’re interested in. Will artificial intelligence eventually take over the creative side of content marketing? Takata’s air bag crisis is in its second decade, leading ultimately to the once-mighty company’s bankruptcy. […]

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Instagramming NYFW

A frequent topic over the past year on the FIR podcast that my co-host Shel Holtz and I have pondered and discussed is the rise of visual communication. A key reference point for us was the interview we did in August 2012 with Brian McNely on Instagram as a medium for image-power and his research with case histories on what brands do with Instagram. Today, video has come up alongside static images with tools like Vine and Instagram’s video feature that make it incredibly easy and simple for anyone to capture six or fifteen seconds respectively of action on a smartphone and instantly share it with a small group – or the world – online. This theme grabbed my attention […]

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Instagram ups the game with video

The stakes in the market for quick-video apps on mobile devices were raised a few bars yesterday with the release of a new version of Instagram that enables you to record video clips. Twitter-owned quick-video app Vine captured imaginations when it launched earlier this year for iPhones with the ability it gives to anyone to record short six-second videos of anything their smartphone camera sees. Business-focused users were quick to see its potential in marketing communication, with many users telling some imaginative short stories in just six seconds. Instagram ups the game with this release of its hugely-popular photo-sharing app for iOS and Android – Facebook-owned Instagram now hosts 16 billion photos for 130 million users worldwide – that adds […]

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Are you going to quit Instagram?

[Update Dec 21:] Instagram announced a reversal of its plan to implement changes to the terms of service in regard to advertising – an issue at the heart of the current kerfuffle. Details at the end of this post.] To many people – including me – one of the most exciting apps on your smartphone is Instagram, the online photo-sharing and social networking service initially popular on the iPhone and which exploded out into the mainstream during 2012. I discovered Instagram when it released its mobile app for Android devices earlier this year. Since then I’ve been the archetypal ‘happy snapper‘ where I find myself looking at my world through the mobile lens of opportunity in wondering how what I’m […]

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