All posts by Emily Binder

Emily Binder is a marketer who likes good copy, technology, and progress. Hobbies include chess, cooking, and rollerblading. University of Michigan alumna.

Love in the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly – Episode 16

online-dating-heart-mouse-the-digital-dive-podcast

This week on the Digital Dive, we discuss the way technology has radically changed the world of dating and relationships – for better and for worse. Take a walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly ways that social media, online dating sites, search engines, and apps impact the experience of romance in modern culture. Is the level of transparency afforded by technology a good thing?

I. “Facebook me.” – When first meeting, how soon should you share your social profile? Is sharing a social profile more intimate than sharing a phone number? (I say yes.)

II. Online dating websites – The popularity of online dating sites has ballooned over the past few years, and the average age of users is dropping. Melanie and I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of meeting organically vs. meeting online. Is there still a stigma to online dating?

III. Breaking up digitally – “Out of sight, out of mind”is increasingly difficult as individual online presences grow. Avoiding an ex online can be almost impossible when you have mutual friends. Listen for websites and apps that can help ease the pain.

Online Dating

Tips on Tap:

I. Block Your Ex – Browser add on that blocks you from seeing your ex on social media, search engines, and blog networks. blockyourex.com

II. Never Liked it Anyway – Online marketplace to sell gifts from exes that are too hard to keep. neverlikeditanyway.com

III. What to do if your site gets hacked: Informative videos from Google Webmaster.

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Can Twitter Gauge Happiness?

Obviously social media opens new doors for marketers, but it also provides us with new sociological survey data. Only the subjects aren’t aware they’re being studied. It’s like that valid research method, natural observation. If inherently subjective ethnographies based on very small sample sizes are valid in anthropology and I am a technological anthropologist (Angela Natividad’s wonderful term) then surely I can liken all U.S. or global Twitter users to a tribe. I can measure their operationally defined behaviors in their natural habitat, the Twitterverse. This is the new anthro.human-emotions-collage

This stems from reading a recent study by the Vermont Complex Systems Center, who created a “hedonometer” for 10 million geotagged tweets:
The Geography of Happiness According to 10 Million Tweets – TheAtlantic.com, 2/19/13

(First I must note the correlation between religiosity in the Bible Belt and lack of happiness.)

Second, this is not the first study to link Twitter sentiment to mood:

Traders seem convinced that social chatter from a specific group or about a specific event (like a new Apple product or changing Netflix service) can be a predictor of where stocks are headed. Yet it was more than a year ago when Indiana University’s Johan Bollen found that his team’s Twitter sentiment analysis predicts changes in the market with 87.6 percent accuracy…. his work suggests that collective social mood leads the DJIA closing values by a few days’ time.
-Jill Noble, Dr. Johan Bollen on Twitter, Mood and Socionomics, Elliott Wave International 2/16/12

Bollen’s findings suggest that mass Twitter sentiment can predict the economy. There is validity to such studies despite the inherent sample bias.

What should be explored is that with Twitter, we can endeavor to gauge sentiment for groups on such a larger scale than is possible with typical surveys and limited sample size. This is what Bollen is doing with computational social sciences – and this is so important for marketers. Think neuromarketing. Granted, you’re only getting subjects who use Twitter – huge caveat. In certain states, depending on culture, it’s possible that Twitter tends to be used by people who are happier, sadder, or who tweet certain trigger words more often.

Mississippi is one of if not the nation’s poorest state. That must contribute to it being the #2 saddest. But the economically depressed state of my alma mater, Michigan, may be even sadder and they don’t have Southern cooking to eat their feelings. You are what you eat…

If I were a food marketer, I would go to town over this kind of data. Market your product as a solution to three struggling economic problems to start:
1. Lack of happy sentiment in the aggregate
2. Loss of community pride
3. Need for grocery value in communities with high unemployment rates

And as one might predict,

…happiness data correlates with income and the prevalence of obesity in an area.

Not hard to figure out those relationships: less education –> lower income and less knowledge and culturally sanctioned attention paid to nutrition
Lower income –> likely to only afford less nutritious food
Eat too much unhealthy food –> gain weight, have more (expensive) health problems, feel depressed emotionally, physically, and economically.
All –> tweet sadder.

On with the social-as-qualified-sociology:

  • Financial difficulties do not preclude Twitter use as many might guess – look at the rise of mobile-only households in lower income brackets. It’s also possible that even if mostly middle to upper class residents use Twitter, the general morale of an economically depressed state would make even those who are financially stable tweet more sadly.
  • Also, marketers who target angry and/or crass customers (with something like anger-management products): play up the offensive in your ad copy, you’ll be speaking your customers’ language and mirroring is effective:

For individual cities, the Vermont researchers note, the amount of swearing contributed substantially to their final scores. They think it’s worth investigating this phenomenon, which they call “geoprofanity.”

In Jill Noble’s 2011 interview with Johan Bollen, he explains the unique opportunity that Twitter offers as a glimpse into immediate, focused, raw emotional output. With limited characters and the immediacy of tweeting (especially on mobile) it offers a more targeted and insightful view into millions of everyday moods as they change around the globe.

Copyright Alert System Cracks Down on Piracy, Outlook.com War on Gmail – Episode 15

Lucky episode 15 of The Digital Dive Podcast covers the Center for Internet Security’s new Copyright Alert System, an ISP-backed online piracy crackdown effort, plus Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com email which could wage war on Gmail.

I. The 6 Strikes Copyright Alert System – MPAA Got Time For That

Appearing before your DVD feature film, the much-loved PSA from MPAA’s “Piracy — It’s a Crime” campaign c. 2005
Appearing before your DVD feature film, the much-loved PSA from MPAA’s “Piracy — It’s a Crime” campaign c. 2005

The Copyright Alert System – A collaboration between the Center for Copyright Information, the MPAA, RIAA, and Internet service providers aimed at curbing illegal downloads of copyrighted content. Watch the CAS Process video.

  • What it means for users, peer to peer downloads, online piracy, and your home Internet account status and speed. Remember, email and Dropbox etc. are safe from the CAS monitoring. However, MPAA and RIAA got time for that when it’s P2P.

II. Outlook.com

  • If you are a user of Hotmail, MSN or other Microsoft email services you will (if you haven’t already) notice a major change: When you sign in, you’re sent to a new service called Outlook.com.
  • “Outlook? As in what I use at work?” Yes. But Microsoft is now adapting the Outlook brand for personal, web-based email services as well. It’s part of a broad makeover that includes the company’s overhaul of the Windows operating system and the Office software suite. Office.com is set to rival Google Drive, and with the other fully integrated features of Microsoft Outlook and Office on the web:
  • Outlook.com is a challenge to Gmail in several ways, including these touted benefits:
    • Email content will not be used to target ads (something many users don’t like about Gmail)
    • Outlook integrates with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
    • Users can alternate email addresses without signing up for additional accounts
    • Customizable filters like “shipping updates”
    • Clear the trash can and still have a chance to recover deleted emails from the server

Tips on Tap

  1. Slice – this free app “keeps track of what you buy, effortlessly” using your email inbox. Slice tracks your shipments, online orders, and triggers alerts when items you have recently purchased go on sale. For iPhone, Android, and web.
  2. Blackl.com – a “green” search engine powered by Google, Blackl is essentially Google search in your browser on a black background. AMOLED screens use a lot less power displaying black instead of white. (AMOLED = Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, the technology used in most smartphone screens.)
  3. How to Evade the Copyright Alert System (CAS): The most obvious solution: Stream, don’t download. Jared Moya offers four more workarounds including Usenet, upgrading your residential account to a business account, and using a VPN. – zeropaid.com, 2/26/13

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Super Bowl Ads, Netflix’s TV Binge-Watching Model & the Content Renaissance – Episode 14

Topics: The most popular 2013 Super Bowl ads and advertisers’ attempts to engage viewers on social, Netflix’s game-changing business model, the television renaissance, and our predictions on the future of media consumption.

I. Super Bowl Ads
someecards Super Bowl commercialsWe review the most talked about Super Bowl 2013 commercials and ads both online and offline, including:

  • Ram Trucks – “Farmer” – Paul Harvey (Dodge — Chrysler)
  • Budweiser – “Brotherhood”
  • Jeep – “America Will Be Whole Again” – Oprah (Chrysler)
  • Mercedes-Benz – “Soul” -Willem Dafoe
  • Oreo – “Dunk in the Dark” (Twitter photo post) – total show stealer

Judge for yourself–you can watch this year’s Super Bowl commercials here.

II. Netflix
Netflix is changing the traditional television viewing model from trickle out to “binge watching” with their new series House of Cards. Will this decisive shift in TV consumption change the future of television? Will the “I Want it Now” mentality extend to new film releases? Check out Melanie’s prediction on the future of movie theaters which may make some film buffs squirm.

Tips on Tap:

I. Prompt Me Nina — Password reminder app created by 14 year old British Teen Nina Devani. Customized password reminder question prompts.

II. UnoDNS — Paid Service lets you access your Netflix, Hulu & Spotify accounts from outside the country.

III. 1Weather App — Excellent free weather app for Android available on Google Play

Oreo Super Bowl 2013 Dunk in the Dark tweet photo

Show Notes:
Most social TV event ever?
-By Bluefin’s measure, Super Bowl social media activity peaked during Beyonce’s halftime performance with 366,000 comments per minute. By comparison, well ahead of the 261,000 comments per minute generated the moment Barack Obama was reelected.

-Twitter: the Super Bowl generated a total of 26.13 million tweets, according to SocialGuide, which was nearly as many as all three of last year’s presidential debates combined (27.63 million total, peak of 10.87 million).
Super Bowl is most social TV event ever 2/5/13

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

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Fraley v. Facebook: A User Win? – Episode 13

The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 13

In the news:

1) Coca Cola addresses the obesity epidemic

2) Spam email hits a five-year low, but is still two-thirds of all email.
Considering how prevalent spam is, it’s no wonder many people who recently received the legal notice Fraley v. Facebook email were suspicious:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. — Sponsored Stories

Facebook sponsored story with gavel Fraley v FacebookIf you’re an eligible Facebook user in the U.S. or UK, you may have already received an email (or may get one soon) from legalnotice@facebookmail.com titled: “Re: Legal Notice of Settlement of Class Action:”

You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a “Sponsored Story” on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012…

What are sponsored stories?

“Sponsored stories are messages coming from friends about them engaging with your Page, app or event that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight so there’s a better chance people see them.” -Facebook

Who is the lead plaintiff, Angel Fraley? If the Fraley v. Facebook goes cy pres, which not-for-profit organizations will receive what’s left of the $20 million settlement? Why does this all smell fishy? What does the average user stand to gain (besides $10 max)?

Tips on Tap

1) Prevent cell phone frostbite: Keep your phone in your pocket in cold temperatures to prevent decline in the lithium ion battery when it’s below freezing.

2) Fashism.com – A fashion crowdsourcing website and app for iPhone and Android. “Post a photo, ask a question, get advice.”

3) Electronics buying guide – When to buy:

  • Computer monitors: January-February
  • Cell phones – Valentine’s Day (look for BOGO deals)

Show Notes

  1. “Spam hits a five-year low (but it’s still two-thirds of all email)” –NBCNews – Technology 1/25/13
  2. Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. – fraleyfacebooksettlement.com/
  3. Citizen Media Law Project- Fraley v. Facebook

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. If you’re new to Stitcher, please sign up with our link below.

Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in