Correlation, causation, and confusion: The Backlinko study of 912 million blog posts

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Brian Dean of Backlinko, an SEO maven whose site includes a technique that “almost guarantees that you get high quality links from every piece of content that you publish,” published a study of 912 million blog posts. He says his results include worthwhile insights. I say they support an alternate explanation: nearly all content marketing … Continued

How not to plagiarize like Jill Abramson in “Merchants of Truth”

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Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, published a book on media called Merchants of Truth. Many passages appear to be plagiarized. I’ll explain why authors do this and how you can make sure you never do. I can already feel your outrage. Plagiarize? I would never do that! No respectable author … Continued

Robots in the Zeitgeist

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Did you notice how robots took over the Super Bowl commercials? By robots, of course, I mean all manner of intelligent assistants, both traditionally robotic and in the cloud. There was the robotic child who lacked the empathy to be a TurboTax live advisor, the smart speaker that couldn’t enjoy all the flavors of Pringles, … Continued

What will happen to Nielsen?

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Nielsen, the ratings giant that measures how we watch TV, browse the Web, and buy things, is for sale to private equity. Just watch: you’re about to see a perfect example what happens money men get their claws into the economics of monopoly. As I wrote yesterday, monopolies prioritize strategy over customers. As I learned … Continued

If Facebook is so smart, why can’t it get rid of the catfish spam chicks?

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The strangest thing happened to me the other day. And I’m wondering why Facebook doesn’t have the (artificial) intelligence to catch it. This attractive woman who I didn’t know sent me a friend request on Facebook. Has that ever happened to you? It has? So it’s not just me? In fact, since I’ve been on … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg: The addicter’s lament

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If you had profited from a highly addictive drug that had done great damage to society, what would you do? A trial about this — about Insys and fentanyl — is happening right now in Boston. But I’m not talking about opioids. I’m talking about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks … Continued

The Netflix interactive drama “Bandersnatch”: the start of a new medium

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The wizards from Black Mirror have delivered a new kind of entertainment on Netflix: a “choose-your-own-adventure” interactive drama called “Bandersnatch.” It involves the viewer (player?) in a way that’s goes beyond both games and film. I think “Bandersnatch” is a harbinger of amazing new kinds of entertainment to come. “Bandersnatch” is the story of Stefan … Continued