Smart Speakers and Thermostats Will Monetize Life at Home – The Atlantic

As internet-connected devices and appliances accumulate, one academic foresees “the monetization of every move you make.”
— Read on

In other words: how Alexa will eventually use my Nest data to sell me a cashmere sweater – and not just any cashmere sweater but one that I really really like.

Marketing Analysis: There are over 15,000 jobs available and nobody to fill them. But I’m so happy we will once again have plenty of coal.

Yep. 15,000.  That is the approximate total number of jobs that come up when you type in the terms google analytics, marketing data analyst, and advertising data analyst.  Go broad and just type in Data Analyst? 50k. FIFTY THOUSAND JOBS OPEN.

imagesI don’t write often and when I do it’s very obvious I’ve had a bad week. Or maybe month. That something has really “gotten my goat”. Today it is this. Data and the lack of people available to analyze it.

Oh I know – everyone is talking about big data. It will save us, it will kill us, who needs it eventually Watson will be inside every home and he will kick Alexa’s butt to the curb — blah blah blah. But I’m just talking about small data.  The kind of data that organizations who have just really started to pay attention and focus on their digital activities past the number of Facebook followers are now looking at.

Simple data. What is making people sign up at my website? Where is my website traffic coming from?  And it’s smart smart SMART people who can’t figure this out. PHD’s. People who own franchises. People who are qualified to invest your retirement money. People who work with OTHER kinds of data — but not marketing data. Not digital marketing data. I’m talking about people who can’t afford a 15,000 per month attribution system. I’m talking about medium to small sized businesses who are now feel like they have to have Stanford level Master’s degrees to implement a Google Goal Funnel.

Can someone explain to me why Google can’t just open up training centers around the country – physical ones. Not online. Not self motivated. But guided, hand holding training centers to help people get trained on these types of entry level support gigs. For free.  I’m mean it ultimately helps them — the more the world installs GA the more advertising they can sell against it.

But no. We are as a nation focused on reopening coal mines. Nobody talks about the fact that there are in fact jobs and we don’t make an effort to train people to fill them — corporate america doesn’t even make an effort to train people in service of their own needs.

What if corporate America worked like the Army sometimes? Hey – we will send you to college or to a technical training program for two years – but then you sign on and you work for us for 5 years.  How many people would sign on for that? I would have to imagine a lot. Look at the success of Teach For America. Everyone wants to privatize government programs. Private Corporate Data Analyst Scholarship Programs. There’s a program.

Sure we have STEM programs. You can’t go anywhere without hearing how important STEM is….but its not enough. We can’t wait for a 12 year old to make it out of the STEM system and when they do — they will most likely think “I’m going to invent an app and be the next Mark Zuckerberg”. Well…someone has to work for the next Mark Zuckerberg and they are not being trained.  This is a thought that is very related to a great article I read this weekend about how “leadership” is overused and the college admissions community needs to find value in followers too. It’s by Susan Cain, who is my hero as a champion for introverts.

Rant over.

I’m off to see if I can add more solar panels to my roof in defiance of today’s announcement.


3D printing – this is what’s next.

3d printing

3D printing – it’s here. It’s amazing.  And what will it mean for many aspects of society? Not sure. But there have been some really amazing things lately that have made me sit up and take notice of this new advance in technology. I want to present a few of them here.

First, it was my trip to the dentist. With a tooth almost completely gone, after an old Amalgam filling from the 70s was removed, I needed a crown. A very large crown. In comes my dentist with his computer screen perched on a cart. He starts pointing a laser and outlining my teeth and explains to me that he is going to “print” my tooth out of a ceramic material in the back room (a temp while the porcelain one is made).  PRINT? A TOOTH? Cannot be….

“Do you want to watch?” he says.  “Hell yes!” I replied (thankfully my dentist is entertained by my curiosity). I sat and watched as a 3D printer in the back room of the office “made” my tooth. Every groove and bump perfectly fabricated.  It was incredible.  Here is how it works in the video below (and that is not my dentist btw).

After becoming aware of this whole 3D thing at the dentist’s office, I really started to notice small news items here and there about 3D printing. Some of my favorite ones are below. They are all ONLY related by the fact that they involve 3D printing, but as you can imagine in each instance the possibilities are astoundingly endless!

Escher in 3D

The folks at Technion University in Isreal have brought to life the artist MC Escher’s fantasmical structures using 3D printing technology. His talents were always thought to be architecturally incorrect…but with the 3D printing we can see these fictional buildings and spaces come to life. A video showing how it happened is below.

83 year old Woman gets New Jaw

A company called Layerwise recreated a new jaw for a woman out of titanium. The BBC reported on this earlier this year. I was actually suprised there wasn’t more coverage. Think of the advances this could mean in prosthetic limbs, arms – for veterans. More in the video below

Copying the Masters

Cosmo Wenman shows us in this video how he was able to use 3D scanning and printing and a MakerBot to recreate some fine art sculptures from the Getty.

Finally – let your imagination run wild with USC Professor Khoshnevis‘ TedX talk on large scale 3D printing. You want a 3D house you say?  Well just you wait…..

New Era of Discrimination?

social media and job searching


The article below caught my eye. Social Media has become such a powerful way for people to express their voices. But consider this: Many of the questions that are illegal for a potential employer to ask you – or at the very least in appropriate – can be answered by looking at your social stream. Are we facing a new era of silent discrimination? You wouldn’t be human if your opinion of a person was not somehow swayed in either direction based on postings about politics, religion, sexual orientation, etc…

Corporate Culture is more important than ever – and Social allows a company to either protect it’s culture, grow it or diversify it in new ways that were not possible prior to the age of personal broadcasting.

Oh the tangled webs we weave…will social just end up being “self filtered”? Where can one express one’s opinion in public without it affecting them in private?

1 in 5 Tech Firms Rejected a Job Applicant Because of Social Media

by , Yesterday, 12:37 PM

Social media profiles are a great way to network and promote yourself, both personally and professionally, but they are also a great way to sabotage yourself with stupid, incriminating content.

And indeed, it turns out that one out of five technology firms has rejected a job applicant because of something they included on their social media profile, according to the 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide and its associated agencies.

This finding is especially remarkable because a previous wave of the study found that only around 40% of the tech executives surveyed were even looking at profiles of job applicants at all. While that number has probably increased, the fact remains that a large proportion of executives who look at social media profiles are finding something they don’t like.

Mads Christensen, Network Director at Eurocom Worldwide, offered a summary of the findings which makes me want to climb in bed, turn the lights out, and pull the covers over my head forever: “The 21st century human is learning that every action leaves an indelible digital trail. In the years ahead many of us will be challenged by what we are making public in various social forums today.”

More positively for social media, the Eurocom survey also found that 49% of tech executives said they plan to increase spending on social media in the next year. Of course, social media is still haunted by the unresolved question of ROI, as 57% of surveys said they are still unable to measure the impact of social media spending.

Read more:

Dear Millenial: Here is how to work for a Gen X boss

gen x boss

I’m a Gen-Xer through and through. I am also a latch-key kid. A child of divorce. The oldest. All of these things contributed to my becoming someone who is considered a change agent; someone who can adapt. It was natural that I end up in digital right? I mean really – rules? Confinements? Please.

This also has made me “a cool boss”. I get that you want to and CAN work from home. Or Hawaii or Vegas. I know that you are working at 2am so why in the world would I “admonish you” for showing up on email at 10 and not 8:30? (notice I said on email and not IN THE OFFICE).  As long as you remembered to bring your laptop to Vegas you’re all good.

I get that desks and cubes and such are the butt of every joke and want to provide an open workspace. One that encourages communication, creativity, transparency. Our Social People “space” is a loft – not an office building full of hallways of whispered conversations. And it is referred to as a “space” – it isn’t the “office”. You do not HAVE to be there. Its a place where when everyone needs to come together or we have clients or brainstorming sessions…we have a space. Heck it even doubles as a hotel for our out of town clients and colleagues!

But what I learned this week….what I learned is that my latch-key kid ways, welllll they don’t work well with the 20 somethings on our team. These people are smart, creative, educated – we connect on many levels that they appreciate as being part of boutique and disruptive agency rather than going into a big agency. They like being where there is no guy in his late 50s making 3 million a year down the hall that still doesn’t know how to use facebook. I am not that guy. Or Gal. And frankly I don’t ever plan to be.

BUT – I need to get a little more of that guy in me with certain things because these kids? Man – they are spread THIN! They have no clue how to prioritize. They are so used to doing everything at once – and doing so many things well; that the pressures and demands of delivering real actual value is a challenge for them to understand. “It’s all cool”. Well guess what – it’s not all cool. We have turned the world into this giant popularity contest – and good work, thorough work, is not what is important to them. It’s how cool they look on twitter. Who has the best profile shots, the most followers, who is showing off their wonderful and exciting life in the biggest and brightest way.  When I built one of the first successful online artist centric communities for Nelly, (1mm users baby in 1999!) what we have now is NOT what I imagined “community” to be. I hate popularity contests. Haaaaate. I’m an introvert and thanks to Susan Cain I am now going to be damn proud of it.

But back to the “kids”. What these programmed-to-be-extrovert kids forget?  THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

I’m watching. Our clients are watching. Our potential clients are watching. So this month I had to have a sit down with a 26 year old guy on our team. Why? Because his peers and his work were being affected by his “digital nativeness.” So here are the tips I gave him.

1. Reduce the Swagger

Dude. Nobody needs to know that you were out at some club with some DJ until 2am when we all know that we have a deadline for our biggest client due the next day. We get that 4square is a phenom and we are recommending check-ins and on-premise engagement opps to our clients so people WILL check in on 4square but nobody needs to see it when we are worried that you are on the verge of missing the deadline.

2. Everybody is an Influencer

You, the person next to you, the 4 of your peers on your team. Yes you all have thousands of people that you are connected to and each of you knows the coolest in your own worlds. Play nice. Don’t try and one-up each other. Work it out – and if you can’t? Come complain. Don’t throw a hissy that your colleague is giving you attitude when you have just as much attitude. We don’t have time. Someone is going to be the better person for a part of a project – not everything is the competitive sports that you participated in your entire life while your parents were slaving away at work so that you could have every new Apple product as it was released. Deal with it. The office is not the back seat of a station wagon. Stop fighting for credit. You will get it when it is due.


We know that you have been communicating in public your whole lives. (also refer to #1) Twitter is not the place to have an argument, flirt, sext or post party pictures.  This is why that guy at the end of the hall doesn’t think he has to go on Twitter or Facebook. Your shenanigans are making it hard for us to get more budget. You look like an idiot. Stop. We aren’t going to give you a raise if you keep doing it. And I think that you are home working on the deadline we have and you are making me hyperventilate that the more party pics you post the less powerpoint there will be at 2pm tomorrow. PartyPics do not equal PowerPoint. STOP!


Unlike your parents that were working and unavailable – we are available – it is our job to be available to you while working.  We may not seem like it because we are very used to being off on our own and “doing our own thing”. We weren’t as lucky as you where we played on 3 soccer teams and had multiplayer XBox. We only had one team in intramurals til 5 and 2 player Atari. Therefore we spent alot of time alone. On the phone. In our bedrooms. HOURS AND HOURS on the phone. Now don’t get me wrong at this point – I have to agree with you. I hate the phone. It wastes time. BUT when things are going wrong or you need help PICK UP THE PHONE. Even though I can see every tweet I can’t read your mind about the presentation that’s due when you are tweeting about how Bon Iver didn’t deserve the Grammy. It’s okay that you don’t know what to do. You’re not going to get in trouble. You already made it through college with a 3.9 and are able to code, draw, write, film and have seen more media today than your great-grandmother saw in her lifetime. You’re fine. It’s okay to say I don’t know, help me.

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps you.

I for one love you way more than I love the guy down the hall; he’s the guy that didn’t think anyone would ever watch a video on their computer let alone the phone, remember? I can’t even believe he is still in the building sometimes! I get you….but he thinks you are INSANE.

But don’t let all that bad press scare you. I’m counting on you.

The guy down the hall is going to crash the Social Security system and I’m expecting a senior citizen version of Couchsurfing/AirBnB to come out from one of your genius heads when you hit 45 and you start to worry about where the hell your parents will get money to pay the medical bills for their robotic eye.

peace out.

The day the Internet Died

internet censorship

( █ ) ███ ██████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██.
This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and has been removed.

Don’t like what you see?

Tell someone.

future shock

future shock by alvin toffler

from wikipedia:

Future Shock is a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. In the book, Toffler defines the term “future shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time“.

i do believe we are all experiencing this phenomena. In personal, global and societal ways. All at once. For me my microcosm became semi unmanageable with the entree of 3 new social sharing networks launching into my life within 3 weeks. Two of them I had been on for a while, but nobody else was. But this month…whoa.

Pinterest, Path and now Chill are running rampant in my network. Yeah yeah yeah – I know. My netwrok is different than the average person’s network. I know this. But if I can’t handle all of this “future shock” how in the world is my friend Sarah going to adapt/adopt?

I’m also thinking that my nieces must just be ready for all of this – that they can handle the splintering of their personalities and interests into different networks because they are digital natives. Of course my designy friends are on pinterest, it seems that Path is for friends who want to track waking sleeping and lots of physical exercise (seriously…this is what my path feed looks like: yoga, running, yoga, barre method, walk, run)

At any rate…my nieces. They don’t use alot of different networks. I’ve been trying to get one of them to really dig into instagram with no luck.

I just feel lost right now….i had no idea what the details were on all the Tebow stuff…none. But i did know that Jerry Yang was leaving Yahoo seconds after it happened. I had no idea what Chill was when peoiple started tweeting about it – but that new Bahamas record? Yes. Love.

They say one person can’t know everything. I think that is more true than EVER. But if we are supposed to be well rounded individuals, yet aware of the world around us — right now the world is too BIG!

Future Shock. I’m going to wear an alvin toffler t-shirt to my next start-up meeting.

plug-in conference 1999: strauss zelnick & spotify

plug in conference

One of the first digital music conferences (webnoize getting THE first kudos) was Plug-In. It was held in NYC. In 1999 we were in the basement of the Marriott Marquis. There weren’t that many people. maybe 500? maybe? I had to convince my boss that it was useful for me to go. I was still a part time product manager and that “website stuff” was still not my full time gig although it was only a month later that I became the VP of New Media for Universal Records. I was recently told that I am credited with being the first in music to use that title. I was shocked. But hey – ok. I’ll take it.

So at Plug-In — Strauss Zelnick was the keynote. Universal had a close relationship with BMG due to Get Music but I had not had alot of interaction with that team. So Strauss spoke and delivered an edict about the future. About direct marketing and one to one advertising. About each person being able to choose exactly what they want to hear online and on demand. He actually tells of the end of the album and the rise of singles. And that selling CDs will diminish…. (Now at this point I am also running around with a top teen band 98 Degrees and we are actually trying to deliver a single to radio digitally for the first time — to prevent any one station from playing it earlier than any other station. HA! Those were the days – a “leak” was more like a drip compared to the rushing tidal wave it would later become.)

So as I am sitting there – I think – hmmm. How would my job change if the end goal wasn’t to sell a CD? That is the marker of success. CD sales. Sure airplay was important but it was really just to sell CDs. Soundscan always more important than BDS. But what if….what if Strauss is right and my job ends up having to persuade people to “click on an individual song” more often than another song? Hmmm. How would that work? That essentially turns each person into a programmer. (Does this mean I have to become a radio promotion person? Please god NO!) So what do I do? How does that work?

“Sharing” was not yet the word that it is now. It had just entered the marketing vernacular. It was just starting to become a dirty word as it really meant “piracy”. But i knew then that somehow it was about the one to one relationship, and all the work we were doing collecting emails and building databases.

When did I really and truly come up with the answer to what would I do in regards to what what Strauss was talking about? Last month when Spotify integrated with Facebook. Strauss – you were right.  If you work for a recorded music company or a publisher and you are in marketing – your job is to make someone click on your song more than anyone else’s. In this month’s Rolling Stone there is a great article about payments from streaming services by Steve Knopper “The New Economics of the  Music Industry” . He says that 60 streams of a song generate 38 cents to the artist & label (9.1 to publisher). 60 streams.

That’s damn hard. 60 streams.  I mean – once someone bought a CD who cared how many times they listened to it? Who cared if it ended up cracked on the floor of the car?  But now – now it’s about engaging people. Engaging fans. You can’t just sell to them once. Click Click Click. Its about programmers and trusting someone else – at least for most of us. We need curators. People depend on me to curate food and travel for them. Here is my admission: I depend on others to curate my music.

Yep. I am soooo lazy when it comes to making playlists – there – it’s out in the open. I always was surrounded by the best radio programmers, DJs, music supervisors, boyfriends that owned 5000 pieces of vinyl – I never had to!  I have let my itunes trn into a mess of duplicates, singles, just an abomination. Me – who worked in a record store and spent hours delineating the difference between ambient and trance. This is my secret problem and guess what SPOTIFY IS THE SOLUTION! I can’t stop using it. I wish more of my music gurus would get their butts on their and make playlists (yes I mean you Bob DOuglas).

Dear Blue Note – thank Brian Larson for putting the 100 Best of Blue Note together. I’ve clicked way more than 60 times. Dear Sly Stone – thank Jon Vanhala for including 5 of your songs in his “you got to funkify playlist”. Dear War on Drugs: Thank Josh Nicotra for sending me the link inside SPOTIFY to your older records before we went to your show last Saturday. Dear Ryan Adams – yes that was me that had Ashes on repeat for an entire 2 days when it FINALLY got loaded into SPOTIFY after the release date. That’s gotta be about 60 times right? That’s……60 x .38 x 10 = 228.00 is that right? if i had ryan adams streaming for 48 hours straight and the record isn’t quite an album…right? $228.00? Someone confirm with me please. I’m reallllly bad at math. Really bad. Even WITH a calculator.

My mind is a whirl with all sorts of ways to get people to make lists in Spotify and get them spread around. Click. Click. Click. Ching. Ching. Ching.  It might not be as much as a CD made – but I gotta tell you – I leave the SPOTIFY open all day and even leave it on for the dogs. I must be supporting someone’s livelihood from music even just a little bit right?


Click. Click. Click.