David Brooks, writing for The New York Times:
We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.
Read the entire piece. Just a brutal takedown of Trump.
via When the World Is Led by a Child – The New York Times
Tomorrow, I’ll be on The Church Communications Facebook Group doing a live session on how to use a major message calendar for your church’s communications. It’s at 2pm and you can watch it by going here.
If you’ve never used Major Message Calendar, it’s an easy to way to consolidate all our church communications on single spreadsheet. If used correctly, it can simplify communications, ease planning headaches and help you avoid emergencies. See you there!
From Ashley Carman, writing for The Verge:
It’s important to understand, however, that the way startups like Slice (which owns Unroll.me) and the giants of Google and Facebook treat your data is extremely different. Google and Facebook analyze information about you gathered through your email, social networking habits, demographics, and location, and use that data to entice third-party companies to advertise with them. In other words, the information they have on you allows them to sell access to your eyeballs for targeted ads in your news feed or sponsored search results.
Startups like Slice, on the other hand, collect information about you and other users and sells it to outside firms. Once it’s handed off, the client can do what it wants with the data. In both cases, however, data is sold in the aggregate, meaning you personally aren’t identified. Although admittedly, compiling a report specifically for Uber feels a little icky in light of recent negative press.
This is good explanation of the the differences between Facebook, Google and other free services. However, the lesson from Unroll.me is that you get what you pay for. If it’s free then most likely your data is the product that will be sold.
This is why I’m hesitant to go all in on Facebook as publishing platform. While they do have the audience, I’m not sure I want hand everything over to someone who ultimately is interested in selling my data.
via Unroll.me cofounder’s rant reminds us to be wary of free services – The Verge
New research from the American Journal of Epidemiology:
Using this rich source of data, we were able to investigate the associations of Facebook use and of real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and BMI. Although there were some variations in the significance of the different measures across outcomes, a clear pattern emerged. Our results showed that although real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being.
I’ll be spending next weekend pouring over this data.
via Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study | American Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic
Kurt Gessler, Deputy Editor for Digital News at The Chicago Tribune writes:
At the Tribune, we have a fairly stable and predictable audience. We had around a half million fans at the end of March and have seen slow but steady growth in the last year. Most Facebook posts fell into the 25,000 to 50,000 reach range — with a few big successes and few spectacular failures each day, usually based on the quality of the content or the quality and creativity of the share.
But starting earlier this year, we started to see far more misses. And not reaches in the low 20,000’s but 4,000 reach or 6,000 reach. Digital Editor Randi Shaffer was one of the first to notice.
Interesting post with a lot of data to back up his claim. We haven’t seen the same issues with our content, however we’ve also greatly reduced the number of posts to Facebook that contain outside links.
via Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse
Fascinating read from Exponents:
And it is here, in satiating advertisers’ unending thirst for demonstrable returns, that Twitter would always be at a fundamental disadvantage to Facebook and Google.
Because even if Twitter managed to solve its user growth problems and find its way to a billion users, Facebook would still have a massive edge in targeting ads, because Facebook’s product is inherently more conducive to gathering the kind of data that makes precision ad targeting possible at scale.
And in online advertising, all the rest your base are belong to Google…because when it comes to reaching people who are ready to buy something right now, nothing beats search. And if you want to advertise to your desired audience nearly everywhere on the internet that isn’t Facebook, nothing beats Google’s Display Network.
I did a podcast last week with Tom Pounder about this very subject. In the long term, I hold very pessimistic view of Twitter’s future.
Trust me, I want Twitter to succeed. However, if the marketing dollars aren’t there and they make it difficult to build on top of their platform, then I just don’t see a way that they can succeed.
via The Pulse of The Planet, Flatlined: Why Twitter’s Is Failing to Grow
David Brooks, writing for The New York Times:
What makes an institution thick? If you were setting out consciously to create a thick institution, what features would it include?
A thick institution is not one that people use instrumentally, to get a degree or to earn a salary. A thick institution becomes part of a person’s identity and engages the whole person: head, hands, heart and soul. So thick institutions have a physical location, often cramped, where members meet face to face on a regular basis, like a dinner table or a packed gym or assembly hall.
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Such institutions have a set of collective rituals — fasting or reciting or standing in formation. They have shared tasks, which often involve members closely watching one another, the way hockey teammates have to observe everybody else on the ice…
Churches should be thick institutions. They should force you to rub shoulders with the other believers and look each other in the eye. These are the things that an online church or campus can’t do.
Yes, the church is not a physical building, but there’s something about physically being around people that at online church can’t replicate.
via How to Leave a Mark on People – The New York Times