WTFacebook, and asking tough questions on tech – Do Not Read Until Monday

Facebook, video, the news, and whatever you do, do not look behind you, and definitely Do Not Read Until Monday.

 

Another week, another WTFacebook

Okay, okay, let’s unpack this Facebook video thing (yet again). The social media giants ‘Pivot to Video’ (gross) was big for all of us in the advertising world. It was a fundamental shift is how many of us approached the social components of our clients’ campaigns. Facebook, citing internal data, went out to marketers the world over and told them they needed to think about, plan for, create, and deploy video as the priority content form over other ad formats and mediums. It all seemed pretty legit at the time, of course. We were able to drive greater engagement, more time spent with a brand, increases in brand affinity or recall, and in many cases, our clients’ bottom line.

‘Yeah, yeah yeah, tell me something I don’t know’, you say:

‘You’ve already written about this’, you say.

That was about us, but this week has seen thorough coverage in the news and in new court filings (biting fingernails furiously) that the social networks’ video push founded on inflated data literally changed the country’s newsrooms by driving a reduction in the number of journalists covering hard news in favor of bringing video producers on staff. This, simply put, is significantly different from our perspective in the ad world. Our work is still more or less the same, just the output was focused on a different format (one that we were already well versed in). The dramatically reduced number of journalists in our nations newsrooms meant things went uncovered or under-covered. In times like these, no less.

It’s not hard to see the true impact of seemingly small decisions made in our industry, in hindsight anyway. The myopic tendencies of the Silicon Valley set at times are glaring (more on this below), and this week we’ve learned a hard lesson on that. So, what to do? Well, for starters let’s charge ourselves with always questioning anyone grading their own homework, interrogate any and all data and analysis, question assumptions and best practices . . . that seems like a start, for now anyway.

 

The Ruling Class

This week in plugging my favorite podcast . . . if you’d like an intellectual primer on how the benevolence of the ruling class of old has been rewrapped and dressed in a fleece vest in the form of the Silicon Valley overlords, this #WITHPod is a freaking goodie. It lends great perspective on why we need to be asking tough questions as discussed above. Look, when we take for-profit companies at their word we need to be honest with ourselves, they’re looking out for them, not us. They tend to masquerade as ‘communities’, ‘here for the greater good’, ‘people companies’. They’re business looking out for their shareholders. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing to remember.

Anyhow, if you happen to get your nerd on over this, come and find me on Monday!

Odds + The End

  • Been waiting for that right time to get into the crypto game? It might help with the below . . .
  • People are feeling the new iPhones, despite the freaking sticker price. And look, Warren Buffet is a brilliant man, but he just wrong. Thems some pricey black mirrors, tell you what.
  • Do I dare go the opposite way altogether?
  • Half of WhatsApp users in the US don’t know it’s owned by Facebook. Don’t worry, they’ll find out soon enough. It’s only a matter of time until something super Facebook-y happens to the platform for these innocent souls to find out . . .
  • Speaking of innocent souls, Halloween is so fresh rn!
  • I like the idea of robots, but not this idea of robots.
  • @Jack said some things about why he’s not going to do anything.
  • Wut?
  • Wat!
  • STAHP!
  • IDK maybe they’re cute?

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Silicon Valley’s making money, sure, but couldn’t it be making *MORE* money? – Do Not Read Until Monday