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Essays on technology, media, marketing and politics.

TV’s Cry for Help

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Welcome to the TV industry’s latest bit of magic ... prestidigitalization. It’s a new twist on the old sleight-of-measurement trick. Here’s how it works. You buy TV the old-fashioned way because, well, that’s how you buy TV. The ratings suck. You want to pay less because you’re getting less. TV says, “You’re not getting less. Look at our newly crafted, data-driven metrics. We’re delivering premium audiences across omni-channel touchpoints and generating better return-on-ad-spends than ever!” If you can brush the buzzwords off your shoulder, you respond, “Yeah, but Nielsen says the ratings are down.” And TV triumphantly concludes, “Nielsen sucks! Here’s how we prestidigitally measure your success.”

Net Neutrality

The End of Net Neutrality Could Be Good for Marketers — And Bad for Almost Everyone Else

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The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will vote on December 14 to enact the exceptionally misleadingly titled "Restoring Internet Freedom" order. If passed, it will do the opposite of restoring anything resembling freedom -- it will repeal the current net neutrality rules which were enacted to ensure that Americans would have equal access to the Internet.

Stop Doing Meta-Work Now!

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While walking around the office I happened upon a relatively new employee dragging emails from his inbox into folders. I asked why and was told, “I’m just answering emails and getting stuff off my desk.” An empty inbox may be emotionally satisfying to look at, but in practice, you should never do it. Here’s why.

Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized

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While I was out at a meeting, my meticulously neat wife armed herself with a feather duster, donned protective pink rubber gloves, and viciously, mercilessly straightened, organized, and dusted the desk in my home office. My desk was clean, but the results were suboptimal.

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