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Essays on technology, media, marketing and politics.

Audi Q8

Audi (Manhattan) Stepped Up Huge: A Lesson in Customer Service

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While driving an Audi Q7 (back in December 2018), I got a flat tire on a Friday night. What should have been an unremarkable event turned out to be anything but. In fact, my experience was so counter to what I had come to expect from Audi, I wrote The Myth of Luxury at Scale, a cautionary tale about expectation management and customer service. It’s a fun read (if schadenfreude is your thing). What follows is the epilogue to that story.

Society vs. Social Media

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A Battle Royale is brewing between society and a narrow, focused use of AI we'll call, algorithmic curation. But are the AI tools social media uses to put the right message in front of the right person in the right place at the right time really the enemy?

Please Stop the Buzzword BS

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I’ve been at SXSW (one of my favorite annual gatherings) for about 24 hours and my head is about to explode. While there are incredible experiences to be had here and there is some amazing tech on display, Buzzword BS is at record levels. Here are just a few excerpts from the dozens of elevator pitches I listened to today.

Facebook Alternatives

Alternatives to Facebook

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Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction. Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks?

Angry Mob YouTube

Can YouTube Ever Be Brand Safe?

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They say that if you ask the wrong question, you are guaranteed to get the wrong answer. Asked as, “Can YouTube ever be brand safe?” the answer is no. There is no possible way to make YouTube, or any environment that relies so heavily on user-generated content (UGC), 100 percent brand safe. Asked as, “Is YouTube safe for my brand?” is a better question, and it is the proper lens for any serious marketing discussion.

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