Thoughts on Social Media, Television, Media, Startups & Technology.

8 Bullet Thursday

What I am reading:

  • Interesting look at airBnB’s impact on New York City. A recent report by David Wachsmuth, a professor of Urban Planning at McGill University, zeroes in on New York City in an effort to answer the question of exactly what home sharing is doing to the city’s home market. Read now.
  • Instagram Influencers Are All Starting To Look The Same. Here’s Why. “Between makeup and Facetune, we’re creating a homogenized expression of beauty.” Read now.
  • Google recently announced plans to launch AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for email which will allow for you to interact more with your email client. Here’s what they’re planning, and how it will change email. Read now.
  • Great intro/refresher: Web Performance Made Simple: The What, When, How, and Why in 20 Words. Read now.
  • The average person makes ~35,000 decisions per day. Use these tricks to combat decision fatigue.

What I am watching:

Meru: Fantastic award winning doc that covers the high-stakes game of big-wall climbing. This doc follows 3 friends attempt at climbing the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. Sitting at the head of the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the Shark’s Fin has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other ascent in the Himalayas.

More about the film:After suffering dramatic set backs in their lives, three close friends who are among the world’s best professional climbers battle their complicated pasts, inner demons and nature’s harshest elements in an attempt to confront the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most technically complicated and dangerous peak in the Himalayas, one that has never been scaled to completion.

Long story short – loved this doc (but won’t be climbing the Shark’s Fin anytime soon)

Purchases I am enjoying:

Am currently hooked on these: Bruschettini w/ Black & Green Olive. Hooked is the word – literally consuming a bag of these each day at work over the last week. I’ve eaten a lot of brushette in my time, and I always find them either way too crunchy (no trips to dentist please) or totally bland. Not in this case, Asturi’s Bruschettini have the perfect level of crunch and taste AMAZING.

I feel like a bit of a tease telling people these are amazing because the only place I have been able to find them is the deli that is on the ground floor of my office’s building, and it looks like only small independent shops is where you can currently find them. If you find them and you like them – please send them an email.k

What I am listening to:

It’s a remembering the 90’s kind of week

What’s “in” in social:

Lots of talk of finally getting malicious bots out of the mix: While the value of social media and what it provides for society has been brought into question by the latest investigations into foreign meddling in the United States elections. One other aspect of social that’s also been put under the spotlight by marketers is the legitimacy of what social metrics mean, and the problems with fake followers and purchased engagement, especially so when it comes to influencer or micro-influencer marketing campaigns.

The good news – attention to the issue is only a “good thing,” forcing a lot of social companies to really think about how they are going to manage/resolve/mitigate the issues that come with bots. From a marketing perspective (if you’re an authentic “marketer”, and not one that is leveraging malicious bots in your campaigns): a crackdown on bots could have significant benefits.

Social ROI has long been a key topic of debate, with the question of bot accounts and non-genuine interaction being among the key concerns. Read more.

Further Reading:

Strategy Corner:

Pondering our future shopping experiences…

Another week goes by and another retailer folds. This time it was Toys ‘r Us. My family does so much of its’ shopping online these days that it is rare that news of a retailers closing affects us. That said this is now twice in as many as 5 years that we have been directly effected by a stores closing.

The first closure was that of our local Barnes & Noble. While it was not the greatest B&N store I had ever shopped in, what it was, was a local community hub that hosted events and was a place you often ran into your neighbors. It was somewhere our babysitter, or our daughters grandmother would take her for children’s story time during the week, and somewhere we could grab a cup of tea and read a magazine on a cold Fall day.

It’s not that I am going to miss the “shopping” experience of either of these stores. What I am going to miss (and has me thinking a lot lately) is the “destination”. And don’t get me wrong: it’s not like they were fantastic destinations either… BUT… they were a place to go. One being a local place that offered escape and a sense of community, the second; a place we took our daughter for “good grade” rewards. In both cases, at least locally for me/us: there is not a replacement. (We have already started to slowly break the news to our kid).

That lack of an alternative has me asking what happens when the same happens to: the local drug store, the local pet store? And I don’t have an answer yet. But what I do know: Although there are retailers closing left and right – I think there is massive opportunity for disruption in the retail space, for retailers willing to commit the the customer experience, and to those that provide amazing experiences for their clientele.

The reality is this scene is playing out all over the country. The solution can not simply be an online retailer…. there is a massive gap between what a brick and mortar store with good service can provide in comparison. While not all of that gap is tangible in value, it still provides massive value that simply can not be made up for in cost savings.

I am a firm believer that if more retailers focused on the “experience”, making the shopping experience in their stores second to none, I truly believe e-commerce giants are going to have a much harder time competing. I mean picture it: What if Toys ‘r Us had slime centers, and hot wheels race centers? Do you know how many kids would have begged their parents to take them to the store?

Weekly Hack:

Be more productive – use your phone less

Go gray: Believe it or not, your phone is less appealing to use when the screen is in greyscale. It might not cure your phone addiction completely, but all those apps you use are going to be a lot less appealing in black and white.

The process for enabling grayscale differs for different models of Android phones, but it’s typically accessed via the “Accessibility” menu. In iOS go to:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale.

To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to color.

If you try this “hack” – let me know how it works for you.

Quote of the week

Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking. – Stephen Hawking

About Chris Zilo

Ideation + Execution. Mission Driven Startup Guy & Early Adopter obsessed w/ all things tech. Former Third Culture Kid.