When Big Data Falls Into the Uncanny Valley


"What is it about my data that suggests I might be a good fit for an anorexia study?" That's the question my friend Jean asked me after she saw this targeted advertisement on her Facebook profile:


Image: Facebook/Massachusetts General Hospital, via The Atlantic

She came up with a pretty good hypothesis. Jean is an MIT computer scientist who works on privacy programming languages. Because of her advocacy work on graduate student mental health, her browsing history and status updates are full of links to resources that might suggest she's looking for help. Maybe Facebook inferred what Jean cares about, but not why. Read more...

More about Personalized Ads, Uncanny Valley, Advertising, Social Media, and Facebook

9 Silly Pinterest Mistakes Only Rookies Make

pinterest_pinsWith over 70 million active users on Pinterest, some are bound to be making mistakes. Some of the mistakes we make can be pretty bad, though not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Let's say you try your hand at a double rainbow cake and end up with a tie-dye mess. It's not the end of the world -- you can throw out the ruined cake (or eat it, if it's still edible) and move on with your life.  [Read more...]

Facebook and the First Amendment: Supreme Court to Consider Online Threats


The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case centered on threats made through social media, a topic that has major ramifications for free speech and the Internet.

The case at hand centers around Anthony Elonis, who was sentenced to 44 months in prison and three years of supervision in October 2011 after a jury found that his Facebook posts constituted threats not protected by the First Amendment. Elonis claimed his posts were therapeutic and not meant as threats, and therefore protected under freedom of speech.

The important question in the case is whether a threat becomes a crime if a "reasonable person" considers it a threat, or if it needs "subjective intent" (if what was posted was intended as a threat). Read more...

More about Facebook, Free Speech, Supreme Court, First Amendment, and Us World

Why Content Alone Isn’t Content Marketing

content_marketingThis post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.

Don’t take this the wrong way. We can still be friends and all, but if you think you are doing content marketing, you may need to think again. [Read more...]

Transportation Department Looks To Regulate Navigation Apps

maps The Transportation Department is angling for regulatory control over navigational apps as a part of the Obama administration’s proposed transportation bill, which is expected to pass later this year. This particular part of the bill would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the ability to enforce a set of rules for navigation apps on smartphones, which many drivers… Read More

Why Introverts Make Great Leaders

leadership_introvertsAt this moment, there is an article making the rounds called "The Confidence Gap." The premise of "The Confidence Gap" is that there exists a divide between those who lead and those who stagnate, and it all comes down to -- I’m not ruining any plots here  -- confidence. 

There’s more to it, of course. [Read more...]

The roar of the #NBAFinals crowd was on Twitter

With legacies on the line for two premier @NBA franchises, the #NBAFinals delighted hoops fans around the world, and the real-time conversation played out on Twitter. In the end the @Spurs took home their fifth title since 1999, ending @MiamiHeat’s hopes for a three-peat.

From the high-octane shooting displays by the @Spurs to the cramps that plagued @KingJames in Game 2 to the final buzzer of tonight’s game, fans, journalists, teams and players discussed the series on Twitter.

In fact, there were over 17 million Tweets around the world containing terms related to the #NBAFinals during the live telecasts of each game, including over 6.6 million Tweets in Game 5.

Here are moments that generated the biggest peaks of Twitter conversation in the series, all of which came in the clinching game:

The @NBA sent Tweets from inside the @Spurs locker room, courtesy of the Twitter Mirror:

This timeline shows a sampling of Tweets from throughout the #NBAFinals:

While the @Spurs won the series convincingly, the roar of Miami’s crowd on Twitter was a bit louder. This graphic below shows which team was discussed the most on Twitter since the #NBAFinals began on June 5, 2014:

And here are the most-mentioned players on Twitter since the series began:

Up next for @NBA fans? A loaded NBA draft on June 26. In the meantime, follow @TwitterSports for the latest sports action on Twitter.

People’s Choice: This Week’s Most Popular Articles

social_media_(blog)-1Last week, we tested out a new roundup format -- the content our readers thought was good enough to share with their friends, coworkers, and maybe even family. 

Despite this content's popularity on social media, it's possible you missed these stories. So take a chance to catch up on the five most-shared posts from this past week. 

[Read more...]

Google’s Push Past Search

binoculars_Flickr As a recent analysis indicated, Google’s traditional search is not working on mobile as well as it did on the desktop web. Sifting through organic search results on a mobile device is a sub-optimal experience, especially when compared to the push notifications and personalized streams of cards that have made mobile apps from Facebook, Twitter and Tinder so habit-forming and successful. Read More

Portland Gets One Step Closer To Getting Google Fiber

2014-06-14_0933 In a few years time, when you come to retire in Portland, chances are that you will be able to subscribe to Google Fiber. Earlier this week, the city took another step in allowing Google to expand its gigabit fiber network to “fiberhoods” in the city by approving a franchise agreement with the company. Google plans to invest over $300 million in this project, the Oregonian… Read More
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