The July 2020 episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report features Neville and Shel discussing…
- Emotional Intelligence as an Internal Communications focus
- AI avatars as a new tool for training and marketing
- The latest TikTok news
- What a better social network might look like
- The rise of Virtual and Augmented Reality
- The staggering jobs challenge the world is facing
Dan York reports on making video calls better, apps that keep copying each other, Amazon’s new live-streaming for influencers, new ways to get the analytics you need, and something nice to look at while we’re all stuck inside..
We are hosting an FIR Communicators Coffee Break on Zoom each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to email@example.com. Spread the word to your communications community.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog.
Links from This Month’s Episode
- 5 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Is the Future of Work
- In An Era Of COVID-19 Disruption, Brands Must Rethink Marketing As Empathetic Customer Experiences
- Deepfakes Are Becoming the Hot New Corporate Training Tool
- Deepfake used to attack activist couple shows new disinformation frontier
- This Person Does Not Exist
- As TikTok grapples with weightier topics, journalists are tuning in to deliver the news
- Meet the Creator of a Viral TikTok Who Caught the Attention of Disney’s Boss
- Trump Administration Reviews TikTok for National Security Risks
- Byte, the Reboot of Vine, Surges After Trump Claims He Could Ban TikTok
- What Is Byte, the App That Just Passed TikTok on App Store Charts?
- Facebook readies global launch of its TikTok competitor
- Snapchat tests TikTok-style navigation for exploring public content
- What a Better Social Network Would Look Like
- Virtual Reality to recover in 2021 after falling to COVID-19
- Covid-19 is pushing AR forward with three major trends
- London’s Brixton Academy to host 360-degree Virtual Reality gigs
- The VR Advantage: How virtual reality is redefining soft-skills training
- World faces staggering jobs challenge, says Microsoft president
Links from Dan York’s Report
- Facebook brings screen sharing to Messenger on Android and iOS
- Microsoft Teams’ new Together Mode is designed for pandemic-era meetings
- Mmhmm turns your boring Zoom call into a Weekend Update-style TV show
- Instagram confirms its TikTok rival, Reels, will launch in the US in early August
- Twitter brings Fleets, its version of Stories, to India
- Amazon Influencers can livestream on Amazon and earn commissions
- Amazon Influencer Program opens to live streamers for broadcasting to Amazon Live
- Correction: Apple Safari Will Not Block Google Analytics Tracking
- Only 9% of visitors give GDPR consent to be tracked
- Simple and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics
Raw Transcript from Descript
[00:00:00] Shel Holtz: [00:00:00] Greetings communicators, students of communication, those of you who are community curious, and those of you who are just so bored being at home, you’ll listen to anything. This is for immediate release where this month Neville and I talk about emotional intelligence as an area of focus for internal communication, fake videos of real people and fake people are being used for some noble purposes.
[00:00:24] But of course they’re also being used for nefarious purposes. What will people do if tick talk is banned? Like the journalists who have started using it to report the ideal social network is probably unlikely to ever exist, but that won’t stop us from talking about what it should look like. There’s all kinds of movement in the extended reality marketplace and business has a responsibility to train people who won’t have jobs in the coming years without being self serving about it.
[00:00:52] Dan York is here to talk about ways to improve video calls and his tech report along with some other great topics. It’s all coming your [00:01:00] way right now on for immediate release, another fine podcast from the fir podcast network. This is for immediate release the podcast for communicators.
[00:01:35] Hi everybody. And welcome to episode number 197. For immediate release. This is the Hobson and Holtz report for Monday, July 20th, 2020. This is Shel Holtz in Concord, California,
[00:01:49] Neville Hobson: [00:01:49] and this is never helps an then gentlemen Glint
[00:01:52] Shel Holtz: [00:01:52] and we are back for another discussion of communication related items [00:02:00] in the news that, uh, all of you communicators out there may at least I hope you will be interested in, um, In a month Neville, although we do see each other once a week on the fir zoom chats, how you doing?
[00:02:13] Neville Hobson: [00:02:13] Yeah, no bad actually shall not bad. It’s a you’re right. It has been a month since you last did. This seems to, it seems like the whole world has passed before our eyes this month. There’s so much stuff going on on the things around us that we can. Do nothing much about really apart from wear a face mask, it was cause you know what I’m talking about in that case.
[00:02:30] Um, but business wise, things are emerging in many countries here in the UK. Lots of changes with the lockdown that we have had. Um, people are going back to work, uh, restaurants so that we can do open pubs of gain to open, but mostly to do with not drinking inside drinking outside, only food is takeaway only and stuff like that.
[00:02:49] So it’s not coming out. Conflicting information from the government. They’re not very good at communication these days. It seems to me, and we’re now looking at, and you’ve got it in the U S as well. My sit in many other [00:03:00] countries, a lot of talk about is our second wave coming. So could there be for the lockdown?
[00:03:03] So the time of uncertainty continues, basically, I think.
[00:03:07] Shel Holtz: [00:03:07] Well, at least we have the fir zoom chat once a week to, uh,
[00:03:11] Neville Hobson: [00:03:11] get together with people 70. Right. I mean, the fir is a certainty in the world of uncertainty.
[00:03:16] Shel Holtz: [00:03:16] Right? Right. So we are thinking about changing up what we do with the fir zoom chat, because the last one, I mean, I enjoyed the heck out of it.
[00:03:23] It was a nice conversation. Bernie Goldberg joined us and he shared some information that really grabbed me use of Rome, this new note taking tool that I have. Latched onto just since Thursday, I love this thing, but it’s just chit chat and it certainly isn’t worth recording and sharing. So what we’re thinking of doing is communicating early in the week that when we get together on Thursday, we’re going to have a topic and people who want to join us and chat about that topic can do that.
[00:03:53] I think that’ll be worth recording and sharing. We just have to figure out what the topic will be.
[00:03:58] Neville Hobson: [00:03:58] Yeah, [00:04:00] exactly. So stay tuned, dear listeners, early part of the next week for what the
[00:04:03] Shel Holtz: [00:04:03] topic is. And other than that, we’re just going to jump into our content for the week. Right after we hear from polite mail for immediate release is sponsored by.
[00:04:15] Polite mail back in March white male, analyze the volume of emails, broadcast to employees and found more than a 100% increase in the weekday volume of email and get this more than a 1000% increase in weekend volume. And this was in March of the coronavirus pandemic was just starting to drive people from their offices into their homes.
[00:04:38] In may emailed use grew 60% on weekdays and 200% over the weekend, people were spending 50% more time with these emails interested, especially in topics related to the virus and the resources their companies are devoting to it. Other topics that drew employee interest were working from home help with using.
[00:04:59] Tools for [00:05:00] remote work tips on how managers can coordinate their teams remotely and updates on how to access or benefit from the resources and benefits that the company offers. I don’t find any of this surprising since email broadcast communications does tend to rise in response to a crisis, but I can’t remember a crisis that consumed pretty much every company at the same time.
[00:05:21] Like this one has, uh, it’s definitely the case where they work. We were using email pretty liberally for the pandemic, but since then, uh, I’ve started a daily email update that was just designed to aggregate the many items that otherwise would have gone out as separate emails over the course of the day.
[00:05:41] In a blog post politely, male said now’s the time to consider providing all non desk employees with email addresses or with the ability to opt in to company email using a personal email account. And that’s an excellent idea. A polite mail also suggests addressing the accuracy of the [00:06:00] distribution systems, syncing data with HR and active directory systems.
[00:06:05] And providing HR and comms teams with self service list management tools to better serve and target groups of employees by GMO cation, building role and management hierarchy, all good advice. And it’s the kind of thinking you get when you sign on with polite mail, which can help you do all that as part of its email creation.
[00:06:24] Distribution and measurement tool. It’s all just an outlook plugin. So there’s no integration with existing systems or any of that mess to deal with. You can learn all about polite mail and the how they can help you with your internal communications on their website. At of course, www.politemail.com. And as always, we thank polite mail for their support of, for immediate release.
[00:06:47] Well, as you know, I, I do work in employee communications where a lot of our work is aimed at improving the employee experience because of that we help the executive team and the HR department [00:07:00] implement solutions. They’ve come up with like the idea of psychological safety or building stronger internal community.
[00:07:07] One way to support the building of the experience and the strengthening of the culture has been to influence the nature of communication in the company. So it’s more empathetic and emotional. For instance, my colleague, Natalie, just posted a story this past week about a project act. This is a construction project.
[00:07:24] So they’re out in the trailer on the project site. Uh, they threw a surprise baby shower for a project manager. Who’s just. Getting ready to leave on maternity leave. We’re pushing these kinds of stories because I’m taking a cue from marketing research. I mean, just about a week ago, our friend Brian Solis wrote in Forbes that customer centricity, whether you call it CX that’s customer experience or marketing or digital transformation will be rooted in empathy, purpose, and compassion.
[00:07:55] And I don’t see why that would be different internally than externally. I just [00:08:00] recently found this article in entrepreneur magazine, headlined five reasons why emotional intelligence is the future of work. You know, I have to stop and look, anytime anybody refers to anything is the future of work. Uh, mostly these just provoke, uncontrollable scoffing on my part.
[00:08:17] But this one I actually found, uh, Pretty compelling. I forwarded it to the head of HR and our HR business partners. Uh, the article by Ryan Jenkins, he’s the founder of a learning and development software company. I find emotional intelligence as the ability to identify and manage one’s personal emotions and the emotions of others.
[00:08:38] He says, knowing how you’d feel in a certain situation helps you to gauge how others will feel in a similar environment. Thus enabling favorable social interactions and evoking favorable reaction actions from others. And here’s why the article grabbed me based on research. Jenkin says employees who feel cared for by their organization, 10 [00:09:00] times more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work nine times more likely to stay at their company for three years.
[00:09:07] Or more seven times more likely to feel included at work four times less likely to suffer from stress and burnout. That’s something we’re going to talk about again, later in the show. And two times as likely to be engaged at work, uh, Jenkins goes on to outlaw nine five reasons why it is the future of work, or as I’d be more inclined to put it part of the future of work.
[00:09:29] I mean, you know, there is AI for example, uh, is that, um, First, there are deep human needs, especially that of belonging, emotionally intelligent leaders can, uh, extend belonging to their teams. He says, second technology will enhance humanity as the world fills with more sophisticated technology like artificial intelligence, human skills, like compassion and empathy will define the competitive edge of workers and entire organizations.
[00:10:00] [00:09:59] And as the world becomes more high tech. Employees will want more high touch. Third on Jenkins list is the blending of work in life. He quotes the author of a book about embracing emotions at work saying in the moments when our colleagues drop their glossy professional presentation, we are much more likely to believe what they are telling us.
[00:10:19] Fourth, the employer employee relationship is evolving beyond the traditional transactional relationship with employees. And I’m quoting now leaning into the highly emotional aspects of their employees lives, uh, like offering adoption expense, uh, and lengthy bereavement leaves. And finally he says, gen Z is demanding it.
[00:10:40] 18 to 25 year olds have the highest prevalence of serious mental illness with 73% reporting sometimes or always feeling alone. If youth is the future Jenkins rights and gen Z are lonely and psychologically stressed, then the future of work must be emotional intelligence or getting back to employee [00:11:00] communications.
[00:11:00] I don’t think that embracing the idea of emotional intelligence requires us to launch. And initiative. In fact, I’m thinking I can go gorilla with this. Just infusing the stuff we’re already writing with these sensitivities. For example, right now we are seeking out manager behaviors, reflect the way we would like all managers to behave and have them write posts about it on the managers blog.
[00:11:24] So now I’ll just start looking for among the things that managers are doing, those who display. Emotional intelligence and have them write about that move. Wouldn’t even have to call it emotional intelligence. Yeah. It’s just a good management practice. And when it comes to programs like benefits programs, for example, that the company is considering, you know, bereavement leave.
[00:11:45] That goes up to seven weeks, for example. And, you know, another one would be adoption expects as expense assistance. All you have to do is point at the outcome based research, right? Less turnover, higher engagement to get leadership support. And of course there are the [00:12:00] articles that we seek and write out building an emotional empathetic angle into as much as we can.
[00:12:05] We’ll probably actually increase readership. So it’s good for us. So yeah, emotional intelligence probably will be part of the future at work. I can say with certainty, it will be where I work.
[00:12:16] Neville Hobson: [00:12:16] I’m sure you’re right. We may not call it that. And they’re looking at the article. Are you referencing? Many of these things have been around a long time with different labels.
[00:12:27] I suspect when, to me, one of the biggest obvious ones is work in life blending. Then we call that work and life balance. At one time, the other one evolving employer, employee relationships. Those are all things that have been around a long time, but things evolve and the, the kind of needs. Oh, employees and employers change over time.
[00:12:46] Um, but uh, these things are constant, uh, but we need to, I think maybe treat them in a different way. And you talk about yeah. Um, gen Z and what they want. Um, yeah. Yeah. We’ve got to [00:13:00] take account of that. Uh, I would say, um, the issues related to loneliness, depression and mental health are huge today and we have, um, Uh, started conversations about that in the last three to four months, since he found demic broken, the lockdowns happened around the world, uh, cause in our organization we’re all virtual largely.
[00:13:20] And now of course, or have been now of course we’re a hundred percent virtual and very few people going into any offices. So, uh, managing. That, uh, and I’ve had some experience with it. I wouldn’t call it mental health issues. I don’t believe I have any of those, but the kind of loneliness you sometimes feel where you got no one to genuinely reach out to other than a video image, a need.
[00:13:41] I think many people don’t realize that, um, they actually do need a bit of help with, with that. So that could just be talking to a colleague. A sympathetic ear, even a, an informal chat with some expertise in HR, those kinds of things I think are good, but recognizing these needs. And I say I’m thankful the internet society [00:14:00] definitely does that.
[00:14:01] And puts in place programs that, that, that help people, uh, are increasingly becoming, I think something that organizations need to do more of the ones that aren’t doing it. So, I’m not sure I liked the phrase, emotional intelligence shell, frankly. It sounds to me like a manufactured construct used in marketing more than anything else.
[00:14:20] Uh, which doesn’t mean there’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s not, it’s a good thing. So, so this is a good assessment. Uh, I think of what’s what what’s happening and what we need to be paying attention to in a way that’s a lot more structured than currently is the case, perhaps. So, and it’s not uniform everywhere, but whatever we’ll be, there’s just people we’re talking about.
[00:14:38] Shel Holtz: [00:14:38] Yeah. Yeah. And I think the coronavirus may be what pushes this idea forward. In most organizations, I just wrote an article, uh, about zoom fatigue. And this was for the intranet where I work and the reasons for zoo fatigue, a lot of it is, is what you’re talking about. You’re detached. All you see is a, is a two dimensional face on a [00:15:00] screen.
[00:15:00] Uh, you lose, lose a lot of the connection you have with people by not being in the same room with them. You’re also very conscious of yourself and how you look on the screen because you’re more or less performing. And that puts a lot of stress. Uh, so I think companies are paying attention to the strain that remote work is putting on employees and putting in place.
[00:15:24] Programs and support to help employees through this and when the pandemic ends and people. Those who do return to the office, which I still think will be most, at least part of the time, uh, focus on your emotional wellbeing, wellbeing. I hope is not going to just vanish that companies are going to recognize that there was value in that and therefore this, uh, idea of teaching people to be aware of their own emotions and those of others, and to be able to address that effectively.
[00:15:56] We’ll continue because right now, you know, at least before the pandemic, it [00:16:00] was pretty much, Oh, we have an employee assistance program if you’re having go there. Yeah. But that’s just not
[00:16:06] Neville Hobson: [00:16:06] adequate. No. I mean, I think that’s an interesting point you raised, and indeed, it’s something we will touch on another topic.
[00:16:12] We’re going to talk about a bit later in the show. Um, cause with the changes all around us, uh, that are causing, uh, extreme anxiety and worry among many about the job security and what’s a few, are they going to have a job? And combine that with the stories you keep hearing are these terrific numbers of, uh, of people, companies say they’re going to lay off.
[00:16:35] I saw one the other day. I’m sure it made headlines in the U S more than United airlines laying off 36,000 people, American airlines, 25,000 people over here, British airways, 12 and a half other big companies. And some, some big names are suddenly the shock. They’re closing down entirely things like this.
[00:16:51] So, yeah. Emotional intelligence. Uh, these issues of loneliness, depression of mental health concerns will increase as the [00:17:00] economic impact of this, um, this pandemic Kitsis. Uh, and so, you know, we’re hearing the health story, uh, of course, more than anything, but kind of just sitting there that’s coming towards us like this large tsunami we can’t see yet, or the economic consequences of fallout of all of this.
[00:17:15] So, uh, Saying there’s like assistance programs to help you? Uh, I think the con the, the issue for, for organizations potentially in this, uh, and that means the, the HR folks, the communicators as well, and, and many others, an organization is being completely swamped with issues to manage, uh, that affect employees.
[00:17:35] How are they going to address all of that? I don’t think they will be able to. So we’re probably approaching a time when the kind of help. People will need with loneliness, depression and mental health in particular are going to be quite acute for some, and their employer may not be able to address those things.
[00:17:52] Uh, so this is a, this is a, this is not a good time potentially coming towards.
[00:17:57] Shel Holtz: [00:17:57] Yeah. And maybe that’s a good topic for Thursday, empathy [00:18:00] and emotion and communication. Internal and
[00:18:02] Neville Hobson: [00:18:02] external. Yeah. Zoom chat on Thursday. Okay. Love it. Yeah, that’s a good one. Shall I must’ve met. So, um, let’s flip the, uh, I was going to say flip the funnel.
[00:18:13] Wasn’t that? Judge Evans. Joe. Jeff is the funnel. Yeah. Okay. Well, it’s not flip the funnel then, but let’s flip the flip this topic a bit. Um, I read this really interesting story in wired UK. Um, Uh, early this month about something WPP, the big ad agency is doing that I think is, uh, uh, something that many, many organizations could learn from their experience, but also in the more general sense of what this is all about.
[00:18:37] So here we are in July and they call it the wide story talks about. A WPP is going to be sending some unusual corporate training videos to tens of thousands of employees worldwide, uh, presentable speak in the recipient’s language and address them. I name while explaining some basic concepts and artificial intelligence.
[00:18:56] So it’s personalized to each individual employee, but [00:19:00] personalize, not as you might think, I think dropping the name into a text or something. This is each. Video given to each employee will be addressed to that individual employee. So it’s an original video. Each employee. That’s really interesting. I found the videos themselves will be powerful demonstration of what AI can do the face and the words it speaks will be synthesized by software.
[00:19:23] WPP doesn’t build a massage, but why it says it’s synthetic video training that is, might be called deep fakes, a loose term, applied to images or videos generated using AI that look real, although best known as tools of her harassment porn, or do publicity image generating AI is now being used by major corporations.
[00:19:41] So things like corporate training. So WPP is chief technology. Officer Stefan Pretoria says the ability to personalize and localize video to many individuals makes for more compelling footage than the usual corporate fare. The technology is getting very good, very quickly. He says deep fake style production can also be [00:20:00] cheap and quick and advantage amplified by COVID-19 restrictions.
[00:20:03] That I’ve made conventional video shoots, trickier and riskier. It says a company wide internal education campaign might require 20 different schools, scripts for WPP verbal workforce, each costing tens of thousands of dollars to produce with Cynthia. Uh, that’s a, uh, tech startup in, uh, in London who is providing the technology for this.
[00:20:25] Uh, we can have avatars that are diverse. And speak your name and your agency and in your language. And the whole thing can cost a hundred thousand dollars. He says in this summer’s training program, the languages are limited to English, Spanish, and Mandarin Pretoria’s hopes to distribute the clips 20 modules, or about five minutes each to 50,000 employees this year.
[00:20:45] I mean, this is a thing that’s significant scale. It seems to me, and to personalize the videos this way I find truly, truly fascinating. So the videos are produced with Cynthia Cynthia’s technology. They make video featuring synthesize talking heads for corporate clients, [00:21:00] including Accenture and SAP. Last year, it’s helped David Beckham appear to deliver a public service announcement on malaria in several languages, including Hindi, Arabic, and Kenya, Rwanda.
[00:21:11] Spoken by millions of people in Rwanda. That’s a country in central Africa as synthetic imagery moves into the corporate mainstream big brands and the ad agency will gravy influence how people experience the technology. Pretoria says his company is exploring many uses for AI synthesized imagery with creation so far, including a Rembrandt style portrait and digitally made models, indistinguishable from real people.
[00:21:36] We can do it technically, but we’re going slowly in terms of deploying that to the market, he says, or the article has other examples that talks about including a couple of other kinds, but it’s, uh, that are doing well. I wouldn’t call them a similar, but doing intro things, the corporates in the case of AI.
[00:21:51] Oh, the conclusion I like here quite a bit. Shelly companies WPP general council is working on a set of ethical standards for synthetic [00:22:00] models and other imagery. Including when and how to disclose that something is not in fact what it seems well, you could actually apply that to a lot of advertising.
[00:22:08] Right. But that’s interesting. You have to go that route. I would say to set those ethical boundaries or understanding so that you are able to provide people with the credibility and trust in what you’re delivering, as far as communication. Uh, that they’re not being made fools of. And that’s how people tend to react when they know they’ve been hoodwinked in some way or another.
[00:22:29] Because to me, it’s very easy to do this cause you can, and if you set out the ethical guidelines, then that’s the very least you ought to be doing. But this to me is a milestone moment. It seems to me in terms of how this has been deployed in corporations.
[00:22:45] Shel Holtz: [00:22:45] Yeah. I’m very happy to see this. This is a, uh, Intelligent ethical use of this technology.
[00:22:51] And I think you and I would both agree that these are not really deep fakes. A deep fake is putting somebody else’s face [00:23:00] on the body of somebody who already exists or getting somebody to say something that they didn’t
[00:23:06] Neville Hobson: [00:23:06] it’s depletion purposes it’s for bad things.
[00:23:08] Shel Holtz: [00:23:08] Right. And the software for deep fakes is specifically referred to as deep pig software.
[00:23:13] Right? Uh, this, this is, uh, AI to create avatars essentially, but it’s a great use of that. If you, if you want to see, uh, the potential for this, there is this wonderful website called this person does not exist.com and every time you refresh it, you will see the image of somebody who looks for all the world.
[00:23:34] Like a real person who is not, they were purely created in artificial intelligence. Uh, of course there is a dark side. To this. I just read a Reuters piece this week, uh, about an activist couple who was attacked in an article by a guy named Oliver Taylor. He was ostensibly a student at the university of Birmingham.
[00:23:53] He had published a bunch of freelance articles in one of them. He attacked this activist couple, [00:24:00] uh, they were taken aback by it. They said, Oh no, we’re not terrorists. Like we’re. Being accused of, uh, so they started checking into them. The university couldn’t find any record of them. The newspapers he’d published in he’d pitched them stories cold over email.
[00:24:15] He didn’t ask for any payment, so they didn’t try to confirm his identity, but a couple of them have now removed his articles. Um, it turns out upon investigation. He does not exist even though there is this very realistic head and shoulders photo of him, uh, which turns out to be one of these AI avatars.
[00:24:33] He is exactly what you asked. House intelligence committee, chairman, Adam shift warned last year would be a ventriloquist dummy, uh, who knows who’s behind this fabrication, what their agenda is, but experts did analyze the photo and confirmed that it is not a real person. And I worry about how the use of this technology can cause really serious damage.
[00:24:55] And in this case, it could have, you have ruined a couple’s reputation and, and maybe [00:25:00] even has already done that. Right. But using this for, uh, corporate purposes, uh, for political purposes, you know, the mind boggles at where this could go.
[00:25:11] Neville Hobson: [00:25:11] No. You’re absolutely right. And so therefore you find that I would imagine WPP as one of the kind of showcase examples of how they’re doing this.
[00:25:20] They’ve clearly thought this through and to a significant extent. So it’s been modeled properly. They can look at the costs, see the cost benefit analysis. If you will, and come up with things like to do this, it’s going to save us X. A million probably. Uh, but yeah, looking at what it can do is clearly the driver of why they want to do it creating so many individually personalized video presentations in different languages by that same person to each individual employee out of the population of 50,000 are getting these things.
[00:25:49] That’s no small feat. Absolutely. Right. As you say the potential for, uh, either deliberate middle man. Well, feasance on the part of the organization or more [00:26:00] likely is something happens that they couldn’t control and bad guys got ahold of things or whatever. You gotta be ultra vigilant with this kind of thing.
[00:26:09] So on the one hand. You’ve got the tech that lets you do this. On the other hand, you’ve got the tech that lets you do this full time. I had intent as well. And so they’ve got to protect the employees and the organization against, uh, the fault of the Gates, the risks of that, uh, which the article doesn’t talk about that.
[00:26:26] Of course, I bet you, they are, they must be doing that. So if they’ve got lawyers, uh, working on ethical standards, I would imagine they’ve got all sorts of other. Uh, elements going on so that essentially they can say to employees, and I’m just looking at that audience for the time being that what you see, you know, to help them understand how it, how it all works.
[00:26:46] Uh, you can trust this when it comes from us. Uh, and we are a trustworthy employee employer and would not for a second do something that would place you in harm’s way or in danger or risk your [00:27:00] identity or personal safety or for any other reasons. So what, when you get one of these. You can be sure it is genuine from us.
[00:27:07] That’s a, that’s a pretty big project to undertake, but like everything today, shell with, um, with technology that enables people to do things for good or bad, particularly online, you got to realize that it is for the good or the bad. So you’ve got to pay attention to
[00:27:23] Shel Holtz: [00:27:23] yeah. And yeah, one of the things that WPP did, undoubtedly, if you take the David.
[00:27:28] Beckham example is they got him to sign on. In fact, they undone, we paid him his reputation, right? So is behind this. He knows that he is being turned into one of these videos in order to speak languages that clearly he doesn’t know how to speak, and that’s fine with him. And I think there’s this implicit agreement between the audience.
[00:27:50] And WPP and, and the, uh, channels through which this is being broadcast. Yes. That we understand that this is what’s happening and that’s fine [00:28:00] with us. You know, I hate to use a, a term that is really overused right now, but it’s going to be a new normal, um, it’s when it’s being used to create people who don’t exist in the, and the wool is being pulled over your eyes or David back into saying things, he never agreed to say that’s when we’re in trouble.
[00:28:18] Neville Hobson: [00:28:18] I totally agree with that. And I think then this then presents a significant opportunity as well as a major challenge to get this right and put in place everything I can’t imagine doing to protect everyone from all the possibilities that you can think of that could go wrong with this. Now the reality of course tells you that sooner or later something will go wrong, but you can only do what’s best to the extent that, uh, everyone realizes this is.
[00:28:47] This is, um, the best extent you can do this. And that’s the time when you judge, whether you should then do it. So we’ll see lots more experimentation with I’m sure, by the way, shall I think, um, did we say this was [00:29:00] unprecedented? Let’s not use that word. It’s not unprecedented. Uh, it’s actually something quite remarkable what a, what you can do with this kind of thing, but the risks are high.
[00:29:09] Shel Holtz: [00:29:09] Well, we’ve talked about tech talk before there has been so much news about the app, uh, over the last couple of weeks that is worth looking at it again. Uh, you know, tech talk has undergone a pretty serious transformation from its early days. When I first started looking at it, it was mostly lip sinking and dance videos from really, really young users.
[00:29:29] This was when I was getting up in presentations and saying, how many of you have heard of tech talk and not one person would raise their hand? Uh, how much has it changed? You may ask? Well, according to pointer that the journalism site, uh, journalists are using it to reach a wider audience, they’re using it to find stories and even teach media literacy.
[00:29:48] Uh, one example, CNNs max foster, who’s an anchor and correspondent based in London, started experimenting with it after he saw his. Kid using it. Uh, he started making just [00:30:00] fun videos. He did a lip sync to a song spicy peppermints, and I was a little surprised to see he had 183,000 views on that. So he started doing more serious journalism on it.
[00:30:11] For example, he did one that listed Corona virus deaths in countries that are led by women. Uh, that one has 2.3 million views. Now this, the news video service has a million and a half followers on tic talk. Uh, there’s a link to the pointer article in the show notes. It looks at other journalists who are using it, uh, which is, um, Going well, this use of tech talk by journalists because as one, a USC journalism professor put it, what really tends to work is a genuine member of the community produced in content in that language, in that space.
[00:30:48] And the pointer article says, you don’t just jump into tech, talk and start producing journalism. You have to become a member of the tech talk community first, and people get to know you a little bit, then they’ll [00:31:00] accept your sharing, that kind of thing. Then there’s the tail of Julian Bay. He’s a 20 year old Georgia state university student who shared a video he made on TechTalk.
[00:31:11] He shared it over Twitter, asking people to retweet it enough, enough times that Disney would come calling. Uh, so really create a video in which he. Pulls out a lightsaber and then suddenly he Spiderman and you gotta watch it. It’s great. Um, and Disney came calling, uh, their executive chairman, uh, replied to bass online saying the world’s gonna know your name.
[00:31:33] And of course we can’t ignore the fact that the reason the attendance at president Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Was so poorly attended, was that tech talk users, especially those in the K-pop crowd, uh, used tic talk to spread the word to people that they should snatch up as many tickets as possible in order to depress attendance.
[00:31:54] Uh, my daughter who says the ticktock has helped her survive being sheltered in place. Uh, [00:32:00] so I literally hundreds of these videos. And that may have caught the eye of the presidential administration, which is now studying tech talk with an eye toward banning it. Um, it’s not just because it was used to undermine, Trump’s need for large crowds though.
[00:32:15] It is owned by a Chinese company. Uh, even though they did just recently hire a Disney executive to be their CEO, uh, a deep dive by. Coders into the app found that it really does do some questionable things like accessing your phone’s clipboard. They promised last June they’d stop doing that after it was discovered, but that’s just one of the security issues that’s been uncovered, India, which, you know, they’ve never been best buds with China, uh, has abandoned despite the fact that Indian youth were really the first to take this up in a.
[00:32:48] Big way outside of China. Uh, it has been downloaded 2 billion times. There’s no questioning as popularity in some of the brands marketing on tech talk include guests, uh, the national [00:33:00] basketball association, red bull, Crocs Musinex Kool-Aid and Hewlett Packard. Uh, but users are already trying to figure out what to do if tectonic vanishes from their smartphones.
[00:33:11] One solution that they seem to be migrating toward is. Bite. This is the new short form video app from the creator of vine bite. Hasn’t gotten a lot of attention until now, other than the inevitable stories pointing out that the guy who created vine is out with a, a new updated version called bite. Uh, but just last week, bite downloads, surpassed tick tock.
[00:33:34] Downloads people are getting ready. Uh, and in the meantime, this book is getting ready to launch something called Instagram radio, which is a tech talk competitor. It’ll be in the U S and more than 50 other countries. According to an NBC news report like tech talk, Instagram let’s users make and share a 15 second video clip set to a vast catalog of music like tech talk users can also.
[00:33:58] Borrow and remix [00:34:00] audio from other people’s videos and like tech talk users can see their clips go viral in a featured reels section of the most popular videos. Snapchat’s jumping on board too. They’re testing a new user experience that lets users navigate through Snapchat’s public content with a vertical swiping motion.
[00:34:18] This is something that was popularized on tic talk. And if you use it talk, you know, the more you use it, the more natural that feels compares to horizontal swiping. So a tick tock band we’ll likely just mean migration to an alternative though. I don’t think any of them will use tech talks, algorithm, this dishes up videos based on what you’ve stopped and watched, not so much what you’ve liked and followed, which is why it can be so damn compelling.
[00:34:44] This story will undoubtedly continue to unfold.
[00:34:48] Neville Hobson: [00:34:48] I think you’re right with that. I mean, I tried tick tock when it first came out and, um, I didn’t continue because that’s just not me, that kind of video content creation. Uh, [00:35:00] and, uh, there was other platforms I was actually paying a lot more attention to, so I never really got back into it.
[00:35:07] Um, I look. Into it now and again, and then I dropped out of it now and again, that’s it. But yeah, I see what’s happening with it. Um, I think I mentioned we were chatting earlier, it’s it? It doesn’t seem to have it huge amount of attention over here in the way it does in the U S talking about the bank and alternatives.
[00:35:24] So it’s in the public consciousness more, I think, in, in America than it is over here. Uh, here though, it’s had. Talk recently in the context of the broader political, a conversation about China, uh, who are we in particular and the risks we all confront with China being so embedded in our day to day technology, all that kind of chat.
[00:35:45] Going on. Um, makes me wonder, are we actually sitting on the, on a volcano edge when you think about, uh, you know, Apple products in particular or made in China, think about anything you buy these days ranging from clothing to stuff that you [00:36:00] never imagined it made in China. So, um, it’s a paradox, isn’t it?
[00:36:04] You’ve got the. Political aspect of it and then the commercial aspects. And there’s either a huge, a huge, uh, uh, chasm about to open all their sorted out. But this is geopolitics. So, um, the talk about prohibiting tech doc though seems much more than political return. Does that, how it looks to you show?
[00:36:24] Shel Holtz: [00:36:24] Oh yeah.
[00:36:25] I, I think. They’re looking at it very seriously. Uh, there are genuine concerns. I’m waiting for the, the CEO. Again, an American used to be an executive with Disney to step forward and address this. I mean, this is a for profit organization that is making advertising dollars from big American companies that I think they don’t want to see go away.
[00:36:45] Uh, so I think they would rather stop collecting data on behalf of the Chinese government. If in fact that’s what they’re doing, there’s no evidence to suggest that. Just yet, uh, then lose, you know, these tens of [00:37:00] millions of users and all of that, all the advertising dollars that it’s bringing. Uh, I use it more than I ever thought I’ve would.
[00:37:08] I’ve used the line that I used to use. When I talked about it before people knew what it was, it was, uh, uh, I, I flipped through it and I go, God, this stuff is horrible. And I can’t stop doing it. Yeah. But now what I find is that there are people doing these 15 second rule recipes, um, and I’ve made a few of them and their good work.
[00:37:28] Uh, and because I stop and look at them,
[00:37:31] Neville Hobson: [00:37:31] Ticktock
[00:37:32] Shel Holtz: [00:37:32] delivers more of them. To me, I’m seeing more and more recipes. Every time I go through it. Now there’s something else I have to try. Uh, you know, they’re, they’re basically recipe hacks. There’s, there’s one that is a breakfast case of DIA where you start by putting the scrambled eggs in the box and then laying the tortilla over the top of it and then folding it over.
[00:37:51] I mean, it, it, it works just fine. It’s awesome. Yeah, I’ll take all of these that I can get these, these cooking hacks. So yeah, I think this is what’s driving a lot [00:38:00] of people to use it as they’re finding stuff that just resonates with them because tick, talk’s going to give you more of it when you send that signal that you like it.
[00:38:08] Neville Hobson: [00:38:08] So I must have dropped out just before they started sending you more because I got to the stage you were right. So this is all horrible. And I did stop. So yeah, well it’s, this is. Clearly, it’s got a very serious aspect to it. I think you said it actually, if there’s does fall victim to political maneuvering, uh, what happens to the millions of people who are using it?
[00:38:32] Let’s say it does get banned. I mean, India have banned
[00:38:34] Shel Holtz: [00:38:34] it, right. It’s Bandon
[00:38:35] Neville Hobson: [00:38:35] and dome and have bandit. Um, so, um, I’ve seen some of the reporting I have seen here. It talks about the CEO of ticktock talking about the, gonna change this. And they’re looking into that and, and they’re, they’re intend to do this, or blah, blah, blah, all this kind of talk.
[00:38:49] Um, but I would say again, as far as anyone can make any informed opinion based on political developments going on, it could, because it could all change next week or tomorrow even, uh, will this [00:39:00] actually happen? I wonder.
[00:39:02] Dan York: [00:39:02] Greeting shell Neville. And if our listeners all around the world, it’s Daniel coming at you from a hot and steamy shower, Melbourne, Vermont, where we’re in the middle of a heat wave.
[00:39:10] And, you know, it’s a hot online too these days with so many companies trying to hone in on the fact that we’re all at home because of this pandemic with more and more capabilities coming through all sorts of different, you know, live streaming and video and all this kind of messaging going on. A couple of things that caught my eyes since the last time, Facebook announced that they added screen-sharing to their messenger video calls so that if you’re having a video call through messenger with people, you can now share your phone while you’re on.
[00:39:42] Uh, while you’re on iOS or Android, you don’t have to be on the desktop app. So they, they view it as something that people can connect and be able to share things while you’re online. But. Think about that power sharing from your mobile device right there, where you’re at, where you’re doing things. Now, Microsoft [00:40:00] also rolled out a ton of things in teams this past while, or announced them.
[00:40:04] Some of them are now, some of them are coming. They have a together mode where you all then your avatars can show up in one kind of combined. Virtual background, which I don’t know. I haven’t tried it yet. I’m not a teams user, but I could see that maybe it’s a better way to work with it. They also provide some new tools for showing videos or showing slides, showing things while you’re in the middle of a meeting.
[00:40:26] Everybody’s trying to get in on a new way to make meetings better online, which not to be out done. There’s new apps coming around. One that I think shell might’ve, I think shell, you gave this to was from Phil Libin, who was part of the Evernote CEO back in the early parts of things. It is literally M M H M M as something you might say when you’re in the middle of a conversation.
[00:40:51] But it’s Mmh mm.app, but a tech crunch story was talking about it. And there’s a little video it’s only available right now for the most recent version of it. [00:41:00] But it’s pretty slick what it shows I’ve put in for an invite, but I don’t have one yet, but it allows you to go and very easily move around, have, uh, backgrounds have.
[00:41:10] Different, you know, it’s displays, uh, slides, videos, other things going on behind you. Now I do this when I’m live streaming you some using something called studio OBS studio, or you might use this with wire cast or live stream producer, other pieces, but this is looking like it’s trying to make it
[00:41:27] Shel Holtz: [00:41:27] so that you could really do this all within your
[00:41:29] Dan York: [00:41:29] browser in some way or within the app and not in quietly.
[00:41:32] Sure. What’s there. But. Something to watch because it may make that kind of duction values of streaming that much better stay tuned to go and see. Now it’s not just in video conferencing that we’re seeing a lot of activity this time, Instagram again from Facebook. Confirmed that they’re going to be launching there rival to tick tock called reels.
[00:41:55] Shel Holtz: [00:41:55] Yes. R E L
[00:41:57] Dan York: [00:41:57] S. They’re going to be launching that in the U S [00:42:00] and 50 other countries, early August, trying to get in on, on just the buzz around tick and everything that’s happening out there. Now it’s currently launched in India and in some other countries around the world where people can see this and, and work with it.
[00:42:15] India is also where Twitter has been launching fleets, which is its version of ephemeral stories. Can you say Snapchat that is Cohen on their launched. They’ve launched that in India, trying it out in other different places.
[00:42:29] Shel Holtz: [00:42:29] All of these people,
[00:42:30] Dan York: [00:42:30] all of these, these apps and services, trying to converge in different ways.
[00:42:34] Now not to be left out, Amazon of course has also jumped in to, uh, to letting opening up to life streamers, to broadcast on Amazon live. Now you may or may not have been aware that Amazon launched its Amazon live service. I think it was last year or so, really, basically as a home shopping network kind of thing, where you could go on and watch videos about Amazon products, et cetera.
[00:43:00] [00:43:00] Well, now they’ve opened this up through their Amazon influencer program where people can go and be streaming on Amazon live. So yet another platform. So again, communicators, if you’re doing something with companies that are selling something, Amazon, this may be something you want to look in to, you know, how can you potentially be doing live streaming through the Amazon platform to again, help promote the products and things that you’re working with in that regard?
[00:43:28] You know, I mean, obviously it’s all commercial. If you’re on Amazon, it’s actually interesting. When I look at some of what’s on the Amazon live, which you can just go to amazon.com/live. You can see what’s there when a stream is live, it’s kind of twitched, like in the sense that it has a little streaming, um, uh, chat section next to it.
[00:43:47] Other different kinds of things are happening in there in all that space. So lots of stuff happening on there, amazing things to be thinking about as communicators opportunities, for more engagement, for working with your audiences in so many ways.
[00:44:00] [00:43:59] Shel Holtz: [00:43:59] Let me
[00:44:00] Dan York: [00:44:00] leave you with a tip though. Something on something completely different.
[00:44:03] The other thing, you know, I talk about a lot in times is analytics. And I would be concerned. I think we have to be thinking about what comes next for analytics. There was a real concern coming out of Apple’s WWDC that Safari might be blocking Google analytics, and it came out that they’re not writing now, but it was a warning shot that maybe they could, at some point, as people get more privacy aware, there was also a study coming out on July 6th by somebody.
[00:44:36] Who talked about, uh, only 9% of visitors give GDPR consent to be tracked in the EU. It’s now required. The new guidance around cookies is that you must be able to have people opt out and you must present it in a way there’s more, you can’t just put up that banner that says, click this to continue. You actually have to kind of opt people out before they go on there.
[00:44:59] You know, if you’re [00:45:00] dealing with people in the EU, working with this. You’ve got to give this. And so people are opting out of some of this kind of analytics. Now we’ll say that the
[00:45:09] Shel Holtz: [00:45:09] author of that particular
[00:45:10] Dan York: [00:45:10] story was, uh, is also one of the cofounders behind an interesting service, trying to work with this called plausible analytics.
[00:45:18] It’s plausible, PLA U S I B L e.io. And it’s a, an analytic service that, uh, that does not use.
[00:45:29] Dan York: [00:45:29] but it doesn’t put any cookies on somebody’s system. And so it doesn’t have the same need for a cookie banner. Now I’m trying it out on a couple of my sites, to be honest and comparing it with G Google analytics to see, you know, how does it work in that you, you don’t get some of the state that you would, but it’s something to be thinking about.
[00:45:48] What. You know, what, what comes next as people I’ll start to look at ways to PR to protect consumers against the
[00:45:55] Shel Holtz: [00:45:55] overreach that we’ve
[00:45:56] Dan York: [00:45:56] seen with some of the different commercial platforms that are out there. [00:46:00] So check it out, read the stories, look at, think about how can you do analytics differently in some way.
[00:46:06] Let me just leave you with one final thought. A colleague pointed out something really cool. As we all sit
[00:46:12] Shel Holtz: [00:46:12] here in our
[00:46:12] Dan York: [00:46:12] homes. If you go to window
[00:46:15] Shel Holtz: [00:46:15] dash, swap.
[00:46:17] Dan York: [00:46:17] Swip window-swap.com. It’s a way to look out people’s windows. In other parts of the world, brought to you by people across the internet. You can even submit your own, you know, a video and watch what’s there and you could see this kind of cool then it’s time when we’re all stuck inside without any way to travel.
[00:46:35] That’s all for now. I’m going to go back to hot and steamy Vermont here. Uh, you can find more my audio and writing at Dan York dot Emmy, and I’ll talk to you next month. Bye for now.
[00:46:45] Neville Hobson: [00:46:45] So we’re in the middle of July. Uh, in fact, as we’re recording this episode, 18th of July to be precise, just past the middle, halfway through the Facebook boycott month.
[00:46:55] Uh, I think we talked about that the last episode, if I recall correctly, show that, talk about [00:47:00] it. Um, a big advertisers last time I looked is well over a thousand. Companies, mostly U S many global have paused their advertising on Facebook for the month of July in support of the stop paid for profit campaign by some not all, but generally as a kind of a symbolic protest.
[00:47:20] Against Facebook and how they run the platform. That’s putting it in the simplest sense. So this has prompted a lot of talk about social platforms, social networks, generally, uh, and, uh, it caught my eye. There’s terrific story I read by, um, uh, by Willa Raymond’s who’s a senior writer, one zero at medium publish is a great newsletter.
[00:47:39] Um, Um, I’ve forgotten the name, but patterns changing pattern. I think it’s called, uh, email newsletter, which I get it’s good. But he had this really terrific piece that got me thinking quite a bit. The headline was the grab of me. What, what a better social network would look like prompted largely not entirely by, uh, by what’s happened with Facebook.
[00:47:58] So he says the [00:48:00] dispiriting stalemate. In the Facebook advertising boycott coming at a moment of broader social unrest and political permit makes freshly appealing the old question of what a better, healthier social media landscape might look like. If we could imagine such a thing I would add, are you remember Mastodon?
[00:48:17] I mean, it was just one example, I guess in my mind, I’m still on methadone by the way. And Oxford on and. Two or three of the other instances? Well, I haven’t been six months. Last time I looked, I was still there and I’ve acquired lots more followers, but I’ve not done anything. So I need to not do stuff like that.
[00:48:35] You know, join something then vanish for a year. When I come back, it’s still there, you know? I was still in a second life too, by the way, with that. So, um, but a few weeks ago says arenas. So New York times writer, Charlie was our casually tweeted, uh, a version of this question to his followers, not expecting much of a response, odd question, but what are your most farfetched utopian ideas for fixing [00:49:00] social media platforms?
[00:49:00] He asked the stuff that’s likely never, ever going to happen. So that was at the beginning of July. And, um, uh, uh, or Emma says more than a thousand replies later. So I’ve not looked at, um, uh, was L’s Twitter handle since the beginning of July. So it’s probably a lot more than that now. Uh, but more than a thousand replies later, the thread was packed with provocative proposals, which together show that there is not only a tremendous appetite for change, but a constellation of bright ideas for what that change could be.
[00:49:32] So arenas. Uh, summarizes a good handful of these. I’m going to highlight two, two of them caught my eye. Cause I thought I like these a lot. Uh, I look at the, um, the upsides mentioned, I look at the downside and I, I tend to think, you know, uh, will these ever, ever happen? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it. So here’s the first one.
[00:49:51] The idea, make social networks, nonprofits, and the people who propose that idea to individuals called Shane Farrow in Jane and Wong. The [00:50:00] dream is how it starts liberated from the profit motive. Social media companies could stop optimizing users’ feeds for engagement, stop harvesting their data, invest more in human moderation and user support and organize their networks around public spirited values rather than market dominance.
[00:50:18] The downside. Unless you could somehow insulate them from competition with, for profit rivals nonprofit social networks that don’t optimize for attention might risk losing well people’s attention. One can imagine a nonprofit social network becoming the internet equivalent of PBS, serving vegetables to sober-minded holsters while the youngsters flee to fund freewheeling alternatives.
[00:50:43] Interestingly. The next one of the two, the final one I’m gonna mention here, uh, go to go to, um, uh, Willa Ramos’s peace to get the rest of it. And further analysis is it was worth a read. So this one, the idea restrict personal data collection and behavioral advertising. [00:51:00] The proponents are David Carroll and Jason Kent.
[00:51:03] Here’s the dream dismantling surveillance. Capitalism would not only restore users’ privacy and autonomy. It would reduce platforms, incentives to drill ever deeper into our lives and manipulate our behavior. Why it’s Gill at Edelman recently explored in depth how this might play out. And there’s a link in the wired story to that piece.
[00:51:22] Here’s the downside. Less relevant ads, more paywalls, and the hit to small businesses for whom behavioral targeting works far better than the contextual variety. As free social networks become less profitable. We might also see less innovation and competition and less investment expensive human moderation.
[00:51:40] So just two examples. Of, um, what a better social network would look like. What do you reckon show?
[00:51:46] Shel Holtz: [00:51:46] Yeah, I liked a lot of these. I didn’t, I have to say I didn’t care for all of them. Uh, one of these was to ban algorithmic amplification, uh, and you know, scope out of control. That’s what let’s go back to the.
[00:51:59] Tech-Talk [00:52:00] story. The reason you pay attention is that figure out what you like, and they show you more of that. And I can see if we get a nonprofit social network that doesn’t have the, the, the young kids who are off doing more exciting things, uh, and end up scrolling through all kinds of posts people have made and go boring.
[00:52:19] Don’t care. Boring don’t care. Uh, I want to see stuff that appeals to me. And I mean, the, you know, algorithm is not a bad word. I mean, they can be misused, but they can also help. Uh, so that’s when I ha I have an issue with, I think, yeah, if there were a nonprofit. Social network. I should be able to switch to the actual, uh, reverse chronological feed and see what my friends have posted.
[00:52:48] Uh, but I also should be able to go see the stuff that my signals have indicated I am actually interested in, um, in terms of the personal data collection and behavioral advertising. I happen to like [00:53:00] it. Um, I’m not going to talk about the ethics of it. But I like seeing ads for things that I’m interested in and not seeing ads for things that I absolutely don’t care about.
[00:53:10] It needs to get better. I want to stop seeing ads for things that I just actually bought. Uh, but the whole idea of this being tailored to you MI is one of the benefits of living in this. Digital world. Um, there was one though that I really liked, they said stop putting white men in charge. And I just said, bingo.
[00:53:32] Yes. Yeah. That’s not going very well. Is it mr. Zuckerberg? Although, you know, with Sheryl Sandberg, you got to add some white women to that mix.
[00:53:41] Neville Hobson: [00:53:41] Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. It’s interesting. I mean, I think interestingly, you talk about targeted advertising. I’m the opposite on platforms like Facebook, for instance, I, so we have switched off completely personalized advertising.
[00:53:54] And part of the reason is that they therefore don’t grab all my data [00:54:00] and vacuum it out of the ether for the nefarious purposes. It doesn’t seem to make any difference. I still get served up ads on that. Make me think. They’re tracking me cause I just was there on Sunday. I’m seeing ads for this. Of course they are.
[00:54:12] But at least I feel like I’m controlling something here. So some platforms I do because I want to get the, uh, the personalized dance. Um, but social network typically I tend not to, I think the. The noble ideals or some of these terrific, particularly the nonprofit one that appeals to me hugely, but the downsides clearly indicate the extreme difficulty in doing this as the issue.
[00:54:36] Shel Holtz: [00:54:36] One of the problems with going nonprofit is where do you get the investment to build out the great features of a, of a world class social network? Uh, and where do you get the incentive to spend all of your time trying to create. This, uh, I, I can see altruistic people, well, who wants to, uh, but they do have to feed their families and keep roofs over their heads.
[00:54:59] So, I mean, [00:55:00] I know there are employees of NPR and PBS who make a perfectly good livings, but these are expensive beasts, social networks. You look at what? Yeah. LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook are investing to make these things work the way users want them to work and to provide features that keep people coming back.
[00:55:21] Dan York: [00:55:21] Um,
[00:55:22] Shel Holtz: [00:55:22] I question how much a nonprofit would be able to do that. I love the concept, uh, practically I just wonder about, you know, these are gonna end up looking like very, very old fashioned social networks at some point.
[00:55:36] Neville Hobson: [00:55:36] Yeah. I mean, it’s a big question. This is, this could be another topic for a zoom chat, the following Thursday show, actually.
[00:55:41] But I mean, it seems to me that, um, nonprofits, uh, why not charge people, um, uh, to be belonged to a nonprofit social network. I’m just throwing that out there because there’s other issues that are raised that, that, that, uh, brings forward. I think. In terms of your status as a nonprofit, which jurisdiction would that be anyway, [00:56:00] but I think we have been there before for you.
[00:56:03] And I’ve talked about this many times over the past decade on alternatives to these platforms. So mass Don is the most recent one that comes to my mind because I was a participant in it. I didn’t see it as an alternative to Twitter. Actually. I saw it as like a different place to be. Um, and is suddenly, was that, or is that I should say, um, there’s others too, that that’s come up to serve niche audiences.
[00:56:25] And there’s even one that serves criminals that was busted by Scotland yard a month back that had thousands and thousands of crooks using it. And they. Literally did what hackers do they hacked into their network. They got all the names and addresses the dates of shipments of cocaine, gun trafficking, slavery, the what’s evil stuff, truly evil.
[00:56:45] And they rested a lot of people across Europe. So that was, that was amazing. But at the core of it was this private sector. So network that didn’t have very good security. So, but, um, uh, these are great examples and the ones you, you touched on were on, [00:57:00] um, well Ramos’s fuller piece are also worth looking at the pros and the cons in each case.
[00:57:06] So this is a good, uh, almost like an intellectual exercise. Let’s just think this through a little bit. So for me, it makes social network nonprofits and restricting person data collection where the ones that I would vote for.
[00:57:17] Shel Holtz: [00:57:17] Yeah. Have you checked out PGX tech yet?
[00:57:21] Neville Hobson: [00:57:21] I haven’t,
[00:57:22] Shel Holtz: [00:57:22] this is one Shelly Palmer.
[00:57:23] The, the marketing guy, uh, has as created. I signed on to, and I check it now and then, but basically he said, I want a social network where people are going to talk about things I want to talk about. Uh, it’s a very clean interface. Uh, the people who are participating are mainly, uh, lurking at this point, it seems there are a few who are actually posting and a lot of it is sharing of.
[00:57:45] Media content, but, um, you know, this is the kind of thing that could work where somebody says I’m going to build something that I want people to participate in. So another one to take a look
[00:57:56] Neville Hobson: [00:57:56] at, well,
[00:57:57] Shel Holtz: [00:57:57] I’ll put a link to that in the show notes.
[00:58:00] [00:57:59] Neville Hobson: [00:57:59] Yeah. Okay. I mean, anyone could do that really? Couldn’t they, or you and I could do that.
[00:58:03] I wait, we kind of did with ’em. Well, Well, Facebook group, Google plus before that.
[00:58:09] Shel Holtz: [00:58:09] Yeah, but he’s, he’s actually built, built this from the ground up. It is his own unique interface. I have no idea what tools he’s using and he has the following to bring people aboard. So, so far he’s not charging anyone?
[00:58:24] Neville Hobson: [00:58:24] No.
[00:58:25] Okay. Well, lots of, lots of potential though. It seems.
[00:58:28] Shel Holtz: [00:58:28] A research company called strategy analytics is predicting audits in virtually virtual reality markets will recover big way next year, uh, using the label XR that’s extended reality, uh, covers augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. The company predicts total XR shipments, creed sixfold through 2025.
[00:58:51] With her hardware revenues surpassing $28 billion annually. That year, uh, Facebook is ramping up production of its Oculus [00:59:00] headsets, especially the quest, which is the standalone device that doesn’t require you to be tethered by a cable, to a computer. That’s the one I have. And I have to tell you, I use it every single day.
[00:59:10] Uh, mostly I’m working out racquetball and boxing are the exercises I engage in most frequently. Um, the company is looking at growth of 50% from a year ago. If you try to buy one of these things right now, mostly most of the time you’ll find that it’s back ordered. So I’m a little surprised. I, I would think that during the panic with people stuck at home, people would be all over these, you know, just put on a headset and transport yourself.
[00:59:36] Somewhere else that’s gotta be desirable. Uh, just immersing yourself somewhere other than the apartment you’ve been in since March. Uh, how appealing is that? I mean, just yesterday after my workout, I took a tour of Queensland Australia later today. Uh, I’m planning to watch a 30 minute VR movie called gloomy eyes, which is up for an Emmy nomination and the outstanding original interactive program [01:00:00] category.
[01:00:00] It was just ported over to the quest and the buzz over this thing is incredible. Um, I also grabbed another one called traveling wall black, which they described as a cinematic view, our experience that immerses viewers in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans, uh, it’s also an Emmy nominee in the same category.
[01:00:20] Uh, Oculus is giving that one away for free. And one of the things I read about that is that it takes advantage of, of the increased empathy you get when you’re immersed in these stories. Uh, the pandemic is also leading organizations to turn to VR as a new way to deliver what they used to share in person.
[01:00:39] One of my favorite examples is music. For instance, London’s Brixton Academy is hosting a series of VR gigs, uh, working with a concert promoter live nation. And a VR company, uh, that recently produced something called wireless connect, uh, which was held recently, uh, in lieu of the cancelled [01:01:00] wireless festival.
[01:01:01] Don’t know what that is, but there you go, uh, live from Oh two, uh, the Brixton Academy’s thing is going to feature unique live performances from the London venue. We have no idea yet who’s going to be performing. But I love live music. And while some bands have taken to performing at drive in movie theaters, getting a ticket is hard and they’re not exactly going out on tour.
[01:01:26] So yeah, I would definitely put on a headset and watch a show that way. I also don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do an annual shareholder meeting that way or a company town hall. I mean, it was sure beat the heck out of doing it on zoom, uh, which leads me to remind you to check out all of the content out there on zoom fatigue.
[01:01:43] Uh, I think I. Did a search on the phrase, zoom fatigue and found 340,000 articles. Every one of them written since March. Uh,
[01:01:52] Neville Hobson: [01:01:52] my, one of my, one of my posts has gotta be in there that shit,
[01:01:55] Shel Holtz: [01:01:55] undoubtedly, uh, I also had a price Waterhouse Coopers report on [01:02:00] how virtual reality is redefining soft skills training.
[01:02:04] Uh, their research showed that virtual reality can help business leaders upskill their employees faster, even at a time when training budgets may be shrinking. And in person training may be off the table because of social distancing. Uh, VR learners were four times faster to train than in the classrooms.
[01:02:21] 275% more confident of their ability to apply the skills they learned in the training. 3.7, five times more emotionally connected to the content than classroom learners and four times more focused than their e-learning peers. Now while the strategy analytics research as VR hit a road bump, rather than another uptick, as a result of the virus, augmented reality has actually gotten a boost.
[01:02:49] From the pandemic, according to e-marketer more than 83 million Americans interacted with some form of AR at least once a month over the past year. But the Corona [01:03:00] virus has escalated three major trends driving AR adoption into the mainstream. Those are a hunger for unique experiences. Again, the idea that you can do something right.
[01:03:09] Outside the house without leaving the house a demand for differentiated content and a shift in brand strategy. Ivan Markman, the author of the article in campaign us. So that I read about this says the pandemic has cut off brands from a number of ways. They traditionally interacted with tumors. And so they’re investing in the AR experience as an alternative.
[01:03:32] Pushing all this along is the emergence of AR for the web, the use of AR and wearables and connected devices and a surge in the growth of the pool of developers who can develop AR content. So, um, Both VR and AR I think are going to get, yeah, huge. Now this doesn’t mean that I think it’s the fourth transformation that, uh, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel claimed it would be.
[01:03:56] Yeah, it was the next thing. After the phone, people were going to abandon their [01:04:00] phones and walk around with AR glasses on still don’t think that’s going to happen. But as a training tool, as an entertainment device. Yeah. I think they’re both going to be really, really big.
[01:04:13] Neville Hobson: [01:04:13] Yeah, I think you, you may well be right.
[01:04:14] I’ve not immersed myself into it to the extent you have. And to AR uh, I still got a set of goggles that I got from a Swedish retailer here called Plaza Olsen, who are big in Europe. Um, that is the best divisive it’s type I’ve had made a cardboard.
[01:04:34] Shel Holtz: [01:04:34] It’s the one you put your phone in, right?
[01:04:36] Neville Hobson: [01:04:36] You put your phone in?
[01:04:37] Absolutely fabulous. It works great when I pick it up and I see somebody, they want me to try that. So I never seriously got into AI, which now I think about it is rather strange. Cause it’s a kind of thing I, I normally would get immersed into. So I’m actually going to spend a bit more time on it. Just listen to what you’ve just been saying.
[01:04:52] I think you’re right. Uh, I never did, but there’s some things I. Come across quite frequently on new content, [01:05:00] particularly, um, uh, along the lines of the stuff you’ve mentioned, for example tours. Uh, that was one that, uh, I did look at, uh, online concert from a concert hall that was truly quite something seeing it, uh, the, the way in which you could.
[01:05:14] View the orchestra. Um, I, I’m not sure if I thinking back on it, was it a synthesized video anyway? I don’t know, but, but it was, it was something. So I’ll take a look at that.
[01:05:24] Shel Holtz: [01:05:24] Well, the data says that the manufacturer of these headsets that you put your phone in is declining and will decline even more as people get into the headsets, especially ones like the quest.
[01:05:37] Don’t require you to be cabled up to the computer.
[01:05:40] Neville Hobson: [01:05:40] Yeah. Yeah, no, I get, I get it. Of course my, my, my things, but a cardboard, uh, sticking a phone in and it costs me, I think, five pounds. That’s about all. So I was quite happy with that at the time. Wouldn’t cut it for the stuff you’d want to do now.
[01:05:53] Definitely not. Good story that would show I have to say. I’m sorry. So, [01:06:00] uh, let’s see. Yeah. So we’ve come back to actual reality now, uh, with a story, um, that is a bit sobering, but it’s not surprising. I suppose you could say a BBC report again, the headline was the grabber, the world faces. Staggering job challenge says Microsoft president.
[01:06:21] Yeah. And it’s an interview with Brad Smith. Who’s the president of Microsoft, uh, who says that the, this staggering challenge is that a quarter of a billion people are set to lose their jobs. In 2020. So it’s this year between now and the end of the year is already started. And by the end of 2020 250 million people would have lost their jobs around the world.
[01:06:44] Many ones will need to learn new skills to get jobs according to Smith. Or even to hang on to their old ones. As the digitization of economies raises a hat, Microsoft recently announced a plan to deliver skills and training to 25 million people globally [01:07:00] this year, offering training skills, certifications, and help finding jobs.
[01:07:05] They’re going to do this by delivering this training, uh, and the whole thing, skills, acquisition certification through LinkedIn, which they own. And that makes total sense to me to use that platform, very business focused, but Smith said that many jobs in many countries would be beyond the reach of digital retraining.
[01:07:25] Again, I can understand that because some jobs, I would imagine you can’t retrain the job holders for a digital environment. Um, so it’s not the answer to everything, but it’s an interesting initiative that struck me. Um, Microsoft is going to donate $20 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. In this program, as well as free use of services like LinkedIn, which, uh, as the BBC reporter noted will strike many people as fairly small.
[01:07:54] Given this as a company whose value has increased by $500 billion in the past year, [01:08:00] if big us tech looked powerful before, COVID-19 it looks imperious. Now it says the BBC report, just five companies make up 20% of the value. Oh, the S and P 500 index. Does Smith understand why many people feel big tech is too powerful?
[01:08:18] And these reigning in his response? I think people have more questions than ever, and that’s not a bad thing to ensure that technology is a force for good. Governments need to move more quickly to develop technology focused laws while tech companies need to exert some money. Self-restraint fundamentally the responsibility of companies and countries is to make sure that people have the skills to ensure that the benefits, rather than suffering the consequences of the changes being unleashed.
[01:08:45] I think we all need to recognize it. That tech cannot solve everything, but almost nothing. I think it would be solved without us. We need to be at the table. Now the last statement strikes me as a little. Condescending
[01:08:57] Shel Holtz: [01:08:57] serving. Right. Great.
[01:08:58] Neville Hobson: [01:08:58] Yeah. So serving. Right. [01:09:00] But I like to think that. Uh, what Microsoft is intending, uh, is something we need.
[01:09:07] We really, really, really need more organizations to do to do things like this. But as Smith mentions, it’s really, governments are really in the, in the, in the, in the spotlight here. Yeah. In terms of enabling these things to happen. And that would take the form perhaps of things like tax. Thanks for offering these kinds of service, you know, eliminate.
[01:09:30] A value added tax or sales tax or whatever, if you have to pay for these programs or better still subsidize them, these are the kinds of things that, uh, everyone I’ve seen. I’ve seen talk about this in many quarters over the past couple. Well, the month’s about helping people transition. To the new normal that’s coming.
[01:09:48] And again, you mentioned earlier, not that phrase again. Yeah. Slightly different. Meaning this time the new normal that’s coming is going to be something where you need to retrain. You cannot do your job, uh, without retraining, [01:10:00] uh, or your job is likely to disappear. Pierre, in which case you need to find something that’s re skills you and many people need a, I would say actually most people will need help to do that.
[01:10:11] So things like, I mean, going back to LinkedIn again, uh, the LinkedIn learning programs that, uh, that LinkedIn offers started offering, uh, some months ago now, uh, that enable you to access training programs and courses created by other LinkedIn users. And you can also create your own training programs that you can actually deliver to private audiences, EEG.
[01:10:32] Fellow employees in your own company. So, uh, that is a great initiative already that’s in place, but it needs much more than that. And of course, I’m saying these words, uh, as somebody who is living in a Western European country, a developed market with easy access to all of this, I’ve got fast broadband access to many, many people.
[01:10:52] What about those countries that don’t have that? How are they going to get this delivered? And it causes all very. Kind of English language [01:11:00] focused, although it’s not the only language naturally, but what about countries in central and Southern Africa and in Latin America, Southeast Asia who have probably more acute requirements for retraining then that I might have in Western Europe.
[01:11:13] So that’s where governments need to come in. So it’s not just out of initiatives that some would argue a very self serving. Uh, I don’t. Accuse Microsoft at all. Frankly, I think it’s a noble thing that they’re doing, but this is scratching the surface. We need more of this now, but this is a terrific start, I think.
[01:11:29] Shel Holtz: [01:11:29] Oh, absolutely. And I believe that organizations even outside of tech would be well served to develop training programs. For people who are not employees to skill up on the areas of expertise, uh, within those organizations, I guess, as everyone knows, I work in the construction industry now, uh, and there is a shortage of skilled labor out there.
[01:11:52] People don’t want to work, uh, with a hammer, uh, at a saw, uh, outside where it’s brutally hot [01:12:00] or, or, you know, freezing cold when they can make good money writing code in the comfort of a, of an office or their home. Uh, with a keyboard and a monitor and a good internet connection. So why aren’t we out there teaching labor skills, uh, to say the disadvantaged community where people need jobs, uh, you know, we’re not hiring them because they don’t have the skills we’re going to wait for someone else to do that.
[01:12:21] And what kind of reputation do we build when we do that? So I think it is incumbent upon organizations to start providing that kind of training and these tools that are available now, like LinkedIn learning. I think our ideal. For that?
[01:12:36] Neville Hobson: [01:12:36] Absolutely. It’s a good start.
[01:12:39] Shel Holtz: [01:12:39] Well, that’ll do it for this episode for immediate release episode number 197 for Monday, July 20th, 2020.
[01:12:47] Uh, don’t forget our zoom chats fir zoom chats on Thursdays at 1:00 PM Eastern time. And we have. Themes for the next two. Right? We’ve decided that in the course of recording today, [01:13:00] this coming through Thursday, it’ll be empathy and emotion in communication. And then after that, yeah, will be the ideal social network, uh, the following Thursday.
[01:13:11] So. Keep that in mind. And I will definitely broadcast those out over all of the usual social channels to let you know that that’s coming. Uh, also our next episode of 14 immediate release will be posted on Monday, August 17th. So keep an eye out for that. Do hope that you will comment because people have just stopped commenting a hundred a show.
[01:13:33] I remember back in the days, Neville, where we had so many, any comments that that’s what took up the show, who would talk about the things that listeners. Told us in the comments, send a comment by email to fir firstname.lastname@example.org attach up to a three minute audio file. If you’d like us to play it a record, a comment directly from the fir website that send voicemail tap on the right hand side of the page is where you do that record up to 90 seconds.
[01:13:59] If your comment [01:14:00] is longer than that, Record two of them. I swear. I know how to put them together. Leave a comment directly in the show, the notes for this episode at F I, our podcast network.com. Share your thoughts in the fir community on Facebook and please wherever you get. Yeah. Your podcasts. If they have a rating and review function, a rate and review fir so we can find new listeners and until.
[01:14:24] August 17th, that will be a 30 for for immediate release.