1. How the NDP blatantly and shamelessly attempt to defend skirting election laws

    Agree with them or not, Elections Ontario provides some strict rules for social media use in Ontario during elections. Blackout periods imposed for traditional advertising have been extended to digital media, often leaving room for interpretation of what is and what is not allowed the day before and day of an election.

    However, one thing is crystal clear: paid advertising intended to sway a voter is strictly prohibited during the blackout.

    But the NDP don’t seem to care about this.

    Hiding behind the veil of offering “services to voters”, they are blatantly and shamelessly attempting to skirt the law and advertise their candidate when they are not legally allowed to.


    Look above.

    Doesn’t that look a LOT like an ad for Wayne Gates?

    Candidate’s name? Check. Party colours and fonts? Massive picture of Wayne Gates on it? Check.

    Looks like an ad to me.

    So here’s the defence…

    Yep. That little blue box is what makes the NDP think what they are doing here is a-okay.

    'They are advertising “services” on election day, NOT Wayne Gates.'

    The trouble is they aren’t actually listing any services. They are only asking questions.

    “Want a million dollars?”….

    Asking a question really doesn’t mean much of anything.

    Skirting the law ethically questionable. Doing it wrong is legally questionable.

    This type of tactic is just plain wrong and I hope Elections Ontario investigates accordingly.

  2. The extreme error of interpreting stats in isolation (or reading them like tea leaves)

    Today mobile analytics heavyweight, Flurry, posted a report based on data is collected from over 1 billion smartphones and tablets it detected in February 2013.

    Link: http://blog.flurry.com/bid/95652/Size-Matters-for-Connected-Devices-Phablets-Don-t

    The report analyzed usage amongst the top 200 unique device types detected, and broke usage down by screen size. Specifically, Flurry broke devices into five categories:

    1. Small phones (e.g., most Blackberries), 3.5” or under screens
    2. Medium phones (e.g., iPhone), between 3.5” - 4.9” screens
    3. Phablets (e.g., Galaxy Note), 5.0” - 6.9” screens
    4. Small Tablets (e.g., Kindle Fire), 7.0” - 8.4” screens
    5. Full-size tablets (e.g., the iPad), 8.5” or greater screens

    Flurry demonstrated that “phablet” usage in the dataset was not enough to show serious market penetration, and declared this form factor a fad.

    Their interpretation is flawed for a few reasons and should serve as a reminder for the need to consider data within a broader set, and never in isolation.

    First, the report makes no mention of preceding monthly usage to establish expansion or contraction of device usage, or growth over time.

    Second, the dimension cut-offs for each category are arbitrary. Samsnug’s upcoming Galaxy s4’s screen will measure 4.99” really blurring the line between the 4.9” and 5.0” distinctions that separate the most popular and least popular categories.

    Third, it’s likely that only a single “phablet” device made it into the top 200 sample — the Samsung Galaxy Note (and Note II). Given this, uptake of this device is nearly a third of the total “full-size” tablet market. One established years earlier and includes the iPad.

    Fourth, the numbers shared aren’t granular enough to discern, but based on percentages, “phablet users” account for 130% of the active user base and sessions vs. their devices in market. This suggests that phablet users use their device more than the average user and exhibit behaviour on par with tablet usage (an known emerging market).

    Fifth, “phablet” devices are 100% Android (based on Flurry’s usage data). Considering the Galaxy Note has sold in the millions, it is no implausible that other Android makers, as well as other operating systems, will test the waters with 5.0-6.9” devices. This means that of all the categories mentioned, the phablet is the only range yet to proliferate.

    I’m sure there is more, but these five points are concrete examples of Flurry using data as tea leaves instead of fact.

    Sure it’s possible that they have a ton of additional data to back up their claims, but the data shared, device pipelines and rumour mill suggest otherwise.

  3. Google Glass

    One of the more ambitious dreams I had in high school was to develop some form of technology that allowed for augmented reality — a way to supplement the real world experience with meta or supplementary information.

    Of course, I quickly gave up and abandoned my pursuit of developing such technology, but the dream has stuck with me since.

    The way we think about and interact with technology is rapidly evolving, and Google Glass is the next step in that evolution.

    While perhaps counterintuitive, wearable computing actually has the ability to humanize our digital experience and take the technology out of the equation.

    Google Glass is a lightweight piece of hardware that contains little more than a camera, small display screen and microcomputer with internet access. When combined, these elements allow users to connect in real-time, share images and videos, communicate and query shared knowledge that’s contextual and relevant in the moment.

    But what truly amazes me is the ability to do this in absence of the object.

    What I think gets often overlooked is the emotional connection we have to objects and the importance this plays in interaction.

    Consider your smartphone. Virtually everything Glass is capable of can already be achieved with the device in your pocket. But, the device itself becomes an intrusive part of the experience and changes our behaviour.

    Imagine being able to take a picture without a camera. The middle man, the barrier between you and the photo is removed. The experience is changed.

    The iPhone completely revolutionized mobile computing because it stripped away static interfaces. It turned the phone into a surface that we project ourselves upon. It was a concept that changed the world.

    I think Glass will do the same. The absence of the object and the removal of the surface can liberate it us to project a truer and more experience.

    Today, Glass might look funny or weird. It may look like something out of a sci-fi tomorrow. But tomorrow it will be an organic part of the human experience. Something as natural as wearing a wristwatch.

    I’m pretty excited about Glass.

    Whereas we are just beginning to harness the potential of the computers in our pockets, the computers we wear will spark a new evolution of how we collectively use technology to make the world better and amazing.

    For now, I salivate over the videos and photos here: http://www.google.com/glass/start/

  4. Twitter announces the Twitter Ads API

    This move by Twitter indicates a clear intention to open up the advertising process and make access to buying ads easier to attain.

    It also signals how the company feels in general about its advertising offering.

    Twitter ads are very much “in the moment” advertising. They are ads that Twitter would prefer to see a community manager purchase for a brand instead of a marketing agency.

    Traditional ad buying strategies seem to be less effective as social advertising moves closer and closer to real-time.

    The move by Twitter to launch their API with this group of partners — particularly Hootsuite — shows a strong push toward getting the platform into the hands of social media managers on platforms naturally used to monitor and engage audiences.

    Making the ad buying process is more responsive will be a huge asset for Twitter as managers are more equipped to buy ads to promote content that is showing early traction and virality.

    In many ways, getting ad purchasing closer to the point of management will bring Twitter’s offering more inline with Facebook’s promoted posts ads.

    ROI conversations aside, the ads API economy could become lucrative both to partners and brand managers if it lets brands get ads out in near real-time and affect the growth rate of strategic messages and marketing content.