Brilliant Reads: the value of data, why there’s no hiding from digital & our new podcast


Your job is digital

The Social Business Imperative is a new book from Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era. Shih is a social business entrepreneur who was invited to join the board of Starbucks at just 29. Her key message is that digital can no longer be siloed, and if you think it is something that can be delegated you are wrong. All roles in an organisation, from the CEO to junior employees require a solid understanding of how to operate in the digital realm. Shih believes that placing responsibility for your brand’s digital and social strategy with junior teams is taking a huge risk – the front line of customer engagement should be the concern of the entire company – especially board level executives.

Why Social Media Is Everyone’s Business — Yours Included
Forbes 5 mins

Are traditional agencies moving fast enough?

Advertising and creative agencies were built to create a small number of significant pieces of content for a brand each year. These huge siloed organisations need to change alongside the brands they are working with. This piece talks to people from across the industry to gauge how the holding companies will fare over the coming years. Creativity flourishes in small, empowered teams (as we see in brand newsrooms), not in monolithic organisations. The one thing that everyone agrees on is that the agencies of the future must be organised around the needs of the client – not the whims of the agency.

The Ad Agency of the Future Is Coming. Are You Ready?
Advertising Age 15 mins

Newsfeed data is getting smarter – again

Facebook now has enough data to prioritise articles that others have found interesting – not just those that have been interacted with the most. The increase in Instant Articles and app use means that the platform now has enough data on time spent reading or watching content to accurately judge what you will find interesting.

Facebook is going to start showing you pieces people actually read
The Guardian 3 mins

Will Google eventually control our infrastructure?

Data seems to be more valuable than cash in Silicon Valley – so where are the technology giants heading? In this piece Evgeny Morozov speculates that we are heading towards a world where Google, Facebook et al. control the key infrastructure (the ultimate data goldmine) and advertising ceases to subsidise huge swathes of the digital world. The duel potential of allowing private companies such intimate access, and the inevitable payments required to undertake even the most common tasks paints a bleak picture. Morozov does propose an alternative future, one in which the boundless possibilities of data and technology are utilised by governments, not Silicon Valley execs and the focus is on social welfare, not profit.

Tech titans are busy privatising our data
The Guardian 7 mins

If you’re interested in exploring possible futures where personal data becomes the property of private business David Shafer’s novel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is well worth a read (or start with The Guardian review).

Converting receipts into cash (and data)

Consumers know that their shopping is being tracked by store cards, credit cards and online platforms – and now they have the option to provide even more data. InfoScout offers shoppers in the US a range of apps that allow them to upload receipts in exchange for credit, donations to schools or lottery tickets. Extra rewards come from providing additional demographic information or elaborating on a recent change in their shopping habits.

This Startup Lets Users “Sell” Their Own Shopping Data
Fast Company 3 mins

Will our LinkedIn profiles soon be able to hold a conversation?

In this post Esther Crawford takes us through the process of creating her own bot designed to answer common questions about her career, education and hobbies. The possibilities for chat bots are huge and, as Esther demonstrates, there are tools which allow even those with no development skills to create effective bots.

How I turned my resume into a bot. (And how you can too!)
Medium 6 mins

The Brilliant Noise Podcast

We’ve relaunched The Brilliant Noise Podcast – and the first six episodes are waiting for you on your favourite podcatcher. The short, sharp episodes each offer a glimpse into the preoccupations of a different member of the Brilliant Noise team – from marketing, technology and data to content, behavioural economics and books.

Subscribe on iTunes (also available wherever you get your podcasts)