privacy and the facebook breach

It all began with Google’s motto: “Do no evil.” But I always asked my students whether they could trust Google to do no evil with their data, and if they do trust it, do they trust anyone who takes over Google to do the same? Trust and privacy are ours to maintain and we should not give them up so easily for convenience. Naturally, the Facebook breaches of privacy and Mark Zuckerberg’s assertion that ‘privacy is dead’ reveal his beliefs and even motives.

Disturbing to say the least. A few months ago I wrote about the Facebook using us as lab rats report, only to find it getting worse now. We are more than lab rats: we are exposed beyond our imagination.

This  is all done in the name of ‘marketing’ and marketing strategies – which is why, as I said repeatedly before, the very concept of marketing nowadays concerns me a great deal. It has been transformed into some AI monster that pursues us relentlessly, and as AI continues to expand and become more sophisticated, it worries me even more. See this for example from the Guardian about an insurance company and what they would have gleaned from FB data:

“Facebook users who write in short, concise sentences, use lists, and arrange to meet friends at a set time and place, rather than just “tonight”, would be identified as conscientious. In contrast, those who frequently use exclamation marks and phrases such as “always” or “never” rather than “maybe” could be overconfident.”

The most disturbing of all is this: Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data. Even our medical records are not safe? Apparently nothing is safe nor sacred any more.

7 articles and 6 tools for social media/digital marketing

Being informed about recent trends is the most important thing for creating digital media marketing strategies. Here are five important articles:


a dictionary of terms

This month’s terms are about e-commerce and marketing communications:

Fourth screen technologies: refers to a small portable video screen such as a mobile phone or portable media player

elements-of-signageDigital signage: also called dynamic signage, is a specialized form of slivercasting in which video or multimedia content is displayed in public places for informational or advertising purposes.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is an expansion of modern and traditional marketing strategies, to optimise the communication of a consistent message conveying the company’s brands to stakeholders.

Integrated digital marketing (IDM) : streamline marketing efforts across various channels in real-time to improve the customer experience and drive ROI. The main goal (and biggest challenge) of integrated marketing is to not only create a presence for your customer’s brand, but to position the brand in such a way that it becomes a presence in and of itself.  [more about the topic ]

Performance management [or analytics]

Second-screen searchers: Second-screen search moments can serve as a barometer for what people think, what they’re curious about, and what they want to explore while they’re watching TV. [more about the topic]

Micro-moments: Thanks to mobile, micro-moments can happen anytime, anywhere. In those moments, consumers expect brands to address their needs with real-time relevance. Here’s a complete guide with strategies, insights, and customer examples for mastering micro-moments. [link to pdf]

Targeted discover: ad targeting services.

Content marketing: content is King. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. [more about the topic]
Read: 8 content marketing trends to help you dominate 2017


are we sterilizing student minds?

Do you know these terms: microaggressions, trigger warnings, emotional reasoning, fortune-telling, catastrophization, mental filtering? Read The Coddling of the American Mind.It is an essay in the Atlantic written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, September 2015 Issue. It is about the sterilization of the student mind before leaving college in favor of an absurd level of political correctness that even affects how and what you teach. I cannot imagine it in teaching literature for example – or the humanities in general [political science, anthropology, sociology, history.]

The essay tackles the following questions: What exactly are the effects of this new protectiveness on the students themselves? Does it benefit the people it is supposed to help?

Of course in the Trump-winning world where political correctness is derided, the essay might seem like yet another attack on PC. However the authors are quick to note the difference between PC on the one hand and VP or vindictive protectiveness on the other: Read More …

MIL Curriculum for Teachers for media literacy

UNESCO launches MIL Curriculum for Teachers to promote the development of knowledge societies and free independent and pluralistic media. [link]

Part of the Organization’s underlying strategy to treat information literacy and media literacy as MIL and a combined set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) necessary for citizens living in the 21st Century. According to Janis Karklins, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, the MIL Curriculum for Teachers is pioneering for the following reasons:

  • It is forward looking, drawing on present trends toward the convergence of radio, television, Internet, newspapers, books, digital archives and libraries into one platform – thereby, for the first time, presenting MIL in a holistic manner.
  • It is specifically designed with teachers in mind and for integration into the formal teacher education system thus ensuring a catalytic effect.
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