Best Fake News Hounds, AI or Journalists?

Goldman & Associates Blog

Best Fake News Hounds, AI or Journalists?

Hound sniffAre trained journalists or is Artificial Intelligence best at determining fake news? Essentially, the question comes down to reliance on people either way: those who program AI or journalists who write news to determine the fact. Adweek reports that a startup by Court TV and Yale Journalism Initiative founder Steve Brill called BrandGuard will be testing this idea in the marketplace. Advertisers want to avoid having their brand advertising associated with fake news. Google is one company relying on AI to make the determination while Facebook is using something of a hybrid process. BrandGuard has put its faith strictly in the hands of journalist who it thinks can best sniff out what is fake. It will be interesting to see who is best at this.

Nanoinfluencers Look to Persuade Friends

Small groupLike influencers, nanoinfluencers look to persuade others about products and services. Marketers seek out these people to have them engage their friends and followers with messages about products. Nanoinfluencers are those people who have a small following, usually between 1000 – 7000 people. They are young and particularly good at social media, especially Instagram. Mostly, they have regular full time jobs and social media is a hobby. Influencers can be well paid for posting, whereas nanoinfluencers often receive free products, gifts or very small payments. The New York Times has a story profiling some nanoinfluencers. It describes how they were selected as nanoinfluencers, the compensation they receive and how friends tend to react to their overt product endorsements. Companies believe it is a strong way to grow their business among Generation Z, but the evidence for success is elusive.

YouTube Becoming Go-To For How-To

BloggerAccording to Pew Research Center, YouTube is being used by more and more people to figure out how to do things they’ve never done before. You can count me as one of them. I’ve used YouTube videos to install a garbage disposal, replace valves in my faucets, change wiper blades on every car in our household and much more. YouTube might be more focused on getting consumers to use it as an entertainment resource, but it has a large following when it comes to a “how-to”. About half of all YouTube users go the site for this purpose. But there’s more people use it for. If you want to learn about how YouTube is attracting consumers, the Pew Research Center article explores this and what YouTube is doing to keep people on its site.

Senior Communities Safely Evacuate

Fire graphicThe senior living industry continues to enhance its reputation for safe evacuations in the face of natural disasters. More and more senior communities are finding the need to evacuate due to fires, hurricanes and man-made disasters. From our perspective, the industry has continued to improve its evacuation procedures and capabilities as leaders in the care of the most frail among us. Communications with residents, families members, associates and their families during a crisis have also grown. The deadly California Camp fire is the most recent challenge to the senior living industry’s crisis management abilities. McKnight’s Senior Living has an overview of the industry’s response. So far, a number of senior communities have needed to evacuate. They have done so successfully with all residents arriving safely. In past natural disasters, the industry has relied on the capabilities of Goldman & Associates Public Relations to enhance their crisis communications by utilizing our SL Crisis Mitigation service. You can read about it here.

Odd Thanksgiving Facts

TurkeyThis post has little to do with public relations. Thanksgiving is around the corner and it being a Friday, we thought we’d provide a few unusual facts about the holiday you can use at Thanksgiving dinner to impress your guests. These come to us from MissionMode. 1. A male is called a Tom. It apparently comes to us from Benjamin Franklin who named it for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson hated the idea of a Thanksgiving holiday. 2. The person most responsible for making Thanksgiving a holiday is credited to Sarah Joseph Hale, the author of the children’s poem “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” 3. “Jingle Bells”, composed by James Pierpont, was originally a Thanksgiving song that essentially got carried over to Christmas due to its popularity. The MissionMode link has a few other odd Thanksgiving fun facts.

Blockchain Explained Simply

BlockchainMost likely you’ve heard the term blockchain. It is commonly used when discussing crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, blockchain is much more than that. Think of it as a way to securely manage and exchanging digital property among strangers, while cutting out the middleman such as banks. To be honest, we are not experts at blockchain – not even close. Still, if this technology is going to impact nearly everything we will be doing in the future, the earlier we can begin to understand it the better we will be at adapting to this new world. To that end, we are sharing with you a simple, illustrated, on-line guide to blockchain provided by Upfolio. It explains many possibilities for the technology. Almost all are still a long way off. The technology needs standardization, greater simplicity to use effectively and better security if it is actually destined to change the world. Few saw how the Internet would change our daily lives. This has similar possibilities.

A World Without Newspapers

NewspaperAdvertising revenue is the lifeblood of newspapers. From 2000 to 2016 U.S. newspaper advertising income has declined from $65 billion to less than $19 billion. The falloff isn’t stopping. A number of newspapers no longer exist and most are dying, consolidating staff and doing their best to stay alive. Much of the revenue newspapers relied on such as automotive, real estates sales and food advertising has moved and is moving to other platforms. Newspapers have tried to adjust by becoming digital, but the advertising revenue that used to be generated by print can’t be replicated online. The terrible irony is it isn’t the content of newspapers that is the problem, it’s the old advertising model. If newspapers are no longer around in twenty years, what will our democracy become and how will the issues of our future be addressed? This column from The WorldPost, a partnership of the Berggruen Institute and The Washington Post examines this question and the picture it paints is disheartening.

Social Media & Internet Use Hit Plateau

BloggerIt seems that since 2016 there has been little, to no growth, in Americans who use the Internet, smartphone devices and social media. For about 20 years the rate of adoption for these was extremely rapid. However, according to Pew Research Center, everyone who wants to be on social media, use smartphones and surf the Internet is doing so, or doesn’t have access, or the ability to pay for them. Use of new connected devices such as wearables and smart TV’s continue to expand, but this comes from people who are already connected. People also are switching social media sites too, such as moving from Facebook to Instagram, but the total number of new social media users are just not growing to any extent.

Are Online Reviews Trustworthy?

5-star-reviewAre online reviews worth trusting? Before providing thoughts on the answer, here is another question. When is the last time you wrote an online review? According to research cited in this New York Times article, only 1.5% of the people who use or purchase a product write a review. The article goes on to describe research findings that show most reviews online are positive. Five star reviews are nearly eleven times more common than a one star review. Does that ratio actually reflect how many people feel negatively about a product, whether writing a review or not. As far as we know, there is no research that has studied this issue. The article goes on the explain that there are many factors that go into a review beyond just a black or white response…and that makes sense. People who write reviews are also not like every person in the United States. So in our view, online reviews are best at finding potential areas where problems could lie…something to keep an eye out for. As for trust, we would put very little trust in either five star or one star reviews. They are just one more data point used to help make a decision, but should not be a decisive factor in the decision.

Polling Lesson: “Defining the Universe”

Facebook cFor Monday morning we have a lesson on polling from Pew Research Center. This can be a little tough to understand before coffee, but this lesson is critically important to anyone trying to read a poll or survey result. To begin with, poll results should not be up to interpretation. Where clarity fails is misunderstanding or poorly defining who has been polled. This is called “Defining the Universe”. If the poll interviewed United States Facebook users who are adults, then the results can’t be interpreted as representing all adults, since only about 68% of all adults are on Facebook. Also, adults are people 18 years old or older so the results are not for all Facebook users either. Lastly, the survey only looked at U.S. Facebook users since there are many users of Facebook outside the United States. Without “Defining the Universe”, results become very muddy. If the survey had been about the United States and stated the universe as just Facebook users, then the results would be much different. They would include Facebook users who are not adults and are outside the United States. Careful reading of who has been surveyed is key to understanding results. We warned you this blog post would be a bit mind-numbing for a Monday morning.