Data Isn’t Big, It’s Bits: Friday Signal

Big Data matters to everyone.

Big Data takes center stage in today’s Signal: Big Data, changing our lives and not for geeks alone, but do brands really get it?; Mary Meeker on the state of the Internet; Facebook, with Microsoft’s help, just might be poised to change the way advertising is done online … forever; adding value for the consumer through native advertising; video consumers will get what they want — what they really, really want — in 2013; machine-based buying is growing; and more.

To the links …

Why Everyone (Not Just Geeks) Should Care About Big Data (WIred) Photographer Rick Smolan and his partner Jennifer Erwitt, both of whom have a history of using photos and interactive technology to explore social issues, have launched a new project that seeks to show how — in the plainest terms — “Big Data” is changing our lives. What began as a book of photographs titled The Human Face of Big Data has inspired a soon-to-be-released mobile app designed to get people thinking about the ways in which data is collected and used.

Here’s a review of the book…

The Human Face of Big Data: an Unlikely Subject for a Great Book (TUAW) Richard Gaywood reviews The Human Face of Big Data, a new coffee table book (and app) by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt that attempts to explain the parts of big data that matter to everyday people. “It’s full of interesting things,” writes Gaywood, “and it makes a good case that big data could be the first step towards the Internet developing a ‘nervous system’ of sorts; a detailed sensor network generating reams of data, plus the ability to meaningfully process and act on that data in real time.” The book will be sent (free of charge) to 10,000 “key influencers” around the globe, as part of Smolan and Erwitt’s mission to “start a global conversation about Big Data.”

As for Big Data on the brand side …

Do Brands Get Big Data? (Digiday) We’re in the “Era of Big Data,” but regardless of all the hype surrounding big data, brands aren’t yet ready, from an organizational standpoint, to dig in and make sense of it. Digiday’s Giselle Abramovich talks with Kevin Geraghty, VP of Reporting and Analytics at 360i, about the risks big data pose and the brands that are using data in the smartest ways.

2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update (KPCB/Slideshare) Feast your eyes on Mary Meeker’s 88-page deck presentation on the state of the Internet; mobile adoption, usage v. spend, share and monetization; the opportunity and need for innovation; the re-imagination of, well, everything; and much, much more.

Facebook And Microsoft Are Working On A Deal, And It Could Change Everything About Advertising (BI) According to several of BI’s industry sources, Facebook is in negotiations with Microsoft to buy Atlas Solutions, the ad-serving product Microsoft acquired when it bought aQuantive for $6 billion in 2007. This purchase could bring Facebook one giant step closer to launching an ad network that could rival Google’s in size, and change the way advertising is done online forever.

Is Your So-Called ‘Native’ Advertising Really Native? (Ad Age) Ari Jacoby, co-founder and CEO of Solve Media, believes that native advertising should be defined in terms of adding value for the customer, versus its medium. “Today we frame native advertising around being part of its media channel: for example, ads baked into the flow of online media,” he writes. “Done well, it can be a lot less intrusive than traditional advertising. Done less well, it can be hard to differentiate from advertorials and blatant incentives. But we should be asking a deeper question: how does advertising grow so that it really belongs in the customer’s world?”

Online Video’s Biggest Lesson for 2013: It’s All Just TV (Ad Age) Today, consumers want – even expect – all of their favorite video content to be available to them when and where they want it. Next year the industry will deliver, says Doug Knopper, co-CEO of  FreeWheel, and he’s got four predictions for moves you’ll see the industry make toward that goal, including that advertisers will demand TV-Web convergence.

Top Publishers’ Complicated Relationship with Third-Party Sellers (Digiday) It’s complicated, the world of publishing. Machine-based buying is growing and direct-sales teams can only reach so many advertisers. And that’s put pressure on top publishers to practice effective yield management.

Fragile ( Nate Kontny, founder of  Inkling and Cityposh, took an unpaid leave of absence from his company and joined the tech team at Obama for America. He learned a lot from working on the team, and most of what he learned had nothing to do with politics. In fact, his “most poignant memory, the most indelible experience,” was when a campaign co-worker named Alex died from a heart attack in the office. “Nothing seems to be able to fully process and articulate what happened and Alex’s impact on this world,” he writes. “But I wanted to try to open a tiny window on how he’s affected me in case it inspires someone else.” In short: Stop loving your phone and start loving yourself.

Automattic Founder Matt Mullenweg Talks WordPress, Blogging And Twitter VS. Instagram At LeWeb (TechCrunch) According to Matt Mullenweg, the problem with many of the services like Facebook and Twitter is that they aren’t user-centric enough. Instagram, he said, “has always been a very user-friendly company, but for Twitter and Facebook, the real customers are advertisers.” And what’s best for advertisers isn’t exactly what’s best for users.

Amazon’s Appstore is on Fire: 500% More Downloads this Year (GIGAom) Now that Amazon has its own devices in the Kindle Fire lineup and has added a number of developer-friendly features over the past 20 months, downloads from the Appstore are on the rise. Plus, along with the impressive download figures the company shared on Thursday, support for A/B testing was announced.


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