Thursday Signal: Will Amazon Drop A Dime?

Amazon’s Kindle

In today’s Signal: Get ready for Amazon’s ad-supported tablet (and possibly a phone); Facebook reacts to pressure to show that “Likes” are genuine; the digital space C-suite problem for brands; Twitter gets a warning from its ex-director; remembering when ad-tech industry deals were predicated on human relationships; the top three social sites that have the greatest potential to damage brands; and more.

To the links….

Amazon’s Ad-Supported Tablet: What Took So Long (Forbes) As a way to offer a lower price in an increasingly competitive tablet market, Amazon might debut an ad-supported 7-inch tablet as early as Sept. 6. The tablet apparently would display an ad as the device “wakes up.” Also: It looks like a phone may be in the works (Verge).

Facebook Eyes Ads with Crackdown on Fake ‘Likes’ (Reuters) Facebook’s improved automated efforts will remove Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. While FB has always had dedicated protections against these threats, improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes. This problem is not unique to FB, but it’s getting more attention as concerns mount about the company’s long-term profit potential.

Confessions of a Brand Digital Manager (Digiday) When C-suite individuals who aren’t close to the digital space suffer from unrealistic brand envy or only gauge what’s “in” or “cool” because someone in their families told them so, the brand suffers. Also inside: Coping with sudden changes to social platforms, and what agencies fail to understand about life inside the brand.

Twitter Warned on Danger of Chasing Money (The Telegraph) Mike McCue, a serial technology entrepreneur and former Twitter director, said the microblogging website must be careful not to be “short-sighted” about chasing money at the expense of users. McCue stepped down from Twitter’s board in August amidst concerns that it could end up at odds with his own venture, Flipboard.

The Future of Ad Tech? Look at What’s Happened to Financial Markets (AdAge) The digital ad-tech industry is only starting to emerge from a decade of opaque, information-starved deal-making by humans. Eventually, it is reasonable to expect that computers, driven by data, information and analytics, will be doing most, if not all, of the trading. Our (sarcastic) response? Let’s try to avoid pulling a Lehman, shall we?

Which Are the Riskiest Social Media Sites for Brands? (eMarketer) In the spring of 2012, Deloitte and Forbes Insights found that US executives considered social media one of the top five sources of risk to their companies over the next three years. In its August 2012 study “Guarding the Gates: The Imperative for Social Media Risk Management,” Altimeter Group found that companies considered the top three social networks the riskiest. Probably for the same reasons they feel they have to be there…

Why I’m Cutting the Cord, and How Cable Can Get Me Back (Wired) A growing cable bill, one that meant he was paying for shows he didn’t watch, sent Roberto Baldwin running in search of alternatives. With set-top streamers like the Apple TV and Roku, accessing favorite shows (albeit after original air dates) is now a whole lot cheaper. Pay TV is magnificent, says Baldwin, “but it’s a firehose of content when most people need a trickle.”

Does Open Conflict With Making Money? (AVC) Fred Wilson, VC and principal of Union Square Ventures, doesn’t think open conflicts with making money. He believes there are ways to make more money by being open rather than closed, but that it takes imagination and a well designed relationship between your product/service and the rest of the Internet. Which, we might add, is damn hard to do.

World Wide Web Foundation Releases First-Ever Global Web Index (VentureBeat) Sweden ranked high for overall impact of the Web on the country. The United States ranked a little lower for social, economic, and political impacts, but shone on Web content and Web use, as did the UK and Canada. What is possibly the single biggest challenge to the future of the Web? According to Web inventor Dr. Tim Berners-Lee, the answer is the growing suppression of free speech —online and offline.

A New Bag for a New HP Ultrabook (Core77) The HP + Project Runway Design Contest   — our latest featured campaign — offers designers a chance to throw their hats in the ring to win $10,000 and an HP Envy Ultrabook by designing the ultimate laptop bag. The jury panel, composed of Jill Fehrenbacher, founder of Inhabitat, Mondo Gurerra of Project Runway and LinYee Yuan, Editor at Core77, will be looking for designs that display innovation, style, design details, practicality, marketability and appropriateness for the HP Ultrabook ENVY.

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