Interesting article from The Guardian on The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee: we must regulate tech firms to prevent ‘weaponised’ web
The inventor of the world wide web warns over concentration of power among a few companies ‘controlling which ideas are shared’

Tim Berners-Lee: ‘What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.’ Photograph: 2013 Rick Friedman
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, has called for large technology firms to be regulated to prevent the web from being “weaponised at scale”.

“In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data,” Berners-Lee wrote in an open letter marking the 29th anniversary of his invention.

These problems have proliferated because of the concentration of power in the hands of a few platforms – including Facebook, Google, and Twitter – which “control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared”.

“What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms,” said the 62-year-old British computer scientist.

These online gatekeepers can lock in their power by acquiring smaller rivals, buying up new innovations and hiring the industry’s top talent, making it harder for others to compete, he said.

Google now accounts for about 87% of online searches worldwide. Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users – more than 20 times more than MySpace at its peak. Together, the two companies (including their subsidiaries Instagram and YouTube) slurp up more than 60% of digital advertising spend worldwide.

Although the companies are aware of the problems and have made efforts to fix them – developing systems to tackle fake news, bots and influence operations – they have been built to “maximise profit more than maximise social good”.

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’
Read more
“A legal or regulatory framework that accounts for social objectives may help ease those tensions,” he said.

Aligning the incentives of the technology sector with those of users and society at large, he argued, will require consulting a diverse group of people from business, government, civil society, academia and the arts.

Berners-Lee warned of “two myths” that “limit our collective imagination” when looking for solutions to the problems facing the web: “The myth that advertising is the only possible business model for online companies, and the myth that it’s too late to change the way platforms operate. On both points we need to be a little more creative,” he said.

“I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfil our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions,” he said.

The open letter coincides with a significant milestone: 2018 is the first year that more than half of the world’s population will be online.

This still leaves a gaping “digital divide” that exacerbates existing inequalities: you are more likely to be offline if you are female, poor, or live in a rural area or a low-income country.

“To be offline today is to be excluded from opportunities to learn and earn, to access valuable services, and to participate in democratic debate,” Berners-Lee said. “If we do not invest seriously in closing this gap, the last billion will not be connected until 2042. That’s an entire generation left behind.”

Two years ago, the UN declared internet access to be a basic human right on par with clean water, shelter, food and electricity. However, in many places, getting online is prohibitively expensive – the cost of 1GB of mobile broadband in Malawi is more than 20% of the average monthly income. In Zimbabwe, it is nearly 45%.

The open letter comes a year after Berners-Lee called for tighter regulation of online political advertising, which he said was being used in “unethical ways”.

Since then, representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google have been hauled in front of Congress to answer questions over the extent to which their platforms were used in a multi-pronged Russian operation to influence the 2016 presidential election.

All three admitted that Russian entities bought ads on their sites in an attempt to skew the vote. Russians posed as Americans to buy ads on Facebook pushing divisive messages focusing on swing states. They also spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads to spread disinformation across YouTube and Google. On Twitter, swarms of bots helped promote fake news stories.

All three companies have since announced measures to improve transparency over who is buying political ads on their platforms and what messages they are promoting.

Berners-Lee has always maintained that his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. However, his vision to create an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged as the web has become more centralised.

“I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” he told the Guardian in November. “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things.”


Brisbane airport accepts digital currency in terminal shops

Airport accepts digital currency in terminal shops

A new payment system allows travelers to pay with their choice of cryptocurrency at a variety of retailers.

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Australia’s Brisbane airport recently introduced its partnership with cryptocurrency startup TravelbyBit. The partnership brings digital currency payments to a variety of retail spaces throughout the terminal. Travelers can choose to pay with the digital currency of their choice, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash. The benefits of paying with a cryptocurrency when traveling allow for increased security and a lack of conversion charges and varying exchange rates.

TravelbyBit is working with interested businesses in the airport to set them up on the company’s digital payment platform, which is already being used by a network of retailers within the city. Key to the new platform is its direct, peer-to-peer transactions that allow users to avoid traditional banking systems of payment. The company is passionate about cryptocurrency and wants to help raise awareness of its usefulness and real-world applications.

As consumers become more aware of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, the innovations that use them are becoming more varied. Recent projects include paying traffic fines with cryptocurrency and applying the transparency of the blockchain system to news feeds. How could cryptocurrency be used more broadly to improve production sustainability in a variety of industries?

Contact: ketch

22 Predictions for 2018/ by DesMarais

Looking Into the Crystal Ball:

Predicting the future is hardly a precise science, but it’s possible to identify macro trends by paying close attention to what’s happening in an industry.

CREDIT: Getty Images

Predicting the future is hardly a precise science, but it’s possible to identify macro trends by paying close attention to what’s happening in an industry. Here’s what a handful of founders, executives and investors are seeing in their crystal balls.

1. The artificial intelligence (AI) hype bubble will burst.

“Many companies which raised large sums based solely on buzzword-laden pitch decks will fail. When the dust settles, the companies using machine learning to solve focused problems using proprietary data sets will remain. We believe the most exciting of this crop will be coaching cloud companies.”

–Gordon Ritter, founder and general partner of Emergence Capital, an enterprise cloud venture firm

2. Face-to-face interactions will increase.

“The internet has made it possible for people to communicate easily while slowly weakening personal connections. Technology has allowed companies to track productivity with monitoring software, at the same time weakening trust. Relationships have proven to be the way to increase sales and strengthen companies. Organizations will strive to build these relationships through face-to-face interactions that are personal, meaningful and fun.”

–Kelly Josberger, co-creator/co-owner of Stumpy’s Hatchet House, an indoor recreation facility for adults, featuring hatchet throwing parties

3. More beauty consumers will move to Indie brands.

“The trend continues toward natural, organic and non-toxic beauty products focusing on maintaining skin health as much as makeup. The educated consumer cares and is aggressively moving toward all natural, organic, non-GMO and eco-friendly brands such as those that are reef-friendly, cruelty-free and consider the safety of our environment. Additionally, the marketing of cosmetics has moved from high-profile celebrity to high-profile social media influencers and word of mouth. Consumers are waking up and becoming progressively more educated. They want authenticity and truth.”

–Jacquelyn Quattro, CEO, Jersey Shore Cosmetics, a family owned and operated company which makes all-natural personal care and beauty products that are environmentally safe, non-toxic and cruelty-free

4. Mental health house calls will become more common.

“As the convenience of Amazon Prime and other on-demand online services continues to surge and become customary and expected, conventional methods of mental health treatment will soon be following suit. Most Americans experience highly stressful and busy lifestyles and have limited downtime. As a result, mental health practitioners will have to decide–keep up and offer convenient means of seeking mental health treatment, or become stale. It is expected that innovative and convenient means of accessing mental health treatment will become routine and acceptable. Rather than appointments taking place in the practitioner’s office, appointments will be taking place via live video-conferencing, or at the client’s preferred location. The client’s needs and schedules will be put first, not the practitioners.”

–Danielle Forshee, founder and CEO of Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC, providing video-conference, concierge, and office-based appointments

5. The money will be in the 35-plus demographic.

“Millennials are seen as early adopters and trendsetters. Deep pockets? Nope. Brands need revenue and will learn to bridge the marketing gap to include the one demographic that controls 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income and that continues to expand due to rapidly improving trends in health and wellness that increase lifespan and vitality. Ignoring the 35-plus buyer will be marketing suicide.”

–Catherine Grace O’Connell, founder of Catherine Grace O, a blog dedicated to fashion, health and lifestyle

6. More people will strive for simplicity.

“Complications turn people off. As technology advances, it [affects] our need for simplicity and immediacy. This simplification in life is apparent in personal fitness, health, and wellness industries. If you keep things simple and easy to manage with the tried and true basics of nutrition and exercise, more people will venture into a healthy lifestyle. Short workouts will become all the rage, as people are constantly on the go and don’t have a lot of time to commit to lengthy workouts. There will be an emphasis on at-home services that lend convenience, such as home workouts led through online programs and healthy home food delivery services.

–Michael Blauner, founder of Personal Fitness by Michael Blauner, celebrity personal trainer

7. “Big Data” will become “Big Fresh Data.”

“Data is much, much more useful when it is fresh. Everyone will become focused on data freshness. SaaS companies will move away from publishing APIs (application program interfaces) and instead move to publishing data directly into your data warehouse, so it can be combined with other systems.”

–Lloyd Tabb, founder and CTO of Looker, a comprehensive data platform offering data analytics and business insights

8. Trust will be tech’s biggest hurdle.

“Next year, we’re going to see companies from every sector doubling down on their most important asset: trust. And for good reason. From fake news and foreign ads on social media potentially impacting our election to the massive data breach at Equifax, trust in technology took a serious beating this year. So while some of the most transformative technology in decades, like autonomous cars or blockchain, is poised to go mainstream next year, companies, or at least the successful ones, are going to do everything in their power to put trust front and center. If your users don’t trust your tech, it doesn’t matter how cool or transformative it is. It’s dead in the water.”

–Ajeet Singh, founder and CEO of ThoughtSpot, a provider of search-driven analytics in the enterprise

9. Artificial intelligence (AI) will drive smart video meetings.

“In 2018, AI features will play an integral role in virtual communications, and as a result, it will surpass in-person communications in terms of user experience and productivity. Artificial intelligence capabilities such as smart transcription, virtual personal assistants, and voice recognition will support smart video meetings that will become the communications standard.”

–Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, a provider of modern enterprise video communications

10. The divide between machine learning (ML) haves and have nots will grow.

“In 2018 we’ll see the beginnings of mainstream momentum for machine learning, an area that has been the province of a small number of very sophisticated technology companies to date. We’ll see a continued separation in the market between the ‘haves’ that are successfully using it in production for things like predictive maintenance, fraud detection, or better customer targeting, and the ‘have nots’ that are simply tinkering with it. Those that succeed with ML will get significant business benefits that are meaningful, but more importantly, those that are successful in 2018 will be laying the foundation for a bigger transformation in 2019 that will go beyond having an edge to having significant market differentiation based on price, capabilities or customer service. 2018 will also be a break out year for self-service in data integration. The early adopter segment will expand and show widespread improvements in time-to-insight and time-to-market.”

–Mike Tuchen, CEO of Talend, a provider of cloud and big data integration software

11. Cybersecurity will be table stakes for executive competency.

“In 2018, a lot of companies will begin building security into the cultures of their companies as a means to future-proof. Cybersecurity will start to become a required competency of every executive–part of the standard job description–to ensure that it’s built into every aspect of what a company does and offers to its customers.”

–Chris Young, CEO of cybersecurity company McAfee

12. Ownership will decrease.

“‘You are what you own’ the saying goes, but that simply doesn’t ring true today, especially for millennials. The rise of the subscription economy and the ‘as-a-service’ business model is changing the way consumers interact with the world, to the point that we’re fast reaching the time where ownership as we currently know it will die out. People no longer want stuff, just access to stuff, when they need it. From our cars to our phones, and the music and movies we stream on them, we increasingly own less. Of course, the original subscription model started long ago with renting our homes, and we’re increasingly becoming a society of renters again. With the first of Generation Z hitting the workforce in 2018, we’re going to see the start of a whole generation which simply haven’t grown up with that expectation of ownership, and are far less emotionally wedded to it. This is the start of the bursting of the great homeownership bubble. By 2025 we’ll no longer see owning a home as the norm and start seeing it for what it was, a blip in the much longer-term trend of renting.”

–Rupert Hunt, CEO of SpareRoom, the UK roommate-matching site, now serving over 400,000 users in the US to create happier apartment shares

13. The subscription model will become standard for all industries.

“More than a decade ago, Salesforce used the subscription model to disrupt software. Netflix has done the same to disrupt TV and Spotify with music. In 2018, every company in the world will embark on the shift to subscriptions. Why? We now know that companies adopting the model are growing their revenue nine times faster than with traditional business models. Next year we’ll see more and more companies making the shift to subscriptions, and also subscribing to the services they need, from building energy, and tractors, to flooring and even toilets.”

–Tien Tzuo, founder and CEO of Zuora, a SaaS (software as a service) platform that automates all subscription order-to-cash operations in real-time for any business

14. Enterprises will think smaller.

“In 2018, technology companies are going to ditch the buzzword ‘cloud’ in favor of the next big trend in IT: microservices. This is where companies will increasingly look to scale by essentially breaking up their IT and thinking smaller and using more SDN (software defined networking) and NFV (network function virtualization) type approaches. By doing the exact opposite of what enterprises have historically been doing up until the disruption of digital technology, we’re going to see the concept of microservices take on a whole new life form, as enterprise ecosystems continue to grow. Enterprises should also take note fast–moving to smaller applications makes it much easier to scale and decreases risk, while increasing efficiencies.”

–Craig Walker, founder and CEO of Dialpad, a pure cloud communications provider that empowers today’s anywhere worker

15. Corporate America will increase its role in our political, legal and social lives.

“Next year is the year we will start confronting, on a much deeper level, the role of business in our culture and society. Corporate influence on political, legal, and social environments will be front and center. We saw this in 2017 with tech companies advocating for a variety of social and political positions and often taking strong, vocal leadership roles in many cultural issues. In 2018, this will become more mainstream and pervasive across industries. In 2018, we will have to answer the question: what exactly is the role corporations play in molding our culture, as well as our political and legal systems?”

–Billy Bosworth, CEO of DataStax, a provider of data management for geo-distributed, real-time applications that power the right-now enterprise

16. Consumers will expect more voice controls.

“Rapid adoption of voice as a human interface moves worldwide and mainstream as buyers shift from early adopters to consumers that demand and expect voice on everything from home appliances to personal digital assistants.”

–Rick Bergman, CEO of human interface technology company Synaptics

17. Reach and scalability will continue to remain vexing problems.

“It will become harder and harder to gain attention and engagement of consumers who expect less interaction yet more personalization across an exploding number of marketing channels and technology devices.”

–Collin Holmes, founder and CEO of local search and review management platform Chatmeter

18. Data will take the gossip out of the real estate industry.

“Like the technology that has revolutionized financial markets, we will see AI analyze the largest data asset class in the world, real estate. No more subjective opinions or guesswork–decisions will be based on artificial intelligence (AI) working with massive data sets for a truly competitive industry regardless of whether we are talking about a single block or an entire nation, removing the constant gossip that attempts to inform the biggest decisions consumers, investors and real estate stakeholders will make.”

–Jeremy Sicklick, cofounder and CEO of HouseCanary, a real estate data analytics company

19. Machine learning will begin to transform business at every scale.

“While full, generalized artificial intelligence (AI) may be still the province of university labs, the capability to utilize developments in both specialized AI and machine learning is something that is going to be far more widely available, especially through cloud services. More and more raw information is available to businesses as they continue to march toward a fully digital world, and making sense of that information will be essential to staying ahead of the competition in designing, delivering, and selling new products and services to global markets. Machine learning-based services will provide the ability to turn data into information, and information into actionable intelligence that underpins predictive analytics to operate faster, smarter and more competitively. It’ll be a brave new world, and the keys to the kingdom will be shaped by AIs.”

–Geoff Webb, VP of strategy for software solutions company Micro Focus

20. Expect to see even more data-driven hires and acquisitions.

“Amazon buying Whole Foods may have caught some by surprise, but it’s now clear that the tech giants can and will gobble up compelling companies from seemingly adjacent industries to gain access to their data and customers (just consider Microsoft and Salesforce’s bloody battle over LinkedIn). The value of data continues to increase–so much so that the salary of a data scientist will outpace that of developers before we know it. Increasingly we’re seeing developer skills becoming commoditized, while data scientists who understand new tools to execute real time decision making and machine learning are few and far between. With this, the old-school R&D universities will take on a whole new level of relevance to the tech industry.”

–Florian Leibert, CEO of Mesosphere, which provides elastically run containers and data services at scale, with complete hybrid cloud portability

21. The tech industry will continue its transformation into an experience business.

“In 2018 the technology industry will increasingly realize that to be a leader you can’t just offer your customers products, software or services anymore. You have to offer them simple, frictionless, flexible and — most importantly — delightful experiences. The tech market leaders already realize this. Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are leaders because they transform and improve the way their customers communicate, listen, watch, shop, work, play and live. They deliver unique, unequalled experiences to their customers. Consumer and business technology companies who understand this, and have the velocity, innovation and ecosystems needed to continuously create new, captivating experiences for their customers will thrive in 2018. And those that do not will eventually fall by the wayside.”

–Dheeraj Pandey, Chairman, founder and CEO of Nutanix, an enterprise cloud computing company

22. Wellness will play an even larger role across all industries.

“The importance of the body, mind and spirit connection will be a huge focus for corporate wellness programs in 2018. Corporations will be investing more and focusing on their employees and launching new programs to support their mental energy as well as physical energy and optimum resilience. Whether it be supporting employees by incorporating wellness design in their offices or creating opportunities through wellness programs within their companies, wellness is the new gold standard in business today. All employees will benefit from these new programs; however, we will see companies launching exciting new wellness programs that will specifically resonate with women.”

–Dee Kelly, founder and CEO of Wellness Décor, an online resource for wellness in design and corporate power energy training

Sensible comment on social media rules for kids

School tells parents: Ban your kids from Facebook

An Auckland school is trying to ban its pupils from using social media in a bid to fight online bullying – even after they leave the school gate.

The hardline stance has been backed by experts, who say parents should be responsible for monitoring their children in the online world.

It comes as schools around the country wrestle with how to fight inappropriate digital behaviour following an explosion of social media and online bullying.

Numerous incidents have emerged nationwide in recent years of humiliating ‘sext’ pics being sent among friends, trolling and hurtful online posts, and fights filmed on mobile phones then footage uploaded onto Facebook.

Auckland’s Kowhai Intermediate is this year asking for its students to cut all links to social media – the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – for the two years they attend the school.

Access to such accounts is already off limits during school hours and on school grounds; with internet filtering and an off-at-the-gate devices policy in place. But it is the first time parents have been asked to prevent access at home too.

Kowhai Board of Trustees chairman Wade Gillooly told the Weekend Herald the school had taken a proactive stance following consultation with various agencies and the wider school community.

"By having the social free policy at Kowhai, we are opening up a discussion between students and parents that centres on encouraging appropriate use of social media at the appropriate time.”

A newsletter on the school’s website says the initiative was in response to an increasing number of "social media incidents” which affected pupils last year.

"These incidents have occurred outside of school hours on private social media accounts that we have no rights or responsibility for,” the newsletter says.

"When things do go wrong, we often find that parents contact the school with the expectation that we can and will sort the problem out.

"This is a legal and ethical minefield that would require full, unfettered access to all the social media accounts and devices involved to be fair and just in establishing a true and accurate record of what has occurred.”

One parent, who asked not to be named, praised Kowhai’s stance as she felt her own son and pupils in his age group were too young to be on Facebook.

"I think it’s a really good idea because a kid can’t handle a lot of what’s on [social media]. They don’t fully understand that what you put online is there always and there can be a lot of negative comments.”

Auckland Primary Principals’ Association president Kevin Bushwhich said social media problems usually dealt with in high schools were now filtering down to intermediate-aged students.

"It is quite astounding and I think it’ll probably go younger than that as well, sadly.

"It’s just as more children have devices and the internet is more freely available and older brothers and sisters hook them up on social media.”

Principal at Te Hihi School, in rural Karaka, Kevin Bush, said his school’s process when dealing with cyberbullying was based on educating pupils about the dos and don’ts of online behaviour.

He acknowledged Kowhai’s stance, but said it was very much the parent’s domain and responsibility to actively monitor their child’s online activity by checking social media accounts and cell phone messages regularly.

"In some cases, the children aren’t totally aware of what they’re doing. In other cases, some would be aware and doing it (cyberbullying) with malicious intent.”

Most social media companies, including Facebook, require users at least 13 in order to create an account.

However, the rule is difficult to police; with the only barrier being a pop-up box asking whether you are aged 13 or above.

Netsafe Executive Director Martin Cocker. For story about the issue of bullying. 08 May 2012 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Sarah IveyNetsafe Executive Director Martin Cocker. For story about the issue of bullying. 08 May 2012 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Sarah Ivey

Netsafe head Martin Cocker said he had sympathy for schools dealing with online disputes that had primarily happened off school grounds.

But banning social media was a tough ask, especially as companies created more content targeting children.

"The problem is there are increasingly social media products meant for young people – like Facebook Messenger For Kids – that are coming and open more and more options for young people to be online.

"So it will be increasingly hard to use banning as a safety tool,” he said.

Principal of Collingwood Area School in Golden Bay, Caroline Gray, said she’d seen a marked difference in students’ behaviour since the school banned social media at school and shut down Wi-Fi access – even for teachers – over a year ago.

"I’m really aware of the pressures that teenagers face within social media – like needing to respond to however many likes they can get.

"I don’t want them to be filled with anxiety at the time when they should be relaxing from their lessons.”


Set expectations. Talk to your child about how long they should spend online and what is appropriate content to view.
Understand what they do online.
Teach them the basics. Strong passwords and being aware that not everything, or everyone, is as it seems.
Social media. If they are old enough, help them set up the account. Depending on their age, use your email address to sign up and enter their actual birth year so they’re less likely to see inappropriate content.

Source: Netsafe

Live-Streaming: An Expert Guide For Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs/from INC

Top social media marketers share their tips, tricks, hacks and best practices for using live video

CREDIT: Getty Images

I’ve never been one for live streams, myself. Though I’m more than comfortable speaking, as I have on stages across the globe, I have never felt sure that I have the tools, technology, and technical know-how to make it work. But that’s no longer an excuse. Live streaming isn’t going anywhere, and it’s a powerful tool for connecting with your audience.

I’m lucky to get to grace the stage at Social Media Marketing World 18 alongside some of the marketing industry’s best and brightest social media experts, so I asked for their tips, tricks, hacks and best practices for using live streaming video — whether on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or elsewhere–to engage your audience and grow your business.

Preparing: What To Do Before You To Go Live

"Too many people are afraid of going live, because they are not sure they look, sound, act, talk, etc well enough. But, the only way to get better is to practice. Stop coming up with excuses and start creating more!" — Azriel Ratz, CEO, Ratz Pack Media

"For FB live: pick one big thing you want your audience to walk away with. One video, one big point. Be really clear on who your audience is, what the need and who you are. Treat it like a show – not a collection of videos." —Kathy Klotz-Guest, Author of "Stop Boring Me!"

"A lot of creators wait a few minutes to allow the live audience to tune in so which is a mistake as the replay audience will likely click away and not sit through "dead space" which is why as soon as you go live you want to be energetic, vibrant, and be ready to be ‘on’." — Carlos Gil, CEO/Founder, Gil Media Co.

"When you starting live streaming involve relevant influencers in your live stream that already have an audience you want to attract. It’s very difficult building up your audience so it’s better to leverage off someone that has an audience already. So you’re looking for relevant influencers that are attracting a large livestream audience." –Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial, Co-Founder of OutreachPlus

"Have your URL and any other short text information you want to periodically display during your show in a nearby text file or Google doc so you can easily copy and paste it into display slots as your show moves forward. That way you don’t have to sit there and try to retype URLs or short phrases." — David H. Lawrence XVII, Actor and creator of Camera Ready U

"Ah, the age old question; if no-one knew about your live-stream and no-one watched it then did it really happen? Well, yes, you can get people to watch your videos back, but part of the magic of live-video is the live aspect! You can interact with your audience, answer questions and change topic as you go. So, you have to give your audience a heads up before you stream. Spread the word on your social media accounts and start building up a buzz around the event. Get people to sign-up, so you have an idea about how many people will watch and send reminder messages and follow-up emails." — Bryan Kramer, CEO of H2H Companies & PureMatter

"Set a time and day of the week and be consistent." — Monica Pruett, Instructor at

Content: What To Live Stream (And What Not To)

"The most important aspect of live streaming is relevance. Relevance to audience (why would they watch your live stream), to timing (is this time a good time to get the numbers you’re after), & to your brand story (hitting the right tone is so important). Knowing your audience & understanding what drives them will help you situate your visual aspects of your live stream as well as decide the topics that will be addressed." — Cassie Roma, Content Marketing & Social Media Expert

"When you are somewhere witnessing something that you want share, or immediately inspired to share something, and you whip out your phone and just go for it, that’s On the Fly live streaming. It should be quick and impactful. When you are in a space that you have more control over, like your home or office, and you decide you have something important to share and want to go live to share it, that is In the Moment. If you happen to have a studio, this might be more produced, but it doesn’t need to be. It should have clean audio and some consideration for the way your set looks. When you spend time on your live stream by scripting an opening and a closing, by carefully planning the content you share, and by promoting the fact that it’s coming, that’s Prepped and Ready. More and more live streams are taking this format with platforms like BeLive making the scheduling and promotion easier. Prepped and Ready may or may not mean you are live streaming at a regular time, and it always means you are live streaming with a full content and promotion plan." — Chloe DiVita, Founder of Perceptive Presence

Engagement: Activating The Audience During The Stream

"It seems so simple, but by telling your Facebook Live audience to turn the sound on using the text field makes a huge difference in your metrics." — Carmen Shirley Collins, Social Media Lead, Talent Brand, Cisco

"Ask an easy-to-answer question like ‘where are you viewing from’ or ask them to click on Like if they can hear you loud and clear. This will bring you great engagement and boost your reach as Facebook will show your live video to more people." — Alex Khan, Germany’s most followed Social Media Coach

"On Instagram Live, you can’t label your video. As soon as you go live, type a comment with your video title or topic and share it. Then, select your comment and Pin it. This keeps your comment (with the topic or title) visible to all viewers coming on throughout the live broadcast." — Jenn Herman, Founder of Jenn’s Trends,

"As you are Live have your viewers share the live video on their personal profilessimultaneously which will provide you greater reach" — Nicholas Kusmich, Founder & Director of the H2H Media Group

"You must remember that most of your live stream views will come from the replay and NOT the live stream. This is true for even the most popular live streamers. It is imperative therefore that you build your live stream format around the replay viewers. One great way to do this is in your first 5 seconds. Most live streamers spend the first few minutes waiting for their audience to show up which makes for a horrible replay experience. Instead, start your live stream FOR the replay viewer by asking a question or hitting them with a value statement up front. That way, when a viewer watches on replay, the very first thing they will hear is a question or comment designed specifically for them!" — Owen Video, The VideoSpot

Tools: Technology and Software Suggestions

"Here’s a relatively new tool that I have been testing (and loving!!) lately. It’s Ecamm Live. It’s only $39 (one time – NOT subscription!), is lightweight and super easy to use, with some neat built-in features like countdown clock, pop out windows, multiple camera inputs, PIP, desktop sharing, etc. Authentic engagement is key to live video, so having a window that not only displays viewer comments, but allows for one-click, lower-thirds comment overlays makes this my current live video production platform of choice. You can also bring in video or audio guests using the Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype. The Ecamm software also has a built-in option to post to YouTube when you’re done (sweeeeeet!)" — Lou Mongello, Host/Producer of

"When going live on Facebook, use a service like Live Leap to syndicate that live broadcast automatically to multiple Facebook groups, pages, notify your audience on your other social networks, your blog/website, email and even SMS. This is a quick/easy way to expand your reach without any additional effort on your part (besides the set up)." — Leslie Samuel, Owner of Becoming A Blogger

"With the ability to stream live to Facebook, Belive makes it so easy to conduct an interview and share screens. You also have a great view of all the comments on the Facebook Live and the ability to reply from the Belive manager. It also lets you show the commenter’s photo and comment on the screen – which people love! One of my favorite features is the agenda. I drop in my outline, links I want to share, etc. So I can either display them on the screen or copy and paste to a comment on the broadcast." — Alisa Meredith, Content Marketing Manager, Tailwind.

Other Tips, Tricks & Hacks

"Go live for at least 15 minutes. FB wants people to watch lives while they are live. In order to get the most reach, make sure to stay live for long enough for FB give you the most reach as possible." — Azriel Ratz, CEO, Ratz Pack Media

"Don’t assume that live streaming is just for millennial audiences. I worked for a healthcare company that had a lot of success live streaming healthy cooking classes, fitness classes for seniors, and Medicare Q&A sessions. Facebook makes it so easy for users to participate!" — Dan Gingiss, Author of "Winning at Social Customer Care"

"Brands and businesses should start using 360-live video as it is the next iteration in live video/live streaming. You will see a shift in content from 2D/flat to content that’s 3D, 360-degrees and sometime holographic." — Cathy Hackl, Marketing Futurist, Author of Marketing New Realities, VR and AR Evangelist

"When you create your Live Stream, think about how you are going to re-purpose it. I am using Live Streaming at least a few times a week and then I download the video, add it to YouTube, share it on the other social platforms and embed it on a blog post. Now that one piece of content is going much further!" — Andrea Vahl, Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of


How is your Brand exposured to safety issues?/eMarketer

Brand Safety Issues Are Widespread

Advertisers feel they’re exposed to a range of potentially damaging c

Keeping an eye out for threats to brand safety is now a well-entrenched aspect of any marketer’s portfolio.

New research from GumGum and Digiday reveals that more than two-thirds of US marketers polled in November 2017 said their brands—or brands they worked with—had been exposed to a brand safety issue at least once. And more than half had suffered from a brand safety threat more than once.


The top types of brand-unsafe content that marketers said they or their brands had been exposed to were disasters/tragedies (39%), divisive politics (39%) and fake news (39%). However, almost one-third also said their content had appeared too closely to that of a competitor, underscoring how broad a definition respondents had about unsafe content.

There were also some disparities between the top concerns marketers had and the types of unsafe content they were actually suffering from. For instance, hate speech was named as the top brand-unsafe factor by 34% of respondents—more than any other factor. But only 26% said their brands had been exposed to it.

Similarly, 17% of marketers worried about pornography, but just 7% had their content show up adjacent to such prurient material.

Although YouTube has had some high-profile problems with brand safety of late, GumGum and Digiday found that Facebook was considered the least brand-safe platform for advertisers. LinkedIn was at the other end of the spectrum, considered to be the most safe for digital advertisers.

GumGum and Digiday noted how the opaque nature and complex inventory supply chain of programmatic advertising transactions had added to the difficulty of brands protecting themselves from unsafe content. But advertisers also face threats to their brand equity from an increasingly polarized political climate that spills over into news coverage, as well as YouTube’s sometimes unsavory—and unregulated—video content, according to the report.

But the report also highlighted some tools that brands can use to fight back. Among them are keyword detection, which allows for the filtering of publisher content with unwanted topics, such as a plane crash, from their available inventory. Publisher blacklists and whitelists can also help advertisers ensure a better grip on brand safety, the report concluded.