Biases in algorithms – the case of Hello Barbie

Sometime ago, I saw a presentation by Val Steeves, Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa (Canada), about her research on smart toys. The talk focused on Hello Barbie, a Barbie-branded doll which is advertised as “the first fashion doll that can have a two-way conversation with girls”, and featuring “speech recognition and progressive … Continue reading Biases in algorithms – the case of Hello Barbie

Impact of negative online reviews on restaurant staff

The ubiquity of internet access and the popularity of online review sites and other forms of social media, have led to an increase in the opportunity for customers to share their consumption experiences with others. For instance, sharing an entry in Trip Advisor, posting an update on Facebook, or even uploading a video to YouTube. … Continue reading Impact of negative online reviews on restaurant staff

Data harvesting on social media as seduction

In an ideal world, customers would flock to our doors, buy our products over and over again, and happily tell others about their experiences with our brands. But, in the real world, that doesn’t usually happen. In the real world, marketers need to use various techniques to convince customers to use their product. For instance, … Continue reading Data harvesting on social media as seduction

Digital 2019 report: nearly four in ten internet users now using voice commands or voice search

DataReportal has released its annual report on the state of everything digital. It is a fantastic resource, with all sorts of statistics about Internet access and use across the world. You can access the data here, and you can read the analysis here.   One aspect of the report that caught my eye was the data … Continue reading Digital 2019 report: nearly four in ten internet users now using voice commands or voice search

The short vs long term effects of a social media crisis

United breaks guitars. Disgusting Domino’s. The exploding Galaxy Note 7. Starbucks’s race row. #DeleteUber. Gillette’s misplaced belief on the best a man can be. These are just a handful of examples of branding crises playing out on social media. It usually starts with a localised problem, or even with good intentions that backfire. At some … Continue reading The short vs long term effects of a social media crisis

The human backstage of tech businesses

In a recent episode of Intelligence Squared, Martha Lane Fox and Mishal Husain, reminisced about the early days of the Internet and, specifically, Lastminute.com, the pioneer travel and leisure website, launched by Lane Fox and her business partner, in 1998.   The journalist Mishal Husain recalled: “I remember so well that the first two websites … Continue reading The human backstage of tech businesses