Do social media competitions work?

Have you come across those social media posts where the people you follow say something nice about a company in order to be entered into a prize draw or some sort of competition? You can spot them because they use a specific hashtag, or they say something like ‘RT in order to win’.   I … Continue reading Do social media competitions work?

How Alexa got its name

I always assumed that the name for Amazon’s smart voice assistant, Alexa, was some sort of nod to the (female) name Alexandra. But I was wrong. The creator of Alexa, Brewster Kahle, revealed how he came up with that name, in an interview with Kara Swisher for the Decode Recode podcast, which you can listen … Continue reading How Alexa got its name

Smartphone use: e-mail and social up; phone calls down

Deloitte’s 2016 Global Mobile Consumer survey reveals that the proportion of UK smartphone users who use their phone for web-enabled activities continues to increase. For instance, 56% of users now use instant messaging at least once a week. The number is 59% for social networks, and 71% for e-mail. At the same time, the proportion … Continue reading Smartphone use: e-mail and social up; phone calls down

Privacy threats: more than hacking or unauthorised surveillance

When we talk about privacy problems, we tend to focus on the collection or use of personal data without that person’s informed consent – for instance, hacking, unauthorised access, staff (mis)behaviour, or automated data collection.   However, a person’s privacy may be compromised even when they willingly agreed to share their data. Dan Nunan and … Continue reading Privacy threats: more than hacking or unauthorised surveillance

Something for your weekend: Why Seth Godin blogs

Seth Godin was interviewed by Debbie Millman, for the Design Matters podcast. It is a wide ranging and really interesting interview, which you can listen to, here.   At one point (around 30 minutes in), Debbie notes that Seth has been sharing material online, for free, for quite a long time, and asks why he … Continue reading Something for your weekend: Why Seth Godin blogs

Snapchat: about tightly-knit close relationships, not useful connections

Snapchat is a very (and increasingly) popular social media platform. According to Omnicore, as of 22nd January 2017, it had 100 million daily active users, spending an average of 25-30 minutes per day on the platform.   It is highly popular with youngsters (45% of users are aged 18-24 years old), particularly female users (70% … Continue reading Snapchat: about tightly-knit close relationships, not useful connections

Would providing financial incentives to use health and fitness wearables work?

In recent years, there have been suggestions that doctors should prescribe the use of health and fitness wearables to get people moving and to fight rising obesity levels. Others have suggested that employers and insurance providers should incentivise the use of wearables, for instance by funding their acquisition, or by reducing insurance premiums.   These … Continue reading Would providing financial incentives to use health and fitness wearables work?

Not in front of Alexa, dear

In a recent episode of the “Let's talk about tech – Tech phone-in” podcast, the presenters were debating the extent to which smart voice assistants like Alexa presented a security and privacy threat. Fevzi Turkalp, from GadgetDetective.com, explained: The way that Alexa works (…) is that the smart bit of it is done on the … Continue reading Not in front of Alexa, dear