This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
Of the 2,000 people who registered for the course, Cairo and Alves say around 800 remained active through the six-week period. Cairo estimates around 10 to 15 percent of the students completed all the work, with 7 percent receiving a certificate
The digital team, under Rospars leadership, took their data-driven strategy to a new level. Any time you received an email from the Obama campaign, it had been tested on 18 smaller groups and the response rates had been gauged. The campaign thought all the letters had a good chance of succeeding, but the worst-performing letters did only 15 to 20 percent of what the best-performing emails could deliver. So, if a good performer could do $2.5 million, a poor performer might only net $500,000. The genius of the campaign was that it learned to stop sending poor performers….
the Analytics team built a tool they called The Optimizer, which allowed the campaign to buy eyeballs on television more cheaply. They took set-top box (that is to say, your cable or satellite box or DVR) data from Davidsen’s old startup, Navik Networks, and correlated it with the campaign’s own data. This occurred through a third party called Epsilon: the campaign sent its voter file and the television provider sent their billing file and boom, a list came back of people who had done certain things like, for example, watched the first presidential debate. Having that data allowed the campaign to buy ads that they knew would get in front of the most of their people at the least cost.
Beam Toothbrush claims to be the “first app-connected toothbrush” that allows users to track their dental hygiene habits
Europe’s digital library Europeana has been described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the sprawling web estate of EU institutions. It aggregates digitised books, paintings, photographs, recordings and films from over 2,200 contributing cultural heritage organisations across Europe - including major national bodies such as the British Library, the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum. Today Europeana is opening up data about all 20 million of the items it holds under the CC0 rights waiver. This means that anyone can reuse the data for any purpose - whether using it to build applications to bring cultural content to new audiences in new ways, or analysing it to improve our understanding of Europe’s cultural and intellectual history.
Existing laws require companies to reply to requests for personal data, but only on paper. Some take 40 days to respond. The government thinks that consumers and the economy would benefit if they did so immediately. Price comparison engines that suck in itemised telephone bills could find people better deals. Personal finance sites empowered to ingest financial statements could help spendthrifts reform. In the long term the government hopes entrepreneurs will dream up more inventive data-driven services. Start-ups able to track a user’s purchases might offer to store receipts and warranties in a central location, for a fee. Digital wardrobes might catalogue a shopper’s new clothes, then recommend accessories.
The “Know Me” programme will use Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane. BA staff will also search individual data held by the airline, including if a regular traveller has experienced problems on previous flights, such as delays, so that crew are primed to apologise. Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA, said: “We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant…”The airline is aiming to send 4,500 personal recognition messages a day by the end of the year.
Coliloquy’s digital books, which are available on Kindle, Nook and Android e-readers, have a “choose-your-own-adventure”-style format, allowing readers to customize characters and plot lines. The company’s engineers aggregate and pool the data gleaned from readers’ selections and send it to the authors, who can adjust story lines in their next books to reflect popular choices…
In Tawna Fenske’s romantic caper “Getting Dumped”—which centers on a young woman who finds work at a landfill after getting laid off from her high-profile job at the county’s public relations office—readers can choose which of three suitors they want the heroine to pursue. The most recent batch of statistics showed that 53.3% chose Collin, a Hugh Grant type; 16.8% chose Pete, the handsome but unavailable co-worker; and 29.7% of readers liked Daniel, the heroine’s emotionally distant boyfriend. Ms. Fenske originally planned to get rid of Daniel by sending him to prison and writing him out of the series. Then she saw the statistics. She decided 29.7 % was too big a chunk of her audience to ignore.
Abigail Sellen and Steve Whittaker have actually argued against recording too much. Useful information is better than exhaustive information, because the term “digital memories” is a bit of misnomer: what’s more important is what actual, brain-stored memories your digital records can spark.
Unlike either a traditional bank or a money management tool, Simple provides its users with a Visa card, then gives them detailed, instant data on each transaction. Transactions can be mapped and tagged, and electronic funds transfers let users send money… (the app) currently only for iPhone, includes similar features to the web interface: users get access to transactions, payment schedules, and ATM locations. It also looks like checks can be deposited straight from the app by taking a picture
The difference with live testing is not just that there is no time to learn and apply lessons. It’s more radical than that: There are no clear lessons to learn, no rules to extract. At the gaming network IGN, for example, executives found that crisp, clear prose was outperforming hyped-up buzzwords (like free and exclusive) on certain parts of the homepage. But in previous years, the opposite had been true. Why? They talked and talked about it, but no one could figure it out. Soon they realized that it simply didn’t matter. A/B would guide them at ground level, so there was no need to worry about why users behaved in one way or another.
One consequence of this data-driven revolution is that the whole attitude toward writing software, or even imagining it, becomes subtly constrained… A number of developers told me that A/B has probably reduced the number of big, dramatic changes to their products. They now think of wholesale revisions as simply too risky—instead, they want to break every idea up into smaller pieces, with each piece tested and then gradually, tentatively phased into the traffic. But this approach, and the mindset that comes with it, has its own dangers. Companies may protect themselves against major gaffes but risk a kind of plodding incrementalism. They may find themselves chasing “local maxima”—places where the A/B tests might create the best possible outcome within narrow constraints—instead of pursuing real breakthroughs… “If you rely too much on the data, you never branch out. You just keep making better buggy whips.