Older blog entries for dmarti (starting at number 504)

Believing Bullshit

Why do people believe bullshit? The problem of producing it is covered in Harry G. Frankfurt's On Bullshit, but why believe it?

It looks as if believing an organization's bullshit is an inexpensive way to signal loyalty to the organization. Signaling through contribution requires skill×effort. Believing bullshit requires little effort and there's no multiplier for skill.

Although signaling loyalty through bullshit-belief can be a good strategy for a member, there are clearly adverse consequences for the organization. The organization fails to capture extra, potentially useful, work done as a by-product of loyalty signaling through contribution. Ineffective managers within the organization can manage based on loyalty as shown through bullshit-belief rather than having to evaluate results. And members make incorrect decisions based on bullshit, not reality.

The obvious answer is for the organization to produce less bullshit. Most of the time, the decision to believe something isn't based on what belief is correct, but on what belief shows loyalty. If the bullshit isn't there, the opportunity to believe it is gone. However, much as it would help to have fewer opportunities for members to signal loyalty by bullshit-belief, the organization may need to continue to produce bullshit for other reasons.

A more realistic answer is to give members opportunities for showing loyalty that do not require either effort, which is costly, or bullshit-belief, which is harmful. For example, provide silly-looking clothing for members—anything that people would choose to wear only to show loyalty, and not for other reasons. Or invite members to participate in rituals, as in agile software development methodologies.

(Bonus link: Michael O. Church on the MacLeod Model of organizational sociology.)

Syndicated 2013-06-27 13:32:53 from Don Marti

Advertising and privacy link dump

First of all, go read Bob Hoffman, Ad Contrarian. Samples: Blogger Math Takes On Facebook Where Are The Brands? The Cheats vs The Morons Coca-Cola: Fizzy Goes Fuzzy Online Advertisers Getting Hosed Time To Clean Out The Stables

More links on advertising and privacy...

Mathew Ingram: Guardian kills its Facebook social reader, regains control over its content

TechCrunch's teachable moment: media sites must own the conversation | Dan Gillmor

Bizarre Upper East Side marketing orgy: Small Ads

Terry Heaton's PoMo Blog: TV numbers add up (to a BIG problem) Ads on TV crossed the line of viewer disrespect a long time ago.

George Simpson: I have spent the better part of the last 15 years defending cookie-setting and tracking to help improve advertising. But it is really hard when the prosecution presents the evidence, and it has ad industry fingerprints all over it -- every time. in Suicide By Cookies (via Doc Searls Weblog and Mozilla Privacy Blog)

Joshua Koran: The Real Costs of Cookie-Blocking. This inadvertently centralizes consumer activity to just a few players, which according to privacy advocates would help lead to the very "Big Brother" centralized database of consumer activity that they are trying to prevent.

Measuring Brand Lift With Google Consumer Surveys

How Affiliate Adware Affects Your Revenue

Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android (via Anil Dash)

Login should be personal and minimal first, social later. Users don't like social login

Ben Adida: Firefox is the unlocked browser. (Let's hope they get the user agent string fixed, though.)

Why we should all worry about being tracked online | James Ball

Jeff John Roberts: Massive bot network is draining $6 million a month from online ad industry, says report

Jeffrey F. Rayport: Advertising and the Internet of Things.

Daniel Lawton at Knife Depot: How Google Sliced Away Our Knife Ads

Curt Woodward: Newspaper Paywalls: Here's Why They’re Really Doing It.

Rebecca Waber: When Ads Get (Too) Personal. As media — and the advertising seen on it — become more focused on smaller groups of individuals, we see less of the same advertising content as other people do. And that's a potential blow to advertisers for several important reasons:....

The Security Skeptic: Ad Industry Attacks Against Mozilla Reveal Poor Choice of Campaign Role Models. But rather than mounting a campaign that attacks Mozilla directly, IAB/ANA strategy is focused on scaring users by threatening more advertisements.

Richard Stacy: Why social media is a dangerous concept. Social media only really works on the basis of speaking to small groups of people or individuals. It hardly ever gives you the scale or reach we assume is associated with the term media.

Eric Picard: How targeted advertising can be saved. At some point, the browsers are going to unilaterally put an end to this debate about online privacy and advertising tracking. More: Our industry's unethical, indefensible behavior. People are claiming that if we stop the targeting, all the value in this industry will bottom out—that another bubble will burst, and advertising Armageddon will follow. I disagree. I believe a huge amount of value can be generated without marginally ethical behavior. Also: Why consumers think online marketing is creepy and The real reason consumers are creeped out by online ads.

Alan Schulman: Algorithms Don't Feel, People Do. This balance between medium and message has largely been lost, as we seem more seduced by the algorithms — the containers and software solutions for delivering messages to devices — than the evolution or effectiveness of them.

Dax Hamman: Why retargeting is fundamentally broken. Do we not recognize that all that advertising we see in magazines, on TV or hear on the radio is influencing our decisions? And yet under the digital model of last touch, all of that value and influence is simply ignored.

Facebook Knew I Was Gay Before My Family Did

Jack Neff: Nielsen Now Tracks (Almost) Everything You Buy

Why data leakage is hurting our industry

3 things about the privacy debate that don't matter

How a banner ad for H&R; Block appeared on apple.com—without Apple’s OK | Ars Technica

Dan Gillmor says journalists are uninformed about who controls the platforms they publish on

Ken Dreifach: The New NAI Draft Code: What Ad Networks, Platforms and Exchanges Need to Know. The Draft Code “prohibit[s] member companies from using [locally stored objects] for online advertising activities.

Steve Smith: Is 'Do Not Track' And Opt-Out Already Impacting Audience Value And Pricing? The report contends that this increase in the share of users either without cookies or without third-party data is likely a result of enhanced public awareness of do-not-track and opt-out mechanisms. As browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer make the do-not-track flag or cookie blocking the default modes,this share is likely to rise.

Tom Hespos contemplates a future without third-party cookies: Could digital survive losing the cookie? Power would begin to shift back toward single sites with large traffic volume. In the absence of third-party cookies, after all, marketers would have to rely solely on data captured by individual sites in order to target ads in any compelling way. More: Why advertisers need to lose some pricing control

Peter Swire: Open Letters To... | How to Prevent the ‘Do Not Track’ Arms Race (via HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Blog). (Really? Adtech firms are going to replace cookies with "even more sophisticated tracking methods"? All that would do is bring smug cookie-blocking users who are now bored with the whole thing back in for another round.)

John Battelle on the return (or did it ever go away?) of click fraud: We’ve Seen This Movie Before…On Traffic of Good Intent. More: When It’s This Easy To Take Someone’s Money…. Also, Publishers, Ad-Tech Firms, Marketers Need to Connect, Build Trust. (Let me get this straight. 1. Adtech system teeming with fraud. 2. ??? 3. Participants in this system should begin trusting one another.)

The Cookie Has Five Years Left Says Merkle's Paul Cimino (via HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Blog)

Mozilla Blog: Mozilla’s new Do Not Track dashboard: Firefox users continue to seek out and enable DNT

David Kaplan: Casale Finds Browsers' 'Do Not Track' Reduced Cookie Values

Alexis C. Madrigal: If It Wasn't the Pregnancy Tests, Why Did Baby Catalogs Start Arriving at Our House?

Mary Hodder and Elizabeth Churchill: Lying and Hiding in the Name of Privacy. A large percentage of individuals employ artful dodges to avoid giving out requested personal information online when they believe at least some of that information is not required. These dodges include hiding personal details, intentionally submitting incorrect data, clicking away from sites or refusing to install phone applications. This suggests most people do not want to reveal more than they have to when all they want is to download apps, watch videos, shop or participate in social networking.

Dan Hon: 2p – The tyranny of digital advertising. Ultimately, digital display advertising is boring and suffers from a glut of oversupply. This is why we have a pseudo holy war going on between the display advertising folk and the native advertising folk: because people ignore interruptive display advertising and pay attention to interesting content.

Steve Sullivan: Prepare to Board the Viewability Train with IAB SafeFrame

Mozilla Blog: Personalization with Respect. Mozilla aspires to enable personalization—the customization of ads, content, recommendations, offers and more — that doesn’t rely on the user being in the dark about who has access to that information, and with whom that information is shared.

Mike Volpe: 10 Horrifying Stats About Display Advertising (via Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream) You are more likely to complete NAVY SEAL training than click a banner ad....About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental.

John Ebbert: IP Targeting May Replace The Cookie, Says AcquireWeb (via Goodway Group Blog)

Eli Goodman: As Digital Ad Effectiveness Measurement Improves, Are Branding Ad Dollars Ready to Follow? (Sure, if the privacy protection is there. Otherwise, online ads carry all the signal of an incoming email spam.)

Joe Mohen: RTB Is the Most Overhyped Technology Ever

Kevin Conroy: The Third-Party Cookie Divide Is Debilitating the Industry

Ken Doctor: The newsonomics of climbing the ad food chain. Publishers describe their digital ad woe with these terms: “price compression,” “bargain-basement ad networks,” and “death of the banner ad.” Each describes a world of hyper-competition in digital advertising — a world of almost infinite ad possibility and unyielding downward pricing pressure. (via Street Fight)

Syndicated 2013-06-02 15:09:38 from Don Marti

Internet trend: unexplained value of print ads

Making the rounds: Internet Trends 2013 by Mary Meeker and Liang Wu at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Yes, I always jump to the slide about ad spending in each medium compared to time that people spend with that medium.

2012 was a big year for adtech, so the share of people's time and advertisers's budgets that print pulls in should be steadily declining, right?

The December 2011 numbers in the 2012 version have print at 7% of time spent and 25% of ad spending. For December 2012, print has 6% of the time and 23% of the money.

So print's time is down by 14% and money is down by 8%.

There's no correction toward digital. Print continues to command an unreasonably large share of advertising budgets. Spending is down, but proportionally not as much as time.

With the trendiness and bubblyness of digital, we'd expect it to go the other way.

Something deeper than click fraud is going on here. Print is inherently more valuable because it's less trackable, and carries a better signal, and we keep seeing that in these Internet Trends reports.

More: Can privacy tech save advertising?

photo: Kate Ter Haar

Syndicated 2013-05-31 14:02:38 from Don Marti

Software development links, again

Making the rounds...

Git branch / merge: not as easy as advertised

Cray-zy progress! We have boot!

3 things I set on new servers | Simon Holywell - Web developer in Brighton

Components Becoming Major Source Of CVEs (via Wild Webmink)

A short introduction to TPMs (via a technology job is no excuse)

git? tig! (via Hacker News Daily)

coolwanglu/pdf2htmlEX · GitHub (via One Thing Well)

HTTP as Imagined versus HTTP as Found

A Saudi Arabia Telecom's Surveillance Pitch (via Center for Democracy & Technology)

Git prompt: Tell me more

The Go Programming Language Blog: Go 1.1 is released (via LWN.net and The Promised Planet)

Why Go? (via dzone.com: latest front page)

PostgreSQL New Development Priorities: Scale It Now

Your Jabber ID as your Persona identity

Alternatives To Git Submodule: Git Subtree

Volatile and Decentralized: What I wish systems researchers would work on (via Journal of a Programmer)

What Is Persona?

Francois Marier: Three wrappers to run commands without impacting the rest of the system

pybit 1.0.0 - distributed, scalable builds direct from VCS or archives

Always define the language and the direction of your HTML documents, part 02: Backwards English

Prefetching resources to prime the browser cache for the next page

Linux System Programming, 2ed (via Techrights)

Adobe Typekit improves the Rosario typeface family

New Security Feature in Fedora 19 Part 3: Hard Link/Soft Link Protection (via Techrights)

Elevator pitch for Haskell short enough for an elevator ride

Meet the cloud that will keep you warm at night (via Advogato blog for pedro)

Vermont Is Mad as Hell at Patent Trolls and Is Not Going to Take It Anymore (via LWN.net)

Improving the security of your SSH private key files — Martin Kleppmann’s blog (via Hacker News Daily)

About NixOS (via Hacker News Daily)

Don’t abandon XMPP, your loyal communications friend

Stop Using Arial & Helvetica (via daniel g. siegel)

Creating Shazam in Java | Redcode (via dzone.com: latest front page)

Deploying a Web app in 14 days, No HTML.

Syndicated 2013-05-29 13:56:48 from Don Marti

QoTD: Bob Hoffman

Online advertising was supposed to be interactive. It was supposed to rescue us from having to force people into looking at our ads. Consumers were going to want to interact with us, they were going to want to have conversations with marketers, they were going to want to have relationships with brands.
It was all fantasies and delusions based on naive interpretations of consumer behavior by people who had a whole lot of ideological commitment to the web, and very little experience with real world marketing.

Bob Hoffman, Ad Contrarian

Syndicated 2013-05-24 14:17:52 from Don Marti

How can I break the Facebook habit?

I understand all those I'm quitting social site posts, really. The open web is much more fun, useful, and promising in the long run than hanging out on whatever current site has taken the place of AOL, CompuServe, and MySpace.

But, really, just quitting a site? Might be harder than it sounds. Habits are hard to break, so here's a list of things to help add some motivation to social network quitteration.

  • Awkward friending. Every week or so, connect with a person who isn't really your friend, but would find it difficult to turn you down. Be a creepy ex-coworker. Don't spam, though.

  • Social marketing FAIL Find the most awful "engaged brands" in the ads on social sites and follow or friend them. Keep yourself from being tempted to return to a social site by knowing that your feed there will be full of FREE WEBINARs.

  • Social marketing double FAIL Befriend the most heinous companies and astroturf organizations you can find. The "American Sugar Alliance" and other groups looking for corporate welfare usually do it for me.

  • Klouchebaggery. Do a search for "social media marketing" and do the first tip you find. These change all the time, so be creative.

  • Open the RSS spigot. Set up an account on a site such as dlvr.it to automate posting your blog's feed to the social site. Good for breaking a social networking habit. (If you're all like, I just need to get on and post my one blog link, and before you know it you've been on for an hour, this is better. And yes, dlvr.it works for me.)

  • It's always Hug a Spammer Week. Someone named Melissa wrote to tell me, I like your picture and you look cute n awesome. Well, Melissa, I think you're cute n awesome too. Friend request accepted, and welcome to my social graph.

Bonus link: Silicon Valley’s Problem by Catherine Bracy.

Syndicated 2013-05-24 06:20:05 from Don Marti

Can I uninstall Java?

The answer is almost certainly yes—unless you're a Java programmer. It can't hurt to remove it if you don't need it, and can probably help.

I've been running without Java on the desktop for years. The only thing that I've needed to put it back for has been with one extremely "legacy" behind-the-firewall application.

There are some old corporate applications that still depend on Java in the browser. If you're in the situation of having to use one of those, don't mess with the software installed on your company system, because the IT Department probably has a required setup that you're supposed to use, and you can just use that. (What are you reading random blogs for? Call your company help desk if you have questions about that machine!)

For your own computers, the instructions for removing Java depend on the OS. On Linux, you can use the regular system package manager to remove Java. On other platforms you can read How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer? and How to disable Java on your Mac.

Syndicated 2013-05-24 06:02:51 from Don Marti

What's up with the Q and A posts?

Just realized that I have gotten into the bad habit of writing stuff on a web questions and answers site instead of here. (cue kid from The Simpsons saying HA HA!)

Saving some, deleting the rest.

Syndicated 2013-05-21 03:27:46 from Don Marti

What are the benefits of participating in open source?

Depending on the project and your role in it, you might get lots of different benefits.

  • Learn new languages and tools to keep your skill set current.

  • Practice techniques that you might not be able to justify putting time into in a corporate environment. (For example, coding for extreme security or efficiency or minimum power and memory usage.)

  • Make connections with people outside your company.

  • Signal your technical competence and ability to work with others. Often, willingness to put time into open source depends on the job market for high-skill non-management programmers. The more that the hiring process depends on formal education and certification, and the less input it has from peers, the less incentive that a programmer has to Signal his or her skill using open source.

  • Talk with real users about bugs and features without a company filter, to get a better understanding of a software problem space.

Syndicated 2013-05-21 03:19:26 from Don Marti

How does AIA affect open source?

The America Invents Act increases the benefits of participating in open source in two ways.

First of all, defensive publication becomes a much more powerful tool. The First To Blog rule means that a blog post or other publication is more likely to count as prior art, since a patent applicant can't claim an earlier invention date to beat it. Although it is possible to do defensive publication of just documents while keeping the code itself secret, it's less administrative overhead to just open source as much as possible.

AIA also provides for a challenge system, which will be difficult for most companies to use independently. Industry organizations will probably have a new role in challenging patents that attack their members. The EFF is already doing this for 3D printing patents.

More details: The America Invents Act: Fighting Patent Trolls With "Prior Art"

Syndicated 2013-05-21 03:12:49 from Don Marti

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