Matt Rhodes

35 Added | 1 Magazine | 3 Following | 41 Followers | @mattrhodes | Digital | Strategy | Marketing | Marathons | London

How Has Technology Changed the Concept of Community?

For some, making connections has become easier, but others say that life has become more isolated.<p>At a time when Americans can flick a keyboard or swipe a touchscreen to connect with products, people, and information from anywhere in the world, are they in danger of disconnecting from their own …

Demographics

'Content' is a vile word

<i>A version of this article originally appeared as part of our weekly newsletter – sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out next Friday.</i><p>There’s a word that has become ubiquitous in recent years. A word that describes the product I make at The Next Web and almost everything you consume on the …

Were All Those Rainbow Profile Photos Another Facebook Study?

The social network learns more about its users than they might realize.<p>Facebook, you may have noticed, turned into a rainbow-drenched spectacle following the Supreme Court’s decision Friday that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.<p>By overlaying their profile photos with a rainbow filter, …

Social Media

What CEOs Have Learned About Social Media

When it comes to social media, today’s CEOs have made a remarkable transition over the past five years. A recent analysis by my firm, Weber Shandwick, found that 80% of the chief executive officers of the world’s largest 50 companies are engaged online and on social media. The results, published in …

Social Media

Why Men Are Retweeted More Than Women

The gender disparity of influence on Twitter<p>Here’s an under-140-character musing for you: the hashtag can teach us something about gender. A male Twitter user might tag that observation with something like #linguistics, #gender, or maybe #hashtags. A female user is more likely to add something like …

Social Media

What Does the On-Demand Workforce Look Like?

A new survey takes stock of the people on the ground who provide services like Uber’s and Instacart’s—as well as those workers’ needs and wants.<p>There’s a large number of Americans—some have estimated as many as 53 million—who make up the so-called “1099 economy,” named for the tax form on which …

The Workplace

The Verizon-AOL Deal: It's About Mobile-Ad Revenue

Is this deal best described as a behemoth of the new, mobile internet acquiring an artifact of the old dial-up one? Sort of, but what’s also on the table is AOL’s booming advertising business.<p>U.S. telecom giant Verizon is buying AOL, paying $50 a share in a $4.4 billion deal. AOL is the owner of …

AdTech

When Cops Check Facebook

America’s police are using social media to fight crime, a practice that raises troubling questions.<p>In 2012, Brooklyn police officer Michael Rodrigues arrested a burglary gang, the Brower Boys, by adding gang members as friends on Facebook. The day of the arrest was like gathering the lowest-hanging …

Social Media

Inside the Podcast Brain: Why Do Audio Stories Captivate?

The emotional appeal of listening<p>In my all-time favorite episode of <i>Radiolab</i>, “Finding Emilie,” a young art student named Emilie Gossiaux gets into a terrible accident while riding her bike and, rendered blind and deaf, is unable to communicate with her loved ones until she makes an incredible …

The Brain

What Would a World Without Language Barriers Look Like?

On the present imperfections and compelling potential of Skype's real-time translation<p>My dad has a story he likes to tell about one of his friends, a scientist. The scientist was giving a lecture in Japan, and opened with a joke that lasted a couple minutes. After delivering the joke in English, he …

Language

He Said, She Said: How Uber Relied on Data in an Assault Dispute

When a driver and passenger gave conflicting accounts about an incident, the company reviewed logs of user information to decide what to do.<p>On Friday night, a group of twentysomethings took an Uber ride to a party in Houston. Something about the man driving the car seemed off from the …

Time I

Emoticons are improving the English language

txt msgs r running language<p>*ruining<p>^lol, jk!! :)<p>In many casual discussions of language and the internet, it’s not uncommon to hear about how such “textspeak ruins language”—how technology has made everybody lazy with their speech and writing. Major media outlets such as the LA Times, the BBC and …

Language

The Golden Age of Online Music Is Over (and Another Is Beginning)

Beyonce and Rihanna's exclusive Tidal releases show that what was once a listener's paradise is now being carved into fiefdoms as competition between streaming platforms intensifies.<p>It might just be the platonic ideal of music listening: hear any song of your choice instantaneously, whenever and …

Living Rooms

Tidal: Long Live Millionaire Musicians

Jay Z and other ultra-famous stars declare a revolution in the form of $20-a-month subscriptions.<p><i>Updated March 31, 2015</i><p>A change has come to music, and its color is hex #00ffff. Additionally known as cyan, aqua, electric cyan, and waterspout, the hue in the past 24 hours took over the Twitter …

Playlist

How Consumers Understand (and Misunderstand) Pricing Cues

Getty Images<p>Giant suburban stores with tacky displays always have the best prices, right? Just as urban stores with beautiful gourmet sections have the highest ones?<p>New research suggests that people persist in believing these stereotypes, even though they’re not always true.<p>Ryan Hamilton, of Emory …

eCommerce

Facebook as a Press Baron

Facebook wants to host content from The New York Times and BuzzFeed. Should they share their work?<p>Once, the idea that a reader would find a <i>New York Times</i> story without ever picking up a newspaper might have seemed preposterous. Now, <i>Times</i> stories are everywhere, and the news organization has not …

Media Industry

How Self-Service Kiosks Are Changing Customer Behavior

Soon, you may be able to walk into a McDonalds, tap your order on a “Create Your Taste” touch screen, and receive a burger adjusted to your specifications. Avocado and shaved parmesan on your sandwich? No problem.<p>McDonalds isn’t the first fast food chain to consider giving customers more control …

Banking

When Social-Media Companies Censor Sex Education

Health organizations can find themselves held back by the policies of sites like Facebook and Twitter, which often classify their messages of safe sex as inappropriate content.<p>When The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy launched Bedsider three years ago, it wanted to create …

Social Media

Is Social Media Actually Helping Your Company’s Bottom Line?

When it comes to business, we talk too much about social media and expect too little. It’s like the old joke about sales people: one person says, “I made some valuable contacts today,” and the other responds, “I didn’t get any orders, either.” Companies measure the market results of their sales …

Mount Everest

A Snap Is a Postcard

Why geo-filters are crucial to understanding the app’s appeal<p>Snapchat is back in the news again.<p>It is propelled mostly by a $10-billion valuation and the whispery success of Snapchat Discover, which lets a couple lucky media companies promote tiny swipe-magazines of video and text to every single …

Social Media

Why the Print Catalog Is Back in Style

J. C. Penney’s recent announcement that it is resurrecting its print catalog reflects a trend of retailers returning to the print medium as an important sales and marketing tool.<p>While Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have been mailing catalogs for years, now specialty retailers are picking up …

eCommerce

#TheDress and the Rise of Attention-Policing

An optical illusion may lead us to question the nature of reality, but it shouldn't make us question each other.<p>It caused Taylor Swift to feel “confused and scared.” It caused a rupture in the Kardashian-West household that might never be repaired. It caused Chris Murphy, a Democratic …

Left Shark

Using Technology to Outsource Human Memory

Scrolling through Facebook has largely replaced browsing through old photo albums. What does this mean for how we make and store memories?<p>Nostalgia has made a comeback.<p>With all the #tbts and #fbfs—also known as Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays—as well as that NewsFeed-topping Year in …

Social Media

In the age of niche media, everyone still really wants to be mass

Image copyright Shutterstock / Petr Jilek.One of the best things about the web is that it has meant an explosion of choices when it comes to media, …

Journalism

Social media star Casey Neistat talks Snapchat versus YouTube

Image copyright Photo by Dean Neistat/Google Plus.Since Snapchat Stories have been around for only a year or so, Snapchat celebrities are still a …

Social Media

Why People Probably Won't Pay to Keep Their Web History Secret

Historically, privacy has rarely been a priority. Frequently it's a luxury. For most people, it hasn't been possible at all.<p>AT&T is conducting an experiment in how much money Americans will pay for privacy. If consumers in Kansas are willing to pay an extra $30 per month for super-fast fiber-optic …

Privacy

Is ISIS’s Social-Media Power Exaggerated?

The group is famously active on Twitter and has attracted thousands of foreign fighters. But to what extent is one related to the other?<p>“Terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL deliberately target their propaganda in the hopes of reaching and brainwashing young Muslims, especially those who may be …

Social Media

A massive database now translates news in 65 languages in real time

Image copyright GDELT.I have written quite a bit about GDELT (the Global Database of Events, Languages and Tone) over the past year, because I think …

Big Data