Author Archives: Nancy Scott

About Nancy Scott

Nancy Rathbun Scott is a writer, editor, marketing strategist, film producer, and entreprenuer whose prolific career has encompassed work for a variety of organizations, both commercial and nonprofit. Nancy has authored five books, written weekly columns for USA Today, produced numerous print and online publications, and regularly pens articles for executive clients. Nancy’s company, Liberty Communications Group (, provides editorial, public relations and marketing consultation. Contact:

2014– the Year of the Voice


Are you using Siri or Android voice-recognition capability to text? You’re in good company. Voice-activated apps and activities have exploded. Here are some more examples:

• Google glass lets wearers take photos and give digital directions with voice commands. Microsoft  is testing eyewear that will do the same.

• Google Chome recently launched voice activated search. As Google puts it, “If you can say it, you can search for it.”

• Voice activated home automation is turning on lights, locking doors and garages, and activating security systems, home theaters, etc.

• Voice-activated systems that let automobile drivers dictate and translate text messages, send email, and update Facebook are on the horizon, too. Although some experts have voiced safety concerns, more than half of all new cars will integrate some type of voice recognition by 2019, according to the electronics consulting firm IMS Research.

• According to TrendHunterTech, we already can access 25 voice recognition innovations on everything from watches, clocks, remote controls, appliances, cars, and toys to robotic secretaries, nurses and wait staff.

• But wait, there’s more. How about voice activated direct mail? It’s here and it’s now. MAILPOW brings sound—voices, lectures, music … even your own voice—to direct mail. The audience was wowed, when this service was highlighted at DMAW’s “Innovative Formats and Integrated Campaigns” seminar in April.

Voice activated search, messaging, learning and writing will finally come of age this year … and the world will never be the same. In fact, the next voice you hear – or create – could be a robot.  A startup named Guide is working on a way to transform nearly any online article into a video news piece.

Can you hear me now?

Got A Story? Tell A Blogger. But Read This First.


An interesting assignment popped up recently on Blogdash, a website that connects bloggers with folks who need them.

On October 28 — and again on November 1 — I received a pitch from an organization that wanted me to post a 100-500 word article about their “charity” on OurFoodNews. The assignment specified that I include at least one photo and a link to their landing page (both of which I would do anyway).

Sniff, Sniff: Yuk!
The payment offer of $60 was silly, but the topic fit OurFoodNews, so I thought maybe I could do some good. Upon further inspection, though, this particular pitch began to take on a bad odor.

• For one thing, the “link” I was required to include took the reader directly to a video appeal for money. I mean it started playing as soon as I hit the link and I couldn’t turn it off.

• Second, in independent research, I was unable to verify any of the “information” in the press release. For example, when I went to the website, I found a board of directors list. Despite considerable online research, I was unable to verify anything about the reputation, history, profession, or standing of anyone on the board, including the president, who appeared to have no “history” at all.

• One article about the group was published at, so I telephoned the gal who wrote the piece. She couldn’t genuinely vouch for the organization, since she had simply spewed their press release. Two more articles on Grapevine, a local news outlet, appeared to be paid content and featured the same appeal for money.

• Despite citing a social media director on staff,  the organization and board members had no LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook presence. Any Facebook links that I suspected might relate to the people in the group magnified my concern that this is, indeed, a con game.

Do It Anyway
Here’s the surprise: This unsavory group—unfortunately—is onto something. I  do recommend that legitimate organizations turn to bloggers in their industry as a  way to build website traffic. Here’s why:

1. Legitimate bloggers write because they’re passionate and/or knowledgeable about the topic. A few may be “for sale,” but bloggers also know garbage on their blog creates trash. Few of us blogging for a living want to risk that.

2. All bloggers need content. I didn’t know anything about this organization and now I do. Granted, what I know stinks, but at least the experience led to this TDN article.

3. If this had been a legitimate cause germane to my blog, I would have posted.

4. Like most serious bloggers, I did some independent research so that my story wouldn’t be a press release regurgitation. Bottom line: If you’re a scam or a con, a careful blogger won’t take the bait.

The ultimate kernel of this story is that bloggers will help you if …

• your content fits their blog;
• you ask the blogger to help and tell them why;
• you provide background info and interview opportunities;
• you’re legit;
• you approach them personally, via email, on a good day.

Chipotle Takes Advergame Seriously… and Wins


Mobile gaming developer Clicklabs says, “Audience attention is waning from traditional interrupt marketing … Branded games (or advergames) are the perfect solution: They reinforce your brand’s credibility through an enjoyable, engaging experience.”

Case in point? “Scarecrow,” Chipolte’s recent triumph in the advergame arena.

Comprised of three parts (the game, the film, and the facts), “Scarecrow” features a three-minute video portion that’s gone viral. From the strains of “Pure Imagination” sung by Grammy Award®-winning artist Fiona Apple, to the animated mastery displayed in muted fall colors, to the power of emotion extracted from simple objects, the video grabs. Since its release September 11, over 7 million viewers have hit “play.”

To Chipolte, “organic,” “family-farmed,” and “local” are serious food issues. “It’s all fun and games until someone wrecks a planet,” the website announces. And, much to its credit, Chipolte stays solidly on message in merging the three-part strategy. Steve Ells, Chipolte founder, chairman, and co-CEO puts it clearly,”At Chipolte, our mission is to change the way people think about and eat fast food.”

Digital marketing expert Eder Holguin, CEO of content discovery platform, praises Chipolte’s innovative effort. “With the costs of developing advertisement games getting cheaper, we will see more and more brands engaging in this untapped opportunity… the innovative advertisement-game hybrid will certainly go down in history as one of the most successful marketing campaigns.” Not everyone is so enthusiastic, though. Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri quotes one of his friends saying, “That doesn’t make me want to eat Chipolte. That makes me want to curl up in a vegan coma and never eat again.”

Meanwhile, the buzz goes on.

Advergaming isn’t new (a 2007 article in BloombergBusinessWeek noted that the basic model of the advergame was pioneered in 1995 by a company called Skywork). Still, “Scarecrow” definitely blurs (erases?) the lines between information, advertising, and entertainment, giving marketers one more channel to consider.

Game on!

p.s. For additional examples of advergaming, check out or


Give Me An Easier Way to Do Content Marketing


People are chattering more and more about “Content curation” as a vital part of “content marketing.” How does it work?

In hopes that a comparative demonstration might help, I’ve applied three popular curation technologies — Scoop-It, PaperLi, and RebelMouse — to one of my  websites, OurFoodNews. All three technologies are free for the basic service.

A. Scoop-It
Scoop-it was my first foray into content curation. Actually, I first set this up 2 1/2 years ago for another of my websites, HomeInvasionNews. I saw that Scoop-It  sent a lot of people to that website, so when I created OurFoodNews, I set up another account for that.

Scoop-It is easy to use. You set up an account, tell the program what to search for on the Internet, and then wait for the program’s “suggestions,” which show up 100 at a time. You click on your choices and they display on your pages. My favorite dimension of “Scoop-It” is its capability to search the net based on your selected keywords. The other two programs are based on pre-designated “topics” and/or Twitter.

Also, Scoop-it offers you, the creator, the option to include your own “insights” on what you’re choosing to post. I like this personalization feature.

Google can find your Scoop-It pages, so I always make sure to feature a post directly from (after all, I am trying to drive traffic there, right?). In addition, though, the program  will “create a newsletter” for you. This newsletter can feature between 4 and 24 of your “posts” and it uses “MailChimp to deliver the goods. It’s a decent looking eNewsletter and an easy way to send out  relevant news to your customers … which brings me to PaperLi, the second option.

Example No. 1:

B. PaperLi
PaperLi is the first auto-generated newsletter I’m aware of. PaperLi builds its content from Twitter — which includes your own tweets or tweets gathered around the Internet, all based on pre-determined “topics” you designate. Unfortunately, the “topics” from which you can choose are restricted.

In OurFoodNews, for example, there is no “food” topic, so my PaperLi is generated from tweets related to four words: environment, health, education, and science. And, since the content is generated from broad topics, lots of stuff I don’t want comes in… but I also can go through the newsletter pretty quickly and delete anything I don’t like.

What’s best about PaperLi is that the service offers to generate daily, weekly, or monthly editions automatically and PaperLi will “tweet out” each edition to the Twitter folks from whom the content was generated. That’s a nice touch that helps you reach out to folks with whom you might have otherwise not connected.

Example No. 2:

C. RebelMouse
Say hello to the new kid on the block: RebelMouse. This technology is still in beta, but I like it a lot. I set up my first issue last night. It took about two hours, including choosing design and figuring out which logos to upload, etc.

This newsletter is noteworthy for its design savvy and layout options. If you’re visual, you’ll love the many different looks from which to choose — or, you can build your own.

As with Scoop-It and PaperLi, RebelMouse invites you to get very involved in choosing the content, deleting content you don’t like and moving items around on the page.

RebelMouse offers the option to email the page you’ve created, but, so far, it looks like you’ll need to make your own email list (somebody out there, correct me, please, if I’m wrong). Still, I’m expecting great things from this particular “content curation” machine, which offers content curation options tailored to individuals, bloggers, publishers, brands, and events.

Example No. 3:

So, what’s your thought? Opened side-by-side, which content curation technology do you like?


Content Marketing Nuggets Gathered While Floating In Orbit


Most marketers know how to get marketing content “up there.” But fewer know how to get content “out there.”

Orbit Media’s blog, The Orbiter, has post after post addressing exactly this. In fact, I’ve been so impressed that I decided I would read every post Orbit has put up, from the beginning.

The beginning turned out to be August 1, 2007, when Andy Crestodina blogged this headline: Learn This Phrase: Conversion Rate.  Unless I took a week or two off to “go back to school” — I needed a faster path. So I narrowed my reading to The Orbiter’s “content marketing and SEO” category.

Here I found a number of simple content marketing nuggets, including these favorites:

1. Focus on getting people to your page [not your website!!]. Keep visitors on the page and then moving around with targeted, concise content (see next item).

2. When you create content, hone in on a keyword phrase that lots of people are searching for, but not one so common you have no chance of ranking for it. In other words, be original, but not too original. How will you know? Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool and Google Trends to gauge the popularity of various keyword phrases.

3. Credibility comes from links. Inbound links from authoritative websites are the most valuable, but links from within your website are also important because they pass credibility from one of your pages to another.

4. Use social media to promote your content. The Orbiter suggests 33 ways to do it. 

5. Repurpose content. If you know how to spin content by rewriting it from a different angle or in a different format, it’s actually a good idea. Or, you can republish in a different format (video, for example).

6. Write a great post, use keyword research to give the post SEO visibility, then promote the post through social media, via email to your list, and personally to a few bloggers or people who might like it.

Why all this effort? Personally, I’m working on a better ranking for This is tough because the web is stuffed with information about food. So, to test the theories above, I tested keyword phrase selection on two recent posts: “Is Pizza Nutritious?” and “Who Lives in the Food Desert?” Traffic jumped on both pages after only one tweet each. The growth rate is a modest improvement, but enough to convince me to recommend Orbit’s approach.

Tell Us Your Story …


Attending the annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing two weeks ago, I had a frank conversation with a printer I’ve know for years.

He sells for a mid-size shop that’s been in business a long time. About a year ago, his shop was asked to bid on a sizable job. The shop got out pencils and calculators and ended up bidding a competitive price that was low, but left a small profit in place. They won the bid and got the contract for a year.

A few weeks ago, the contract came back up for bid. When the bids shook out, my friend’s shop remained the top contender … except for one very large and quickly growing printing enterprise. These folks not only beat my friend’s bid, they came in 20% lower. Twenty percent! “There’s no way they aren’t losing money on that bid,” he said. “But there was no way for us to compete.”

It’s just business, you say? Maybe.
But as competition evaporates, we all know that prices will go up.

Corporate Visions polled more than 800 respondents to better understand how marketers and salespeople use technology and techniques to influence sales opportunities. Key takeaways from the Corporate Visions survey include:
• Price pressure is on the rise, with 89 percent of respondents citing a three-year trend of prospective customers asking sellers to “cut the price.”
• About half the time, getting the business also means giving away profit.

Maybe nobody can fight against a 20% lower price quote. That’s just wicked. But if the customer has enough information to understand what a smooth printer/client relationship looks like, it helps. Maybe that’s where story-telling comes in.

It would be great to spread the word on “Why Price Isn’t Everything.”
We already know part of that story, at least in a macro sense. When price goes down, people lose their jobs, real service gets replaced by tele-reps, work gets outsourced, options shrink. Etc.

But what about the authentic, every-day examples of all the important considerations in choosing a printer?

What if we could point to some stellar examples of our real-life customer service in the printing industry ..
• of press professionals or quality control folks who save the day …
• of shops that run the extra mile (or a marathon) for customers …
• of industry pros who know of and connect their clients to the right people …
• of recommendations on paper or production that save a bundle …
• of shops who teach their customers all the little ways to save on production and mailing …
• of the mailing geeks who manage to keep up with the U.S. Postal Service ..
• of the geniuses who make personalization and variable data printing actually come out right at the end …
• of the printers who write customer-centric blogs and newsletters to help clients learn from one another …
• of the important role printers play in communities …

Do you think your customers would care? Is it worth it to share these stories of “Why Price Isn’t Everything”?

I’m sure listening …

Tell Me Something About SEO I Can USE


Useful SEO is the gist of a podcast interview conducted by Danny Iny, Firepole Marketing, with Andy Crestodina, co-founder and strategic director of Orbit Media Studios.

Since I’ve heard so many conflicting stories about the value/suspicious value of SEO consultants and services, I listened in. Here are some nuggets in what Andy had to say.

• “I am a strong believer in white hat SEO  — most of us are — but I think SEO should be renamed “relevant indication.” People are looking for all kinds of things and just because of how the Internet is organized, we need engineers [Google, et al] to help sort this out for us. It’s just the nature of the industry. So, if you’ve written something meant to reach someone, you need to make it easily discovered.

• “It’s really just a matter of making sure the topic you’re writing about aligns with topics people are searching for. You need to believe your content is fabulous and people who find it will be thrilled. In short, did you create the best page on the internet for your topic? If not, you don’t really deserve to rank, right?”

• Ranking better takes about 10% more effort than what you’re already doing.

Think strategically about keywords. “Example: I wrote an article about event promotion. I thought of everything you need to do to promote an event. When I researched keywords (event promotion tips, event promotion techniques, etc.)  using Google keyword tool, I came across a much bigger phrase, “event marketing tips.” Then I found the phrase “how to market an event” — a much less used term. I made sure I used that phrase in the article a few times. A week after the post went live, it ranked on Google and was getting 40 to 50 events per day. It was the same article, but with a slight realignment on writing [I “captured” the phrase].”

• “The best SEO trick I know is to find this so-called “link magnet.” It’s the best page on the Internet for the topic and it shows up on page one.”

“Create links in new things you publish from other stuff you’ve already published. Do it by discovering instances of new keywords that are already in your old content. This is an great opportunity for easy wins by people who already have a lot of content.”

• “If you already have lots of content check out your domain authority at This is where you learned how you’re ranking in your field.”

• “The point is to balance the popularity of the key phrases you’re using against your overall ranking. Know your weight class and compete within it.

  1. If you’re ranked in the thirties, you should target phrases that are not as competitive, phrases that get, say, under 100 searches per month.
  2. If you’re in the fifties, you should target phrases that get more searches; say, 1,000 searches per month).
  3. If you’re in the seventies or eighties, you can target very competititve phrases: 3,000+ searches per month).”

“Our book, Content Chemistry, plays off the name of a blog post we wrote once. This book is not just about search, but search, social, and email. It’s a step-by-step of best practices for each channel. Find it at”

If you’d like to listen into Iny’s podcast yourself, here’s the url. Thank you, Danny!




Unstructured Data: The Next Not-New, Hot-New Thing in Marketing


Unstructured data: Its all that stuff hiding in your emails, reports, customer records, spreadsheets, contracts, warranties, telephone/member listing books, advertisements, marketing materials, annual reports, customer calls, employee evaluations, ordering information, surveys, social media, blog posts, and Twitter feeds.

It’s all that stuff that’s probably not in your database … yet.

Does it matter? It does. Lots.
• In their book, Unstructured Data in a Big Data Environment, the authors say unstructured data is the largest piece of the data equation and the opportunities for using unstructured data are rapidly expanding.

Wilson Raj,  global customer intelligence director at SAS, writes in a whitepaper that the missing element in sales transactional data is what “goes on between buyer and seller in terms of negotiation, tone, emotion, motivation, and sentiment.” That information, says Raj, is hidden in unstructured data, which needs to be gathered, decoded, and then analyzed.

Bill Inmon, the “Father of Data Warehousing” and author of Tapping Into Unstructured Data, says, “Data has to be put in a structure and a format that is particular and disciplined … Text needs to be lifted from paper media and converted into electronic format .. Like data found on paper, voice data likewise needs to be lifted from the media in which it was stored and reset into an electronic format … by means of voice character recognition.”

How the heck would we do that?
Marketers who’ve tried are enthusiastic.

Mary Grace Bateman, market manager for IBM, refers to practices that nonprofits can use to enhance unstructured data. “ …  true gems can come from meaty blog posts or twitter feeds. Before, these types of unstructured data were only used as “listening” tools, with organizations unable to take the time and manpower to incorporate them into deep analysis. With predictive analytics, however, true sentiment can be extracted from text, putting structure around unstructured data that can be fed into analyses for actionable insight. Through sentiment analysis, for example, nonprofits can monitor public perception of their organization, understanding if a particular service is being talked about in a positive, negative, neutral, or ambivalent tone.”

In writing for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett describes a scenario that encapsulates the value of unstructured data. “For years, non-profit aid organizations have been sending in field workers to advise local farmers on best agricultural practices. These workers file progress reports and keep tabs on agricultural projects to see if crop yields improve … The difficulty has been in collecting all of these reports, which come in many different forms–and then trying to glean insights into them after they become a monolithic body of unstructured and semi-structured data.  By using Big Data collection, grooming and analytics techniques, humanitarian aid organizations are now able to compile all of these unstructured reports of field farming activity into databases-and then to mine these databases for information about which farming projects are succeeding, which are not, and why.”

Sunand Menon, president of New Media Insight, shares this: “… IF a registered user ‘likes’ a specific charity on Facebook, AND then ‘comments’ positively on a similar charity on LinkedIn, AND has identified themselves as previous donors to yet another similar charity, THEN one can assume there is a higher likelihood that donation requests from charitable organizations serving that cause will have a higher chance of success. Imagine the efficiency leap in such situations; they can actually be used to predict future behaviours and patterns.”

How much might this cost?
Menon suggests it’s not cheap. “The implementation cost can range from six figures to tens of millions of dollars, depending on the size and complexity of the data and analytics involved.” See more here. 

Where to start?
Together, all of this looms large and overwhelms. No wonder companies are springing up everywhere to help marketers train for  the unstructured data marathon. Spotfire suggests a few best practices for dealing with your data here.

Many hardware and software developers have products to help marketers tackle unstructured data from different angles. The following list is neither complete nor all inclusive, but I  hope a look at some products being offered will help TDN readers understand what is happening in the unstructured data market. Feedback from readers, users, and vendors is most welcome and sincerely appreciated. Thank you!

1. Aspire offers a content processing system specifically designed for unstructured data

2. NVivo captures, manages, and analyzes unstructured data like videos, interviews, images, surveys, and social media.

3. NewBrandAnalytics deciphers and analyzes social media feedback and translates into operational insights.

4. Netessa seeks to give meaning to massive amounts of data.

5. Greenplum allows users to mix and match unstructured and structured data analytics platforms.

6. Recommind manages and analyzes unstructured data.

7. Exalytics accelerates data analysis, business insight, and decision-making.

8. IBM Smart Analytics organizes and mines information and performs customer behavioral analysis.

9. MapReduce processes large data sets, performing filtering and sorting procedures.

10. OpinionLab develops assessments of customer experience across company channels.

11. Mahoot creates shopping games to help big and small brands integrate e-commerce products into marketing campaigns.


Fragmentation Meets Big Data


If content is king, then marketers best understand how people are getting their content in 2013. Increasingly, the descriptive term for content consumption would be “helter-skelter” – or, in the words of Sir Paul McCartney describing his aspiration for the Beatles song by that title in 1968 — raw, dirty, raucous, disorderly, and confused.

A recent McKinsey & Company study applied 2013 science to what McCartney alluded to in music 45 years ago: a disorderly, confused, raw, and raucous shift in the way consumers track down and relate to content. Thanks to powerful search tools, content of all kinds (and degrees of obscurity) are widely accessible,” McKinsey says.

The ability to enjoy unparalleled access to whatever “content” they personally seekout, puts consumers, not marketers, in control of content.

Big Data to the Rescue
For marketers, the trend to raucous content consumption suggests an obvious intersect with “big data,” which may be the only solution marketers have to keep up with consumer fragments gone rogue.

In its trends for 2013 headline, eMarketer put it this way: “Data-driven segmentation is more vital than ever to maximize reach and frequency with levels of precision and confidence.”

George Musi, head of Cross-Media Analytics, DG, echoed the sentiment on CreativeZone. “Audiences are dispersed across PCs, netbooks, smartphones, mobile, tablets, connected TVs, over-the-pop boxes or gaming consoles, video-on-demand systems and even internet-enabled cars. And they are viewing when and where they choose.”

Marketing guru Tom Doctoroff concluded in the Huffington Post blog, “… the plethora of digital communications – social networks, blogs, WeChat, short message texts, viral videos — has made things extremely confusing for both marketers and consumers. Messages can no longer be ‘controlled.’ Consumers can hijack brands.”

Indeed, a special brand of chaos is the norm today.

So, What’s a Marketer to Do?
An article from Direct Marketing News features suggestions from noted CMOs on how data we already have can be used to fight – and even exploit — fragmentation. Here’s a sampling of some recommended options:

Personalization. As they fragment, personalize accordingly.

Journey Mapping or tracking where your customers go and have been.

• Controlling customer preferences and permissions.

• Using both prescriptive and descriptive customer models.

• Employing Closed Loop marketing.

• Boosting interactivity to tweak brand engagement.

• “Show ‘em you know ‘em” by building comprehensive activity data for individuals.

• Exploring cross-screen addressability.

• Re-analyzing the data you have. Start the search here or here or here or here for solution providers and then look some more.

• Extending the marketing database to include unstructured data.

And, by the way, “unstructured data” is a particularly intriguing resource for marketers (if not the IT department). To find where yours might be hiding, Opinion Lab offers terrific suggestions for searching out this data, including:

• Unsilo the data you have.

• Look for data in unusual places (from employees, contact center conversations, etc.).

• Check out your online behavior data.

• Invest in analysts who can determine the reason behind data results.

• Create dashboards to distribute and help employees visualize data across the organization.

Finally, speaking of unstructured data, if you’re interested, please come back. I’ll cover more on this important topic in my next post.



Big Data Doesn’t Know A Thing, But It Sure Can Ask the Right Questions


When I was 12, I remember telling my mother that if a human being could know all the events that factor into the moment just before an automobile accident, it would be possible to avoid the accident. Little did I know that, a) I was talking about “big data;” b) I was wrong.

Fortunately, a couple of guys who actually know what they’re talking about have written the book that explains it all: Predicting the Future With ‘Big Data’.

Kenneth Cukier is data editor for The Economist and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is Professor of internet governance and regulation at Oxford University. The co-authors appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi show March 7.

If I understand what Cukier and Mayer-Schönberger are saying, big data leads us not to more facts, but to more data, within which will be more questions and, therefore, greater opportunities for insights. And yet, the whys of “the universe” will remain a mystery.

More Data Is Just More Data
The paradox, apparently, is this: More data negates — or at least counter-balances — the need for perfect data. Mayer-Schönberger puts it this way: “… as we have more data, we can also be accepting some inexactitude in how we collect the data and how perfectly curated the data is because we just have so much of it … [And, any move away from] an elusive quest to find causality, targets something much more pragmatic and much simpler called correlations. It means that we are not looking for the why. We are looking for the what and that’s good enough.”

The Power of the Spread Is the Greatest Power Yet
Mayer-Schönberger thinks both the invention of the printing press and the invention of the Internet will be dwarfed by another major leap forward: not the mere spreading of information, but the spreading of the power of information. [Crowd-sourcing, anyone? Or, maybe, targeted sharing?]

Say what? Cukier explains. “You can imagine that [big data is] going to actually change the way that businesses run. They’ll find their most precious asset might not be what they’re actually building [or selling or offering], but the data that goes into it — because they can learn from [that data] and cross-apply it to other things.”

Got data?
You’re in the cat bird’s seat. And you know it. As a marketer, you know better than to despair at data results. You just test again … and again. You just get more data.

Cukier gives us a good example: “Imagine an algebra teacher who would find out that 60 percent of her students got the same question wrong with the exact same answer. She would, therefore, learn that, in fact, maybe she taught the algebra wrong, that maybe she wasn’t clear enough.” Insight. New testing. More data.

Data Is Fake
Should we worry about the issue of big data and our privacy? Sure, because we always need to be vigilant as a society not to misuse or abuse big data. But keep calm.

Cuckier explains. “Data is only a simulacrum of reality. It is not the real thing, firstly. Also, we’ll never have all the data. That’s not actually possible … So this sort of hypothetical thought experiment of what will happen when we know everything about everyone, that day is just not going to happen. So on a practical level, to get wound up in knots about this doesn’t seem useful..”

If only I’d known then what I know now …