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Can you trust robots to provide web content?

Posted on September 9, 2016

Some websites are using automatic algorithms to provide content, but recent events at social networking giant Facebook have questioned the wisdom of this.

Facebook’s experience

Facebook’s Trending feature, which provides popular news items, used to be created by humans. Recently, however, Facebook got rid of its trending staff and decided to entrust the job to artificial intelligent algorithms, or robots.

A Facebook spokesman commenting on their changes to the trending features said:

“A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time.”

The result was far from ideal. Some Facebook users were greeted with a link to a video of a man having sex with a hamburger (whether or not they previously expressed an interest in either hamburgers or sex). Other items featured headlines containing (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Are we tone-deaf in the text we produce?

Posted on August 11, 2016

Body language experts will often tell you that there’s a lot more to what you say than the words you use. In an often cited 1971 study, Iranian/Armenian psychologist Albert Mehrabian concluded that words themselves only account for 7% of a communicated message, with tone of voice and body language being much weightier. Analysts point out that (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Fuel it or fling it? – Dealing with negative comments

Posted on August 5, 2016

An inevitable consequence of engaging, popular online content is that it’s going to attract criticism as well as praise, and the ways of dealing with this vary from one company to the next.

You could be like Arizona-based Amy’s Baking Company, which became infamous after a 2013 appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’. After repeatedly locking horns with the restaurant’s fiery owners, Ramsay eventually (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Should I zap out-of-date content on my site?

Posted on July 28, 2016

If you’ve been adding content to your website for many years, that’s commendable – it means you’ve consistently shown Google that your site is an evolving project rather than a stagnant page. Is it possible, though, that your many years of activity could actually be to the detriment of your site’s rankings?

After all, with the internet and search engine optimisation always (more…)

Posted by John Murray

What can content developers learn from Wikipedia?

Posted on July 19, 2016

It’s very tempting to think that if we Google something and it presents us with a fact, it must be true, but how much misinformation is there on the internet?

You will have seen many examples of dubious ‘facts’ shared on social media, often claiming something inflammatory about themes like immigration, MPs’ expenses and other subjects that get (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Is this headline any good?

Posted on July 15, 2016

Journalists and all creative writers are well aware of the need to give their articles a grabbing headline that makes people want to read their story in full, but the purpose of the headline has changed somewhat as news has headed online. With social media sites like Facebook often presenting simply a headline and accompanying image on users’ newsfeeds, it could be argued that (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Band creates online stir by going offline

Posted on May 5, 2016

We always emphasise the importance of content in online marketing, but legendary rock band Radiohead took the opposite approach in the build-up to Tuesday’s release of new single ‘Burn The Witch’ by removing all their content from the internet.

Seemingly putting the title of their 2000 track ‘How to Disappear Completely’ into practice, the Oxfordshire band confused and intrigued their fans on Sunday by (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Six reasons why ‘five reasons why’ articles are so common

Posted on April 20, 2016

In an era when making it big on social media is highly lucrative, sites like Buzzfeed, CollegeHumor and Cracked have discovered a clever yet simple format of article that keeps on being shared, clicked and commented upon.

There appears to be no end to what entertainment sites can squeeze a list-style piece out of. Last week, I even stumbled upon something as niche as (more…)

Posted by John Murray
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