It’s not generally well known that when you click the Facebook ‘Like’ button on a website, you’re giving the author of that Button permission to message you in a newsfeed. So, if you LIKED a bingo card while shopping, then the owner of that site has the opportunity to message you when it goes on sale by way of your newsfeed. It’s a point brought up by Patio11 (Patrick McKenzie) over at Bing Card Creator. He’s a great entrepreneur, and I dare say, analytical thinker. His concern is that this functionality will enable marketers to spam people. It’s a valid concern. The world is filled with absolutely stupid and inconsiderate people. Just look at what they’ve done to email: It’s[…]

I’m not certain that many people really understand what private browsing it – at least based on my interpretation data published by Mozilla Labs. The study is awesome and you should check it out. I’ve been over what private browsing really is. It isn’t what I think what the general population thinks it is. (I don’t know what people are really thinking – but I can attempt to infer it by observing aggregate behavior.) Come with me and dive in. The Mozilla Labs data indicates that private browsing activations spike at noon, with subsequent spikes around 5pm, 9pm, and shortly after midnight. The median duration of staying in private browsing is 10 minutes, with 50% of the cases falling between[…]

Anybody who has seen their torrents throttled over the years knows that net neutrality really doesn’t exist, regardless if it is the law of the land. The argument against net neutrality – the notion of equality in experience – has been long trotted out. The argument goes that you have 1 person in 100 that is responsible for gobbling up 80% of the bandwidth – and they’re degrading the experience for the other 99. So, to preserve the experience for everybody minus 1, the ISP simply must place curbs on that one person. Such framing is designed to exclude the notion that the pie isn’t strictly fixed and metering isn’t essential. ISP’s are incented to maximize revenue by generating scarcity[…]

We ought to tell stories with data. Stories are hugely effective for a number of reasons. They’re easy to tell. They’re easy to remember. They’re easy for other people to remember. They’re easy for other people to tell. They’re a very fluid idea transmission device. They’re rewarding to craft – especially with data. The antagonist doesn’t always have to be human. In fact, it might be nature itself that’s the antagonist. And you can cast whoever you want as the protagonist. In sum – perhaps if we want some of our communication to be more effective from time to time, we ought to tell stories. Tell me, do you think it’s appropriate for an analyst to craft stories?

How should analysts communicate? I’ve written a lot about communication mediums. I’ve been dreaming of a post-excel world for quite some time now – getting us out of that slumber and into a world of active communication with people. And perhaps, in a more normative moment, people who matter. It’s been particularly hard to change long standing patterns of behavior. We’re getting there, gradually. Whenever something is hard, I take 90 steps back and go extreme case hunting. Come with me and let’s have some fun. At the one extreme, what if an analyst could only communicate through video? What if they were particularly effective at it, especially with the editing? What if it was edited in a compelling way[…]