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Happy Friday! 

In 2009, Nathan Wright and I co-presented “Social Marketing 101: Everything you think you should already know…” at the MIMA Summit here in Minneapolis. It was a topic based on endless "101-level" questions we were both getting from our clients at the time, and we were SHOCKED that the room filled to standing room only. Sometimes it's fair to give folks the benefit of the doubt and just teach from the ground-up. 

Fast forward 11 years, and there's a high likelihood you've read about deepfakes, seen them in your social feeds, or heard about them on the news. But maybe you don't know what you don't know. So I felt like it would be helpful to write a 101.

It may seem like fun apps or silly videos, but this technology's widespread adoption and misuse could impact society’s common understanding of things like facts, truth, and proof. I'm worried about it.

So here's a 14 minute read about the subject:
 What's a Deepfake? And Some Predictions

In other news, this week PR Week wrote about a recent client activation: Arby's virtual marathon attracts new customers. Arby’s built a game that took people more than 2 hours to beat, and almost 300,000 attempted it. Participants “ran” more than 240,000 virtual miles, logging more than 36,000 hours pushing the right arrow -- more than 4 years cumulatively.

And check out this stat from the story: "Of the users who completed the race and redeemed their free gyro coupon, 42% were new customers, meaning they hadn’t visited an Arby’s in the past 12 months." Now that's some ROI!! The promo is over, but you can still play here. If you want a cheat code, hit me up. 

On the speaking front, I'm still not super interested in speaking at bulky virtual conferences, and instead have been loving connecting with small groups and college classes virtually. Last week I shared thoughts on modern social media with the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece and this week talked about viral marketing with a University of Michigan class. If you're interested in a guest speaker for your group or class, here's more info.

See you on the internet!


Every week I keep tabs on what's trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. Here's what I'm tracking this week... and have something you think should be shared? Drop it here

Your Next Amazon Box Comes Alive with AR: Between now and Halloween, Amazon will ship boxes with a new eco-friendly design that has a large white pumpkin on the side. Customers that draw on the pumpkin and scan the QR code will see their pumpkin drawing come to life through the magic of augmented reality. Download the Amazon AR app here (iOS, Android).

The Next Instagram for Audio: Would you rather talk and listen than watch and record? With the early success of invite-only audio start-up Clubhouse and gaming platform Discord, dozens of audio startups are raising capital, including: Betty Labs, Geneva, Chalk, Rodeo and Spoon. Key quote: “Entrepreneurs are betting that consumers and professionals, sick of endless texting and Zoom calls, will turn to these apps with relief.”

Google Duplex Can Finally Make Your Phone Appointments For You: Google has quietly rolled out haircut appointment booking for Google Duplex, its AI chat agent. Similar to this 2018 demo video, users with supported devices in the U.S. can have Google Assistant call barbershops, hairstylists, and salons to reserve appointments on their behalf without having to place calls themselves.

“Hey Siri, tell everyone…” Beyond the new iPhone news this week came the introduction of “Intercom,” a new feature that allows an iOS-ecosystem-enabled home to communicate between HomePod, CarPlay, iPhone, etc. It’s similar to Alexa’s “announce” feature and finally connects all of Apple’s IoT devices together in a really compelling way, especially with the growing scale of CarPlay, Apple Watch SE for kids, AirPods, and more. PS: here’s how to choose which new iPhone is right for you.

Weekend Watch: The Social Network just turned 10 years old and is a fascinating watch in 2020. John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is a super compelling 16 minute Netflix pick. Walt Disney Imagineering lead Mark Mine produced 25 Years of the Gartner Hype Cycle about which technology is immediately adopted and which are “stuck” in the hype. Maker Faire has moved virtual and you can tune into all of their events this weekend here.

And even if you’re not an Apple fan, it’s worth watching the first 15 minutes of the #AppleEvent this week. Apple is redefining how to do "live" virtual events in the Covid-19 era, with a mix of pre-recorded live action, highly produced video, camera movement, on-screen graphics, and music/audio mix that captures and holds attention. Watch the stream here.

Anti-Racism Moves: Facebook banned Holocaust denier content and anti-vax content. Yelp will start flagging businesses that have been accused of racism, a new practice that some critics say could be abused by users. Triller joined TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Etsy in banning QAnon content. Twitter has said it suspended a number of accounts that claimed to be owned by Black supporters of President Trump. Barbie may be a controversial toy character, but this week a video called Barbie and Nikki Discuss Racism is going viral and earning praise for its clarity and tone about standing up to racism.

Business Reads of the Week: What is a show without an audience?; The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation; How Futurists Cope with Uncertainty; CEO's Rediscover the Family Dinner Table

Quick hits:

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