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You’re Not Paranoid — Alexa Really is Watching You

Japan adopted a translation of the Western word “privacy” because, in traditional Japanese, there is no word for it. But in our rapidly changing world, a new question has arisen: do we still need the word? Is privacy a thing that still exists (or if it exists now, will it continue to exist in the future?)

Although I find myself pondering the concept of privacy quite often, what sparked my imagination this time was Amazon’s Echo Look, a new product with Alexa’s features that also lets you take full-body photos and videos to collect and compare outfits. To me, the benefits of “seeing myself from every angle” and “getting a second opinion on which outfit looks best” could never outweigh the costs of putting a camera in my bedroom. I mean, how often do I (or most people) really need to take photos of their outfits? This product is a bit of a stretch.

It seems obvious who will really benefit from this product – Amazon.

Taking Back the Inbox: 10 Email Marketing Rules to Live By

We live in a world of options. We have more choices than ever for where to eat, what to watch, how to get around, where to get our news from. At one point, merely existing as a company was enough to get customers. Just being in front of people was enough to make sales. But that’s not the case anymore.

To help us make a decision in this over-saturated world, we’re exposed to an estimated 5,000 advertising and marketing messages a day — including an inbox full of emails. More than 269 billion emails are sent in a day, and most office workers receive around 121 of these in their own inboxes.

As the number of messages we’re hit with daily continues to increase, the time we devote to these messages steadily declines. In 2015, the average attention span was only 8.5 seconds. That’s all the time brands have to make an impression — good or bad. But if you understand the history and power of the channel and follow a few simple rules, you can cut through the noise and be sure your email is the one that gets read.

Seems Snapchat is Feeling the Fire

Today Snapchat released a feature update that almost caused me to drop my phone. I’m almost positive if someone had seen me at my desk, my face looked something like this.

Along with releasing the ability to draw with emojis and to erase items from pictures (which are both wonderful updates, IMO), they did something unimaginable:

May 9th, 2017 is the day Snapchat added an “infinity” icon that lets friends view snaps for as long as they want.

To say it more directly, today is the day Snapchat showed they’re scared of Facebook.

How to Apply SEO Best Practices to Amazon, Etsy and More

When you say SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to most folks, they have one thought: Google. And while they wouldn’t exactly be wrong since that is where most of us focus on optimizing, today I want to blow your mind. Or at the very least, expand your thinking beyond just optimizing for Google.

So let’s get started.

Even though Google has the most expansive reach, there is a significant opportunity to add more sources to the mix to increase website traffic and your value as an SEO.

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Fear and the Future of Tech

People like to joke that the only real constant in life is change, but change has an interesting way of affecting people that often results in resistance. This resistance usually comes from a fear of disruptions to established patterns, jobs or power. At the time of any technological advancement, there are always skeptics who adamantly say they’ll never accept change because of concerns over health, freedom and security.

But these days, it’s hard to imagine life without the technological innovations we once feared. It’s also difficult to understand how society was so afraid of the “scandalous” advances that now seem normal and, arguably, indispensable. It begs the question: what technology do we fear today that may become the norm tomorrow? And will our tech-induced anxiety stand in the way of our advancement?