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Kaila Colbin

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Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • Is Facebook Actually Winning The World Right Now?  in Online Spin on 05/22/2015

    Well of course they're "winning," if you call Q1 revenue of over $3.5 billion and nearly a billion daily active users "winning." But I'm talking about winning, about sitting at the poker table with a huge pile of chips in front of you, opposite some dude who's got a huge pile of chips in front of him, and you're holding some kind of good hand, a full house or straight flush maybe, and you decide to go all in. The dude across Facebook's table is Google, of course, and three things are making me wonder where the spoils will go.

  • BBB Privacy Punishment Could Help, Not Harm, Etsy And Others  in Online Spin on 05/15/2015

    On the face of it, yesterday's announcement by the Better Business Bureau that Etsy, Imgur, TWiT.tv, and 247 Sports will increase the level of data collection transparency is a win. On every page where third parties collect data for use in behavioral targeting, these companies will also display a "clear, meaningful and prominent link" explaining more and allowing users to opt out. On the face of it, yesterday's announcement by the Better Business Bureau that Etsy, Imgur, TWiT.tv, and 247 Sports will increase the level of data collection transparency is a win. On every page where third parties collect data for use in behavioral targeting, these companies will also display a "clear, meaningful and prominent link" explaining more and allowing users to opt out.

  • Our Irrational Fear Of Driverless Cars in Online Spin on 05/08/2015

    Remember Chris Hadfield? Of course you do. The Canadian astronaut's rendition of "Major Tom" has been viewed over 25 million times. But today I'm more interested in his TED talk: "What I learned from going blind in space."

  • Nepal Quakes Reinforce Connectivity As Basic Human Right in Online Spin on 05/01/2015

    If education and healthcare and work are all accessible via a smartphone, don't we need to make them, along with the attendant access to electricity and the Internet, available to everyone in the world? What if access to the Internet means the difference between life and death?

  • Digital Democracy? More Like Digital Dictatorship in Online Spin on 04/24/2015

    Great news! Internet ad revenues surged yet again in 2014, reaching nearly $50 billion dollars in the United States. This, according to a new report from IAB, represents a 16% increase over the previous year; compared to 20 years ago it's an increase of... well, infinity.

  • Hey, Advertisers, You're Asking The Wrong Question in Online Spin on 04/17/2015

    "I can't tell you how many times a corporate client will say to me, 'Tell our customers how great we are.' I always reply that their customers aren't interested. 'Tell them anyway,' they say. 'TELL THEM.'" Speaking at The Project conference in Auckland, New Zealand, James Hurman, innovation consultant and author of "The Case for Creativity," was on a mission: to help us understand that client-agency interactions like that never work because they're based on the wrong question.

  • For Digital Marketing, Targeting Can Be Deadly  in Online Spin on 04/10/2015

    As it is no doubt for you, much of the content I consume online is surfaced by algorithms. These algorithms consider things like what I've read, what I've watched and clicked on, and who my friends are to find content they think I'll like. And because they're looking to match my existing preferences, they often provide material that reinforces what I already know or believe -- what Eli Pariser called "filter bubbles." On the one hand, this seems like a good thing: why should I waste my time with articles I'm not interested in, or videos I'm not keen to watch? But for my development as a human being, it's not so good. It hides my blind spots and fortifies my existing prejudices and misconceptions. The very targeting that's designed to give me a richer Web experience gives me a poorer one, lacking in context and depth -- an experience that has had the soul and nuance sucked out of it.

  • Fight For Women's Rights Goes From Social Media To Frontiers Of Foreign Policy in Online Spin on 04/03/2015

    I haven't made much mention of feminism in this column. The last time I tried was three years ago, and it was actually a decidedly imperfect attempt at a conversation beyond feminism. But it's been a rough couple of weeks for women on the Internet -- so much so, that I feel compelled to wade back into the fray with a wild and dangerous opinion of my own.

  • Three Reasons You Should Read That Column I Wrote On Exponential Technologies in Online Spin on 03/27/2015

    Three weeks ago, I wrote a column about exponential technologies. I looked at the way that any industry built on information will follow a price-performance curve that roughly doubles every year, at the fact that we're starting to reach inflection points on technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to bioengineering, and how all of these technologies are now starting to converge. Since then, nearly every headline I see reinforces this proposition.

  • Monica Lewinsky Discusses The Dark Side Of The Digital Revolution  in Online Spin on 03/20/2015

    Tell me: how wise were you, at 22 years old? Extremely, I imagine. Probably didn't make a single mistake. Nothing embarrassing, nothing foolish, almost certainly didn't fall in love with the wrong person, and definitely didn't fall in love with your boss, right? These were the questions Monica Lewinsky asked of the TED2015 audience when she took the stage yesterday in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hands up, those who didn't do something dumb. Hands up, those who have no regrets from that time. Unsurprisingly, not a single hand went up.

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