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Kaila Colbin

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Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • Online Advertising Is In Grave Danger. Can Sony And Friends Save It? in Online Spin on 06/26/2015

    The year was 1996. A friend of mine had created a Web site to track bond prices in real time. He had just sold his first ad. "Can you click on it?" he asked me. "Every time you do, I make five cents." At the time, like the Internet itself, the problem he jokingly referred to was in its infancy. But that's no longer the case. As our media consumption has shifted online, the incentives to commit ad fraud have grown. And the Shakespearean irony is that the very thing that makes the Internet seem so compelling for advertisers -- the promise of attribution, of measurability, of precision -- is exactly the thing that makes it prone to exploitation.

  • Is The Sharing Economy Terrible For Sellers?  in Online Spin on 06/19/2015

    Technology is awesome. No, seriously: awe-some, as in, I am continually in awe of what is possible. In moments, you can create your own versions of famous movie intros. For $5, you can hire someone to paint your logo on their body. You can contribute toward a campaign to make a woman's "relentlessly gay yard more relentless, gayer." We live in truly magical times. These three examples are quirky, edge-case examples of a major, mostly wonderful shift in our approach to transactions and exchange, a shift exemplified by phrases like, "sharing economy" and "enabling platforms." Suddenly, we aren't dependent on one giant company owning all the product. Instead, we're dependent on one giant company owning the technology to connect buyers with sellers.

  • And The Hypocrisy Tony Goes To... Apple's Tim Cook in Online Spin on 06/11/2015

    The 68th annual Tony Awards, established to celebrate excellence in the theater, took place on June 7, and were a roaring success. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" took home five awards, including best play and best male lead. "Fun Home" took home another five. But there was one performance that didn't receive anywhere near the honor and prestige it should have: Tim Cook's speech, just a few days earlier, slamming Google and Facebook for not respecting your privacy nearly enough.

  • $90K Instagram 'Art' Shows Need To Better Define Value in Online Spin on 06/05/2015

    Pssst... Wanna buy some art? It's awesome, I swear. For the low, low price of just $90,000, you can go to this website, pick the image you like, and I'll blow it up and mount it for you. It's not my website, but that doesn't matter. I also didn't take the pictures -- but that doesn't matter either. Apparently, the real value is created by blowing up the images, printing them, and mounting them. That's why I don't have to share a penny with the website, the original photographer, or the model.

  • With Home Address Identification, Reveelz Takes Targeting Too Far  in Online Spin on 05/29/2015

    As ads become more and more ubiquitous, and as advertisers become more and more sophisticated in the use of technology and big data to cut through the clutter, everyone is forced to continue upping their game in order to compete. Against this backdrop emerges Reveelz: an Israeli company that has figured out a way to identify your home address -- and whether you're there -- simply by having you opt into a Web or mobile offer.

  • 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.

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