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Kaila Colbin

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Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • Because Of Uber, Self-Driving Cars Will Be Everywhere -- And Soon in Online Spin on 08/28/2015

    Regular readers of my column will be aware that I've become a little obsessed with exponentially accelerating technology of late. I blame Singularity University, where I spent a week in March. There I heard that Intel's Gordon Moore was more correct than even he realized when he came up with his now-famous law about the performance pace of computing doubling every 18 months. Moore's Law doesn't just apply to computers. It applies to any information-enabled technology, like robotics, nanotech, artificial intelligence, and more -- all moving inexorably along an exponentially accelerating curve. Hang out with the SU folks long enough, and you'll start believing this progression just kind of... happens, regardless of circumstances. You'll feel that technology carries its own momentum, that we are all being swept along by it, that nothing can stand in its way. But of course, there's nothing inevitable about the progress of technology. Even when it's following a predictable, consistent doubling curve, someone has to be hustling it along.

  • The Two Biggest Reasons Your Content Marketing Is Failing in Online Spin on 08/20/2015

    "Write a blog," they tell you. "Create interesting content people want to read. Don't use it to sell. Provide value first, that you may be rewarded." "It's the wave of the future," they go on to say. "It's Web 2.0." And so you write a blog. Once a week, you dutifully report on some aspect of your business, or your industry, or the world. You get it: it's not about pushing product; it's about building relationships. And yet, somehow, it doesn't seem to work. Why does content marketing so often fail? Two reasons.

  • Where Has Serious Journalism Gone? Sucked Into The Vortex Of Tinder, TMZ And Fox News in Online Spin on 08/14/2015

    Tinder is pissed. The company has taken umbrage at a piece in Vanity Fair. And to be fair, author Nancy Jo Sales doesn't make the app, or the culture in which it resides, sound particularly appealing. It's all quick hookups and volumetric sex, the pleasure of gorging yourself, and the realization of the fleeting nature of such superficial satiation.

  • Shades Of Grey In Platforms' Content Accountability in Online Spin on 08/07/2015

    Here's a quick thought experiment: if you are driving a car with four underage drinkers in it, are you responsible for them breaking the law? What if one of the people in the car was selling liquor to the others? What if it was a ride-share system, like a shuttle, where one of your customers regularly sold alcohol to other passengers, serving as a de facto liquor store? At what point do you become responsible for what happens on your platform? The above may sound like a ridiculous scenario, but it's not all that far off from some of the thornier issues facing Internet communities. Is

  • Beyond The $140 Billion: Apple's Next Big Market Opportunity in Online Spin on 07/31/2015

    It's a climate commitment milestone. Earlier this week, 13 large corporations announced that they would collectively be committing $140 billion toward climate change mitigation. The commitments take various forms, from reducing emissions to shifting to renewable energy to increasing investment in renewable technology or other environmental initiatives. And the companies range broadly: Coca-Cola. Berkshire Hathaway. Wal-Mart. UPS. Bank of America.

  • A Hacked Jeep Is Just The Tip Of A Very Scary Iceberg  in Online Spin on 07/24/2015

    My favorite new MediaPost publication is the IoT (Internet of Things) Daily. They haven't asked me to talk about this at all; I promise. But it's so cool. It's the one talking about all the bright shiny things, like residents at a senior community wearing sensors so they don't go wandering off, or a male grooming service adding virtual reality to its offering. On Wednesday, though, there was a headline that really stopped me in my tracks. Or rather, a headline about somebody stopping something in its tracks: the specific someone being hackers, and the thing they stopped in its tracks being a jeep going 70 miles per hour. This story is terrifying

  • Did Technology Save Us Or Destroy Us? A Story From The Near Future  in Online Spin on 07/17/2015

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Technological advancements were destroying jobs right and left -- only for them to be replaced by new ones, with new titles, in new fields. We found ourselves at the risk of societal breakdown at the very moment new opportunities were being created for tens of millions of people. Nobody knew what to make of it.

  • This One Rule Trumps All Your Management Theories in Online Spin on 07/10/2015

    Zappos is having a hard time. Over on Pando, Paul Carr -- who readily confesses he himself was burned by Zappos founder and CEO Tony Hsieh -- takes evident delight in detailing the difficulties the organization faces as it attempts to transition to "Holacracy," a self-management structure developed by Brian J. Robertson.

  • 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.

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