Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

By

March 19, 2019

Did We Break the Internet? Or Did the Internet Break Us? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 242)

March 19, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Did We Break the Internet? Or Did the Internet Break Us? Woman reads online news on social network

Did We Break the Internet? Or Did the Internet Break Us? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 242) – Headlines and Show Notes

Online plays a big role in the ways we interact with one another. And, unfortunately, the ways we interact with one another is not always positive. What caused this? Did we break the internet? Or did the internet break us? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud offers some thoughts. Here are the show notes:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 46s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Did We Break the Internet? Or Did the Internet Break Us? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 242) Transcript

Well, hi, everyone. Welcome back to Thinks Out Loud. My name is Tim Peter, today is Tuesday, March 19th, 2019. This is episode 242 of the big show, and as ever, I very much appreciate you tuning in.

So this is going to be a bit of a weird episode for me. But one that I hope is the start of a conversation. Obviously, there was a big tragedy this past week, these terrorist shootings in New Zealand. And while it’s a small part of the tragedy in real terms, obviously, given what I do, using digital and things like that, there’s the really important discussion that’s started, given the use of Facebook video by the shooter to livestream the shooting, a number of people are asking and I think they’re asking in good faith, whether social media specifically, and the internet more generally have caused or will cause more harm than good.

And I think their arguments are generally lucid, they’re well-reasoned, they’re well worth your time. I plan to link to another of some of the best ones I’ve seen in the show notes, and I’d really encourage you to take the time to engage with them. In effect, they’re asking if the internet has broken us, if the internet has broken who we are, as human beings?

It saddens me to say that there’s plenty of evidence to support those arguments. The thing about the internet is that it democratizes not only peoples’ access to information, but also peoples’ ability to distribute information. Anyone can post any content online, for anyone to read, hear, watch, experience. I tend to think that’s a good thing. I think history will show that it is a good thing.

Of course, one downside is that anyone can post content, no matter how vile or disturbing that content might be, which is what we saw this past week. Clearly, as I’ve described in a prior episode of the show, explaining why digital is like gravity, I would never argue that it’s an unlimited good thing. Clearly, peoples’ ability to distribute whatever content they want has its downsides.

I know I’ve referenced this before, but as the philosopher Paul Virilio said, “The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.” I want to be clear, I want to go on the record right now. I don’t think we should abandon ship, simply because some people want to navigate that ship into rough waters, or because they want to run it aground.

The New Zealand shooter used the benefits of the internet to his advantage, as do lots of people who spread hate, incitement to violence, conspiracy theories, and frankly, all manner of trouble and trolling that you see on a daily basis, on social media. That’s a shame. It really is because people are using something that could be, and can be, and is a tool for great benefit, specifically to cause harm, specifically to cause pain, specifically to cause suffering, and specifically to spread and share that harm, and that pain, and that suffering with as many people as they can.

I think that’s twisted, I think it’s deranged, I think it’s wrong. I also think that blaming those actions on the internet is like blaming gravity when vandals throw bricks off bridges at cars. Yes, gravity plays a role, but it’s the vandals who are taking advantage of its inherent properties of gravity’s inherent use, its utility, who are to blame.

So this gets into a very, very difficult area of conversation because we need to think about the fact that, yes, other terrorists can use these tools, and these media to their advantage, that’s true. We also know that people who seek to divide us, are trying to do the same thing. They’re using these tools to drive wedges amongst people, between people, between groups of people, based on where they see fracture points.

And I think it’s fair to say, we have points of fracture, we have points of disagreement. It’s part of what makes us human. Nobody’s ever going to agree with everybody else about everything. I wish that that were true. And I think there are people who seek to divide us, who want to use those points of disagreement as a wedge, and to drive that wedge further between us, to make us dislike one another more, to make us ham one another more, whether with violence or whether simply with words.

So I don’t encourage that, obviously, and I understand completely how painful and awful a thing that can be. I also think it plays into the hands of the wrong people when we start to say, “How do we stop this?” I do. If you look at things like the Great Firewall of China, or a recent law that was passed in Russia, actually just signed yesterday by Vladimir Putin, that puts quote unquote, “Reasonable limits on content.” It allows authoritarians and people who seek to divide in other ways to restrict access to information that really would be beneficial to most of their population.

That’s not a good thing, I can’t see that as the right solution. And I think if you look at the internet more generally, you’ll see so many examples of where people have used the internet for good, for real good. I think about something like the Ice Bucket Challenge a couple of years ago, to raise awareness of ALS. We all remember it, it went completely viral. It cost the charity, the organization behind it very little money, and resulted in an enormous amount of publicity, and even better, an enormous amount of fundraising and attention to this awful disease, to try to do something to stop it. I’ve run into more stories than I can tell you over my years of working in digital, of times when people used the internet, learned that someone was thinking about killing themselves, thinking about suicide, and using that to help these people when they were in a time of crisis. And of course, it provides access to information for marginalized people all around the world. People who are struggling with their identity, people who are struggling with being oppressed in various communities around the world.

It is an enormous benefit. Yes, I clearly remain optimistic about this. I’m cautiously optimistic, and I share a number of concerns about the ways that digital and the internet can be used for harm. Despite that, I am optimistic all the same. And I recognize that that may sound foolish, after the horror of the past week. But I also think that trying to change the world for the better requires optimism. It requires us to hope, it requires us to think about where we want to be, and who we want to be, and envisioning ourselves into a better future.

Not a perfect future, not a future that won’t come with bumps and bruises, but a better place. I don’t think the internet has broken us, the internet is us. We still have a voice, and we still have influence, and we still have the opportunity to control, and shape the direction it takes. Yes, there are awful people, who want to take it in different directions. Yes, there are bad actors, who choose to use the internet for terrible ends. They also remain a minor share of total usage.

The shipwrecks might be real, but I strongly believe that this ship is worth saving. I’d encourage you to check out the show notes, you may feel different from me. I’d encourage you to take a look at the show notes, where I’ve linked to a number of posts, even those I disagree with so you can get a sense of other points of view on this. And after you’ve had a chance to check those out, I’d genuinely love to hear what you think about this. Maybe I’m wrong, this is supposed to be a dialogue.

Drop me a line on Twitter, using the handle @tcpeter, or an email at podcast@timpeter.com, or a message on Facebook at Facebook.com/timpeterassociates, and let me know what you think. Let’s use the internet in its best, most pure form, and I’ll be sure to share your thoughts in a future episode so that we can keep the conversation going. Because ultimately, I think that proves the strength, and the power, and the value that the internet provides, and the ability it helps us, the ability it offers us to steer the ship in a direction we want it to go. So I hope you’re willing to engage in this dialogue. I really look forward to continuing the discussion.

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. But I do want to remind you, you can find the show notes for today’s episode, as well as an archive of all of our episodes at timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that’s timpeter.com/podcast. This is episode 241.

While you’re there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there, to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite pod catcher, every single episode. You can subscribe in iTunes, or the Google Play Music Store, or Stitcher Radio, or wherever your favorite pod catcher happens to be. Just do a search for “Tim Peter Thinks,” “Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud,” or “Thinks Out Loud,” we should show up for any of those.

With that, I want to wish you nothing but peace in your life. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, a fantastic weekend, and I do look forward to the ongoing discussion with you, here on Thinks Out Loud. Until then, please be well, be safe, and take care, everybody.

Katie Peter

By

March 13, 2019

Tim Peter Talks Digital Trends on Legal Nurse Podcast

March 13, 2019 | By | No Comments

Pat Iyer, legal nurse consultant and host of Legal Nurse Podcast, invited Tim Peter onto the podcast to talk about digital trends and how to keep up with them in her field. Here’s what Iyer had to say before listeners begin the podcast:

Tim is an expert in digital transformation, customer experience and marketing strategy. His recent efforts include helping clients develop detailed content strategies and improved onsite customer service offerings.

They talked finding focus, website visibility, search engine optimization, and more. Check out the episode here.


If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure to register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

March 12, 2019

The History – and Future – of Trust in Digital Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 241)

March 12, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Trust in Digital Marketing: Customers using digital who don't trust you

The History – and Future – of Trust in Digital Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 241) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 51s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

The History – and Future – of Trust in Digital Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 241) Transcript

Well, hello again, everyone. Welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Tuesday, March 12th 2019. This is episode 241 of the big show, and as ever, I really, really appreciate you tuning in.

I’ve been talking for the past handful of episodes about data. I got a question from a listener, Steve in Cincinnati, who asked, “Should customers disguise their digital footprints from businesses? When customers are traveling around and interacting with your business, should they be protecting their data from you as a company?”

I think what Steve’s really asking is, “Shouldn’t customers be protecting their data from you as a company?” I think there are a couple of answers to this question, and to answer it, I’m going to have to take some odd digressions at points. First, whether or not customers should, we know that /they already do/. We know that customers already do with companies who haven’t earned their trust.

If you think about the rise of ad blockers and how prominent they have become, if you think about anonymous mode, if you think about GDPR, which was something I talked about in a previous episode. GDPR exists because we as marketers screwed up. GDPR exists because we did not do enough to protect our customers. Not even their data, but our customers themselves, their privacy, their rights.

Customers will increasingly protect their data, their digital footprints, whenever companies misstep. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t misuse something that doesn’t really belong to you. I’ve said many times that data is the crowned jewels, and that you need to protect that data as if your company depends upon it, because as I said many times, it does.

At the same time, I don’t want any of this to be but, because obviously everybody ignores everything that came before the but, so please don’t take this that way. I think it is also true that customers share data constantly. Everyone claims that they care about privacy, and they do until you offer them something of value in exchange.

Data really is a currency, and I’m sorry to say, I actually don’t think this is a good thing. But privacy is something of a currency. Customers have learned they can trade their privacy for some value. It could be coupons, could be a white paper download, it could be any number of things where customers say, “Yeah, I get that I’m giving up a little bit of my privacy, but in exchange, I’m going to receive some value.”

That’s something that I think is going to remain true for a long time. I think all the evidence suggests that that will remain true for a long time. What I find really fascinating, and I’m going to go kind of far afield on this for a moment, is that I think we’re going to see a number of technologically enabled solutions as we go forward. We’ve already seen some, and we’re starting to see more moves in this direction, but I want to explain why.

It used to be trust was something that was imbued in a brand. You chose your local bank, or your doctor, or the person who repaired your car, or a lawyer, or things along those lines, based on how much you trusted them. Based on word of mouth frequently, they had an inherited trust from what your friends and family told you about them, but also their reputation. The same was true for stores. You shopped at particular stores, or you bought from particular vendors, or you worked with particular companies because you had some trust relationship there. Something about them made them trustworthy.

What we’ve seen, one of the things that digital has done, is it’s sort of distributed the role of trust over the years. If we want to go back in history, this really started with Amazon reviews, and even more so, I would say eBay. eBay really invented the concept of trust on the internet, in that when you bought from Amazon, there was a big company there. I’m not talking about Amazon Marketplace, because at the time, Amazon Marketplace really didn’t exist.

But when you bought from eBay, when you bought a Beanie Baby from some person who you’ve never met before who lived in some other part of the country or some other country altogether, you didn’t know who this person was. You didn’t know that when you handed off your money. You didn’t know that the thing you were going to buy, the Beanie Baby, or a used guitar, or the cool T-shirt, or things along those lines, you had no idea prior to that whether or not you could count on it arriving, whether or not you could count on the person not pocketing your money and just taking off with it.

eBay and PayPal really started to say, “It’s okay. One, because you can trust this person, because we’ve got ratings and reviews, and two, because we’ve built some mechanisms that protect you from bad actors.” What that created was an ecosystem where you could trust people you’d never met, people who you would never meet. You knew that it was all going to be okay, because the system reinforced trust.

It’s really led to an environment … If you fast forward through all the years and all the different … I don’t want to jump over history too much, because there were some cool innovations along the way, but I also want to point out that today we have things like Uber, or Airbnb, or Etsy, where you can just buy from some little random shop person, no offense to the people on Etsy, but some craftsperson who you’ve never met, and know that you’re going to be taken care of.

You can go stay in someone’s home or someone’s apartment, sometimes with them there at the same time, even though you’ve never met them, because again, a trust framework has come up that says, “It’s going to be okay.” I know I’m not the first person to make this joke, but we were all taught as kids, “Don’t get into cars with strangers,” and now that’s what we do every time we take a ride on Uber, or Lyft, or any other ridesharing service, because trust is built into the system.

Obviously, if you get into things like scooters, and all these other kinds of transportation services, just leave your bikes sitting there, and somebody won’t take it and walk away from it. It’ll be fine. Or a service like Turo that lets people rent your car and just drive off in your car, and it’s okay, it comes back. Those are extraordinary extensions of what has happened with trust.

I think we’re going to get even further. I don’t know if it’s going to be blockchain, or if it’s going to be some other type of distributed ledger technology, but just as PayPal anonymized and protected your banking details or your credit card details when you made transactions, and obviously Venmo has picked up on that in recent time, I think we’re going to see distributed ledger technologies, possibly blockchain itself, more likely other services that are built on top of those distributed ledgers that allow you to release your private information in pieces, and pull it back in pieces, sort of escrow accounts for your personal information.

I think customers will increasingly have tools that will allow them to protect their data, to protect their privacy from companies that they don’t trust, and as they do, as those services begin to exist, I have no doubt that customers will take advantage of them, because that’s exactly how we got PayPal, and how PayPal led to Venmo. It’s exactly how we got eBay, and eBay led to Uber, and Airbnb, and Lyft, and Turo. It’s where these things kind of logically go.

Regulation’s one way we’re going to get there, but another way is that the market will find solutions. Now, what I would recommend is you can be the type of company that simply lets regulation tell you what to do, or you can be the type of company that doesn’t need it. Now, I get it, that might sound naive to say, “Oh no, don’t worry about regulation. Yada, yada, yada.” I don’t mean it that way.

Obviously, sometimes regulation is very necessary to protect customers from bad actors, and sometimes regulation causes unnecessary harm to the free market, and requires companies to push the boundaries, not because they’re trying to do anything wrong, but because they’re trying to do what’s right, because the boundaries actually are hurting people more than they’re helping people. I fully understand that.

What I’m saying is as customers have increasing control over who gets access to their data, and for how long, and in what ways, you’re only going to win if you’re the type of customer … if you’re the type of company that customers are okay letting that be you. Because fundamentally, they’re still only going to work with people that they trust, and so customers, Steve, will disguise their digital footprints. They will disguise their data. They will hide their data from companies. The question is, are you going to be the type of company that they’re going to want to do that?

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I’d like to remind you that you can find the show notes for today’s episode, as well as an archive of all our episodes, by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that’s timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 241.

While you’re there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there, to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single episode. You can also subscribe in the iTunes, or the Google Play music store, or Stitcher Radio, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those.

I’d also very much appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review while we’re there. It’s so helpful. I really, very much appreciate it. Since we’re talking about trust, let people know you trust us to deliver you quality content in every episode.

I’d also like to thank our sponsor. Thinks Out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to Facebook.com/timpeterassociates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course you can email me. Just send your emails to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that’s podcast@timpeter.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for listening. I really, really appreciate it. I hope you have a great week ahead. I hope you have a fantastic weekend, and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud again next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care, everybody.

Katie Peter

By

March 6, 2019

Tim Peter to Keynote at Rainmaker Optimize 2019

March 6, 2019 | By | No Comments

Tim Peter, president and founder of Tim Peter & AssociatesThe Rainmaker Optimize conference is just next week, and our founder and president Tim Peter will be presenting the keynote address on the final day of the event. His talk, “Distribution Strategy Directions: The Key Trends Shaping Distribution in 2019 – and Beyond,” aims to address trends you should know before reshaping your distribution strategy. Rainmaker’s program schedule says this about his part in the event:

Hotel distribution continues to evolve. But what are the key trends that drive your hotel’s distribution strategy? In this enlightening and entertaining discussion, Tim Peter will highlight the trends shaping our industry today. And help you formulate a plan that will make your distribution strategy deliver for your hotel.

Find out more about Optimize here, and check our events page for more information.


If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure to register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

March 6, 2019

Why Data Is Overrated (It’s Not What You Think) (Thinks Out Loud Episode 240)

March 6, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Why Data Is Overrated (It’s Not What You Think) (Thinks Out Loud Episode 240) – Headlines and Show Notes

Data is overrated: Marketer reviewing analytics dashboard

Everyone talks about how important data is for marketing today. And it is. But data is overrated for a very important reason too. The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud explains why data is overrated … and why that matters for your business.

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 58s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.