Roku’s free streaming videos aren’t just for Roku devices anymore

Last year, Roku sweetened the deal for its streaming players and smart TVs with the Roku Channel, a source of free movies and TV shows that has about half the advertising of traditional linear channels. Now, Roku says it will bring that channel to Samsung’s smart TVs over the summer. It’s a new strategy for …

Last year, Roku sweetened the deal for its streaming players and smart TVs with the Roku Channel, a source of free movies and TV shows that has about half the advertising of traditional linear channels. Now, Roku says it will bring that channel to Samsung’s smart TVs over the summer.

Read Full Story

Roku’s free streaming videos aren’t just for Roku devices anymore

Last year, Roku sweetened the deal for its streaming players and smart TVs with the Roku Channel, a source of free movies and TV shows that has about half the advertising of traditional linear channels. Now, Roku says it will bring that channel to Samsung’s smart TVs over the summer. It’s a new strategy for …

Last year, Roku sweetened the deal for its streaming players and smart TVs with the Roku Channel, a source of free movies and TV shows that has about half the advertising of traditional linear channels. Now, Roku says it will bring that channel to Samsung’s smart TVs over the summer.

Read Full Story

What you need to know about Facebook’s data debacle


Facebook (FB) is under intense pressure to answer these questions — and more — after it admitted that a company linked to President Donald Trump’s campaign had accessed and improperly stored a huge trove of its user data.

The controversy erupted as UK media and The New York Times reported that data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica tried to influence how Americans voted using information gleaned from millions of Facebook profiles.

Read the full article here. 

2 things to do to avoid Facebook harvesting your data

You’ve probably seen all the stuff in the news about harvesting Facebook data for ulterior motives.“Hundreds of millions of Facebook users are likely to have had their private information harvested by companies that exploited the same terms as the firm that collected data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytica, according to a new whistleblower. Sandy Parakilas says numerous companies deployed these techniques – likely affecting hundreds of millions of users – and that Facebook looked the other way” as The Guardian reported today. He has been quoted to say “It has been painful watching. Because I know that they could have prevented it.”

Sandy Parakilas was a platform operations manager at Facebook and his job was to watch out for data breaches by third-party software companies. But, he told the Guardian that he “warned senior executives at the company that its lax approach to data protection risked a major breach.”

As your friendly neighbourhood social media agency, there are two things you can do to protect yourself from this kind of thing happening!

1. Most of this data is harvested through apps which you’ve given permission to access your Facebook account. If you go here: you can see all apps you’ve ever allowed to do this. Yep, even Robot Unicorn Attack. If you’re anything like us you’ll have loads of legit ones like Fitbit, Groupon, Instagram etc. but also a load of weird ones you’ve forgotten about like “which Game of Thrones house do you REALLY belong to?” Any that you don’t remember, don’t use or look a bit dodgy, click the X to delete them. Sorted.

2. Delete your account.

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What You Need To Know About Rel Nofollow Links, Google & The Law

My notes on using the rel=nofollow attribute. Search engines like Google, ask that you adequately provide machine-readable disclosure and add the ‘Re=Nofollow’ attribute to ANY paid links on your site or any paid links you BUY that point TO your site.

Read the full article here What You Need To Know About Rel Nofollow Links, Google & The Law

How I Learned To Worry Productively

You’re not going to stop worrying, so you might as well learn how to make it work for you.

We’re in a golden age of tracking: We track our steps, our sleep, our time on Facebook, and other sites we deem “productivity killers” (looking at you, Instagram). But one thing we still don’t track or think about much: the amount of time we spend worrying.

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Report: The FTC is investigating Facebook—stock drops again

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is looking into Facebook’s recent data-privacy scandal, according to a source cited by Bloomberg. Following reports this weekend that the firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge, the FTC is now investigating whether Facebook violated a 2011 settlement in which it agreed to …

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is looking into Facebook’s recent data-privacy scandal, according to a source cited by Bloomberg.

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Google Data Studio: The Beginner’s Tutorial

Google Data Studio is a communication tool. It brings together data you store in several places so you can visualize it on one screen. The goal of using Data Studio is to become a data communicator, not a data plumber.

There are several Data Studio beginner’s guides in the wild. I’ve created this one to get you thinking in Data Studio terms. It’s a proper tutorial, taking you through things step-by-step. Where there’s too much to say about a feature, I’ll link to relevant documentation or other blog posts. And of course, this guide is for you — please ask questions and leave feedback so that we can improve it!


Data Studio lets you visualize data from many sources

You only need a Google account to get started

Get oriented

Make your first report

Connect a sample data source

Get acquainted with the report interface

Now let’s make a chart

Add a time series

Set dimensions and metrics

Set the date range

Update the style to use bars

Label your chart

Admire your work

Add interactivity

Add a filter control

Connect your data [optional]

Share your report

What we learned

Do more, learn more

Data Studio lets you visualize data from many sources

The compelling reason to choose Data Studio is the sources from which it can pull data. With it, you can use almost any data available from Google. That includes Google Analytics, AdWords, Search Console, BigQuery, and more.

Data Studio is also easier to learn and teach than the alternatives. In particular, querying the Google Analytics API requires learning a complete vocabulary of dimensions and metrics (“Page” → “ga:pagePath”) and operators (“Match Regex” → “=~”). Data Studio renders that obsolete for many use cases.

Finally, the fact that Data Studio makes all these data sources available lets you juxtapose charts from many sources in one report. For instance, you might want to chart both organic traffic from Google Analytics and clicks from Search Console in the same report. With Data Studio, you can!

You only need a Google account to get started

Data Studio is a free product. The only way to incur expense is if there are fees associated with accessing your data source. For instance, BigQuery charges for some requests. That won’t happen in this tutorial.

All you need to get started is a Google Account. If you have personal data to work with, experimenting will be much more fun — but it isn’t required.


Note that you may have to accept some terms and conditions before creating your first report. For some reason, this process can be a bit finicky. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

Get oriented

See interface documentation.

The next thing you’ll see is the central Data Studio interface. Data Studio is part of Google Drive — like Docs, Sheets, or Slides. The interface of Data Studio is similar to The interface lists only Data Studio documents. You’re meant to do organizing within Google Drive as opposed to Data Studio itself. That’s why you can’t make folders on this screen.

Unfamiliar territory!

One difference worth noting is that instead of a single document type, Data Studio has two. There are Reports and Data Sources. In this tutorial, we’ll be manipulating reports, and using the sample data sources provided by default.

Make your first report

See report documentation.

Make sure you’re looking at the Reports section as opposed to the Data Sources section. You should see Reports by default. Click the familiar “+” button in the bottom right corner to get the ball rolling! If everything is going as planned, you should now have a blank canvas:

Connect a sample data source

See data source documentation.

Before you can add any charts to your report, Data Studio needs to know where that data is. Fortunately, Data Studio comes with several sample data sources to help you get started. Each of these has a name that starts with “[Sample]”. For now, choose “[Sample] Google Analytics Data”:

You’ll see a request for confirmation. Click add to report.

This sample data source exposes Google Analytics data from the Google Store. We’ll show you how to add a custom data source later in the tutorial.

Get acquainted with the report interface

See report interface documentation.

At this point you’ve got a blank report in front of you — the world is your oyster! If you want to mess around a bit, feel free. Anything you add will use the data source we just added.

You can always undo anything or create a new report if you don’t like the result!

Now let’s make a chart

I don’t want to bury the lede. Here’s what we’re going to create:

see the finished product

This is a simple chart. It shows sessions to the Google Store website by month and compares each month to the same month last year. It also happens to use most of the features you’ll need to master in Data Studio, so it’s a great starting place. This is what it looks like:

Add a time series

See chart type documentation.

A time series is a type of chart. Its defining characteristic is that its x-axis is a unit of time. In Data Studio, a chart isn’t just defined by how it looks. In fact, there are multiple ways to make something that appears to be a column chart. Instead, a chart also specifies what data it accepts as inputs and how it transforms that data into a visual.

Try adding a time series to your chart now. It’s the very first chart type in the toolbar:


Dragging a box on your canvas will result in something like this:

Humble beginnings.

Congratulations — you’ve made your first chart! Let’s take a moment to analyze what just happened. You said you wanted a time series. On the other hand, you didn’t have an opportunity to specify what data you wanted to visualize. Data Studio chose some reasonable defaults for you (charting Sessions by Date). Next, we’ll see how to customize these choices so that you aren’t stuck with these defaults forever.

Set dimensions and metrics

See dimensions and metrics documentation.

Dimensions and metrics in Data Studio are conceptually the same as dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics. If you’re using Google Analytics as a data source, the same dimensions and metrics will be available to you in Data Studio.

A quick refresher: metrics are numbers, and dimensions allow you to slice and dice those numbers in different ways. Pageviews and Sessions are both metrics. Page and Landing Page and Default Channel Grouping are dimensions.

The chart we just created shows Sessions by Date. By selecting the chart, we can change these in the right-hand sidebar shown below.

We’ll keep Sessions the same, but change the time dimension to be Month of Year. Be careful here — Month of the year and Month of Year are two different dimensions. To create our example chart, we want Month of Year. The result will look something like this:

Not a great visual — a time series with only two data points? A little wonky, but never fear. We just need to inspect a wider date range.

Set the date range

See date and time documentation.

The reason that the chart only has one or two data points now is that by default Data Studio will show the last 30 days of data. Most of the time that means a chart by month will only show partial data for last month and this month.

Let’s make things more exciting. In that same sidebar, you’ll see an option to set the default date range. Use it to select “Last Year”.

Now we’ve got an appropriate time range to show off our website’s performance:

Finally, let’s compare this data against last year’s. In the same date range control panel, select a comparison period:

Which results in:

We’re most of the way there at this point. The data that we want to visualize is there; it just doesn’t look quite the same.

Update the style to use bars

See time series documentation.

The most apparent difference between our chart and the target is that the target chart uses bars instead of lines. Since we want to be able to compare specific months against their performance last year, grouped bars will be more natural for our audience to interpret.

Click your way over to the Style section in the right-hand sidebar. At the top, you’ll see a conspicuous option to use Bars instead of a Line to represent your data.

This has the expected result:

So the chart seems correct, but the example also has a pretty title at the top. What about that?

Label your chart

Data studio offers bare essential drawing tools — text box, image, rectangle, and circle:

Choose one or more of these and drag away. Let your inner artist out! Take a gander at the options given in the sidebar. Foreground and background colors can be selected, in addition to basic font choices.

Here’s what I came up with:

If you’d like to have more fun — and maybe make the chart align better with your own brand — you can also play with the style controls. Select the chart and click “Style” in the sidebar. Check out the series color options, and font face and size options. Extreme changes are possible. You can even turn off the axes entirely!

Admire your work

For those following along, you’ll see that we’ve built what we had planned. If you want to scope out what your report really looks like, hit the View button:

This removes the helpful design grid and the rest of the UI elements. It brings your visualization to the foreground.

If you give someone view permission, this is what they will see.

Add interactivity


One of the great things about Data Studio is that it also accommodates interactivity. Let’s say we’re presenting this chart to our board, who is interested not only in trends in overall sessions but also in the channels from which those sessions began.

We could make a different chart for each channel — and in some cases, that might be the appropriate visualization. But for the sake of our tutorial, we can avoid creating eight different charts. Instead, we’ll add interactivity to our current chart so that we can use it to track each of these

Here’s the end product:

Add a filter control

See filter control documentation.

This pictograph (like an inverted pyramid) represents a filter control. See how the bar starts out large and gets smaller? That’s because it’s been filtered!

Just like a chart or a text box, you can draw a filter element onto your canvas:

Subtle difference — look in the upper right corner!

And, like any other component, you can configure the dimensions and metrics that the filter users. Note that the filter does its filtering on a dimension, not a metric — the metric is merely an aesthetic option. Configure your dimension like this:

By default, a filter control affects all charts on a page. You can change this by grouping the filter with the charts you want it to affect. See the documentation for details.

Now when you go to View mode, you can click on the filter control and choose what Channel Grouping you want to focus on:

Now we’ve got the same chart, but showing only organic traffic.

Connect your data [optional]

See the Google Analytics connector documentation.

I’ll assume you have access to a GA account. If not, that’s fine—you can skip ahead to “Share your report”. Let’s swap your data for the sample GA account we’ve been using.

Select the time series component and click “Data Source” in the sidebar.

This will allow you to select any data source you have. You can also create a new data source from within the report building interface:

To connect to Google Analytics, you’ll have to choose an Account, Property, and View to use. On this new screen, select “Google Analytics”.

Because we’ve chosen a Google Analytics data source, Data Studio already knows how to interpret the data. If you wanted to use another data source you might have to tell Data Studio what its schema is. I’ve written a guide to using Google Sheets as a data source that you might find useful.

When you’re satisfied with the list of dimensions and metrics that Data Studio is showing you, click “Add to Report”.

Your chart will now be using the data source you’ve created. No other configuration required!

Share your report

Sharing a Data Studio report is slightly more complicated than in Google Docs. The most important thing you need to understand is how permissions work. That blog post is a crash course on the subject. The choice you’ll be making is whether you’re letting readers see data using your credentials.

For more details about sharing, check out these three documentation pages:

  1. Sharing documentation
  2. Report sharing documentation
  3. Data source sharing documentation

What we learned

In this tutorial, we covered all of the basics of Data Studio. Here’s a quick summary of what we learned:

  • How to start using Data Studio.
  • How to create a new report.
  • How to create a time series.
  • How to choose dimensions and metrics.
  • How to expand the date range.
  • How to label a chart.
  • How to make a chart interactive.
  • How to connect a data source.

Whew — that’s quite a bit. I hope you feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Nice work!

Do more, learn more

That’s it for our tutorial, but not for your Data Studio journey. Here are a few things to try with your newfound skills:

  • Add a second chart type.
  • Add more pages to your report.
  • Change the size of a page.
  • Add another data source.
  • Make a component report-level instead of page-level.

As you iterate, check out these resources — they all helped me as I learned Data Studio.

Happy visualizing!

What Is Guerrilla Advertising?

Guerrilla advertising or guerrilla marketing as it is commonly called, was coined in 1984 by American business writer Jay Conrad Levinson. No we’re not talking about the Cadbury Dairy milk advert.  It is a strategy of business marketing that incurs low costs but achieves optimal results, usually using some rather unconventional methods. More often than not, it is marketing campaigns that have used guerrilla marketing that go viral online and via social media. The main aim of guerrilla marketing or experiential marketing, as it is also sometimes referred to, is to offer an immersive and exceptional experience to potential consumers. The term, first used in Levinson’s book ‘Guerrilla Advertising’, finds its roots in the term guerrilla warfare, a form of warfare that utilises the element of surprise and sabotage to overcome small groups of enemies. In much the same way, guerrilla advertising is targeted towards members of the public in a way that will encourage engagement with the product or service being advertised, often via shock value or creative and imaginative ideas. Having created this memorable and immersive experience, the consumer is then more likely to share their experience with the advertisement through word of mouth, thus spreading the word about the campaign and reaching more people than it ordinarily may have by itself. In this way, a campaign can be targeted towards city centres or public areas with high traffic and see the effects of their campaign spread further due to the role of social media and the ways in which it is used in the modern day. When people see something cool, new and unoriginal, they naturally want to picture it, film it and spread it across their social media platforms.

Most guerrilla marketing campaigns intend to assault the consumer on a much more personal and memorable level. Whilst conventional marketing tactics involve the use of newspaper or magazine adverts, television advertisements, radio and even targeted junk mail, more creative companies are trying to find new and improved ways of involving the digital world and technological advances to aid their campaigns. A major draw of using guerrilla marketing tactics, especially for smaller companies, is the low cost involved if executed correctly. The only requirements for a successful guerrilla marketing campaign is time, an abundance of energy and some serious creativity. It requires thinking outside the box in an attempt to capture the attention and interest of passers-by, enough so that they won’t be able to stop themselves from snapping, sharing and raving about their experience with the campaign. Another major draw of using guerrilla marketing for companies is the use of emotional pull to create a bond between the consumer and the brand. These kind of campaign not only sticks in people’s minds and stands out, but it also develops a trust between the two parties. If a company has such faith and confidence in their product, then the consumer can too. The campaign comes to represent the companies’ values and, in this way, almost humanises them to the consumer.

Under the umbrella of guerrilla advertising are nine distinct types or styles of advertising. These are as follows:

Ambient Marking

Effective use of the environment and certain locations to elicit appropriate engagement.

Example: Copenhagen Zoo bus campaign, 2010.

Ambush Marketing

Involves marketing campaigns featured at an event that the product or service is not directly affiliated with but is used in a way to make it appear so.

Example: Nike’s 2012 London Olympics campaign, “Find your Greatness”, in direct competition with Adidas who was the official London 2012 sponsor.


In-authentic hype or buzz created around a product or service via paid reviews or endorsements.

Example: Teatox products such as SkinnyMint or BooTea who pay social media influencers to endorse their products to their followers.

Buzz marketing/viral marketing

Use of amplified/organic word of mouth that creates a buzz around a product or service.

Example: 3M Security Glass campaign at a bus stop in Canada.

Guerrilla projection advertising

The (sometimes unlawful) use of a digital billboard or building to project an advertisement.

Example: H&M advertising campaign for their new flagship store in Amsterdam in 2010.

Grassroots marketing

Focuses on building a personal and unique connection with the individual consumer and the brand. Often charity based.

Example: The 2013 One Fund Boston Strong campaign in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Stealth marketing

The discrete act of involving or exposing consumers in/to a campaign without their knowledge of it.

Example: The focus on use of FedEx parcels in the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away.

Street marketing

Use of unconventional advertising of brands and products in public areas such as parks, streets, etc.

Example: 2017 Ikea campaign that saw Ikea sofas used at bus stops.

Wild posting

Sometimes also referred to as flyposting. The use of posters, magnets, stickers, etc., in high traffic areas, sometimes without permission.

Example: 2009 Weight watchers campaign featuring tear off contact details that make the model on the flyer lose weight with every tear.

Thanks to guerrilla advertising, more companies are focusing on building a relationship with their customers and improving their customer follow-up. Utilizing tools such as email subscriptions, newsletters and offers, companies are able to retain repeat customers and gain new ones through the medium of referrals and word of mouth. Whilst there is a risk associated with the use of guerrilla advertising (misinterpretation, dishonesty, potential legal consequences), the benefits of a successful campaign are immeasurable and uncontrollable.

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