Posts tagged “Reader Review” include a few top articles from my weekly reading. Their topics may vary, but their quality and provocation quotient won’t. Enjoy.
How Othering and Social Bias Impact Minorities’ Work Advancement
Harvard Business Review: Minority Women Report Downsizing Their Ambitions Because of Bias (Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon)
As Thorpe-Moscon says, “the experience of “otherness” is broader than any one demographic category.” But no, it’s not all about an employee “feeling different” or “feeling valued.” Some issues aren’t about mere perception; they’re about fact.
The facts of difference and the realities of inclusion and value do not depend on how sensitive an individual might be. They are instead directly related to the organizational structure and practiced values of the institution and the policies that flow from each: as an structural issue, they merit structural responses.
Building diversity initiatives around the perception of change rather than actual change is not wise.
Why You Might Want to Check Your Phone’s Location and Wifi Settings (And Who’s Getting Paid Because You Don’t)
MSN Money/Wall Street Journal: Your Phone is Sharing Your Secrets
Last month I finished reading Gurbaksh Chabal’s autobiography, The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions. Chabal became a millionaire while in his teens by investing in web advertising that tracked users’ web activity through cookies rather than their demographic categories.
This WSJ article highlights companies doing similar work but through mobile technology. Turnstyle Solutions, Euclid Analytics, Verizon, and Apple all now pull users’ location data from devices’ geo-location feature or from wireless broadcasting. They then aggregate that metadata to build up a view of where people go, how often they gather, and what activities or lifestyles they are involved with.
Aj Tin, a university student and customer at Rsquared Café, was surprised to learn that by logging into the Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, he was enabling Turnstyle to track his movements and offer other local businesses an aggregated profile of his activities. The disclosure form tells consumers they will be tracked, but not how aggregated personal information will be distributed. “Privacy is cheap,” Tin said.
Individualized, cookie-based advertising makes businesses the most happy and they will and do pay pretty money for the option. “Brute-force” demographics-based advertising still works—just not as consistently.
For the most part, we consumers also prefer the outcomes of individualized advertising. We complain about commercials on regular broadcasting because they’re usually irrelevant to us: they’re based on who advertisers think we are based on what we happen to be watching in a given time slot.. We don’t mind ads as much when they’re based on what we’ve bought in the past, activities we do, or who we’d like to believe we are.
And individualized marketing works: our demographic categories don’t require us to watch a show or go to a certain location, and not everyone in a category has the same interests, concerns, or “pain points.” But we watch and go and do because we choose to; our choices arise out of who we are and the experiences we’ve had. Advertisers want to move away from marketing based on passive category to marketing based on active choice. We will let them do it, and they don’t care how long it takes for us to adjust to the idea without fear.
Socially, we’re still figuring what “privacy” means, and what it’s reasonable to expect from our governments, companies, religions, and clubs.
On Practicing Inclusion—Beyond Words and Accepting Change
BRACE (Building Radically Accessible Communities Everywhere): PSA: When You Actually Welcome Us, Shit’s Gonna Change
An editorial about how ableism impacts disabled people who shouldn’t have to beg for accommodations and enabled people who assume spaces should be centered around them. Plenty to think about.
Have you caught yourself grumbling about having to change how you do things to make others more comfortable? Have you been on the other side of that grumbling? Tell me a story about it in the comments.
Paths to Success: Whose Advice Should You Take?
You’ll have noticed a lot of voices in the personal development coach choir, especially those aimed at young professionals,d from 99U and Switch and Shift. This week Paul C. Brunson offered a list of habits he’d picked up from two billionaires. The list includes some great advice about nurturing your relationships and habits of association.
As you pick up coaches, consider this from Forbes’ Tim Maurer: Two Reasons Why Copying Successful People Won’t Make You Successful:
We wake each day on a quest for personal validation that we apparently believe is found in someone’s definition of success. We then presume that rote replication of the habits of the supposedly successful will directly correlate to similar degrees of success in our own lives.
While appealing, this logic fails—for two primary reasons:
1) You’re not them.
2) They’re not you.
Maurer writes: “When we cultivate our own unique significance through a perpetual cycle of self-examination, education and practice, success becomes a natural byproduct.”
I agree. Onward and upward, but not as an imitation of another. Onward and upward as yourself.