Will Critchlow's Posts



Machine-Powered ‘Taste’ - The Future of Algorithms is Curation

It’s fascinating that we still don’t really have a solution to the ‘discovery problem’ – that is, how people find new things online, things they weren’t explicitly searching for. This is despite 15+ years of Amazon’s “people who bought this also bought…”.

In large part, it comes down to the balance between human curation and machine algorithms, a topic that has been on many people’s minds lately:  

  • Ben Evans wrote about search, discovery and marketing to highlight the fundamental truth of search: that it can only ever return you things you were looking for

  • Ben Thompson wrote about curation and algorithms to highlight the strategic evolution of Apple Music as well as news products from Apple, BuzzFeed, NYT, and Twitter

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Send us Someone we Hire - Get an Apple Watch

Who do you know who would thrive in an environment like Distilled? Send us someone we end up hiring, and we’ll give you an Apple Watch (or something else you’d prefer – see details and rules).

Apple watches

Image credit: LWYang

So, apart from getting a shiny gadget on your wrist, why would you send Distilled job ads to your friends?

Here’s what you need to know

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Why Does BuzzFeed Invest in Serious Journalism?

Last week Ben Thompson wrote a post entitled why BuzzFeed is the most important news organization in the world. In it, he argues that BuzzFeed is building the thing that will work best in a new world where:

  • There is no limit on the space available for stories

  • The market for “news” is global

  • Individual stories can be accessed without visiting the homepage

In particular, he believes that BuzzFeed’s business model is fundamentally well-aligned with all this. By not relying on banner advertising, but rather embedding advertising as a “native” unit that has to grab people’s interest, they remove the incentive to chase empty page views – those where the user is not satisfied. This, he argues, opens them up to focus on better journalism.

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Want a Better Job in Digital Marketing?

Many exciting opportunities lie ahead for the smart technical marketer. Industry-wide changes mean those of you at the beginning of your careers will be able to get ahead fast, plus the world will really open up once you have more skills and experience.

However, it can be hard to prove your skills and value to potential employers. That’s where we’d like to help.

Right now, we’re gauging interest for a platform designed to help you to prove your knowledge when applying for jobs. If this appeals, please let us know by adding your email address here. We will then share info with you about upcoming launches.

Our online training platform DistilledU offers learning materials that help marketers around the world to level up in search.

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Build Different Things – Why You’re Not Done When Your Website is Responsive

There’s a common objection that comes up among marketers when I talk about the incredible rate at which mobile is eating the world. Many say that these trends are all well and good, but they don’t actually change the tactics of web marketing beyond the need to make your website mobile-friendly.

For a long time, I’ve felt strongly that there was more to it than this, and that there was a real answer to this question, but I’ve struggled to lay it out clearly. I tried, in a post entitled Why You Shouldn’t have a Mobile Marketing Strategy but mainly ended up describing a mobile-centric future without really getting to the implications.

In preparation for our SearchLove London (where I was to give a presentation entitled The Threat of Mobile), I put in a ton of work to try and map it out more clearly.

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