Humans v Algorithms + can social work in the workplace + LMTD likes

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 45.

LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry.

Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

Humans v Algorithms: who will win?

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LinkedIn wants to be more than your online resume. It wants to be an authoritative source of daily news. But in a marketplace already crowded with news readers and real-time platforms like Twitter, how will it stand out? What will encourage you to go to the platform’s Pulse before anywhere else?

Their answer is simple: human editors.

This isn’t an abandoning of algorithms altogether. Pulse will still use one, with the top-line only curated by its resident humans, but it could be an acknowledgement that a more bespoke service can go a long way to adding value. The team at Linkedin believes users want more than just the stories an algorithm spits out. They want context, quality content and control; and a real editor could be much better positioned to provide it.

This may be an interesting idea, but it’s not an original one. Apple News will have human curators. Snapchat uses human curators to select the snaps that make it to Discover. So LinkedIn’s news service again finds itself in a crowded marketplace, trying desperately to differentiate itself from the competition.

But if online news reporting and content aggregating is moving away from automation, will the quality of the curators be enough to help a business stand out? Are we returning to a time when the editor is again king?

Can social media work in the workplace?

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While social media use is on the climb all over the world, helped in part by the sheer number of options that are coming on-stream seemingly every day, the adoption of enterprise social tools is lagging well behind.

A recent survey from Scredible PLC may have discovered one of the reasons why tools like Jive, Yammer, and even LMTD favourite Slack aren’t gaining much traction: most people view social as a way to keep up with friends and family, not to help them work more efficiently.

Worse (perhaps for social overall), 42% of those surveyed said there was too ‘useless’ content out there, which keeps them from being more active.

Check out this infographic for a neat little summary of what they found, but our top takeaways are:

– 57% of men and 51% of women surveyed think that social media should be banned in the office. Is this a misunderstanding of what social can do for your business? Do socially-savvy businesses perform better than those who are switched off?

– 75% of those surveyed in the US (57% in the UK) think that a good social profile can improve their reputation at work. Professionals, it seems, acknowledge that social does have benefits; they just see them as personal rather than applying on a business-wide level.

– Those surveyed in the US are more likely than their UK counterparts to believe an online profile will somehow benefit their career (48% vs 22% expect benefit in 1 year, 54% v 39% in 5 years). We want to know if this means American professionals are the early adopters for enterprise tools, or simply more socially switched-on than their traditionally more reserved cousins over the Atlantic. And where do we fit in?

LMTD likes

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This week, LMTD‘s out-going Head of Media and Strategy Nic Wilson tells us about his favourite app for satisfying the wanderlust, Hitlist:

Hitlist is perfect if you’re keen to get some travelling done.

For a start, its interface is amazing (always a plus). It lets you make a cool map of the places you’ve been in the world, and where you want to go next. It’ll find you a list of the best upcoming flight deals to that place — and it even tells you which of your friends have been there. 

I’ve used it, Sarah uses it. We’re hoping to convert the whole of LMTD!

#ICYMI

Ello launches its iPhone app today

5 YouTube marketing lessons from unlikely sources

How cards are taking over web design

Twitter now autoplays videos and gifs

Facebook wants to suggest your next status update

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