Content Marketing Catchup: The Secret to Shareability, the Rise of Robot Writers, and More Must-Reads

Here’s what you missed while devising elaborate escape plans from the apple-picking date with your significant other…

Manufacturing Amazing: MTV Star Rob Dyrdek Reveals How Brands Can Become ‘Irresistibly Shareable’

Rob Dyrdek is one of the longest-running kings of reality television, and, as Rod Kurtz writes, he’s been doing bradned content since long before the term was en vogue.

What’s so impressive about Rob’s approach to media is that it’s almost Trojan Horse-esque—methodically capture people’s attention with one-of-a-kind narratives that organically weave in marketing messages. Fans love it, and Madison Avenue clamors for it. Read it.

Does Your Brand Newsroom Need a Robot Writer?

The age of the robot writer is here, writes Cynthia Park. But what does it mean for the fast-growing content industry?

If you’ve spent any time reading on the web the past week, odds are you’ve read something written by a robot—and you didn’t even realize it.

Robot writers are algorithms that collect and analyze data and then turn them into readable narratives. Many news sites like the Los Angeles Times and Forbes are already using them. Even Wikipedia has articles that weren’t written by humans.

Reception to robot journalists has been mixed: Some see how robots can be useful, while others take this as another sign that creative professionals are being devalued.

To see for ourselves whether these robot writers can be useful or how they might impact creative work, we can start by getting to know one of them. Read it.

Native Adpocalypse! The NYT Sponsors an Upworthy-Style Listicle on Mashable

The sponsored content game has officially reached peak absurdity: The Times is paying to get its Upworthy on over at Mashable. What’s even more absurd is that it’s a very smart idea:

11 Inspiring Videos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity” sounds like your standard Tuesday-morning Upworthy offering, but it’s actually a “BrandSpeak” post on Mashable paid for by The New York Times.

Those 11 inspiring videos are all original feel-good New York Times productions, and as Digiday’s Lucia Moses noted this morning, the ad is intended to drive subscription signups for the Times, with a prominent call to action at the top of the piece imploring readers to “Get with The Times.” While this may seem bizarre and a little too meta for this early in the morning, it’s actually a shrewd move by the Times to grow their audience. Read it.

Can Conductive Ink Save Print?

There’s a sexy new technology in town, and it’s… ink? Herbert Lui is on the case:

Remember QR codes?

Ad Age declared them dead in 2013, and there’s a good chance that you haven’t thought of them since. But the spirit of the QR code—connecting the physical world with the digital world—is not dead, as we’ve seen with the rise of technologies like iBeacon. And now, there’s a new player on the rise: conductive inkRead it.

Why Do People Trust J.K. Rowling More Than Queen Elizabeth? The Power of Social Storytelling

Shane Snow is out with a new experiment, and it’s a doozy:

Some time ago, I asked 3,000 people who they’d trust more as their leader: J.K. Rowling or Queen Elizabeth. The winning answer—and the landslide with which it won—surprised me.

People picked Jo Rowling. And, I realized, I think I would, too. But the question is: Why? Read it.

May your weekend be as magical as a trip to the Three Broomsticks pub.

Image by Tony Dejak

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