Enterprise hits and misses - AI graduates eighth grade, and ContentOps wins buzzword bingo

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed September 9, 2019
This week - AI graduates eighth grade, as the automation debate heats up again. Algorithms get political, and cloud security gets a once-over. ContentOps meets SnarkOps, and your whiffs include a mystery article that (finally) popped up everywhere.


Lead story - The great "content experience" debate leads us to... ContentOps?

MyPOV: Nothing beats an enterprise debate that flares across blog posts. Give me that hearty exchange over the animated GIFs and trollish posturing guru festivals that pass for debate on social media.

My productive sparring with Barb that started with takedowns of phrases like "contextual experiences" culminated in my roundup, From content to experience to context - a buzzword debate that actually matters.

In the process, we roped in everyone from Mathew Sweezey of Salesforce to Hank Barnes of Gartner to Taj Forer of Fabl. The question is: where do we go from here? I hammered on two challenges brands are falling down on (exceptional content and authenticity). But Barb took up perhaps the most important point of all: taking the good stuff to scale.

The most tedious buzzword ever created is DevSecOps. Bad news: there's more Ops marketing hamster wheel crudlingo where that came from. That said, "Content Operations" is a perfect phrase for what Barb is getting at, in her essential two part series on doing (effective) content at scale. In part two, Building effective and scalable Content Ops, Barb writes:

Getting past the siloed development of content in an organization is hard. Each department has its schedule and set of initiatives, most of which will require some form of content. Priorities will differ, content creators will have their own approach to creating and managing content, some even flying by the seat of their pants. Change, even for the better, is hard.

Fortunately, we are not in the wild west of the content game anymore. There are proven ways of tying content into lead gen, measuring its effectiveness, building opt-in lists. And to Barb's point, the so-called "Content Center of Excellence" is now accumulating a body of field experience.

B2B content isn't about marketing anymore. It's about planting the seeds of trust in a broad fashion. As Barb points out, that puts pressure on the rest of your customer-facing operations to build on that trust - and not betray it. Otherwise content is just "dead-end experiences."

Here's the gotcha I keep coming back to: the operationalizing of content can easily turn inspired/freely-expressed viewpoints into a numbifying series of checks and balances - otherwise known as the land of nobody cares "staying on message."How we do both at once should keep marketers on their toes for some time. As for that elusive word "context," that should keep us debating for a while.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

AI graduates eighth grade, while we debate the perils of automation and algorithmic economies

MyPOV: "AI" passed a multiple choice science test, and the tech press went into clickbait triage overdrive. My favorite was Fast Company, which decided that AI was now possibly smarter than an eighth grader. Even though this "AI" system, called Aristo, is designed only for multiple choice tests, and nothing else. Yep - Aristo's grasp of language, reasoning, and common-sense knowledge is significant, but so are its limitations.

Other notable AI/automation stories this week:

Why Fast Food Is the Ticking Time Bomb of Job Automation - Quote of the week comes from Gizmodo, of all places:

As soon as the fast food companies can automate those jobs, they will. The only things preventing those companies from doing so are the projected costs and the functionality of the automated systems. That’s it.

Lora Cecere brought a supply chain angle to the automation debate in To Move Forward, We Need to be Clear on What We Are Automating. Cecere likes the customer analytics trends she's seeing, but not the impasse:

Automation requires clarity. Data scientists think they know the answers, and business leaders are unable to speak their language.

Finally, to wrap my AI special comes an edgy reminder from Real Life: algorithms are anything but neutral (The Algorithmic Colonization of Africa).

Honorable mention - security edition

Overworked businessman


Suspension-of-disbelief took some big hits this week. First, DNA hints that the Loch Ness Monster might be nothing more than a giant eel that likes to scare people every hundred years or so. Meanwhile, I hit Twitter for some SnarkOps:

The original study was much more cautious than the headline, but Speculative Outsider Business Insider didn't sweat that. We aren't using Google Maps in the womb just yet, but don't bet against Google:

Reader Zachary Jeans spotted some Kubernetes mockery I missed:

So Clive (see below) wanted me to mock the latest "inventor of Bitcoin" fiasco a few weeks ago. But I was more interested in the strange saga of a missing piece on Coindesk:

The piece went up on Coindesk.com; a day later it was scrubbed. Now, a few weeks later, it's all over the Interwebs - that is, everywhere except Coindesk. As far as I can tell, the piece is harmless fluff. If it was written on tissue paper, I would have thrown it away already.

But pulling the article creates intrigue: why? We'll never know, but call me a crusty crank. If you pull a piece, you owe readers some explanation, however trite and disingenuous. Even: "It was a cheesy piece of junk that our editor should never have approved; they have now been transferred to Sudoko Weekly" would have been fine. Now I fear we'll solve Nessie and ET before we solve this...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang. 



Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - Oracle NetSuite, Coupa, MongoDB, and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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