06.18.2019 The Weekly Spark

Tips and tools galore!

There’s nothing better than a list of quick suggestions that could make a big impact on your work, and that’s what we’re dishing up this week—alongside a couple of intense must-reads. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Brought to you by Brendan, Kate, Natania, Tauno.

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(1) Powerful social tool alert!

ActionSprout, the once-market-leading simple social insights platform focused on Facebook, will now offer its services free for all US-based nonprofits. [Action Sprout]

(2) Apple is 86ing iTunes.

Wait. WHAT? Apple is getting rid of iTunes?!?! If you haven’t already heard, the wannabe Internet privacy leader is revamping its entire listening library app and replacing it with three separate apps for music, podcasts, and shows. [Time]

(3) Have you heard of BreadTube?

To combat the firehose of horrific Alt-Right videos on YouTube, left-wing activists are leveraging new policies at the company, along with conspiracy-theory-like digital strategies, to turn right-wing recruits away from racism and bigotry. And? It’s working. [The New York Times]

(4) The hidden costs of data and analytics:

Our clients need analytics and data not just to have clear information about the ways people use their sites and tools, but to maintain financial stability over time. But the vendors of business intelligence also use that data for their own financial ends, and they make a lot more money doing it. The emergent properties of the surveillance we accept are costing us in ways we are only starting to understand. [Idle Words]

(5) Mapping data is at the core of all maps:

Whether it’s a route, epidemic, or anything in between, visualizations help us tell stories and guide our lives in ways that are otherwise locked behind messy datasets and complicated intersecting information. Here are four rules for map-making to consider following if you’re ready to develop a mappable story. [Modus]

(6) No time to optimize? Try this instead!

We love these simple suggestions for how to approach choosing the right words for button labels. [UX Movement]

(7) What if Alexa was more like a best friend who could keep your secrets?

We often ponder the privacy concerns with voice assistants, aka, devices that are always listening. That’s why we’re intrigued by a group of Stanford faculty members who are working on an assistant that is decentralized and allows you to choose where your info is stored and shared. [The New York Times]

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