Five for Friday, June 18

How your insurance rates are influenced by your Tweets Jeremiah Owyang wrote  a salient post on how insurance companies are mining social data to set insurance rates. He talks about how this isn’t much different than using your credit report, however, the issue lies in HOW they look at the data and slant it in their favor. Particularly alarming, is how seemingly innocent comments on Facebook and Twitter could be used against you. I think this in only the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding use of social data, but highlights the pitfalls of the open web. And how it’s not necessarily wise to share as much as many do so publicly.

I’m diving into the world of neuromarketing and am fascinated by how our minds think – and how we make decisions. On Twitter Analyst Fred McClimans pointed me to MindTime which helps companies map our thinking to accurately predict behavior. The have an application they call GPS of the Mind that evaluates styles of thinking -past, present and future. Definitely worth a look.

Neuromarketing, the focus group and research. Marketers love using data to justify their spending and predict results. Problem is that much research is very expensive and often useless due to the time and manner collected. Verilliance makes the case for why you should embrace – or at least be aware – of new advances in neuromarketing that make it more affordable, and the case against focus groups in favor of empirical research by Dan Ariely. Good thoughts here.

As the Gulf Oil Spill gets worse – with no end yet in sight – this post from CNN sheds light on how BP approaches their bad press:
by focusing on damage control. To their image, that is. What’s most disturbing is this combined with the reporting about the clean up effort and how they prohibit people from seeing first hand the damage to public lands such as Elmer’s Island shows a company that is only focused on maximizing profits at the expense of the people and communities they serve. And it doesn’t give me much hope that they’ll use this as an opportunity to transform themselves into a forward thinking, authentic human organization.  For BP, it’s all about spin.

To make meetings productive, should they be fun and games? We’ve all been in way too many meetings that are complete wastes of time, resulting in no action items and yet more meetings. It seems there’s a new industry brewing around creative meetings – meetings with cool furnishings and environments to stimulate the right side of the brain. While much is written on how to run a more productive meeting with what you’ve got, this is about creating an environment to drive action. Coming soon to a city near you?

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