As a digital advertising-marketing professional my field is built around its ability to track the general public on the web. It does this better than any other medium before like print, radio and television, from the moment the general public is first exposed to an ad to the final moment when they pay for their purchase.
If you are to look up ‘statistics’, most of what you will see promises statistics to make you smarter. But perhaps smarter is the wrong word to use because good data has its usefulness but I argue it doesn’t make you all that smarter without the proper framework. After all, running a business isn’t the same as playing football despite sports analogies. Such promises are more PR for digital promoters and marketers, like myself, who would help business make use of new opportunities they weren’t aware of before. As the saying goes in economics, “opportunity costs aren’t real” unless you spend money to find out if they’re right for you. Unfortunately the modern speed of publishing on the internet might be too irresistible to think over.
What I mean is the coverage that isn’t reporting on the general public; rather is reporting on statistics to tell the general public what to do. I will make use of the real life example of SOLO Star Wars. There are two sets of statistics in this instance and there are two sets of reporting as well. Unfortunately for fans, the excitement of a Star Wars movie is doused with a sort of hyperbolic downer by calling it a major flop. Known is that the UK, Spain and Italy were offering tax credits and cash rebates of 25% to 35% to attract SOLO’s filming; that’s nearly 60% off the disclosed production budget. And when compared to Revenge of the Sith, a bonafide Star Wars money maker, SOLO is doing brisker business for the former also opened in May and ended in October.
The first set of data tells us that advance ticket purchases for SOLO rivals that of Black Panther. We also know that another Star Wars movie, about Obi Wan Kanobi, has been green-lit to start filming in 2019. They’re all early clues to the success of this movie. As I write this 8 days into the opening of the film, actual ticket booth receipts for SOLO are as of Thursday May 31st (day of the opening) and every other figure is a sort of a linear guess but is providing guidance that SOLO is a major flop, one of the worse in Star Wars history and a complete disappointment to exhibitors who can’t seem to help it any.
Its clear which set of data the studio, the exhibitors and the Star Wars franchise are using, the first set. But going by some in publishing, the second set is just as valid, and to business, they might be offered that same type of fluff that will contradict their experience, though it has a strong leverage because internet media is wide spread.
In New Jersey, the “No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that all students are technologically literate by the end of grade eight”. Not only does it cover proficiency it also sets a standard of literacy. It is literacy, not only dexterity and proficiency, that will create an independent and automonous public able to function with the proliferation of content and the power of technology. Through the wisdom of literacy can we see through a mass media that has become more hyper and less analytical. Is jumping to conclusions with less than imperfect data, aka made up information, fake news?