About Steve Masters

I started professional life as a magazine journalist, working on music magazines and women's titles before becoming a web editor in 1997 and have worked purely in online publishing since 1998. I am now the Services Director at search marketing agency Vertical Leap.

Wise up to the EU’s half-baked cookie law… you have two days left to do so

Cookie health warning - EU cookie lawThis Saturday, on the 26th of May the 12-month grace period ends for all European website owners to be compliant with the “EU cookie law” – as it’s known. For those in the dark, this is a directive handed down by bureaucrats in Europe who decided that website cookies were dangerous and users should be asked to opt into them before they can be served.

The law was sparked by the distaste for tracking cookies, or super cookies, that follow users from site to site, building profiles on them for advertisers. Understandably, the idea of big companies being able to build lots of profiling data without users’ knowledge sets privacy campaigners’ teeth on edge.

The problem is, we now have a law whereby every website must now invite users to opt in to cookies being used before they can be used. In principle, not a bad thing, but in practice it’s proving to be unworkable, as the blind leads the blind in trying to explain what exactly it is, how to technically code for it and how to implement compliant warnings. Continue reading

Wise up to the EU's half-baked cookie law… you have two days left to do so

Cookie health warning - EU cookie lawThis Saturday, on the 26th of May the 12-month grace period ends for all European website owners to be compliant with the “EU cookie law” – as it’s known. For those in the dark, this is a directive handed down by bureaucrats in Europe who decided that website cookies were dangerous and users should be asked to opt into them before they can be served.

The law was sparked by the distaste for tracking cookies, or super cookies, that follow users from site to site, building profiles on them for advertisers. Understandably, the idea of big companies being able to build lots of profiling data without users’ knowledge sets privacy campaigners’ teeth on edge.

The problem is, we now have a law whereby every website must now invite users to opt in to cookies being used before they can be used. In principle, not a bad thing, but in practice it’s proving to be unworkable, as the blind leads the blind in trying to explain what exactly it is, how to technically code for it and how to implement compliant warnings. Continue reading

Tottenham Court Road ‘siege’ shows how Twitter can hinder, not help, rolling news

Twitter was at the forefront of another breaking news story this week as Michael Green sparked a bombscare and a hostage crisis in Tottenham Court Road, London. As news broke, the phrase ‘Tottenham Court Road’ was quickly trending, while the earliest reports didn’t have the details.

Some tweets reported a bombscare evacuation, some said a man was holding hostages in Starbucks. In fact a disgruntled man had entered the office of Advantage HGV – a driver training company – to accost (and presumably threaten) one specific woman. Continue reading

Tottenham Court Road 'siege' shows how Twitter can hinder, not help, rolling news

Twitter was at the forefront of another breaking news story this week as Michael Green sparked a bombscare and a hostage crisis in Tottenham Court Road, London. As news broke, the phrase ‘Tottenham Court Road’ was quickly trending, while the earliest reports didn’t have the details.

Some tweets reported a bombscare evacuation, some said a man was holding hostages in Starbucks. In fact a disgruntled man had entered the office of Advantage HGV – a driver training company – to accost (and presumably threaten) one specific woman. Continue reading

Why Klout is a flawed model

Klout inaccuracyIn the 80s and early 90s, journalists on pop magazines (myself included) were driven by who was going to be attaining what position on next week’s charts.

We would have an idea as the midweek positions came in. The current positions and the future positions helped us think about which pop stars to put on a poster, on the cover or to chase for an interview. Continue reading

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