August 29, 2018


GDPR brings more user data complaints

The GDPR took effect on the 25th of May this year. And with its implementation user data complaints rose by 160 percent within 6 weeks compared to last year.

An Information Commissioner’s Office spokesperson said: “Generally we have seen a rise in personal data breach reports from organizations. Complaints relating to data protection issues are also up and, as more people become aware of their individual rights.”

Companies that fail to play by the rules can face steep fines, only capped at €20 million or four percent of global annual revenue.

However, even with so many complaints, there’s no super-high fine to pay just yet. 

The major headliner is still Google and Facebook being sued for breaching GDPR by Max Schrems and they could be fined up to $8.8 billion but there’s no conclusion there.

Google under fire from the White House

A more recent complaint about Google comes from US President Donald Trump.

He says that Google is hiding “fair media” coverage of him… It’s unlikely but not impossible. 

What is probably actually happening is that there are few positive reports about him and most sites that have a good standing for Google’s algorithm write negative articles about him.

The White House “is looking into it”, they will investigate and analyze Google’s search results.

Maybe the White House will put its top AI adviser on the case, to break down whether the algorithm is biased or not.

Hint: It’s Donald Trump himself.


Brazil dropshipping takes a hit with new law

Correios, the national postal service in Brazil, imposed a new charge for all international parcels received. The charge was announced on 27th August 2018 with immediate effect.

The charge is $4.20 and applies to all parcels that arrive in Brazil under the following modalities:

  • EMS (tracking code starting with “E”, includes ePacket)
  • Colis Postaux (tracking code starting with “C”.)
  • Pequenas Encomendas Registradas (tracking code starting with “R”.)
  • Prime Exprèx (tracking code starting with “L”)
  • Pequenas Enconmendas Simples (no tracking code)

Consumers waiting to receive their international parcels must track their objects and pay the “despacho postal” charge. The delivery time starts once the payment is confirmed.

If you are drop shipping to Brazil you should definitely inform your customers about this charge upfront to minimize the risk of them not being able to collect their parcels and filing for chargebacks.

This topic was brought up by Michelle Pereira Jakobs in the Ecom Empires group.


BuzzFeed gets into affiliate marketing

Who says affiliate marketing is dead?

BuzzFeed certainly doesn’t think so. They’ve just launched their own review site. In their own words:

“We’ve done the research and testing to find the best products out there, at three different price points. All three items in a category are solid and totally worth it.”

Basically, they review products in all categories, then recommend them, then get an affiliate commission.

Affiliate marketing is much easier when you already have tons of traffic and Facebook even helps you get better with your clickbait headlines.

On a more serious note, a well-done review site is certainly an option for those who want to move from pure media buying to owning at least some of the traffic.

You’re not BuzzFeed so you are better off starting with a certain niche, not as general as them.

Add a weekly newsletter to the website, run some paid traffic to it and go from there. Slower than affiliate media buying but certainly can be a viable way to create your own asset/website, without owning any of the products you promote.

The tough part is to make sure you provide quality content and reviews, can’t sell sugar pills that promise to turn you into Einstein.


Spot bad Instagram accounts in 5 seconds

We ran into this post in the Facebook Ad Buyers group, where Morgan Kling showed off a very useful Chrome extension he’s been working on.

When you go to an Instagram account it shows you a bunch of useful info:

  • Top 5 posts
  • Average likes per post
  • Average views
  • Average comments
  • Engagement rate
  • Post mentions
  • Daily posts

This is extremely helpful to get a quick overview of how good an Instagram account is doing. It helps you quickly weed out those with fake followers and low engagement rates.

It also helps you download pictures from profiles with a simple click.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Google releases open-source AI training model

We’re going to be serious in today’s Poolside Chat.

You hear about machine learning this, machine learning that all the time. If you run Facebook Ads, you probably pulled your hair out a few times because of its “magical” algorithm.

Google is no stranger to the concept either.

And they are working on making it better. Believe it or not, Google is not the only one that can contribute to this, or that could use it.

So the company open-sourced a reinforcement learning framework for training AI models.

Reinforcement learning is a technique that uses rewards or punishments to drive agents towards the desired goal. It’s the same technique used to train the AI, AlphaGo, that defeated Go world champions.

If you’re a techie with a passion for AI, you are probably very excited about the news. You can check out Google’s repo for this on Github right here. It’s called “Dopamine”, quite an intuitive name.

And you can read Google’s announcement post right here.

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