Business, Social Good

How the Data Protection Act will change life for small businesses in Jamaica

data protection bill act jamaica

Many businesses might not yet know, but under the proposed Data Protection Act, they could soon have to comply with new measures to protect data privacy. The moment that a cook shop collects a name and mobile number for an order, then by virtue of collecting that information the law will view it as a “Data Controller”. It will then have to register, pay a fee, appoint a “Data Protection Officer” and file an annual report…or pay a fine!

In fact, we as a business will also have to! Our newest client, SlashRoots Foundation, specialise in ICT for development and so are advocating that the legislation better reflect everyday Jamaican realities. SlashRoots principal Matthew McNaughton presented to Parliament Tuesday using the cook shop as an everyday example to break down the implications; and to suggest how the Act could become more practical.

For a simple explanation and recommendations, read Matthew’s 3-minute post on Medium: The Jamaican cook shop: on the frontlines of the new Data Protection Act.

Social Good, Social Media

U-Report: a new message from Jamaican youth

Christopher Harper UNICEF Jamaica U-Report

‘We can’t reach millennials. Youth today don’t care. They’re always on social media. Etc’ The same complaints us old people (30+) always make. So how does it feel to be a young person today? Like if we ourselves actually cared enough to find a way to involve them…

“It’s difficult” says Christopher Harper, my newest colleague at UNICEF Jamaica who is the project coordinator for U-Report. Launching this year, U-Report is a social messaging tool that polls young people on their favorite messaging and social media apps, plus free SMS.

UNICEF and local partners will then use the data – what young people say, rather than what we think is good for young people – to influence their programs, lobby for change and in the media. Targeting people aged 13-29 years old, the entire project will be youth-led.

For more info, read what Chris has to say on the UNICEF Jamaica blog.

Social Media

Breaking down my pres to the PSOJ social media conference

psoj social media business conference ross sheil

While the conference theme was #LikesToProfits, and there definitely needs to be more focus on ROI; the starting point is always that we should treat social media as a ‘social’ experience. So, the latest changes to Facebook News Feed which mean you’ll see more from your friends and less from brands seemed like a good place to start the day.

I think the latest update is actually a good thing because it (i) protects the user experience and (ii) forces brands to be less spammy and consider the #1 question: why should anyone want to follow us? However, relying heavily on Facebook will also mean spending more on ADS, but we’ll come to that later… Continue reading

Social Media

How Facebook News Feed changes help brands from ruining it/them

psoj social media business conference

Facebook’s news feed changes are terrifying everyone, except everyday people who use Facebook. As Facebook explained, they’ll see more of what their friends are up to, and even less from that page they don’t remember clicking “Like” on.

Why this is actually a good thing for brands is my topic to kick off the annual PSOJ Social Media Business Conference on February 28. I say “good” because it should make brand to consider all social networks more strategically as a ‘social’, and not a spam-the-customer experience. Continue reading


That quietest person has the answer; but we’ll never hear

This other day I’m in another meeting, actually an enjoyable one with a charity, with a couple employees and about 10 volunteers. And at some point we’re trying to figure it out. The it being, why aren’t all volunteers on the project willing to do a certain task?

So I try steering the conversation by considering volunteer motivations and conversely their reservations. This gets a couple useful additions from others. But we’re still not there yet and at the hour mark there’s a few who’ve been resolutely silent: about four.

Addressing two of them, but really asking at the shyest-looking, I ask how they feel about this. I press them a bit. She shuffles, a bit. Continue reading