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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 20. May 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Communications, , , , , , , ,   

    Hyperconnectivity: Thinking Differently? 

    Will we think differently, being capable of exploiting a new communicative environment? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 12. May 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Communications, Cyberspace, , , , , , ,   

    Extending into Cyberspace? 

    Are most people using new communications to extend themselves into cyberspace? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:24 on 30. April 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Communications, , , , , , , ,   

    Communications Through the Network 

    Hyperconnectivity: when all people and all things communicate through the network; http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 16:58 on 2. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Communications, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Hyperconnectivity 

    Pew: What does hyperconnectivity mean today and for the future of individuals and society? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 2. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services. – Hyperconnectivity is also a trend in computer networking in which all things that can or should communicate through the network will communicate through the network. This encompasses person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication. The trend is fueling large increases in bandwidth demand and changes in communications because of the complexity, diversity and integration of new applications and devices using the network.”

      Pew: “Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. – Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

      Pew: “These experts predicted that the impact of networked living on today’s young will drive them to thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices, and lack patience. A number of the survey respondents argued that it is vital to reform education and emphasize digital literacy. A notable number expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information, and some mentioned George Orwell’s 1984 or expressed their fears of control by powerful interests in an age of entertaining distractions.

      Pew: “Some 55% agreed with the statement: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.‘”

      Pew: “This is the next positive step in human evolution: We become ‘persistent paleontologists of our external memories’ – Most of the survey respondents with the largest amount of expertise in this subject area said changes in learning behavior and cognition will generally produce positive outcomes. … One of the world’s best-known researchers of teens and young adults-danah boyd of Microsoft Research – said there is no doubt that most people who are using the new communications technologies are experiencing the first scenario as they extend themselves into cyberspace. … Amber Case, cyberanthropologist and CEO of Geoloqi, agreed: ‘The human brain is wired to adapt to what the environment around it requires for survival. Today and in the future it will not be as important to internalize information but to elastically be able to take multiple sources of information in, synthesize them, and make rapid decisions. … Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs.‘ … William Schrader, a consultant who founded PSINet in the 1980s, expressed unbridled hope. ‘A new page is being turned in human history, and while we sometimes worry and most of the time stand amazed at how fast (or how slowly) things have changed, the future is bright for our youth worldwide…’ David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet und Society, says values will evolve alongside the evolution in ways of thinking and knowing. ‘Whatever happens,’ he wrote, ‘we won’t be able to come up with an impartial value judgment because the change in intellect will bring about a change in values as well.’ Alex Halavais, an associate professor and internet researcher at Quinnipiac University, agreed. ‘We will think differently, and a large part of that will be as a result of being capable of exploiting a new communicative environment…‘”

      Pew: “Negative effects include a need for instant gratification, loss of patience – A number of the survey respondents who are young people in the under-35 age group – the central focus of this research question – shared concerns about changes in human attention and depth of discourse among those who spend most or all of their waking hours under the influence of hyperconnectivity. – Alvaro Retana, a distinguished technologist with Hewlett-Packard, expressed concerns about humans’ future ability to tackle complex challenges. ‘The short attention spans resulting from the quick interactions will be detrimental to focusing on the harder problems, and we will probably see a stagnation in many areas: technology, even social venues such as literature…‘ Masiclat said social systems will evolve to offer even more support to those who can implement deep-thinking skills. ‘The impact of a future ‘re-wiring’ due to the multitasking and short-term mindset will be mostly negative not because it will reflect changes in the physical nature of thinking, but because the social incentives for deep engagement will erode…‘ However, students who participated in the survey tended to express concerns about their peers’ ability to get beyond short-burst connections to information. … Annette Liska, an emerging-technologies design expert, observed, ‘The idea that rapidity is a panacea for improved cognitive, behavioral, and social function is in direct conflict with topical movements that believe time serves as a critical ingredient in the ability to adapt, collaborate, create, gain perspective, and many other necessary (and desirable) qualities of life…‘ Bruce Nordman, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and active leader in the Internet Engineering Task Force, expressed concerns over people’s information diets, writing: ‘The overall effect will be negative, based on my own experience with technology, attention, and deep thinking (I am 49), and observing my children and others. I see the effect of television as a primary example, in which people voluntarily spend large amounts of time in mentally unhealthy activity…‘”

      Pew: “The result is likely to be a wide-ranging mix of positives and negatives – and not just for young people – Many survey participants said always-on connectivity to global information is a double-edged sword. Dave Rogers, managing editor of Yahoo Kids, observed that there will be winners and losers as this technology evolves. ‘Certainly,’ he noted, ‘there will be some teens and young adults who will suffer cognitive difficulties from unhealthy use of the internet, Web, social media, games, and mobile technology. These problems will arise not because of the technology but because of wholly inadequate adult guidance, training, and discipline over young people’s use of the technology. But most teens and young adults will prosper as described in the first option. … The learning and cognitive development made possible by tablets is much more ‘natural,’ more in keeping with the evolutionary-driven development of young minds because it is so much less dependent upon cognitive skills that the youngest children have not yet developed…’ Computing pioneer and ACM Fellow Bob Frankston predicted that people will generally take all of this in stride. ‘We will renorm to the new tools,’ he said. ‘We have always had mall rats and we’ve had explorers. Ideally, people will improve their critical thinking skills to use the available raw information. More likely, fads will continue.‘ … Martin D. Owens, an attorney and author of Internet Gaming Law, also pointed out the dual effects of humans’ uses of technologies, writing, ‘Good people do good things with their access to the internet and social media – witness the profusion of volunteer and good cause apps and programs which are continually appearing, the investigative journalism, the rallying of pro-democracy forces across the world. Bad people do bad things with their internet access…‘ Jessica Clark, a media strategist and senior fellow for two U.S. communications technology research centers, was among many who observed that there’s nothing new about concerns over teens and evolving ways they create content and share it. ‘History is a progression of older people tut-tutting over the media production and consumption habits of those younger than them and holding tightly to the belief that the technologies of communication they grew up with are intellectually or culturally superior…‘”

      Pew: “This could have a significant impact on politics, power and control … Jesse Drew, an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California-Davis, echoed Braman. ‘My fear is that though their cognitive ability will not be impaired, their ability to think critically will be, and they will be far more susceptible to manipulation…‘ John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, observed: ‘The world is becoming more complex, and yet both old media (e.g., cable TV news) and new media (e.g., Twitter) are becoming increasingly simplistic. What passes for politics is increasingly a charade detached from actual governance.‘ – Paul Gardner-Stephen, a telecommunications fellow at Flinders University, said the underlying issue is that people will become dependent upon accessing the internet in order to solve problems and conduct their personal, professional, and civic lives. ‘Thus centralised powers that can control access to the internet will be able to significantly control future generations…’ … Fernando Botelho, an international consultant on technology and development, expressed concerns about humans’ tendencies to sort themselves in ways that may cause friction. ‘Humanity needs no additional help in dividing itself into groups that exclude more than include,’ he wrote. ‘The best way to unite millions and divide billions is nationalism, but the reality is that religion, politics, and so many other mental frameworks can do it just as effectively, and the internet enables much more narrowly targeted divisions so that we are not divided anymore into less than 200 national territories or three or four major religions, but into thousands or even millions of subgroups that challenge us to avoid the tragedy of the commons at a global level.'”

      Pew: “Many argue that reinvention and reform of education is the key to a better future – Respondents often pointed to formal educational systems as the key driver toward a positive and effective transition to taking full advantage of the fast-changing digital-knowledge landscape. … David Saer, a foresight researcher for Fast Future, said he’s a young adult who predicts a positive evolution but, ‘education will need to adapt to the wide availability of information, and concentrate on teaching sifting skills.’ … Larry Lannom, director of information management technology and vice president at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, said, ‘People must be taught to think critically and how to focus. If they are, then the network is a rich source of information. If they aren’t, then it will be a source of misinformation and mindless distraction…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, estimates a slow movement to try to adapt to deal with the likely divide. ‘After 2020,’ he predicted, ‘more-enlightened educators will start developing curricula designed to tap a post-internet era. After 2030, educational systems, primarily private ones, will demonstrate superior outcomes on a wider scale. After 2040, governments will start realising this problem, and public examination systems will emerge.‘”

      Pew: “Teachers express many concerns; you can feel the tension in their words – A number of people who identified themselves as teachers answered this question as anonymous respondents and most of them expressed frustration and concern for today’s students. Several noted that they have seen things ‘getting worse’ over the past decade. Is this at least partially due to the fact that they are still trying to educate these highly connected young people through antiquated approaches? Perhaps those who have argued for education reform would think so.

      Pew: “Widening divide? There’s a fear the rich will get richer, the poor poorer – Teens expert Danah Boyd raised concerns about a looming divide due to the switch in how young people negotiate the world. ‘Concentrated focus takes discipline, but it’s not something everyone needs to do,’ she wrote, ‘unfortunately, it is what is expected of much of the working-class labor force. I suspect we’re going to see an increased class division around labor and skills and attention.‘ – Barry Parr, owner and analyst for MediaSavvy, echoed boyd’s concern about a widening divide. ‘Knowledge workers and those inclined to be deep thinkers will gain more cognitive speed and leverage,’ he said, ‘but, the easily distracted will not become more adept at anything. History suggests that on balance people will adapt to the new order. The greatest negative outcome will be that the split in adaptation will exacerbate existing trends toward social inequality.‘ … Alan Bachers, director of the Neurofeedback Foundation, said society must prepare now for the consequences of the change we are already beginning to see. ‘The presence of breadth rather than depth of cognitive processing will definitely change everything – education, work, recreation…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, noted: ‘The smart people who can adapt to the internet will become smarter, while the rest, probably the majority, will decline. Why? The reason is simple. Current educational methods evolved to their current state mostly pre-internet. The same goes for a generation of teachers who will continue to train yet another generation of kids the old way. The same goes for examination systems, which carry out assessment based on pre-internet skills. This mismatch will cause declension in a few generations of cohorts. Those who are educated and re-educable in the internet way will reap the benefits of the first option. Most of the world will suffer the consequence of the second. The intellectual divide will increase. This in turn fuels the educational divide because only the richer can afford internet access with mobile devices at effective speeds.'”

      Pew: “Some say the use of tech tools has no influence in the brain’s ‘wiring’ – Well-known blogger, author, and communications professor Jeff Jarvis said we are experiencing a transition from a textual era and this is altering the way we think, not the physiology of our brains. ‘I don’t buy the punchline but I do buy the joke,’ he wrote. ‘I do not believe technology will change our brains and how we are ‘wired.’ But it can change how we cognate and navigate our world. We will adapt and find the benefits in this change.‘ … Jim Jansen, an associate professor of information science and technology at Penn State University and a member of the boards of eight international technology journals, noted, ‘I disagree with the opening phrase: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35.’ I find it hard to believe that hard wiring, evolved over millions of years can be re-wired. We can learn to use tools that impact the way we view things, but to say this is wiring is incorrect.‘ … Some analysts framed their arguments in more general terms and argued that there will not be significant cognitive change.”

      Pew: “Questioning the idea of multitasking; some define it to be impossible – Multitasking is a common act among today’s teens and 20s set. The semantics of the word have been argued, with many saying it is not possible to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. … ‘Regarding the word ‘multitasking,’ cognitive, behavioral, and neurological sciences are moving toward a consensus that such a state does not actually exist in the human brain,’ observed emerging technology designer Annette Liska. ‘We may make many quick ‘thoughts’ in succession, but human performance in any activity that is done without focus (often termed ‘multitasking’) is of significantly lower quality, including an absence of quality and consciousness. The word unfortunately perpetuates a false ideal of the human capacity to perform and succeed.’ … ‘I agree with all of those who say that multitasking is nothing more than switching endlessly from one thought to another-no one can think two things at once – but I don’t agree that this kind of attention-switching is destructive or unhealthy for young minds,’ added Susan Crawford, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and formerly on the White House staff. ‘It’s just the way the world works now, and digital agility is a basic skill for everyone…’ Gina Maranto, a co-director in the graduate program at the University of Miami, said information multitasking is not a new phenomenon. ‘My father, a corporate editor, used to watch television, read magazines, and listen to the radio at the same time long before computers, cellphones, or iPads,’ she said. ‘On the whole, I believe access to information and to new techniques for manipulating data (e.g., visualization) enhance learning and understanding rather than negatively impact them…‘”

      Pew: “Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital wizards – David Ellis, director of communications studies at York University in Toronto, has a front-row seat to observe how hyperconnectivity seems to be influencing young adults. He said it makes them less productive and adds that most of them do not understand the new digital tools or how to use them effectively. ‘The idea that Millennials have a cognitive advantage over their elders is based on myths about multitasking, the skill-sets of digital natives, and 24/7 connectedness,’ he commented. ‘Far from having an edge in learning, I see Millennials as increasingly trapped by the imperatives of online socializing and the opportunities offered by their smartphones to communicate from any place, any time.‘”

      Pew: “Hello! AOADD (Always-On Attention Deficit Disorder) is age-defying – Rich Osborne, senior IT innovator at the University of Exeter in the UK, said his own life and approaches to informing and being informed have changed due to the influence of hyperconnectivity. ‘As I am in possession of just about every technical device you can name and I am using just about every cloud service you can think of, you’d think I’d be all for this,’ he observed. ‘But I’ve started to wonder about how all this use of technology is affecting me. I strongly suspect it’s actually making me less able to construct more complex arguments in written form, for example – or at the very least it is certainly making such construction harder for me. Of course it might be other issues, stress at work, getting older, interests changing, any number of things – but underlying all these possibilities is the conscious knowledge that my information-consumption patterns have become bitty and immediate.’ … Heidi McKee, an associate professor of English at Miami University, said, ‘Nearly 20 years ago everyone was saying how teens were going to be wired differently, but when you look at surveys done by Pew, AARP, and others, older adults possess just as much ability and desire to communicate and connect with all available means.‘”

      Pew: “No matter what the tech, it all comes down to human nature – Human tendencies drive human uses of technology tools. Many of the people participating in this survey emphasized the importance of the impact of basic human instincts and motivations. – Some survey respondents observed that all new tools initially tend to be questioned and feared by some segment of the public. Socrates, for instance, lamented about the scourge of writing implements and their likely threat to the future of intelligent discourse. In his response to this survey question, Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor from Texas AundM whose research specialty is technologies’ effects on human behavior, noted, ‘The tendency to moralize and fret over new media seems to be wired into us.Societal reaction to new media seems to fit into a pattern described by moral panic theory. Just as with older forms of media, from dime novels to comic books to rock and roll, some politicians and scholars can always be found to proclaim the new media to be harmful, often in the most hyperbolic terms. Perhaps we’ll learn from these past mistakes?‘”

      Pew: “The most-desired skills of 2020 will be… Survey respondents say there’s still value to be found in traditional skills but new items are being added to the menu of most-desired capabilities. ‘Internet literacy‘ was mentioned by many people. The concept generally refers to the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well. … Collective intelligence, crowd-sourcing, smart mobs, and the ‘global brain’ are some of the descriptive phrases tied to humans working together to accomplish things in a collaborative manner online. Internet researcher and software designer Fred Stutzman said the future is bright for people who take advantage of their ability to work cooperatively through networked communication. ‘The sharing, tweeting, and status updating of today are preparing us for a future of ad hoc, always-on collaboration,’ he wrote. ‘The skills being honed on social networks today will be critical tomorrow, as work will be dominated by fast-moving, geographically diverse, free-agent teams of workers connected via socially mediating technologies.‘ … Jeffrey Alexander, senior science and technology policy analyst at SRI International’s Center for Science, Technology und Economic Development, said, ‘As technological and organizational innovation comes to depend on integrating and reconfiguring existing and new knowledge to solve problems, digital and computational thinking will become more and more valuable and useful. While digital thinking may lead to excessive multitasking and a reduction in attention span, the human brain can adapt to this new pattern in stimuli and can compensate for the problems that the pattern may cause in the long run…’ Barry Chudakov, a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, said the challenge we’re facing is maintaining and deepening ‘integrity, the state of being whole and undivided,’ noting: ‘There will be a premium on the skill of maintaining presence, of mindfulness, of awareness in the face of persistent and pervasive tool extensions and incursions into our lives…‘”

      Pew: “It is difficult to tell what we will see by 2020, as people and tools evolve – Duane Degler, principal consultant at Design for Context, a designer of large-scale search facilities and interactive applications for clients such as the National Archives and Verisign, said we’re already witnessing a difference in cognitive abilities and perceptions dependent upon the information/communication tools people are using, and not just among the under-35 set. ‘One thing these scenarios don’t speak to,’ he noted, ‘is the degree to which the tools themselves are likely to recede further into the background, where they become a part of a fabric for how people carry out tasks and communicate. This is likely to be a result of both technology (pervasive computing, context-aware interactions) and a settling in of personal/social habits. As a result, the dominant social and information behaviors are likely to be influenced by other factors that we can’t yet see, in the same way current social and information behaviors are now being influenced by capabilities that are predominantly five years (or at most ten years) old.’ … New York-based technology and communications consultant Stowe Boyd noted, ‘Our society’s concern with the supposed negative impacts of the internet will seem very old-fashioned in a decade, like Socrates bemoaning the downside of written language, or the 1950’s fears about Elvis Presley’s rock-and-roll gyrations. As the internet becomes a part of everything, like electricity has today, we will hardly notice it: it won’t be ‘technology’ anymore, but just ‘the world.’‘”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 20. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Communications, , , , iChat, , iMessage, , , , , , , , , , Mac OS X Mountain Lion, , , Messages Beta, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Messages 

    Apple released a public beta version of its new Messages app for OS X: the final days of SMS? http://eicker.at/Messages

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 20. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Download Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac – just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5. Here are the features you can expect with Messages: Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more. Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face. Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

      Apple: “Mac keeps the conversation going. Messages does everything iChat does, and so much more. For starters, it comes with iMessage. And just like iMessage in iOS, it lets you send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5. Send photos, videos, documents, and contacts – even send messages to a group. You can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply. Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message. With end-to-end encryption, your messages stay safe and private. And you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So nothing is left unsaid.

      VB: “In addition to the announcements about Apple’s next operating system Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the company rolled out a beta edition of its iMessages chat app today. – Apple previously launched its iMessages for the iPhone and iPad as an answer to RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger Service. The app lets you send text, pictures, contacts, and video over 3G and Wi-Fi connections to anyone with an Apple ID or one of the other third-party messaging services. One big perk to using Messages is that it doesn’t charge you for each individual message, similar to the way wireless carriers do with SMS. Now, Apple wants to bring this functionality to the desktop in an effort to bridge the gap between conversations on mobile devices. … People who never use instant messenger but frequently send texts will probably end up using this app. It’s also likely that far fewer SMS messages will get sent over the course of time, especially if you consider the rising cost of texting plans. That’s a good thing for Apple and a very bad thing for wireless carriers, who draw a large amount of revenue through texting services.

      GigaOM: “When I tried Messages out this morning, replies to an iMessage chat showed up in Messages on my Mac, but also appeared as notifications on my iPhone sitting next to me on the desk. I could switch back and forth between the two devices and continue the conversation on either one. The entire conversation was visible on both my Mac and my iPhone and the entire experience was completely seamless. … The importance of this seamless transition between devices for me is the ability to keep the context of the entire conversation in front of me, no matter where I chose to pick up and continue with my next reply. I might get some iMessage ‘texts’ on my iPhone, but when I get back to the office, I can open my laptop and continue right where I left off. … One nice detail is that the repeat notifications on the iPhone are muted when you read the message on your Mac. … The area that might require a little more polishing is that, when the message is unread on the Mac, it still appears to mute the repeat notification on the phone. … Overall, I am pretty positive about the new features. I think Messages for Mac will actually be a big help in my professional and personal life and will make text/IM even more convenient. As for the big picture, I think the overall theme of Mountain Lion (including this beta of Messages for Mac on Lion) is not so much that iOS features and apps are coming to the Mac, but that the apps will work across both iOS and Mac in a completely seamless experience.”

      TUAW: “6 cool Messages tips and tricks – It’s just arrived in beta, but Apple’s next chat app is intriguing. Are you looking to spice up your Messages skills? Here are a half dozen tips and tricks for you to start with.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:40 on 13. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Communications, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Online News and Advertising 

    PEJ: Online advertising on news sites is still not targeted, neither by context nor behavior; http://eicker.at/NewsAdvertising

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:40 on 13. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      PEJ, Who Advertises on News Sites and How Much Those Ads are Targeted: “A new study of advertising in news by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that, currently, even the top news websites in the country have had little success getting advertisers from traditional platforms to move online. The digital advertising they do get appears to be standard ads that are available across many websites. And with only a handful of exceptions, the ads on news sites tend not to be targeted based on the interests of users, the strategy that many experts consider key to the future of digital revenue. – Of the 22 news operations studied for this report, only three showed significant levels of targeting. A follow-up evaluation six months later found that two more sites had shown some movement in this direction, but only some, from virtually no targeting to a limited amount on inside pages. By contrast, highly targeted advertising is already a key component of the business model of operations such as Google and Facebook.

      PEJ, Who is Placing Ads? – “Who is buying ads on news sites? The answer reveals part of the trouble the news industry is having findings its way in the new marketplace. Across these 22 news sites, the biggest single advertiser is the news organization itself or its parent. Ads promoting the organization’s own products, known as ‘in-house ads’ in industry terms, accounted for 21% of the online ads studied – more than any category. … The magazine websites studied here (time.com, newsweek.com, economist.com and theatlantic.com) ran the largest percentage of in-house ads, fully 50% overall, from economist.com at 40.1% on the low end to time.com at 56% at the high end. In the print version of these magazines, by contrast, 10% of the ads were promoting the magazine or its company (Time magazine 11%, The Economist 13%, Newsweek 4%, and The Atlantic’s print edition contained no self-promoting ads). – Newspapers contained the second-highest level of self-referencing advertising, 21% of the Web-based ads versus 9% of their print ads. … For these print-related outlets, though, the heavy reliance on self-promoted ads could reflect two different factors. First, the newspaper industry still relies on its print product for the vast majority of its ad revenues. At the end of 2010 (the latest data available) fully 88% of overall newspaper revenue came from the print product versus just 12% from the Web. … Another phenomenon could be the inability of the industry to draw advertisers-and thereby ad revenue-to their online space.

      PEJ, The Financial Industry: “The second biggest category of advertising online was one that played a fairly small role for news in legacy platforms, the financial industry. Ads for financial products or services accounted for 18% of all Web ads captured, more than triple that of the next biggest category, toiletries and cosmetics (5%). And on more than half of the sites, 12 out of 22, financial ads ranked first-above self-promotion. … These numbers stand in contrast with the small role financial advertising plays in most of the legacy platforms studied. Only magazines contained more financial industry advertising in their original platform than online.

      PEJ, Targeting: “The customization or targeting of ads based on audience data is one of the newer ways to serve advertisers interests-helping those selling goods to reach consumers perceived to be the most likely to be interested in and thus to act on their ads. In targeted advertising, in other words, the ads one person gets will differ from what another person receives, depending on their online purchase history, location and/or personal habits, even if they click on the same website at essentially the same time. … Overall, only a handful of sites exhibited high levels of targeting. A few more had a moderate level of targeting. Most showed no signs of targeting at all. … Overall, just three of the 22 sites exhibited high levels of targeting, defined here as at least 45% of the ads were different from one user to the next. … One question that emerges is whether targeting has more or less natural appeal on some websites than others. In other words, do national sites with their larger and more diverse audience pools lend themselves more naturally than smaller sites to the benefits of ad targeting? … Finally, on a few sites, there was evidence of another method of targeting-not according to users but according to news story. On a number of occasions, there was a close relationship between the content of the story and the ads displayed.

      PEJ, Use of Discount Sites/Coupons: “About half of the sites studied, 16 of the 22, carried some discount/coupon advertising. But on only five did discount ads make up more than 10% of all the ads studied. For the most part, sites that created their own discount programs tended to rely on these ads more. … Among nationally oriented sites, Yahoo News carried the greatest percentage of discount/coupon advertising, 15% of the ads studied. The majority of these were from the national services Groupon and LivingSocial. – The other two sites with the highest use of discount advertising, the Toledo Blade and Los Angeles Times, have created their own daily deal operations to compete with the national companies. … These were the only two sites in our sample that had tried their own daily deal style business, but they are certainly not alone. Various papers now have their own Groupon-like services…”

      PEJ, Format: “That leaves banner ads, classifieds, video and rich media as the four main kinds of ads news sites can offer advertisers. – Banner ads, the oldest form of advertising on the internet, make up the second largest percentage of ads on the internet (24% of total online advertising revenue). Going forward, most market analysts expect banner ads will represent a smaller portion of online advertising than search, but the category is still expected to grow. For instance, eMarketer predicts that banner ads will increase from $7.6 billion in 2011 to $11.7 by 2015, a bright spot for the news online. … Across these 22 news sites, that same tendency toward banner ads emerged; static banner ads made up nearly half (46%) of all the ads on news websites. Some differences in the style of ads used did emerge-mostly according to the legacy media genre, though individual sites did at times stand apart from their media brethren. … The Washington Post, on the other hand, relied on banner ads for just 18% of the ads studied. Instead, the site used sponsored links far more than others, 66%. Two other national papers, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, also used sponsored links more than static banner ads.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 16:03 on 10. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Altruism, Communications, , , , , Emotional Climate, , , , , , , Nastiness, , , Offensive Images, Offensive Language, , , Personal Outcome, , , , , , , Social Climate, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Social in Social Networking 

    How social are social networkers? Pew: The tone of life and social climate on social networking sites; http://eicker.at/Social

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:04 on 10. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. A nationally representative phone survey of American adults finds that: 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation. 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves. 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.) 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior ‘only once in a while’ and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.”

      Pew, The tone of life on social networking sites: “At the same time, notable proportions of SNS users do witness bad behavior on those sites and nearly a third have experienced some negative outcomes from their experiences on social networking sites. Some 49% of SNS-using adults said they have seen mean or cruel behavior displayed by others at least occasionally. And 26% said they had experienced at least one of the bad outcomes that were queried in the survey. Those bad outcomes were: 15% of adult SNS users said they had an experience on the site that ended their friendship with someone. 12% of adult SNS users had an experience that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone. 11% of adult SNS users had an experience on the site that caused a problem with their family. 3% of SNS-using adults said they had gotten into a physical fight with someone based on an experience they had on the site. 3% of adult SNS users said their use of the site had gotten them in trouble at work because of something that happened on the site. In addition, 13% of adult SNS users said that someone had acted in a mean or cruel way towards them on a social networking site in the past 12 months. Adults are generally more positive and less negative than teens about the behavior of others and their own experiences on social networking sites.”

      Pew, The social climate of social networking sites: “White adult SNS users were more likely than blacks to report their overall experience was one of kindness in social networking spaces (88% vs. 77%), and black SNS users were more likely than whites to report that unkindness was the prevalent tone (12% vs. 3%).”

      Pew, Altruism vs. nastiness: “Some 39% of adult SNS users said they frequently saw acts of generosity, 36% said they sometimes saw it, 18% said they saw it ‘only once in a while’ and 5% said they never saw it. … When it came to unpleasant behavior on SNS, adults have seen their share, but it tends to be evident to them far less frequently than it is to teen SNS users. … Some 49% of SNS-using adults said they saw mean or cruel behavior displayed by others at least occasionally, far lower than the 88% of SNS-using teens who said they had seen mean or cruel behavior at some point.”

      Pew, Offensive language and images: “Nearly three-quarters (73%) said they encountered such offensive content or language only once in a while or never. Specifically, the responses were: 11% of adult SNS users said they saw people using such language and images frequently, 15% said they saw others using such language and images sometimes, 38% said they saw others using such language and images only once in a while, 35% said they never saw others using such language and images. – Minorities, women, parents of minor children, and Millennials were the most likely to encounter offensive language, images, or humor.

      Pew, Positive and negative personal outcomes: “Some 76% of the SNS users said they had at least one of the positive outcomes we queried. Specifically: 68% of adult SNS users said they had an experience on the site that made them feel good about themselves, 61% of adult SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel closer to another person. … On the negative side, 26% said they had experienced at least one of the bad outcomes that were queried in the survey. Again, adult experiences on SNS are less likely to be harmful than the teen experience: 41% of SNS-using teens reported they had at least one negative outcome. … Among adults, some of these anti-social experiences are most prevalent among SNS users in the Millennials generation. This cohort of those between the ages of 18 and 34 was twice as likely as its elders to report that a friendship had ended because of an SNS experience – 21% of SNS-using Millennials said that had happened to them, compared with 11% of all other SNS users.”

      Pew, What adults do when they see problems on social networking sites: “It turns out that compared to teen SNS users, adults are somewhat more likely to stand back, not get involved, and ignore the offensive behavior. – For instance, 45% of adult SNS users who have witnessed problems say they frequently ignore offensive behavior on social network sites, compared with 35% of SNS-using teens who say they frequently ignore offensive behavior. Some 34% of adult SNS users say they never confront the person being offensive, compared with 21% of SNS-using teens who never take that step. … Unlike many other aspects of social networking site use, age does not matter when it comes to people’s personal responses when they witness mean or offensive behavior. Young and old have similar patterns of response. However, there is a split when it comes to the behavior of men and women. Men are more likely to ignore a problem they see on a social networking site and women are more likely to respond.”

      Pew, What SNS users see others doing when someone comes under attack on a social networking site: “When it comes to the general tone of conversation and interactions on social networking sites, adults often see others ignoring the problems: 45% of SNS-using adults who have witnessed mean or offensive behavior say it is frequently their observation that others just ignore the offensive behavior and another 28% say that others sometimes ignore the offensive behavior. Teen SNS users were even more likely than that to say they observed that others ignored the harassment: 55% of the teens who had seen mean behavior on SNS said that was frequently the response they witnessed. … The one noteworthy demographic factor here is that younger SNS users who had witnessed anti-social behavior on the sites are much more likely to see others join in harassment of someone on SNS than older site users.”

      Pew, Second thoughts about posting on social networking sites: “We asked all the online adults in our sample if they had ever decided not to post something online because they were concerned that it might reflect badly on them and 45% reported they had made that kind of decision. Interestingly enough, a greater share of online teens – 55% – had made a similar decision. – Among the online adults who were most likely to decide not to post something because of its impact on their reputation: Millennials (59%), those who live in households earning $75,000 or more (54%), and those with college degrees (51%).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 10. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Communications, , , ,   

    Twitter Agenda: No News from Mainstream Media 

    News agendas of mainstream media on Twitter: strikingly similar to their analog presences; http://eicker.at/MediaTwitter

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Amazon Store, , , , , , Brick and Click, , , Click and Brick, Communications, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Seattle, , , , , , ,   

    Amazon Store? 

    Is Amazon going to open a store in Seattle? Physical bricks around the corner? Clicks to bricks? http://eicker.at/AmazonStore

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      GER: “Amazon sources close to the situation have told us that the company is planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months. This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets. – Seattle is where Amazon’s main headquarters is based and is known as a fairly tech savvy market. It is a perfect launch location to get some hands on experience in the retail sphere. … The company has already contracted the design layout of the retail location through a shell company, which is not unusual for Amazon. … The store itself is not just selling tangible items like e-readers and tablets, but also their books. Amazon recently started their own publishing division and has locked up many indie and prominent figures to write exclusively for the company. … This is exciting news and Amazon in a great position to make a strong go out of their retail endeavors. They are starting out local and small mainly to test the waters with the new store, but also to figure out how they’re going to avoid paying massive taxes.

      GigaOM: “The move into retail, if it proves true, would be a big turning point for Amazon and one that ultimately makes sense though the move doesn’t seem intuitive considering Amazon’s online roots. … One of the reasons Amazon has shied away from pursuing retail stores is to avoid charging taxes, something it must do in a handful of states. But increasingly, it looks like Amazon is accepting taxes as inevitable and so there may be fewer barriers to moving into a retail stores. … The upside is that Amazon can let people get hands-on with their products, and they can provide a high level of customer service, especially for its Kindle line of tablets and e-readers. … Amazon has signed deals to get Kindles in a lot of existing retail stores but having its own boutiques could be a way to really highlight its products. … I agree that Amazon needs to think about building out its whole service. It’s not an online seller, it’s a seller. And that means you work to provide the best selling experience possible. … The strategy is not going to threaten Walmart any time soon. I don’t think Amazon wants to go the big box route… It could be that the new store remains just a test and not a long-term bet. But I still think it’s likely that we might see local Amazon stores when all is said and done.

      TNW: “If Amazon is to roll this initiative out permanently and further afield, it will have to feel confident that its profits will be bolstered accordingly, so it will be interesting to see how the associated overheads of running a store will be factored in to its launch strategy. Furthermore, this will have implications on its efforts to sidestep states’ sales taxes on the grounds that it operates online. – Back in December, we reported on eBay’s first bricks-and-mortar store in the UK, a boutique that opened for only five days and saw 2,500 customers arrive through its doors. It didn’t have any tills, and it was pretty much a ‘QR code shopping emporium’, with shoppers able to browse over 350 items provided by a selection of the top-rated eBay sellers, with purchases made using mobile devices.”

      RWW: “It’s not a new rumor (it dates as far back as 2009), and it would be a departure from Amazon’s strategy thus far. In December, Launch reported the retail store rumor, adding that Amazon plans to sell its own branded merchandise. Amazon is better known for threatening real-world retail than for promoting it. But Amazon’s moves in the past few months make the strategy seem more sensible. … Amazon has avoided sales taxes by remaining a purely online retailer, giving its customers the incentive of the lowest price. But lately, sales taxes on online purchases have started to seem inevitable, as Amazon’s deal with the state of California shows. Once Amazon resigns itself to sales taxes, that’s one fewer reason not to bring its retail might into physical stores.

      VB: “Rather than being a high-inventory big-box retailer on a Target or Walmart scale, the Amazon store is said to be planned as a boutique carrying high-end, high-profit-margin items as well as the brand’s Kindle line and accessories. – In a way, it would be a bit like the Apple stores one sees in every shopping mall these days, with a few big-ticket goodies in other verticals, as well.”

      TC: “This will also encourage the movement from the agent-publisher-distributor model of book publishing into a direct to consumer model that Amazon will spearhead. … As I said before, the Fire is Amazon’s Trojan Horse. However, rather than the wary hold-outs bringing in Amazon’s market by buying the fire, Amazon will bring the Trojans to their own branded stores.”

      pC: “The report comes at the same time as bookstore chains Barnes und Noble, Books-A-Million and Canada’s Indigo are saying they will not carry Amazon Publishing titles in their stores, though it is unclear how that boycott will actually be carried out.

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Communications, , , , Facebook Activity, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Self-branding, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Friendship 

    Pew: Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give; http://eicker.at/FacebookFriendship

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “New study that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being. – These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period: 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request, Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content ‘liked’ an average of 20 times, Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12, 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo … ‘The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,’ noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give. ‘First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user. Most Facebook users are moderately active over a one month time period, so highly active power users skew the average. Second, these power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users, but the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question. One group of power users dominates friending activity. Another dominates ‘liking’ activity. And yet another dominates photo tagging.'”

      Pew, Power Users: “Women are more intense contributors of content on Facebook than are men. In our sample, the average female user made 21 updates to their Facebook status in the month of observation, while the average male made six. – Facebook users average seven new friends a month: While most users did not initiate a friend request during the month we looked at their activities, and most received only one, an active 19% of users initiated friendship requests at least once per week. Because of the prolific friending activity of this top 19%, the average (mean) number of friend requests accepted was three and the average number accepted from others was four. Overall, some 80% of friend requests that were initiated were reciprocated. … Facebook users have the ability to unsubscribe from seeing the content contributed by some friends on their newsfeed. Less than 5% of users in our sample hid another user’s content from their feed in the month of our observation.

      Pew, Friends of Friends: “Your friends on Facebook have more friends than you do: In this sample of Facebook users, the average person has 245 friends. However, the average friend of a person in this sample has 359 Facebook friends. The finding, that people’s friends have more friends than they do, was nearly universal (as it is for friendship networks off of Facebook). Only those in our sample who had among the 10% largest friends lists (over 780 friends) had friends who on average had smaller networks than their own. – Facebook friends are sparsely interconnected: It is commonly the case in people’s offline social networks that a friend of a friend is your friend, too. But on Facebook this is the exception, not the rule. … As an example, if you were the average Facebook user from our sample with 245 friends, there are 29,890 possible friendship ties among those in your network. For the average user with 245 friends, 12% of the maximum 29,890 friendship linkages exist between friends. … At two degrees of separation (friends-of-friends), Facebook users in our sample can on average reach 156,569 other Facebook users.”

      Pew, Social Well-Being: “Making friends on Facebook is associated with higher levels of social support. Those who made the most frequent status updates also received more emotional support. … One key finding is that Facebook users who received more friend requests and those that accepted more of those friend requests tended to report that they received more social support/assistance from friends (on and offline). … There is a statistically positive correlation between frequency of tagging Facebook friends in photos, as well as being added to a Facebook group, and knowing people with more diverse backgrounds off of Facebook. … Those users from our sample who are intensive Facebook users are more likely to report that they attended a political meeting or rally. … Among these users, participation in Facebook groups, either by being added to a group or adding someone else, is associated with trying to influence someone to vote in a specific way.”

      Pew, Facebook Activity: “A consistent trend in our analysis is the lack of symmetry in Facebook activities. On average, Facebook users in our sample received more than they gave in terms of friendships and feedback on the content that is shared in Facebook. However, these averages need to be interpreted in context. This imbalance is driven by the activity of a subset of Facebook users who tend to be more engaged with the Facebook site than the typical user. – Our findings suggest that while most Facebook users in our sample were moderately active over a one-month time period, there is a subset of Facebook users who are disproportionately more active. They skew the average. … In general, men were more likely to send friend requests, and women were more likely to receive them. However, we did not find a statistical difference in the mean number of friend requests sent, received, or accepted between men and women. … Use of the like button is unequally distributed. Because of the intensive activity of the 30% of power users, the people in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content on an average of 14 occasions during the month and received feedback from friends in the form of a ‘like’ 20 times during the month. … Friendship numbers drive Facebook activity: Those who have more Facebook friends tend to send and accept more friend requests, receive more friend requests, and have more friend requests accepted. They ‘like’ their friends’ content more frequently, and are ‘liked’ more in return.”

      Pew, The Structure of Frienship: “As the common saying goes, a friend of a friend is a friend. But on Facebook this is the exception rather than the rule. … A network density of .12 is low in comparison to studies of people’s overall personal networks. A 1992 study found a density of .36 between people’s offline social ties. We suspect that Facebook networks are of lower density because of their ability to allow ties that might otherwise have gone dormant to remain persistent over time. … We expect that new Facebook users typically start with a core group of close, interconnected friends, but over time their friends list becomes larger and less intertwined, particularly as they discover (and are discovered by) more distant friends from different parts and different times in their lives. … How can it be that people’s friends almost always have more friends than they do? This little known phenomenon of friendship networks was first explained by a sociologist Scott Feld. Not just on Facebook, in general and off of Facebook, people are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer.

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