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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 17. October 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Reach, , ,   

    Facebook Stickiness: 423 Minutes per Month 

    Users spend 423 minutes on Facebook per month: CNN.com, highest average time, gets 30 minutes only; http://eicker.at/NewsMedia2012

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 09:55 on 22. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Machinima, , , , Reach, , ,   

    Machinima Rules YouTube 

    YouTube’s content king? Machinima dominates the scene; http://j.mp/GGcQLc #Machinima http://eicker.at/Entertainment

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 09:55 on 10. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Collecting, , , , , , , Decor, Decoration, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Reach, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Pinterest 

    The expoding sharing and curation service, Pinterest, is first and foremost a women’s network; http://eicker.at/Pinterest

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:55 on 10. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pinterest: “Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. – Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.Redecorate your Home! Joy uses Pinterest to save decorating ideas for her new home in LA. She saves patterns, furniture, and accessories that catch her eye. … Plan a Wedding! Divya and Ben use Pinterest to plan their wedding. Their Moms can leave comments about the dresses, flowers, and ties they pin up. … Find your Style! Tim uses Pinterest to share his personal style. He pins clothing, shoes and accessories he finds while browsing stores and fashion blogs. … Save your Inspirations! Sha uses Pinterest to save design inspirations for his job. He can reference inspiring design work to share with his team at Trulia. … Save Your Recipes! Jessica uses Pinterest to discover new gluten free recipes. She always has a collection of tasty appetizers and desserts she can cook when she’s hungry and looking for ideas. … Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

      Hitwise: “The social media space continues to evolve. Pinterest, a site launched in March 2010 that describes itself as an online pinboard to organize and share things you love, recently emerged as one of the top 10 websites within the Hitwise Social Networking und Forums category. The invitation only site received nearly 11 million total visits during the week ending December 17, 2011, almost 40 times the number of total visits versus just six months ago (week ending June 18, 2011). … Pinterest content has something for everyone, but the site is dominated by images featuring home decor, crafts, fashion, and food. Not surprisingly, visitors to the site in the 12 rolling weeks ending December 17th skewed female (58%) and between the ages of 25 and 44 (59%). … In fact, nine of the top ten over-indexed states for Pinterest visitors also over-index for the Hobbies and Crafts category (versus the online population) which is expected given the abundance of crafts content on the website.”

      RWW: “A Guy’s Guide To Pinterest – Once I had added a few people and pinned a few images, the second thing I noticed is that my main feed resembled the walls of the college apartment I shared with three other guys in the mid-nineties. We barely had enough money for books and beer, so our decor was mainly posters thrown out by video rental stores (remember those?) and stuff torn out of magazines. … In addition to following curated lists, it didn’t take long for me to figure out ways I could personally use Pinterest. So far I’ve mainly had fun just browsing images and seeing how other people use Pinterest, but it does seem to hold some advantages over the other sites I’ve been using to store links and found items from the Internet. … Arik Hanson has interviews with 15 top Pinterest users on his Communications Conversations blog, and those seasoned users have far more ideas on how to use Pinterest than this rookie. It’s interesting to note that almost all of the respondents say something about using it to collect ideas and thoughts that interest them.”

      DT: “Pinterest was launched in March 2010 and over these 20 months it has built up a large base of followers, even with its invitation-only hurdle. Hitwise points out that in just the past six months the social bookmarking site has had a surge of visits, topping out at 11 million at the end of last week- which is almost 40 times the visits it had in June. … Online pinboard sites seem to be the new social networking wave, and though Pinterest is the lead representative, we’ve previously pointed out a few noteworthy virtual collector alternatives. Pinterest basically allows you to ‘pin’ images found while surfing the web onto your virtual pinboard and organize the images into different themes, which users can then share with others.”

      GigaOM: “Essentially [Pinterest] allows you to create visual collections of things that you like and find on the web… Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr – these are all services that are about a major societal trend called hyperpersonalization. … From the foods we eat, the drinks we chug, the jeans we wear, the bags we buy, the shoes we run in – they are pretty universal. As a result, we all want to stand out in this massive mass of humanity. … The online world is even worse: Everything looks so similar that we do need to do something to stand out. And you can do that by building a carefully curated image of yourself that you are trying to project onto the world. … I am sure we are going to hear more about Pinterest and other curation-centric companies in the months to come.

      Elad: “The most interesting wave hitting the social web in 2012 is social curation. This was kicked off in 2011 as Pinterest’s growth was noticed by Silicon Valley and a number of companies quickly followed suit – Snip.It launched as a social information curation platform, Quora adopted boards for a similar purpose, and Fab.com launched a structured social commerce feed. … Social Media: Evolving From Long Form To Push Button – In the evolution of social media over the last decade, the trend has been a move from long form content, which has high friction of participation (both on the production and consumption side) to ever lower requirements placed on a user to participate in a conversation. … This new affordance is currently being adopted by other sites leading to all sorts of interesting behavior including: Collecting news and information. Commerce. Social media. … 2012 will likely see an acceleration of structured, push button, social curation across the web. Why? Because most users don’t want to take much effort to produce content, and consuming content in a structured manner (especially photos) is also much faster.

      Forbes: “Pinterest And Quora: Why Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button Is So 2011 – The idea sounds simple enough to fall in the someone-must-have-thought-of-this-before category. And yet Pinterest seems to be doing very successfully what most Silicon Valley start ups struggle to pull off: It is appealing to people outside of its environs. … Pinterest asks you to create something in your liking, not just mention it scatter-shot, or worse, meekly affirm it. … Enough with this liking stuff, people. It’s time to love! … Liking, we’ll realize in 2012, was just too darn easy. … Please like this article on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest and post it to your Board on Quora. I’ll follow you on Twitter, I promise, and let’s totally hang out this summer.”

      RWW: “How Businesses Are Using Pinterest – Sharing Ideas On How To Use A Company’s Products: Whole Foods is getting around the blatant self-promotion ban by creating food-porn Pinboards that clearly encourage people to use their products. Pinboards with titles like ‘Super HOT Kitchens’ and “Who Wants Dinner?” are aimed at getting people into the kitchen (via an implied trip to their local Whole Foods). … Make Products Accessible: A lot of users have been using Pinterest to share photos of dreamed-for decadence: the perfect last meal, an extravagant, over-the-top wedding or the dream vacation. Picking up on that trend, vacation rental service HomeAway has started posting photos of its properties in an attempt to show viewers dream vacations may be within reach, according to HomeAway spokesperson Jordan Hoefar. ‘The content our social media team puts on Pinterest differs from other networks because there’s a greater emphasis on the uniqueness of images in order to capture the user’s eye and help them realize their vacation fantasy can both be a reality and also affordable, which leads to them going to our website, browsing more than 625,000 vacation homes and sharing possible homes for future stays,’ he said in an email.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:01 on 13. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Browser Extension, Browser Toolbar, , , , , , Link Filtering, , , , , , , , , Reach, , , , , , , , Social Framework, , , StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, StumbleUpon Recommendation Technology, , ,   

    StumbleUpon 

    Is social bookmarking and link filtering service StumbleUpon finally gaining traction? http://eicker.at/StumbleUpon

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:01 on 13. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      In October 2011 StumbleUpon crossed the 20 million users‘ mark: “We are excited to announce that StumbleUpon has just reached 20 million members! We’ve come a long way over the last few years, and I wanted to thank all of our Stumblers for helping us get to this point. What started as a Firefox extension has now become available on any browser, as well as iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Our userbase – which has more than doubled since last year – now stumbles more than 1,000 times per second at peak times of the day. When I recently came across a magazine clipping from 2003, it struck me that we now serve as many stumbles in a single hour as we did in our first year of existence! So it’s very exciting for us to reach such a milestone, all from the simple idea of ‘click a button, find cool stuff.’

      StumbleUpon claims it’s driving over 50 percent of social media traffic in the USA: “You may have heard the stat that StumbleUpon drives more traffic referrals than any other social media site. We wanted to shed some light on this by describing the lifecycle of a web page in StumbleUpon, especially how long you could expect the average web page to keep getting visitors. … You might be wondering why the time-on-site data for StumbleUpon traffic that we’ve shared in this graphic may differ from what you’re used to seeing in your web tracking platforms, such as Google Analytics, WebTrends, Yahoo! Web Analytics, CoreMetrics, etc. It’s because these platforms assign a ‘zero’ time-on-site to all single-page visits, regardless of how long those visitors spend on that one page.”

      So what is StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of over [20] million other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend. … StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine. … Using search engines to locate relevant content typically means hunting through pages of results. Rather than searching for quality web sites, StumbleUpon members are taken directly to web sites matching their personal interests and preferences. … Using a combination of human opinions and machine learning to immediately deliver relevant content, StumbleUpon presents only web sites that have been suggested by other like-minded Stumblers.”

      StumbleUpon’s Recommendation Technology: “StumbleUpon integrates peer-to-peer and social networking principles with one-click blogging to create an emergent content referral system. Our patent-pending toolbar system automates the collection, distribution and review of web content within an intuitive social framework, providing users with a browsing experience which resembles ‘channel-surfing’ the web. This architecture has easily scaled to millions of users. … StumbleUpon combines collaborative human opinions with machine learning of personal preference to create virtual communities of like-minded websurfers. Rating websites updates a personal profile (weblog) and generates peer networks of websurfers linked by common interest. These social networks coordinate the distribution of web content, such that users ‘stumble upon’ pages explicitly recommended by friends and peers. This social content discovery approach automates the ‘word-of-mouth’ referral of peer-approved websites and simplifies web navigation.

      How does StumbleUpon’s business model work? “Users stumble the best of the web, finding sites that reflect their interests and friends by simply hitting a button in their browsers or on their mobile devices. With Paid Discovery, your URL becomes part of that stream. The user is eager to engage with new and exciting content, making your product’s discovery a welcome experience in the eyes of a Stumbler. … Pay only for engaged unique visitors, on a budget that you control. No minimum spend and no bidding required.

      Wikipedia: “StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles. – Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, but StumbleUpon also works with some independent Mozilla-based browsers… StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering (an automated process combining human opinions with machine learning of personal preference) to create virtual communities of like-minded Web surfers. Rating Web sites update a personal profile (a blog-style record of rated sites) and generate peer networks of Web surfers linked by common interest. These social networks coordinate the distribution of Web content, so that users ‘stumble upon’ pages explicitly recommended by friends and peers. Giving a site a thumbs up results in the site being placed under the user’s ‘favorites’. Furthermore, users have the ability to stumble their personal interests like ‘History’ or ‘Games’.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Business Practices, , , , , , , , Debiasing, , Economic Incentives, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Reach, , Replication, , , , Search Bias, Search Engine Bias, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Engine Bias 

    Does Google favour its own sites in search results? New study: Google less biased than Bing; http://eicker.at/SearchEngineBias

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Does Google favor its own sites in search results, as many critics have claimed? Not necessarily. New research suggests that claims that Google is ‘biased’ are overblown, and that Google’s primary competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, may actually be serving Microsoft-related results ‘far more’ often than Google links to its own services in search results. – In an analysis of a large, random sample of search queries, the study from Josh Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, found that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently, and far more prominently, than Google favors its own content. According to the findings, Google references its own content in its first results position in just 6.7% of queries, while Bing provides search result links to Microsoft content more than twice as often (14.3%). … The findings of the new study are in stark contrast with a study on search engine ‘bias’ released earlier this year. That study, conducted by Harvard professor Ben Edelman concluded that ‘by comparing results across multiple search engines, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.’ … So, what conclusions to draw? Wright says that ‘analysis finds that own-content bias is a relatively infrequent phenomenon’ – meaning that although Microsoft appears to favor its own sites more often than Google, it’s not really a major issue, at least in terms of ‘bias’ or ‘fairness’ of search results that the engines present. Reasonable conclusion: Google [and Bing, though less so] really are trying to deliver the best results possible, regardless of whether they come from their own services [local search, product search, etc] or not. … But just because a company has grown into a dominant position doesn’t mean they’re doing wrong, or that governments should intervene and force changes that may or may not be “beneficial” to users or customers.

      Edelman/Lockwood: “By comparing results between leading search engines, we identify patterns in their algorithmic search listings. We find that each search engine favors its own services in that each search engine links to its own services more often than other search engines do so. But some search engines promote their own services significantly more than others. We examine patterns in these differences, and we flag keywords where the problem is particularly widespread. Even excluding ‘rich results’ (whereby search engines feature their own images, videos, maps, etc.), we find that Google’s algorithmic search results link to Google’s own services more than three times as often as other search engines link to Google’s services. For selected keywords, biased results advance search engines’ interests at users’ expense: We demonstrate that lower-ranked listings for other sites sometimes manage to obtain more clicks than Google and Yahoo’s own-site listings, even when Google and Yahoo put their own links first. … Google typically claims that its results are ‘algorithmically-generated’, ‘objective’, and ‘never manipulated.’ Google asks the public to believe that algorithms rule, and that no bias results from its partnerships, growth aspirations, or related services. We are skeptical. For one, the economic incentives for bias are overpowering: Search engines can use biased results to expand into new sectors, to grant instant free traffic to their own new services, and to block competitors and would-be competitors. The incentive for bias is all the stronger because the lack of obvious benchmarks makes most bias would be difficult to uncover. That said, by comparing results across multiple search engine, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.”

      ICLE: “A new report released [PDF] by the International Center for Law und Economics and authored by Joshua Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, critiques, replicates, and extends the study, finding Edelman und Lockwood’s claim of Google’s unique bias inaccurate and misleading. Although frequently cited for it, the Edelman und Lockwod study fails to support any claim of consumer harm – or call for antitrust action – arising from Google’s practices.Prof. Wright’s analysis finds own-content bias is actually an infrequent phenomenon, and Google references its own content more favorably than other search engines far less frequently than does Bing: In the replication of Edelman und Lockwood, Google refers to its own content in its first page of results when its rivals do not for only 7.9% of the queries, whereas Bing does so nearly twice as often (13.2%). – Again using Edelman und Lockwood’s own data, neither Bing nor Google demonstrates much bias when considering Microsoft or Google content, respectively, referred to on the first page of search results. – In our more robust analysis of a large, random sample of search queries we find that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently-and far more prominently-than Google favors its own content. – Google references own content in its first results position when no other engine does in just 6.7% of queries; Bing does so over twice as often (14.3%). – The results suggest that this so-called bias is an efficient business practice, as economists have long understood, and consistent with competition rather than the foreclosure of competition. One necessary condition of the anticompetitive theories of own-content bias raised by Google’s rivals is that the bias must be sufficient in magnitude to exclude rival search engines from achieving efficient scale. A corollary of this condition is that the bias must actually be directed toward Google’s rivals. That Google displays less own-content bias than its closest rival, and that such bias is nonetheless relatively infrequent, demonstrates that this condition is not met, suggesting that intervention aimed at ‘debiasing’ would likely harm, rather than help, consumers.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:57 on 25. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Facebook Credits for Websites, , , , , , Gameshouse.com, , , , , Mobile Payment, , , , , , , Reach, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Credits for Websites 

    Facebook Credits expand further: outreach to every website, going beyond Facebook Apps; http://eicker.at/FacebookCreditsWeb

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:57 on 25. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Facebook: “Facebook Credits for websites – We have begun working with a few developers to test the ability to offer Facebook Credits on websites, with the goal of helping them offer a more unified app experience to users beyond apps on Facebook. One early example is Collapse! Blast on Gamehouse.com. – At this time, we are focused on gathering early developer feedback. We will keep you posted as our tests continue. If you are interested in Facebook Credits for websites should we broaden the test, please sign up here.”

      GigaOM: “Facebook isn’t a true PayPal competitor, but it’s taking some steps toward becoming an online payments provider outside of its Facebook properties. The social networking giant has begun testing the use of Facebook Credits on two games, Uno Boost and Collapse! Blast, both available on gaming portal GameHouse. … This could be a big springboard for Facebook to become a major payments player if it aggressively takes its Facebook Credits to other properties on the web. … I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook is eyeing this market. Mobile payments is booming now and expected to become a $670 billion market by 2015. But it starts with small tests like the one with GameHouse. … Hulett said he believes though its early Facebook Credits could be a big driver of revenue for Facebook, similar to how PayPal has become the main engine of growth for eBay. That will still be ways off, but if Facebook plays its cards right and learns important lessons along the way, it might not be a stretch.”

      IF: “Facebook’s virtual currency is currently the mandatory payment method for all Facebook games on the web, a payment option for Facebook apps, and became available as a payment option to mobile app developers last week. … If the test does indicate a demand for Credits as a payment option outside of Facebook.com, its unclear whether Facebook would require developers to use its virtual currency exclusively. It could simply make them an additional payment option, the way Credits currently work for Facebook.com apps as well as mobile apps and games. … More users maintaining a balance of Credits also makes Facebook a more lucrative platform for developers. … Facebook Credits for Websites could become a significant revenue source and powerful way to attract developers.

      ATD: “Facebook is now allowing its virtual currency to be used off of its social network, a feature that some game companies are finding valuable as they seek new ways to monetize their own sites. … GameHouse is one of the first to try using Credits off of the network, but there will likely be others following. – Earlier this month, Zynga announced Project Z, its own gaming platform, which will provide a seamless game experience between Facebook and its own Web site. Despite creating a separate game network, as we wrote at the time of the announcement, Facebook’s influence will be everywhere.

      ZDNet: “Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of all revenue earned through Facebook Credits, leaving developers with the remaining 70 percent. It’s not clear how much revenue the company makes from the virtual currency, but it appears to be a growing percentage of its overall revenue. It could be massive if Facebook Credits for websites takes off.

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