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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 7. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Key Visuals, , , , , , , Research, , , , , , , , , Twitter Brand Pages, , , , , Visuals,   

    Twitter Brand Pages 

    Twitter’s relaunch includes Twitter Brand Pages: an eye tracking study predicts hard work; http://eicker.at/TwitterBrandPages

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 7. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      SimpleUsability [PDF]: “Users were drawn to different sections of the branded pages depending on the features each employed. All pages received initial attention on the section of the page that contained imagery. Generally this was the promoted tweet, but on the Staples page the promoted tweet did not contain any visual elements so the header image initially received more attention. … 1. Header images need to work hard – Header images can communicate how users can interact with the page. … Advertising can lead to too much of a corporate feel. … Competitions and promotions can entice users and encourage exploration. … 2. Promoted tweets need to take advantage of embedded visuals – A promoted tweet featuring an image draws users in. – This can quickly convey and affect the brand values of a company. Users made assumptions about the company on whether they were either corporate or approachable from the content of the image. … Promotional tweets can reinforce other featured content. – The promoted tweet on Staples featured a link to the competition referenced in the header. The promoted tweet and the header image supported each other as they were relaying the same message to the users in two different forms, one predominantly pictorial and the other completely text based. – Embedding video in the promoted tweet instantly engages the user. … 3. Users make brand decisions based on tweets – A range of tweets on the page communicates to users the level of interaction between the company and the user. The HP page featured tweets for different types of interaction including general replies, retweets and complaints. This gave the feeling that the company was being honest and that the tweets were genuine interactions with their followers. … So while Twitter shifts to incorporating the new features to the brand pages in order to engage those who see the page, the likelihood is that many of the brand’s followers may never see the page at all. This means that the strength of a company’s following will be based on what they tweet. … Also, with regards to the header, companies should keep in mind that due to its size and position on the page, users might assume that it is a clickable banner. … When they were unable to interact with the header they were annoyed and lost interest in page. … If a brand page comes across as either too sales-heavy, it will not hold the user’s attention. Users preferred when they could see the more ‘human’ side to the brand…

      RWW: “While some initially heralded Twitter brand pages as a ‘game changer,’ that scenario may not play out. One of the major problems facing brand pages, as noted in the SimpleUsability study, is that once someone starts following a Twitter account or brand page, there is usually no reason for them to return to the page as all of the new and relevant information will show up as tweets in the followers own timeline. … Users ultimately want brand pages to show a ‘more human side’ to the company, the study said. The HP site, for example, scored well because it did not emphasize sales and advertising, and even made an effort to respond to individual followers. Some of the tweets on the page responded to customer complaints, which improved transparency and credibility as viewed by page visitors.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 17:14 on 22. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , News Coverage, , , , , Research, , , , , , , , , ,   

    News 2011 

    PEJ: The Year in News2011 was all about the economy (20%), Middle East unrests follow (12%); http://eicker.at/News2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 17:14 on 22. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PEJ: “The faltering U.S. economy was the No. 1 story in the American news media in 2011, with coverage increasing substantially from a year earlier when economic unease helped alter the political landscape in the midterm elections, according to The Year in the News 2011, a new report conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. – The year 2011 was also characterized by a jump of more than a third in coverage of international news, by a growing contrast in the content of the three broadcast networks and by a series of dramatic breaking news events that dominated coverage in ways unprecedented in PEJ’s five years of studying news agenda. – The biggest story of the year, however, was the economy. … PEJ’s The Year in the News is derived from an analysis of close to 46,000 stories produced from January 1-December 11, 2011 that were examined as part of the group’s ongoing content analysis of 52 different traditional news outlets from the main five media sectors, its News Coverage Index. The report also includes an analysis of the year in social media, based on the group’s weekly analysis of blogs and Twitter, the New Media Index. – The findings are also available for users to examine themselves in PEJ’s Year in the News Interactive, where users can delve into the data base by story, by broad topic and compare different news sectors and outlets with one another. … Another difference in 2011 was that the focus of economic coverage shifted. The story changed from being about taxes and jobs to being much more a story about government. Almost a third of the economic coverage in the last year (32%) was focused on the budget and national debt (heavily influenced by the debt ceiling crisis). The second biggest storyline was the effect the economy was having on state and local government (12% of the economy coverage). A year ago the two biggest themes were taxes and unemployment. – One new aspect to the economy story in 2011-the Occupy Wall Street Protests which began in September-proved to be the fourth-biggest storyline, at 5% of the overall economic coverage.

      PEJ – The Year of the Mega Story: “The biggest one-week story of the year was the killing May 1 of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seals. That week, the story filled 69% of the newshole, making it the biggest weekly story PEJ has measured since January 2007. The previous biggest story, (also at about 69%,) was the 2008 presidential campaign from August 25-31, 2008, when Democrats nominated Barack Obama at their Denver convention and John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his surprise running mate.”

      PEJ – All News By Topic: “Besides looking at just the biggest stories of the year, one advantage of PEJ’s The Year in the News is that it can also categorize all the stories studied during the year by topic to measure the broader agenda-setting influence of the media. What topics got covered and what did not? This probes deeper patterns in news beyond what the biggest breaking news events tended to be. – The jump in coverage of overseas events not directly involving the U.S. (from 11% to 18%) was the biggest change in the year. There was a much smaller increase in attention to international stories that involved the U.S.-10% in 2011 compared with 9% in 2010.”

      PEJ – The Year on Blogs and Twitter: “While blogs and Twitter are both called social media and have a similar basic function – the sharing of information and opinion – their news agendas differed markedly in 2011 (something we also saw in 2010). The data examined by PEJ reveal that Twitter users were more consumed by new digital technology and products. The blogosphere more closely followed the traditional press focus on current events and issues. – In effect, while similar percentages of adults in the U.S. blog and use Twitter (14% and 13% respectively), they use the two platforms differently. The conversation on Twitter has a distinct and narrower set of news priorities, at least as measured by the top five subjects each week. Bloggers are forging a hybrid news agenda that shares elements with both Twitter and the mainstream media. … The 2011 data indicate that, first and foremost, people use Twitter to discuss and disseminate news and reviews about the latest high-tech products. When added together, the three related topics-consumer news, technology and business-made up almost half the stories that made the top five list derived from our multiple tracking services in a given week. … Breaking down that conversation from topic to storyline, in 2011 the four most popular stories on Twitter were, in descending order, news about Facebook, Google, Twitter itself and Apple-all giants of the new information ecosystem. … Considerably less prominent on Twitter were the news events and issues that are fodder for newspaper front pages and cable talk shows. … In blogs, the conversation about government and politics, as well as diplomacy and overseas events, combined to account for almost one-third of the stories in the top five list in a given week. In addition, roughly another third (29%) of the dialogue on blogs was devoted to a series of public policy issues that included the economy, the environment, health care, education and others.”

      PEJ – The Press and the Public: “In a year defined by a number of major news events, the mainstream media and the U.S. public often agreed on the most important stories. – According to data from the Pew Research Center for the People und the Press, three of five stories that generated the most public attention in a single week were among those that also received the highest level of weekly coverage from the press. … The story that generated the most public interest for the year was the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The week of March 14-20, a full 55% of those surveyed said they were following events there very closely. … If there was a divergence between public interest and the media interest on these major stories, however, it could be found in how long the public was interested in something versus the media. In several cases, high levels of public interest outlasted media coverage as the press moved on to other events.”

      PEJ – Top Newsmakers: “Barack Obama was the top newsmaker of the year. He was the primary newsmaker (meaning 50% of the story focused on him) in a total of 3,802 stories or 8% of the stories studied-the same percentage as a year earlier. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan strongman who was deposed and later killed by rebels, was the second-biggest newsmaker by this measure, the focus of 1% of all stories studied. Indeed, three of the top 20 newsmakers last year were key Mideast figures who were either deposed or killed-Gaddafi, bin Laden (1%) and former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (less than 1%).”

      PEJ – The Cable Difference: “With different audience bases, different sibling networks and different styles, the three main cable news channels [MSNBC, Fox, CNN] also had different definitions of what constituted news in 2011. Some of the distinctions between the three main channels, in other words, are in story selection, not only style or tone. – The weakening economy, for instance, was a much bigger story on MSNBC (30% of the airtime studied), a sibling of business channel CNBC, than anywhere else. It received the second-most attention on Fox (21%), which also has a sibling channel focused on financial matters, Fox Business. The economy was a much smaller story on CNN (14%).”

      PEJ – Network News Agendas: “Traditionally, the three broadcast networks [ABC, CBS, NBC] have not had marked variations in their selection of news. That appears to be changing. In 2011, one network appears to differentiating itself with a more hard news orientation. – CBS, which publicly has announced that it is trying to define itself with a more hard news approach, devoted almost one-third of the airtime studied on its evening newscasts (30%) to two major stories-the economy and Middle East unrest-over the course of the year. That compares with 24% on the ABC’s World News Tonight and 23% on The NBC Nightly News.”

      PEJ – The PBS Difference: “An examination of 2011 coverage also reveals some ways in which the PBS NewsHour differs in its agenda from the rest of the media, particularly in what viewers can find elsewhere on television. – The most striking difference is that the NewsHour offered more than one-third more coverage of international events over the last year than the media overall, including all other forms of television news (cable, morning and network evening). In total, 39% of the time on the NewsHour was devoted to foreign events and U.S. foreign policy, compared with 28% in the media sample generally, 23% on cable news, 24% on the network morning news shows and 24% on the network evening broadcasts.”

      PEJ – A Year in the News Interactive 2011: “Follow the steps below to select among media sectors and news coverage categories. The data are based on nearly 46,000 stories analyzed in PEJ’s News Coverage Index for the year: 1. Choose which sectors interest you… 2. Choose subjects that interest you from one of these four categories…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , Research, Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:05 on 18. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Corporate Blogging, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Research, , , , , , , , ,   

    Blogosphere 2011 

    Technorati Blogosphere 2011: blogging and social media, marketing, motivations, consequences; http://eicker.at/Blogosphere2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:06 on 18. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Technorati: “Welcome to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2011 report. Since 2004, our annual study has followed growth and trends in the blogosphere. This year’s topics include: blogging and social media, bloggers and traditional media, traffic and analysis, brands and marketing in the blogosphere, bloggers’ motivations and consequences, monetization, and changes within the blogosphere over 2011. … The Blogosphere is constantly changing and evolving. In 2011 we are seeing bloggers updating their blogs more frequently and spending more time blogging. The type of information influencing blogging has shifted from conversations with friends, which was the primary influence in 2010, to other blogs, which for 68% of bloggers are having more of an influence in 2011. … Penn Schoen Berland conducted an Internet survey from September 13-October 4, 2011 among 4,114 bloggers around the world. The margin of error is +/- 1.4% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups.

      Technorati: “Who are the Bloggers? – We started with a basic inquiry about the identity of the respondents. Roughly three fifths are male, a proportion that holds true over all blogger types. Not surprisingly, a majority of bloggers are in the 25-44 age range – but a third are over 44. … Although our survey was administered only in English, bloggers responded from 45 countries, with nearly half from the United States. … Income: While half of Corporates receive no annual salary for blogging, and the mean non-salary income of that blogger type was $17,101, 54% report an annual household income of $50,000 or more. This seems to indicate that the majority of Corporates are using any revenue from blogging as a supplement to their household income. … A quarter of respondents reported being self-employed, while just under half told us they were employed full-time… Overall, fewer bloggers reported this year that they are making a living via their blogs. (4% vs. 11% in 2010) … Combining these demos, we see a picture of Professional Full Timers as slightly older and likely to be in life circumstances (such as having another income due to marriage, or being currently a stay-at-home parent) that allow them time to pursue professional routes such as blogging. … Among those whose blog is a business, 81% manage the blog themselves. Corporate bloggers are most likely to have a paid full- or part-time staff (38%). … The majority of respondents update their blog two to three times per week. Professional Full Time bloggers tend to update their blog more frequently than any other bloggers, with 26% reporting that they update their blog at least three times per day. … Overall, there is a rise in the number of bloggers who say they are blogging more, and fewer bloggers report they are blogging less.

      Technorati: “Bloggers and the Traditional Media – We continue to see a very large overlap between bloggers and traditional media. Almost one third of bloggers have worked for the traditional media, with a monthly magazine being the most common form (41%). 55% of Professional Full Timers and half of all Corporate bloggers have worked for a monthly magazine in the past. Of those who have worked with traditional media, 24% are still employed and blog separately. … Nearly all (96%) bloggers have an independent blog. … 81% report that their blog is part of a non-media company.Brands and the BlogosphereThe blogosphere is influencing itself – respondents say that the number one influence on the topics they blog about are other blogs they read, a huge jump from 2010. Conversations with friends and social media accounts are also influencing blogging topics. … 38% of respondents say they blog about brands that they love or hate. 33% of Professional Part Timers post reviews at least once a week. … 65% of bloggers use social media to follow brands, and this holds fairly consistently across blogger types, indicating a common practice. Further, blogging on these brands is a common activity. … Bloggers are being actively courted. Nearly four out of 10 overall, 59% of Professional Part Timers, and 66% of Professional Full Timers have been approached to write about or review products. Pros are approached eight times per week on average. The most frequently approached Hobbyist, Professional Part Time, Professional Full Time, and Entrepreneur bloggers report being approached more than 200 times per week. … The majority of bloggers feel that bloggers are treated less professionally by brand representatives compared to traditional media. … Most (86%) – but not all – bloggers who participated in sponsored posts indicate that they disclosed that the post was sponsored or paid. … Among those working with brands, 45% are aware of the FTC ruling on disclosure. Professional Part Timers and Full Timers have higher awareness (56% and 64% respectively) of it. 59% said the ruling had not had any effect on their blogging activities.”

      Technorati: “Consumers in the Blogsphere – This is the second year we surveyed consumers on their trust of and attitudes toward the media they consume. Compared with other media, blogs continue to outpace other social media and many traditional media in terms of trust and generating consumer recommendations and purchases. Facebook remains somewhat influential, but less so than blogs, and Twitter has seen a drop in influence over the past year.”

      Technorati: “What’s in it for the Bloggers? Motivations and Consequences of Blogging – Among Professionals, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs, the leading metric of success is the number of unique visitors, while 42% of Professional Part Timers and 38% of Professional Full Timers cited revenue as the leading metric compared to 13% of respondents overall. 69% of Hobbyists say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog, compared to 57% of Professional Part Timers, 49% of Professional Full Timers, 40% of Corporate bloggers and 47% of Entrepreneur bloggers. … 70% of all bloggers use their blog to share their expertise and experience with others. Professionals also use their blog as a way to make money or supplement their income. Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers are looking to gain professional recognition, while also using their blog as a way to attract new clients to their business. … Asked what is the primary reason they blog, the greatest number of respondents overall said they use their blog as a way to share expertise and experience with others. … Overall, respondents seem to feel that blogging has had a positive impact on their personal life. 54% of respondents agree that they have made friends through their blog, and the same number agree that they have become more involved with their passion areas as a result of blogging. More than 60% of Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers have gained greater visibility in their industry through blogging.

      Technorati: “Bloggers and Social Media – 82% of bloggers surveyed are using Twitter, with almost all Professional Full Timers (93%) and Professional Part Timers (91%) using Twitter and having on average over 1,000 followers. Those who use Twitter say they do so to promote their blog (77%), follow friends (60%), and bring interesting links to light (59%). Professional, Corporate, and Entrepreneur bloggers use Twitter to promote themselves professionally. … Nearly half of bloggers who use Twitter link their blogs to it. Among respondents who do not use Twitter, the most common reason for not doing so is a lack of desire to broadcast one’s life (45%). Another 42% simply don’t have time. … Almost nine out of ten bloggers surveyed (89%) use Facebook. 50% of all bloggers have separate Facebook pages for their blog and for their personal account, a jump from only 34% last year. … Among Facebook users, the most common reason for using the social network is to promote one’s blog. 61% of Entrepreneur bloggers use Facebook to promote their business. … More than six out of ten respondents use Google+. Of those who use this service only 13% have a separate account for their blog and personal use. … Other than Facebook and Twitter, the most popular social networking platforms among respondents are LinkedIn and YouTube. Not surprisingly, respondents found Facebook and Twitter to be the most effective social networking tools to market their blogs and drive traffic. … Blogging Topics – Personal musings are most blogged about by Hobbyists, while Professional, Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers tend to blog about technology. Business is also a very popular topic for Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers. … 79% of all respondents describe their blogging style as ‘sincere,’ and 67% describe their style as ‘conversational.’ Professional, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs also describe their style as ‘expert.’

      Technorati: “Brands in the Blogosphere: What Do the Marketers Say? – We heard from marketers who are just getting started in social media, and veterans who are using every available tool. We also received detailed examples and case studies, which we’ll be profiling in upcoming articles. We also asked them about the most significant developments in social media in 2011 and their predictions for the coming year. – Overall, advice was centered along these main themes: Encourage and enable sharing across platforms. Bloggers are trusted peers. Work with them to create or curate unfiltered, credible content and reviews, in order to create a conversation around your brand. Focus on building long-term relationships. Use blogger outreach organically and encourage these social influencers to be honest and open about their opinions so that they don’t feel forced to give a ‘good’ review, but rather, their ‘own’ review. Use social media not only to distribute content but to build active communities and interact with and respond to your audiences. Layer on social media measurement tools to find where users fall into your conversion funnels. Leverage paid media on social channels. … What are your top three DOs for social media? Here is just a sampling of the advice we received: Be a personality, not just a brand. Be responsive and quick. Recognize and reward your fans. Push for organic conversation. Pull content streams into ad units. Provide value to your audience. … What are your top three DON’Ts for social media? The majority of the responses came in along these lines: Don’t use social media as a direct marketing channel. Don’t pay for likes. Don’t believe that social media is free. Time is money. Social media takes time and strategy. Don’t open up a two-way conversation if you aren’t fully aware of the likely conversation flow. Once you’ve opened up a dialog, be ready to turn negatives into positives, but DON’T censor a participant who has a negative opinion. Don’t expect that social media = mass exposure with no investment. … We asked: In the past year, what was the biggest change or the most significant development you saw in social media? The most popular answers centered around a few major trends: brand strategy, blogging, the evolution of specific social media channels, advancements in mobile devices, developments in analytics, and the problem of information overload.”

      Technorati: “Active Blogging – According to Technorati’s index, a minority of bloggers are posting daily, or even weekly. Further, the Technorati index skews to more active bloggers – presumably they have listed their blog with Technorati because they are actively creating content and want others to find it. Active blogging is clearly rewarded. When looking at average posts per month and per day by Technorati Authority, bloggers in the Top 100 generate 36 times more content than the average blogger. We also see a higher use of tags as part of their arsenal of strategies to bring audiences to their content, with 92% of the Top 100 bloggers using tags. … Blogging Technology – Most respondents’ blogs are individual blogs. Blogging Collectives are most common among Corporate bloggers, where they account for 35%. … WordPress is the most popular blog hosting service among all respondents, used by 51%. Blogger and Blogspot hosting services are also popular (21% and 14%). … Nearly 90% of bloggers are using some form of multimedia on their blogs, the most popular form being photos. Half of all bloggers surveyed use video on their blog, while another 10% use audio. … Of those using multimedia, slightly more create these assets themselves than repurpose them from other sites. … Particular blogging tools are very widespread among bloggers, especially built-in syndication (75%) and social sharing widgets (75%), as well as site search (58%). Among bloggers who use built-in syndication, the majority (76%) support full content. … Professional Full Timers have seen the most impact from the adoption of tablets and smartphones, with almost a third (32%) indicating their blogging style has changed. … Those impacted by tablets and smartphones indicate they are using photos and images (45%) more often and writing shorter posts (43%).”

      Technorati: “Traffic and Analytics – Bloggers continue to pay close attention to their readership: 65% use a third-party service to track their blog’s traffic. Across bloggers, Google Analytics is by far the most popular service. … Professional bloggers receive the most views, with over half of the blogs viewed more than 10,000 times per month. 58% of bloggers using third-party analytics receive fewer than 5,000 page views per month. … Professional bloggers receive the most unique visitors per month, with more than a third having over 10,000 unique visitors. … Monetization and Revenue – Of the 14% of bloggers who earn a salary for blogging, the average annual amount is $24,086. Corporate bloggers earn more, averaging $33,577 per year. … Most are not paid per post, but half of those who are earned less than $25 per post on average. … About half of all bloggers paid by the post earn less than $1,000 per year from per-post fees. – Display ads, affiliate marketing links, and search ads are the most common ways bloggers generate revenue from their blogs. 60% of Corporate bloggers said they do not have any advertising on their blog. … Most blog-related revenue is generated through giving speeches on blogging topics and advertising. … Among those who do not have advertising on their blogs, 52% say they do not have advertising because they don’t want their blogs to be cluttered with ads, while 38% said they don’t have enough visitors to make it worthwhile. Another 36% are not interested in making money on their blog. … Among those with advertising on their blog, 60% use self-serve tools, while 50% have affiliate advertising links on their site.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Gastronomy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Research, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Local Business 

    Pew: The Internet is the source that people most rely on for material about local businesses; http://eicker.at/LocalBusiness

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Where people get information about restaurants and other local businesses – The internet is the source that people most rely on for material about the local business scene and search engines are particularly valued. Newspapers and word of mouth also rank high as sources. … The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 12 to 25, 2011, among a sample of 2,251 adults, age 18 and older.”

      Pew: “People looking for information about local restaurants and other businesses say they rely on the internet, especially search engines, ahead of any other source.Newspapers, both printed copies and the websites of newspaper companies, run second behind the internet as the source that people rely on for news and information about local businesses, including restaurants and bars. – And word of mouth, particularly among non-internet users, is also an important source of information about local businesses. … 51% turn to the internet, including: search engines (38% rely on them), specialty websites (17% rely on them), social media (3% rely on social networking sites or Twitter) … People who seek out information and news about local businesses and restaurants are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. As distinct populations, they are more likely to live in relatively well-off households – those earning $75,000 or more – and have college educations. – In addition, the 55% of adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are more likely to be women, young adults, urban, and technology adopters. – The 60% of adults who get information about other local businesses are also more likely to be tech users.”

      Pew: “The 55% of all adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are disproportionately young, female, tech adaptive and upscale in educational attainment, urban. … Those who get news and information about local restaurants, bars, and clubs are also likely to be avid local news consumers who enjoy following the local scene, pay for local news in some form, and use multiple platforms to get the local information. … Those who are heavy local news junkies are considerably more likely than others to get material about local restaurants. We asked people about their use of 14 different kinds of sources to get local news and their frequency of using those platforms. When it comes to restaurant information, 71% of those who used at least six platforms monthly got news and information about local restaurants, compared with 34% of those who relied on just one or two sources.”

      Pew: “Those who get information about local businesses that are not tied to eating or socializing are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. Those who get this information are more likely to have college or advanced degrees, live in relatively high-earning households, use the internet and own cell phones. They are not distinct by gender or race and ethnicity. … They are also likely to be local news and information junkies. Those who get news and information from at least six different local news platforms monthly are considerably more likely than others to get material about local businesses. … Those mobile consumers were also more likely than others to get material about local businesses: 65% of mobile local news consumers got information about local businesses, compared with 55% of others.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 28. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Building Social Proof, Celebrity Social Proof, , Conformity, Expert Social Proof, , , , , , , Public Compliance, , , Research, , , , , , , Social Proof Marketing, , , , , User Social Proof, , , , Wisdom of the Crowds Social Proof, Wisdom of your Friends, Wisdom of your Friends Social Proof   

    Social Proof Marketing 

    Ailleen Lee: In the age of the social web, social proof is the new marketing; http://eicker.at/SocialProofMarketing

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 28. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation. – The effects of social influence can be seen in the tendency of large groups to conform to choices which may be either correct or mistaken, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as herd behavior. Although social proof reflects a rational motive to take into account the information possessed by others, formal analysis shows that it can cause people to converge too quickly upon a single choice, so that decisions of even large groups of individuals may be grounded in very little information [see information cascades]. – Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior. When ‘we conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,’ it is informational social influence. This is contrasted with normative social influence wherein a person conforms to be liked or accepted by others. – Social proof often leads not just to public compliance [conforming to the behavior of others publicly without necessarily believing it is correct] but private acceptance [conforming out of a genuine belief that others are correct]. Social proof is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.

      TC: “One challenge, which isn’t new, is the battle for consumer attention. If you’re looking to grow your user base, is there a best way to cost-effectively attract valuable users? I’m increasingly convinced the best way is by harnessing a concept called social proof, a relatively untapped gold mine in the age of the social web. … If you’re a digital startup, building and highlighting your social proof is the best way for new users to learn about you. And engineering your product to generate social proof, and to be shared through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest and others, can multiply the discovery of your product and its influence. Think of it as building the foundation for massively scalable word-of-mouth. Here’s a ‘teardown’ on various forms of social proof, and how some savvy digital companies are starting to measure its impact.Expert social proof – Approval from a credible expert, like a magazine or blogger, can have incredible digital influence. … Celebrity social proof – Up to 25% of U.S. TV commercials have used celebrities to great effect, but only a handful of web startups have to date. … User social proof – Direct TV marketers are masters at sharing user success stories. [fascination with this was actually the inspiration for this blog post]. … Wisdom of the crowds social proof – Ray Kroc started using social proof in 1955 by hanging an ‘Over 1 Million Served’ sign at the first McDonald’s. Highlighting popularity or large numbers of users implies ‘a million people can’t be wrong.’ … Wisdom of your friends social proof – Learning from friends thru the social web is likely the killer app of social proof in terms of 1:1 impact, and the potential to grow virally. … In the age of the social web, social proof is the new marketing.

      Cialdini: “Don’t Throw in the Towel: Use Social Influence Research – Take, for example, hotels. Via a card strategically placed in their room, guests in many hotels are urged to reuse their towels to help conserve environmental resources. … Almost 75% of guests who are asked to participate in our new resource savings program do help by using their towels more than once. You can join your fellow guests to help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay. … The result was an almost 47 percent success rate, significantly greater than the cooperation condition. Once again, we see that a relatively minor change, informed by social psychological theory, can serve as a corrective to the existing practices of otherwise astute businesspeople who would never leave themselves comparably uninformed in other arenas of business practice.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Fear of Isolation, , , , Momentum, Moral Issues, , , , Opinion Issues, , , Public Opinion, Research, , , , , , , , , , , , , Visible Momentum,   

    Spiral of Silence 

    Does social media end the spiral of silence? Probably not, but it might lessen its impact; http://eicker.at/SpiralOfSilence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      RFERL: “Social Media And Ending ‘The Spiral Of Silence’ – There’s been a spate of good pieces on digital activism recently. ‘Technology Review‘ had a great story on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, detailing all the ways activists used social networking (among other online and offline tools) to get people out on the streets. – There was also an interesting piece in ‘The New York Times‘ reporting on a new paper that argued that social-networking tools can ‘make you passive, can sap your initiative, (and) leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.’ This wasn’t an exercise in moral techno-panics (this is your brain on social media!), but looked at how, in the eyes of the report’s author, social media actually kept people off the streets during the Egyptian crisis. Or: Full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action… When people think of social media and revolutions, I think the tendency is to think solely of activists organizing rallies on Twitter and Facebook (they do do that too.) But more important seems to be the way that social media and shared cell phone video footage help in building a shared consciousness, or as Tufekci calls it a ‘visible momentum.’

      Tufekci, TR: “New Media and the People-Powered UprisingsAnother key dynamic is what’s known as ‘preference falsification’ to political scientists and ‘pluralistic ignorance’ to social psychologists: when people privately hold a particular view but do not share it in fear of reprisal, punishment, or violating a social norm. In autocracies, this can cause a ‘spiral of silence‘ in which many wish for regime change, but are afraid to speak up outside of few trusted ties. … It is in this context Facebook ‘likes’ of dissident pages such as ‘We are All Khaled Said,’ sharing of videos of regime brutality, online expressions of political anger, and acceptances of Facebook ‘invitations’ to protest all matter as they help build a visible momentum which, itself, is a condition of success. A public is not created just because everyone individually holds an opinion but because there is multi-level awareness of other people’s views leading to a spiral of action and protest. (I know that you know that I know that you know that we know …). – That is why the new media ecology is a game-changer and that is exactly the process John Pollock’s extensive on-the-ground reporting unravels.There has been a false debate. Was it social media or the people? Was it social media or the labor movements? Was it social media or anti-imperialist movement? Was it social media or youth? These questions are wrong and the answer is yes. The correct question is how.

      UT: “Neumann (1974) introduced the ‘spiral of silence’ as an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is formed. She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political positions that led to national defeat, humiliation and ruin in the 1930s-1940s. … The closer a person believes the opinion held is similar to the prevailing public opinion, the more they are willing to openly disclose that opinion in public. Then, if public sentiment changes, the person will recognize that the opinion is less in favor and will be less willing to express that opinion publicly. As the perceived distance between public opinion and a person’s personal opinion grows, the more unlikely the person is to express their opinion.

      Wikipedia: “The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority. … The spiral of silence begins with fear of reprisal or isolation, and escalates from there. The fear of isolation is the centrifugal force that accelerates the spiral of silence. Individuals use what is described as ‘an innate ability’ or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion. The Mass media play a large part in determining what the dominant opinion is, since our direct observation is limited to a small percentage of the population. The mass media have an enormous impact on how public opinion is portrayed, and can dramatically impact an individual’s perception about where public opinion lies, whether or not that portrayal is factual. Noelle-Neumann describes the spiral of silence as a dynamic process, in which predictions about public opinion become fact as mass media’s coverage of the majority opinion becomes the status quo, and the minority becomes less likely to speak out. The theory, however, only applies to moral or opinion issues, not issues that can be proven right or wrong using facts (if there, in fact, exists a distinction between fact and value).

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:16 on 17. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Reconnecting, Research, , , , , , , Stay in Touch, , , , , , , ,   

    Staying in Touch 

    Pew: Why do Americans use social media?Well, obvious it’s all about staying in touch; http://eicker.at/StayingInTouch

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:17 on 17. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.”

      Pew: “Those who say that keeping up with family members is a major consideration in their use of social networking sites are a demographically diverse group. … The primary difference on this topic pertains to gender, as female social media users are more likely than male users to cite family connections as a major reason for using these sites (72% vs. 55%). … Compared with older adults, social media users under the age of 50 are especially likely to say that these tools help them keep up with existing friends and reconnect with old ones… Women are slightly more likely than men to say that staying in touch with current friends is a major reason for using online social tools (70% vs. 63%) while parents are more likely than non-parents to say that connecting with old friends is a major reason behind their use of these sites (56% vs. 47%). … Among social media users as a whole, the ability to read comments by public figures such as politicians, celebrities or athletes does not come into play as a major factor – fully three quarters of users say that this plays no role whatsoever in their decision to use these sites. … Additionally, Twitter users are more interested in connecting with public figures than are social media users who do not use Twitter. … Very few social media users say that finding potential romantic partners or people to date plays a role in their use of these sites – overall more than eight in ten (84%) do not use these sites for that purpose at all. … (M)en are twice as likely as women to say that finding potential dating or romantic partners is a minor reason for using online social platforms (17% vs. 9%) but overall few men say that this is a major factor (just 4% do so).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 15. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Fox News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Research, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Media and Twitter 

    Pew: How mainstream media outlets use Twitter. Who tweets when, how, and how often? http://eicker.at/MediaTwitter

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 15. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew – Content Analysis Shows an Evolving Relationship: “For nearly every news organization, Twitter has become a regular part of the daily news outreach. But there are questions about how those organizations actually use the technology: How often do they tweet? What kind of news do they distribute? To what extent is Twitter used as a new reporting tool or as a mechanism for gathering insights from followers? – To answer some of these questions, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs collaborated on a study of Twitter feeds from 13 major news organizations. … The research, which examined more than 3,600 tweets over the course of a week, reveals that these news organizations use Twitter in limited ways-primarily as an added means to disseminate their own material. … The news organizations were much more similar in the focus of their Twitter activity. The vast majority of the postings promoted the organizations’ own work and sent users back to their websites. … This is not to say that news organizations are not tapping into public sentiment on Twitter through other means. … Still, these findings reveal limited use of the institution’s public Twitter identity, one that generally takes less advantage of the interactive and reportorial nature of the Twitter.”

      Pew – Who Tweets When and How Often: “One way they differed was in the overall number of separate organizational Twitter feeds or channels offered. On average, the outlets studied offered 41 organizational Twitter feeds, ranging from the general-such as politics-to the narrow-such as Civil War or cycling. The Washington Post offered the largest number of separate feeds, at 98. The Daily Caller, a conservative web-only news operation led by former cable personality Tucker Carlson, offered the fewest, a single feed. – Major national newspapers tend to offer the most: As a group the four papers studied average 74. The three cable news channels average 45. The rest of the outlets studied-broadcast television, audio, online-only and local newspapers-average 18 Twitter feeds per outlet. … Across the news organizations studied, the number of followers varied dramatically, though that number was not necessarily tied directly to the outlet’s audience size in other platforms (i.e. television ratings or print circulation). CNN had more than twice the number of followers for its main news feed as Fox News did, yet Fox programs have higher ratings on television. The New York Times, which led among national newspapers in number of followers on Twitter, falls behind The Wall Street Journal and USA Today in print circulation.”

      Pew – The News Agenda on Twitter vs. Traditional Platforms: “The news agendas of the mainstream media and that of their analog presence on Twitter were strikingly similar during the week in which both were studied. … Even with a similar emphasis on top stories, one difference in the way news functions in the legacy platforms versus on Twitter is priority. While the total number of posts on Twitter may be more about one subject than another, there is no structural hierarchy to posts. No one post is given higher priority, or ‘front-page status,’ other than in how much they are shared. In 140 characters, everything is fairly equal.

      Pew – Sharing and Gathering Information: “In general, the major news organizations studied used Twitter to direct audiences to web content that the news organization had produced and posted online. But by and large, news outlets were not using Twitter in more interactive ways, or as a reporting tool. … Just 2% of the tweets examined from the main organizational Twitter feeds asked followers for information-either to help inform a story or to provide feedback. Even the most active outlets rarely or never solicited information from their followers. Less than 1% of the tweets from The New York Times, 3% from The Washington Post and 3% from The Huffington Post (one of two online-only news outlets studied) solicited information. … One notable exception to this was Fox News. Although the main Fox News feed had light activity on Twitter, fully one-fifth of its limited tweets (10 of the 48 tweets in the period examined) directly solicited information from followers. … Mainstream news organizations primarily use Twitter to move information and push content to readers. For these organizations, Twitter functions as an RSS feed or headline service for news consumers, with links ideally driving traffic to the organization’s website. Ninety-three percent (93%) of tweets on mainstream Twitter feeds contained a link that drove traffic back to its home site.”

      Pew – Little Use of Retweet Function: “Researchers found that retweeting is rare, and retweets do not often originate outside the news organization. Only 9% of the tweets examined were retweets. Of these, 90% originally appeared on another Twitter feed connected to the same news organization such as a section feed, reporter’s feed or, in the case of television networks, another show on the network. In all, only 1% of tweets studied originated from an entity outside the news organization. … Taken together, the retweet data and the findings with respect to the use of Twitter to solicit information suggest that mainstream news outlets are not generally using Twitter to expand the conversation or include alternative perspectives and voices.”

      Pew – Use of Hashtags: “There is also wide variation in the use of hashtags by the news organizations studied. … The Washington Post, one of the most active news organizations studied on Twitter, regularly used hashtags (21% of tweets studied included at least one hashtag) to categorize tweets. Fox News and the two local newspapers, The Toledo Blade and The Arizona Republic, used hashtags even more.”

      Pew – Individual Reporters‘ Use of Twitter: “If the organizational Twitter feed is mainly a way of disseminating their content, might individual journalists exploit the social nature of the tool more-using it to gather information and build connections with their readers? … As with news organizations, individual journalists use Twitter in widely divergent ways. … When these journalists did tweet, very little of that material was information-gathering in nature. Eight of the 13 reporters examined never asked followers to help provide information. On average, only 3% of individual reporters’ tweets did so. … Individual reporters did not retweet other content often during the week studied. The average portion of tweets that were retweets was 11%. … Overall, the findings suggest that when one moves away from the most popular Twitter personalities, usage becomes less personal, but also more interactive. … The practice of retweeting also indicated the levels to which health reporters studied were more interactive-on average, 22% of their tweets were retweets, compared with just 11% among the top-followed journalists.”

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