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  • Gerrit Eicker 16:58 on 2. March 2012 Permalink
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    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 15:02 on 25. February 2012 Permalink
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    Mobile! 

    Pew: 87% Americans own a cell phone, 35% own a smartphone, 19% a tablet, 19% an eReader; http://eicker.at/Mobile

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:03 on 25. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Currently, 87% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader, and 19% have a tablet computer; about six in ten adults (63%) go online wirelessly with one of those devices. … Among cell phone owners, 42% own a smartphone as of May 2011. This means that 35% of all American adults own a smartphone. … The financially well-off and well-educated – 59% of adults living in a household earning income of $75,000 or more are smartphone owners; 48% of those with a college degree own smartphones. Those under the age of 45 – 58% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 now own a smartphone as do 49% of those ages 18-24 and 44% of those ages 35-44. … 87% of smartphone owners use their phones to access the internet or email, with 78% of these users saying that they go online using their phone on a typical day. … As of August 2011, half of U.S. adult cell phone owners (50%) now have apps on their phones. … The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. … Texting and picture-taking are the most common mobile phone activities – 73% of cell owners engage in each of these – followed by sending photos or videos to others (54%) and accessing the internet (44%).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 7. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Key Visuals, , , , , , , , , , , , , Studies, , , 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
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    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, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , Studies, , , , , ,   

    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 08:08 on 3. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Destination, , , , , , Diversion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Studies, , , ,   

    Entertainment 

    The Internet is for information only? Not anymore! Pew: it’s for diversion and a destination; http://eicker.at/Entertainment

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:08 on 3. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time, particularly young adults under 30. On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time. Many of them go online in purposeful ways, as well.”

      Pew: “These results come in the larger context that internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58% of all adults (or 74% of all online adults) say they use the internet this way. And a third of all adults (34%) say they used the internet that way ‘yesterday’ – or the day before Pew Internet reached them for the survey. Both figures are higher than in 2009 when we last asked this question and vastly higher than in the middle of the last decade. … The trend also suggests the degree to which the internet has become a competitor to all kinds of other leisure activities that are pursued on other kinds of media. Still, the competition is fuzzy because most other kinds of leisure pursuits that can be digitized – from reading to game playing to ‘watching TV’ and ‘listening to radio’ – are now available online. … Our question wording was simple and did not ask about any particular online ‘fun’ activity, so people were allowed to answer that they were online for fun however they defined the term. – The increases in the number of people going online for fun on a typical day and in the general population of those who ever go online for fun came across all age groups and other demographic cohorts.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 28. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Building Social Proof, Celebrity Social Proof, , Conformity, Expert Social Proof, , , , , , , Public Compliance, , , , , , , , , , Social Proof Marketing, , , , Studies, 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 09:16 on 17. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Reconnecting, , , , , , , , Stay in Touch, , Studies, , , , , ,   

    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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Studies, , , , , , ,   

    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.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 12. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Policy Makers, , , , , , , , , , , , , Studies, , , Teachers, , , , , , ,   

    Social Networking Teenagers 

    Pew: For teenagers having a presence on a social network is almost synonymous with being online; http://eicker.at/SocialTeens

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 12. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified – in both good and bad ways.

      Pew: “We focused our attention in this research on social network sites because we wanted to understand the types of experiences teens are having there and how they are addressing negative behavior when they see it or experience it. As they navigate challenging social interactions online, who is influencing their sense of what it means to be a good or bad ‘digital citizen’? How often do they intervene to stand up for others? How often do they join in the mean behavior?”

      Pew: “This study aims to understand the social and emotional climate that teens experience in spaces where they can interact with others online. There has been considerable concern among parents, teachers, policy makers, and advocates about the nature and intensity of online social encounters among teens. In this research, we pay particular attention to teens’ experiences on social network sites, including Twitter… Do teens find these relatively new online social spaces friendly or hostile or somewhere in between?”

      Pew – Teens and Social Networks: “Internet use is nearly universal among American teens; 95% of those ages 12-17 are internet users, up slightly from November 2004 (when 87% of teens went online). Internet usage is higher among teens than among adults as a whole (as of August 2011, 78% of all adults go online), although internet adoption rates among adults ages 18-29 are identical to those found among teens. … Eight in ten online teens (80%) now use social network sites such as Facebook or MySpace, up from just over half of online teens (55%) the first time we measured social network site usage among teenagers in late 2006. … Overall, Facebook is the dominant social media site among teens, as 93% of teen social media users have a Facebook account. MySpace ranks a distant second in overall usage, with 24% of teen social media users having an account on this site. (Twitter 12%, Yahoo 7%, YouTube 6%) … Teens engage in a wide range of activities on social network sites, with chatting and instant messaging, commenting on their friends’ posts, and posting their own status updates leading the way – just under nine in ten teen social media users do each of these activities. On the other end of the scale, gaming is the least common activity we measured in our survey, as half of teen social media users play games within the context of these sites.

      Pew – Social Media and Digital Citizenship: “The majority of social media-using teens say their experience is that their peers are mostly kind to one another on social network sites, but their views are less positive when compared with similar assessments from online adults. … While teens across all demographic groups generally have positive experiences watching how their peers treat each other on social network sites, younger teenage girls (ages 12-13) stand out as considerably more likely to say their experience is that people are mostly unkind. One in three (33%) younger teen girls who uses social media says that people her age are mostly unkind to one another on social network sites, compared with 9% of social media-using boys 12-13 and 18% of boys 14-17. … Nearly two-thirds (65%) of social media-using teens say they personally have had an experience on a social network site that made them feel good about themselves and 58% say they felt closer to another person because of an experience on a social network site. In total, 78% of teens say they have had at least one of the two positive experiences we asked about in our survey.

      Pew – Privacy and safety issues: “[C]lose to half of online teens (44%) admit to lying about their age at one time or another so they could access a website or sign up for an online account. When we asked a similar question in 2000, two years after COPPA’s enactment, just 15% of online teens admitted to lying about their age to gain access to a website… Websites are not currently required to verify a user’s age, and there is an ongoing debate… about whether or not such verification is technically and practically possible. … Roughly one in three online teens (30%) reports sharing one of their passwords with a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. … Password sharing is especially common among users of social network sites; 33% of all teen social network site users say they have shared a password with a friend or significant other, compared with 19% of teen internet users who don’t use social network sites. … Close to two-thirds (62%) of teens who have a social media profile say the profile they use most often is set to be private so that only their friends can see the content they post.

      Pew – The role of parents: “Parents in the United States are still the primary gatekeepers and managers of their teens’ internet experience. … The vast majority of parents of online teenagers have had serious conversations with their kids about the do’s and don’ts of online behavior. … Beyond simply talking with teens about online safety and civility, parents and other adult caregivers have other actions and technical tools at their disposal to help maintain their awareness of their child’s online activities. – Overall, parents are more likely to favor less technical steps for monitoring their child’s online behavior. More than three-quarters (77%) of parents say that they have checked to see what websites their child has visited. Two-thirds of parents of online teens have checked to see what information was available online about their child. … More than half of parents say they use parental controls to manage teens’ internet access; another third use parental controls on teens’ mobile phones.

      Pew – Parents and online social spaces: “Parents see the internet and cell phones’ role as a mixed blessing for their teenagers: Tech helps their kids to be connected and it can bring distressing things into their lives. … 13% of parents of online teens say they know their child has been bothered by something that happened or something they saw online. … The parents of teenagers are steeped in technology and are increasingly involved with their kids’ lives in online environments.

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