July 27, 2007
Interesting research on online video usage
The Pew Internet & American Life Project released some interesting research about online video usage. It was especially interesting to see those results in light of a project that we are working on (work in progress at www.crappybills.com - feedback welcome!).
57% of online adults have used the Internet to watch or download videos, and 19% do so on a daily basis. More than half (57%) of online video viewers share links with others, and 75% say they receive links to online videos from others!
For young adults (18-29) comedy is the biggest draw, with 56% watching humorous videos.
September 26, 2006
The future of the Internet
Major predictions by 2020 include:
- A low-cost global network will be thriving and creating new opportunities in a “flattening” world.
- Humans will remain in charge of technology, even as more activity is automated and “smart agents” proliferate. However, a significant 42% of survey respondents were pessimistic about humans’ ability to control the technology in the future. This significant majority agreed that dangers and dependencies will grow beyond our ability to stay in charge of technology. This was one of the major surprises in the survey.
- Virtual reality will be compelling enough to enhance worker productivity and also spawn new addiction problems.
- Tech “refuseniks” will emerge as a cultural group characterized by their choice to live off the network. Some will do this as a benign way to limit information overload, while others will commit acts of violence and terror against technology-inspired change.
- People will wittingly and unwittingly disclose more about themselves, gaining some benefits in the process even as they lose some privacy.
- English will be a universal language of global communications, but other languages will not be displaced. Indeed, many felt other languages such as Mandarin, would grow in prominence.
Some of those predictions seem like they are already upon us and not 14 years out into the future.
It is especially great to see that 56% of the people who were surveyed believed in this scenario: "By 2020, this free flow of information will completely blur current national boundaries as they are replaced by city-states, corporation-based cultural groupings and/or other geographically diverse and reconfigured human organizations
tied together by global networks."
Unfortunately, many still believe that "governments and corporations will not necessarily embrace policies that will allow the network to spread to under-served populations; that serious social inequalities will persist." And according to the report "The experts and analysts also split evenly on a central question of whether the world will be a better place in 2020 due to the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the internet: 46% agreed that the benefits of greater transparency of organizations and individuals would outweigh the privacy costs and 49% disagreed.The experts and analysts also split evenly on a central question of whether the world will be a better place in 2020 due to the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the internet: 46% agreed that the benefits of greater transparency of organizations and individuals would outweigh the privacy costs and 49% disagreed."
July 25, 2006
2 and 3 word key-phrases make up more than 50% of search-engine queries
According to Onestat, only 11.4% of all search queries are one-word phrases. 3 and 4 word phrases make up more than 50% of all queries (via Blog SEO). Surprisingly, even 4 word phrases surpass 1 word phrases by almost 50%.
It is also interesting to notice the cultural differences in the research - Canadians top search queries are 4 word phrases (24.02% of all queries) followed by 3 word phrases, while Germans clearly prefer 2 word phrases (making up 40.05% of all queries) followed by one word phrases.
All in all pretty strong proof that search engine marketers should invest primarily into multi-keyword phrases instead of standalone keywords.
June 2, 2006
Pew: 35% of all internet users have posted content online
Pew Internet & American Life Project Report found that "35% of all Internet users have posted one or more of four types of content to the internet: having one's own blog; having one's own webpage; working on a blog or webpage for work or a group; or sharing self-created content such as a story, artwork, or video." If you only look at broadband internet users, that number becomes 42% (via ClickZNews - click here for PDF download of the report).
"Sharing a variety of creations online is among the most popular kinds of user generated content," says the report, in fact, 26% of internet users "have shared their own artwork, photos, stories, or videos on the internet." Younger people are more likely to do so, with 51% of the "under 30" home broadband users posting content online vs. 36% of older high-speed users.
Combine this with some other research - like the one that says that adults spend as much time online as watching TV - and you can start seeing, in quantifiable ways, the potential creative effects of the Internet as well as the already obvious enhanced social networking effects.
But considering that the study found a statistical correlation between broadband use and many of its other findings, it also goes to show that governments have a duty to ensure that a high-quality, high-speed Internet infrastructure is accessible to all its citizenry - not exactly a feat that many large western democracies can point to.
October 19, 2005
Long Tail or Barry Diller?
Here's Barry Diller at his provocative best (or worst, depending on your point of view):
"There aren't that many people in that many closets who are really talented and can't find their way out." "Making a television program or a movie or a song — there are going to be relatively few who do that because there's simply not enough talent. Maybe that's an utter birdbrained statement, but there you are — it's mine."
Mr. Diller was sharing his insights about the future of new media. In a nutshell his take is that "real talent" is rare, and the proliferation of user-generated media such as blogging and podcasting is much ado about nothing, The way he sees it, the real game is to match high-quality content (and the A-list talent that creates it) to new-media delivery systems.
So, is Diller right? According to him, hits drive media consumption and a small core of high-quality; i.e., not user generated, content will get it done. Maybe I'm guilty of drinking the web 2.0 CoolAid, but I think he is about to be proven wrong. Yes, professionally produced content will dominate, but the old 20/80 ratio of percent of available content to percent of total consumption can't last. Key to its demise is the long tail of content made available to us by the internet.
July 31, 2005
Is Skype For Sale?
Tell me it isn't so! But it definitely appears that Skype is "in play" to be bought. At least that is the word from Bob Cringely in his latest post at i,cringely According to him, Skype was "almost" sold last week to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for $3 billion. Not clear why the deal did not go thru, although Cringely suggests that Murdoch wasn't really serious about buying Skype but wanted to get a look at their books for a free education about the VoIP business.
Cringely also thinks that the $3 billion price tag is a pretty good deal. Think of it this way: If 20 million of Skype's total installed based of 140 million are active users, then the market value of a Skype customer is around $150. While that may seem like a lot of money, it is around 10 percent of the imputed value of a traditional telephone, mobile telephone, or cable television customer. So from which of these three categories is the next Skype suitor likely to emerge? For now, I'll go along with Cringely and bet on a mobile carrier with no fixed telephone assets. In fact, I'll put my money on Vodaphone.
July 17, 2005
I thought the bubble had burst
Here is an excerpt of an article I came across in Computer Business Review Online. I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1. Actually it was reported just last week. Maybe news of the collapse of the dotcom bubble was slow to reach Canada. I've deleted the name of the company to protect the innocent.
"_____________, a start-up that plans to develop a web-based collaboration software package that will enable estranged parents to communicate directly with each other instead of using their children as messengers, is planning to raise $400,000 in an IPO.
The Calgary, Canada-based company, which hopes its shares will be listed on the over-the-counter market, is unusual in making a public offering. Early-stage companies normally rely on venture capitalists to get off the ground.
However, it is doubtful whether a VC would put any money into ______on the strength of its SEC filing. The company has not yet developed a product, and research into the potential market has simply consisted of web searches.
"We are currently devoting 100% of our human resources to the development and approval of this prospectus and, due to the lengthy approval process, we do not expect to begin any product development until after the effective date of this prospectus," said the company.
Potential investors will have to be patient. "The ______ Development system is not developed at this time, there are no 'beta' versions available, and _______ Development does not expect that the system will be functional until at least 6 months after the effective date of this prospectus," it said.
All _______ consists of is an idea for its system. It acknowledged: "We are attempting to create a commercially viable product based on a yet undeveloped software concept."
Heck, just a few years ago these folks could have added an exta zero to the sum they are trying to raise with no problem. To paraphrase Robert Duval, "I love the smell of burning money in the morning."
May 21, 2005
Building a new web site in "public"
In the spirit of participating in "market conversations" (after all, I was one of the very early cluetrain manifesto signatories) I have been tinkering with the idea of moving away from the "traditional" corporate web site metaphor and towards a more "conversational" web site for awhile - and finally decided to try out it with BlogBridge. I am sure I am not the first one to come up with this, but if you have some cycles to look at our work-in-progress, I would really appreciate the feedback. The new and experimental site still has some technical issues and lacks the "in-depth" content for now, but you should be able to get the gist of it and tell us what your initial reaction is.
April 16, 2005
Interesting read: The web's future is you...
For the second week in a row, business week has an article on a tagging service - this time Flickr. the article does not focus on the tagging part of things that much but rather on what the next period of the internet might bring:
"The first period involved shifting real-world activities such as shopping and dating into a virtual world, dominated by the PC. But in the Net's second act -- the era of broadband -- creative power will shift into the hands of individuals, who will be just as likely to generate and share their own content as to consume someone else's. Then, sites like Flickr could evolve into shared pools of real-time footage on breaking news -- the floods, funerals, and affairs of state that bloggers have already tackled in the world of text."