Facebook slump in the UK, but youth interests are solid

Although half the UK population is said to be on Facebook, recent statistics show that FB accounts for less than one eighth of UK internet usage.

The infographic below, created by Experian Hitwise, allocates a month’s usage into one hour:

Although all “Social Media” is grouped together, Facebook only accounts for half of that pie slice.

Therefore, the standard web usage of Entertainment, News, Email, Shopping and Travel continues to dominate.

Complete analysis is clouded, however, with a huge one-third of internet time being left vague, called Other. My guess, based on many other surveys, is that Other will include a lot of youth-oriented sites like YouTube, iTunes, Vevo etc. And that’s where the real importance lies!


A WordPress and Twitter mash-up

The combination of DIY copy-and-paste of Web 1.0 is now well and truly gone. Look at this clever new mash-up between WordPress and Twitter.

Now, all I have to do is get Twitter to automatically tweet about a new post …

Oh, that happens already! Perpetual virtual motion!

3 clicks and 8 seconds – scary update!

3 seconds to load a web pageThe June 2010 Web Analytic Clinic carried out by Marketing Experiments suggests that your web pages must, within three seconds (yes, 3 seconds), answer the questions:

  • where am I
  • what can I do / buy / get here
  • why should I participate / buy

In the ‘old days’ – 2 years ago! – the mantra was 3 clicks and 8 seconds. The new finding shows that:

  • users are bored with bloated websites
  • users are not happy having their time wasted
  • users want websites to be twice as responsive

Think about TV and the attention span of viewers. With hundreds of channels it’s easy to flick to another one if a show or advert fails to engage. With the web there are millions of ‘channels’ to click to.

The marketing gurus at iON suggest three solutions:

  • answer the what (what you can do) before the why (don’t bore us with how good you are)
  • present the ‘problem’ before the solution (old school marketing speak)
  • back up your claims with credibility (so no boasting or hollow testimonials)

As iON say: “Your website should mimic the clarity of a newspaper headline, not the subtlety of a murder mystery novel.”

Third of Americans can’t be bothered with the web!

The breakdown of the American dream? Or just that some folks are too smart to get all tangled up in the current “new fangled” mind accessory?

The latest news is that over one-third of Americans have a distinct lack of interest in broadband and, by that, the web. The reasons given are extremely revealing also, showing that the former front-runner in all things electronic is now dropping behind.

Don’t need it – not interested: 38%

Nearly 40% of those saying they don’t have broadband also say they’re not interested. The country with “everything on, all the time” has, apparently, reached some sort of saturation. Are they too busy already, with enough information coming in via TV? News channels? Radio? Mall life?

Too expensive: 26% / Computer lack: 18%

Here’s another 44% of those without broadband saying they can’t afford it, in one way or another. The service providers, in conjunction with hardware and software companies, have put broadband and the web out of reach of about 20% of the total American population! This, in the “greatest country on God’s earth”? Astonishing.

Here’s the pie graph so you can draw your own conclusions:

non-adoption of broadband in USA 2009

Google, Facebook, Twitter, the web, internet, email – they ALL live!

No, neither the internet nor the web “are dead” and certainly not even dying! EVERY eComm in our headline is GROWING and exponentially.

So let’s ignore the lazy journalists in the news media (newspapers, magazines, tv). And let’s ignore those shallow thinkers that pretend to inform the tech blogs.

pie chart exampleHere’s the thing:

Google = bank

Facebook = hairdresser

Twitter = coffee shop

Every person will go to any one of the six examples as many times as they need. What makes the difference? Easy:

  • current age
  • current economic status
  • current location
  • current culture
  • current technology
  • current peer group

But even more important, most people in developed and developing countries will go to all of them! So the numbers don’t really matter.

Just because more people go to the coffee shop doesn’t mean it is more important than the bank. It doesn’t even mean the coffee shop is more popular.

So ignore the pretenders. An ‘expert’ is really a ‘tryer’ if you go back to the origin of the word. They are trying to make you believe something is important when it is not. They are left behind in their muddled ‘thinking’ while Social Media streaks ahead.

Top 10 Music of the Decade

There are plenty of Top 10 lists of pop or metal or trance or other styles of music. Yet the Noughties is the decade of most change in the history of music. There are plenty of other milestones throughout the course of music history but there is one enormous difference in the decade just gone.

Our top 10 list therefore is not an attempt to compare classical music milestones versus hip hop, or to say that Britney Spears has been the most influential musician on the planet (although planet-wide searches would seem to suggest just that as Britney topped search engine lists from many countries in various years throughout the decade).  However, “planet-wide” is a clue to our focus:

For the first time ever it has been possible for a significant event in music to be available to virtually every country on the planet. This means every fan now has the chance to be connected to musicians to whatever degree they like.

The importance of this fact is revealed in the way Google search top 10 lists will now include manga from Japan alongside a Spanish social network platform. Goodbye president of the United States or British royalty.

Web 2.0 imageNo longer can the traditional newspapers and magazines determine our topics of conversation, nor how wide or deep we follow our interests. Therefore our Top 10 Music of the Decade is as much about context (aka access) as about content.

1. Web 2.0
Without the astonishing array of software and platforms now available, most of the list below would not exist.

Apple iTunes image2. iTunes and Podcasts
Apple not only destroyed the music distribution cartels and marketing-led charts, it provided an enormous doorway into niche interests that had previously been in back corners of just a few music retailers. With anywhere up to 80% market share of digital downloads, depending on country, no-one comes close to Apple in modern music distribution.

But as well as obscure blues or folk or world music, Podcasts enabled millions of fans to access millions of ‘broadcasters’ from ABC or the BBC through to Stephen Fry or “How Stuff Works”. Never before has such a range of high-quality music and special-interest broadcasts been available from one platform and at zero or minimal cost.

Apple iPod image3. iPod
Sony was a great pioneer of portable music with the Walkman but the sheer simplicity and elegance of the iPod, coupled with Dolby quality sound and access-anywhere distribution, lifted the device head and shoulders above the competition.

Last.FM image4. Last.FM
While most other music-streaming services encountered problems (Pandora blocked outside the USA, imeem shut down, Spotify’s failures), Last.FM has stayed at the forefront with a hard-to-beat mix of excellent music, startlingly accurate analysis of music styles and recommendations, plus great social-network features.

YouTube Profile image5. YouTube
With millions of views on millions of video clips every day, plus a huge percentage of those views being of music-related clips, YouTube has overtaken and greatly extended the place previously occupied by MTV.

MySpace Music image6. MySpace
Although no longer the main source for unsigned music and fan information, MySpace is still one of the important channels.

Twitter on iPhone image7. Twitter
There have been a number of social and political scoops via Twitter but for music the Rage Against The Machine campaign (#RATM and #ratm4xmas) resulted in the first singles chart No.1 ever that was exclusively due to digital downloads. Although the concept was announced via Facebook, the Twitter campaign made RATM a trending topic, helping encourage over 500,000 people to download the song Killing In The Name. The RATM campaign was able to outsell 19 million X Factor fans.

Sony Ericsson W850 Walkman image8. Mobile Phone
The iPhone astounded and outsold most individual models of the entrenched and complacent mobile phone companies, as well as delivering one great benefit – most mobiles are now very capable portable music devices. What Apple, iTunes, iPod and the iPhone created has been adopted by every major mobile technology company. Users have Apple to thank for that particular music revolution.

Peer-to-Peer image9. Peer-to-Peer
Although the fundamental question of whether an owner of a song or movie should be allowed to share it with friends is still being debated, the online sharing and download technologies were advanced enormously during the development of peer-to-peer. It is likely that most P2P will be replaced by streaming platforms in the near future, but no review of the Noughties is complete without a Top 10 rank for peer-to-peer.

Wikipedia Ying Yang image10. Blogs and Wikipedia
There are a few print magazines that cover specific genres of music but keen fans now use blogs and other online sources for information, everything from detailed histories and biographies on Wikipedia through to instant updates via Twitter.

Life imitating art – and Web 2.0 inspires fashion

Vogue Italia inspired by Twitter and TwitPic/TweetPic

Models of today are of the iShot generation and Vogue Italia decided to reflect the importance of self-image in a TwitPic/TweetPic way, allowing the models to pose and shoot themselves.

This Twitter-focus is the second major feature by Vogue Italia on Web 2.0 after they ran a webcam/YouTube issue in January 2007.

Vogue Italia inspired by the iShot generation

We applaud this approach. Just as changes in cameras aided creativity, often in new ways, so too has the web assisted, developed and changed our ideas of creativity and communication.

Good or bad? We think good, very good. And is the medium still the message? Well from our perspective, the medium is definitely a very large part of the message. Enjoy.