Granular Social Networking Stats

Maybe I should have said tabular, but still, this free report from Experian Simmons, entitled the 2010 Social Networking Report contains lots of data on recent increases in social media usage, confirming suspicions that social media networking is indeed on the steep rise. The entire report can be downloaded after filling out some basic information or you can view it online (link here). I thought it worthwhile to quote the follownig two paragraphs from the introduction to give a flavor for the findings:

The 2010 Social Networking Report provides the hard data behind this consumer revolution, including the fact that fully 66% of online Americans use social networking sites today, up from just 20% in 2007. Social networking is an increasingly addictive activity, with nearly half of those who access such sites (43%) reporting that they visit them multiple times per day. While users of social networking sites may have initially signed up to better keep in touch with friends, a growing number say they now use sites like Facebook to connect with family members. An astounding 70% of social networkers keep in touch with family via their various online networks, up from 61% a year ago.

Fully two-thirds of all online adults today have visited a social networking site in the last 30 days, up from 53% in 2008 and 20% in 2007. Social networks have most thoroughly penetrated the young adult market, as nearly 9-in-10 online 18-to 34-year-olds visit such sites today. But even older Americans are tapping into social networks, with 41% of online adults age 50 and older making monthly visits to sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Why "Google" It, When You Can "Twitter" It?

Internet search via search engines has been around a long-time. 15 tech years or more, which is like 102 in people years. Apparently, however, search engines are on the wane, as reported by Hitwise (link here). At least in the U.K. For the month of May, anyway. For the first time, it appears that visits to social networks exceeded visits to search engines. Now, it is kind of unfair to consider this an apples to apples comparison, as they both serve different purposes at present and the difference was approximately .5%.  It is fair to say, however,  that improved search capabilities within social networks might tip the scales even further in the direction of the likes of Twitter and Facebook. During the month, Facebook accounted for the most social networking traffic, followed by YouTube and then Twitter. Check out the graphs from Hitwise, reprinted below:

Another point worth noting is that Google UK was still the top site visited overall. Check out the listings in this chart, also from Hitwise:

Regardless of your take on the results, these still represent some interesting numbers.

How Social Is Your Company?

Infographic time! This one, from Flowtown, measures online social networking activity of the employees of the most socially active companies. Is this sanctioned activity or unsanctioned? Check out the graphic below:

What's Up with Twazzup?

Image representing Twazzup as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Oh no! Not another Twitter client! Let’s get this straight: I promise not to talk about them unless there is something new and interesting to report.

Twazzup (link here) is a well-regarded Twitter search engine. From that starting point, Twazzup reader (link here) is now morphing into a new and interesting way to view Twitter on the web. Beta only for now, but very full-figured.

What makes Twazzup appealing? It is web-based, like Brizzly, which is a big plus for me. It offers all the basic Twitter features, but adds some nice tools via a smooth interface. Controls for your stream, mentions and home are located in a menu bar at the top of the screen. Also like Brizzly, it shows media within the stream.

But what is really special about Twazzup is its filtering – you can get “highlights” on your Twitter stream, lists, messages and mentions, which is pretty darn cool. For a webizen like myself, interested in maximizing the value of time spent online, getting the highlights with a click is a massive plus. “Highlights” are determined by your interactions – who you pay the most attention to and interact with, who has the most Twitter clout, etc. You can also filter with searches, with search terms highlighted in the resulting stream. Lawyers using Twitter and short for time (who isn’t?) might appreciate being able to hit the highlights quickly with coffee or between client meetings and court appearances.

Along with this cool “reader”, Twazzup is currently alpha testing a great analytics tool called Insights, which shows detailed information on keyword searches. If you are interested in such fine-grained Twitter detail, submit your request for an invitation at the link here. Lawyers looking to keep a close watch on their brand, their clients or their practice area keywords might appreciate these search and analyze features.

You can check out Twazzup Reader for yourself at the link above. If you would like to see a fantastic run-through on how Twazzup Reader works, check out Louis Gray‘s video below.

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Making Your Business Card Play Fetch

I admit I have a thing about business cards. Not sure why. I guess I have always loved the graphical representation of a person’s vitals  in two-dimensional format.

I also have a thing about modern iterations of the business card, and have discussed options in previous posts here in the Studio (link here).

Today I found another modern appliance for exchanging contact information: CloudContacts (link here).

CloudContacts is an application that takes your business cards, scans them, and exports them into your email application of choice or whatever system you use for maintaining your contacts.  They also are stored on the web (handy backup). You can see images of your cards on-line. CloudContacts will either return the cards to you or will recycle them (how green!). As stated on their site, CloudContacts accepts cards in the following ways:

  • Mail – shipped via postal mail, FedEx, UPS, DHL and other package carriers
  • CloudContacts Mailer – we can send you a postal mailer – U.S. only – small shipping charge applies
  • NYC Pickup – orders of 300 credits or more – we can pickup your cards at your home or office
  • Email Upload – cards can be emailed via scan or photo using your custom CloudContacts email address
  • Mobile Email – cards can be sent using your mobile phone
  • The really cool part, though, is that CloudContacts will then take that information, go forth out into the wilds of the Social web, collect that person’s social profile information, and bring it back to you. Takes the sleuthing out of your complete connection activity. Available networks included Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Plaxo. Supported email and CRM services included Salesforce, Highrise, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Entourage, Thunderbird, Exchange, and Gmail. More are to be added.

    CloudContacts costs. One credit is good for one business card. $29.95 gives you 100 credits and economics scale in your favor as you ncrease the number of credits you purchase.

    But, if you depend heavily on securing cards and managing that information in a Web 2.0 way, CloudContacts seems a decent investment.

    Sobees: Your Custom Twitter Client

    I know what your thinking: not another Twitter interface! If you are into Twitter, you probably have a favorite or a combination of favorites for desktop and mobile that include Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Tweetie or even web and now mobile Brizzly (a personal fav).  So why should you consider another option?

    Because you never know when one will combine all of the features you really want to have in one package. Sobees (link here), a Windows-based client, is a relatively unfamiliar option, with strengths in the area of customization.

    First of all, Sobees works in XP, Vista and 7, covering a wide span of Windows-based machines. It also incorporates Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace along with Twitter. Next – Sobees gives the user a great deal of latitude in setting up their little “window on the world” with 16 different layouts and a drag and drop your social network interface. You also can choose whether to view your groups in columns or tabs – a nice feature.  There is support for lists and the ability to update all social networks with one, unified status entry – timesaver! Filtering and tweak options are plentiful and easy to set.

    Image Taken from MakeUseOf

    Sobees seems a pretty complete package. Whether you choose the desktop client or web interface (link here), I can’t imagine you could go wrong with the broad feature set.

    Hat tip to MakeUseOf.

    UPDATE: I should add here that, if customize-ability is of high important to you, you may want to check out a future version of Seesmic built on a plug-in architecture powered by Microsoft Silverlight. This means that you will be able to choose from third party developer applications to “plug into” your Seesmic Twitter interface and gain all sorts of added functionality. Consider a bookmarking plug-in for links or a mapping app for geolocation built right into Seesmic. Very, very cool. No foreseeable release date yet, but keep checking the wires (and the Studio).  Hat tip to The Next Web.

    More Social Stats

    If you are looking for material for your next presentation on why professionals should consider the social media option, consider some of these fresh figures from comScore and others, via ResourceShelf (link here.) Here are some that jumped off the computer screen at me:

    • Twitter processed more than 1.2 billion tweets during the month of January, 2010.
    • 1 out of very 4 pages views in the United States during December, 2009 was on one of the main social networking sites, with 1 in 10 page visits worldwide.
    • Over the past year, more users have moved to smartphones, incrasing from 11 percent to 17 percent. 3G phone ownership has expanded from 32 percent to 43 percent. Unlimited data plan subscriptions rose from 16 percent to 21 percent.
    • Cisco released its own estimates that global mobile data traffic has increased by 160 percent over the past year to 90 petabytes per month – the equivalent of 23 million DVDs. This is projected to increase by a figure of 39 times, to approximately 3.6 exabytes per month by 2014.

    So there you have it. We are mobile and social and getting moreso all the time.

    Boston Bar Association – Advanced Social Media

    Looking forward to my presentation along with Doug Cornelius of compliancebuilding.com on Tuesday at the Boston Bar Association’s Computer Law monthly luncheon. Our talk is on “advanced” social media tips and tricks, and is appropriately dubbed “Beyond LinkedIn.” Doug and I are going to focus on how to deal with the objections often raised by individuals and firms to jumping into the on-line networking fray, from managing the expense of time to avoiding the pitfalls of on-line publication.

    Doug and I prepared a great Power Point presentation, which we will both be publishing on our respective blogs after the talk. So, even if you can’t make the talk, you can get the goods!

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    Oxford's Word Of The Year

    I’ve heard of Nobels, Pulitzers, Oscars, Grammies, Emmies and Tonys. But what’ s this? An Oxie?

    The New Oxford American Dictionary has just announced its Word of the Year. Who knew? And guess what? The new word has to do with technology and social networking! Apparently, social media is on the minds of staid old dictionary publishers too.

    The “Oxie” is presented to the 2009 WotY winner  — “unfriend.”

    “Unfriend” is a verb. It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site. This is to be distinguished from “unfollow” which means to stop subscribing to someone’ s posts on a blog, microblog or aggregation site. “Unfriend” is deeper-rooted. It suggests the severing of a more meaningful connection, such as can be found in places like Facebook and MySpace.

    Senior Lexicographer at Oxford U.S. Christine Lindberg explains the choice:

    “It has both currency and potential longevity…. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

    “Lex-appeal?” Now why didn’t that word make the cut?

    You might be interested in some of the runners-up. Here they are, by category:

    Technology

    hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

    intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

    netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

    paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

    sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone

    Economy

    freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

    funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

    zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

    Politics and Current Affairs

    Ardi(Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

    birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

    choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

    death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

    teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)

    Environment

    brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

    green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

    ecotown - a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

    Novelty Words

    deleb – a dead celebrity

    tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

    Check out the Oxford post here. And Hat Tip to Resource Shelf.

    Oxford’s Word Of The Year

    I’ve heard of Nobels, Pulitzers, Oscars, Grammies, Emmies and Tonys. But what’ s this? An Oxie?

    The New Oxford American Dictionary has just announced its Word of the Year. Who knew? And guess what? The new word has to do with technology and social networking! Apparently, social media is on the minds of staid old dictionary publishers too.

    The “Oxie” is presented to the 2009 WotY winner  — “unfriend.”

    “Unfriend” is a verb. It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site. This is to be distinguished from “unfollow” which means to stop subscribing to someone’ s posts on a blog, microblog or aggregation site. “Unfriend” is deeper-rooted. It suggests the severing of a more meaningful connection, such as can be found in places like Facebook and MySpace.

    Senior Lexicographer at Oxford U.S. Christine Lindberg explains the choice:

    “It has both currency and potential longevity…. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

    “Lex-appeal?” Now why didn’t that word make the cut?

    You might be interested in some of the runners-up. Here they are, by category:

    Technology

    hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

    intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

    netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

    paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

    sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone

    Economy

    freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

    funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

    zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

    Politics and Current Affairs

    Ardi(Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

    birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

    choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

    death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

    teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)

    Environment

    brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

    green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

    ecotown - a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

    Novelty Words

    deleb – a dead celebrity

    tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

    Check out the Oxford post here. And Hat Tip to Resource Shelf.