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The State of the Blogosphere 2010


Technorati published the newest edition of their annual analysis of the State of the Blogosphere a couple of weeks ago.  To be honest there were no extreme surprises or developments for me. The most surprising and somehow unexpected part was that two-thirds of all bloggers are male. I am not trying to sound uber-feminist but – seriously?!?!?

On the other hand one of the most prominent trends of the year is the rise of mommy-bloggers. I am quite content that the analysis actually accounts for the power that this community has, and recognizes them as an up and coming trend to be paid attention to.

The other trend that is surely to be recognized is the adoption of tablets and mobile devices that enable bloggers to upload posts constantly and immediately. This definitely makes blogging more spontaneous, but in the same time shortens the content and makes it simple and to the point.

Of course Facebook and Twitter are adopted by the large majority of bloggers, and will continue to be used as platforms for sharing and promoting blogs.

Key Findings:

–          Mobile blogging in definitely on the rise.

–          Great influence of women and mom bloggers on the blogosphere, mainstream media, and brands.

–          40% of poeple agree with bloggers’ views, and their trust in mainstream media is dropping.

–          Professionals have an average of 3.5 blogs.

–          11% say blogging is their primary income source.

–          Only 3% of respondents overall report updating their blog five or more times a day.

–          Many Part Timers (49%) and Self Employed bloggers (62%) say they are blogging more because it has proven to be valuable for promoting their business.

–          42% of respondents say they blog about brands they love or hate, while 34% say they never talk about brands on their blog.

–          64% of respondents believe that brand representatives treat bloggers less professionally than they treat traditional media.

–          63% of respondents agree that they have become more involved with their passion areas as a result of blogging.

–          74% of all respondents describe their blogging style as “sincere,” and 64% describe their style as conversational.

–          78% of bloggers surveyed are using Twitter.

–           9 out of 10 (87%) bloggers surveyed use Facebook.

–          49% reported using a free third-party hosting service.

27% of Self-Employed bloggers said that blogging has had the greatest impact on business.

 

This is just a short snippit with some of the most interesting findings, I strongly suggest browsing through all the segments of the study…

Intro

Day 1: WHO: Bloggers, Brands and Consumers

Day 2: WHAT: Topics and Trends

Day 3: HOW: Technology, Traffic and Revenue

Hurray for the New Twitter!


Twitter has evolved!! At last!!  It has pictures, and videos, and maps, and it is all on the same page, and you don’t have to go back and forth, and you can search so much easier, (phew!) yeah I am excited!

I am still discovering all the little new developments, as I just got updated like yesterday, but so far so good!

But dear Twitter peeps, one little thing- can you add a date! You can still say 1 hour ago, but please do add a date somewhere on the tweets… just a little suggestion.

Oh yeah… and they have a pretty sweet ad to promote their developments.

The Alphabet according to Google


So the almighty Google introduced Google Instant this week, and of course the blogosphere picked up the news and opinions, experiments and predictions filled the news.

An interesting experiment was conducted by @jeffjarvis and then picked up by AdAge and many other bloggers… So I too decided to see what is up with the Google Alphabet and compare to the others…

As Google representatives stated that the algorithms for Google Instant are the same as Autocomplete, and it sorts by popularity and changes the order,  my alphabet is a bit different than the others I have seen. However I assume the results are location based, and not very personalized as I have never searched for any of the top results.

A is fo Amazon

B for Best Buy

C for Craigslist

D is for Dictionary

E for Ebay

F for facebook

G is for Gmal (of course)

H for Hotmail

I is for IKEA

J for Jet Blue

K for Kohls

L for Lowes

M is for Mapquest

N means Netflix

O is for Orbitz

P is for Pandora

Q is for Quotes

R is Rei

S Is for Sears

T for Target

U for USPS

V for Verizon

W for Weather

X  is Xbox

Y- Yourtube

Z for Zillow

Twitter Almighty- Conan Turns a Michigan Girl Into A Celeb


Due to the academic sprit that has been haunting my being in the past few weeks (due to the looming deadline of my dissertation proposal) I have been thinking of case studies, examples, anecdotes, happenings, and even mishappenings, that are connected with establishing a personal brand-self-celebrity status via the mighty means of social media. Or in a simple sentence- what does it take, to make it in Web 2.0?

Excitingly I will say- luck.

After much noise and trepidation, Conan O’Brien as many know is not without a show, or as his twitter bio says: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.”

After a few funny, but kind of pointless tweets, Conan tweeted:



From this point on, indeed the life of Sarah Killen from Michigan, or @LovelyButton on Twitter has been dramatically changed. She now has over thirteen thousand, yes that is 13,000 followers on Twitter- compared to 3 (three) pre-Conan.

Sarah tweeted: @LovelyButton: everyone wants to know how many followers I had pre- Conan. The number you are looking for is 3. lol

So the outreach she could get expanded in more than a geometrical progression, which for a girl whose bio says: I love to smile and have fun in life. I think that anyone and anything can be forgiven and we should all just love and be” is great because we need more sunny and positive people to be heard and followed.

And not only this, because the number of followers is not precisely a measure of “making it”, Sarah is now on the MTV news. Watch the video at :  http://newsroom.mtv.com/2010/03/06/conan-obrien-twitter-2/

Her name is all over the news, YouTube and Twitter. And she was sent freebies (e.g. a mac computer) and perhaps a wedding dress by Kelima K.

Sarah being a sweetheart tweeted:

This is great. My little heart warms up that miracles like that happen, and a Tweet such as “Sarah likes Twizzlers and craves cantaloupe. I like Raisinets, but melon feels creepy in my mouth. Twitter pals 4 eva! :)” can change  someone’s life (perhaps for the better) forever.

This is the power of Twitter and social networking, it happens instantly, and brings avalanche-like results and consequences. Now everything Sarah says or does will be in the news. She interviewed with the LA Times telling her story. Conan created a phenomenon- a complete stranger, turned into celebrity for less than 24 hours. A well planned PR plot, or a sincere congeniality- the important thing is that one girl’s life in Michigan is being transformed.

And this is the power of Twitter. A Cinderella-like story, that is a great case study, hopefully it will be all for the best and would not turn into a farce. As for now l hope Sarah enjoys the situation, and keeps her positive outlook, no matter what happens in future.

Virtual Revolution


As an internet addict and a social media enthusiast I am super hooked on a BBC documentary called Virtual Revolution on the BBC iPlayer.  Created and narrated by Aleks Krotoski, it is an amazing eye-opener on many topics connected to the web such as history of the internet, online security, social networking, online behaviour, future development, and in 4 parts provides more information about the web than I have probably ever known.

Without providing any further spoilers I will just say everybody who has ever been online should watch it. Aleks interviews gurus such as Stephen Fry, Jeff Bezos,  Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, dana boyd, Al Gore and Mark Zuckerberg, goes to places that normal people don’t go- such as an internet server, and covers issues such as internet addiction, and the changes in human behaviour caused by the use of the web.

A little sneak peak, just for a teaser:

Having said all that, I do hope it sounds cool, because it is; but there is much more-  connected to the programme there is a research going on by the BBC UK Labs. Which I personally took and think is valid. Yes it is one of these facebook type personality testes that we all do when we want to procrastinate, but the outcomes of this one will actually further the understanidng of how being online so often and for so long actually changes the way we think and we behave. As society is becoming more and more web-savvy, and as our communications are becoming more and more online-based is it a good thing to know how this affect us as human beings, and whether we develop or… just become online zombies staring at a computer 24/7 as our brains slowly melt under the radiation of the monitor, just like our social contacts and people skills. (a widely shared view by some)

The test is cute. You answer questions, click on pictures, memorize numbers, it is fun and fast. The result is- a web animal. There are 8 of them, and each is in a category between slow vs fast moving,  solitary vs social and adaptable vs. specialized. It is like a fun version of the Myers-Briggs, only more fun.

I turned out to be a Web Elk, and here is my description:

You are a Web Elk  

Slow-moving – Web Elks like you take their time finding exactly the right morsels of information – just like the real-world elk who carefully browses for shoots and leaves to eat.

Sociable – Real-world elks are social and stay in herds to protect themselves from predators. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.

Specialised – Web Elks perform best when they focus on one thing at a time, rather than trying to multitask. Just as the real-world Elk is perfectly specialised for its environment, you have learned that while the web makes it possible to multitask, it’s not always the best approach.

And here are all the other web-animals that you can be:

Go to the http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/ and find out which one is you, then post a comment, and we can make little herds or flocks of different web-creatures. Enjoy!

The Buzz of a New Religion?


I converted to be a follower of The Google about a year ago, from being a faithful yahoo! email user for years.

Since my conversion I have discovered how great The Google is, and now I am an orthodox google user. I believe in gmail, gchat, google reader, documents, and oh yes, g’praise the google scholar and google books!!

As a true follower I was super excited when the new Google Wave came to being, and tried to utilize its awesome functions, but there I was standing alone. I tried to make my buddies convert and join, and they did… only join, never fully converted, and never became active users of the new tools. So my Wave-citement died off eventually.

Now The Google released its new prophet- The Buzz!. For a day it is Buzzing everywhere from Twitter, to Blogs, to the almighty CNN for crying out loud, but is it really that buzz-worthy?! No one really knows, and only time will show whether it will become a true religion. But as of right now critics on the web are quite controversial, some love it, some hate it, some find it pointless, some call it Buzz-kill.

The question is- do we really need yet another social network world to be created for us faithful devotees of the social media trends? And if so, do our friends on the social networks we are already using need another one?! Because it is all about networking, right? And to network you need people, and having friends, followers, diggers, lovers, readers, etc.  So how many of the Facebookers will convert to be Buzzers?

Facebook, was successful enough to become the grand deity of social networks, because a lot of people converted from MySpace, and Hi5, and LiveJornal, and all the other known and unknown networking sites we all register in to connect with this one friend who sent us an invite.  Facebook succeeded to become a massive monstrous idol swallowing everything else, because it has only one face, only one function, and us 400 million innocent souls who joined it knew exactly what we are going to get, and why we join. It is simple. So is Twitter. Simple.  140 characters. You know what you get. You know why you are a disciple. You know why you like it. And you know all your friends are there already.

The Google on the other hand is one of the deities with many faces, many hands, and multiple personalities. Buzz is one of them. So was Wave. But will people convert from a simple, focused platform, that they use and are happy with, and all their friends are there, to venture out to the unknown pastures of the “same platform different domain”-type of site? I doubt it.

So far it is kind of a buzz-kill. Even if there is a chance of people converting from Facebook and Twitter to Buzz, it is going to be hard because many of our communities on these already established networking sites are already set. Groups. Fans. Picture albums. Profiles. They are already on, and being used, shared and commented on. A lot of the people on my Facebook are not in my Gmail. And most of the people on my Twitter are not in my Gmail. It is going to take a lot of effort to change people’s social network affiliation, and as long they are happy with what they have (and so far they are) they shall hardly venture out.  Perhaps it is a little fail for the Google-sanctuary.

Perhaps The Google should try to create something that is new and cool, such as Reader, and Scholar and Books, and not really attempt in the social networking domain, as there are my other powerful creatures who rule over it, and it is very hard to break their mighty grasp.