Archive for the ‘Internet – Soc Networking’ Category

Screen time: Seniors complain about youngsters, but…

September 6, 2019

Nielsen study upends conventional wisdom.


Many parents and grandparents fret that  today’s youth (i.e. their kids) are screen-obsessed.

But, according to a Nielsen study channeled by The Economist, when all screens are accounted for, it’s older folk who seem most addicted.


Let’s break down the numbers…


Hacked: Identity thieves target Millennials …

March 29, 2018

The Facebook brouhaha reminded me that it has been awhile since we’ve posted about identity theft.

Obviously, the problem hasn’t gone away, so it’s time for a booster shot.

According to a Javelin Strategy Identity Fraud report, thieves stole $16 billion from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014.

With a new identity fraud victim every two seconds, there is still significant risk to consumers.

The FTC reports that Americans age 20-29 make up 15% of identity theft complaints.


Javelin agrees that millennials are particularly ripe targets for identity thieves.


Why I think that the Facebook brouhaha re: privacy will fade.

March 28, 2018

According to Pew, teens don’t care (and, they’re in control now, right?)
Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .


Here are the Pew results …


Want higher exam grades?

January 31, 2017

Well, then quit browsing the Internet during class.


A recent study by psychology researchers at Michigan State University investigated students’ actual Internet usage during classes.


The students agreed to have their in-class browsing activity monitored .

The researchers then matched the browsing activity with the students’ self-reported browsing behavior, their overall academic readiness (think: SAT / ACT scores), their self-reported motivation and interest in the class, and their performance on the course’s final exam.

Here’s what the researchers discovered …


Hacked: Identity thieves target Millennials …

October 7, 2015

It has been awhile since we’ve posted about identity theft.

The problem hasn’t gone away, so it’s time for a booster shot.

According to the Javelin Strategy 2015 Identity Fraud report, thieves stole $16 billion from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014.

With a new identity fraud victim every two seconds, there is still significant risk to consumers.

The FTC reports that Americans age 20-29 make up 15% of identity theft complaints.


Javelin agrees that millennials are particularly ripe targets for identity thieves.


Uh-oh: Hacker hits on Ashley Madison …

July 21, 2015

This may be bigger than the Feds having 20 or 30 million digital personnel files tapped by hackers.

Ashley Madison got hacked and over 37 million customer files have been taken hostage,

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Ashley Madison is a sleazy, Canadian based “online dating and social networking service” that “discretely” hooks up folks who are already in a relationship, i.e. married.

Some background:

The name of the site was created from two popular female names, “Ashley” and “Madison” … the site’s slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The site has been around for about 15 years and gets about 125 million hits each month (pun intended).

Reportedly, 70% of the site’s members are guys … no surprise there.


That’s the back-story … now for the “so what?” …


What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

April 14, 2015

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .


Here are the Pew results …


What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 30, 2014


Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .


Here are the Pew results …


NetTrax: You can run, but you can’t hide …. MORE

June 14, 2013

Yesterday we posted about a company developing algorithms that comb through key factors including content of posts, and location, among others

…..  to provide a very to develop a identify and “unify social profiles” for users who may be using different names or handles on each of their social networks.


The post elicited strong interest and 2 replies that I want to highlight.

The first is from Niv Singer, Chief Technology Officer at Tracx … the man, and the company referenced.


Gotcha: If you don’t smoke, why are you buying Marlboros?

June 13, 2013

Consumers are signing up to share personal data at an alarming rate via sleep monitors, pedometers and activity trackers, dietary logs, brainwave monitors, grocery and restaurant loyalty cards, credit cards, Foursquare and Facebook check-ins, photo geotagging, and other digital means.


As insurers, lenders, and others attempt to manage risk, they will inevitably turn alternative data sources to round out the picture of each consumer applicant –

Here are some ways that companies can (and are) using the data they collect on you.


Pssst: What’s your pet’s name?

June 11, 2013

According to Javelin Strategy & Research … 1 in 8 onliners post their pet’s name to social media sites, even though its a fairly common challenge question used to confirm identities.

More generally, Javelin warns that consumers’ social media and mobile behaviors may be putting them at greater risk.



in 2011,  identity fraud increased by 13 percent … more than 11.6 million adults became a victim of identity fraud in the United States,

Javelin reports that “consumers are still sharing a significant amount of personal information frequently used to authenticate a consumer’s identity.”


  • 68 percent of people with public social media profiles shared their birthday information (with 45 percent sharing month, date and year);
  • 63 percent shared their high school name;
  • 18 percent shared their phone number;
  • 12 percent shared their pet’s name

All are prime examples of personal information a company would use to verify you


“No direct access to our central servers” … hmmm.

June 8, 2013

Last Thursday, the Washington Post outted the Feds Internet monitoring program Prism.

For details see the Washington Post article: NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program


On Friday, most of the Internet companies reported to be part of the Fed’s Prism monitoring program expressed outrage and denied their involvement.

Did you notice that practically all of the denials centered  on the same exact phrase:

That the companies didn’t provide the Feds withdirect access to our central servers”.

Hmmm … that raises some questions, doesn’t it?


What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 29, 2013


Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .


Here are the Pew results …


NetTrax: You’re leaving cookie crumbs on the net … lots of them

May 8, 2013

What happens when you click to a web site?

Short answer: you have new cookies installed on your computer or have old cookies modified  … whether you know it or not … and  you then spew crumbs all over the Internet … letting companies track you, profile you, and hard sell you stuff.

Here’s a visual of what a couple of clicks can do … each dot represents a  site or company that can grab your information … just because you innocently clicked.

Later we’ll explain the graphic and what’s going on.


First some background on web tracking …


Pssst: Facebook is stalking you in stores ….

April 16, 2013


Ostensibly to see if its sponsors’ ads are working.

But, some skeptics (e.g. me) think that there may be other motives, too.

Here’s the scoop.

Last year, Facebook entered into a partnership with a company called Datalogix.


Everybody knows what Facebook does.

Datalogix, not so much.

Datalogix is a firm that records the purchasing patterns of more than 100 million American households.

When you stop by the supermarket … you probably hand the cashier a loyalty card to get a discount on your items.

That card ties your identity to your purchases.

Your sales data is sent over to a server maintained by Datalogix, which has agreements with hundreds of major retailers to procure such data.

Source: Slate


Facebook and Datalogix … why the hook-up?


Nums: What percentage of Facebook users click on the ads?

April 15, 2013

According to an AP-CNBC poll

User clicks are a critical part of an advertiser’s calculus when gauging the effectiveness of those ads and how much they’re willing to pay for them.

So, how does Facebook do?


Here are some survey results …


No lights, no problem: Dunk (and tweet) in the dark

February 5, 2013

Oreo’s quick thinking during the infamous Super Bowl blackout generated a spontaneous twitter ad that caught the attention of millions. 


Anyone watching the Super Bowl this evening saw a great game — and one of the greatest embarrassments in pro sports history: a power outage that halted play for a full half-hour.

As both teams, tens of thousands inside New Orleans’ Superdome and millions watching on TV waited, Oreo came up with an idea so brilliant and bold that it out and out won the night.


Dopes: A-Rod on juice; Ray Lewis on deer spray … say, what?

January 30, 2013

OK, let’s start with the garden variety doping allegation.

Several news sources reported that Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees was “ensnared in a doping investigation once again when an alternative weekly newspaper reported baseball’s highest-paid star was among a half-dozen players listed in records of a Florida clinic the paper said sold performance-enhancing drugs.”

Technical question: What the heck is an “alternative weekly newspaper”?  What is it an alternative to?

The Miami New Times said the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables near Rodriguez’s offseason home.

Another technical question: What the heck is an “anti-aging” clinic?  Glad to see it closed.

The New York Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.


Now let’s move to the jaw-dropper: Raven’s LB Ray Lewis Accused of Using Performance Enhancing Deer Spray.


Happy Birthday from Facebook and your lazy friend …

January 18, 2013

Punch line: Facebook takes a crack at monetizing the site for retailers, adding a ‘Gifts’ feature that allows users to purchase and send an actual gift to friends. 

Facebook uses that friend’s profile to suggest gifts based on their interests and ‘likes.’ 


Excerpted from’ “Facebook Unwraps Gift Products”

Remember when giving someone a gift on Facebook was like sending them a really intricate emoticon?

Yeah, people stopped doing that, and so did Facebook.

Now the social network is hoping people will start sending each other actual gifts.

Here’s how FB plans to do it …


High frequency: You’re the asset being traded …

December 7, 2012

Punch line: In milliseconds, advertisements are being served based on your browsing habits.

Behind the every one of these ad placement opportunities is a sophisticated tracking system that allows access to the highest bidder.

* * * * *
Excerpted from New York Times’ “Your Online Attention, Bought in an Instant”

ad-impression - image from The Gaurdian

The odds are that access to you — or at least the online you — is being bought and sold in less than the blink of an eye.

How it works …


Social media drove Cyber Monday, right?

November 29, 2012

Wrong !

Cyber Monday sales nearly doubled from last year, with mobile shopping playing a large role in those numbers.

Despite high mobile numbers, social media drove very few sales during Cyber Monday.

* * * * *
Excerpted from’s, “Cyber Monday Mobile Purchases Nearly Double From 2011”

Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day ever and mobile shopping played a significant role in its growth.

Spending increased 30.3% from the previous year, with mobile devices accounting for accounted for 12.9% of all sales. That’s a 96% increase from 2011.

Mobile sales were lower on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, however, a change that IBM attributes to more customers returning to work and shopping from their PCs.

Both mobile traffic and mobile sales fell by 20% from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

Despite the overall spending increases, the average order size dipped 6.6% to $185.12, the report said.

Social sales also decreased, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated just 0.41% of all online sales, a 26% drop from 2011.

Below is a neat summary infographic

Romney & Obama wield Mean Girls GIFs, pumpkin bread recipes & Spotify playlists

October 24, 2012

Punch line:In 2012, it is not enough for candidates to shake some hands, kiss a baby or two and run some TV ads. They also need to be posting funny pictures on Tumblr and snarky comments on Twitter.

* * * * *

Excerpted from The New York Times’, “Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters”


If the presidential campaigns of 2008 were dipping a toe into social media like Facebook and Twitter, their 2012 versions are well into the deep end.

At stake, the campaigns say they believe, are votes from citizens, particularly younger ones, who may not watch television or read the paper but spend plenty of time on the social Web.

The techniques may be relatively new, but they are based on some old-fashioned political principles … “The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to win” .

“It’s about authentic, two-way communication,” said Adam Fetcher, deputy press secretary for the Obama campaign.

“Social media is a natural extension of our massive grass-roots organization.”

Though the returns on such efforts are not easily quantifiable, neither party is taking any chances.

Edit by JDC

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Obama’s social media barrage …

October 22, 2012

According to AdAge

Obama is out slugging Romney in digital with 93% ‘Share of Voice’ in Online Ads.

The Barack Obama and Mitt Romney camps may be emptying their war chests this month to go head-to-head in TV spots in swing states, but the online battle is a more lopsided affair.

According to research by the analytics company Moat, the Obama campaign had a 93.3% share of voice in terms of display-impression volume in September across the top 20,000 publishers, compared with the Romney campaign’s 6.7%.

Obama had 497 creative executions deployed across the web compared with the Romney camp’s 90.

30% of the Obama ads have a Yahoo Genome tag, which “suggests use of audience and data targeting.”

The top five domains where President Obama’s ads were spotted in that period were,,, and

Romney’s top five were,,, and

The scale and sophistication of the Obama campaign’s digital ad operation should come as no surprise … the campaign opened a “tech field office” in San Francisco last winter that’s staffed largely by volunteers who work around their day jobs.

Romney’s digital director acknowledged that his side is being outspent on digital, but said that they’re trying to win by purchasing efficiently and working with third-party vendors to identify key buckets of voters in swing state.

“If [they] have money to burn … good for them … It’s a spray-and-pray model.”

““Obama had 27 million followers on his Facebook page, we had less than 5 million … But when the ruling came, we saw 27% engagement with our audience while they only got 1.5%.”

The post-mortem to this election will be interesting … both from a political perspective and re: target marketing and digital media.

Obama’s team is clearly at the forefront of using technology to pinpoint people, dope them out psychographically, and get to them through digital means … Romney’s team is pretty “old school”, largely relying on traditional research and methods.

Only complicator is that Obama is spending lots of $$$ on that old school stuff, too … so might be had to sort out which of his marketing techniques are delivering.

And, of course, the product and message matter, too …

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Hey, Facebook … China still doesn’t like you.

October 18, 2012

Punch line: As Facebook reaches a billion global users, the company is turning to new tactics to drive international growth.  Despite China’s firm ban on Facebook, Facebook still has opportunity in other Facebook-inclined countries.

* * * * *
Excerpted from’s, “How Facebook Will Find its Next Billion Users”

Facebook crossed the billion-user threshold last week but where it finds its next billion is a tough question, especially since the world’s largest internet market, China, is still closed to the social network.

Facebook’s mature markets are saturated. In the U.S., 61% of the 65-and-older population visited Facebook in August, while 87.3% of the 18-to-24 set did.  It’s hard to imagine those numbers getting much higher as growth has slowed to 2% a month.


For Facebook, Japan qualifies as an emerging market, as does South Korea.  In Russia … the company is being upfront about its aspirations. CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent last week in Moscow, where he hosted a competition for developers to build Facebook apps tailored for the Russian market.

While it might appear that Facebook has already conquered markets such as Brazil (where it surpassed once-dominant Orkut last year) and the Philippines, millions more are likely to come online there in the next several years and will be apt to share their fellow citizens’ appetite for Facebook.

Advertising may play a part in recruiting the next billion users. Working with an agency, Facebook unveiled its first brand ad last week. The ad … was made for existing users, but also contains a message for nonusers, even without a distinct call to action.  Facebook noted the purpose of the ad isn’t to promote growth.

Facebook plans to distribute the spot using its own ad products, and the 13 markets selected shed some light on where the company thinks its next billion users could be, even if it’s not being overt in its messaging. The ad will be promoted in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico and India, as well as in what Facebook hopes are markets fueling future growth: Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Japan and Russia.

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Xbox: Your source for beauty and fashion

October 16, 2012

Punch line: Xbox targets the 40% of female Xbox users by launching the first female-tailored app – a beauty and fashion app produced and branded by L’Oreal.

* * * * *
Excerpted from’s, “L’Oreal Seeks Women in Unlikely Place: On Xbox”

L’Oréal is looking for women in a surprising place — on Xbox 360.


The beauty behemoth unveiled “The Next Level” app on Microsoft’s Xbox Wednesday, yet another move in the gaming console’s efforts to attract an audience beyond core gamers.

“The Next Level,” is designed to be a one-stop beauty and style hub for women where they can watch how-to videos and gain more information on products. Condé Nast’s Lucky Magazine will also help build some of the content.

The app allows users to create personalized event calendars, shopping lists and receive weather-based beauty recommendations, as well as receive rewards points that can be redeemed for branded products. L’Oréal intends for this be a total style experience, with fashion and entertainment elements beyond makeup and hair care.

This is the first female-tailored app to launch on Xbox, but as 40% of Xbox’s 20 million users are female, more apps geared toward women are expected.

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Soc Media: Time to get on Pinterest (even you, boys)

October 15, 2012

Punch line: Pinterest users spend more than Facebook or Twitter users.  As brands are trying to understand how to connect social media to sales, Pinterest offers a way to do that.

* * * * *

Excerpted from’s “Facebook Drives More Traffic to Retail, But Pinterest Users Spend More”

While Facebook dominates in socially-driven shopping, Pinterest is driving the highest average spending per online shopping session.


RichRelevance … analyzed nearly 700 million shopping sessions to benchmark the performance of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as drivers of traffic to retail sites.

“Every social network promises a new way of connecting consumers with retailers and brands,” stated Diane Kegley, “However, the big take-away from our research is that not all channels in the social space are created equal.”

Key findings include:

Facebook dominates as a source of traffic: Shoppers who click-through account for the overwhelming majority of shopping sessions at nearly 86% (85.8%), followed by Pinterest (11.3%) and Twitter (2.9%).

Shoppers who started at Facebook browse more and buy more often — nearly seven pages per visit vs. nearly three for Twitter and just over four from Pinterest and purchase somewhat more frequently (conversion rates of 2.63%) than Pinterest (.93%) or Twitter (1.09%).

Pinterest is driving more revenue per session – nearly double that of other social channels: While shoppers who come to retail sites from Facebook and Twitter purchase more often, Pinterest users spend dramatically more than either ($168.83 average order value vs. $94.70 for Facebook and $70.84 for Twitter).

“As retailers and brands continue to sort out how to take advantage of social networks, this infographic provides great insight into better understanding the nuances of each channel, how they resonate with consumers and how marketers can take advantage of each in their own unique way,” adds Kegley.

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Psst: They like you, but sorry … they’re fakes.

October 12, 2012

Punch line: Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2014 up to 15% of social media engagements could be fraudulent.

* * * * *

Excerpted from TechCrunch, “Fans, Likes And Reviews Will Be Fake By 2014, Says Gartner”


Fake fans, fake “likes” and fake reviews are some of the worst aspects of social media.

Now, new research from Gartner lays bare the fact that it’s only going to get worse.

The analysts predict that by 2014, some 10%-15% of all social media reviews and other forms of engagement will be fake, paid for by the companies getting endorsed.

Gaming social media is not exactly a new concept, but given it’s a space that in theory relies on the goodwill of the masses, doing so is a pretty sleazy art.

What makes it more difficult to parse is that a lot of it is hard to pin down.

Meanwhile, another class of social media marketeers appears to be emerging: those who are helping with “reputation defense”: that is, rather than flooding sites with paid endorsements, rising to the task of making sure the negative critiques are complemented by interaction and response (oh, and positive reviews) in a slightly more organic way.

Edit by JDC

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Is nothing sacred? … Time Inc.’s Twitter background is, well, an ad.

October 4, 2012

Punch line: As part of its progressive digital ad unit, Time Inc. has — for the first time  — leased the wallpaper of one its twitter properties as ad space.

* * * * *
Excerpted from Ad Age, “Time Inc. Magazine Finds Another Next-Gen Ad Opportunity: Its Twitter Wallpaper”

People Style Watch Twitter Page

Time Inc. recently built a new digital ad unit as part of its effort to deliver “the next generation of advertising solutions,” but one of the publisher’s titles seems to have found some ad inventory just waiting for the taking: the wallpaper on its Twitter profile page.

People StyleWatch, the fashion and shopping spinoff of People magazine, this week turned the background of its Twitter page into an ad for Jergens Daily Moisture. Media brands on Twitter typically use that area to promote themselves or nothing at all.

Twitter said its users are free to turn their profile pages into ad venues.

“The space is the user’s to customize, and we encourage them to be clear if they are promoting something there, for money or other consideration,” a spokesman said in an email.

Edit by JDC

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First Target, now Facebook … “Sweet, you’re having a baby!”

September 24, 2012

Punch line: Consumers and companies are confused as to how Facebook is using personal information to target individuals and their needs and preferences.  Facebook admits the company’s ability to pin point consumer interests based on online interests, but maintains that status updates are never used to target consumers.  Despite many users sharing everything on social networks, consumers are still fighting for privacy.


Excerpted from’s, “Does Facebook Know You’re Pregnant?  What It Knows Depends on Whom You Ask: Social Network Says One Thing, Its Advertisers Another.”

The pregnancy of 30-year-old Sally was announced to the world through her husband’s Facebook page, after he tagged her in a photograph showing a positive home pregnancy test.

Two months later, while Sally was browsing Facebook, she noticed a Huggies ad.  Sally had never “liked” Huggies or any baby-related posts or pages. Nor had she posted about her pregnancy, so she figured Facebook had connected the dots between her husband’s status update and his relationship with her.

Did Facebook and its client, Huggies, know she was pregnant?

According to Facebook and Huggies parent, Kimberly-Clark, Sally’s browsing experience resulted from blind luck.

The ad was the subject of a two-week test targeting parents of young children, Huggies fans and their friends — as well as a three-day subtest of women ages 18 to 34. 

Facebook, for its part, said it rarely uses the content of status updates as a signal for ad targeting.

But plenty of marketers that target pregnant women believe they’re identifying them, at least in part, by their status updates.

Some marketers say they have been told so by Facebook.

The confusion over what exactly Facebook is doing is indicative not only of the opacity of the social network’s ad-targeting algorithms but also the privacy tightrope it walks, offering marketers the precision they crave while assuaging users that their every utterance isn’t being mined for ad targeting.

Here’s what we know … Marketers can reach pregnant women on Facebook with near-surgical precision, mixing and matching a variety of targets, such as those interested in baby products and people who like children’s music, which taken together produce a high likelihood of hitting the mark. 

But Facebook is careful to note that it doesn’t use the content of status updates to target pregnant women.

Tech-savvy consumers may already assume that their status updates are a key part of the targeting recipe since Facebook’s own “data use policy” states that “key words from your stories” are used to deliver ads. But according to Facebook key words in status updates are used only rarely for real-time targeting. (A hypothetical example is a user who has posted “I could go for some pizza tonight” being served an ad with a coupon from Domino’s Pizza.)

Certainly there’s a gap between what marketers say they are being told and Facebook tells a journalist on the record.

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How much time do people spend on Facebook? … and other interesting stats.

June 14, 2012

These days, it’s popular to pile on Facebook because of its noteworthy IPO.

Amazing the number of people who knew that FB was overvalued.

Yeah, right.

An article last week in the WSJ harped that the  Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over at Facebook … that Facebook’s user growth rate in the U.S. is slowing sharply.

May be true … but, it’s also true that “Facebook is already a dominant Web platform and they’ve got significant Internet penetration today. ”


  • Approximately 56% of Facebook’s 2011 ad revenue of $3.1 billion came from the U.S. … that’s about half of Facebook’s revenue.
  • Facebook has already has 71% of all 221 million U.S. Internet users,
  • In April, U.S. unique visitors to the Facebook website increased to 158 million, up 5% from a year earlier.
  • Facebook users spend more than six hours a month on the site …. Google users spend about 4 hours per month on Google-related sites including YouTube.
  • not all activity on Facebook takes place directly on … there are other websites and apps linked to FB accounts.
  • Facebook  is experiencing substantial growth in countries such as India and Brazil

I’m not a big Facebook fan, but you gotta be impressed by the numbers that they’ve put on the board.

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Lady Gaga’s army of LittleMonsters goes viral …

June 13, 2012

Punch line: Claiming the title of the first user to hit 25 Million followers on twitter, Lady Gaga has an army of fans who rely on social media.

Gaga is now launching her own social media site,

The site will be similar to Pinterest and Tumblr, and will eventually be monetized.

Advertisers will be able to use to reach Gaga’s 25 Million global followers with products and services specifically targeted at these consumers.

In the never-ending world of social media trends, this innovation opens up new opportunities for marketers around the world.

Excerpted from brandchannel, “Lady Gaga Gets Ready to Unveil Little Monsters Social Network.”

Lady Gaga is launching her social network, this summer, as her fame catapults to 25 million followers on Twitter — the first user to hit that milestone. 

Still invite-only platform in beta with fewer than 100,000 users, sneak peeks at the site’s design show a highly visual interface that’s similar to Pinterest, with a collage of tiled photos that when scrolled over, link to each Little Monster’s user profile. Each profile page … includes a Calendar, Monsters (other members in their network), Messages, Events, What’s Hot and New on the site plus Gaga News, other exclusive content, and a link to the Monster Code (of behavior). Members can “like” someone else’s post, share it on other social networks, comment and help each other’s content go viral across the network.

The secret of Little Monsters … is how it’s aggregating a global network of digital identities, platforms and passions into one community, united by their passion for Brand Gaga — it’s as much about them and inspiring and connecting with each other, so not a platform for idolatry.

Naturally, it will also appeal to advertisers, and the community will be monetized.  Founders believe there is strong advertising potential by using top influencers, instead of Lady Gaga herself. “The provocative and eccentric pop icon with her 50 million Facebook fans and 25 million Twitter followers, is the ultimate mediator and moderator for a generation that has never known a Web-free world.” After all, they were all born this way — digital natives to the core.

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So much for the ‘wisdom of crowds” and friends’ recommendations … be careful who you ‘like’.

June 7, 2012

Punch line: Companies flock to social media, hoping that people will ‘like’ them and provide them with close-bud references.

Well, it didn’t take long for social network pool to start getting polluted.

Now, when you click that like icon, you may be signing up for spam or triggering a virus.

That might dampen some social media enthusiasm …

* * * * *
Excerpted from Business Week

Two years ago, e-mail was the format of choice for spam peddling diets, sexual enhancement, and get-rich scams.

Better filters have since banished many of the unwanted missives from in-boxes.

Instead, scammers are turning to social media sites that are often poorly equipped to deal with the influx.

“Social spam can be a lot more effective than e-mail spam”

Spammers create as many as 40 percent of the accounts on social-media sites.

About 8 percent of messages sent via social pages are spam, approximately twice the volume of six months ago.

Spammers use the sharing features on social sites to spread their messages.

Click on a spammer’s link on Facebook (FB), and it may ask you to “like” or “share” a page, or to allow an app to gain access to your profile.

By clicking on a link, some users may unwittingly “like” the spam, a practice security experts call “likejacking.”

On Pinterest, spam often lurks in the embedded links attached to photos, making it tricky for users to spot.

Be careful who or what you ‘like’ …!

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Maybe, the next social media win will be healthcare.

May 25, 2012

Buried as the last of  7 Reasons Why Facebook IPO Was A Bust, Forbes’ writer Rich Karlgaard raised a point that caught my eye:

Mass social media is a crock. It is an inherent contradiction.

I like LinkedIn more than Facebook because it  has a special purpose and therefore doesn’t feel like a time waster.

FWIW, I predict the next huge win in social media will be in health care.

As a health care consumer, I want chat with people who are just like me.

With similar gene structures.

Who suffer from similar maladies as well as the genetic potential for similar maladies.

When linking up with my “health friends” I also want a 100% guarantee that my social network won’t betray my health confidences.

Would I trust Facebook to keep these confidences? Never.

Think about it.

How many times have you Googled for medical advice, e.g. what to do for poison ivy?

And, how many folks have built ad hoc digital support structures when a friend or relative  was facing a tough medical situation?

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GM unfriends Facebook … ouch.

May 16, 2012



According to the WSJ … GM is going to stop advertising on Facebook

General Motors plans to stop advertising on Facebook after the company’s marketing executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers’ car purchases.

GM will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook’s pages, in which marketers can display content at no cost

The news comes at a bad time for Facebook  which is expected to hold a historic initial public offering on Friday. Facebook executives have spent the last two weeks trying to convince investors that its advertising business makes it worthy of a $105 billion valuation.

GM, started to re-evaluate its Facebook strategy earlier this year after its marketing team began to question the effectiveness of the ads.

GM marketing executives met with Facebook managers to address concerns about the site’s effectiveness and left unconvinced advertising on the website made sense,.

GM spends about $40 million on its Facebook presence. About $10 million of that is paid to Facebook for advertising, the rest covers content created for the site,

Companies in industries from consumer electronics to financial services tell us they’re no longer sure Facebook is the best place to dedicate their social marketing budget — a shocking fact given the site’s dominance among users.”

Although GM’s $10 million worth of ad spend on Facebook won’t impact its $3.7 billion in revenue, the move is a disappointing development for the social network and could hurt if more big advertisers choose to follow suit.

“Disappointing and could hurt” … you think ?

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Don’t “Like” Me, Own Me …

May 15, 2012

TakeAway: A new start up is taking “like” to the next level by letting consumers buy company shares via Facebook.

* * * * *

Excerpt from AdAge: “’Like’ the Brand? Loyal3 Wants You to Own the Company”

The idea behind startup Loyal3 is to provide a technology platform for brands to sell their own shares (actually $10 fractions of shares) to consumers on Facebook — a concept CEO Barry Schneider calls “the ultimate ‘like’ button.”

Loyal3 is slated to launch in May with a number of brands hoping to give their fans a chance to own the company.

Edited by ARK

Novel idea: Hulu promises advertisers that they’ll get what they pay for …

April 23, 2012

TakeAway: Hulu is challenging online advertising pricing by only charging for fully viewed ads.

* * * **
Excerpt from AdAge: “Hulu’s New Guarantee: Someone Watched Your (Whole) Ad”

Advertisers are generally charged when a beacon is fired as an ad begins playing. But Hulu is moving that notification to the end, meaning that and ad that isn’t completed won’t count.

“If you pay for a full impression, you will get an impression, full stop.”

The company said its completion rate for ads is 96% — extraordinarily high for online video, where the average completion rate is closer to 88% for long-form content and 54% for short clips.

“Vendors with greater video completion rates [see] greater brand lift and greater message recall.”

Though the move will cost Hulu some volume, the company’s idea is that it will be made up in higher rates resulting from competition for fewer available spots.

It also means advertisers get some partial impressions free, as a number of viewers will be exposed to a portion of the ad before they click away.

Edited by ARK

Anybody want to co-parent this kid with me?

April 2, 2012

TakeAway: According to South-By-South-West, the idea of bringing people together with similar interests and needs- ‘social pairing’ – is gaining in popularity. Applying this concept, Modamily is a private social network for people looking to co-parent a child in the US.

* * * * *
Excerpted from “The Social-Pairing Trend [Need To Know: SXSWi]”…

… People with similar interests, hobbies and needs have the opportunity to meet today through smart services that use a mix of social, location and demographic data to match profiles. Networks are looking at their member’s profiles on their site and across the social grid and linking people up based on interests, needs and location.

These systems facilitate tremendous efficiencies. People can connect in a way (and at a speed) that would previously have taken a great deal of time and effort.

Social Pairing is about getting people together. It fosters a feeling of community (geographic or activity based) and further collaboration could follow as a result.

Some examples:

Nextdoor Social Network Helps You Meet your Neighbors

  • KLM To Allow Passengers To Pick Plane Neighbors Based On Facebook, LinkedIn Data
  • Farmers’ Cooperative Pairs Up Singles To Share Leftover Food
  • Ticketmaster Lets You Choose Who To Sit Next To Using Facebook
  • Gobble Is A Marketplace For Home-Cooked Meals From Neighborhood Chefs
  • A Social Network To Build Coffee Shops To Foster Face-To-Face Conversation
  • An app Helps You Discover New Connections In Real-Time Based On Location

And, of course there’s Modamily which  bills itself as the “first community to facilitate introductions between responsible, like-minded adults committed to co-parenting a child.”


Gotta think those kids will turn out just fine, right?

Edit by KJM

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Once mighty AOL now selling off its patents … ouch!

March 26, 2012

Punch line: AOL has hired Evercore Partners to help it shop around its patent portfolio in hopes of offsetting lost dial-up business and  “accelerating shareholder value creation.”

Meanwhile, Facebook has acquired around 750 patents from IBM in order to “bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals”.

Excerpted from: CNET: AOL, lacking better options, hires firm to sell its patents

Citing three people with knowledge of the hire, Bloomberg says AOL tapped Evercore to find a buyer for more than 800 patents and to “explore other strategic options” — code for a possible sale or private buyout of the entire company.

Last December, AOL announced plans to reorganize the company, combining its declining dial-up Internet service business and its Web services arm, the latter of which was recently scaled back with layoffs in the Instant Messenger group.

AOL has previously said it’s looking for ways to raise cash from its patent portfolio and is making efforts to “accelerate shareholder value creation.”

AOL’s move follows Facebook’s acquisition of some 750 patents from IBM, a deal made to bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals.  Facebook has been targeted by Yahoo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents that cover customization and advertising.

Easy to pile on AOL for its strategic mis-steps over the years (e.g. hanging with the “walled garden” too long, failing to find a way to migrate to high-speed internet service), but gotta give the company credit for its role in the Internet explosion.

And, in a timely fashion, the original owners dumped the bag on Time-Warner … walking away with a fortune …

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Forget price, what’s a company’s stance on, well, whatever?

March 2, 2012

TakeAway: The OpenLabel app allows consumers to make socially responsible shopping decisions real-time by simply scanning a barcode to read and contribute crowdsourced information.

* * * * *
Excerpted from “Add Crowdsourced Reviews To Scannable Barcodes

OpenLabel is inviting consumers to add reviews and information to everyday product barcodes to make socially responsible shopping much easier.

The app can scan barcodes and bring up crowdsourced information such as the company’s stance on workers’ rights, social justice, environment, health, and other corporate social responsibility aspects.


Peter Kirwan, an investor of OpenLabel, explains that the app is “everything but price, we’re about actual information.” Although the app does allow consumers to submit pricing details, it hopes to deliver more in-depth information to help consumers decide if they should buy or avoid the product.

Edit by KJM

There will only be one Lady Gaga … on Facebook, that is.

February 29, 2012

Punch line: Tighter controls. More credibility? Facebook will now verify celebrity stage or pen names to create accounts for the likes of Lady Gaga.

* * * * *
Excerpted from “Facebook to launch verified accounts with pseudonyms

… In an effort to root out impostors, Facebook will reportedly soon allow celebrities and other public figures to verify their accounts in much the same way that Twitter does.

The social network will begin notifying public figures with many subscribers tomorrow that they can verify their accounts by submitting an image of a government-issued ID, allowing them to display a preferred pseudonym instead of their birth name, according to a TechCrunch report. Facebook will then manually approve the “alternative names” to confirm they are the real stage names or pen names.

Facebook users must be chosen to participate in the program; there is no way to volunteer for verification. However, unlike Twitter, verified accounts will not receive a special badge indicating verified status.

Verification will allow celebrities such as Stefani Germanotta to be more readily accessible to fans when her name is officially listed as Lady Gaga instead of what’s on a birth certificate.


However, as on Twitter, the influx of impostors has become an inconvenience for both Facebook and fans alike.

Edit by KJM

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Facebook’s 99 percent … they don’t interact.

February 7, 2012

Punch line: Ehrenberg-Bass Institute reports that only 1% of a brand’s Facebook fans actually engage with it – including likes, posts, comments, tags, and shares.

Is the FB effect over-rated or do consumers simply need more time to change their behavior?

* * * * *
Excerpted from, “Only 1% Of A Brand’s Facebook Fans Actually Engage With It Online


… If 1 percent engagement sounds way too small to make Facebook brand pages worthwhile, Karen Nelson-Feld, a senior research associate for Ehrenberg-Bass, reminds us that brand pages are still relatively young.

“People need to understand what it can do for a brand and what it can’t do,” she said. “Facebook doesn’t really differ from mass media. It’s great to get decent reach, but to change the way people interact with a brand overnight is just unrealistic.”

Edit by KJM

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Virtual pin boarding woos the ladies and attracts big brands

February 3, 2012

Punch line: With 4.5 million users – mostly under 45, socially and digitally savvy females – Pinterest is a unique virtual pin board for sharing and promoting consumer brands.

Even big brands are catching on and seeking to get on this website.

* * * * *
Excerpted from “#Pinning: Brands Get Pinteractive and Engaging on Pinterest


Pinterest, the virtual pin board at the crossroads of social and style, has burgeoned into a marketplace for consumer brands, offering a visual and demonstrable platform for engagement.

From small brands to other big brands, including Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Bergdorf Goodman, Chobani and NBC’s The Today Show are also active on the site,

Pinterest is attracting brand marketers to allocate part of their interactive bandwidth to its 4.5 million users — primarily female, under the age of 45 and socially-, digitally-savvy.

Mashable breaks down the stats: “70% of pinners are female. Pinterest has a highly engaged audience — a reported 3.3 million users logging more than 421 million pageviews — so there’s plenty of opportunity for brands to flesh out pinboards and catch pinners’ eyes.”

Hitwise parsed the site’s popularity in a blog post that noted: “Pinterest content has something for everyone, but the site is dominated by images featuring home décor, crafts, fashion, and food…

‘Pin Etiquette’ is the term for the site’s golden rule: Pinterest is not a playground for self-promotion, challenging marketers to come up with content that engages, not just promotes (think “Pin unto others…”) It’s no surprise that one of Facebook’s new bevy of 60 Timeline-integrated apps is a Pinterest app.

Some pinned-and-true ways for brands to engage with users include:

  • Hold a Contest
  • Conduct Market Research
  • Feature Customers
  • Put a Face to Your Brand
  • Sell More Products
  • Present Concepts in a New Way
  • Promote Your Image Content

Edit by KJM

* * * * *
KJM editorial comment: my best friend sent me this link – and I was immediately hooked! Forget Facebook, this is my new method of procrastination and idle entertainment)

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The bald, and the beautiful? Barbie could get a buzz cut …

January 30, 2012

Punch line: This is a classic story of the intersection of consumer driven insights, a strong cause, and the power of social media. 

Two mothers, whose daughters lost their hair due to cancer treatment, contacted Mattel to create a bald Barbie to serve as a role model for young children. 

After this initial request failed to gain traction with Mattel,  these mothers used the ultimate weapon – the F-bomb.  Facebook.  They created a fan page called ‘Beautiful and Bald Barbie’ and generated over 137,000 ‘likes.’ 

Now, Mattel is more actively addressing this idea.

* * * * *
Excerpted from “Mattel Doesn’t Say No to Bald Barbie


Back in December, two moms whose daughters had lost their hair due to cancer treatment contacted Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to see if the company would be interested in producing a bald Barbie as a role model to their own and other young girls.

Mattel sent Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin a stock letter saying that it “does not take unsolicited ideas from outside sources.”

Undeterred, the women put up a Facebook fan page entitled “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made,” and it duly received more than 137,000 “likes.” As a result, Brand Republic reports that Mattel is now addressing the issue more directly.

“We are honored that Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin believe that Barbie could be the face of such an important cause,” a spokesperson said, according to the site. “Mattel appreciates and respects the passion that has been built up for the request for a bald Barbie doll.”

Mattel isn’t committing to get a hairless Barbie onto production lines….

“The obvious thing to do would be to release a limited edition bald Barbie with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity,” said Robin Grant, managing director at the social-media agency We are Social. “Some companies have a fear of being seen to bow to consumer pressure – but corporate marketing teams must guard against being unchanging and monolithic.”

Edit by KJM

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YouTube says it’s where the action is …

December 15, 2011

Punch line: YouTube hopes to gain a greater share of online advertising spend. Yet, only 1% of ad spend is on online video vs. 38% for TV ads. YouTube bets that its global and local reach is an targeted advantage for this media outlet. So will large CPG firms (e.g., P&G) pump more dollars into YouTube?

* * * * *
Excerpted from, “YouTube makes the case that it helps build brands

Despite online video and commercial-skipping DVRs, companies still spend 38% of their advertising budgets on television ads and just 1% on online video. YouTube is trying to change that.

In a bid to lure TV ad dollars, YouTube is making the case to brands that online video is the best way to reach customers …

“We would love YouTube to be a much larger part of brands’ advertising budget and mix in the next year and the future than it is today,” said Lucas Watson, YouTube’s vice president of online video global sales.

… It now says it has 800 million unique viewers worldwide a month. Analysts estimate that YouTube contributes more than $1 billion to Google’s annual ad revenue and is most likely profitable.

But YouTube, now six years old, is still in the early stages of making money. Advertisers spend just $2.2 billion on all online video ads, compared with $60.5 billion on television ads …. ad agencies are only now hiring people with expertise in online video …

YouTube has to recruit new kinds of advertisers, beyond the music, entertainment and technology companies that have flocked to the site, and convince them that YouTube is a fruitful place for brand building …

Unlike television, YouTube incorporates social elements by inviting viewers to choose whether they watch, share or create their own videos about advertisers’ products.

YouTube has both global reach and the ability to target an ad to 20-something men who live near a pizza shop …

Even though YouTube is showing more professional videos so brands can avoid appearing next to unsavory homemade videos, advertisers still hesitate to spend as much on YouTube as they do on TV …

Edit by KJM.

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Stores are yesterday … get your ketchup online.

November 8, 2011

TakeAway: Heinz is launching its new premium ketchup with limited distribution through Facebook … and higher prices that includes shipping.

* * * * *
Excerpt from NY Times: “Ketchup Moves Upmarket, With a Balsamic Tinge”

In the era of squeeze bottles, patience is no longer required, but to create anticipatory buzz for a new ketchup variety, Heinz initially will limit its availability.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Balsamic Vinegar, which substitutes balsamic for the traditional white vinegar, won’t initially be available  in stores.

Rather, consumers will be able to buy the ketchup only through the brand’s Facebook page until the product begins to appear in supermarkets later this year.

The balsamic ketchup will only be sold in 14-ounce glass (non-squeezable) bottles. The ketchup will carry a suggested retail price of $2.49 (plus a $2 shipping charge on Facebook), compared with $1.89 for the original in a plastic bottle of the same size at your local grocer.

Edit by ARK

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Taking a pulse … How’s your “Facebook health”?

October 27, 2011

Punch line: While there is no magic way to gain strong consumer engagement on Facebook, a Covario study highlights the “Facebook health” of 100 leading advertisers across industry verticals. This study reveals less is more and quality counts …

* * * * *
Excerpted from, “Facebook Fans Say ‘Coke Is It’

Coca-Cola ranks as the world’s No. 1 brand in a Covario study focusing on the Facebook health of 100 leading advertisers.

Hyundai, MTV, Disney and Bayer round out the top most liked and Wal-Mart rates best for engagement.

With the number of global Facebook users exceeding 750 million, its importance as an advertising medium is undeniable and growing fast … Coke has more than 34 million fans on Facebook, which is growing at a monthly rate of nearly 3%. The brand has strong fan engagement, typically posting seven items a month on its page with each garnering more than 235 comments and nearly 1,750 “likes.”

… “Several advertisers — Bayer and SC Johnson — have built followers, but their engagement statistics are relatively low … This is a huge branding opportunity for the firms.” AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dr. Pepper and Fox have excellent engagement, but lower than expected “reach” statistics …

Wal-Mart ranks on top for overall engagement, receiving an average of 7,390 comments and 726 “likes” on every post, which far exceeds all of the other advertisers in the study.

Apple is the only company among the nation’s top 100 advertisers that does not have an official Facebook page. The top Apple listing is a user page with 188,000 followers.

The study broke out Facebook leaders by vertical industry segments, including automotive, consumer packaged goods — sundries (Johnson & Johnson), consumer packaged goods — food and beverage (Coca-Cola), entertainment and media (MTV/Viacom), financial services/insurance (American Express), pharmaceuticals (Bayer), restaurants (Wendy’s), retailers (Victoria’s Secret), technology (Hewlett Packard) and telecommunications (DirecTV) …

Having many outbound posts is not an optimization factor … less is more with Facebook and quality is what counts … The best brands at engagement obtain upwards of 750 comments and 1,500 “likes” per post.

There is no magic to the type of posts being run by successful brand advertisers. While promotions are rampant in advertiser posts, often posting generalized questions is more successful than hard promotions …

Edit by KJM

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“The internet is just a fad” … Newsweek, Feb. 26, 1995

September 15, 2011

Interesting retro piece republished by the Daily Beast

Punch line: Famous quote from some dude in the patent office: “all things have already been invented”

Tom Watson, IBM CEO of long ago, predicted at most 6 computers would be bought.

And, in 1995, Newsweek stepped forward to declare the internet “nothing but a bunch of hype”.


Excerpted from Newsweek: The Internet? Bah!, Feb 26, 1995

Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana

After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two.

But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community – the internet.

Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense?

The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on a computer. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach.

Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet.

Uh, sure.

The Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness.

Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data.

Then there are those pushing computers into schools.

We’re told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software. Who needs teachers when you’ve got computer-aided education?


Can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past? I’ll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life.

Then there’s cyberbusiness.

We’re promised instant catalog shopping — just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete.

So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?

Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet — which there isn’t — the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

What’s missing from this electronic wonderland?

Human contact.

Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities.

Computers and networks isolate us from one another.

A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee.

A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where — in the holy names of Education and Progress — important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.

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“Slacktivism”: I care a lot … but not enough to get off my butt or open my wallet.

September 12, 2011

Punchline: “Slacktivism” is a term that caught our eye.

Slacktivism characterizes a trend of consumers’  behavior …  supporting an issue or social cause through small – sometimes very small efforts on social media.

Cynics suggest that this is not enough, and that true engagement is needed to make a social  impact.


* * * * *

Excerpted from Wikipedia, “Slacktivism

Slacktivism describes “feel-good” measures, supporting an issue or social cause, that have a limited effect …

Slacktivist activities tend to require minimal effort, but may include:

  • signing Internet petitions,
  • joining a community organization without contributing to the organization’s efforts,
  • copying and pasting of social network statuses or messages, or
  • altering one’s personal data or avatar on social network services.

While there is limited behavioral research behind this activity, the general perception is that consumers engage in this behavior 1) to feel satisfaction about helping a cause, or 2) to present themselves as socially benefiting people to other social networkers …

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS describes the term “slacktivist”, saying it “posits that people who support a cause by performing simple measures are not truly engaged or devoted to making a change“.

Edit by KJM

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Like us and we’ll donate will donate, love us and we’ll …

September 8, 2011

TakeAway: Brands are searching for  more ways to connect causes with marketing, and evolve consumer’s “slacktivism” to more significant social good.

Now, just “like” them on Facebook or tweet a specified phrase and some brands will donate to a cause.

You know what?

It works …

* * * * *

Excerpted from, “Cause Marketing Does Affect Brand Purchase

The Integer Group queried 1,200 Americans about factors influencing brand preference when choosing between two companies with both benefiting a cause, and selling a product similar in price and quality.

Survey results reveal that the brand’s philanthropic activities can influence shopper behavior and ultimately purchase decisions, and that gender is a factor:

  • Both men and women are influenced by “personal relevance of cause
  • Women choose brands that promise instant gratification with each purchase, while for men, it’s less important
  • Brands need to appeal to men’s rationale side, delivering a more rational benefit for their participation in a cause program, which can lead to higher engagement”
  • Men are more likely to support organizations, such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill, while women support disease prevention causes, such as breast cancer awareness

So, which brands do this well?

Top brands purchased based on their affiliation with a cause:

1. Yoplait
2. Anything Affiliated With Breast Cancer
3. and 4. (tied) Susan G. Komen for the Cure & Newman’s Own
5. General Mills
6. Yogurt in general
7. and 8. (tied) P&G and RED
9. Boxtops for Education
10. and 11. (tied) Kellogg’s, Campbell’s & Girl Scouts
12. Dawn
13. Avon

Edit by KJM

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In the news: Ken comments on Groupon …

August 29, 2011

When asked by Dow-Jones career site “Hire Wire” about Groupon’s prospects and whether it was a good place to start a career, I said:

Young job hunters naturally want to work for a company that is “trendy and cool,” said Ken Homa, a marketing professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Getting in on the ground floor of a fast growing company can be exciting.

For those developing a long term career, the sustainability of the daily deals model is critical. “It’s been relatively easy during a recession to get local merchants to sign up once for [Groupon’s] service,” Homa said. “If this is a survivable business model, I’ll be stunned.”

Having a known brand like Groupon on your resume can’t hurt. “When people are selling themselves for the next job, the fact that they had this experience and they saw the formula provides a meaningful credential,” Homa said.

Source: Hire Wire, Chris Prentice
Groupon May Lose Cache as Daily Deals Sites Proliferate

We’ll see …

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