Web founder says Facebook a danger


FacebookThe man credited with inventing the internet has lashed out at Facebook and other social networking sites saying they are moving the web away from its founding principles.

In an essay in Scientific American magazine, Tim Berners-Lee says social networking sites are tightly controlling the information put on there by users meaning the internet’s being split into fragmented islands.

Berners-Lee said there is a chance Facebook could become so big that it could limit innovation.

Source: www.ninemsn.com.au

Facebook to trademark the word "face"


FacebookFacebook has moved one step closer in its efforts to trademark the word "face", after receiving the green light from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The Office has issued a notice of allowance to the social networking juggernaut, allowing the company to own the word after paying a fee, the NY Post reported.

The trademark will allow Facebook to challenge any of the 89,000 websites using the word "face" in their domain name.

The trademark would cover "telecommunication services, namely providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars".

A Facebook spokesperson would not reveal why an exemption was given to cars.

Several companies are considered to be in the sights of Facebook’s legal department, including Apple over its video conferencing service Facetime and a pornography website called Faceporn.

Facebook has also sued websites Teachbook, Placebook and Lamebook in order to protect the social network’s identity.

Facebook has already been successful in trademarking the words "Like" and "Wall".

Source: ninemsn.com.au

Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream

Becoming fully incorporated into media and marketing

Blogging has been around for well over a decade—an eternity in internet time. Whereas blogs used to be a thorn in the side of traditional journalism, today they’re an essential ingredient in the media mix. Hardly a news organization exists that does not have a blog where its journalists post updates to breaking stories, offer personal commentary and engage in a dialogue with readers and viewers.

Similarly, blogging has grown into a vital marketing tool for all types of companies, including Fortune 500 marketers and mom-and-pop retailers. eMarketer estimates that 34% of US companies will use a blog for marketing purposes this year, a proportion that will continue to grow to 43% by 2012.

“Businesses are increasingly using the blogosphere to further a variety of corporate functions, such as communications, lead generation, customer service and brand marketing,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Corporate Blogging: Media and Marketing Firms Drive Growth.”

US Companies Using Blogs for Marketing Purposes, 2007-2012 (% of total)

While blogging still tends not to rate such high usage as newer forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter, it still has many strengths, including full control over branding and advertising, integration with all corporate web properties, no limits on post length and the existence of a full, easily searchable repository of information. And studies have noted blogging’s usefulness for lead generation.

In addition to marketing, blogs have also become more fully integrated into the world of communications. In the early days of blogging, the established media showed a definite distrust of such nontraditional publishing. By October 2009, according to a Cision-led study, nearly two-thirds of US journalists reported they used blogs to publish, promote and distribute what they wrote. And according to PRWeek and PR Newswire, about a third of journalists used corporate blogs as research sources in 2010, up from a quarter last year.

Research Tools Used by US Journalists When Conducting Research for a Story, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

“This confluence between established and emerging media is making blogging an integral part of the news cycle,” said Verna. “As consumers assimilate blogs into their media consumption, they are less likely to distinguish between a blog and a traditional news outlet.”

Google Gains Search Ground

Google gained ground in its dominance of the US explicit and total core search markets in September 2010, according to monthly comScore qSearch analysis.

Google Takes Larger Share of Explicit Core Search
Google Sites held 66.1% of the US explicit core search market (which measures user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results) in September 2010, up 1% from 65.4% in August 2010.

Second-ranked Yahoo Sites lost 4% of its explicit core search market share, dropping from 17.4% to 16.7%. No other explicit core search provider experienced significant month-over-month fluctuation.

More Explicit Core Search Queries Performed via Google, Microsoft
More than 16 billion explicit core searches were conducted in September 2010, up 2% from 15.7 billion the previous month. Google Sites ranked first with 10.6 billion searches, up 3% from 10.2 billion searches; followed by Yahoo Sites in second with 2.7 billion, down 2% from slightly more than that total the previous month.


Microsoft Sites came in third with 1.8 billion explicit core searches, up 3% from 1.7 billion.

Google Also Grows Total Core Search Share
Google Sites accounted for 63% of total US core search queries conducted in August 2010, up 4% from a 60.5% share the previous month. Yahoo Sites followed with 19%, down 9.5% from 21% the previous month, and Microsoft Sites came in third with 12.5%, down about 2% from 12.8% in August 2010.


Google Sites Jumps in Total Core Search Queries
The total number of core search queries performed via Google Sites jumped 8%, from 10.2 billion to 11.1 billion. Meanwhile, second place Yahoo Sites lost 5%, dropping from 3.6 billion to 3.4 billion. Third place Microsoft Sites increased its total number of core search queries 2%, from 2.16 billion to 2.2 billion.


Total US core search queries grew 4% in September 2010, rising from 16.9 billion in August 2010 to 17.7 billion.

More Americans Own Mobile Phones than Computers

A higher percentage of US adults owns a mobile phone than owns a computer, according to new data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Cell Phones, Computers Top Gadgets
Pew data indicates that 85% of Americans now own a cell phone. Cell phone ownership rates among young adults have reached 96% of 18-to-29 year olds. Meanwhile, three-quarters (76%) of Americans own either a desktop or laptop computer. Since 2006, laptop ownership has grown dramatically (from 30% to 52%) while desktop ownership has declined slightly.


Less than Half Own MP3 Players, Video Games
Ownership rates of other popular gadgets among US adults do not reach 50%. Slightly less than half of American adults (47%) own an MP3 player such as an iPod. This represents a nearly five-fold increase from the 11% who owned this type of device in early 2005.

Console gaming devices like the Xbox and PlayStation are nearly as common as mp3 players, as 42% of Americans own a home gaming device. Parents (64%) are nearly twice as likely as non-parents (33%) to own a game console.

Tablets, E-readers Grow with Early Adopters
Compared with the other devices on this list, e-book readers (such as the Kindle) and tablet computers (such as the iPad) are relatively new arrivals to the consumer technology scene and are owned by a relatively modest number of Americans.

However, these devices are proving popular with traditional early adopter groups such as the affluent and highly educated. Ownership rates for tablets and e-book readers among college graduates and those earning $75,000 or more per year are roughly double the national averages of 5% and 4%, respectively.

Multiple Ownership Common
Eight in 10 American adults (78%) own two or more of these devices, and the median adult owns three of the seven gadgets we asked about in our survey. Among other factors, device ownership is highly correlated with age.

For example, the typical adult younger than age 45 owns four devices, while the typical adult between the ages of 55 and 64 owns two and the typical senior (age 65 or older) owns just one. Those with high levels of income and education are also more likely to own a relatively large number of devices compared with those with lower income and education levels.

iPad Owners Valuable to Advertisers
iPad owners may currently represent a small segment of the adult US population, but they demonstrate a number of demographic trends that make them valuable to advertisers, according to research from The Nielsen Company. iPad owners skew younger and more male than owners of many other portable computing devices. Sixty-five percent of them are male and 63% of them are younger than the age of 35.

Google eyes online consumer index


Google US internet titan Google is readying its own ‘Google Price Index’ based on a vast database of online purchases, providing a daily measure of inflation, said a top company official quoted in the Financial Times.

Google has not yet decided whether it will publish the index (GPI), which is still in development, the group’s chief economist Hal Varian said at the National Association of Business Economists conference in Denver, Colorado.

Varian said the GPI indicates a ‘very clear deflationary trend’ for goods purchased online in just under a year of data gathering, a potentially worrying prospect for US officials.

The GPI, calculated differently from official statistics of consumption — a key indicator of US economic growth — as it only accounts for products sold on the internet, but can be a much faster tool as results could be modelled at real-time speed.

The most recent official data from the Commerce Department was released at the beginning of October and showed consumer spending in August. Those figures showed spending rose 0.4 per cent in August as consumers spent slightly more than expected for the second straight month.

Story from www.ninemsn.com.au

Email Still Tops Facebook for Keeping in Touch

Only 18- to 24-year-olds use the social networking site more than email for passing items on

Content-sharing has become a staple of internet usage for most online adults. Research from Chadwick Martin Bailey found that three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

Ways US Internet Users Share Content, by Age, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

Earlier research from StrongMail and ShareThis also found email was still on top for content-sharing. Other studies have shown that, when limited to sharing on social sites, Facebook is No. 1.

Asked what gets them to share content online, web users polled by Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed selfish motivations. Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%). Asked to select the single biggest reason they shared content, the greatest percentage of respondents (45%) again said it was because they enjoyed it. Men and women reported similar reasons for sharing, but motivations varied by age. The oldest respondents cared more about the value of content to recipients: 67% of those ages 55 and older said they shared items because they would be useful to recipients, compared with just 45% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Primary Reason US Internet Users Share Content Online, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

This difference in sharing motivation could have a relationship to the method of sharing. Email is a more targeted form of sending content; while content-sharers may shoot off mass emails to large distribution lists, most email shares are likely sent to a person or small group selected based on the specific content being shared.

Sharing via social networks like Facebook, by contrast, typically involves feeding items to an entire friends list. The youngest users, who care the least about whether the recipients of their content actually want to see it, are also most likely to disseminate the information to the widest group. And the seniors and older boomers who find the recipients’ needs more important dramatically favor email for sharing, suggesting they are sending relevant items to only those who will want them.

Small Businesses Change Social Media Expectations

About a quarter of small businesses now marketing via social media

After climbing steeply, according to research from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, small-business adoption of social media marketing has plateaued at 24%.

The study of US small business found that those that do market via social media primarily use Facebook (82%), and that the most common activities are maintaining a company page on a social network and posting status updates or links to interesting content. About half of businesses that used social media also monitored brand chatter on social networks.

As small businesses have gained experience with social media, some have realized their expectations for the channel did not line up with the reality of the social web. As the wider marketing world begins to look at social as more of a loyalty channel than one for acquisition, small businesses are also finding that their hopes for spreading brand awareness and attracting new customers have not been fully met. By contrast, somewhat fewer small businesses had expected to use social media as an engagement channel, but nearly two-thirds have had success in that area.

Performance of Social Media Tactics, June 2010 (% of US small businesses)

The most common business objectives small businesses have achieved through social media marketing tell a similar story: Customers are connecting with companies through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but relatively few sales leads have been received through the sites.

Business Objectives Achieved via Social Media, June 2010 (% of US small businesses*)

Small businesses have found other frustrations as well. Many say their efforts take up more time than they had expected, although that percentage dropped from 50% to 43% between December 2009 and June 2010, suggesting companies are being more realistic about what’s involved in social campaigns. At the same time, however, the percentage saying their business had been criticized online nearly doubled, reaching 29%. Still, just a tiny 1% of small businesses said their image was hurt more than it was helped by social media—a number that’s also down, from 6% in December.

Older Adults Double SocNet Use


US adults 50 and older have increased their social networking use from 22% to 42% in the past year, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Half of Adults 50-64 Use SocNets
Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one in four (26%) users age 65 and older now use social networking sites.

Young adult internet users ages 18-29 continue to be the heaviest users of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, with 86% saying they use the sites.


Adults 65 and Up Double SocNet Adoption
During the past year, the growth of social networking adoption among internet users ages 18-29 paled in comparison with the gains made by older users. Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 who said they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn grew 88%, and those ages 65 and older grew 100% in their adoption of the sites; compared with a growth rate of 13% for those ages 18-29.

Older Adults Increasingly Share Daily Updates
The use of Twitter and other services to share status updates has also grown among older users, most notably among those ages 50-64. While just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools. On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.


One in five (20%) adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Likewise, 13% of online adults ages 65 and older log on to social networking sites, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

Older Adults Maintain Interest in Email, Online News
Overall, 92% of those ages 50-64 and 89% of those ages 65 and older send or read email and more than half of each group exchanges email messages on a typical day. Online news gathering also ranks highly in the daily media habits of older adults; 76% of internet users ages 50-64 get news online, and 42% do so on a typical day. Among internet users ages 65 and older, 62% look for news online and 34% do so on a typical day.

Americans Get News on Multiple Platforms
The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get news on a typical day, according to other recent findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Americans get their news from a combination of on- and offline sources, including national TV, local TV, the internet, local newspapers, radio, and national newspapers. Six in ten Americans (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day, and the internet is now the third most popular news platform, behind local television news and national television news.

About the Data: The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project surveyed 2,252 US adults 18 and older between April 29-May 30, 2010.

Companies Throw Their Weight Behind Online Video

Most of the attention in the online video space has focused on either media content and consumers or marketers and video advertisements. But companies continue to push further into this realm with non-advertising content.

Recent studies have shown that growing numbers of retailers are adding video capabilities to their sites. Surveys of Fortune 500 companies also indicate a broad-scale increase in the use of video for marketing purposes. In this sense, video has gone from a luxury to a near necessity for companies seeking an edge in marketing their products. From home-goods merchants to automobile manufacturers, companies across a wide spectrum are finding ways to use video in their marketing efforts, and consumers are embracing—sometimes demanding—these changes.

Retail is a sector where online video is becoming more important for driving sales. When asked by Multichannel Merchant to identify rich media features that they used, 46% of US multichannel retailers picked video, making it the highest-ranked category in the survey. Another 42.3% of respondents said they planned to add video capability in the next year.

Rich Media Features Offered by US Multichannel Retailers, February 2010 (% of respondents)

Several studies point to increased use of video by US companies. According to Forrester Research, the percentage of the top 50 US online retailers that offer videos on their sites skyrocketed to 68% in 2009 from 18% in 2008.

Marketers are on board with more than just ecommerce applications, as well. A study led by the Society for New Communications Research noted 31% of Fortune 500 companies with public-facing blogs used video blogging in 2009, up from 21% in 2008.

2008 and 2009 Fortune 500 Companies with Public-Facing Blogs* that Use Podcasting and Videoblogging (% of total in each group)

Ad-ology asked US marketing executives whether they would increase, decrease or make no changes in their 2010 marketing budgets for social and traditional media. Nearly 27% said they would increase their online video budgets for viral clips and podcasts, while 5.5% would decrease their budgets. Out of the remainder, 41% would leave the budget intact and another 27% said they did not use video. These responses put video ahead of mobile marketing and search optimization as budget priorities for US marketing executives.

As eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin noted in the report “Consumer Packaged Goods Sector Taps into Online Video,” “Creating an online video presence helps marketers facilitate an ongoing dialogue with consumers, boost brand equity, lure prospective customers and solidify support among brand loyalists.”

On the receiving end of these marketing efforts, consumers are accessing increasing amounts of video on multiple platforms, from laptops and home PCs to smartphones and tablets. As these devices continue to penetrate the market, consumers will expect ubiquitous access to video content. Examples might include watching product videos at the point of sale or viewing a portion of a podcast on a PC and resuming the session on a tablet. Marketers are aware of the potential and are upping their game in a variety of sectors.