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E-Reader Ownership Continues to Dominate Over Tablets

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According to a recent study by Pew Internet, adults in the United States are buying e-readers at a much faster rate than tablets. The number of adults who own an e-book reader doubled to 12%, compared to only 8% who own a tablet.

Both numbers have seen growth over the past six months, but the e-reader owners jumped by a much larger percentage. Adults owning an e-book reader were at 6% in November 2010 and tablet owners were at 5%.

E-Readers Over Tablets

Other interesting growth statistics from the last six months include:

  • E-reader ownership among parents has grown more rapidly than it has among-non-parents.
  • E-reader ownership grew at a faster pace among Hispanic adults over white or African-American adults.
  • Ownership among adults ages 18-49 grew more rapidly than any other age group.

The study also tracked how many people owned both an e-reader and a tablet. 5% say they own a tablet but not an e-reader. I’m assuming they mean a physical Kindle or Nook. But … why would they when they can just download the app for free?

There’s definitely still a debate brewing over whether to purchase an e-reader or a tablet. While I personally would rather own a tablet with the Kindle app, I think it ultimately depends on what you plan to use it for, what you’re looking for, and how much you’re willing to spend. CNET has a great article that discusses the pros and cons of both.

So, tell us – do you own an e-reader, a tablet, or both?

Social Media Quickly Becoming the Leading Way to Communicate During National Disasters

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The National Hurricane Survival Initiative released a new survey today that shows both social media and texting are leading the way in terms of how people communicate during national disasters. Not only are social media users using it to communicate back and forth, but it’s also the way they are receiving important information.

The survey revealed that “72% of Americans are members of a social network, such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace and 45% said they would rely on it to communicate with friends and loved ones in the event of a natural disaster; another 24% said they might.”

“Being prepared for any hazard is critical and can save lives,” said Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Surviving natural disasters, such as hurricanes, in 2011 means having a disaster supply kit that includes devices such as smart phones as well as knowing how and where to receive updates through social media.”

There is still room for improvement in educating Americans how to best effectively use the new technology to both protect themselves and seek help during a disaster.

The survey also revealed that social media use is more prevalent within the 18 to 34 age range, so emergency managers need to use a variety of strategies to get the word out and reach all age groups.

With forecasters predicting a highly active hurricane season for 2011, we can definitely expect to see social media use for national disaster information on the rise.

Have you ever used social media to either communicate or get important information during a disaster?

 

Users Spend Nearly 16% of Time Online on Social Media

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Online users spend 16% of their time on social media, up from only 8% four years ago, says a new report by comScore. In 2007, social networking represented about 1 out of every 12 minutes spent online, while today that number is more like 1 out of every 6 minutes. This number doesn’t surprise me. I just wonder how long it will take until it’s 1 out of every 3 minutes.

May Online Time Social Media

The other big finding in the study is the changing face of social media. Myspace was the social networking leader up until mid-2009, when Facebook finally pulled ahead and continued it’s upward growth. Today it is the 4th largest web property in the U.S. with 157.2 million visitors in May. Perhaps even more impressive, Facebook’s average U.S. visitor usage has grown from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month over the past year! Quite the opposite, the amount of Myspace visitors has declined by about 50% in the past year.

Other sites in the running for the share of social media space are Linkedin, Twitter, and Tumblr, each showing record highs in May. LinkedIn had 33.4 million U.S. visitors, Twitter more than 27 million and Tumblr came in at 10.7 million. With this growth and the mass of people joining these sites at a record pace, who knows what the next few years will look like!

Is your Show Advertiser Ready?

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Over the past 6 years of working in the new media space the one thing I get asked as great deal by content creators is the question “Is my show advertiser ready?” The answer to that question is really multi-part, and I want to take a few minutes and talk about how to make sure your show is advertiser ready. There are some tips in this video that will put you in the front of the pack when it comes to getting an ad deal with companies like mine, and other firms in the space that help new media creators make a living.

I base this commentary on having executed over 100 podcast advertising campaigns in the past 6 years, with 1000’s of podcasters on advertising buys. Having a show on the web today is a lot more then just strapping on a microphone or flipping a camera on. Yet the steps to set yourself up for success is not that difficult.

 

 

Radian6 Purchased by salesforce.com

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Just announced today – BlogWorld sponsor Radian6 has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by salesforce.com. The transaction is expected to be completed by July 31, 2011.

Salesforce.com is an enterprise cloud computing company, while Radian6 is the leader in Social Media monitoring and engagement. Together they believe social media will play a large part in how organizations listen to and engage with their customers – and they hope to provide tools to these organizations so they can manage these social interactions taking place both inside and outside their businesses.

With Radian6, salesforce.com is gaining the technology and market leader in social media monitoring,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “We see this as a huge opportunity. Not only will this acquisition accelerate our growth, it will extend the value of all of our offerings.

With the combination of salesforce.com and Radian6, companies will be able to bring the heart of the public social web into salesforce.com’s applications. One example is the integration of public social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and online communities) with the private, secure social network in their Salesforce Chatter tool. Chatter feeds will no longer just contain the activity happening within the walls of a company, but will be filled with real time insights from fans on Facebook pages, followers on Twitter, comments on blog posts and more.

Social media has made every business recognize the value of paying attention to the voice of the customer. Radian6’s technology is built for the new norm of customer engagement – real time, two way conversations that includes social channels,” said Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6. “Joining the salesforce.com team will allow Radian6 to grow faster to meet the demands of our rapidly expanding customer base.

More details here,

Yet Another Post About Diversity

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Though I didn’t get the memo, apparently this month’s topic among social media bloggers is “diversity.” As in, “why aren’t there enough women or people of color speaking at conferences.” Diversity among conference speakers wasn’t something I thought much about as a civilian.  I assumed that because this field has more white men working in it than women or people of color, it stands to reason that there would be more white men speaking at conferences or participating in the space.

Now, as BlogWorld’s Conference Director, it’s on my mind every day.

I always operated under the impression that if I wasn’t getting ahead in whatever I did, it had nothing to do with gender, color, creed or sexual orientation, it had to do with me not stepping up and giving things my best effort. And, as you may know, I’m not really a fan of “empowerment,” as in “we need to empower women to get ahead” because to me this indicates weakness or that women (or people of color)  aren’t smart enough to get ahead on their own and I sort of found that insulting. I don’t mind sharing tools, I draw the line at holding hands. ( But that’s a personal opinion, and it’s not necessarily shared by the other people here at BlogWorld. )

Diversity v. Good Content

As the conference director for BlogWorld & New Media Expo, the diversity thing came up as soon as I accepted the gig. As soon as people found out I was the person tasked with finding speakers and shaping the educational content for our events, I received emails, tweets and and other communication reminding me to make sure I bring in more women speakers.

Now, Rick Calvert, BlogWorld’s Founder and CEO and I have different stock answers when it comes to the women question. When Rick is reminded that we need to bring in more women, his response is always that we’re very conscious of this and it’s a priority – and he’s right. Rick is very conscientious and is working with various minority groups to find good speakers and content of interest to a diverse group of attendees. He’s an awesome role model.

My stock answer is that it’s more important to me to make sure BlogWorld has the best content possible, whether women, men, people of color or martians. Because as far as I’m concerned, the content is the one of the main reasons behind BlogWorld’s success and I have to be true to our attendees. I’m not going to choose speakers simply because of their gender or the color of their skin, I’m going to recommend them because they’re smart and have good ideas. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to choose a diverse group of speakers.

Women Rose to the Challenge

Something interesting happened. At BlogWorld ’09 30-something percent of our speakers were women. This led to a few people to consider us a women “unfriendly” event, which is laughable because more women than men work for BlogWorld.

At BlogWorld ’10, my first year on the job, the “diversity” question came up after we announced all our speakers. “Where are all the women?” everyone asked. I found this confusing as I felt we had plenty of women speaking. I counted noses and reported that 48% of our speakers were women, including 3 keynoters. What was all the commotion about?

And so the hubub died down. For a while.

Now the diversity question is coming up again. I can’t speak for other conferences as I don’t know how they choose their content, but I can tell you that for me, first and foremost, my obligation is to BlogWorld attendees to provide the best content possible. However, that doesn’t mean that when our track leaders suggest panels to me, I don’t turn around and say to them, “why aren’t there any women on this panel?”or “why don’t you have so and so on this panel” in order to create a sense of balance.

Last week, we announced a large group of speakers, most of them women. We didn’t invite them to speak because they were women though. We invited them to speak because they submitted good ideas and crafted thoughtful, intelligent proposals. We watched videos and ensured all women chosen were good speakers. All of the posts about women speakers last year paid off as they rose to the challenge and empowered themselves to step up.

Hopefully all the posts about “diversity” this year will cause a similar trend.

It’s too early to tell exactly how diverse our group of speakers will be this year, but I can tell you once again that we’re doing our best to bring you the best content possible, from the best speakers possible, and yes, they come from all walks of life. I’m glad the diversity questions has come up again. I didn’t used to think about it before, but I’m forced to think about it now and that’s a very good thing. BlogWorld East will take place in my former home town of New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world.  I’m looking forward the new opportunities it will bring to meet a more diverse group of professionals, and. hopefully, upcoming speakers.

Related Reading:

Happy 5th Birthday to Twitter – And The New 460k Accounts Each Day!

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Five years ago this week, the first Tweet hit the Internet … and it’s been snowballing ever since!!

First Tweet

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet. And now, five years later, Twitter is showing some impressive stats. On their blog they revealed:

  • They reached the billionth tweet after 3 years, 2 months and 1 day.
  • A billion Tweets are sent out every week, compared to 50 million Tweets a day last year.
  • 177 million Tweets were sent on March 11, 2011.
  • The current Tweets-per-second record: 6.939 (set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day).
  • An average of 460,000 new accounts are created each day!

It’s amazing how quickly Twitter became mainstream, and integrated into our lives. When did you join?

25% of U.S. Children, Age 3 and Younger, Go Online Daily!

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Wow, this statistic surprised me. I’m not sure why, as I sneak a glance at my 3-year-old who is playing a game online. Maybe because he doesn’t go online every day. Now, my 9-year-old, that’s a whole other matter.

According to a recent report, conducted by education non-profit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop, young children in the United States are increasingly hopping online and interacting with online media.

  • By Age 3: 25% of U.S. children go online daily.
  • By Age 5: 50% of U.S. children go online daily.
  • By Age 8: 75% of U.s> children go online daily.

Mobile media appears to be the next “it” technology, from handheld video games to portable music players to cell phones. Kids like to use their media on the go.

Of course, different digital media interest children at different ages. About 20% of children age 4-5 use hand-held video games, building to 50% by age 9. And most children don’t start playing video games until age 6, or using portable music until age 8.


Television use dwarfs all types of media, including the Internet.
The report shows that on weekdays, children spend at least 3 hours a day watching television. And preschoolers viewing television is the highest it has been in the past eight years. This may be part of the reason that Internet usage is so high in this age bracket. In one study parents admit that 60% of children under the age of three watch videos online.

Media consumption is also difficult to measure, because children are multi-tasking for several hours a day … listening to music while surfing the Internet, or texting while watching TV. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, two-thirds of the time older children (7th to 12th grade) are on computers they are multitasking – listening to music, surfing the Web, and chatting with their friends using instant-messaging tools, etc!

The report, available at The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop also delves into what children are watching on television, and the deepening divide between lower-income and middle-class families obtaining technology.

In Defense of Stat Tracking

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I have a confession: I check my stats every day. In fact, sometimes, I check my state multiple times a day. I track my ebook sales, my traffic, my mailing list subscribers, my RSS subscribers, and my affiliate sales. I track how many people come to my site via search engines and how many subscribers click on links in my emails. I track which subscription methods work better. I track whether I get more clicks when I tweet something in the morning versus at night. I love stats and I track them almost to obsessive lengths sometimes.

Yet, so many bloggers advocate focusing on content and forgetting about stats, which I can understand, at least to some extent. I know bloggers who say that they rarely look at stats, checking their numbers a few times a month, if that. I can’t even imagine. But it can be problematic if you spend all your time tracking stats and less time writing great content. As a new blogger, it’s also easy to get discouraged if your stats are pathetic at first, even if the logical side of you knows that everyone starts at zero. So it makes sense that some people advocate ignoring stats.

Today, though, I’d like to make the case for stats tracking. I think that someone needs to defend the practice – and I’d like to explain, at least from my perspective, why it’s worthwhile.

And what I’m going to say might surprise you, because this has nothing to do with all of the practical reasons you should track your stats.

A few weeks ago, David Risley wrote a post called “What The Blog Statistics You Track Say About You…” I thought that he made a lot of really good points in this post – if you’re blogging for bucks, there are certain stats that make sense to track while others don’t matter.

Or do they?

First, let me address some of the excellent advice David gives readers in his post. It makes sense that you’d track stats directly related to your income. It’s responsible, as a business owner, to know what’s working and what is not. As you create goals, you can more easily take actionable steps, and that can translate into dollars in your pocket. Who doesn’t love that?

But sometimes, I think we take a too cynical approach to stats. Cynical is perhaps too harsh of a word. Practical. We take a too practical approach to stats.

Or, at least, we only take a practical approach to stats.

Think about why you got into blogging in the first place, though. Blogging is about soul as much as it is about business. Talk to any a-list blogger out there and they’ll tell you that the reason they do what they do is because they love blogging. The money is just a side benefit. Most bloggers blogged long before they ever made a cent, and most bloggers would keep blogging, at least as time allows, if it wasn’t possible to make money online. If you are blogging only for the money, you’re doing it wrong…because frankly, there are about seven thousand easier jobs you could do and feel equally “meh” about to make money. It’s not like this is an easy career path. Blogging is a job, but it is a job we love.

It’s easy to lose site of that sometimes.

So today, my defense of stat tracking is this: track your stats so you can remember why you do this.

Even the impractical stats, the ones that David mentions as being unimportant to your business, are important to your soul as a blogger. If you get 500 retweets on your post, that might not translate to a single ebook sale…but woah. That means you wrote something that affected FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE enough that they felt the need to go share it. That’s pretty damn cool. Your RSS subscriptions might not mean anything in terms of sales, but if you have 10,000 subscribers, that’s TEN THOUSAND people who are so interested in what you have to say that they don’t want to miss a single word. That’s pretty damn cool too.

It’s especially important as a new blogger. Your numbers might be smaller, but where were you yesterday? Yesterday, your spouse may have patiently listened to you rant about something important to you, but today, fifty people visited your site and read the post you made about the topic. Those are fifty lives you have potentially changed. Blogging is such a unique avenue to affect people from around the world. Money is nice, but to me, that is much better.

So go ahead and check your stats today without guilt, even if it doesn’t cause you to change a single thing about how you run your blog. Celebrate the fact that you’re reaching more and more people every day and enjoy finding your place in the world with your blog. Even if your blog is your primary source of income, it doesn’t have to be all business all the time.

What’s the State of Your Blogosphere?

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Last night, I attended the keynote address for Blogging Success Summit 2011, an online event being organized jointly by BlogWorld and Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner. The speaker was Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, and his presentation was on the state of the blogosphere. He talked about how blogging has changed since 2008, the trends he sees continuing in 2011, and more – and for me, it was really interesting to see a statistical breakdown of what people read and how people share information.

Technorati publishes a report on the state of the blogosphere every year, and it is definitely recommended reading for anyone hoping to make money online. But I want to suggest that you take it a step farther and do your own annual study. What’s the state of your blogosphere?

See, what makes the Technorati study great is that they poll tons of people from around the world and across every industry to get their results. That’s also its downfall, though. If you’re someone who blogs about social media, your audience might think slightly different from the audience of a blog about fashion, and both of you might have readers who differ from the general public represented in the Technorati study. While few bloggers have the ability to poll thousands of people from across the world in an official, controlled study, that doesn’t mean you can examine your piece of the blogosphere and use the results to increase the effectiveness of your blog.

The Power of Many

You aren’t in this alone. Although every blog has a slightly different audience, there are probably blogs in your niche that have a very similar audience to your own. Team up to do your study! If you send out a survey to your mailing list or post it on your blog you might get, say, 10% to respond. But if 10 bloggers do it and you all get 10% to respond, you’ll have a large group represented. Doing a study of your audience’s habits and needs only benefits you has a blogger, so there’s really no reason for your peers not to jump on board if you approach them with this proposal.

Questions

So, ok, it’s a good idea to poll your audience – but what do you ask?

While some of the questions you ask might be specific to your niche, it makes sense to ask a ton of more general questions, like the ones found in the Technorati report (or similar to the ones found in the Technorati report).

  • Do your users use social media? What are their favorite sites?
  • How many of your readers are bloggers themselves?
  • Do your readers feel that blogs are as trustworthy as traditional media like newspapers?
  • How many of your readers use feed readers?
  • How many of your readers subscribe to their favorite blogs via email?
  • Do you readers get email newsletters?
  • How likely are your readers to comment on a blog post they like?

Asking these questions might produce some eye-opening results. For example, maybe over half of your readers prefer Facebook over Twitter, and you don’t even have a Facebook page. Or maybe most of your readers prefer receiving email newsletters, but you don’t offer one. Or maybe very few of your readers use YouTube, yet you’ve been concentrating on making videos. This list is, of course, just a small sampling of the questions you can ask, but by keeping them general, you can adjust what you’re doing as a blogger rather than focusing only on what you’re doing in relation to your niche.

The Dreaded Essay Question

If you want to get people to respond, you have to either 1) offer some kind of prize, discount, or giveaway for those who answer the questions or 2) keep it short and simple. Usually, it pays to do both.

But, at the end, I’m a big fan of having an option essay question. People who are in a hurry can skip it, but your most voal audience members will respond. What should you ask them?

Be pointed (if you just say “Any comments?” people won’t know what to write), but give them the chance to talk without having to be too specific with an answer. Ask what frustrates them about blogs, what they love about blogs, and what they wish to see in the blogs they read. Their answers won’t be something you can chart on graph paper, in most cases, but reading these comments can give you a better understand of what your readers are thinking. Sometimes that’s better than percentages and charts.

Sharing is Caring

After you compile the results, share them! Don’t just share them with the other bloggers who participated. Post them on your blog or create a downloadable report so that others can see the state of your blogosphere. Part of what I loved about the Blogging Success Summit 2011 keynote is that Richard was so open and willing to share the results. Undoubtedly, Technorati does these reports because they benefit their company, but the blogging community is all in this together. Sharing results makes the entire blogosphere stronger.

Will I see you at future Blogging Success Summit 2011 presentations? There’s still time to sign up to participate, and you’ll get recordings of any presentations you may have already missed!

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