It’s good to step back from our daily lives on the Internet to see a bigger picture. This article by Marisa Wong directs us to three presentations containing facts and figures that document the dramatic change to commerce and our lives due to the Internet.
Mary Meeker’s slide show on Internet Trends(May 29) has a lot to do with devices, Internet traffic, and commercial use. There is continuing rapid growth in users outside of the United States, and tsunami level increases in content – photos, video, sharing. Google reigns as most used property, and Facebook as most used social media. Mobile is 15% of Internet traffic and projected to be 30% in 2014. Several are using Internet delivery to re-imagine their services.
Mitch Joel delivers some shocking facts, among them –.
Fact: “Google’s advertising revenue is bigger than that of the entire US print industry.”
Fact: “74% of businesses don’t have a plan to stay competitive in the new mobile world.”
Is your business or association re-imagining business in a mobile world?
“About 63 per cent of social media users said they read Facebook posts, tweets and/or LinkedIn updates every single day.
Facebook remains far and away the most popular social network. About 63 per cent of Internet users and 93 per cent of social media users said they’re on Facebook.
Only seven per cent of the social media users surveyed said they were regular users of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, logging in to each at least one a month. Those users were most likely to be under 50, university educated and live in a high-income household with a child under 12 in the home.”
The usefulness of social media for posting announcements about company financial results can take a bad turn – as happened when hackers faked a Twitter feed from AP reporting that the WHite House had been attacked. Stock market immediately tumbled.
“The multibillion-dollar stock market collapse triggered by a hacked Twitter feed highlights the complex problems market regulators face in the social media age – and the potential risks to investors”.
Notwithstanding these problems, “social media eventually will become a standard route for corporate disclosures.” (quoting Carol Hansell, a senior partner with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto).
Interesting term – spear-phishing
“In the AP case – according to what appeared to be an internal AP memo posted by U.S. media blogger Jim Romenesko – hackers tricked AP employees into clicking on a link in an e-mail that appeared to come from a colleague, a targeted technique known as “spear phishing” that allows hackers to induce people into unknowingly providing passwords or personal information.”
A research team from several business schools “analyzed on a week-by-week basis the ups and downs of Google search volume for the 98 finance-related terms” and used the trends to make buy and sell decisions.
“Based on the results, it would sell or buy into its theoretical Dow Jones industrial average index-weighted portfolio. “If the volume of search terms went up in the previous week, we would open up a hypothetical short position and sell in the following week,” explains Preis. “If there was a decrease in volume, then we’d buy.””
Google once had Google Insights where the general user could get a view of queries. Today it is the more limited Google Trends.
Pharmaceutical companies can uncover previously undiscovered side effects of their drugs by miining public web search histories. Time Health and Family carried the story – How Our Web Searches Could Expose Drug Side Effects (by Alexandra Sifferlin, March 7)
A group of researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Microsoft Research used web search history of six million volunteers to uncover interactions between drugs.
To further validate their results, the research team also studied searchers surrounding 31 drug interactions known to cause hyperglycemia, and 31 safe drug interactions. They did find more hyperglycemia-related searches for people using the drugs known to cause problems, but also a high rate of hyperglycemia searches among patients using drugs with no known related side effects. The scientists believe that in order to decrease the amount of false-positive results, they need to combine data from other sources such as social media, medical records and patient support forums.
We knew that Google was penalizing “content farms”, sites that hosted freelance writers who produced content – usually, but not exclusively, on popular questions. Lowering their showing in search results started last year with the changes introduced by Panda to Googles’s ranking algorithm. Matt McGee reviews the impact to date in Google Panda Two Years Later: The Real Impact Beyond Rankings & SEO Visibility (Search Engine Land, Feb 25, 2013). Suffice to say impact has been major.
Mahalo – an early “human curated” site
Suite 101 – a network of writers based in British Columbia
Findarticles - had journal and magazine articles – its closing is a serious loss.
Associated Content (now Yahoo Voices)
About.com – no wonder New York Times sold it at a loss – but there are many excellent About.com guides.
The business model of hosting writers and attracting traffic to their articles for the advertising revenue went amuck. Might have been a case of a few bad apples.
Two thirds (67%) of online adults in the United States are members of Facebook – it is the most popular social networking service. But 61% of those users said they have taken extensive breaks from it for such reasons as they were too busy (21%), content was too boring or gossipy (at least 20%), and they were worried about security and privacy (4%)..
Of those who don’t use Facebook at all, 20% said they used to but quit for much the same reasons existing users took breaks.
A substantial number of people, including younger users, said they intend to spend less time in the coming year. “Some 38% of Facebook users ages 18-29 expect to spend less time using the site in 2013. “ However, the majority in all age brackets anticipate no decline in their visits to Facebook.
Facebook reported having 1.06 billion monthly active users at the end of 2012 ( from The Next Web, Jan 30) , with 618 million daily active users and 680 million monthly active mobile.
Coming to a theatre near you – “Google and the World Brain” – a documentary film about Google’s drive to scan all the world’s books. Many have imagined a giant index or brain – H G Wells proposing a “world brain” of the world’s knowledge, Vannevar Bush’s ideas about retrieval of knowledge (As we may think), and Ted Nelson who coined the word hypertext. Google is well on its way to creating that world. But, as some ask, at what cost?
Lewis’ documentary starts in 1937, when H.G. Wells predicted the creation of a “world brain” — a giant global library containing the sum of human knowledge. Once built, Wells believed, the library would give rise to a higher form of intelligence. Google began scanning books in 2002, relatively early in its history, working with major university libraries around the globe. By 2005 the company had scanned more than 10 million books, with more than half of them still protected by copyright. In the autumn of that year, the Author’s Guild filed a class action lawsuit against Google, seeking damages for its writers and new protections for digital copies of copyrighted works.
A new report, Health Online 2013, from PEW Internet shows how much the Internet is being used to get health information. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s not higher.
“81% of U.S. adults use the internet and 59% say they have looked online for health information in the past year. 35% of U.S. adults say they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.”
Searchers usually began at a search engine. Only a few sought a trusted health site – suggesting that there is much for people to learn about researching health matters online.
When asked to think about the last time they hunted for health or medical information, 77% of online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Another 13% say they began at a site that specializes in health information, like WebMD. Just 2% say they started their research at a more general site like Wikipedia and an additional 1% say they started at a social network site like Facebook.