Consumers’ social, local, and mobile habits

Most valuable digital consumers (social)51%

Now this is a really great post for you data junkies out there.  The Nielsen Company (disclosure: I worked at Nielsen from 2006-2010) released an infographic triptych chock full of interesting stats surrounding the social, local, and mobile habits of today’s digital consumers.   Continue reading

How do Nielsen TV ratings work?

Have you ever wondered exactly how the Nielsen TV ratings system works?  Have you ever pondered how Nielsen figures out what people are watching live versus time-shifted (i.e., on a digital video recorder) or the accuracy of their demographic sample?  Have you every wished you could have the intricate ins and outs of the system explained to by puppets?  Then today is your lucky day because I have just what you need below. Continue reading

Facebook puts Google+ and Twitter in its sights

Today Facebook announced a new feature they’re simply calling the Subscribe Button.  This option will allow users to “subscribe” to other users’ public posts in what can only be called a shot over both Google+ and Twitter‘s collective bows.  The truly interesting aspect of this feature is that it will allow all of Facebook’s 750 million users to connect in this manner – even if they aren’t friends. Continue reading

Walmart dives into social shopping with @WalmartLabs

Walmart dives into social shopping with @WalmartLabs || “Inside Walmart’s Super Social Shopping Agenda”

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Groupon’s business gets hammered in the Harvard Business Review

Groupon‘s business gets hammered in the Harvard Business Review || “Why Groupon Lacks a Viable Business Model

Executive leadership teams take heed, social media rules

Executive leadership teams take heed, social media rules || “Boardroom Lessons from a Social Media Misstep”

Customer serviceThere’s nothing better than a motivated “advocate” customer – unless of course you’ve wronged them in some fashion.  This has always been the case but with the rise of the Internet as the in the 1990s and early 2000s, the ability to rate a product or service and have your voice be heard was embraced by some (i.e., Epinions, Amazon, etc.) and feared by others.  Customer service was transformed overnight by the widespread adoption of email by hundreds of millions of people world-wide and the “click to chat” with an agent connected interested or angry customers instantly to the right person at a company without having to toil through the layers of and interactive voice response system.  The social media phenomenon has obviously taken the power of the customer to a whole new level, so if (or when as the case may be) something fails to delight them – be prepared to feel the wrath.

A friend and colleague of mine recently wrote “Social networking…it’s instant news. Instant information is just like screaming in the streets in a volume the whole world can hear.”  So true.

[Thanks Greg]

The positive role of technology in the UK riots

The positive role of technology in the UK riots || “U.K. Prime Minister Suggests ‘Pre-Crime’ Blocking of Social Media”

In addition to investigating how technology aimed at preemptively disrupting criminal activities organized via Twitter and Blackberry Messenger, the authorities in the UK have also married their extensive CCTV network with Flickr to help enlist the public to identify suspected looters.  A complete Internet shutdown has proven to be ineffective in countries throughout the Middle East during the recent periods of unrest, so a targeted solution that was able to determine if a person was in the midst of planning criminal activity and then shut down that person’s access might do the trick.  Alas the execution of such a thing is fraught with technical and logistical challenges (not to be confused with impossible).  That said the UK is not ruled by an autocratic despot was the case in more than one of the aforementioned Middle Eastern nations, so the notions of privacy and civil liberties are much more of a significant issue that needs to be balanced with the sovereign responsibility to protect the health and welfare of one’s citizens.  I do not envy the decisions that have to be made by Mr. Cameron.

Interesting perspective on the newest background checks

Interesting perspective on the newest background checks || “I Flunked My Social Media Background Check. Will You?”

The power of psychographic profiling

The power of psychographic profiling || “The End of Demographics: How Marketers Are Going Deeper With Personal Data”


Fear is a powerful motivator of human behavior

Fear is a powerful motivator of human behavior – “For Millennials, Social Media Is Not All Fun and Games”

For Millennials (otherwise known as Generation Y and born roughly between 1980 and 2000) the always-on, constantly connected nature of technology – the most recent incarnations of which being driven by the success of social networks and the proliferation of mobile devices – has its drawbacks.  The “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) is a term coined by MTV following a recent study of Millennials yielded some interesting (and startling) observations:

  • Over half of the respondents agreed with the statement “what I post online defines who I am”
  • 66% said that it is “exhausting to always be ‘on'”
  • 58% concurred with the assertion that “when I’m unplugged, I worry that I’m missing out on something”

Many of these observations are essentially rehashing what people have known or suspected about our immature and evolving relationship with technology – it is the proverbial “double edged sword.”  All mammals – especially humans – are “social animals” or those that are highly interactive with other members of their species “to the point of having a recognizable and distinct society.”  Recent advancements have certainly allowed us to increase the breath and immediacy (although perhaps not the depth) of these interactions.  In fact, a recent article by the New York Times’ Jenna Wortham summed up the FOMO conundrum beautifully.

“One recent rainy night, I curled up on my couch with popcorn and Netflix Instant, ready to spend a quiet night at home. The peace was sweet — while it lasted. Soon, my iPhone began flashing with notifications from a handful of social networking sites, each a beacon of information about what my friends were doing.

As the alerts came in, my mind began to race. Three friends, I learned, had arrived at a music venue near my apartment. But why? What was happening there? Then I saw pictures of other friends enjoying fancy milkshakes at a trendy restaurant. Suddenly, my simple domestic pleasures paled in comparison with the things I could be doing.

The flurry of possibilities set off a rush of restlessness and indecision. I was torn between nesting in my cozy roost or rallying for an impromptu rendezvous, and I just didn’t know what to do.”

Based on the study performed by MTV, Ms. Wortham is certainly not alone in her anxiety and indecision.  Although I’m technically not a Gen Y Millennial,  I’ve found that when fending off any feeling of FOMO “the best defense is a good offense” – balance doses of social media with healthy spans of being unplugged.