Is Social Media A Fad? Apparently Not

If you like your new media stats thick and fast, set to an uplifting soundtrack, it seems you are not alone.

Social Media Revolution is currently second on the Viral Video Chart, only kept from the number one slot by the very funny Hitler’s Reaction to the Oasis Split (‘Have you tried Kasabian?’).

Put together by Erik Qualman, author Socialnomics (coming to the UK next month), it asks rhetorically:

Is Social Media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?

Cue a blizzard of facts, to the backdrop of ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fat Boy Slim. Among the notable stats:

  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
  • If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour
  • More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.
  • Years to Reach 50 millions Users:  Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.

(sources: click here)

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Why Ashes 2009 Really Was A Shared National Moment

According to Mark Lawson writing in today’s TV Matters column in the Guardian:

These Ashes felt less like a shared national moment because fewer of the nation shared it.

There’s no doubt the numbers are compelling – Channel 4 averaged three million viewers when it broadcast the 2005 series while this time around Sky Sports had just 850,000.

Even allowing for the two million that tuned into Five’s terrestrial highlights on Sunday night, millions of TV cricket fans have gone missing this summer.

There’s little doubt too that TV does matter, as the column’s title insists, which incidentally is why live events – not just sport but news too – represent the TV industry’s most robust challenge to a time-shifted, platform-shifted, fragmented future.

This aside, England’s 2009 cricketing success was a “shared national moment”, perhaps even a shared international moment.

Witness the spikes in traffic specialist and generalist sports sites enjoyed on Sunday. More importantly, witness the conversations that were happening on the truly social parts of the web – #Ashes was a regular in the Twitter trending topics top 10 throughout July and August.

And most unexpectedly, the BBC’s Test Match Special became the social hub. With some five million listeners sharing the experience.

As Christopher Martin-Jenkins – the TMS veteran who was given the microphone at the game’s denouement – noted in Monday’s Times:

Emails had poured in to Test Match Special from all quarters of the globe yesterday, including Mozambique, Ghana, South Georgia and the base camp at Everest.

Many were describing where they were and what they were doing when Andrew Flintoff threw down Rick Ponting’s stumps. But the one from Ghana demonstrates best how a broadcaster can become a social conduit in the digital age.

Suitably, this story was recorded on the TMS Facebook blog:

We had a text from one listener tuning to TMS via his mobile phone on a beach in Ghana. His message was that his wife had forgotten to pack a phone charger and he was desperately searching for a listener who would just happen to be also on the same beach and could help.

A few seconds later, Josh Grainger contacted the programme to say: “Hello, I heard the e-mail you’ve just read out, and i have got two spare phone chargers, i’m in Halloway beach in Ghana, hope it helps. I’m wearing a fluorescent yellow top, so I’ll be easy to see!”

Welcome to the new shared experience.

Putting The Guardian Into The MediaGuardian 100

So to the annual MediaGuardian 100. I guess the clue is in the name. The paper likes to slice and dice entrants in its power list – under 40s, top 10 fallers, top 10 women, you know the kind of thing.

How’s this for size?

1. Carolyn McCall, chief executive, Guardian Media Group
2. Alan Rushbridger, editor, the Guardian
3. Stephen Fry, presenter, writer, actor (and former Guardian Weekend magazine columnist)
4. David Mitchell, actor, writer, presenter (and current Observer columnist)
5. Armando Iannucci, writer, director, producer, performer (and former Observer columnist)
6. Emily Bell, director of digital content, Guardian News & Media

At least they had the good grace to put Will Lewis, editor-in-chief of the paper responsible for the biggest newspaper story of the year, at number 10, a full 25 places above Carolyn McCall.

Elsewhere, here’s one for the digerati – the Top 10 Purely Digital:

1. Sergei Brin and Larry Page, Google
2. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive, Apple
3. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
4. Evan Williams, Twitter
5. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
6. Jason Kilar, Hulu
7. Daniel Ek, Spotify
8. Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post
9. Paul Staines, Guido Fawkes blog
10. Richard Moross,

Million Up For Apple 3G iPhone And Dell’s $3m Twitter Windfall

This is my kind of blog. Digital Stats does exactly what it says on the tin – it is a collection of “interesting and surprising statistics about digital media and devices”. 

It doesn’t try and do anything else. Just that. Which is probably why it is one of 5% of blogs that survives beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm (*see below).

Continue reading Million Up For Apple 3G iPhone And Dell’s $3m Twitter Windfall

Iran’s Internet Revolution: The Backstory

Twenty-three million interent users, with a growth rate of 48% year-on-year and 60,000 active bloggers. Yep, we’re talking Iran. A third of the nation is online and, seemingly, another third is on the streets.

These figures, sourced from the Open Net Initiative, are no surprise to anyone who’s had any dealings with the Iranian blogosphere.

Back in early 2006 Channel 4 News presented a week of programmes from inside the country. News from Iran was fronted by Jon Snow and both international editor Lindsey Hilsum and science correspondent Julian Rush were on the ground for the week, along with a team of producers, cameramen, editors, and the programme director.

Alongside the broadcasts we were busily blogging and podding. In fact it was the first time we’d blogged in earnest – if a $149 Typepad licence counts.

What really made the site come alive were the contributions from Iranians, not just the diaspora but those inside Iran itself. The blogroll ran and ran. Continue reading Iran’s Internet Revolution: The Backstory

Have The Young Deserted Facebook In Favour of Twitter?

While on this side of the Atlantic Facebook has been enjoying an upsurge of traffic thanks to its vanity publishing project (aka Facebook usernames), on the other side of the  Atlantic the social networking site is showing its age .

The ever readable Hitwise blog looks at the Facebook user base by age range to see how it has changed over the last 12 months. And this is what it found:

18 – 24 year-olds  -19%

25 – 34 year-olds +12%

35 – 44 year-olds +7%

Hitwise’s Bill Tancer speculates that these figures, coupled with a dramatic upsurge in traffic last month, indicate that Facebook has hit the mainstream. He then ponders:

If that is true, and early adopters are, in the case of social networking, the 18-24 year old crowd, where are younger Internet users flocking to today?

Of course, the Hitwise numbers are relative – and Facebook still has a very sizeable young audience – but perhaps it’s time to look at the average age of the Twittersphere.

 Twitter started with a relatively mature audience, certainly in the UK, but I’d speculate that the celeb takeover (call it the Kutcher effect) has had 18 – 24 year-olds all aTwitter.