Who’s that Girl? Image and Social Media

Not the usual place I’d go to for research information, however an interesting study has emerged from the research unit of Girl Scouts of the USA on usage and attitudes of girls 14-17 around social media.

Some key out-takes

  • The vast majority use Facebook (91%) with MySpace (28%) a distant second. 38% have a Twitter account and average 8 tweets per day.
  • Seventy-four percent of girls agree that “most girls my age use social networking sites to make
    themselves look cooler than they really are.” Forty-one percent admit that this describes them. (Author note – I think this applies to pretty much anyone regardless of sex or age)
  • Girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their
    smartness, kindness, and efforts to be a good influence.
  • Girls who have low self-esteem are more likely to admit that their social networking image
    doesn’t match their in-person image (33% vs. 18% of girls with high self-esteem).
  • Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networks help them feel closer and more connected to their
    friends. Thirty percent think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships.

And finally:

However, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would
give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend.

Copy of the report (PDF) here.


“Writing for the iPad Is Like Producing TV After WWII”

From over at Folio Magazine, an interesting article on the development of iPad apps and how it is unexplored territory for everyone.

For a lot of publishers, creating an app for Apple’s iPad is like blazing a new trail—in more ways than one. Condé Nast’s The New Yorker launched its first iPad app in late September, and in an introductory note the editors said they were “at once delighted and a little bewildered” by the launch, adding “…we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where the technology will lead.

These are the early days. Right now, editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one percent of American households owned a television.”

The business model remains a struggle—publishers still aren’t able to sell subscriptions to their magazines via the iPad, and publishers have flocked to the iPad far more enthusiastically than advertisers at this point (although Financial Times recently announced that it has generated more than $1.5 million in advertising revenue since launching its iPad app in May).

Yet, early experiments have yielded invaluable lessons on how to approach iPad design. Here, some early adopters share their tips, best practices and lessons learned on creating a magazine for the iPad.

For the full article, click here.

Measure the phone calls you get from AdWords

A release back in November from the Google AdWords blog, a new tool measuring the effectiveness of listing your phone number as part of your Google campaign.

What if you found out that your AdWords campaigns were bringing you more customers than you realized?

Zac Stafford, Senior Search Strategist at Nina Hale Search Marketing in Minneapolis, MN, recently discovered that this was true for his client, modern furniture retailer Room & Board. Stafford saw some encouraging results as an early beta tester of AdWords call metrics, a new feature that automatically includes a unique phone number in your ads to measure the calls that you receive from AdWords.

“By cross-checking our call metrics reports with our sales records, we saw that half the people who called the toll free number in our ad purchased online but the other half purchased in a store. Before using call metrics, we determined our ROI just by looking at the online sales numbers. Now we have proof that online search ad campaigns drive in-store purchases.”

Today we’re announcing that AdWords call metrics is available for more advertisers, making it easier than ever to measure the phone calls that AdWords generates for your business. Using the technology behind Google Voice, call metrics assigns your campaign a unique phone number which is automatically inserted into your ad on both desktop and high-end mobile devices, where the number is clickable.

Google have included a charming little video explaining how the new measurement works.

For the full press release, click here

Life Magazine gallery archives, now as an I-pad app.

From over at The Next Web

Life Magazine photographs, which chronicled in pictures many of the most important events of the 20st century, now have a 21st century way to be viewed with an a new iPad app.

The app description says the app offeres “millions” of “never-before-seen resolution” photos, which are organized into galleries, and can be found by either search/browser seven categories – Editor’s Picks, Most Popular, News, Celebrity, Sports, Travel and Animals – or by using the world map-based “Explorer” view. The app, released by parent company Time Inc., uses horizontal swiping and an “interactive filmstrip mode” to navigate the app.

For the full article, click here

Introducing FoodPress

From back in early November, WordPress (hosts of this mighty blog) have introduced FoodPress, dedicated to posts from bloggers in the WordPress network on food.

The release from WordPress

For that reason, we couldn’t resist building a special new site dedicated to showing off the amazing breadth of food-related posts on WordPress.com. Today we’re thrilled to announce FoodPress, the go-to destination for the hottest dishes from WordPress.com bloggers. To help us run the site, we’ve partnered with publishing company Federated Media. Each day, FoodPress features snippets of posts, which is designed to get new people to discover and then click through to a blog.

WordPress have also employed a specialist Food Editor as part of the launch.

For the full release, click here.

Twitter Begins Publishing Ads in Users’ Streams

From over at Ad Age

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Starting today, Twitter will drop advertising into individual users’ Twitter streams, also known as timelines, according to people familiar with the matter. Longstanding Twitter advertisers Virgin, Starbucks and Red Bull have bought into this new service.

Marketers have already been able to buy what is called a Promoted Tweet that appears at the top of searches on Twitter.com. But this new kind of paid ad would appear in a user’s Twitter stream regardless of whether they follow that advertiser or search for anything on Twitter. Users will be targeted based on the kinds of people and products they already follow, though not all users will necessarily see ads. For example, someone who follows other coffee companies or who follows people who write about coffee would be a target candidate for a Starbucks-paid Tweet.

For full article, click here.

Survey: SMBs to Keep Spending on Digital Marketing in 2011

A release about a SME report from Zoomerang via ReadWriteWeb

The majority of small and medium-sized businesses will either increase their digital marketing budgets or keep them the same in 2011, according to a new survey released by Zoomerang in partnership with GrowBizMedia.The survey results came from a sample of over 750 SMBs, the vast majority of which have 1-25 employees. More than half (55%) of respondents reported having a marketing budget of $1,000 or less.

Forty-five percent said they had Websites, a finding that indicates that many SMBs still have some catching up to do in the digital space. Of those that have Websites, 80% of companies use them for “general information” about their business, indicating that SMBs are not yet taking full advantage of the full potential of the Web.

Most businesses either plan on spending the same amount or increasing their marketing budgets next year, especially for Websites, email, direct marketing, social media and, somewhat surprisingly, print media.

Only 3% plan to decrease spending on their Websites next year, and the same percentage expected to spend less on email as well. Although SMBs are still spending on print advertising, that was the area expected to decrease the most next year, with 7% of respondents saying they planned on decreasing their print advertising budgets in 2011.

Not surprisingly, social media is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the marketing efforts of smaller companies, as free or low-cost tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to provide significant reach for many of the businesses using them.


Original report from Zoomerang, click here.

Original article at ReadWriteWeb

Proposed Internet Guidelines Unlikely to Fill Content ‘Doughnut with an Empty Center’

From the Making Sense of the News blog at Poynter.

The article examines whether the Internet, specifically content farms, need guidelines on journalistic integrity.

When a minor earthquake struck central Oklahoma last month, the state’s media did a commendable job responding to the unexpected event. The Oklahoman reported the tremor almost immediately on one of its blogs, then followed up with more than a half-dozen thorough stories. Local TV stations posted quake videos, and the Web soon was awash with stories that included interviews with witnesses, geologists, and public officials.

But when I searched Google News for the words “Oklahoma Earthquake” two days after the tremor, the story listed at the top of the results page wasn’t from a traditional media outlet, but from Associated Content — a so-called “content farm” owned by Yahoo that allows free-lance writers to post articles about almost any subject.

The article uses this as a following example of the issue with content farms.

The 396-word Associated Content earthquake story — written by a self-described stay-at-home mom in Southern California — contained no original reporting; its account of the earthquake was cribbed from the Oklahoman and other online sources. It contained more than a half-dozen grammatical errors and a factual mistake. (It said five people were killed when tornadoes struck Oklahoma earlier this year, but failed to note that officials later revised the tornadoes’ death toll to three.) After making a tenuous connection among the earthquake, the tornadoes, and this spring’s Midwest flooding, the story concluded, “In the end, natural disasters are all around us.”

A suggested solution such as a ISCS seal of approval have been seen as another volley in the war between major media organisations and content farms.

The ICSC’s proposal is the latest volley in an ongoing rivalry between content farms and other media organizations. As noted in a recent Adweek article, most Web publishers “harbor a special vitriol” for content farms, which include not only Associated Content, but also AOL’s Seed.com, and a family of websites owned by Demand Media. The sites churn out literally thousands of articles, photos, and videos a day, paying free-lancers an average of about $20 for each one.

Relatively little of the content consists of hard news. More common is “evergreen” material such as how-to articles and videos (“How to cover up a pimple“), recaps of TV shows (“Dancing with the Stars results from week five favor Brandy and Maksim“), and opinion pieces (“Domino’s Pizza is not the best pizza and was not my favorite place to work“).

For advertisers seeking eyeballs, the sites are alluring. Associated Content attracts more than 17 million unique visitors a month, mostly through search engines; Yahoo acquired Associated Content earlier this year for a reported $100 million. Demand Media — which owns such sites as ehow.com and livestrong.com — claims an audience of 80 million; it filed for an initial public offering this summer.

Associated Content — which calls itself “the people’s media company” — makes no apologies for its business model or lack of editorial oversight. “AC is a publishing platform; it’s people-driven, not editor-driven,” founder Luke Beatty told the Online Journalism Review in 2007. “While that may be scary to people in traditional media, it’s not scary at all to regular people.”

For the full article, click here

Apparently Teletext was going to kill Newspapers, circa 1980.

Via Business Insider, a fun look back to 1980 when Teletext, combined with television was supposidly going to kill Newspapers.

In saying that it does show some of the pre-cursors we have to technology now, such as Video Disc Machines (a vastly oversized DVD player), VCR’s with timers (MySky) and Gaming Machines.

Global mobile advertising revenues will be worth US$3.5b in 2010

From FierceMobileContent, part of FierceMarkets.

Global revenues from mobile advertising will be worth US$3.5 billion in 2010 according to the latest research (www.informatm.com/madvertising) from Informa Telecoms & Media. The mobile advertising market has seen strong growth over the past 12 months driven by the initiatives and investments of big players including Apple and Google and is expected to show strong growth over the next five years and generate revenues of around US$ 24 billion in 2015. Informa Telecoms & Media believes that during this period, the share of mobile advertising revenues for the operators will fall from around 26% in 2010 to estimated 20% in 2015.

For the full article, click here

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