Americans Turn to the Internet . . . and Libraries

The newest PEW/Internet and American Life study indicates just how important the Internet is becoming in . . . well, American Life. Of the nearly 2800 Americans surveyed, 58% turn to the Internet first for answers.

Sort of, anyway. The specific questions asked in the phone survey included whether respondents had experienced 10 specific problems recently. All of the problems included need access to the government or government-provided information. Of the respondents who had experienced at least one of those problems, 58% of them turned to the Internet for answers. Only 13% of them turned to the library for help. The ten specific problems:

  1. dealing with a serious illness or health concern
  2. making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills

The Most Popular Marketing Pilgrim Stories of 2007

As I’ve done for many years, I thought it would be fun to look back on the most popular posts of the year.

  1. Exclusive – Yahoo Using Dirty Tactics to Switch Google & Firefox Users? – we questioned Yahoo’s update process including changing the default browser to IE, changing the default homepage to Yahoo and changing the default search engine to Yahoo.
  2. Video: Post-It Notes Waterfall by Eepybird – if you loved the Mentos and Diet Coke experiments, you’ll love the Post-It Note one.
  3. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 Sucks! – even though I first griped about IE7 in 2006, we still get lots of Google visitors agreeing with me.
  4. How Much Does Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 Suck? – and still agreeing.

Yahoo Loses Chief Performance Officer to Google

Yet another Yahoo executive departs the twelve-year-old company. Steve Souders, Chief Performance Officer at Yahoo, will start at Google next Monday, according to his personal website.

Before you all assume that Souders was in charge of Yahoo’s Mime Troupe, let us clarify that the Chief of Performance was in charge of website performance. Souders is author of the High Performance Web Sites. At Yahoo, he worked on the YSlow Firefox (Firebug) extension, as well as the official Developer Network and the User Interface blogs.

Souders has worked at Yahoo since 2000. You may have seen him speaking at April’s Web 2.0 Expo or October’s Widget Summit or Future of Web Apps.

Marketing New Year’s Eve Parties

As I write this there are 11 hours and 57 minutes until 2008. Entrepreneur Jann Yogman is banking that you are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year. He started New Year’s Nation, which is a ticket broker and organizer of New Year’s parties in big cities across the U.S.

Last year he launched with a virtual event that drew 5,000 people in five cities. They were connected by streaming video. Tonight there will be eight cities. If you want to book tickets in say, Los Angeles, it will be $150. Then you can watch partiers in New York, Boston, Seattle, or one of the other cities.

Higher Ed 2.0

The web already makes it easier to educate yourself. Now colleges and universities are putting their best classes online and charging nothing for them. Entire lectures are being posted on YouTube (like UC Berekely), iTunes, or on the school’s own web sites.

iTunes U has almost 30 universities participating. The top downloads aren’t lightweights either – #1 is a lecture from MIT physics professor Walter Lewin. He has 37 lectures posted and has become famous for his quirky style.

Not only are the world’s most brilliant thinkers writing blogs, they are on video and podcasts too. This is a renaissance of knowledge that is being viewed by not just students, but ordinary people all over the world. Think of how useful this is for college prep or to study before taking the GMAT or other courses.

Updates on Your Contacts Coming to Your Gmail

A couple weeks ago, Google Reader started sending you shared items from your contacts. But it’s about to get worse. Google Operating System takes a look at the some of the Gmail code for a peek into the future—and if you didn’t like the Google Reader changes, you’re really not going to like this.

One of the reasons why the chat box can no longer be disabled in the new version of Gmail is that it will include some new features: updates from your contacts. Yes, they are the same contacts you barely know, but these updates will help you learn more about them.

Gmail’s code suggests that you’ll be able to delete the updates you don’t like, reply by email or post a comment. It’s not very clear what kind of updates you will receive, but they’re probably the latest important actions of your contacts from different Google services.

Pilgrim’s Picks for December 31st – New Year’s Eve Edition

I hope you had a great Christmas and have exciting plans for ringing in the New Year. I know you probably either aren’t working today, or just don’t feel like working–I know how you feel. So here’s the abbreviated version of today’s marketing news.