Occupy Protesters Developing Own Social Network

Whether you agree with the Occupy (insert location here) movement or not you can’t deny that they have made a mark. Social media has played a role in that ability to make the desired impact. It seems though that traditional social media outlets like Facebook have reached their limitations with groups like this because of these folks’ desire to have a system that helps privacy rather than is always in the crosshairs regarding the same issue (read: Facebook).

So how do you overcome this issue? Build your own social network of course. A Wired article tells us:

“I don’t want to say we’re making our own Facebook. But, we’re making our own Facebook,” said Ed Knutson, a web and mobile app developer who joined a team of activist-geeks redesigning social networking for the era of global protest.

Netflix, Gap and Overstock Show Biggest Declines in Customer Satisfaction

We just looked at the dollars, now let’s hear from the customers who spent their holiday dollars online.

ForeSee has just released the results of their Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index and overall, it’s looking good. They ranked the Top 40 E-Retailers and came up with an average index number of 79. 80 is considered excellent. Prior to 2009, the scores averaged 75, which means consumers are now happier in their online shopping experiences.

Amazon took the top slot with a score of 88. That’s up two points over last year. On the bottom? Not surprisingly, Netflix dropped from an 86 to a 79. Gap.com (6%) and Overstock.com (5%) also showed declines.

Other winners include TigerDirect, JCP.com, and Dell.

Online Holiday Spending Up 15%

Yesterday, we talked about the rise in the Consumer Confidence Index and today we’re seeing the proof in the online pudding. comScore checked in with every, single e-commerce site, then tallied up the holiday shopping numbers.

Compared to the same shopping weeks last year, 2011 came in 15% higher. And here’s a chart that lays it all out for you in black and white.

Okay, so they probably didn’t actually check in with every website and it’s not that I don’t trust their numbers but I do wonder how they arrived at this total. . .

Anyway, let’s take a second to bask in the joy of these numbers. Look at Cyber Monday with a 22% increase. And what’s with these new special days, “Green Monday” and “Free Shipping Day?” Next we’ll have “Deep, Deep Discount Day” and “Last Chance Day” for all those who wait until the last minute.

Drinkers As Online Shopping Demographic

Before we get started I will tell you that I honestly had not given this idea a thought because I don’t drink. That’s just a statement of fact so you have context for this post and nothing else. I could give a hairy rodent’s behind if others drink because that’s totally a personal choice. In fact, it’s one that online merchants apparently like very much!

What lies underneath some ecommerce success is the simple fact that drinking and online shopping is somewhat of a hobby for many, whether they intend it or not. An article in the New York Times looks at this market segment of sorts. Quite honestly, it’s a fascinating thing to consider.

After enjoying a few drinks, some people go dancing. Others order food. And for some, it’s time to shop online.

Google+ Predicted to Have 400 million Users By End of 2012

Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com has made somewhat of a cottage industry out of making predictions about the growth of Google+. As with most analysis of a hot topic it won’t get any attention unless it’s big so Allen has done just that. The chart below shows a 20 million user a month increase based on his methodology.

He then goes even further in his Google+ update he states

Based on the accelerated growth I’m seeing and all the dials and levers Google can still utilize, and the developer ecosystem that will be developed, I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users.

GoDaddy Fights to Hold on to Customers as Rivals Scoop Them Up

GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman got a Christmas card from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. It said simply, “welcome to my world.”

It all began when GoDaddy announced that they were supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA. The act calls for a block on any domain that allows the posting of materials protected by copyright. Sounds reasonable, until you realize that Facebook could be blocked if someone posts a celebrity photo that is owned by one of the big licensers like Getty.

GoDaddy initially said they were behind SOPA and instantly, thousands began pulling their domains away from the company. Some went so far as to put up a boycott GoDaddy site and declare December 29, “Leave GoDaddy Day.”

Consumer Confidence Continues to Climb

The Consumer Confidence Index is up for the second month in a row, rising to 64.5 in December from 55.2 in November.

The survey, which was conducted by random sample by Nielsen for The Conference Board, showed an improvement in both current conditions and hope for the new year.

The Present Situation Index increased to 46.7 from 38.3. 16.6% said the business conditions are “good,” up from 13.9%.

There was also in increase in those who thought available jobs were “plentiful” and an almost equal decrease in those who said jobs were “hard to get.’

What’s really encouraging is the outlook for the future. The Expectations Index rose to 76.4 from 66.4. A higher percentage expected business to improve and they anticipated more available jobs in the near future.