Like Everything Else, Email is Going Mobile

comScore’s latest study on email usage returned a result we already suspected was true – more people are using their mobile phones to access their email causing a drop in web-based email usage.

The shift is more about the advances in technology and less about the way we use email to communicate. Web-based email has always been about ease of access. If you’re only using Outlook then your work emails stay at work and home emails stay home. Forwarding emails from one computer to another was the only way to gather all of the information in one place and if you were traveling the you were stuck.

As Kids Grow, Parents Spend Less Time on Social Media

Parents with children under six years old spend more time using social media than those with older children. This is one of the findings of a new survey conducted by Media Audit and featured on eMarketer.

Starting with 67.1% (for parents with kids under six), the study saw a gradual but steady decrease in usage ending at 55.2% for parents with kids over 18. My guess is that the decrease is based on two factors, parental age and lifestyle.

Though there are exceptions to the rule (Elton John), most sources quote the mean age for a first baby at 25 to 27 years old. So the top level of responders in this survey are in their early-thirties and under. That alone, will account for more social media usage.

Parade Launches Opt-In Video Ad Program

Video ad network AdGenesis has teamed up with Sunday supplement, Parade Magazine for an opt-in program that offers rewards to consumers who agree to watch a video ad.

The program is called PARADE Video Rewards and it’s pretty simple. You sign up, tell them a little about yourself and then you’re presented with a variety of video ad choices. If you watch, you get reward points and potentially a bonus reward such as a discount or coupon.

The program is currently being advertised on Parade’s homepage and the initial sign-up form is very short. Name, email, date of birth, zip code and that’s followed by a few questions about your interests. I don’t know if they’re the same for everyone but I was asked to check boxes pertaining to the types of things I buy online, and what kind of movies and music I like. The whole sign-up process took less than a minute if you don’t count waiting for the email confirmation.

Study Shows Internet Users to Be More Community Minded

There are people who think internet users are solitary souls who communicate virtually in order to prevent having actual human contact. But according to the most recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, internet users are much more likely to be involved in community, political and religious groups.

Says the study:

80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. And social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants.

The majority of group members who used the internet said that the internet was an important communication tool, it helped them draw attention to their issues and aided them in connecting to other groups.

What’s All the Fuss About Quora?

For the past month, I’ve seen article after article about how the new Q&A site Quora might be the next social media darling. The site began in “invite only” mode, which certainly helped elevate the buzz. Then Ashton Kutcher started answering questions there, so that was an indication of . . . something.

Now open to the public, the site does appear to have some heavy hitters in the community, particularly those in the journalism and tech areas. I saw the founder of Lifehack, the CEO of Mashable, a former AOL Chief Marketing Officer and the CEO of Netflix. Quite the cocktail party.

The questions on Quora are more intelligent than the ones you find on those other Q&A sites. For example: How did Mint acquire 1.5m+ users without a high viral coefficient, scalable SEO strategy, or paid customer acquisition channel?

Ringback Advertising is on the Rise

Everyone knows what a ringtone is but I admit I was thrown for a moment when I saw this new report about ringbacks. A ringback tone is what you hear while you’re waiting for your call to connect. Usually it’s a sequence of beeps, which aren’t very pleasant to listen to, so why not offer something more fun like the McDonald’s jingle or a reminder to have a Coke and a Smile with lunch.

Ringback advertising is on the rise and according to a new report from Juniper Research, ad dollars are likely to hit $780 million by 2015. Juniper reports that many companies offer airtime credit in return for opting in to the branded content program, so that makes it a win-win on both sides.

Netflix Built it, But They Didn’t Come

With all the hype about social media marketing, it often seems like Facebook is the key to instant success. This week, however, Netflix found out that just building it wasn’t enough to make the people come.

Two years ago, Netflix added a Facebook component to their system that allowed you to easily share your movie choices and reviews with your friends. Okay, that’s not exactly true. From the sound of it, the app wasn’t easy to use and “allowed” was more like “forced,” so Netflix shut it down last week.

Director of Product Management, Tim Willerer explained the reason for the shut down on the company blog. He said:

Very few of you have signed on for this so we’re pulling it back today to regroup, which includes testing new concepts, and ultimately finding a more appealing program for all of our members.