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.

Why Don’t People Want Roger Ebert to Make Money?

Roger Ebert, the famed movie critic, has been sending out Tweets with Amazon affiliate links in them. Are you horrified? Apparently many people are and I don’t get it. Here’s the gist of the whole affair.

Two months ago, Ebert signed up for an Amazon affiliate account and began sending out two or three Twitter Tweets a day promoting various products. Generally he points out really good deals on great movies, but has been known to promote other items like coconut water (yuck).

Advertising Your Product: Is All Buzz, Good Buzz?

If you were going to make a Super Bowl commercial on behalf of the United States of America, how would you do it? That’s the question Harper’s Magazine asked a group of ad execs and it got me thinking about the right way and the wrong ways to advertise any product.

For example. Super Bowl commercials tend to be funny and over the top, but is that anyway to sell patriotism? An ad that pits Victoria’s Secret models against Obama in a cherry pie eating contest will certainly garner attention and it’s pretty likely that everyone will still be talking about it a day later. But is buzz all you need to call a commercial a success? What if the reason people are talking is because they were offended by the ad. Certainly there would be a large segment of the population who felt it was inappropriate. Does it matter? Is bad buzz as welcome as good buzz?

Bing Beats Google for Succesful Searches

Experian Hitwise has just released their December report which shows that Google overwhelmingly accounts for most of the searches conducted on the web in the US. 69.97% to be exact with the nearest competitor, Bing, coming in at only 25.77%.

But while Google is still the chosen search engine of the masses, it’s not the most accurate. According to Experian’s numbers, 81% of the searches on Bing and Yahoo! Search resulted in a trip to a web address. Google only showed a 65% success rate.