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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 Newest Shopping Holiday: Green Monday

Dear Everyone Who Shopped Online Last Monday,

Thank you. Thank you for hearing my plea. Thank you for vindicating me.

Thank you for making Monday, December 10, the biggest shopping day on record (y’know, so far). With spending of $881 million, it far outclasses this year’s “Cyber Monday” ($733M) and the record-breaking-random-Thursday boom ($803M), with an almost $80 million edge. That’s not to mention a 33% increase over the same Monday last year, which only saw $661 million.

I’ve mentioned before (and even last year) that the biggest online shopping day has long been the second Monday in December. But finally this year, it was so big that it has been declared it the newest shopping holiday: “Green Monday.”

People Looking for Google on Ask.com

We’ve seen Yahoo’s most popular queries this year; we’ve seen Google’s. But we didn’t tell you about Ask’s top search queries for 2007.

Ask.com says they didn’t “sanitize” the list—as evidenced by including #3:

1. MySpace
2. Dictionary
3. Google
4. Themes
5. Area Codes
6. Cars
7. Weather
8. Games
9. Song Lyrics
10. Movies

And when they say they don’t sanitize it, they mean they didn’t take out porn terms, either. Odd . . . I could’ve sworn that the premise behind their big ad push this year was that Ask was a good way to find porn. . . .

Does it seem a little strange to anyone else how extremely generic these searches are? Other than MySpace and Google, what are these people looking for? “Themes”? The weather all over the entire world? Every movie ever made? Come on.

47% Internet Users Check Their Google Reputation

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little obsessed with online reputation management. :-)

So, you can imagine my interest in Pew Internet & American Life Project’s update to their 2002 study on how many people plug their own name into Google. Back in 2002, just 22% of Internet users Googled themselves. Today, that number is at 47%.

Still, that leaves a whopping 53% who have never taken the time to see what Google has to say about them. Worse, 60% of those polled don’t even care!

Well, they should! Studies have shown that potential employers, business partners, and romantic dates, are among those that will type your name into Google and see what’s returned.

Cyber Monday Record Broken

Tired of hearing the Cyber Monday hype yet? Fight back with this factoid: this year’s record-setting Cyber Monday, with $733 million in online sales, has already been displaced as the highest-selling day this holiday season. comScore reports that the new one-day record is $803 million, reached on December 6. Yeah, that’s a Thursday. So much for the whole “Monday” theory.

The $800 million day saw 28% higher revenue than the same day last year and set a milestone as the first $800+ million day in online revenue. This brings the total spent online this year to over $18 billion, up 18% over last year’s $15 billion.

comScore predicts that the total this year will be $29.5 billion, up nearly 20% over last year’s $24.6 billion.

On Using an Ad Network

Most site owners aren’t adept or don’t have the experience to find ads for their sites. Perhaps you don’t have the staff to manage ad campaigns. If you would rather let someone else handle that, joining an ad network is the way to go. You will split the ad revenue based on how many clicks or how many times the ad is views.

MarketingSherpa just published another part in their series about ad networks about what works best. The article is only accessible for a week.

As you probably know, people often don’t click on banner ads, text ads usually perform better. But there is still a place for them and the more targeted they are to the site, the better.

Initial research you need to do.

Will Cyber Monday Be the Peak?

With all the hype surrounding Cyber Monday this year, I was actually surprised to find out that it was justified for once. comScore reports that Cyber Monday had record-setting spending: $733 million, to be exact. And the subsequent days also saw $700+ in sales, with Thursday coming in close second to Monday.

Compared to last year’s peak day, sales are up 11% or $72 million. However, that actually constitutes slower (and smaller) growth. From 2005 to 2006, sales rose 19%. More telling, from ’05-’06, sales increased $105 million.

But I don’t think it’s over yet. The peak online retail days for 2006 and 2007 were not, in fact, the so-called “Cyber” Monday: they were Monday, December 11, 2006 and Monday, December 12, 2005. As I wrote about this last year: