Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts from on new media

Recently I wrote about the integration of new media in public relations campaigns. Here are sections from two entries from a favourite blog that give weight to my perspective.

April 18, 2007

Facebook - Toronto is the Social Media Capital of the World

Toronto, our beloved city, sometimes sufferer of inferiority complex and four decades of hockey disappointment, loser of two Olympic bids and a consolation prize of a B-listing World (drum roll) The Social Media Capital of North America and Facebook Capital of the World. ...

Now I don't have all the historical stats but something of a "tipping point" happened in Toronto over the last few months that has caused Toronto to be virtually swathed in Facebook. ....

This is the "off the scales" type of stuff; essentially one in ten Torontonians are Facebookers. Walk through that subway car, I guarantee you you'll find at least eight Facebook friends. Head down to the Air Canada Centre for a Raptor game, chances are you'll find close to 2,000 people ready to join your Facebook group...go to The Drake, I guarantee you another 50 ... and its spreading like wildfire. ...

No U.S. city comes close to Toronto's Facebook dominance. Although varying definitions of census areas may explain some of the difference, Toronto's stats are charttoppers by any definition and Canadian cities fare exceptionally well across the board. ...

What's the "smoking gun" linked to Toronto's frenzy for Facebook?

- We have a large university educated population?

- We have a large creative class of knowledge workers who hang out on the net too often for proiductive living (true according to Ipsos).

- We are worldly, social people who seek out online social networks more than any other country (true according to comScore).

- We are connected online more than any other country (true according to Ipsos).

- We distrust central authority and like to receive our info and social exchanges from other people not broadcast media (true, according to Environics and Mood and Mindset).

- We live inside during 1/2 the year and either watch hockey or social network (true according to the flurries I saw the other day)?

- We have a large ethnic population who seeks out tribes of similar interest? (according to Canadian Geographic, 42% of Toronto's population is foreign-born)

- Gays and lesbians like to socialize online? (Toronto is recognized as a centre for gay and lesbian culture and one of largest and craziest Pride parades anywhere in the world)

- My Space did a really crappy job in Canada?

- We support underdogs? (
Facebook only represents 10% of North America social media traffic vs. My Space's 80+%)

- 5% alcohol Canadian beer is making us behave differently than 4% alcohol U.S. beer? (true according to my last few St. Patrick's days)

- the CN Tower is jamming alternative social network signals to our neighbourhoods? (it's possible, right?)

- I don't know, but somehow Mike Myers, Karim Rashid, Rachel McAdam and Neil Young are involved....

By the way, in the time it took me to write this article, 71 more Torontonians have joined. It's spreading, are you ready to join this cult! If you are, drop by my profile and become my Facebook friend, won't you :)

April 18, 2007

User Generated Content - Spooking, Tipping and The Next Big Thing in 3 Years

Fifty-seven percent of senior executives in the media and entertainment industry point to the
rapid growth of user-generated content as one of the top three challenges they face today, according to the results of a research study released in April by Accenture.

Accenture's definition of user-generated content, for the purpose of this study, included amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone photography, wikis, and social media blogs.

In addition, more than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents said they believe that social media, one of the largest segments of user-generated content, will continue to grow, compared with only 3 percent of respondents who said they view social media as a fad.While those surveyed expressed concern about user-generated content, they are less apprehensive about the future.

According to the research, 68% of respondents believe that within three years their businesses will be making money on user-generated content, and 62% believe their companies will make money through advertising and sponsorships of social media. Other sources of profits cited were subscriptions (21 percent) and pay-per-play offerings (18 percent). However, a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they do not yet know how their businesses will profit from user-generated content

The research also shows that 70% of respondents believe social media will continue to thrive, while only 3% say it is a fad. When asked which content type has the highest growth potential over the next five years, 53% named short-form video, 13% videogames, 11% full-length films, 11% music, 9% consumer publishing, and 4% business publishing.

I''ll let Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO from WPP have the last word here:
"Technological change and the consolidation of digital and non-digital business models will have a dramatic impact on the media and entertainment industry over the next five years. The winners will be those who can probe and analyze the changes and manage and merge on-line and the off-line most successfully."

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