I'm not going to get into everything about the second blog, BUT it is MEATY and filled with good ideas and posts. I am going to post one of what I think it's best entries is my next blog item ..
A Free Man's Life
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" ;
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always."
"Be the change you want to see in the world." Mohandas Gandhi.
- A citizen's right-to-known is also a duty; we must exercise it always and act.
The key fixins":
Incidence - 37% of adult 18+ internet enabled users ( 80% of Canucks have internet access) have visited a social network
Profile/Disclosure - 29% of us have posted a personal profile on these networks (thus accounting for a 9 pt."gawking" factor between the 37% who visit number)
Length of Time - both participants and gawkers spend an average of 5.6 hours/week on social networks
Choices - of people who joined, Facebook (65%), Classmates (20%), My Space (15%) and Windows Live Space (13%) are the kings
Ages: 55% of 18-34 year olds have joined a social network, 21% of 35-54 year olds, and 9% of the 55+ set (if you're 70 and are on a social network, god bless you and welcome)
Frequency: 44% of social networkers visit weekly, 20% of us visit daily (guilty as charged)
Online Influence/Importance - social networkers are 31% more disposed to online comparison shop (75%), 18% more likely to buy stuff online (77%) and 30% more inclined to click on an online ad (65%)
Which means by my math:
Mass - There are just over 6.2 million adult social networkers in Canada (add another 3.3 million younger social networkers as 80% of internet-enabled 10-17 year olds visit social networks)
Median Age - if you turned 31.6 years of age today, congrats you're smack dab in the middle of the adult social network audience, oops, your 15 minutes are done, welcome to the old crowd (in fact, if we include all tween/teen social networkers the median age dips to 23.5, so don't worry you weren't in the middle anyway)
Time Allocated - 1.7 billion adult hours will be consumed socializing in online networks this year by Canadians. I wonder how many hours will be spent playing the 1977 version of social networks - the board game.
One issue I do take with Ipsos's conclusion from the research is that there is a limit on growth of social networks - the claim supported by 69% of people who aren't currently on social networks claim they would most likely not be on one in 12 months either. Ipsos conclusion: focus on getting current users to spend more time on networks. Eerr, not quite.
As we've seen in other countries and blogged about here, the rate of participation across the board continues to climb for social networking and will so so here too. Let's remember, social networks didn't even exist 4 years ago and Canada despite our world-leading broadband and internet connectedness is barely above average social networking standard. I don't want to negate the importance of network stickiness but there is plenty of room for people to grow in number.
Here are the reasons why 6.2 million will jump to over 16 million Canadians in less than three years:
- Low Hanging Fruit - 31% of non social networkers claimed they likely would join in 12 months, that's 4.4 million right there who are pre-disposed to join. Expect all of them to join over the next 3 years.
- The Net Generation Effect - today's current baby boom Millenials or Net Generationers are a demographic juggernaut, 3 more years of this generational tribe will become adults over the next 3 years and at 80% social network participation, that's at least another 1 million users
- Indispensability - increasingly, as Linked In, Facebook and other growing, new and innovative entrants add features and benefits to the social network arena,these sites will become more like essential appliances that people will wonder how they functioned without them, potentially replacing a good amount of what email gives them today, based on new benefits, add another 1.5 million users who recognize they just can't getaway without being on these sites
- Internet and Broadband Penetration - we have yet to reach our threshold on internet connectability and it's been proven broadband participants do more stuff online . 1 million Canadian people became new internet users in 2006 and broadband usage has doubled to 87% of households over the last 3 years. Still a full 1/3 of households don't have online access. Chalk up another 1 million social networkers from simply more and better web access.
"Crossing the Chasm" Effect - as mentioned in The Tipping Point and Geoffrey Moore's excellent book "Crossing the Chasm" and Everett Roger's formative work "Diffusion of Innovations" , acceptance of new ways of behaving and technology follows a bell curve, we're technically very early in the social networking bell curve, likely only tapping into the early majority. Social networks much like TV, internet access and cellphones before them still have to move through the late majority and laggards, allowing word of mouth influence and peer leadership to shape its growth. Consider that 50% of Korea's online population have visited a social network in the last 30 days and you get a sense of the social network adoption funnel people still need to travel through in North America. Another 1,000,000 networkers get swept up by the natural adoption curve.
Knowledge is Power, Privacy is Gone - as we learn more about social networks, we realize that they are not the socially awkward, dangerous, unproductive and inane places that the popular media have demonized them to be. There is also a reconciliation people are making that in order to realize the social, financial and intellectual benefits of belonging to a social network, the currency is bit of their privacy. For the most part, people are not losing their identity, sense of self or future career potential by prudently participating in social networks. In fact, in future years it may be more of a stigma to be found not participating in these networks - people will see it as a trait of "command and control" business leadership, close-minded relationship building and personal insecurity. Throw another 750,000 users on the pile as a result of a more open reaction to a cultural change on how we enagage in the digital space.
Marketing Investment and Potential - marketing, media, public service and communication firms are just starting to tap into the power and wealth of social networks. As more cool, controversial and incentive-laden stuff goes online, brand lovers, coupon clippers, savvy shoppers, consumer report junkies, political activists and pop culture surfers will join the social network nation . Add another 500,000 commercially-driven networkers who weren't attracted already by the other means described above.
By my count, I think I get up to 16.3 million adult social networkers around the time the Olympics play out in Whistler. 39% growth per year - not bad compared to most media industries. So when's Facebook launching their IPO again?