Facebook long ago passed MySpace in global visitors and time spent on the site, but now it appears to be gaining ground on Google.
In an uncharted world of boundless data, information designers are our new navigators. They are computer scientists, statisticians, graphic designers, producers and cartographers who map entire oceans of data and turn them into innovative visual displays, like rich graphs and charts, that help both companies and consumers cut through the clutter. These gurus of visual analytics are making interactive data synonymous with attractive data.
Social media didn’t invent conversations, it provided us with tools to surface and organize them. Conversations about brands predates the mediums used to connect messages and aspirations with consumers. The motivation for brands to engage in social networks varies based on the culture and agility of each company, but what is constant is the aspiration to connect with customers and prospects to earn awareness, attention and connections.
Understanding your customers is general is obviously incredibly important, but you should also understand how your customers are using social media. This is something that often is overlooked when we advise companies on how to get started with social media. We teach them of the value of monitoring social media, of tracking company and industry mentions. Of knowing what's being said and where it is being said. But that's only half the battle. The 'why' gives meaning to the numbers. What social tools are your customers using? Why are they using them? What information are they looking for, and how do they want it to be delivered to them?
Companies are figuring out how to profit from anonomized customer data.
Newspaper columnists, television pundits and so-called style commentators are usually credited with identifying the zeitgeist. Not this time. Step forward the number-crunchers from the Office for National Statistics. The ONS’s snapshot of what we put in our shopping baskets is intended to calculate the cost of living but has the interesting side-effect of illuminating changing habits and fashions. This is how we learnt yesterday that the reign of lipstick as the mainstay of women’s handbags was over, having dropped, as it were, out of the basket, and that lip gloss had taken over.
A couple of years ago, a business-development guy at Bloomberg named Bo Moon was getting crushed in his fantasy-basketball league. So while commuting from New Jersey into Bloomberg's Manhattan offices, Moon and a car-pool colleague, Jay B. Lee, started wondering what would happen if the company applied its core expertise, the supply of real-time financial analytics to Wall Street traders, to sports statistics. (And while spending hours stuck in New York City–area rush-hour traffic, they had plenty of time to ponder.) After all, in many ways fantasy teams are similar to stock portfolios, with players as the assets. If Bloomberg could analyze a stock via every imaginable statistic and performance graphic, why couldn't the company do the same for athletes? With fantasy sports now a $4.5 billion industry, wouldn't there be demand for a Bloomberg product geared toward that market?
By overlooking cuts in research and development, product design, and worker training, GDP is greatly overstating the economy's strength.
Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the website as the dominant digital channel in the brand’s communication tool kit? This question has been the focus of much discussion recently as statistics over the last three years show a significant decline in unique users to the websites of prominent brands. And while the number of website visitors declines, the number of people visiting social media and networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter increases dramatically.
Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share. As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we’re involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention.
Without any fanfare, Google has launched a new resource called "Google Internet Stats" which brings together industry facts and insights from across five different industries. Using a number of third party vendors as sources, the stats tool parses through online data to reveal Twitter-sized snippets and factoids like: "Over 90% of online merchants are planning to add rich media and social networking functions in 2009 -Internet Retailing" or "Runners have collectively logged over 93 million miles on nikeplus.com - BusinessWeek." While the stat center is an excellent new resource, there is one odd thing about it - it's hosted on the google.co.uk domain even though many of the sources used for stats have a global focus. The collection of statistics is broken down into five main areas of focus: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption, and Consumer Trends.
After years of calling the shots, the traditional Mad Men of advertising -- the creative types who cooked up memorable sell-lines like "the ultimate driving machine" -- are increasingly sharing the spotlight with, you guessed it, the nerds. Or as Jon Bond, a co-founder of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, which has done work for Target and Panasonic, says, "If we were in India, it would be as if the untouchables had suddenly become the ruling class." What has allowed the lowly quants to sit at the same table as the advertising Brahmin is a new way of thinking about the creation of desire.
Edward Tufte combines a policy wonk's love of data with an artist's eye for beauty and a PR maestro's knack for promotion.
Journalist Michael Blastand has written an interesting, simple but eye opening article that explains the correct way to think about all the scary “statistics” thrown around haphazardly in the news so often. He explains just how percentages mean nothing unless put into proper context.
This is an Age of Commodified Intelligence, a time of conspicuously consumed high culture in which intellectual life is meticulously measured and branded.