2012 Internet trends and the re-imagination of everything
6Jun12

Want more evidence that no industry is immune from the current pace of change? Then this post is chock full of examples.

Last time I was in San Francisco I attended the Web 2.0 Summit featuring many of the web-tech industry’s biggest names. One of the best presentations was by Mary Meeker, at the time an analyst for Morgan Stanley. Mary is so good at reading the trends and industry directions that she was then poached by leading Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. In short, when Mary speaks the industry listens.

Mary has just published her 2012 Internet Trends Report and it makes for interesting reading.

But what I’d really like to share are the slides from 29-86 which cover the way technology has re-imagined so many industries in recent times. As Mary says, these are still early days, we’re still in Spring training.

The presentation also covers:

  • Global Internet usage
  • Mobile usage
  • Mobile device evolution
  • Mobile monetization transition
  • Platform firehoses
  • The trend of “re-imagination” of almost everything (no industry is immune)
  • The economy
  • US consumer sentiment
  • The tech “bubble”

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The 10 main reasons people unfollow you on Twitter [Infographic]
4Jun12

Ever wondered why your Twitter follower count goes up and down? Want to get a feel for what works and what annoys people on Twitter?

Then you might find this infographic useful. Its the 10 main reasons people unfollow you on Twitter and it was created by fellow Age of Conversation author Douglas Karr and his team at DK New Media.

Thanks to Douglas for sharing it.

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No industry is immune to the current pace of change
31May12

Why pizza eating hackers may be your biggest threat…and opportunity

I was speaking at a conference earlier this week and opened my presentation with the warning that unless businesses started adapting to the rapid pace of change in communications and technology they will be left behind. Every industry will be affected. Those who think they’re immune are kidding themselves.

My presentation followed an economic update by a leading economist who didn’t paint a very rosy picture for the next few years. Whilst Australia has managed to remain relatively unscathed by economic chaos around the world up til now, this may be about to change. With Greece and the European Union on the brink and Australian personal debt at levels much higher than the rest of the world, consumer confidence has dried up. We’re not spending and the strain is beginning to show on the economy.

This will only increase the hunger for more cost effective ways for consumers to shop and for businesses to perform. It will hasten the move to more efficient technological solutions and out-sourcing of talent.

Look no further than this week’s announcement by Fairfax that they intend to move editorial production of their regional papers to New Zealand. A favourable exchange rate and modern technology make this possible and will save Fairfax millions in wages.

Its terrible news for local papers and the employees who will lose their jobs, but its also as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. Ever since the Internet took away the “rivers of gold” that classified listing generated for newspapers the industry has been in decline. This was always going to happen eventually.

Its an era of change and no industry is immune.

In my presentation I showed a timeline of the big tech innovations of the last 15 years. These all contribute heavily to the way we now shop, consume media, research, conduct business and entertain ourselves:

  • Google – founded 1997
  • iTunes – launched 2001
  • Facebook – founded 2004
  • YouTube – launched 2005
  • Twitter – launched 2006
  • iPhone – launched 2007
  • 5 Free to Air TV Channels in 2009
  • 16 FTA channels today
  • Then there’s Google TV and Apple TV trying to break through

…and the National Broadband Network is now rolling out….

The last 15 years have been the tip of the iceberg, more radical change is coming and every industry will be affected.

Any business that isn’t looking to move their marketing from outbound to inbound, their IT from in-house to the cloud, reconsidering human resources, or radically revising their whole business model is crazy.

Don’t be surprised when some upstart comes along with a leaner, meaner business model to interrupt your industry. There are thousands on young punks with laptops, pizza and energy drinks currently plotting your downfall. Maybe you should be hiring them instead.

It has happened to the advertising and marketing industries. It happened in a big way in the music industry. It has happened to print media. Radio is in the firing line. Television is trying to adapt quickly. Look at the travel industry…its almost entirely online now.

I had a customer tell me this week that it won’t happen in his industry because the product is big and hard to ship and assemble plus personal service is still key. I disagree. Change is already well under way. In 10 years his industry will look totally different. Probably 5 years.

The pace of change is only going to increase and a tough economy will actually help those who adapt to leaner, more efficient models. Those people will emerge as the new market leaders whilst those who resisted change will be gone…or out on their feet.

 

The online population boom [Infographic]
21May12

by [me]

The web has grown enormously over the last decade with new media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn emerging and becoming incredibly powerful as the world becomes increasingly connected.

This infographic from the team at Customer Magnetism on the online population boom demonstrates how much has changed in such a short time.

Highlights include:

  • 92% of Internet users use search engines daily
  • 65% of Internet users login to social networks daily
  • 2.27 billion people are now on the Internet
  • 93% of adult internet users in the USA are on Facebook
  • By 2014, 53% of all US retail sales will be online

 

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Meet The Social Traveler & help him help small charities
16May12

Bjorn Troch is The Social Traveler

Bjorn Troch is The Social Traveler

Last year I met a Belgian guy who made me insanely jealous. He was traveling the world indefinitely using social media to connect, find places, set his itinerary and generally have a great time.

Along the way he was tackling crazy challenges suggested by the online community he has fostered. Right now he is riding alone on a tandem bike from Kuala Lumpur all the way to Hong Kong. He’s trying to do the ride of more than 5000 km in 3 months.

His name is Bjorn Troch and he calls himself The Social Traveler.

Turns out Bjorn is a really nice guy, which probably explains why his adventure is still progressing smoothly after a few years of non-stop country hopping.
Beyond having a great time and making us office workers jealous, Bjorn is also trying to make a difference to the communities he visits along the way by helping small local charities in each area.

And that’s where you can help. I have chipped in to sponsor a few kilometers of Bjorn’s travels knowing he will help small charities along the way….and I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in some of these communities so help Bjorn help other and then follow his adventures from the comfort of your laptop.

Here is Bjorn’s full story….

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The Evolution of SXSW [Infographic]
15May12

by [me]

Recently I have been championing a move to hold a large innovation and tech festival in Newcastle, Australia. We’re calling it DiG. So far it has a group of people working on the concept, a website and Twitter handle. We’ve still got a long way to go.

The encouraging thing is that “from little things big things grow”. Look at this infographic from the team at Rock Sauce Studios on the rise and rise of SXSW in Austin, Texas. They only expected 150 to show up to the first year, they got 700. This year the Interactive Festival at SXSW drew over 19,000 visitors.

SXSW has been amazing for the Austin economy and a fantastic event for launching new products and services. Maybe one day DiG could have a similar effect here in Australia.

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The truth about banner ads [Infographic]
9May12

by [me]

Since the down of the commercial internet in the early 1990′s banner ads have been the default form of advertising. Google shook things up massively with their Adwords program but most media sites still rely heavily on banner ads for revenue.

Banner ads have always stuck me as old media imposing their old models on new technology. However, measurement is different as advertisers were encouraged to look at clicks rather than exposure, as they would have done with press display ads. Branding became less important and click-through became the goal.

The question is do banner ads really work? Are they effective? This nice infographic from the team at Prestige Marketing explains who’s clicking, who’s not clicking and why.

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Australia’s Top Media & Marketing Blogs (according to AdAge)
2May12

By [me]

A few years back Advertising Age in the USA launched the Power 150 international ranking of media and marketing blogs. It caused quite a fuss. I thought it would be worthwhile revisiting the Power 150 to see how much has changed. There have been a lot of commercial entries in the last few year compared to the pure blogs that first appeared.

Here is the latest list of Australia’s Top Media & Marketing Blogs according to AdAge Magazine. The rankings take into account a range of factors, some more US-centric, but it gives an good indication of which sites are making an impact. Check them out and support Australian bloggers.

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Newcastle radio: AM stations fall in Survey 1, 2012
20Apr12

by [me]

The latest Newcastle radio ratings delivered bad news for those stations on the AM dial with both 2HD and ABC1233 recording significant falls.

NXFM topped the ratings again with a share of 18.9%, holding out stablemate KOFM on 17.6%. NEWFM recorded a rise of 1.1 for a share of 8.8% whilst NXFM was the only other station to increase their share.

The real damage was on the AM dial where both 2HD and ABC1233 dropped 2.8%.

For 2HD it was their lowest ratings in the last few decades and signals a significant loss of support. The station lost share in every demographic including a massive loss of 7.2% with the 65+ audience who had previously been their main supporters. 2HD also went down in every shift except Drive, including a drop of 5.3 in Mornings with John Laws.

The cumulative audience figures were even more revealing. 2HD now has a cumulative audience of just 65,000 for the week, while ABC1233 who also took a big hit still has 19,000 more listeners across the 7 days.

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The price of bad advice
11Apr12

by [me]

I came across three pieces of mind-numbingly bad advice today, all from experts in their respective fields, all to prominent organizations. Each of them have caused me to question:
A) the quality of expert advice
B) the lack of digital knowledge in the business world
C) how organizations can determine which advice they can trust.

But let’s start with the bad advice. These are clangers.

The first company, a prominent industry leader, wants to get more search traffic for a new service they offer. Whilst weighing up an organic search engine optimisation strategy they’ve received advice from an Adwords specialist. The response: spend the budget on an Adwords campaign because the clicks from the traffic will increase your organic search results.

WRONG. There is no relationship between paid results and organic search results. Organic search results come from a combination of inbound links (indicator of popularity) and on-page optimisation for targeted terms.

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