Welcome to my blog on Content Intelligence and Engagement Performance; I have spent years in collaboration, messaging and social space developing advanced technologies to improve the consumer experience and lead generation. Was inducted into the Viral Hall of Fame by Marketing Sherpa as well as other industry awards. Join me in the conversation.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Picture this: the whole of human knowledge as a figurative mind that can selectively focus on certain areas. It’s a profound notion, and visualizing such a construct is an enormous undertaking. But with last week’s release of a new “map of science,” a team of researchers led by Johan Bollen is attempting to do just that — with a high-resolution visualization of how scientific literature is accessed based on users’ downloading and browsing behavior, known as clickstream data. This usage data was collected, aggregated, and normalized across a wide variety of journal publishers and institutions. The result is a network map with color-coded nodes (clusters of research articles from different fields) and interconnected lines (shaped by users’ clickstreams), demonstrating the connections among a comprehensive sample space of scholarly research.

A new map of science based on clickstream data. Click to enlarge. Credit: PLoSOne

This isn’t the first attempt to extract meaning from the referential loops within scientific literature. In 2006, Columbia University’s W. Bradford Paley released an influential map of science based on data from Thomson Scientific, a firm that tracks article citations across scholarly journals. More recently, Carl Bergstrom, a biologist from the University of Washington, has developed a suite of innovative visualizations based on his own citation data sets for a venture called Eigenfactor. His method draws from network science and information theory to determine how often specific articles cite other articles as part of a relative ranking system for journals.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Twitter’s Tweet Smell Of Success

March 18th, 2009 Posted in Nielsen News, Online And Mobile | 14 Comments

Michelle McGiboney, Nielsen Online

Twitter.com continues to grow in popularity and importance in both the consumer and corporate worlds. No longer just a platform for friends to stay connected in real time, it has evolved into an important component of brand marketing. Unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009, making it the fastest growing site in the Member Communities category for the month. Zimbio and Facebook followed, growing 240 percent and 228 percent, respectively.

Fastest Growing Member Community Destinations in February 2009

RANK Site Feb 08 Feb 09 % growth
1 Twitter.com 475,000 7,038,000 1382%
2 Zimbio 809,000 2,752,000 240%
3 Facebook 20,043,000 65,704,000 228%
4 Multiply 821,000 2,394,000 192%
5 Wikia 1,381,000 3,758,000 172%
source: Nielsen NetView, 2/09, U.S., Home and Work

Twitter Most Popular Among Working Adults

Twitterers (a.k.a. Tweeters) are not primarily teens or college students as you might expect. In fact, in February the largest age group on Twitter was 35-49; with nearly 3 million unique visitors, comprising almost 42 percent of the site’s audience. We found that the majority of people visit Twitter.com while at work, with 62 percent of the combo unique audience accessing the site from work only versus 35 percent that accessed it from home only.

Unique Visitors to Twitter.com by Age Demographic

Age Group Unique Audience Composition %
2-17 250,000 3.6
18 - 24 ** **
25 - 34 1,379,000 19.6
35 - 49 2,935,000 41.7
55+ 1,165,000 16.6
65+ 477,000 6.8
source: Nielsen NetView, 2/09, U.S., Home and Work
**These demographics have insufficient sample sizes

Twitter On The Move

PC Web usage of Twitter.com doesn’t tell the whole story. The ability to twitter via a mobile phone-whether through the mobile Web or via text messages-is a driving factor in the social network’s success. In January, 735,000 unique visitors accessed the Twitter Web site through their mobile phones. The average unique visitor went to Twitter.com 14 times during the month and spent an average of seven minutes on the site.

Finally, text messaging offers a third platform for consumers and businesses alike to take part in the twitter craze. In the last quarter of 2008, 812,000 unique users sent or received Twitter text messages from AT&T or Verizon cell phones. There was an average of nearly 240 tweets per person for the quarter.

It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Twitter as it continues to gain momentum. In an unstable economy, it might prove to be an economical and important part of an employer’s marketing strategy that helps to keep consumers aware of and connected to their brand.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google to Some Sites


Will Search-Marketing Dollars Also Shift to Social Media?

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Marketers spend billions to attract search traffic from Google, but late last year Facebook started becoming a bigger source of traffic for some large websites, according to analytics firm Hitwise.

It seems inevitable that, given Facebook's sheer scale (180 million registered users and counting), it would at some point start referring a lot of users to some sites, but the development is surprising. Web users go to Google to figure out where to go next; they go to Facebook to, well, hang out.

Facebook gets a little more than a third of Google's unique visitors in the U.S. (50 million vs. 149 million in January, per ComScore); since last summer, registered users have been growing at a double-digit rate.

Where they're going
But since the beginning of the year, Facebook has become a bigger referring site than Google to a number of sites, including gossip sites PerezHilton.com and Dlisted, mom site CafeMom, Evite, video site Tagged.com, and, yes, Twitter.

There are good reasons for some of this: CafeMom has a Facebook fan page, which no doubt helps drive traffic, and users can synchronize updates with Facebook and Twitter.

It's hard to know why two gossip sites are on the list, aside from the fact that they tend to be places people spend a lot of time. Since the beginning of 2009, gossip site PerezHilton.com has received 8.7% of its visitors from Facebook, compared with 7.6% from Google, according to Hitwise. The same didn't hold true, however, for gossip site TMZ, which got 12.2% of its traffic from Google, compared with 3.8% from Facebook.

Big source for video sites
As NewTeeVee points out, Facebook has also become a big source of referrals for video sites as users post and share clips. Traffic from Facebook accounted for 3.3% of visits to video sites in February, according to Hitwise, up from less than 2% in February of last year.

It all points to the growing power of content sharing; the question is how to harness that and what it means for the future of "search" marketing. Companies spent $12.2 billion in 2008 on search optimization and marketing to get traffic from Google, according to eMarketer.

But Peter Yared, CEO of marketing firm iWidgets, said he thinks some of that spending is going to shift to where the viewers, and the traffic, increasingly are. "Soon the [search-engine marketing and search-engine optimization] spend will start to follow the eyeballs and transition from Google to social media," he said.

Monday, March 2, 2009

From Ken Radio

Social Networks Poised to Play Role in Recession
With 40 million active users in the US, social networking has grown 93% since 2006 and is poised to play a vital role in the current economic downturn, that also predicts a related increase in social media advertising opportunities. 76% of US broadband users (105 million) are active contributors to the web via social media (including uploading photos, blogging, rating products and other Web 2.0 activities). Moreover, approximately 29%, or 40 million broadband users are regular contributors to the web specifically through social networking sites and are spending increasing amounts of their online time communicating with each other, both one-to-one and one-to-many, according to Netpop Research.

Key findings about US social networkers:

* Social networkers in the US are most likely to be single, employed women, age 18-39 and living somewhere between Indiana and the Atlantic Ocean, or along the west coast.

* A typical social networker connects weekly with an average of 18 people one-to-one, and 110 people one-to-many.

* Social networkers spend an average of 36% of their online time talking and sharing. This compares with 29% for non-contributors to social networks.

* Social networkers use multiple modes to communicate and stay in touch. These include IM, texts, blogs and microblogs.

* The top two social networks in the US are Facebook and MySpace. Currently, 60% of social networkers use Facebook, 63% use MySpace and 34% use both. However, Facebook has grown 500% between 2006 and 2008, catching up to MySpace in regular users in the past year.

* Other social networking sites are popular among subsets of US users with broadband, including employed networkers (who use LinkedIn, Friendster, Plaxo); students (who use IMeem, LastFM, and Veoh) and retirees (who use reunion, Groups.Google and Classmates.com).

Social networkers also are much more likely to shop and spend more online than their non-contributing peers. Social networkers buy a variety of products and services and spend an average of $101 online per month, the study found. This compares with non-contributors to social networks, who spend $80 per month. The top sources used by social networkers when making shopping decisions are search engines, brand or manufacturer sites, online-only retail sales and auction sites. Some 6% also use social networking sites to decide what to buy.

Individuals who participate in a social networking site, 71% have profiles on two or more different properties, with 26% having established four or more profiles.

Among social networkers who report having two or three profiles:

25.6% are 18 to 24 yearss old
23.3% are 25 to 34 years olds
14.7% are 35 to 44 years old
15.6% are 45 to 54 years old
18.4% are 55 to 64 years old

Among people with four or more profiles:

* 31% are between the ages of 25 and 34
* 14.1% are 55 to 64 years old

Social media will play the same role in this recession that movies played in the Depression. Brands that experiment in social advertising now will be in the best position to leverage these important media channels when the economy turns the corner.