August 24, 2007
(via Research Brief)
According to the Online Publishers Association, Internet users are spending nearly half their online time visiting content, a 37% increase in share of time from four years ago. The Internet Activity Index, conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, shows that communications accounted for 46% of consumers’ time online in 2003. A dramatic shift has taken place since then, with consumers now spending 47% of their time with content and only 33% with communication.
The OPA found a number of other important factors behind the changes, including:
- A more accessible, and much faster, Internet is driving increased overall time spent online.
- The increased popularity of video is leading to more time being spent with online content.
- The improvement in search allows consumers to more easily and quickly find the exact content they are looking for, increasing the likelihood they will engage more deeply with that content.
- The Web simply offers far more content than it did even four years ago, increasing content’s share of time.
- The rise of instant messaging (IM) as a key communications tool has been a factor in communication’s reduction in share of time. IM is a more efficient communications vehicle than email.
What it means: for anyone who doubted the strength of the content tidal wave (professional and user-generated), these numbers leave no doubt. If you are traditional media, make sure your offline content is ready for the web and published there as well. Create also web-specific content and allow users to comment, tag and contribute additional content. And don’t forget that content can be accessed using non-traditional platforms: mobile, Nintendo Wii, etc.
June 1, 2007
At the EADP conference last week, I had the chance to listen to a great presentation by my friend Christer Pettersson from Eniro, the Nordic Countries directory publisher. Their online strategy has always been very progressive but this presentation has convinced me that they are amongst the most innovative directory publishers worldwide.
Here are the highlights:
- They’ve introduced moderated reviews and ratings within their directory site a year ago with great success. They want this database to become a new competitive advantage that cannot be easily replicated by competition. They offer an opt out for merchants who don’t want it but very few have done it. Some advertisers even include their review scores within their print ad! Users love it.
- They now offer free user-generated classifieds
- Eniro acquired 50% of Bubblare.se, the Swedish YouTube. They’re placing a bet on the explosion of online video advertising and want users and advertisers to upload videos.
- They want to encourage tagging
- They want people to upload pictures and are introducing picture navigation
- They want users to update/improve their residential listings
- They’ve launched a corporate blog
Update: just before publishing this post, I received news that Eniro had acquired Krak.dk for 400M DKK ($72M). According to what I’m reading (my Danish is quite poor…), Krak.dk is one of the leading local search and mapping site in Denmark.
What it means: Eniro has clearly decided they would experiment with all sorts of Web 2.0 applications and features within their network of sites. Kudos!
January 4, 2007
This article by Bambi Francisco in MarketWatch recaps 2006 and sets the stage for 2007 in terms of the impact of user-generated content:
“Given our obsession with users, and ourselves, I’ve highlighted what will be in demand or wanted in 2007 as the audience is increasingly relied upon as the voice, the experts, the supporting actors and/or virtual stars of tomorrow. These bottoms-up celebrities combined with traditional top-down stars will increasingly dominate the new media landscape of 2007.
Wanted: Your contribution
The concept of a wiki — a site that essentially enables egalitarian editing and collaboration of everyone from experts to novices — has been around for many years. The best-known example is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Today, Wikipedia has 725 million page views per month, up more than 400% from last year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. And, the beauty of Wikipedia is that it has about 6 employees. This year, the wiki model exploded to the point that now a book is being written in wiki style. Barry Libert is spearheading the first book project to be written in such a manner. (…)
Wanted: Your expertise
“Everyone is an expert [in something],” according to Richard Rosenblatt, who was the former chairman of MySpace and who sold the social network to News Corp last year for $580 million. Today, Rosenblatt is heading up Demand Media, which he calls a new media site. Demand Media is looking for professional, expert content on any topic since the core of its strategy is to start with trusted, professional content and then provide the tools to let people contribute related content or opinions. Some of Demand Media’s sites that use expert commentary include eHow, trails.com, gardenguides.com and golflink.com.
Yahoo Answers is probably the most popular of services that rely on volunteer experts to give people answers to their questions. (…) Yahoo Answers, which now has 60 million users and 160 million answers, marked its one-year anniversary in early December. Those answers helped drive Yahoo Answers traffic from practically zero in November 2005 to 14.5 million this November, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In a survey conducted by Yahoo Answers and Harris Interactive, a third of online adults have used a Q&A site. (…)
Wanted: Your opinions and comments
Wanted: Your history
Wanted: Your reviews, ratings
Wanted: Your profiles and journals
Wanted: Your video creations
What it means: this is a great summary of the major pillars of user-generated content. Still looking for a good New Year’s resolution? Make sure you open the conversation with your users. They want to tell you something!
December 14, 2006
“We’re allowing viewers to influence content — it’s not user-generated content, but letting viewers influence the content so we retain some control, and it’s more enjoyable than when viewers are 100% in control,” Tiles said. Such programming includes the interactive series “Star Trek 2.0,” where viewers can play the “Spock Market” real-time stock exchange, learn obscure facts that are streamed during the episode and chat about the show, and the upcoming “Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0.” Tiles said G4 is looking to do something similar with its recent acquisition, “Cops,” as well.
Tiles added that studying how the network’s target demo of males 18-34 consumes media — on multiple platforms — offers an insightful peek into the future. “It’s akin to peering into the future because this is how every demo is going to be consuming media in the future,” he said. “It’s a valuable learning lesson.”
From their Web site, here is a description of G4′s target market: “G4 embraces the male 18-34 audience and their fascination with video games, the Internet, broadband, technology, comics and animation. Additionally, G4 provides breaking news and insider opinions on these topics as well as the broader culture young men are interested in.”
What it means: a couple of insights: first, I love the concept of user-influenced content as opposed to user-generated content. It’s much more reassuring to traditional media companies. It’s also a good way to start leveraging user content without “giving inmates the keys to the asylum”. Even Digg.com has moderators! Second, I like how G4 is trying to leverage interactive media as a support to it’s linear programming. Given their current legal constraints with the shows they’ve picked up (can’t broadcast on the Internet, bla, bla, bla), it’s the best they can do at this point as they don’t own much of their current programming. So, in effect, their interactive media is actually becoming original programming!