19 things you should know about your world

  1. Did you know that China has over 253,000,000 internet users which amounts to about 17% of the world’s users?
  2. Did you know that China will eventually become the #1 English speaking country in the world? Or that
  3. The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQ’s …is greater than the total population of North America.  In India, it’s the top 28%.  Translation for teachers:  they have more honors kids than we have kids. 
  4. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.  Which speaks to a post I did about tech trends.
  5. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.  For students starting a four-year technical or college degree, this means that…half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.  It is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
  6. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs . . By the age of 38
  7. Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain.
  8. According to the U.S. Department of Labor . . .1 out of 4 workers today is working for a company they have been employed by for less than one year
  9. More than 1 out of 2 are working for a company they have worked for for less than five years.
  10. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
  11. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist .
  12. The U.S. is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration.(Luxembourg just passed us.)
  13. 1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met
  14. The average MySpace page is visited 30 times a day.
  15. The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet
  16. More than 3,000 new books are published . .
  17. It’s estimated that 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year
  18. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years
  19. 47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year

 

Many thanks to  Karl Fisch  and Scott Mcleod  who compiled alot of this data, which in the end, really gives you a sense of how very large this world is and how very small you are.  

 

 

 The only constant in life is change. Don’t be static.

My Twinfluence

Came across this post about Twinfluence from Beth Kanter via Social Media Today. What is your Twinfluence? Mine make sense to a certain degree, but check it out.

 

It’s Blog Action Day 08 and I have a story to tell.

It’s blog action day so let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, before I so gloriously stumbled into the internet, and all things tech related, I was on my own in a big city in the Northeast. I had lost my job and was fresh out of college, and relied on public transit to get around town. Since I was fresh out of school, I did not have a lot experience, and so it was tough getting a “real job”. Money dried up quick, so did credit and anything I had saved. One thing lead to another and very quickly, I found myself having a hard time surviving. I had a landlord who understood and thus let me go rent and utilities free, during this time. What made this time even more worse than it already was if that’s possible, was that it was in the middle of the winter. It was indeed, one of the darkest of times for me. I was young, healthy,  poor and I was more than anything, hungry. Me. Poor and hungry. Wow.

I did have a roof over my head but that was it. I had no way to get around because I didn’t have a car, and I had no money for bus fare. So anywhere I had to go, required me to get a good hour to 2 hour jump. Finding any work close by was impossible. There was none. Every day was spent looking for a job, any job.

Things were coming to a head. One night, after spending the whole day in the city,  I walked into a convenience store. I had not eaten in over 2 days.  I had to eat and I made a decision. I stole food.  I didn’t steal the food for fun, I stole but for the simple fact that I HAD to. I stole an apple and some cheese, maybe some other things, I can’t remember.

I went back to that store a few more times after that, and repeated it. Same drill every time. Oh and there was also a manager at Burger King, where all the homeless people hung out, who would give out burgers and fries some time and she always made sure I got some. I was this far removed from being homeless and hungry. I don’t think you realize what’s that like! I didn’t have a mental illness, I  just had too many factors at the time working against me and it kept me down.

How do you think others might feel right now who are stuggling with poverty?

It was about survival for me. I hated myself for doing it and I had zero self esteem and felt totally defeated from doing it. Down, out, humiliated but resolute to not let this go on, were my initial thoughts. My other thoughts were, If this is how I am, then what can it be like for others who have families, no shelter, no job and no options?

For me hunger was a motivating factor to make an effort every day to get A job. Even if I had to walk 2 hours in each direction to get there. At that point, one cannot be too choosey about work of any kind, and I was finally able to get a job where they actually fronted me some money so that I could get back and forth from work.

From that subsequent job, I was able to slowly pull out of the funk, the despair, the hunger, and the realization that I was not that far removed from others, who I might have, at one time in my life,  stupidly questioned, “why they couldn’t get their shit together”. Pure ignorance on my part.

It’s a humble thing to know that you can’t afford to eat and I’m also sure that a lot of people just need a break just like I got. But then again, maybe what people might need, or want, is simply a warm meal. Have you ever taken then time to think about that?

Times might suck right now, but you can make a difference Today.

Quit talking about Social Media and Go Make Some Money!

Ok so by now we all know the hows and whats of social media and social media marketing. At least, we better.  Hell, I’ve written a books worth of articles myself on the subject. And lately we’re all writing about how to use social media in a down economy. Or whether social media can survive the meltdown. Or how to use social media to deal with the crappy economy. It seems everyone has their take on what to do. Scoble says we should listen

 The Buzz Bin says keep a cool head and keep morale up. We can even go to extremes and ask Will the Recession Spell the End of Web 2.0? or we can go to the opposite end of the spectrum and be forthright and ask whether you would tell your employees and customers how bad it is?  Don’t get me wrong, those all are great and relevant posts, but we gotta move on.  So let’s take this to the next level.

Seriously, you do not have to look far to read another article about how one can use social media to improve their marketing, or how bad it is out there. Between the two, We get it. It’s in our face all day every day. But now, it’s time to get serious.

Scenario one:  I’m a big company and I don’t have time to be pitched and I don’t have time for social media marketing initiatives to ramp up, but I’m willing to try them. What can your social media marketing campaign, Mr. Agency/Marketer/In house CMO do for me right now? What can we roll out that will show immediate results?

Scenario two: I’m a marketer/agency. I now do not have the luxury of educating you Mr. Big Company on what social media is and how it can benefit your company- I now have to show you direct ROI with a timeline that is reasonable and cost effective. What’s your plan? And do you trust me? Because my ass is now on the line.

So wutcha gonna do? Do you have a plan? Playtime is over.

Even our “friends” over at Forrester have said, “quit dippin the toes and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics.”

So what are the programs? Do you even know? You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Page views and traffic aint gonna pay the bills. Talk to me. Do you have a plan? Which of these below can make you or your client money?

Twitter Patter

Ok I admit it. Twitter matters to me. My 300+ peeps that follow me and vice versa, are starting to take on  the characteristics of a community where you can depend on certain personalities to talk about the things that they are passionate about. . Yes, this community still has the people that will give you TMI on the little nuances of their lives, but somehow even that isn’t so bad. My community is a diverse group from all walks of life that I enjoy exchanging thoughts links rants and raves with.

Thanks to Tweetdeck which though I consider a bandwidth hog, I can manage and filter my community with simple ease. It takes a mili-second to see what people are talking about and because it’s a very targeted group of people talking about all things that are markting, PR and social media related, the content that we share amongst each other is usually pretty strong.

Peter Kim brought up some great points recently in which he explains the value of Twitter to him, as well as some of the splinter sites he likes, that are devoted to making his Twitter experience more powerful.  Last night I was thinking about this:

When and how could you have in the past, connected with so many great minds and thought leaders on such an immediate real time level?

Therein is the true value of Twitter. Connect and converse not only with your peers but people that make a difference in your professional life? Are you kidding me? How can you not realize the value in that? Even the biggest of skeptics has to see that, and not the baseline, entry level, tag line that is wrapped around Twitter-“What are you doing?”

There are some rules of engagement that one should follow though, and to that I have to give a shout out to Beth Harte and her “Why should i follow you post” I’d suggest checking it out. And then follow it up with Michael Brito’s Twitter Manifesto post which is a nice dovetail from Beth’s.

Twitter is a great tool as long as you understand the value and the context in which it can be used; and or abused.  However, as is the great self policing aspect of most online communities, the abusers or the poseurs usually don’t last very long. Consider them similar to the travelling carnies. They usually are in town for the weekend and then you won’t see them again. Missing teeth and all…

Just remember: Value begets value.  So If you are going to Tweet or you’re going to participate, then try and avoid the mundane and the banal. We can get that anywhere. But you should be using Twitter for the following reasons, which I am going to scrape from Todd Defrens blog post on why PR people need to be in Twitter:

  • Personal branding
  • Knowledge
  • Relationships

Wow, talk about value adds! And Twitter is freakin FREE! Are you kidding me? Listen, if you’re reading this, then chances are very high that you already know about Twitter. That’s cool. But maybe what you take away from this post is that there is a “way” to use Twitter right, and I hope you “get” that more than anything else. Oh and you can follow me here,   http://www.twitter.com/@marc_meyer

I know I might be beating a dead horse here, but I’m going to throw Common Crafts Twitter Video back up.

The 21st century Proust Questionnaire. Updated.

 Given our current state, yesterday I threw out the Proust Questionnaire to the blogosphere. It seemed like an interesting study in the human condition, especially now. But some of the questions, though applicable to Proust’s times, were not as timely or current to todays times. So I updated them. Here are the questions. Anyone for authenticity?

Would you prefer to rent or own a home?

What  electronic device makes you happy?

What can’t you live without?

Who’s your favorite movie character?

Who’s your hero?

What moment in your lifetime stands out the most?

Name a woman you most admire.

Can you name a famous painter? If so, who?

Who is your favorite band or singer?

What qualities should a man possess?

What about a woman? what qualities should she possess?

What do you like about yourself?

What job would you love to have?

If you could be anything, what would you be?

What makes you different from others?

What common trait do all of your friends have?

What do you need to improve about yourself?

What is your biggest regret?

What pisses you off the most?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What’s your favorite food?

What’s your favorite website?

What is always in your fridge?

What’s the best book you ever read?

What magazine could you read anytime?

What famous woman in history most sticks out for you?

Who’s your favorite actor?

Who’s your favorite actress?

Do you hate anyone?

What skill would you like to have?

What is your fondest memory?

How would you like to die?

What is your current state of mind?

Self-discovery has never been in more need. I think today, our transparent self needs to get in touch with the people who are having a hard time being “real”. Not only does this extend beyond social media, but I see it permeating everything these days. It’s about disclosure and what we are articulating or trying to say. It’s about having conversations. You should send this to the people that are in dire need of having or participating in conversations. Lets talk, lets exchange, lets share. and then lets compare answers.

The Proust Questionnaire-Do you know you?

You know, one of the cool things about social media is that it really does require us to be transparent. I don’t care how tired some might feel that term is being used, it’s the truth. But really, how transparent is one supposed to be? Or rather, how well do you know you? of course you want to know more about others so that you can develop that kindred trust. But just who is the person behind the green curtain?

Take for instance the Proust Questionnaire. In the back pages of Vanity Fair each month, readers can find The Proust Questionnaire, a closely related set of questions posed to famous subjects about their lives, thoughts, values and experience. I love reading this. It’s always one of my favorite things to read in VF. So I decided to take it myself. Rather than try to really sit down and “think” about each answer, which would be sorta cheating I think, I decided to just let the stream of consciousness fly. So now you’ll know even more about what makes me tick, though as you’ll see-I’m a simpleton.

 

Where would you like to live?  Initially I would have said Santorini (honeymoon), but I might opt for Positano(incredible food with a view) 

What is your idea of earthly happiness?  A beach, my family and no worries except what else can we do thats fun for tomorrow?

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?  Trusting my naivete

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Any character created by John Irving

Who are your favorite characters in history?  The people who have taken it upon themselves to shape the world for better, for good and for peace.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life? Does Jackie O count?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?  Sorry,  I got nothing here.

Your favorite painter?  Oh Boy, to name a few- I love Chagal, Calder, Picasso, Peter Dean, Basquiat,  Van Gogh, Monet,  and Rauschenberg.

Your favorite musician?  There’s not enough room here-but will go with Ben Harper, Seal, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Martin Sexton, John Butler, and Erika Badhu.

The quality you most admire in a man?  Loyalty and Character

The quality you most admire in a woman? A sense of  beauty and self and a love for children

Your favorite virtue?  Nobility and humility

Your favorite occupation?  Music, and competing and learning 

Who would you have liked to be? I would have liked to have been a 1950’s pro baseball player or 1940’s jazz musician.

Your most marked characteristic? The ability to laugh and natural curiosity

What do you most value in your friends?  Their understanding and their loyalty

What is your principle defect?  Expecting too much from others and judging others too quickly

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? To not have produced 2 really cool kids and meeting my wife.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  My children dying before me.

What would you like to be?  A jazz pianist or a blues guitarist

What is your favorite color?  Olive green

What is your favorite flower?  Sunflower

What is your favorite bird? I dont really have one but maybe the bald eagle.

Who are your favorite prose writers?  Ummm geez-I’ve been reading too many business books lately.

Who are your favorite poets? I havent read poetry since college

Who are your heroes in real life? The brothers of the sacred heart for helping me to become the man I am, and anyone with a selfless heart.

Who are your favorite heroines of history? Mother Theresa

What are your favorite names?   Clive Throckmorton

What is it you most dislike?  Anyone that hurts a child in anyway.

What historical figures do you most despise?  Hitler, Stalin, and any leader that feels that war is the only answer.

What event in military history do you most admire? The forming of our country/Revolutionary War.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?  Intelligence

How would you like to die?  In my sleep

What is your present state of mind? Anxious, concerned, worried ,optimistic, hopeful, doubtful.

What is your motto? You never know, and lets see what happens tomorrow.

~~~~~~

 So take the questionnaire and see how well you know yourself-who knows you might surprise yourself or others.

5 huge tech trends that you can’t ignore.

That’s it. Just 5. But why just 5? Because these 5 are rockin’ our world now and will continue to do so for the next 10 years. Do you remember the Gartner Hype Cycle? I blogged about it awhile back in regards to certain things we can be excited about over the next 5 years. Take a look at it real quick.

Ok Now look at this next slide real quick:

 

Ok, one more and I will let you off the hook.

 

 

So the hype cycle pretty much lets you know where certain “things” are in their growth development. It’s a great point of reference and doesn’t take a long time to figure out. Samw with the next slide, what does it tell you? It tells you that music is important to us. Always has, always will be. Here’s a quick 1 question quiz: What does the MySpace business model revolve around? Music and social networking. Ok So there’s 2 trends that will not be dipping anytime soon. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the top 44 music related social networks and to this day it still pulls traffic. I recently tweeted a question as to what brick and mortar industry has completely dried up but thrived online-answer: music

Trend #1 Music will continue to thrive online and you cannot ignore it.

According to Comscore  In August 2008, Americans conducted 11.7 billion core searches, virtually unchanged from July, as Google Sites extended its lead in core search market share by 1.1 percentage points.

Search is, the gateway to everything that we do online. You may see some play in regards to trying to refine search into more of a niche based environment, but the bottom line is search will alway be the mainstay of any internet based activity.

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

Americans conducted 11.7 billion searches at the core search engines, nearly identical to the number of core searches conducted in July. Google Sites handled 7.4 billion core searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion and Microsoft Sites with 977 million.

In the comScore August 2008 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led with 10.2 billion searches, a 2-percent increase versus July.  That’s billion! Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.4 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites with 1 billion and AOL LLC with 839 million.

Trend #2 Search ain’t going nowhere.

According to Hitwise, MySpace.com received 67.54 percent of the market share of U.S. visits in August 2008 among a custom category of 56 of the leading social networking websites.  The market share of U.S. visits to the social networking site decreased 2 percent in August 2008 to 6.40 percent of all U.S. visits compared to July 2008. Visits to the category decreased 17 percent year-over-year. But check out the chart below:

What do those numbers mean to you? It means that MySpace had 66 million visits in one month and Facebook had 28 million. The fact of the matter is that social media and social networks are interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. I know, it’s not like it’s earth shattering, it’s just not a fad anymore. It’s legit. It will continue to evolve and the potential will always be there for someone to do something different and exciting and unique with the social media application. Could that be you? I hope so.

Trend #3 Social networks will continue to evolve and grow larger and gain in importance.

A recently released UN study indicates that by the end of 2008 mobile phone use worldwide will reach 50% of the earth’s population for the first time in history. Although the percentage of mobile phones in North America, Western Europe and most of Asia is much higher than 50%, in developing countries, a mobile phone is still considered a luxury.

Mobile phone ownership rates have been rising significantly, almost at an exponential rate. Countries like  India, Brazil, and China are seeing crazy growth in the number of people owning a cell phone. In fact, China had an estimated one billion cell phone subscribers in 2007. At the current rate of growth, there will be over 3.3 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of 2008.

So there’s no escaping the fact that cell phones are now-another essential part of our daily lives. Grab the keys, grab the wallet, the purse, the backpack and the cell phone. Ok so we get that. But now, pay attention.

According to a recent online survey conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.

So what are these consumers doing when they access their mobile social network? They’re checking for comments and messages from their friends, with both of these features registering above 50% for mobile social network users. Posting status updates also has proven popular, with over 45% of mobile social users letting others what they are up to via their phone.
What we are seeing is a melding of 2 functions into one via the hub of the cell phone. Or is it the hub of the social network?  There’s no doubt that a social network is increasingly becoming a central hub for communication across online and mobile domains for a lot of people. Because it’s  allowing them to consolidate activities or processes. From text, to email, to chat, to phone calls, to exchanging of data, uploading images and downloading songs. The phone and the social net. allow thesee things to occur almost seamlessly. As a trend, the centralization of a consumer’s cell phone activities combined with their increased social network usage is only going to make adoption of mobile social networking more inevitable as we move forward.
Trend #4 The growth of the mobile social network will be steady and exponential.

Here is trend 4a for you as well:   comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8  million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers  accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively.  The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent.  That’s right, Mobile Search.

Ok last one-And it’s a no-brainer. Check out the slide below. It’s from December 2007, but the message is loud and clear.

Google Sites  ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6  percent share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4 percent) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3 percent).

In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million. So if you don’t already know it online video consumption is growing at a sick-ass rate.

Trend #5 Online video consumption will evolve into an acceptable replacement for a TV.

In conclusion, here’s the most interesting aspect of them all. The hub for all of the above trends can and will be centered on one thing, Your cell phone.

Where does UGC rank on your trust meter? 10 perspectives on User Generated Content.

This is going to be an ongoing viral tweet. and I will continue to update. I think it’s a very important topic.

I’m going to start off with a great post from Steve Rubel titled ethical social media marketing that I think we should all read and send to others.

Next here’s an article from newsweek in which the author thinks that the UGC pendulum is swinging back towards the experts.

Better read this one user-generated content site gets sued by copyright owner for naughty uploading habits of users

From an SEO perspective we have: Maximizing SEO Returns with User Generated Content

Here’s a blog dedicated to UGC

Here’s a great article by Paul Chin about the value of UGC which I highly recommend.

Want to know about the rise of user generated content? Read this article from Entrepreneur

and then the dark side-or When user generated content goes bad

Are you someone’s user generated content? and All (User-Generated) Content Doesn’t Want to Be Free:

Now at this point you should be getting the gist. So, what are your thoughts on user generated content? Do you put more trust in your peers and communities than you do traditional media, online media and word of mouth? Who’s blog do you trust? who’s opinion do you bank on? Do you find yourself spending more time online than watching or listening or reading traditional media sources?

Take the UGC Survey

Hey people, let’s step it up.

I was sitting in the stands of a basketball gym a few nights ago and talking to one of the major movers of one of the top social media companies in the country, and I had asked him what’s going on at work. I like to see where they’re at sometimes since they are right in the thick of it usually, and I’m always impressed in the directions they head. He told me that they were looking to do more and to do bigger and better things with companies rather than just to pitch or create wikis, and blogs and communities and what not.

Don’t get me wrong, they “do” do more, it’s just that the perception or thought right now with other large companies wanting to get into the social media game is “this is what works with others-so lets do that”. He said they were looking to expand their reach and their depth of  what that can do instead of offering component driven solutions on large scales. Great strategy.

This made complete sense to me. In fact I had been mulling over that corporate perception and social media perception of late with the posts I had been reading in my reader and on some social sites I frequent. 

My thinking was it had become somewhat static, one dimensional and monotone like in its themes. Or maybe stale? Tired? Repetitive?

Think about it, we are creatures of habit and we do what the pack is doing. We see what works and we do the same. Isn’t that the way certain companies are approaching pitching social media solutions to large companies. They see what has been successful elsewhere and then take the same approach and basically say we can do that to? Yawwwwwwwwn. Go ahead and do that. But how bout you stretch out and take a chance on doing something bold and different?

Which was the essence of  what my friend was saying and I applaud their thinking for this. We, and they are only limited by our collective thinking of what social media can do. Right now we’re implementing what we know what works instead of turning it inside out and attacking it from a completely different vantage point.

 I implore that tact with some of the incredible collection of thinkers that I subscribe to. I personally believe that we have only scratched the surface of what social media can do and I plead with you to step back and really think about the ways and means in which we can take this piece of clay that is social media and shape it into things that we have not even begun to fathom as being possible. Let’s eliminate… the echo.