Geolocation Grows Despite Privacy Concerns

Two in five mobile owners use location-aware services

As some marketers wonder about the possible audience for check-in services like foursquare, which reached 2 million users and 100 million check-ins in July 2010, mobile owners are getting used to sharing their location in many ways regardless of their privacy worries.

According to a survey by security software company Webroot, 39% of social network users who own a mobile internet device use geolocation.

But there was widespread concern over the loss of privacy, the possibility of being hacked on an unsecured network and other safety issues. Women tended to be more worried than men, and younger users less concerned than their older peers.

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Still, many smartphone owners are taking advantage of the features location-aware services can offer. The most popular activity was letting friends know where they were, done by 19.2% of respondents at least daily. More than 15% of respondents reported checking in at locations at least daily.

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Among younger adults ages 18 to 29, those percentages were higher: 24.5% and 17%, respectively. In that age group, men were about twice as likely to participate in the activity daily than women.

The most popular geolocation apps included Google Latitude, used by about three in 10 respondents. Flickr, which geotags photos, and Google Buzz were each used by about two in 10. Twitter, which geolocates tweets, was popular with fewer than 15% of respondents, while about half as many used foursquare.

Forrester Research also found men and younger adults dominated the location-based landscape. That study, of the wider group of US internet users, found that only 4% had used check-in apps like foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt, and only 1% checked in at least weekly.

Smartphone users who are already interested in social activities are at the leading edge in geolocation, and despite concerns of their own may pave the way for a larger audience to feel comfortable sharing where they are.

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Facebook membership hits 500 million

The number of people using Facebook has hit the 500 million mark, meaning one in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to online social-networking service.

"As of this morning, 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook to stay connected with their friends and the people around them," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post.

"This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world."

To celebrate, the California firm introduced an application that lets members of the online community "tell the incredible stories of the moving and interesting ways they’ve used Facebook."

Examples given by Zuckerberg included NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen jogging with Facebook fans during his term as Danish prime minister and a US woman using the service to battle breast cancer.

"Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected," Zuckerberg said.

"Stories like these are examples of that mission and are both humbling and inspiring. I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started 6 years ago

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More Businesses Finding Customers on Social Sites

Smaller companies most successful at social acquisition

While many marketers struggle with how to measure social media marketing return on investment, some businesses are finding at least one hard metric where their efforts have paid off—customer acquisition.

According to a February–March 2010 survey from office services firm Regus, smaller companies see the most success, with nearly half of small businesses around the world having acquired a customer through social networks. Large companies were less successful, but more than a quarter had seen social success through customer acquisition. This was despite large companies being more likely to devote budgets to social marketing.

117364 More Businesses Finding Customers on Social Sites

The survey of senior managers and business owners from around the world found customer acquisition varied by country, with the US coming in the lower half of the pack. Overall, 40% of businesses studied had acquired a customer through a social site, but only 35% of US businesses said the same.

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“While the most popular function of these networks remains that of keeping in touch with contacts, businesses are also successfully acquiring new customers, supporting their retention efforts and interacting with customer groups,” said Sande Golgart, vice president at Regus, in a statement. “Organizations who have not yet ventured into the world of social networking may be missing out on sizeable business opportunities.”

In January 2010, Hubspot found that more than 40% of companies using social media marketing had acquired a customer through the channel. The Regus survey, which was not limited to businesses using social marketing, suggests that number may be slowly climbing.

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Government backflips on net filter

The federal government has again delayed the introduction of its proposed mandatory internet filter while a review of classified material is undertaken.

While the review is under way three of Australia’s largest internet service providers have agreed to voluntarily block online child pornography material.

Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says some people are obviously concerned about whether current classified material reflected community views.

Legislation to impose mandatory internet filtering would therefore be delayed until the review was completed, Senator Conroy said.

Labor’s moves to block access to material such as child pornography and other illegal content have been criticised by some of the world’s largest providers of internet services including Google and Yahoo.

Senator Conroy announced on Friday that Telstra, Optus and Primus will block a list of child abuse URLs – internet addresses – compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

However, representatives from Telstra and Optus would not say unequivocally whether they supported the government’s proposed internet filter.

The telcos agreed to block child porn material from being accessed by Australian internet users while that review of Refused Classification (RC) content was under way.

"We support the review that was announced today, we support and are willing to voluntarily commit to the blocking of the ACMA list of child pornography sites and we’ll continue to work constructively with the government as it undertakes this review," Telstra public policy and communications director David Quilty told reporters in Melbourne.

Mr Quilty said the blocking process was expected to take several months to get up and running.

Optus government and corporate affairs director Maha Krishnapillai said the telco had agreed to filter child pornography where it could.

"We’ll have to wait and see what the review comes out with, but we’ve said all the way through this is about blocking the worst of the worst," he said.

RC content includes child abuse material, bestiality, rape and other extreme violence and terrorist acts.

Senator Conroy remained adamant that the internet filter proposal did not amount to censorship.

"I don’t think any Australian actually tries to describe blocking child pornography or bestiality or pro-rape websites as censorship," Senator Conroy told reporters in Melbourne

tt twitter micro3 Government backflips on net filter

Government backflips on net filter

The federal government has again delayed the introduction of its proposed mandatory internet filter while a review of classified material is undertaken.

While the review is under way three of Australia’s largest internet service providers have agreed to voluntarily block online child pornography material.

Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says some people are obviously concerned about whether current classified material reflected community views.

Legislation to impose mandatory internet filtering would therefore be delayed until the review was completed, Senator Conroy said.

Labor’s moves to block access to material such as child pornography and other illegal content have been criticised by some of the world’s largest providers of internet services including Google and Yahoo.

Senator Conroy announced on Friday that Telstra, Optus and Primus will block a list of child abuse URLs – internet addresses – compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

However, representatives from Telstra and Optus would not say unequivocally whether they supported the government’s proposed internet filter.

The telcos agreed to block child porn material from being accessed by Australian internet users while that review of Refused Classification (RC) content was under way.

"We support the review that was announced today, we support and are willing to voluntarily commit to the blocking of the ACMA list of child pornography sites and we’ll continue to work constructively with the government as it undertakes this review," Telstra public policy and communications director David Quilty told reporters in Melbourne.

Mr Quilty said the blocking process was expected to take several months to get up and running.

Optus government and corporate affairs director Maha Krishnapillai said the telco had agreed to filter child pornography where it could.

"We’ll have to wait and see what the review comes out with, but we’ve said all the way through this is about blocking the worst of the worst," he said.

RC content includes child abuse material, bestiality, rape and other extreme violence and terrorist acts.

Senator Conroy remained adamant that the internet filter proposal did not amount to censorship.

"I don’t think any Australian actually tries to describe blocking child pornography or bestiality or pro-rape websites as censorship," Senator Conroy told reporters in Melbourne

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Gillard to push ahead with web censorship

gillard thumb Gillard to push ahead with web censorship A change of Prime Minister is not enough to kill off one of the most stupid ideas of the 21st century.

It had been thought that when  Julia Gillard took over the Australian government that she would allow a little bit of common sense to happen in Aussie politics.
However, it seems that Gillard is cut from the same mold which believes that Australians are precious snowflakes who need protection from the rest of the world.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she is going to press ahead with plans to filter the internet Chinese style and cut Australians from a stream of information that the government thinks is too dangerous for them.

In Julia Gillard’s first comments on the filter since becoming Prime Minister, she told ABC Radio in Darwin that the proposal was an effort to control the dark side of communications technology.

Again she drummed up the image of child porn and abuse which she claims you are able to see on the Internet but for some reason cannot see in a movie theatre.  No we didn’t get the link either.

Gillard indicated that the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, might tweak parts of the proposed filter before it is introduced. But given Conroy’s own spittle reactionary approach to web censorship is legendary, Australians who actually want to use the Internet like ordinary citizens of the world will probably have to vote the Labour government out.

Unfortunately the Australian opposition has yet to announced that it is against the filter. It seems that the government feels that there is a chance here to control citizens through net use and although the opposition does not want to be the one to make the unpopular move, it also sees the advantage of not dismantling it.
After all, what government would not like to control the information that citizens get on contentious issues such as abortion and human rights?
Gillard admitted that there were technical concerns that Conroy’s filters will slow the Aussie internet down and will take away legitimate use of the internet.
Gillard’s comments have won backing from the Christian group FamilyVoice Australia.

Spokeswoman, Ros Phillips, said she was ”delighted” the government’s position was being maintained.

However given that christian groups in Australia look at the internet as created by Satan as a method to draw people to the anti-christ we can’t see how they can be taken seriously.

There had been hopes that Gillard’s rule of the Labour Party would be a move to common sense.  However it appears that she is exactly like her predecessor.   Hopefully the Australian people will show that they do not want this sort of censorship in their lives and vote against any party that tries to bring it in.  Don’t hold your  breath though.

Story by Nick Farrell www.techeye.net

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Who Spends Most Time on Facebook?

How age, income and ethnicity affect time spent social networking

The Nielsen Company reported in June that, on average, the global consumer spends about 1 in every 4.5 minutes online on blogs or social networking sites. According to a report by market researcher Morpace, among US Facebook users time on Facebook rises to 1 in 3 minutes spent online.

Unsurprisingly, despite Facebook’s growing appeal to older users, 18- to 34-year-olds spend the most time on the site per week, at 8.5 hours out of 22.4 spent online. Weekly Facebook time drops to 4.6 hours among users ages 55 and older, representing a lower proportion of that group’s average of 21.5 hours per week on the internet.

Broken down by race and ethnicity, Morpace found Facebook usage heaviest by Asians. Not only did that group spend the most hours per week on the site, but they also devoted the greatest percentage of their weekly internet time to Facebook (39.6%, compared with 35.1% among blacks, the second-highest group). Hispanics spent the fewest hours on Facebook, and even compared with their low average time online came in last.

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While the Morpace report showed a decline in both total time online and time on Facebook as incomes rose from less than $50,000 up to $100,000, affluent Facebook users making at least $100,000 annually spent the most time on the site and on the web as a whole.

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In Q1 2010, comScore found that the visitors who spent the most time on Facebook also spent the most money online. Targeting users who not only spend large amounts of time on the site but also devote a large proportion of their total online activity to the social network could translate to going after the most lucrative portion of the audience.

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Facebook U.S. Growth Stagnates in June

facebook logo 7 8 Facebook U.S. Growth Stagnates in June

After growing by 7.8 million new active U.S. users in May, Facebook growth stagnated in June, adding only 320,800 new users.

Total number of active U.S. users now stands at 125,000,000.

According to Inside Facebook Gold, which offers Facebook data and analysis, it is not unusual to see a saturated country like the U.S. take a breather after a growth spurt.

Slightly less users in the 18-44 demo – which represents Facebook’s largest age demographic – were active on Facebook in June, compared to May. While the loss in that demo could be just a blip, it could also be the result of backlash from heavy media attention to Facebook’s privacy issues – some of which were real and others, Inside Facebook claims, the result of confusion and sensationalism.

The ages that logged the losses in June were those most likely to have listened to the privacy debates.

More Facebook Stats

  • Facebook has more than 400 million active users
  • 50% of its active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average users have 130 friends
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • The average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
  • The average user creates 70 pieces of content each month
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month.

tt twitter micro3 Facebook U.S. Growth Stagnates in June

Twitter bug, users lose followers

twitterlogo3thumbnail thumb Twitter bug, users lose followers Twitter was hit by a bug on Monday that caused users of the micro-blogging service to lose the followers of their accounts.

‘We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to ‘force’ other users to follow them,’ Twitter said.

‘We’re now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place,’ the San Francisco-based startup said in a blog post.

Twitter’s explanation came after a number of users of the fast-growing short-message service reported that the number of people listed as following their accounts had plummeted to zero.

‘Follower/following numbers are currently at 0; we’re aware and this too should shortly be resolved,’ Twitter said.

Twitter, which allows users to pepper their followers with messages of 140 characters or less, said last month that it has topped 105 million registered users and is adding 300,000 new accounts a day.

Story from Bigpond.com

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Top 10 Viral Videos – April 2010

Athletic equipment company Nike dominated the top 10 viral videos selected by video-content distributor goviral for April 2010, landing three videos on the list.

Two of Nike’s videos were light and entertaining in tone. However, the number two video, “Earl and Tiger,” was much more somber. Recontexting old an audio recording of pro golfer Tiger Woods’ late father Earl Woods describing himself into a questioning of Tiger, the video asks Tiger what he was thinking and feeling, and if he has learned anything (presumably relating to his recent sex scandal). The video itself is a single black-and-white shot of a stone-faced Tiger Woods facing the camera, wearing Nike golf gear.

One public service announcement made the list for April, “Give Earth a Hand” from nonprofit environmental group Greenpeace. The video was released for last month’s Earth Day celebration and suggests that Greenpeace’s work requires participation from many people.

In a repeat of a trend seen in March 2010, many of April’s videos centered on athletes or some type of athletic activity. In addition to the three Nike videos, there was also a video from Coca-Cola highlighting the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, a Samsung video featuring possibly staged precision tricks with business cards, and a humorous Old Spice video centering on a heavily muscled man flexing his talking biceps and abdominals.

The top 10 picks for April, with links to view on YouTube:

1. Heineken – Men With Talent, agency: TBWA
2. Nike – Earl and Tiger, agency: Wieden & Kennedy
3. Old Spice – Flex, agency: n/a
4. Samsung – Master of Business Card Throwing, agency: The Viral Factory
5. Coca-Cola – Quest, agency: SANTO
6. Nike – The Secret Behind Nike Air, agency: n/a
7. Sony – Around the World in 80 Seconds, agency: Rapp
8. Nike – Music Shoe, agency: Wieden & Kennedy
9. Greenpeace – Give Earth a Hand, agency: n/a
10. Nestle – I Like Big Butterfingers, agency: n/a

About the Rankings: goviral issues a monthly top-10 list of viral video rankings on its site, including additional commentary about the videos, their approaches and why the firm thinks they are viral or likely to become viral in the future.

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