Women are social and love to share information. They are the gatekeepers for almost all purchase decisions for their families and they advise their friends on their purchase decisions. So it makes sense that women would be attracted to blog-writing as a way to spread “word-of-mouth” experiences and information. According to a recent article in AdAge:
“…more than one-third (35%) of all women in the U.S. aged 18 to 75 participate in the blogosphere at least once a week. And that number increases if less-frequent visits are factored in. Of those women who are online any amount of time, 53% read blogs, 37% post comments to blogs and 28% write or update blogs, according to the study.”
Why do they blog?
“For fun (65%)
To express themselves (60%)
To connect with others (40%)
As a personal diary (34%)
To give advice or educate (26%)”
Why do they read blogs?
“For fun (46%)
To get information (41%)
To stay up to date on family and friends (36%)
To stay up to date on specific topics (34%)
To connect with others (28%)
Everything is going digital. As people get more accustomed to using websites to find the information they seek, they are becoming more particular about how they find that information. Reported by BBC News:
“The annual report into web habits by usability guru Jakob Nielsen shows people are becoming much less patient when they go online. Instead of dawdling on websites many users want simply to reach a site quickly, complete a task and leave. Most ignore efforts to make them linger and are suspicious of promotions designed to hold their attention.”
“There has also been a big change in the way that people get to the places where they can complete pressing tasks, he said.
In 2004, about 40% of people visited a homepage and then drilled down to where they wanted to go and 60% use a deep link that took them directly to a page or destination inside a site. In 2008, said Dr Nielsen, only 25% of people travel via a homepage. The rest search and get straight there.
‘Basically search engines rule the web,’ he said.”
Google, always on the cutting edge of innovation, demonstrated its Android mobile phone OS this week. This looks like it could be major competition for the iPhone. Very cool stuff. The phone’s built-in compass allows users to pan around an image by physically moving themselves. Check out some of the coverage and videos:
Keynote and Sneak Peak Images
Most moviegoers agree that the best movie-watching experience is on a big screen, but more and more movies are available online for viewing on our much smaller computer screens. Netflix is quickly becoming a leader in this service by offering the ability to stream movies to a Windows PC as part of consumers’ subscriptions. And, now they are offering a device that sends those movies–streaming–to your big screen TVs: the Roku Netflix Player. For our “I want instant gratification” society, this is a great service, but the quality is reportedly still not great:
According to an article in BusinessWeek–”The Roku is a small box that superficially resembles products such as Apple TV or Vudu. But while the setup is similar, the operation is completely different. Other services download the content to a hard drive for playback; Netflix is pure streaming. The quality is not as good as Apple TV or Vudu, but it’s about equal to standard-definition digital TV. Making it work smoothly requires an Internet connection that consistently delivers at least 2 megabits per second.”
The services out there for movies on-demand at home are getting better and less expensive, but you still can’t beat the experience of watching a movie on a big screen. And free is best of all. If you live in Little Rock, be sure to check out Movies in the Park this summer. Free outdoor movies–shown on the big screen–every Wednesday night for eight weeks starting June 4th with E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. Bring friends along with the beverages and snacks of your choice and hang out under the stars for an evening. It is a fantastic movie experience.
Here is the Movies in the Park schedule for the summer:
June 04, 2008 E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial
June 11, 2008 Rocky
June 18, 2008 Happy Feet
June 25, 2008 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
July 02, 2008 Notting Hill
July 09, 2008 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
July 16, 2008 Casino Royale
July 23, 2008 The Wizard of Oz
How do we combat that pesky DVR fast-forward button that zips our consumers right through our commercials? Product placement in the show! But is it too much? According to an article in BusinessWeek:
“…American Idol has become as much a marketing showcase as musical slugfest. Contestants cavort in rock videos to pitch Fords, troop off to Apple to record iTunes tracks, and answer questions brought to you by AT&T.”
“Three years ago, Idol scaled back its sponsors from five to three to limit ad clutter. But this year it added Apple, figuring it fit the show’s demographic. Meanwhile, advertisers like Ford Motor, which on May 14 unveiled a sportier Focus in a weekly 45-second rock video, became omnipresent. It’s a lot of plugs to get through. Idol showed 4,151 product placements in its first 38 episodes this year according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s up just 4% from ’07, but the time on screen jumped nearly 19%, to a total of 545 minutes.”
The result? An aging audience for American Idol. Those skeptical youngsters are tuning out the product plugs and moms are tuning in instead: the median age of Idol viewers is now 43.
Over the past several years, there has been much speculation that television advertising will eventually go away. Ratings are down, it is cheaper to buy online advertising–not to mention more targeted–and who watches commercials anyway since the introduction of DVR? BusinessWeek reported on this year’s upfronts:
“A digitized world has crushed the music industry and is not crushing just about every other medium, too. But at least when it comes to the hearts and dollars of advertisers, TV remains the tallest tree in the forest….This is America, and even today nothing announces status quite like being on TV.”
“In reality, many top advertisers are moving dollars away from TV very slowly, if at all.”
Even with all the talk of a coming decline in television advertising, the spending doesn’t seem to reflect the movement yet. What will happen?