Posted by: David | September 7, 2011

28% Use Cell Phones to Navigate (Pew)

28% of American adults with cell phones use them to get directions or recommendations based on their current location. (This works out to be 23% of all U.S. adults.) So says Pew.

As someone who often finds himself in the wrong block in Old Town Alexandria, I can relate. I imagine you can, too.

Other findings:

  • A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones.
  • 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Find the report at Pew’s Internet and American Life Project.

Posted by: David | August 29, 2011

2/3 Online Adults Using Social Media Now: Pew

65% of adults who are online use social media. That translates into a smidge over half of all adults (online or not).

That’s up from 5% of all adults who used social media just 6 years ago, or a tenfold increase.

Pew is our source for this.

About all the data you need are in these two graphics:

The earth moved yesterday along the East Coast … and released a flood of new data about the tubes and pipes medium.

  • Facebook now ranks as the third largest video site, after only Google/YouTube and VEVO, according to comScore.

  • Facebook and Twitter both broke traffic records in July, again according to comScore but reported by TechCrunch.
  • Facebook chalked up 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) pageviews in July, according to Mashable reporting on Hitwise statistics.
  • WordPress now powers 14.7% of the top 1 million Web sites and 22 out of 100 new active sites, according to its State of the Word report.
  • And yet … 31% of younger, more mobile social media users claim they are getting bored with it all. That’s from Gartner.
  • Yep, Global Web Index claims that a number of Facebook activities actually declined from June to July, according to Mashable.

    That ought to give you something to gnaw on. Let me know when you get it all figured out.

Posted by: David | August 9, 2011

Search & Email Still Top Online Pursuits: Pew

From Pew comes word that 92% of online adults use search engines to find stuff on the Web and the same percentage use email.

Says Pew:

Perhaps the most significant change over that time is that both activities have become more habitual. Today, roughly six in ten online adults engage in each of these activities on a typical day (emphasis added); in 2002, 49% of online adults used email each day, while just 29% used a search engine daily.

Over time, search and email are the most popular online activities.

Posted by: David | July 11, 2011

Smartphones: The Wave of the Present

One-third of Americans own smartphones, and one-fourth rely on a smartphone to access the Web.

The future is now.

New study today from the Pew Internet Project:

  • 83% of American adults have a cell phone.
  • 42% of those phones are smartphones.
  • Therefore 35% of adults in the U.S. own smartphones.

From the press release:

Some 87% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their handheld, including two-thirds (68%) who do so on a typical day. When asked what device they normally use to access the internet, 25% of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer.

The study page, including a PDF download of the entire report, can be found here.

And while we’re on the topic, why is cell phone two words but smartphone is one word?

Pew has yet another new study out tracking who we are online.

Released last week while I was offline at the beach, the November 2010 survey found:

  • 47% of American adults, or 59% of adult Internet users in the U.S., use at least one social site.
  • More than half of social users are 35 or older.
  • 56% of social users are women. (When did that happen?)
  • Facebook, that alternate World Wide Web, attracted 92% of social users, followed distantly by MySpace (still?), LinkedIn and Twitter (hot on the heels of LinkedIn).
  • More than half of Facebook users and one-third of Twitter users engage daily.
  • Internet users in general, and Facebook users in particular, are more politically active than most people.
  • On average, the surveyed sample had 229 Facebook friends. (And since most people have trouble keeping track of more than 20 people at a time, that suggests to me that people are moving their entire universe online.)
  • As always, kudos to Pew for counting.

Posted by: David | June 6, 2011

Internet Adoption Maxing Out? (Pew)

The PEW Internet and American Life Project reports that 77% of Americans are now online. That’s up from 14% in June 1995.

It broke 70% — actually reaching 72% — in September 2005. Internet use got as high as 79% in two previous polls — April 2009 and May 2010. The easy growth is apparently over.

Pew surveys traditionally show a sizable minority of respondents who have no interest in joining the digital world, for one reason or another. Cost of equipment and access have always been cited.

Here’s what it looks like over time.

Posted by: David | May 17, 2011

Social Media Winners and Losers

I’m a sucker for a data-filled infographic.

Ignite Social Media parsed the numbers for 54 social networks worldwide and picked the winners and losers.

The envelope please.


  • Tumblr
  • Weibo
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn

Truth be told, I can’t tell whether these five were measured on percentage increase (from a small base) or numerical increase on the same scale.

And the not winners, aside from MySpace, which everyone knows leads the list:

  • Friendster
  • Ning
  • Hi5
  • Kaixin001

Doesn’t matter how these five where measured. Their numbers are heading the wrong way.

Some of the most interesting insights involved demographics.

For instance, YouTube ranked among the top 5 networks with the youngest audience.

And my people, where are my people (the geezer generation)?

And finally, what makes stand out? Oh, never mind. That’s too obvious*.

The infographic is just too long to publish here, but I encourage you to take a look.

I told you it was too long.

* has the highest percentage of women.

Jakob Nielsen, my favorite usability expert, excoriates search engines and searchers in his latest Alertbox.

The problem, or problems, in his eyes (but my words).

  • We are lazy f-bombs and accept the first results we see.
  • We search before we think.
  • We don’t use advanced search, and when we do, we screw it up.

Now his words:

The problem … is that search engines are turning into “answer engines”. Users are being trained to limit themselves to pages included in the SERP (search engine results page) listing.

… Ironically, the better search gets, the more dangerous it gets as people increasingly assume that whatever the search engine coughs up must be the answer.

Depressing, but important, reading.

Two new sets of statistics show just how deeply Facebook — the Internet within the Internet — is insinuating itself into … well, everything.

First, comScore reports that 93% of Filipinos who go online visited Facebook during February. That’s like the percentage of people who breathe or use the bathroom every day. 93%!

Here are the other entrants in the Top 10 global markets for Facebook by penetration:

Then comes a little Gem from AT&T, which reports that 41% of small businesses surveyed have a Facebook page, up more than 50% from last year.

Small businesses, the ones without the big IT departments and consultants, have Facebook pages.


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