All About Content

30% of Cell Phone Users Search the Net on Their Phones

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 6:45 pm

A study released last month determined that only 30% of Internet users access the mobile Internet on their devices. The study is based on a series of focus groups and a survey of 1,001 mobile users. Of those who do surf the mobile Web, a whopping 75% use mobile search. No stats on how many people actually do any shopping from their cell phone. My guess is close to zero. (Surfing an e-commerce site and entering your credit card info on a PDA would be the suck.)

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Category: Data,Mobile Content,User Behavior

Female Bloggers Dodge Harassment, Threats

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Very disturbing article in the Washington Post yesterday. According to Sexual Threats Stifle Some Female Bloggers, “women, who make up about half the online community, are singled out in more starkly sexually threatening terms — a trend that was first evident in chat rooms in the early 1990s and is now moving to the blogosphere.”

The author of the wonderful blog Creating Passionate Users is facing death threats. She’s just one of innumerable numbers of women who have stopped blogging or participating in online communities because of intimidation and sexual threats. The moral dilemma for me is that she says the more attention she’s getting, the worse it gets. I’m struggling over whether we other bloggers should drop the subject entirely and get her name out of the spotlight. But this is an important issue to me and I think it needs to be discussed — and nothing I say or don’t say will change this situation. What makes some people so vile? And what is it about the anonymity of the Web that turns already-vile people into full-blown sociopaths? And, specifically, whence this hostility toward women? And why?!

Some people critize female bloggers who decide to exit the space after being threatened and harassed as being thin-skinned; they say it’s “just talk”. I think those people probably have pretty poor instincts.

It reminds me of an interesting aphorims I read once: In The Gift of Fear (a book I haven’t read but have seen referenced many times), Gavin De Becker says that at core, men are afraid that women will laugh at them; and at core, women are afraid men will kill them.

I don’t know anyone who’s laughing.

Updated May 7, 2007:
Slate has an article that mirrors some of my thoughts on the issue (i.e., why “just ignore it” isn’t an actual solution to the problem).

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Category: Blogging,User Behavior

Sex Sites Losing Steam?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 3:30 pm

The porn industry has always been at the forefront of technology adoption (VCRs, the Internet, …) so it should be no surprise that pornography is the most popular type of content on the Internet. But possibly not much longer.

According to recent HitWise data, visits to pornographic sites are dropping while visits to online communities are rising. The latter category includes sites like MySpace and Facebook… But come to think of it, the former probably does too!

The market research firm says that 13% of all website visits in the U.S. last year were to pornography sites, compared to only 7% to search engines. However — and this is very interesting — HitWise’s clickstream data shows that, in Britain, porn traffic was already passed by search engine traffic last year.

Check out this article, even if only because it contains my favorite sentence of any Economist article ever: “[Second Life] Users must first buy genitalia for their avatars, who otherwise resemble Barbie and Ken dolls when unclothed.”

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Category: User Behavior

Search Fatigue, Seriously?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Oh woe is the plight of the searcher. I didn’t know how bad it was until I read about this article: Search Fatigue: Finding a Cure for the Database Blues.

Apparently search engine users are suffering from a malady called search fatigue.

Search fatigue, according to the author Jeffrey Beall, is “a feeling of dissatisfaction when search results do not return the desired information”. Yikes!

I expect it to be listed in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (although the DSM-IV isn’t going to see a revision until 2011, according to Wikipedia).

But what about search marketing fatigue, a feeling of dissatisfaction when search engine optimization efforts do not return top-3 results for targeted keywords? As soon as that’s covered under worker’s comp, I’m putting in for permanent disability.

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Category: Industry Buzz,User Behavior

Online Ads to Generate $81B by 2011

Posted by Melanie Phung on Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Online advertising will grow by 21%, reaching $81 billion by 2011, according to a research report by Piper Jaffray & Co. Internet Media and Marketing:

“The historically passive consumer is changing rapidly, not only becoming more informed and confident about purchase decisions, but also increasingly taking control of the consumption of information and content that used to be distributed by networks, studios, publishers and retailers,” said Safa Rashtchy, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, in a press release.

The report says that consumers are taking control of their consumption of online content and brands.

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Category: User Behavior