More ‘adults’ using social networks

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.

While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites. Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35% number represents a larger number of users than the 65% of online teens who also use online social networks.

Online social network applications are mainly used for explaining and maintaining personal networks, and most adults, like teens, are using them to connect with people they already know.

  • 89% use their online profiles to keep up with friends
  • 57% use their profile to make plans with friends
  • 49% use them to make new friends
  • Other uses: organize with other people for an event, issue or cause; flirt with someone; promote themselves or their work; make new business contacts

Full report here: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Adult_social_networking_data_memo_FINAL.pdf

We are all publishers

From the Zazoo blog:

In the digital age, if you’re a marketer you’re also a publisher. Rebecca Lieb has written a great piece in ClickZ which was republished the other day, and is well worth a read.

She argues that “Marketers have been creating content in all sorts of media in all kinds of channels since the beginning. But now that virtually every brand, manufacturer, service, and product you can think of is online (and likely runs its own Web site), content has blown wide open. Almost anyone involved in any type of online business can no longer hope to survive without a solid content strategy.”

In the 21st century equivalent of custom publishing, big brands such as Budweiser in the US even have their own online TV channel. Lieb writes: “Think of it as the online equivalent of a Disney or Warner Bros. theme park. You know the rides and merchandise are selling you something, but few people care about the church-and-state divide on branded territory.

“….Strong, well thought-out and executed content strategies create rewards for marketers. They go viral. They attract community. They can blow out SEO (search engine optimisation) to epic proportions. Rather than a company’s Web page showing up in organic results, content can generate page after page of relevant results.”

She concludes: “As an editor/marketer hybrid, I may have some bias here, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a marketing problem that couldn’t be tackled head-on with a solid content strategy.”

Couldn’t agree more.

On the HIT parade

Hurrah for us – the Welling Digital blog has now been certified as a top health technology blog by gaining a listing on HITSphere, “a network of premium weblogs that write content about the healthcare, medical, and clinical informatics and information technology (IT) industry.” Check out HITSphere for a wide listing of blogs in the health tech area.

MJA online – who are they kidding?

The Medical Journal of Australia announced today that it was going to lock down content on its website to subscribers-only. David More from the AusHealth IT blog points out the many fallacies in the rationale for this decision. He writes that: “If the MJA thinks it is of similar prestige to the Annals, JAMA, the BMJ or Lancet it is smoking a very strong brew of something which I suspect is not legal…. we now find Australia lacks an open professional platform for discussion of Health Policy….  (C)losing a professional health publications is a retrograde step in an era when we are working to improve information flows in health.”

I agree – the MJA needs to take a dose of reality pills and embrace the fact that the searchability and easy access of the journal over the past 10 years has added value to the MJA, and it will become a lot less useful and used.