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Sunday, February 22, 2009

fyi Facebook Photos Pulls Away From The Pack

Hi Gang, since we are having a Facebook moment, note the below data. Facebook is now becoming the online photo album . Photos of everything are becoming as common as text messages, therefore they are another form of communication.The field of photoanalysis has been with  psychologists for some time.What is being taken, when , by whom,of what, for what stated reasons and of course, most importantly,the unstated reasons.  This combined with Twittering, creates a very intereting personal  privacy issue. Do your photos say things about you, your interests,  your freinds, and their interests, that you would rather not say? Remeber to a shrink, concealing is revealing, think about it.
Dr. Media says this is the REAL privacy issue, and we are only at the beginning of realizing it.
!0 Billion photos, seems like a lot to search, but what if they are tagged, attached to names, locations, etc. get the picture.

Facebook Photos Pulls Away From The Pack

by Erick Schonfeld on February 22, 2009

If Facebook has one standout application it has to be Photos. Measured on its own, it is the largest photo site on the Web. A full 69 percent of Facebook’s monthly visitors worldwide either look at or upload photos, based on comScore data. And more than 10 billion photos have been uploaded to the site.

And it’s been pulling away from its competitors. As can be seen in the comScore chart above, as recently as last September the top three photo sites in the U.S. were running neck-and-neck, with Facebook Photos at 23.9 million unique visitors, followed by Photobucket at 21.3 million uniques, and Flickr at 19.5 million uniques. But by January, the number of monthly U.S. visitors going to Facebook Photos shot up 41 percent to 33.6 million. Meanwhile, Photobucket is up only 7 percent to 22.8 million, while Flickr is up 12 percent to 21.9 million. (Picasa is a distant fourth in the U.S. with 8.1 million).

In other words, Facebook increased the gap between its closest competitor (Photobucket in the U.S.) from 2.6 million monthly unique visitors to 10.8 million. On a worldwide basis, the gap between Facebook Photos and Flickr (which is the No. 2 site globally, and looks like it is about to pass Photobucket in the U.S.) went from 41.2 million unique monthly visitors in September to 87 million in December (the most recent data available, see chart below).

What accounts for Facebook’s advantage in the photo department? The biggest factor is simply that it is the default photo feature of the largest social network in the world. And of all the viral loops that Facebook benefits from, its Photos app might have the largest viral loop of all built into it. Whenever one of your friends tags a photo with your name, you get an email. This single feature turns a solitary chore—tagging and organizing photos—into a powerful form of communication that connects people through activities they’ve done in the past in an immediate, visual way. I would not be surprised if people click back through to Facebook from those photo notifications at a higher rate than from any other notification, including private messages.

But the tagging feature has been part of Facebook Photos for a long time. What happened in September to accelerate growth? That is when a Facebook redesign went into effect which added a Photos tab on everyone’s personal homepage.

(The chart above shows U.S. visitors through January. The chart below shows international visitors through December, with 153.3 million unique visitors for Facebook Photos, 66.7 million for Flickr, 45.5 million for Picasa and 42.7 million for Photobucket).

Friday, February 20, 2009

With Hulu, Older Audiences Lead the Way

This is some very interesting data, if accurate. What this tells me is, what I have said for some time, the internet is becoming cable TV with unlimited channels, and while Consumer Generated Media won't go away,but  the public's interest in professionally produced quality entertainment, news ,etc., will win out. The good news is there really is a need for talent, the bad news is the studios and networks still own distribution, back to the future, all over again.Dr M

With Hulu, Older Audiences Lead the Way - WSJ.com
With Hulu, Older Audiences Lead the Way


In "Alec in Huluwood," Hulu.com's first-ever Super Bowl TV spot, Alec Baldwin describes how the streaming video site, a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp., will allow television to fully, finally succeed in turning our brains to mush.

It's debatable, of course, whether online episodes of "Family Guy" and "Colbert" rot our crania more, or faster, than quick-hit clips of dramatic chipmunks and skateboarding cats. But this much is clear: The two kinds of video owe their success to two very different demographic groups of viewers.

Hulu's "Secret" ad for Super Bowl XLIII.

When you look at the audience of well-known Web 2.0 properties like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, their rapid adoption was fueled by 18- to 24-year-olds. At YouTube's launch in late 2005, more than 50% of its site visitors were 18- to 24-year-olds.

This was not the case with Hulu.com. When the company launched its public site last March, the largest age group visiting the site were those Internet visitors over 55 years old, accounting for 47% of all site visits, while traditionally younger early adopters accounted for only 17% of traffic.

It later became clear that what first appeared to be a data anomaly was the result of Hulu.com's very Web 1.0 launch strategy, which used articles in the New York Times and other newspapers to attract viewers. As a result, after its release in October 2007, more than 20% of Hulu's traffic came from newspaper Web sites. The largest age demographic for visitors to print news Web sites is older Internet users over the age of 55.

By comparison, when YouTube launched in late 2005, traffic from print news Web sites accounted for less than 0.5% of its traffic. One of YouTube's largest sources of traffic at launch was from Web-based email services, at 19%, as its early adopters forwarded their favorite clips to their network of friends.

Of course, it wasn't just the launch strategy that attracted older viewers to Hulu. The content on Hulu -- primarily network television shows from NBC and Fox -- was already in the sweet spot of the so-called Greatest Generation.

Still, in its first months Hulu.com experienced slow ramp, hovering around the No. 20 position of online video sites during the first weeks of public availability in March 2008. In the last six months Hulu.com's visits have accelerated, reaching its high point in visits immediately following Sunday's commercial. On Monday, Feb. 2, it garnered 2.5% of all visits to the category, claiming the No. 4 position behind YouTube, Google Video and MySpace Video, according to Hitwise.

In its current position, Hulu is still playing catch up to YouTube, which captures nearly 10 times the amount of traffic. However, search term data reveals that Hulu may have an advantage over YouTube. Of the top 20 search terms entered into YouTube's site search, 15 were seeking broadcast and cable television content in the form of music videos, movie trailers and episodes of "Family Guy," a Fox animated sitcom, content that Hulu has license to stream. YouTube often carries similar clips, but without a content license they are subject to removal based on the content owner's request.

Nearing the one-year anniversary of its public launch, Hulu's age demographics have begun to normalize with 25- to 34-year-olds taking over as the largest age group, with 29.2% of all visits signaling that Hulu may be entering its mass adoption phase. For the month of January 2009, on a percentage basis, Hulu had a stronger base of 25- to 44-year-olds, when compared to YouTube, while 18- to 24-year-old YouTube users outnumbered Hulu's by two to one.

If Alec's assertion on "Huluwood" is true, that Hulu has brought us to the convergence of television and computer, then the future success of online video may have less to do with the 18- to 24-year-old viral network effect and more to do with the power of traditional media players.

Facebook Backtracks on Use Terms - NYTimes.com

Hi gang,
Now this is a good one, and kudos to Marc Rotenberg of EPIC, and all the other groups who pounced on this . The questions of ownership of content and privacy of communication are not just apt for Facebook but for any social media site. These questions also apply to anything posted on Youtube, afterall youtube makes buck off off user content which they get for free, they aren't getting the content from the big boys for free anymore, unless its a viral marketing move.The really key issue here has to do with psychological boundaries,which are personally defined and applied in various ways in different areas of life. The story you tell your parents, significant other, and closest friends about your summer in Crete, nay be edited to delete items you think might not fit their sensibilities, if you know what I mean, you know, like that stranger, the substances, you get the picture.
Well now if you decided to put some or all of that on Facebook and oops after you sobered up you realized that was a bad idea, to bad.So don't be to personal with your so called friends, one of them might not be your friend one day. In fact its been rumored that sometimes people to things to hurt other people by making things up, and I have even heard that some people try to damage other peoples reputations by making false accusations, this is starting to sound like a country western song.
Addtionally, and this is really the point for those who want their ideas acknoledged or even, heaven forbid paid for, anything you put up unless this is corrected, belongs to the site not you. You think its your content but once posted it belongs to the site? I guess I better copywrite those good ideas of mine.See Creative Commoms Its about time this issue got surfaced , lets see what happens. Open source my ass, open source for Facebook,not for you.How are artists to survive if their content can simply be taken, without compensation. Pay attention this is isn't over.
Dr. Media

Facebook Backtracks on Use Terms - NYTimes.com
Facebook Withdraws Changes in Data Use

Facebook, the popular social networking site where people share photos and personal updates with friends and acquaintances, lost some face on Wednesday.

After three days of pressure from angry users and the threat of a formal legal complaint by a coalition of consumer advocacy groups, the company reversed changes to its contract with users that had appeared to give it perpetual ownership of their contributions to the service.

Facebook disavowed any such intentions but said early Wednesday that it was temporarily rescinding the changes and restoring an earlier version of its membership contract.

In a message to members, the company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it would collaborate with users to create a more easily understandable document.

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, also invited users to contribute to a new Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which would serve as a governing document for the site. Facebook has been redefining notions of privacy while growing so rapidly that it now has 175 million active users, giving it a population larger than most countries.

In an interview, Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, characterized the event as a misunderstanding, stemming from a clumsy attempt by the company to simplify its contract with users, called the terms of service.

“We were not trying to make a substantive change in our rights or ability to control our members’ content on the service at all,” Mr. Kelly said. “As that misunderstanding became the main theme, we became very concerned and wanted to communicate very clearly to everyone our intentions by rolling back to the old terms of service.”

Facebook’s retreat ends a hullabaloo in which tens of thousands of Facebook members joined groups devoted to protesting the changes and bloggers heaped scorn and criticism on the company. Facebook sought to limit the damage from an uproar that in many ways was reminiscent of the flap in 2007 over its Beacon advertising service.

That project shared details of members’ activities on certain outside sites to all of their Facebook friends. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, along with 25 other consumer interest groups, had planned to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday. The complaint was going to claim that Facebook’s new rules were unfair and deceptive trade practices, because the company had repeatedly promised users that they owned their content but appeared to be saying something else in its revised terms.

The center, based in Washington, was prepared to argue that Facebook’s new rules were meant to accompany changes to the site that would give developers and advertisers the ability to access users’ contributions, like status updates, which many members use to reveal details about their lives, for example, where they are traveling.

“This was a digital rights grab,” said Marc Rotenberg, the center’s executive director. “Facebook was transferring control of user-generated content from the user to Facebook, and that was really alarming.”

He said Facebook representatives contacted him on Tuesday night to ask whether his group would refrain from filing the complaint if the company backtracked to the old language in the contract. Mr. Rotenberg agreed.

Facebook’s retreat can also be credited to the mass of members who made their voices heard in a strikingly vociferous movement that spanned the globe.

Facebook made the changes to its terms of service on Feb. 6, but they were highlighted Sunday by a blog called The Consumerist, which reviewed the contract. The blog, which is owned by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, warned people to “never upload anything you don’t feel comfortable giving away forever, because it’s Facebook’s now.”

Mr. Kelly of Facebook says that the blog made “substantial misinterpretations,” including missing a crucial provision that made Facebook’s license to members’ material subject to the user’s individual privacy settings. He conceded, however, that Facebook did not effectively communicate that nuance.

The Consumerist blog entry set off an explosion of activity that overwhelmed Facebook’s own attempts to quickly clarify the matter. In a blog post on Monday, Mr. Zuckerberg tried to reassure users that they still owned and controlled their own data and that the company had no plans to use it without their permission.

That did not satisfy Facebook users like Julius Harper, 25. On Monday, he created a Facebook group to protest the changes. Soon after, he joined with Anne Kathrine Petteroe, 32, a technology consultant in Oslo, who had started a similar group.

By Wednesday, more than 100,000 people had joined their efforts and were airing their concerns, like whether photos they post to the site could appear in ads without their permission.

“I believe Facebook on this matter, but my issue is that Facebook is not just one person,” Mr. Harper said. “They could get bought out by anybody, and those people may not share the good intentions that Mark and his team claim to have.”

Analysts say that much of the confusion and rancor this week stemmed from the fact that sites like Facebook have created a new sphere of shared information for which there are no established privacy rules.

E-mail between two people is private, for example, and a post on a message board is clearly public. But much communication among Facebook members, which is exposed only to their friends, sometimes on a so-called wall, lies in a middle ground one might call “semipublic.”

“If I post something on your wall, and then I decide to close my account, what happens to that wall post?” said Marcia Hofmann, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group. “Is that my data or your data? That’s a very tricky issue, and it’s one that hasn’t come up a whole lot in the past.”