Dec 152010
 

So after posting a few informational blogs, I figured I’d interrupt the normal flow and talk a little more personally so you can get to know me a little better.  As I mentioned in some of my other introductory posts, this blogging thing is really a learning process and a tool for me to compile everything I learn.  Now I want to try to give some insight as to why I am taking my life in this direction.

(me, all bundled up trying to stave off the cold – the background is Tallinn, Estonia – view of the old town)

First, a little history (everyone’s favorite subject, I know).  Through a tumultuous series of events, the company I used to work for disbanded.  It was quite dramatic, especially given the fact that it was a family business and my Father was the (co)owner.  He brought me on to start his online sales division fresh out of college.  I was in that typical catch 22 situation of having no real job experience and no one wanting to hire me – but to get that necessary experience, I would need a job.  I started off selling about 10 products per week on eBay and by the end we had a fully functional website, amazon store, and eBay store offering 2500+ products selling tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise weekly.  We were selling home improvement products such as faucets, light fixtures, ceiling fans, sinks, door hardware, cabinet hardware, and generally stuff most people don’t think twice about.  I learned all there was to know about the products and what customers required and put all that knowledge into practice online, working to make it easy to use out site and convert visitors to sales.  I’ll talk more about that in the future if anyone is interested (or even if you’re not!)

The year our company disbanded, internet sales were up 15% and I was becoming ever more confident in the future of eCommerce.  I was so swamped daily, bombarded with calls, making sales, dealing with angry people, talking with vendors, working with our team etc. that I never really adopted a real social networking or social marketing strategy to our site.  We primarily used Google Adwords and paid exorbitant amounts of money to eBay.  I am starting to learn about some of the potential I missed out on and that is kind of sad to think about.  I know one day I’ll be back in a position to take advantage of all the skills I’m learning through this blog so not all is lost.

So yeah, life is strange right? After the company disbanded I moved to China for a year to study Mandarin Chinese and travel the world – I’ve got tons of stories and photos from all over the place and I guess I’m not done yet – I’m not ready for a regular job.  Well so in China I met a Finnish girl and we started dating – not really assuming we had much of a future.  Given the flexibility of my employment status right now (aka unemployed haha), I decided to head over to Finland and see a bit of Europe while I was at it.  After arriving I decided maybe I would get a job in Finland for awhile since my girlfriend is finishing up a master’s degree and needs to be here right now.  I can tell you, it’s VERY hard to get a sales job in a country where you don’t speak the native language (even though just about everybody here speaks English).  The Finnish language believe it or not, is HARDER than Chinese – take it from someone who tried to learn both.  Anyways, I decided after a lot of searching, I would rather devote my time to working on myself and my skill sets.  I decided to stay here for awhile and start up a blog (see my posts on Starting a WordPress.org blog), aimed at learning everything I can about what’s going on in cyberspace or whatever term they use to describe it these days…web 2.0 blah blah.

I’ll stop this here – but I wanted to put this out there because since searching around online for information on Social Media Marketing, I’ve found so much that even though we’re talking about a Social topic, I don’t feel like the people I am reading seem like a real person (generally – there are many exceptions).  I want to dispel the mystery surrounding me, and say Hi! I’m Nick (yeah yeah professionally Nicholas but whatever), nice to meet you!   Please read my blog and please comment, subscribe, tweet, share whatever – I want to meet and talk with some other real people about my newfound obsession with Social Media!

P.S. each blog post I’ll share a new picture that I think looks cool – you may or may not, but let me know – I actually have a bit of a photography hobby but the only camera have is a shit point and shoot…oh well – at least it’s really small.

Nov 242010
 

These stats were compiled by: http://socialmediatoday.com/soravjain/237864/fascinating-social-media-facts-year-2010

1. General Facts

1. Australia has the most number of established users of social media in the world, followed by USA and UK.

2. In terms of the impact of social networks on advertising, word of mouth is the popular option with 78% of customers trust peer recommendations on sites. While, only 14% trust advertisements.

3. Advertising has also been impacted greatly because of social media with only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive return on investment.

4. Facebook, Blogspot followed by Myspace are the top sites visited by under 18s.

5. An average user becomes a fan of 2 pages every month.

6. 24 out of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in circulations because the news reaches users in other formats.

7. 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are linked to user-generated content.

8. *In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, 90% of participants know at least one social networking site.

9. * In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries,72% of participants of the internet population are active on at least 1 networking sites. The top 3 countries part of at least 1 network site was Brazil (95%), USA (84%), and Portugal (82%).

10. * In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, users of social networking sites are saturated. Connected people feel no need to further expand their membership on other social network sites.

11. * In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, on an average, users log in twice a day to social networking sites and 9 times a month on professional websites.

12. * In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, sending personal messages is the most popular online activity. The top 5 activities online are sending personal messages, watching photos, checking status, reacting to others’ status, and uploading pictures.

13. * In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, people have about 195 friends on an average.

Source:

• *Online sample survey of 2,884 consumers spread over 14 countries between the age of 18 to 55 years old byOnline Media Gazette.

2. Facebook Facts

14. Facebook has over 500 million users.

15. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest country.

16. An average Facebook user spends about 55 minutes a day on the site.

17. An average Facebook user spends about 6.50 hours a week on the site.

18. The average Facebook user spends 1.20 days a month on the site.

19. Facebook’s translation application support over 100 languages.

20. There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)

21. Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events

22. Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month

23. More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

24. ** In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, Facebook is studied to have the highest penetration. The top 3 sites include Facebook (51%), MySpace (20%), and Twitter (17%).

25. **Over 300,000 users translate the site through the translations application.

26. **Over 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.

27. **Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites are integrated with Facebook.

28. **There are over 100 million active users accessing Facebook currently through their mobile devices.

Source:

• *Online sample survey of 2,884 consumers spread over 14 countries between the age of 18 to 55 years old byOnline Media Gazette.
• ** Statistics from Facebook press office.

3. YouTube Facts

29. The most popular YouTube video – Justin Bieber, Baby ft. Ludacris has had over 374,403,983 views

30. ** YouTube receives over 2 billion viewers each day.

31. ** 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube by users every minute.

32. ** 70% of YouTube users are from the United States.

33. ** More than half of YouTube’s users are under the age of 20.

34. ** To watch all the videos currently on YouTube, a person has to live for around 1,000 years.

35. ** YouTube is available across 19 countries and in 12 languages.

36. ** Music videos account for 20% of uploads on YouTube.

Source:

• ** Statistics from YouTube press centre.

4. Blogger Facts

37. There are over 181 million blogs.

38. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.

39. ** The age group for 60% of bloggers is 18-44 years.

40. ** One in five bloggers updates their blogs every day.

41. ** Two thirds of bloggers are male.

42. ** Corporate blogging accounts for 14% of blogs.

43. ** 15% of bloggers spend 10 hours a week blogging.

44. ** More than half of all bloggers are married and/or parents.

45. ** More than 50% of bloggers have more than one blog.

Source:

• ** Statistics from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009.

5. Tweet Facts

46. 54% of bloggers post content or tweet on a daily basis.

47. 80% of Twitter users use Twitter on mobile devices.

48. There have been over 50 million tweets in 2010.

49. The 10 billionth Twitter’s tweet was posted in March 2010.

50. **There are over 110 million users of Twitter currently.

51. **180 million unique users access Twitter each month.

52. **More than 600 million searches happen on Twitter every day.

Source:

• Box Hill Institute: Box Hill Institute (Social Media at Box Hill Institute)
• **Statistics from Twitter and the Chirp Conference.

6. LinkedIn Facts

53. Of the 60 million users of LinkedIn half of them are from outside US.

54. By March 2010 Australia alone had over 1 million LinkedIn users.

55. 80% companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.

56. **Every second a new member joins LinkedIn.

57. **Almost 12 million unique visitors visit LinkedIn every day.

58. ** LinkedIn has executives from all Fortune 500 companies.

59. **1-in-20 LinkedIn profiles are accounted by recruiter.

Source:

• ** Statistics from LinkedIn press centre and SysComm International.

 

Nov 242010
 

Because I’m currently in Finland I’ve learning a (very) little of the language.  Ei is the Finnish word for no.  I have a bit of an ironic streak I’ll admit and so first off the meaning is something like “not connect link” – which is of course the opposite of the point of the internet and furthermore the opposite of the point of social media marketing, which thrives on established and establishing connections.  It also is a bit of a play on how everything having to do with the internet and technology is something like “e” this or “i” e.g. eCommerce, iphone etc.  My gravatar image for this blog (shown above) is taken from the Helsinki museum of contemporary art.  It is me in front of a large “Ei” sculpture.  Here’s a side view of the same sculpture.

I’ve gotten some comments about why am I flipping everybody off in the picture above.  It’s also supposed to be a bit ironic and maybe a little provocative.   Since what I really want is to connect with you, this image is supposed to send a bit of a mixed message and make you think about the name a little more.  It’s truly not intended to be offensive! (unless it turns out after we connect, I don’t like you 😛  haha).  Seriously though, I appreciate you taking the time to check out this blog and encourage you to give me as much feedback as possible (comments please!)

Nov 232010
 

(A suitable image for the start of this blog is a photo taken in Helsinki near the opera house at the start of winter.  The interconnectivity of the branches creates an interesting visual representation of the electrical nodes of a web – the snow clinging to only one side of the trees is quite picturesque).

It seems fitting that the first entry of a new blog should set the tone for future posts.  Organic growth may cause divergence from the original course, but setting clear intentions from the start will be helpful in directing this vision through the (inevitable) onslaught of new information and stimuli seeking to change/pervert it.  This blog is first and foremost for me, the author.  I know that must make the reader think “well then why should I bother reading at all?”  I intend to use this blog to learn as much as possible about web marketing.  I hope to explore all available information to further my knowledge on this topic.  I intend to explore new uses for social media marketing and ways to monetize social networks.  The knowledge is something I personally want.  The reason you should read, and why I am putting it up in this format, is because I really want to have a forum to discuss what I learn.  I don’t mind sharing what I discover and I hope in return you will share what you know/think.

The internet is at a very interesting stage in its still relatively young existence.  I don’t think we imagined 5 years ago what the landscape online looks like today.  I think the next 5 years will bring about an exponentially greater change than the previous.  Here’s a kind of old talk, but still quite interesting about the next 5000 days of the internet.

I believe nobody can really know anything other than it definitely will be an amazing ride.  I think the most interesting part is that it feels a lot like the wild west, or the next frontier, or some other cliche.

We have come a long way from 14400 modems (the slowest I remember anyways!).  We have also come a long way from AOL chat rooms being the best way to connect with your friends.  Internet speed is up (sitting here in Finland on a university network it’s incredible), more and more people are online, and social networking is exploding.  In all the glory of its 500 million users, and estimated value of between 40-50 billion USD, Facebook still has not really figured out how to fully capitalize on their position.  They are getting better month by month, but I still feel there is room for game changing ideas.  Furthermore, now that people are readily sharing all of their information thanks to social networking, the rest of the web has still not fully realized how to use that information.  I hope to explore ways to use information shared online to increase user experience on a website, and also translate into higher sales for that site.  I also want to learn more about the latest theories and best practices for social media marketing.  I hope to explore its use in political campaigns, social causes, and for profit motives.  I intend to research different companies and solutions they offer to promote web marketing, data management, and user experience.

Considering the intent of this blog, I have already proved myself to be quite an amateur at least when it comes to understanding blogs in general.  Signing up and getting started was easy, but it appears there is a depth of knowledge needed to be a successful blogger.  This may turn out the be the initial thrust of this blog – as I realize I am hopelessly under-informed about the vast possibilities the use of blogs for marketing purposes.  On a side note, for the record I think the word blog is stupid and sounds like something an alien would say, or some sound someone might make right before throwing up.  I digress – apparently this word has ever growing importance in our world so, love it or hate it, I’m guessing it’s here to stay.