December 2012 Archives

Netflix

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I recently subscribed to Netflix over this past summer. A little history I found interesting:

2001 - 456,000 subscribed members.
2002 - went public
2003 - Netflix made 7 million dollars in profit
2008 - Started the movie streaming service.
2010 - Profited 161 million dollars. Netflix had an overall U.S. dollar revenue of 2.16 billion dollars!
2011 - In July, the company decided to split it's DVD and streaming service into to separate packages. The price change went from 9.99 dollars for both service to 7.99 for each. A few weeks later, Netflix dropped the DVD delivery all-together. Customers did not take either of these actions kindly, and as a result Netflix's stocks dropped from a record 304 dollars to just under 90 dollars each. Wow.

Today - I think it's safe to say Netflix is still doing pretty well! I've been sated so far. In fact, I can't stop watching Breaking Bad at the moment. The service has proved detrimental to my studies more than once since my summer investment.

http://www.statista.com/topics/842/netflix/

Dopamine - Neuromarketing

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In class we touched on the topic of Neuromarketing briefly.
I thought this video was interesting as it coincides with the concept of Neuromarketing and does a good job of presenting ideas very simply.

Dopamine is not only a feel good chemical, but also a learning signal that helps us identify, prioritize, and anticipate new and unexpected rewards over older and more predictable ones.

Very cool.

Survey Sites

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This class has illustrated the importance of data collection, surveys, and understanding the target you wish to communicate with. I find it incredible the amount of data collection that is done for a specific group or product! For instance, surfing around Simmons I was able to look up a specific age and race demographic of individuals who have purchased Peter Pan Peanut Butter within the last 6 months. I understand Simmons is a powerful program - but my goodness - I felt floored at the programs ability to give me a semi-confident set of numbers. I immediately called in one of my physics major roommates just to get their opinion on the data and they were impressed as well as mildly uncomfortable with the fact that such data exists.

Since entering the School of Journalism I have continually become more aware with the fact that data like this exists nearly everywhere if you look for it. I believe the Simmons instance was one of the cool "ah-ha" moments for me, regardless of the fact that I've used the program for a project a semester or two ago. Simmons collects data through large sample groups that require people to take surveys on all the information that is in the program. Another interesting application of surveys in my opinion are survey sites.

Webpages such as BigSpot.com, SurveyMonkey, GetPaidSurveys, SwagBucks, and countless other websites offer rewards and paid compensation for your opinions. I think these are very interesting sites that are fairly new in terms of the conventional survey methods that have been around for countless years. I don't know much about these sites, how legit they are, and if an individual is able to actually make money through them; but I can see how they work. If a company is willing to compensate people for their opinions and input on a product or idea, the company is that much more in touch with their potential consumers. One real life example of someone I know who takes online surveys frequently is my older sister. I'm not sure which site she goes through, but I do know she receives gift cards for stores such as Express, Victoria's Secret, and Target fairly often. She also gets free magazine subscriptions from time to time I believe. These gift cards are often worth 20 to 40 dollars, and she seems to think her time and effort is totally worth it! I agree, as 40 free dollars to Target would be wonderful, but alas, I still have yet to participate.

Ultimately, I think these sites are very interesting. I often see a BigSpot.com commercial on TV and usually think about the website through a lens aided by this class. I think about what the website is gaining, what the survey taker is gaining, and what the company who sponsors the survey is gaining. Although I can't be certain, it seems as though all three parties win whenever an individual decides to participate.
Perhaps I'll give it a try soon...

U.S. Household Broadband Connection

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In 2012, 90 percent of U.S. households that have computers now have broadband internet. In terms of the population, that makes 80.3 million people. This is quite the growth, considering that just five years ago 65 percent of households with computers were subscribed to a broadband service. It's getting to the point today where computer ownership is the hurdle between individuals subscribing to a broadband service. Furthermore, there is a strong correlation between income and broadband subscription.

Those who make under 30,000 dollars a year are:
59 percent likely to use a computer at home.
52 percent likely to use internet at home.
47 percent likely to use broadband at home.

Conversely, those who make over 50,000 dollars a year are:
97 percent likely to use a computer at home.
97 percent likely to use internet at home.
91 percent likely to use broadband at home.

Interesting.

I recall hearing that Japan has made the internet accessible to nearly every with free wireless spanning the country. Does the U.S. soon merge with such an idea? Is the internet something that should be accessible to all citizens if they wish to use it from their home? I don't necessarily feel a strong stance on the question either way - just an interesting idea. There is always public libraries and coffee shops who provide free wireless, and even McDonald's provides free wireless today. The internet is such a part of everyone's lives today. I feel this is especially true for the younger demographics who have grown up parallel to the growth of the internet; in the idea that web content has matured just as a human does.

It's funny to think back to a time I vaguely remember when I didn't have to experience the internet. Now, nearly anyone with a computer has a broadband connection and is likely to be exercising some form of an online presence. I'm interested in what another 5 years could potentially bring!

http://gigaom.com/2012/09/04/90-of-us-households-with-computers-have-broadband/

Coffee Statistics

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Like many college kids, I think it's fair to say I'm mildly addicted to coffee. Beyond the fact that it wakes me up with a little burst of caffeine I also enjoy the flavor. I find that coffee is also conducive to conversation such as when you grab a cup with friends or a study group. This is evident whenever you walk into a bustling coffee shop where the are filled tables of people conversing, sharing ideas, and surfing the web over their steaming cups of java.

As the article states, the percentage of Americans who are 18 and over that drink coffee everyday is 54 percent! This statistic alone really illustrates the role that coffee plays in our lifestyles. For instance, the U.S. spends four-billion dollars annually on coffee importing alone. While I looked through many of these statistics, I couldn't help by call to mind how many coffee shops are scattered throughout campus. I myself was even at the Purple Onion today to meet up with my partner for a sign language project. As I left the coffee shop, I noticed how packed full of students it was. There seems to be a 'coffee culture' among many University students and I'm confident that culture exists at nearly every college campus. Aside from students, those in the workforce are likely to experience a similar coffee culture as Starbucks, Caribous, and Dunn Bros. are scattered throughout any commuters way to work. The annual spending for coffee from these specialty corporations in the U.S. is 18 billion dollars! Furthermore, the average coffee drinker spends 164.7 dollars a year on their coffee alone. Just typing this entry has made me crave another cup of coffee...perhaps I'll give in!

There are many more interesting coffee statistics located here:
http://www.statisticbrain.com/coffee-drinking-statistics/

Social Media Savvy at Thirteen

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A recent survey of 4000 parents found that the age of 11 years old is the age in which they allow their child to enter the vast world of social media. In fact, 53 percent of parents admitted that their children are already online and networking at 11. Facebook doesn't allow users under the age of 13 to use their site.

Moreover, it's found that most 10 to 13 year old children in the U.S., Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Australia have their own computers. Many parents attest to checking their computers often as well as assisting them in their social networking from time to time, however; the children are still primary users of their computer. Of these countries, 44 percent of children have the internet on their mobile phones as well. In the U.S., 56 percent of children have the web on their phones.

There is a wonderful graph that illustrates many of these statistics near the bottom of the article:
http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2011/11/15/8819806-survey-most-kids-are-as-social-media-savvy-as-adults-by-13?lite

There seems to be a much larger generation gap from my peers to these 11 through 13 year old children than what time can attest to. Children are going their school day posting status updates, tweeting, commenting; and all while they are still learning their basic grammar and vocabulary. Moreover, I am surprised at how tech savvy this generation of children really are. I recall learning about computers on the old Macintosh models where you would insert your floppy disk and play 'Number Crunchers' or 'Oregon Trail.' This was a time when 512mb was enough storage space on a disk to keep nearly any file you could think of.

I also think about how early these children are receiving their own computers and cell phones. I remember receiving my first cell phone a few months after turning 16. To this day, I still don't have the internet on my phone. Even if I so chose to purchase mobile network support, my phone is old enough to only allow me to send basic e-mails. Although I paint this articles information in a negative light, it's much more just odd to me. I've always been at the tail end of technology growing up; getting my cellphone later than most my classmates and feeling like one of the last people in school to rid myself of that horrible dial-up internet. I guess may parents have always been a little 'old-school.'

Aside from my opinions on 11, 12, and 13 year old individuals being social media savvy, I believe it's important to understand the implications of these children merging with such web based content so early. One thing is for sure, time will tell. On the other hand, it might be beneficial to understand any repercussions before it gets out of control. Definitely an interesting article!

Bottled Water Survey

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I just completed the extra-credit survey on bottled water. I certainly found this survey interesting in the fact that I don't find myself thinking much about the over priced plastic capsules that contain what is virtually free from a faucet. I don't actually find myself too far on either side of the argument of if bottled water is bad or not, but I do think it's important to at the very least recycle the bottles considering they don't decompose all to quickly. In fact, the average water bottle takes 500 to 1000 years to decompose, and if a plastic bottle is deep within a landfill with no air moving it won't decompose at all.

Aside from the fun facts, I'm very interested about what this survey is hoping to achieve. Certainly an interesting survey to take. Maybe I'll even land the 5 dollar Target gift-card!

World Energy 2012

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I found this video to be quite intriguing. There are many statistics throughout the entire video - some that I've heard as well as some that spark interest. One thing I feel wary of it that fact that BP is the creator of the video. I often feel a little off-put when a corporation that makes nearly all of it's profits on gasoline begins talking about their loyal investment in renewable energies. I do think renewable energy advancements need to be made and perhaps BP is making a conscious and committed effort to researching and developing alternative methods. Either way, I believe it's something to think about...

Guitar

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When I was just entering the 8th grade, my younger sister received a guitar for her birthday. I can recall walking by her room, peering in, and seeing the guitar sit and collect dust for the first month or two she owned it. It wasn't long before I began sneaking in and trying to figure out how the instrument worked. My mom used to scold me when I would get caught holding the guitar, as it was my sisters and I needed to ask first. Considering I was in 8th grade, that certainly didn't stop me! I never knew how to play at the time, but there was something about the instrument that really caught my attention.

One day, my mom asked me if I wanted to go get a guitar of my own. I recall hesitating for a moment, wondering if I really wanted to take an hour or two out of my packed adolescence life to get a guitar. I complied, and soon enough I had a guitar of my own. I am so grateful that I decided to pick the instrument up, as I fell in love with it that month and that love has only grown!

It's difficult to find any statistics on guitar players online. There are many ballpark estimates in regards to number of players in the U.S., but much of the data seems to spit out different numbers. A number that came up often was 20 million people in the U.S. play guitar. The first thing I wonder is what constitutes playing? Is there a good way to measure such a factor, and if so how do you get an accurate representation of how many people really do play? In what way does one collect such data; via survey? Brief interview in order to determine skill level? A sample of the population? You will certainly get different results if you collect data near Nashville versus South Dakota.

Some other related and interesting statistics I found online include:
-54 percent of households have at least one member who plays an instrument.
-69 percent of people who do not play an instrument want to learn.
-Guitar Center determined the skill level percentages of their customers and released these numbers; 16 percent of customers are professional guitarists - 43 percent are aspiring professionals - and 41 percent are hobbyists.

I believe I will always play the guitar as a hobby of my through the rest of my life. I've certainly enjoyed it thus far and couldn't imagine quitting any time soon!

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/720968.html

Global Study: Creativity

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Today, 75% of people feel that their countries are not living up to their creative potential, whereas only 25% feel sated with their country's creative performance. This statistic came as a real shock to Adobe, who hosted the global study of 5000 individuals living in the US, UK, Japan, France, and Germany. Adobe conducted this study in support of their new program, Creative Cloud, but in the process uncovered many interesting statistics in regards to the worlds creativity.

In the US, 52% of individuals considered themselves to be creative with second place being France at 36% and Japan at 19%. Interestingly enough, individuals in the U.S. said they have the highest regard for the value of creativity but also expressed the most concern about the way creativity is valued. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of the population surveyed believe that creativity is very important to a society. Another statistic that really struck me was that over half of all respondents agreed that today's education system stifles creativity.

There seems to be a real disconnect between the said value of creativity when compared to the actual appreciation of creativity within the workplace or education. The article states that many teachers find creative individuals to be difficult to deal with and out-of-line when compared to the rest of the students. In many employers minds, productivity and creativity aren't quite two concepts that merge easily. I find this data fascinating in the sense that as a society we value creativity so much, yet actually embrace it far less than generations before us. We live in a such a consumer generated world with the internet at all of our fingertips which would seem to only open doors and let the creative vibes flow, yet the data shows that as a society we are actually becoming less creative. Perhaps it's societal pressures that cause individuals to sway on the functionality and systematic side of things, as we are all aware that being an artist or creator of sorts often lacks a decent fiscal reward. Or, perhaps technology and the internet have clouded our minds in a way that allows us to think less outside the box, or ultimately, just think less? I certainly have no answer or even a half-concrete idea as to why creativity today is now being shadowed by yesterday's, but I do know that I sure hope that data begins to turn around soon. Creativity is cool.

http://adage.com/article/news/study-75-living-creative-potential/234302/

Amazing Statistics

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I recall seeing this video once or twice in a previous class of mine. I've always enjoyed videos like these as they are a quick way to learn some fun facts. Not much else going on in this video than lots of interesting statistics and a groovy tune! Outside of the video however, is compiled amounts of data that explored many different disciplines of research. To collect all of these statistics requires a lot of time, money, and a variety of methods. Whenever I watch these types of videos I don't think much about what went into them. It wasn't until now that I've really spent some time watching these large scale stats run by in seconds without wondering what kind of resources were taken to achieve just that single fact. Something to think about.

This video seems to touch on many topics concerning the speed at which things are advancing when compared to the past. A stat that always strikes me is how radio took 38 years to reach 50 million people whereas Facebook took 2 years. Wild.

Enjoy!

Millennials

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This article has 50 facts about Millennials. I've always enjoyed reading about this generation and discussing it in class as I feel there are a lot of interesting things going on with this specific generation. Is that narcissistic, considering I'm a millennial myself? Perhaps.

All the same, here are several of my favorite facts from the article you can find here:
http://www.edelmandigital.com/2011/06/01/by-the-numbers-50-facts-about-millennials/

-48% of Millennials who say word-of-mouth influences their product purchases more than TV ads. Only 17% said a TV ad prompted them to buy

-7 average number of jobs a person will have by age 26

-15% of Americans ages 25-29 who had never been married in 1960, compared to 55% in 2011

-35% of employed Millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income

-41% of Millennials have made a purchase using their smartphone

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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