Facebook is growing fast

The most well-known of the global social networking sites is obviously MySpace with in excess of 100 million registered users. But other sites are also thriving in its shadow, like Facebook for example. Carolyn Abram presents some impressive statistics:

– Facebook grew from 7.5 million users last July to almost 18 million users now. Over half of the users log in daily.
– The site has 30 billion page views monthly, is the 6th most trafficked US site and account for 1% of all time spent on the internet.
– There are more than 1 billion photos on the site.

Shel Israel has a great comment:

” If you are a marketing professional and you continue to ignore stats like these, my urgent advice is pay attention. A whole generation [is] absorbed in the social media and if you overlook them, you may have a future career in the restaurant service industry.”


Rising coverage of blogs

Overstated has an interesting overview of how many times the word blog or weblog has been mentioned in media. There has been a significant increase in coverage since early 2003.

I touched on this in a previous post, when I looked at the situation in Sweden. I performed the same search again (but this time excluded the brand names Weblogic and Weblogistics) for the search terms “blog*” and “weblog*” in Swedish media via Retriever (searches web based sources only). In Sweden, the coverage started to take off in November of 2003. Noteworthy is that in my previous analysis I found that IT and technology trade press almost made up two thirds of all articles, while marketing and journalism press had almost none.

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The first Swedish mention I found was from a two year old unsigned article in Ny Teknik (New Technology) on May 2, 2002, explaining the new acronym “blog”.

Link via Corporate Engagement.

Blogging takes off in Sweden

Here is a short translation of my guest post on JKL blog yesterday.

Blogging is starting to become a hot topic in Swedish media. The number of articles has risen from just 2 articles in 2001, to 56 in 2002, 105 in 2003 and 81 so far this year. The lion share of these articles, or two thirds, are from IT and technology trade press while meta media (media about media) is almost invisible. But Sweden is still lagging behind the US where blogs are debated and exploited by both journalists and PR professionals.

Blogs affect how media work and thereby also people in PR and communication, since blogs have the possibility to transform the relationship media producer/consumer to a conversation. For example, the TV channel VH-1 recently put up a blog for a show they were launching and comments and ideas from the public found its way into the show’s script. Some journalists check facts with bloggers, while others find that their planned scoop for a follow up article is already out on the net, because bloggers have already thought along the same lines. A thousand minds think better than one, you might say.

Some of these new micro media become opinion leaders and how do we as communicators relate to them? Can you pitch a story to a blogger and how do you do that? Communicators often want to have control over information, not from a propaganda perspective, but to have the whole picture in order to make the right decisions. We want to know what is being said about our brand. All this becomes more complicated when blogs become more established in Sweden. One wonders when the first service is launched that monitors and alerts when my brand is mentioned in a blog. Maybe it already exists, if you know, please tell me.

So why is the blogging phenomena not being discussed at all in Swedish marketing and journalism press? The first and most obvious reason is that there are almost no commercial cases to talk about. Corporate blogs are still rare in Sweden. Another reason I think is that the blogosphere is like a universe of its own and if you are not participating in the dialogue, you just don’t realize the potential and the implications of this new form of communication. The blogospere is a little like a black hole, if you come too close you get sucked in and get absorbed, but before that it is all black, you just don’t see it.

My advice to PR professionals in Sweden is that they should start their own blog right now, just to get acquainted with the format, it is easy and free and you can blog anonymously. Once you have decided a theme and you feel that your blog is running smoothly you can make it public and start to market it, although the marketing bit seems almost unnecessary, since blogs are so viral they almost market themselves. That should be enough incentive for any marketer.