Tag Archives: social technographics

All I want for Christmas is Josh Bernoff’s social media report

Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, co-author with Charlene Li of the groundbreaking social media study Groundswell, recently issued a Forrester report entitled The Growth of Social Technology Adoption.  I came across the link on ReadWriteWeb.  Delighted at the chance to download my copy, I went straight to the site, where I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Unfortunately, all I got to read was the synopsis, because the full report costs $279.

Now I don’t want to appear cheap or ungrateful.  Josh, Charlene and Forrester have been quite generous in sharing their social media knowledge.  For example, you can go to the Groundswell web site and create, free of charge, a basic Social Technographics profile for a demographic and geography of your choice.  I also recognize that Forrester Research is a business, and businesses need to make money.

Still, social media is in its infancy.  And many of its standard bearers, bloggers like me, promote the cause on their own time and with their own finances.  Sure, I have a day job in marketing and communications, but my forays into social media are not an official part of that job — yet.  I’m working to change that, and one of the ways is by constantly deepening my understanding of social media and slowly but surely bringing that knowledge to bear on the work I do for my employer and our clients.  But for now, whatever resources I leverage to build my knowledge base, if they involve a monetary cost, I fund out of my own pocket.  And $279 is a bit steep for my budget.

So here’s my request to Forrester.  How about a special rate for independent social media proponents like myself?  Google provides many services — Google Analytics for starters — free of charge.  They recognize that by helping marketers to learn how to use online advertising more effectively, it will ultimately help Google’s business.  In the same way, if Forrester helps me to nurture my expertise of the social media space, that should pay off in the long term for Forrester.  I will be better able to show my clients the value of social media for their business, get them started in the space and eventually purchase Forrester reports, tools and services that help them engage successfully.

Or how about a discount for people who bought Groundswell?  (I’m sure I still have that Amazon receipt somewhere.)  Or for writing a review of the book on a  blog?

And if all of this doesn’t move you, Forrester, how about just getting into the Christmas spirit?  I’ve been a good boy all year — especially as a standard bearer for social media.  I hope when Santa comes down my chimney this year, he’s got something in his sack from Forrester.

Merry Christmas!

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Social media is truly coming of age — just ask my 85-year-old mom

My mother will turn 85 this coming December 26th. This year, when I visit her and my dad for the holidays, she’d like me to show her “these new things on the internet” that she’s been hearing about. What she’s been hearing about — and not just from me — are the communities and online social tools that have become integrated into the lives of many of us. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. She’s not sure which ones might be right for her, but she’s curious and wants me to help her understand them.

Despite her age, my mother is comfortable with the computer, uses email and knows how to set up a video conference on iChat. She also enjoys simple computer games. She loves to be in touch with friends and family, but isn’t able to get around as much as she used to. For older people like my mother, social media can be a godsend against isolation, a way to stay connected to the wider world and to socialize.

Josh Bernof, one of the co-authors of the book Groundswell and analyst at Forrester Research, recently wrote about the rapid growth of adaption of social media in 2008. Not surprisingly, much of it is coming from older onliners. Whereby he defines “older” as 35-44 year old’s. (And I thought 40 was the new 30.) But even among Americans aged 55 and up who are online, only 38% are what Bernhof calls “inactives” — people who don’t even passively use social media (e.g. never ever read, say, a blog, much less leave a comment or subscribe to one).

I say not suprisingly because the greatest potential for social media growth will come from that great white space of older, later adopters, who still have yet to get their feet wet. But have every reason to do so. Like my mom.

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