Growth and Connectivity Factors

by Jay Deragon on 10/08/2007

ConnectivityThe central economic imperative of the Relationship Economy is to amplify connected relationships for both personal and professional objectives.  Relationships with customers, suppliers, individual professional and personal associates and last but not least, things.The predominant “thing” is technology since it enables all things to leverage economic values within everything and everyone connected.Consider the growth rates in online networking initiativesJeremiah Owyang, Analyst for Forrester reports:  “In September, 2007 one in 20 U.S. Internet visits included a stop at a leading social network, almost twice the rate of a year before, Hitwise says.”The current installed base and rate of increase for FaceBook?

“July 07 numbers from Business Week say it’s at 26 million. Comscore (also this month) show that growth over past 12 months has been 89%. I don’t have any prediction numbers for the next year, but I’ll expect it to be in the thousands of percent.”

The number of people under 30 on FaceBook?
“I did the math on the same Comscore report and 60% are under 35. Sorry, I can’t accurately break it down to age 30, but you can make some guesses.  Also, for MySpace: “half of the users are age 35 and older, while users age 18-24 make up only 17%. On Facebook, older users make up 40%, with college students (29%) being the next biggest group.” It’s interesting to note that same BusinessWeek article differentiates MySpace as being blue collar, and Facebook being White collar.”

The current installed base for MySpace and the rate of decline?
“68 million unique users logged on to MySpace in the last month, says the same Business Week article. Myspace’s younger demographic rates are decreasing says this Business Week’s July 07 report: “but U.S. visitors under 18 to MySpace dropped 30 percent over the past year, while Facebook’s rose about 2 1/2 times”

B2B blogging or social media growth rates:
“Oh yeah, here’s what I think is the most important report this year regarding social media and IT decision makers (B2B): “Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that social media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision, and more than three-quarters believe they have made their lives more efficient.”

Jeremiah Owyang review of the growth rates for online social networks and social media are enough for anyone to take notice.  While online growth rates are significant, consider how the emergence of mobile devices have accelerated our reliance on being connected and the emerging “ad supported free usage models” will accelerate even more adoption for a world connected to everyone and everything.

According to the latest BIGresearch American Pulse Survey 46.5% aren’t bothered when they are without their cell phone. 25.7% of 18-34 year olds, however, are anxious when disconnected. 24.1% can only be without it for a limited amount of time.  Our anxiousness is fueled by the our reliance on being connected to people and information assumed needed to for pursuits in our daily lives. 

According to recent Business Week article: “Wireless Networks and handsets are only now getting sophisticated enough to deliver colorful, location-specific ads.”  “The day is coming when wireless users will experience nirvana scenarios–mobile ads tied to your individual behavior, what you are doing, and where you are,” says Linda Barrabee, wireless analyst at researcher Yankee Group.

“Google and advertisers drool over the growth potential in wireless. The more than 2 1/2 billion phones in use worldwide exceed the number of PCs and TVs combined. On Sept. 17, Google announced a Web program aimed at advertisers who have created sites for display on cell phones and other handheld devices. Like its online ad network, Google’s AdSense for Mobile delivers ads relevant to the advertiser’s mobile audience. “The sheer volume of users across the globe makes mobile the next channel for information,” says Dilip Venkatachari, director of product management for Google’s mobile team.”

“Google plans to connect mobile advertisers with users based on information from its search engine, maps, and other software, just as it has done on the desktop. Via Google search, for example, an advertiser learns a user is at the corner bakery in downtown Chicago. And it learns the person has a taste for sweets. Wireless carriers have customer information as well, but “they are not a data warehouse, the way Google is,” explains Richard Siber, principal of SiberConsulting.”

Free Seamless connectivity will fuel the new economy

The economy of online social networking is already largely supported by advertising revenue.  The same model is now taking form for the mobile market. Because prices move inexorably towards the free, the best move in the network economy is to anticipate this cheapness of the medium which fuels adoption by the masses.  While access is “free” the value exchanges between B2B, B2C, and C2C will fuel yet further growth in new rules for The Relationship Economy.

What say you?

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