Over the weekend a friend who is a highly placed professional at one of the big medical centers here in Seattle (not the UW) told me that their IT department blocks all use of blogs and social software sites from employee desktops. That just seems inconceivable to me. It was well over a year ago when Rael Dornfest asked the audience at the O’Reilly Emerging Tech conference whether their feed readers were more important than their email inbox, and a significant proportion of the audience raised their hands. I can’t imagine being professionally informed without reading regular blogs – they’re far more important to me than what’s being published formally, at least in my field.
I also told my friend about how we’re starting to use Facebook and other sharing sites for our work these days.
Beth Kantner pointed out these two interesting slide shows (require Flash) on Facebook demographics.
I was particularly struck by these facts from the first presentation, which came from the Forrester Consumer Conference:
- 44 million active users, projections for 60 million by the end of 2007
- More than half the users are female
- More than half the users return daily
- 34% work as professionals
The second presentation, from French consulting firm Faber Novel, has a slide with some interesting ideas about metrics in measuring success of social media, on slide 28, which has some ideas for how to measure user engagement (e.g. ratio of visits to number of content pieces posted, or % of active users to the total), virality (if that’s a word), and influence.