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Posts Tagged ‘U.S’

Google+ overtakes Twitter to become second biggest US social network

Posted Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Google+ has achieved attained a significant milestone in the US after it opened up a 10 per cent lead over the micro blogging service amongst both men and women with personal social media accounts.

The research, conducted by Burst Media, confirmed that women remain the most enthusiastic social media users being six per cent more likely to have a Facebook account than men with the biggest disparity being Pinterest where 22 per cent of women have an account versus just 5 per cent of men.

It was the strength of Google+ in the poll which grabbed attention with fully 24.5 per cent of men and 26.1 per cent of women holding an account, significantly more than the respective figures of 15.5 per cent and 16.9 per cent for Twitter.

 


Royal Wedding V Osama on the social media

Posted Friday, May 6th, 2011

We witnessed two major global events over the last bank holiday weekend, one rejoicing the start of a new life together with the marriage of William and Kate and the other being the breaking news that Bin Laden had been shot by Navy Seals.

The Royal Wedding attracted an audience of 2 billion people, a third of the world’s population whilst Osama’s death was the most concealed secret in recent history and was watched by a handful of Obama’s closest advisors. Interestingly though, Osama’s death was first revealed on twitter when a person from Abootabad was live tweeting the attack- “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1am (is a rare event),” he went on to document the death of the most wanted man.

But what we’re interested in is how this affected the social media?

Were people still only interested in celebrating the Royal Wedding or was this long forgotten when news broke about Osama? Would it make a difference that the Royal Wedding had been planned long in advance and therefore people were already updating their social networking profiles or would the sudden news of Osama create a sudden reaction and sense that the news needed to be spread?

A few moments after Obama announced the death of Osama, one-fifth of global Tweets contained the word ‘Obama’. In comparison the Royal Wedding only reached one-tenth of all updates. Google saw a one million percent increase in searches for “bin Laden” and Twitter said messages posted between 7:45 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. PT that night were the “highest sustained rates of Tweets ever,” with Twitter averaging 3,000 tweets per second during that time.

Royal Wedding received several mentions during the 6 month lead up but Osama was being paid very little attention.  However on the day of the respective events the outcome was very different- Osama’s death far outweighed the wedding. Was this because it was sudden news or were people actually more interested? There’s no doubt the events are localized- the UK would have paid more attention to the wedding and the US would have been more interested in Osama’s death and therefore it may be that it’s the sheer population that accounts for the difference.

So what does this demonstrate? That news is best received on the social media when it is broken suddenly, or is it a because the content was more shocking? A previous record was when Michael Jackson suddenly died- Twitter witnessed 456 tweets per second. So what does this say about Twitter? Is it therefore a platform that is used to break sudden news and share it very quickly. The Osama news was the first time Twitter demonstrated that it was more reliable and accurate and the first source of breaking news. Major news stations were reacting to Twitter and behind its coverage. Is this the moment Twitter truly became the first port of any breaking news?


Did Facebook Popularity Predict Election Results?

Posted Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Tuesday’s election in the U.S. was a huge event online, and now Facebook is taking a look at the results of some of its efforts and politicians’ use of the social networking site in their campaigns.

For starters, Facebook says that more than 12 million people clicked the “I Voted” button that sat atop the news feed Tuesday — that’s more than double the number that did the same during the 2008 election. Of course, Facebook is several orders of magnitude bigger now than it was then, so that number’s not especially surprising.

More interesting, however, is that Facebook says that Page popularity was a good predictor of election night victory. Writing on the U.S. Politics on Facebook Page, the company says: “The Facebook political team’s initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, our initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.”

To be sure, there’s likely a strong correlation between candidates’ overall campaign strategy and likability and the number of Facebook fans they’re able to accumulate leading up to the election. Nonetheless, there’s also much to be said about the ability to communicate and interact with those fans during a campaign — not to mention the “endorsements” from friends that come by way of “likes” — a trend we think will only continue to gain importance in future elections.


Advertisers to Spend $1.7 Billion on Social Networks in 2010

Posted Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Mashable, 17th August 2010

The latest numbers from eMarketer project that advertisers will spend nearly $1.7 billion in the U.S. on social networking sites in 2010. Worldwide, spending will hit $3.3 billion according to the report.

The numbers represent a significant bump up from estimates published by the research firm at the end of last year, when it projected $1.3 billion would be spent on the space in the U.S.

Not surprisingly, eMarketer sees about half of that money (in the U.S.) going to Facebook, with MySpace continuing to see a smaller share of the pie. Separately, the firm estimated that Facebook’s 2010 revenue would hit $1.2 billion in a report published last week.

Earlier this month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that some of the social network’s biggest advertisers had boosted ad spending by 10x this year; a trend that’s apparent in the eMarketer report.

Check the site for chart: http://mashable.com/2010/08/16/social-networking-ad-spend-2010/


Social Media’s True Impact on Haiti, China, and the World

Posted Friday, January 22nd, 2010

We’ve seen some major world events unfold on the social media stage this week, the biggest being Google’s threat to pull out of China and the Haiti earthquake.

Google’s actions have brought attention back to the long-standing Internet censorship that blankets China, while the destruction in Haiti has mobilized hundreds of thousands to open their wallets and their hearts.

Just like the Iran Election crisis, people are again assessing the impact of social media on the world. It’s clear that social media has the power to impact world politics and the lives of billions, but some have overstated what social media can actually do. We need to understand what social media really is in order to utilize it effectively for social good.

Let me explain by highlighting a few examples of social media’s impact on the world stage, and then concluding with how I view social media’s impact in the larger context of mobilization and world discussion.

The Iran Election Crisis

During summer 2009, the world’s eyes were fixated on Iran. Questions were raised after Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over rival Mousavi in Iran’s Presidential elections. The abnormalities and potential tampering of the vote resulted in massive protests that engulfed the Islamic nation.

Social media’s role in the Iran Election Crisis started with CNNFail, but that was only the beginning of social media’s role. With the Iranian government clamping down on information and enforcing censorship, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube became the primary mediums for bringing information out of the conflicted nation and spreading notes between dissidents.

Take a look at the Iran Election social media timeline we built if you want to see its full impact. Key moments in the crisis, especially death of Neda, were recorded and spread like wildfire, creating an outpouring of support for the protesters. Twitter’s role was so important in fact that the U.S. government got involved in scheduling Twitter’s downtime.

In the end though, social media didn’t topple any governments, although it has helped shift the political climate in Iran. In some cases the use of Twitter in Iran was overstated, yet the result is that the tipping point for Iran is close, thanks to social media.

The Haiti Earthquake

After a magnitude 7.0 earthquake (and multiple aftershocks) devastated the nation of Haiti, social media became the medium in which everybody spread the word. Dramatic Haiti earthquake Twitter pictures swept across the web, while tech giants mobilized.

The most impressive part of social media’s impact on Haiti has to be the charity text message campaign that has already raised more than $10 million for Haiti victim relief. Social media spread the word, technology made it possible.

It’s not all perfect, though: the money raised is small compared to the relief coming from world governments and donations face 90 day delays. Still, social media for social good is becoming more and more effective with each crisis.

The China-Google Standoff

While we are still far from the conclusion of this messy affair, Google’s threat to pull out of China has already had a dramatic effect in both social media and political circles.

Politically, China has been put under pressure. The U.S. government has thrown its support behind Google, though it’s doubtful that the Obama administration will get involved in the end.

More importantly though, social media is being used to lift China’s blanket of censorship. Social tools, while many are blocked by the Chinese, can get through China’s great firewall. We have the tools to undo censorship in China. Google’s efforts have re-ignited the debate over censorship, but they won’t break the barrier.

Breaking Down Social Media’s Global Impact

In all three cases (China, Haiti, and Iran), social media has had an impact, especially as the course of events evolved. Real-time communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook have spread the word about what’s happening within these nations, long before the mainstream media prints the story. These tools have also created a level awareness we’ve never seen before.

We have to be realistic, though: new media isn’t going to stop censorship, overthrow oppressive regimes, or heal the people of Haiti alone. Social media has transformed communication, media, and the transmission of information, but it still takes people on the ground to pull people out of the rubble or to fight for freedom.

Just as Paul Revere embarked on his midnight ride to warn that the British were coming, social media acts as both the first warning and the rallying cry for mobilization. In the end though, social media is just a collection of tools. It’s up to us, the people, to make the real impact on our world.


Coca-Cola Lays Out Its Vision for the Future at 2010 Meeting

Posted Friday, November 27th, 2009

AdAge.com, November 22 2009

Amid some 200 analysts, investors and media last week, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent made a confession.

“There was a period when our company did lose its way,” he said. “We were too internally focused and not focused enough on the changes taking place with our consumers and customers. In essence, we were too busy looking at the dashboard and were not sufficiently paying attention to the world outside of our windshield.”

We live in an ‘ADD economy,’ said Joe Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, Coca-Cola, at a 2020Vision meeting last week. While Coca-Cola remains the dominant beverage company in the world, and controls nearly 51% of the global carbonated soft-drink business compared to Pepsi‘s 22%, according to Beverage Digest figures, it had, perhaps, been too focused on soft drinks at a time when other beverage categories were on the rise, said Bill Pecoriello, CEO at ConsumerEdge Research. “They were too inward thinking and missed a lot of trends that were happening,” he said. “There was a shift away from certain beverages and needs being filled by alternative beverages.”

Certainly, soft drinks remain a key focus for the company, but now it has also established dairy beverages as a global platform, with brands such as Vio and Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky, and has set juice as its top priority after sparkling beverages. It’s also put more emphasis on innovation, with its venturing and emerging brands group, of which brands such as Zico, Honest Tea and Illy are a part.

Globally, Coca-Cola says it leads in sparkling, juice and juice drinks, ready-to-drink coffee, tea and active lifestyle, or enhanced waters. It is No. 2 in sports drinks and No. 3 in packaged water, which includes plain bottled water and bulk water, categories where there is stiff competition from the likes of Gatorade and Nestle Waters.

John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, also points out that between 2000 and 2004, when former CEO Neville Isdell arrived, the company struggled with management changes and simply wasn’t functioning well. “Today, in my view, Coke is really back to functioning at a high level again,” he said. “Relations with bottlers are good. There’s good morale inside the company. They’re recruiting good people and not losing people anymore. They’re really now focusing on the business and the brands.”

Multicultural plans
But the most significant changes appear to be in the multicultural space, which Ms. Bayne said will be a core focus for the company in the U.S. by 2020. Already, multicultural consumers account for 33% of all of Coca-Cola‘s U.S. volume, and given the population growth occurring in this country, by 2020, those consumers will make up 40% of U.S. volume.

“Our multicultural plans are now 12-month plans. It is no longer Hispanic heritage month followed by Cinco de Mayo,” Ms. Bayne said. “We have a deep connection through the World Cup with Hispanic males and through the novelas with Hispanic females.”

The company is also embracing a 12-month strategy for African-American consumers. “We’re really focusing on moms. Moms lead the decisions in this segment of the population, even more than others, so we’re really focusing on her,” Ms. Bayne said. “Also, [we’re] celebrating the historically black colleges and universities, Black History Month and connecting over music.”

The brand is also recognizing the power of consumer-generated content and social media. “Among Coca-Cola‘s most powerful differentiators are the stories only our brand can tell,” said Ms. Clark. “But we’re not the only ones that can tell our story. Much of our content comes from our consumers. It’s the phenomenon of social media. Consumers remind us daily that Coca-Cola is actually their brand, not our brand.” To that end, the company is launching Expedition 206, an ambitious global social-media push.

While it’s not entirely clear what the return on the program will be, Adam Brown, director-digital communications and social media, said the company will be monitoring fan participation and online share of voice, as well as increases in friends or followers. “One of the great things about digital and social-media programs is the ability to measure just about everything. This is critical for us to demonstrate ROI on an exciting and, in a way, experimental project like this,” he said. “I also think content sharing is a critical metric to watch. … That third-party credibility is magic.”


Which oil company has the smallest environmental footprint?

Posted Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

New Greenopia report ranks oil companies according to environmental impact and effort.

Mother Nature Network, May 26 2009

Let’s face it, there are no environmentally friendly oil companies. It’s a contradiction in terms. Every major oil company in the world has a significant negative environmental impact — one that could only be eliminated by making a complete switch to renewable energy. But, green ratings and rankings site Greenopia.com has evaluated 10 oil giants to determine who’s causing the least damage and making the most effort to be greener.
 
Fossil fuels are pretty much at the top of any environmentalist’s black list,” said Doug Mazeffa, director of research at Greenopia. “But until alternative-fuel coalesces into large-scale market availability, cars are a vast and current fact of life and they are powered by refined crude oil.”
 
British Petroleum came in first as the company that’s doing the most to lessen its impact. Greenopia praises BP’s user-friendly, transparent sustainability reports, its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and its portfolio of renewable energy investment. Greenopia called BP “the place to go if you want some of the more responsibly sourced oil in the U.S.”
 
Coming in dead last is Citgo, which has the least complete environmental reporting of any company evaluated. Greenopia says,

‘We couldn’t even track down the total greenhouse gas emissions, something that every other company reports front and center. And even though Citgo had an impressively low number of oil spills, they don’t even report the volume of oil spilled, so there is no way of being sure how big of an accomplishment this is. Likewise we don’t have a feel for the amount of water consumed or waste generated. Lastly, Citgo could benefit from other alternative fuels besides ethanol. Ethanol has questionable life cycle benefits and there are many other greener fuel types out there.’

Production efficiency, oil spill efficiency, sustainability reporting, pursuit of alternative fuels, stance on climate change and resource efficiency were among the criteria used to rank BP, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, Hess, Citgo, Valero, Conoco Phillips, Sunoco and Marathon. Data was collected from the companies’ sustainability and/or annual reports and was normalized against production and revenue to determine each companies’ efficiency relative to its competitors.


U.S. Corporations Size Up Their Carbon Footprints

Posted Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Coca-Cola and others use ever more sophisticated tools to measure their environmental impact and meet emissions goals

Businessweek, June 1st 2009

Like many companies, Coca-Cola wants to cut its carbon footprint. The soft-drink maker has pledged to eliminate 2 million tons of CO2 emissions from its manufacturing operations by 2015. To do that, Coca-Cola has become adept at using spreadsheets and databases to measure how much carbon it produces and energy it consumes. It’s even able to track less tangible causes, such as greenhouse gases emitted by vending machines. But when it comes to tracking and managing the projects that will help it reduce carbon emissions and make better use of resources, Coca-Cola is having a harder time.

The company needed a more sophisticated set of carbon accounting and management tools, says Bryan Jacob, director of energy management and climate protection at Coca-Cola. “I’m looking for something to take us to the next level,” he says. “I’m going to either enhance what I’ve got or move to a different platform that’s much more robust.” To that end, the company is testing a product from software company Hara that goes beyond simply measuring carbon footprints. The Web-delivered tools, formally introduced June 1st, help companies manage efforts to actually reduce carbon and more efficiently use natural resources such as water, waste, and paper.

Amid growing pressure from investors, employees, and environmental watchdogs such as Greenpeace, the circle of companies making a concerted effort to go green is widening. But corporations are finding that even in cases where there’s a will to reduce emissions, it’s not easy to measure a company’s environmental impact, much less keep track of the various projects aimed at meeting aggressive carbon reduction targets.

The Carbon Disclosure Project

Demand for better carbon accounting comes not just from corporate brass, but also from investors, customers, consumers, and employees who want detailed information about a corporation’s environmental impact. Among the leaders of the charge is the Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit organization that has assembled the largest corporate greenhouse gas emissions database in the world. The group is backed by 475 institutional investors that manage $55 trillion in assets. Last year, 321 companies that make up 64% of the corporations listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index responded to a request for emissions information from the Carbon Disclosure Project, up from 235 in 2006.

To hand over data on emissions, a company must first gather it. Most still use fairly rudimentary homegrown methods. “About 90% of companies use spreadsheets,” says Baier. A December 2008 worldwide survey by research firm Gartner found that too many enterprises were in denial about the need for carbon management.

Of 575 companies surveyed by Gartner in the U.S. and 10 other countries, 18.8% had implemented carbon reporting and management systems and 64.7% had not. An astonishing 13.6% weren’t sure.

Intuit Tracks Its Carbon Footprint

They had better find out soon. According to the Carbon Disclosure Project, direct emissions from Coca-Cola and 416 other large global companies account for about 5.8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. While regulations today regarding greenhouse gases are limited in many cases to carbon-intensive industries such as power generation, Gartner and other analysts expect individual countries to pass climate-change bills that would eventually target less carbon-intensive organizations as well. In the U.S., a bill now wending its way through Congress proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a market-based mechanism known as cap and trade that would encourage moves toward low-emission technologies and practices.

Most companies that track greenhouse gas emissions use an accounting framework called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol from the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. That tool covers the accounting and reporting of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). The numbers are converted to a measurement called carbon dioxide emissions equivalents, a standard that allows comparison among different greenhouse gases.

Sony: The Carbon Its Consumers Use

Perhaps the most complex emissions to calculate, however, are those that occur outside a company’s boundary, but over which it has some control. These are referred to as Scope 3, a category that includes emissions associated with employee commutes, business travel, suppliers, and product use. The nature of this work involves estimation. When Intuit’s Shah calculated the emissions from employee commutes, for example, he got an Excel spreadsheet from HR that mapped the addresses for all 8,000 employees and calculated their commutes to Intuit offices—even accounting for vacation time and holidays. The company is trying to make its analysis more precise by taking into account such factors as work from home and Intuit-sponsored alternate transportation.

For some companies, the majority of emissions fall into this third, indirect category. More than 90% of Sony’s carbon footprint – an estimated 19.34 million tons for the 12 months through March 2008 – results from the electricity consumed when people use Sony products. “Sony has a measurable impact on global greenhouse gases,” says Mark Small, vice-president for corporate environment, safety, and health at Sony Electronics. He estimates that the company is responsible for “a little less than .01% of the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions.” That’s why Sony has made energy efficiency in its products a priority. In 2000, a 32-inch cathode-ray tube TV consumed 280 kilowatt hours a year. In 2008, a 32-inch LCD TV consumed about 86kwh. Still, Sony needs to take into account that consumers are now buying larger TVs. Since Sony can’t actually visit each consumer, it uses estimates to calculate greenhouse gases from product use.

Some companies are surprised by what they find when they look closely at the operations responsible for pollutants. Coca-Cola, for example, initially expected most emissions to come from its fleet of trucks or from its manufacturing operations. The company instead discovered that the lion’s share emanated from what it calls cold drink equipment – the coolers, vending machines, and fountain dispensers used to serve up frosty-cold soft drinks. This gear contains refrigerants and insulation with high global warming potential; it also consumes a lot of electricity. Combined, cold drink equipment accounts for about 15 million metric tons of emissions every year, compared with 3 million from Coke’s diesel-powered trucks or the roughly 5 million from manufacturing. Armed with that information, Coca-Cola is now striving to eliminate harmful chemical compounds from cold drink equipment. Says Jacob: “If we had never put pencil to paper and done the calculations, we might not have understood it ourselves – or believed it.”


 
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