* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

The Economist Talks Digg Strategy and Adds Comments

DiggLast week the Economist (subscription required) had an interesting article about researchers in an HP lab that have been comparing strategies for maximizing readership on Digg via the layout of the front page. They were trying to answer the following question: Should the most recent stories be on top? That’s the way Digg is now, but maybe it should be organized with the most popular on top?

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Online Shopping Sets Record Even as Consumers Procrastinate

Internet Tax BanThe Economist, via numbers from Comscore, tells us that since the beginning of November online spending is up by 18% compared with 2006. And Thursday December 6th was the “biggest online spending day yet” with sales of $803m, which made for a weekly online sales record of $4.6 billion (see chart below). Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal today explains that traditional retailers are making a final big push before Christmas (why would they ever not make a big push at this time?).

The articles cites a study/survey, which shows that approximately 71% of shoppers were done shopping as of December 23rd while past holiday seasons have had more like 85% of shoppers done by the 23rd. Part of the article reminded me of my own situation:

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World of Warcraft to Introduce Disease in the Name of Science?

World of WarcraftThe Economist (subscription required) has an interesting article out on how epidemiologists (those who study epidemic diseases) would like to use World of Warcraft (for the unofficiated: an extremely popular MMORPG or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) as part of research to see how people will react when faced with wide spread disease. This type of situation, obviously, can’t be introduced in the real world for study (at least not very ethically).

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First Magazine Offered as a Complete Audio Edition

The EconomistI subscribe to the Economist and received an intriguing email yesterday. It looks like the Economist might be getting into podcasting, er, sort of. This comes not long after the magazine decided to implement RSS, though this latest move is a bit more unique. Check it out:

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Social Networking Dethroning Sex in Terms of Online Traffic

UstrafficgraphThe Economist (subscription required) has an interesting piece on sex and the Internet, which revolves around the graph pictured to the right. While the online porn industry was valued at $1 billion back in 2002 by America’s National Research Council, the latest data shows that social networking traffic is set to take over the number one spot any day now. It’s also pointed out that sex is often the first mover with technology before the mainstream is ready to adopt it for everyday use (such has been the case with photography, videocassettes, and satellite television).

But before we assume all is well in Zion, let’s take a look at what these social networking sites are used for:

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Is Wikipedia the Webster for the 21st Century?

WikipediaI grew up with the Webster dictionary as my guide to defining words. I remember homework assignments that started with “Webster defines…” followed by the definition of some term and a follow up question on which I would need to write a paper. Another classic use of Webster was at church. Someone preaching on love? The easiest way to begin is by stating “Webster defines love as…” and then moving on to a more eloquent expansion on the basic definition.

During this past month, both of these examples came back to me, except this time Webster was replaced by Wikipedia.

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The Economist on Digg & “Social News”

The Economist (subscription required) had some choice words in describing Digg and “social news.” After your typical one paragraph introduction to the concept, we get the following:

“Digg has become an internet phenomenon. It has over half a million registered users and has been valued at over $200m despite having just $3m in revenues and no profits. Its success has spawned similar sites such as Reddit and Newsvine, and prompted the world’s largest media company, Time Warner, to turn its ailing Netscape.com news portal into a social-news service instead.”

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The Economist.com on People “Quitting Their Day Jobs to Blog for a Living”

Economist_1The well respected Economist.com (subscription required) released an article today called Going Pro with a subtitle of More people are quitting their day jobs to blog for a living. The article claims that there used to be only two types of blogs: personal diaries with tiny audiences (and no interest in advertising) and niche magazines explicitly run as businesses, quoting Jason Calacanis (the Engadget / Weblogs Inc. guy) claiming such blogs are “the most profitable media business today.” But the Economist explains that a third category is on the rise: “mom-and-pop” blogs.

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