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Hmm...

Over the last couple of weeks several studies came out that for marketers should really shake the foundation of social media advertising.

However, a week later and I don’t see a “twitter” really talking about this. Why? Social media sells targeted ad space (ala Google) and they are making a killing. So if something comes out to the contrary, it could become a huge problem for social media sites to continue revenue generation, the biggest right now being Facebook.

Here is a snap shot of 3 studies:

First comes from Oxford University, by Robin Dunbar, a recognized professor of evolutionary anthropology. He has pointed out to what some of you may already know – people cannot efficiently interact with more than 150 people at any time. Our brains just don’t handle anything larger; this is also known as Dunbar’s number.

The next study, a much smaller one, is about the psychology of people using Facebook, especially targeted to the amount of friends they have as an indicator of self-esteem. The results show that the more friend’s one has, the lower their self-esteem.

Lastly a critical study tying this all up is brought to us by Richard Edelman, SEO of Edelman in a respected ad site Adage.  The main point here is that the larger your group of friends on Facebook, the less worth each individual’s opinion has.

TO SUM THIS UP:

The more friends one has on Facebook or other online media items (twitter, youtube, etc.) the less interaction goes on between individuals (Dunbar’s number) and possibly the lower your self-esteem (easier to jump on bandwagons of information without really a need or desire to buy, or do much about it). On top of the added “benefit” that with more friends the less each individual’s opinion really matters.

THE KEY RESULT:

Consumers still require a professional opinion for product purchasing decisions, large groups of friends with random status updates don’t deliver the results. If you are marketing through social media, the bearers of opinion may not be those with 2000 friends, but instead much smaller groups with 100 or 200 friends. Changing the opinion of these people can cause a much more significant effect.

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Is it worth it?

If you have been paying close attention to all new information about the coveted iPad, then this post will probably not enlighten you. However, if you’re just hearing third-party info, or non at all, then this post is for you!

Here are major issues I (and many others) have with the iPad:

The unoriginal conclusion (since everyone on the net already stated this) – this is a giant iTouch! – It is not unique, not competitive and quite simply disappointing.

What are your thoughts?

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My Daily Experiance

Don’t let the title mislead you, although I am personally very ticked off with people on the road who should clearly not be driving, bad driving is a financial burden to all of us in Ontario. Insurance rates in Ontario are second only to B.C., why are Ontarians paying more? We have the largest population density in Canada and a weak driver education program.

Don’t take my word for it, take the recent pedestrian fatalities (not all can be blamed just on “side walkers”), or take a drive on the 404/401/400 – how many times will someone actually yield right? How many people know that the left lane is a “passing lane”?

We can’t send all the bad drivers out to Saskatoon (which would be great), but we can improve our driver education program. If there is anything that can be done to improve drivers and reduce insurance cost, then a new stronger education program needs to be in place.

In the long run a better program will bring insurance rates down and better drivers on the street.

Over the short run this will provide:

  • The government of Ontario some much needed income (increase in testing costs)
  • Create jobs (a much needed initiative)

The only group not benefiting from this is the upset 16 year olds that won’t be able to gun his/her new car down the street so easily, which I believe will be welcomed by most regardless.

What constitutes a better driver education program?

  • Mandatory driving lessons
  • Winter driving tests
  • Real driver etiquette courses (who goes first on an all way stop? How to deal with left turns on a yellow? Or right turns on any light?)

You might think “Hey, you’re supposed to learn this on your G1”, but that test is so easy, no one really studies or bothers to remembers 20% of it (prove me wrong). If any of you did take driving lessons (especially in a class environment), you probably got to watch videos from the 70’s about bad drivers (keeping with times may help).

We need to rally to get this problem fixed. Better drivers mean you pay less insurance, we get more jobs in Ontario, and the government gets a little bit revenue to help it focus on the next major problem – better education period.

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Stumbled onto my blog? I’d like to hear from you.

Take a 2 second poll – see them under the “Speak-out” tab to your left!

I’ll be posting new polls with different topics, feel free to join in and voice your opinion. Your feedback makes a difference!

– Arie Lozinsky

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