OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: BlogHer Business Welcome/State of Social Media

BlogHer Original Post

Welcome to the liveblog of the BlogHer Business '10 panel: Welcome and State of the Social Media World.

This panel starts at 9:00am and ends at 9:45 am Eastern time on August 5, 2010. Keep refreshing this page as the panel takes place for more liveblogging!

NOTE: Please note that the social media study is attached as a PowerPoint, and can be downloaded by scrolling down to the "Attachment" section.

Welcome by Lisa Stone, Jory des Jardins and Elisa Camahort Page.

LS: BlogHer began in 2005 in order to answer the question, "Where are the women bloggers?" The resulting enthusiasm led us to where we are today. Today's woman who blogs is someone who is such a leader in her community that she is expecting us to listen to her.

BlogHer does three things: 1) the conferences 2) the publishing network (stronger guidelines than the FTC's 3) BlogHer.com community hub -- we're shining a light on what women are doing on their blogs. You'll see things continue to change on the site, including video and mobile.

ECP: This is the third year we've conducted the study of women in social media. We are looking at usage patterns in women in America and the BlogHer community.

We also look at how their time spent on social media influences purchasing behaviors.

-Blogs are a powerful platform for consumers -- if you're active in social media, you trust social media
-Blogs serve the purpose of a shopper more than social networks

We really wanted to look at blogs versus social media like Facebook.

This year we also surveyed men for the first time. Random sample.

-3/4 of the online population are active social media users.
-55.6 million women read blogs monthly or more.

If you look at other studies, you ask how they define the user. For us "active" is weekly or more often.

-Social networking sites +50% 2009 to 2010
-Blogging sites +51% 2009 to 2010

We see this at the conference -- the conference grows so much every year because there are new bloggers every year, not just new to the conference but new to blogging.

Blogs show the greatest percentage of growth from 2009-2010.

Top apps for social media, U.S. population
-1/2 of top 10 destinations every week are social media destinations
-Spending as much time with social media as traditional media
-Facebook is the #1 media destination for women

When you look at BlogHer network, women are massive consumers of media.
-We watch American Idol with the laptop so we can tweet with the hashtag and write the recap on our blogs.
-Twitter is not a top 10 media destination is not hot for average woman in America. In BlogHer community, 50% on Twitter. (American women, 16%)

Takeaways:
-Massive growth of Facebook
-Social media games are new added to the mix -- but you're either addicted or you don't know what I'm talking about
-40% of time on Facebook is spent playing games

People wonder if these new applications are killing blogs. No -- the adoption rate of blogs is holding steady. People use them for different reasons -- people use blogs for information, advice, recommendations -- all drive toward purchasing decisions.

We asked what women used to get information.
-27% of U.S. pop used blogs (75% of active readers -- not everyone uses blogs at all)
-77% of BlogHer pop used blogs
-34% of U.S. pop used social networks (41% of active users -- not everyone uses)
-37% of BlogHer pop

BlogHer pop actually reflects U.S. pop because BlogHer didn't pull out people who don't use social media or blogs at all from questions. BlogHer population tends to be about a year or two ahead of U.S. population in adoption rates.

JdJ: Jory will talk about the demographics of the BlogHer users (21 million uniques in network). We call them the super consumers.

-95% female
-56% 26-42
-79% married
-57% kids living at home
-81% participate in social media daily
-96% read blogs weekly
-Usage significantly higher than average woman of blogs and Twitter
blogs are used for purchasing decisions, entertainment, new trends and ideas
-Addicted to blogs for getting information, researching, recommending products

ECP: Users are multi-tasking and using different types of media concurrently. We looked at frequency of usage and influence of usage.

Blogs are a fundamental part of the equation. In order of influence:
-Internet search
-Blogs
-Message board
-Social network
-Magazine
-Television
-Newspaper

People don't have time to check every source there is. When you look at blogs, you have a lot of context for that person -- in the past, they have not been that deep to navigate. You can get to know that person pretty quickly. It's pretty easy to tell if you can relate to that person.

Q&A

Q: Is it better to have a full post on a page or have a teaser with a drill down, is it better to have a variety of stuff for people to look at?

A: ECP: Should you have a full or partial feed in RSS? Same sort of question. Consumers, users, don't like to have to click too much. LS: From our analysis of the network, the blogs that offer more than one option on a homepage get read more frequently or more easily. Offer a variety and make it easy and simple to use. Larger font is increasingly important.

Q: How do people find blogs?

A: ECP: The blogosphere is very link-oriented, which is also good for SEO -- your blog may end up coming up higher in results than corporate sources. The nature of the blog is very search-friendly. LS: Facebook, Twitter, Google your best friend. JdJ: Twitter and Facebook top referrers.

Q: Do you have data or thoughts about video? Is it growing in importance, flatlining?

A: LS: It's growing in importance. We have found a dramatic increase in the amount of video and embeds on the blogs. ECP: YouTube is one of the few social media application that has more males than females in the audience. It wasn't a wide difference, but it was a notable difference.

Q: How do you preserve the authenticity and trust of our readers will doing branding and marketing?

A: LS: We truly believe that bloggers deserve to pay for their work. We have a separation of church and state at BlogHer. Both sections are very popular. You can both offer up valuable advice but clarify when you've been helped by a gift or sweepstakes or been paid to write about it. JdJ: Increasingly brands don't want you to give that up. That's why they are coming to you. ECP: It's an evolving space. Stacy Ferguson is here from the FTC. It's about what is the consumer's expectation when they visit a site -- if the function of it is to be a news service or a review site, they have a different expectation for what will be there. If you don't think the consumer would expect a relationship, then reveal it.

Q: Do you see an age segmentation?

A: ECP: We surveyed from 18-75. Boomer generation is a huge generation -- their adoption rate as a percentage may be lower than other generation, but there are more of them. If you're talking about how many people are on there, you'd be surprised -- about a quarter of seniors are active social media users. Millennials are creators as well as consumers. JdJ: Older folks blogging -- surprising data, come to my panel. ECP: Parenting Magazine and BlogHer surveyed moms -- not generationally driven -- much more about the age of the child than the age of the mom.

That's it!

INFO:

BlogHer’s Social Media Matters Study provides rich data about how women online are turning to social media to support their day-to-day decision-making and their leisure needs. But surprisingly, there was another story beyond the continued (and expected) growth and domination of social media adoption. Turns out that within the active social media user cohort there are different profiles. From the active bloggers who consume traditional media, laptop at the ready to the newly-addicted social gamers, learn how women online are allocating their limited attention, and what that means for your marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, check out more BlogHer '10-related posts:

AttachmentSize
BHB10_Opening_Presentation.pdf4.45 MB

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