When it comes to a sport that has gripped the nation, cycling is definitely on the up.
Take a look at our infographic to see how the nation engaged with the 2012 Olympics men’s time trial.
Recent data from GfK indicates that the social-networking revolution is having a significant impact on businesses and how they operate. Businesses are waking up to the importance of social networks in shaping their online image and the opportunities they provide in reaching out to new clients and employees. The key challenge is how to make the most of this ever-evolving space.
Changing attitudes to social networking
Gone are the days when social networking meant simply adding friends and family on Facebook and posting photos from last night’s work do. Social networking is getting serious. The rise of Twitter (and others) has given social networking a more complete identity. Beyond just a social tool, it is now also a platform for news consumption and a vital marketing resource for businesses. This is demonstrated by the emergence of dedicated business sites such as Viadeo and LinkedIn, designed specifically as a resource for business purposes and the increasing importance companies are placing on marketing activities in this area.
With increasing numbers of children using social networking sites, how do parents feel about their safety and is there anything they, or other parties, such as network operators, can do about it?
Nowadays, each week seems to bring with it a fresh load of news articles and stories about acting safely on the internet and the privacy of our behaviour online. As much as we’d like it to be restricted to just our friends or, in the case of online banking, the company we are paying money to, the personal and banking details we happily share online always have the possibility of being viewed out of context, and by people we may not know.
Our online social networks are a key source of information and increasingly influence what we read, share and buy. However, if we do not filter out the mundane we risk missing the information that is most important to us and becoming a victim of information overload.
It occurred to me the other day that I have too many friends. By this, I don’t mean the family, friends and colleagues I socialise with throughout the week and, you know, actually spend my leisure time with face to face. More, the numerous people sitting on my Facebook account I haven’t spoken to for nigh-on five years, (the occasional shallow digital platitude aside), but who seem intent on breathlessly updating their minute movements on the notice board whenever I (increasingly infrequently) log-in. Back in 2006 when the Facebook really took off, there was something ego-boostingly satisfying about racing to my first 100 friends, but now I find it a little tiring. Do I really need them all?
Facebook’s new email service, which combines a variety of communication methods, has been hailed to be the next Gmail- or even Email-killer, but recent GfK NOP data shows otherwise – that Facebook Messages is likely to be used alongside current email and instant messaging clients, and is unlikely to replace them, at least in the short term.
Known before only as “Project Titan”, the new Facebook messaging service is said to combine email, SMS, chat and Facebook email; users will also have the option to have a @facebook.com email address. Launched on 15 November this year, the service is, at present, by invitation only, but users can apply for an invite on the popular social networking site.
Social media campaigns via popular sites like Facebook may be able to get ‘Rage Against The Machine’ to Number One in the music charts but they will have little influence on the outcome of the 2010 UK general election. In contrast, the televised election debates will prove a powerful platform for the three main political parties.
GfK NOP Technology research conducted online (so we would also expect a skew towards online sources) shows that TV debates have the most influence on how we vote as a nation. Despite the fieldwork for our survey being conducted after only the first of three televised debates on 16 April, they are still the number one source of information for the election on 6 May.
As an example of this contrast, official viewing figures suggest that around 8.4m viewers watched the third debate, vs. 3.2 m UK visitors to the BBC news website (with 350,000 streaming the debates online).
A recent UK study finds consumers have less faith in Facebook than either Microsoft or Google to keep their personal information private
Social networking sites typically involve disclosing often very personal information to your circle of friends and to this end, it is important to have faith that the social networking brand will respect the privacy of this information. Recent research by GfK Technology indicates, however, that Facebook has lower levels of trust in keeping personal information private than either Microsoft or Google. Given the remarkably high levels of usage of Facebook this is clearly a concern for the brand owners.
This illustrates the dilemma facing organisations such as Facebook – whilst consumer behaviour or personal information can be key to creating new services that are enjoyed by users, there is often a sense of unease about data being used in this way. Furthermore, as is likely the case with Facebook, the illicit activity of unscrupulous users of the service (such as those posing as friends in order to conduct fraud of some description) has a knock-on effect for the brand.