February 25, 2018

Social studies

What makes the world go round today? Some say money. Others say love. But many would point to social media. And who would argue, considering that we increasingly rely on social platforms to communicate, share content, get news and information, watch video, make purchases and more? Indeed, we’ve reached a point where it’s become the go-to tool of choice, the indispensable Swiss Army knife of tech utilities that can replace newspapers, telephones, TVs, email and even human interaction. And therein lies great opportunities for – and the need for greater responsibility from – marketers and brands who seek to wield this formidable weapon.

Consider for a moment that, today, over 70 percent of Americans engage in social media – up from only five percent tallied in 2005, according to the Pew Research Center. A handful of key players in the space continue to rule: the most popular social networking sites include Facebook (over 2 billion users), YouTube (1.5 billion users), Instagram (800 million), Twitter (328,000) and Reddit (250,000), per Dreamgrow. Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, meanwhile, revealed that the top platforms used by marketers are Facebook (94%), Twitter (68%), LinkedIn (56%), Instagram (54%), YouTube (45%), Pinterest (30%) and Snapchat (7%).

Click here to read more about the current state of social media, a topic I recently investigated for EContent Magazine.

February 18, 2018

News flash: We like to watch

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But a video can be worth nearly 4 million times more – just ask Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, whose “Despacito” music video became the most watched YouTube video ever, with over 3.9 billion views tallied in late 2017.

The takeaway here is simple: people like to watch, and they’re doing it on a diverse array of devices, platforms and apps more often. Consider, for a moment, the latest staggering stats. Worldwide, people watch an average of five hours and 45 minutes of online video weekly – a 34 percent increase from 2016, based on results of Limelight Network’s State of Online Video 2017 consumer survey.

By 2021, a million minutes of video content will cross global IP networks every second, according to Cisco; at that rate, it would take you over 5 million years to watch all the video crossing the network each month. And within three years, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, per Cisco.

In my latest article for EContent Magazine, I assess the current state of online video. Read it by clicking here.

February 11, 2018

Mind in the gutter

Climbing up your ladder to clean out the gutters every spring and fall is not only a messy and tedious hassle, it’s also dangerous. But skimping on this chore can result in blocked gutters and downspouts, causing water, ice and snow to back up and leading to costly roof, siding, window and foundation damage. Thankfully, there’s a solution that can simplify matters and help safeguard your home from these threats: a gutter guard system.

Learn more about gutter guard products and systems available by reading my latest article for The Costco Connection on this topic, available here.

February 4, 2018

Turning your hobby into home decor

Artists, athletes and actors put their passion on display by getting “in the zone” and focusing intently on delivering a bravura performance. Collectors and hobbyists, on the other hand, can showcase their passions by turning one or more areas of their home into a zone displaying their treasured keepsakes.

Exhibiting your collectibles and turning them into a design element in a given room or space is a popular trend these days. For proof, Google filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s famous “Bleak House” man cave, Tom Hanks’ collection of manual typewriters, and Rod Stewart’s personal display of model trains.

Discover how fun it can be to transform a living space into a museum for your prized possessions by reading my latest article on this topic, found here.