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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Ghost of Midnight?

I get questions frequently about the name of this blog.  Well, it’s about Front Porch Forum and related items.

So, if you’re curious about the name… here’s the brief tale.




FCC: 22% of U.S. adults don’t use the internet

How many people in the United States use the internet?  Everybody… right?  Well… it seems that way sometimes, but there are millions of us who don’t.  I’m sure we can all think of a few.  Greg Sterling shares today about a new FCC study that pegs it at 22% of U.S. adults… that’s a big slice!  From Greg…

The US FCC has released a report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 US consumers in November… interesting findings… I’ve quickly selected (verbatim from the report):

  • 78 percent of adults are Internet users, whether that means broadband, dial-up, access from home or access from someplace other than home.
  • 74 percent of adults have access at home.
  • 67 percent of U.S. households contain a broadband user who accesses the service at home.
  • 65 percent of adults are broadband adopters…
  • 6 percent of Americans use dial-up Internet connections as their main form of home access.
  • 6 percent are Internet users but do not use it from home; they access the Internet from places such as work, the library or community centers.
  • 22 percent of adults are not Internet users. They are the oldest non-adopting group, with a median age of 60, and include the highest share of Hispanics (at 20 percent). Some 84 percent have high school degrees or less and half live in households with annual incomes of $30,000 per year or less.

Of this last group of so-called non (broadband) adopters, “70 percent have a cell phone.”

Snapshot of online activities segmented by access type (click to enlarge):

Note that “local or community news” is the second most common type of activity online (according to this survey), even more than social networking.


Local Search API List

Posted today on Local SEO Guide

Just posted the following list of local search api’s on SearchEngineLand.  I am going to be maintaining the list here and will be updating it from time to time.




Media Crap Index… How do you score your media?

How about this?  Go ahead and score each form of media on your very own Media Crap Index… MCI.

For example, email channels are flooded with spam, some reports put it at 95% of all messages sent.  So, email gets an awful 95% MCI… that is, 95% of email is crap.

But how about other media?  TV… considering all channels, 24/7, including ads… my TV MCI = 95% too.

Radio… well, I’m a picky listener… I find myself drawn to a 95% score again.

Daily local newspaper?  What I actually read (without regret)… better than above… maybe MCI = 80%.

Facebook… oy… sorry “friends”… my MCI = 95% too.

Twitter… I guess I’ve got to get into some better hashtags or something… MCI = 85%

A question… how easy is it to glean out the non-crap portion from these various streams and let the unwelcomed bulk float away from you ASAP?  Spam filtering, when it works, makes email a good fit for me… cutting my email MCI down to about 10%.

But TV and radio?  The best filter for me is abandonment… so I instead stream shows/music online that I want to see/hear… but they still come with ads that don’t appeal… so my streaming MCI might be around 25%… much better.

Print daily newspaper… hard to filter… but I’ve been doing it since my first paper route in second grade… so my custom-built neural filter is well-honed, slicing thru the crap ably.

Facebook… well, to confess my Web 2.0 sins, I haven’t managed well, and now I just don’t have the wherewithal to wade in and pluck the lovely items from frothing stream of… what… I guess my Facebook flow calls to mind a tittering group of junior high girls around someone’s locker before 4th period.  So I don’t know how — and I’m just not motivated to try — to cut my FB MCI below its painful 95% crap level.

Twitter… I know there are ways to filter… to get the noise down… but I just haven’t seen enough value to convince me to build myself a better experience with a tolerable MCI.

Well, now I’ve likely offended several friends and colleagues, and for that I apologize.  I don’t begrudge people their media choices, and I understand that the more popular a media option becomes, the higher its MCI climbs (gotta pay the bills with ads, and you gotta attract the teeming masses).  But the hype around today’s darlings can get overwhelming.  At what point can we start talking about Facebook like reasonable people did about TV in the 1970s and 80s… they watched a few hours of it every night, but drove to work the next morning with a “Kill your TV” bumper sticker proudly displayed.

So, I look forward to better filtering across the board… drive down those MCIs on the super popular choices.  And I’ll keep looking for niches with lower MCI ratings… oh… here’s one… a hand-written letter from a loved one?  MCI = 0%!

P.S.  I reserve the right to change my mind on this.  Educate me, please!