Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Pick your platform…

Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 by No comments yet

Pew keeps cranking out the internet data.  A recent report shows…

  • 74% of adult Americans are online

Of those online…

  • 2% visit a virtual world
  • 11% create a blog
  • 26% participate in online auctions
  • 32% read blog
  • 32% rate a person or product
  • 35% use social networking sites
  • 38% send instant messages
  • 89% use search engines
  • 91% use email

So, if I understand the data, Pew is saying that 26% of the 74% of American adults online participate in online auctions… that’s 19% of all American adults.  So, here’s the list for all American adults (not just those online)…

  • 1% visit a virtual world (e.g., Second Life)
  • 8% create a blog (e.g., Twitter, Word Press, Blogger)
  • 19% participate in online auctions (e.g., eBay)
  • 24% read blogs (not necessarily via RSS?)
  • 24% rate a person or product (e.g., Angie’s List, Yelp)
  • 26% use social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace)
  • 28% send instant messages
  • 66% use search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, MSN)
  • 67% use email

Front Porch Forum aims to have as many residents of a neighborhood as possible subscribe and participate on the associated FPF neighborhood forum.  In a sense, we host non-stop online block parties… and the more the merrier, as long as they live in the neighborhood.

Because FPF is an online service, we’re already limited, on average, to just 74% of the adult population.  If we had selected a platform/distribution channel such as a Facebook application or instant messaging or Twitter… well, we’d only be able to get, at best, about one quarter of the neighbors on board.  Of course, these numbers will change over time.

So, for now, we use email newsletters and a web-based archiving system.  This allows us to reach, on average, 67% of the adults in each neighborhood.  In our pilot region, more than 20% subscribe, with 40% on board in the City of Burlington.  We’d never have been that successful if we had limited ourselves by going with one of these other, sexier platforms.

Posted in: Community Building, Facebook, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Neighborhood, Social Media, Social Networking, Updates and Admin

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