Oct 30 2008

World Map of Flickr Privacy Settings

by at 2:14 am

World Map of Flickr Privacy Settings

TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb have written about a slide shared by Yahoo!’s Principal Research Scientist Elizabeth Churchill on geographical locations where Flickr users are more likely to post their photos with privacy settings (red) or use the default public setting (green). The sample set was 1 million Flickr users who self-reported their locations, in 2005.

Neither Michael Arrington nor Marshall Kirkpatrick share any details of the methodology behind the map, but a quick Google search led me to the presentation from which this slide seems to be taken: ‘Sharing Preferences and Privacy Cultures‘. The presentation itself is based on a paper by Elizabeth Churchill and Shyong K. Lam titled ‘The Social Web: Global Village or Private Cliques?’ The paper is behind a firewall but the presentation gives some more data about the research —

– More than 90% of users younger than 25 post their photos as public. In the 25 to 40 age group, public photo sharing behavior drops, almost in s straight line, to 80% and goes as low as 70% for users in their late 50s and early 60s.

– Public photo sharing behavior follows a S curve when mapped against the number of contacts: it first decreases between 0 to 10 contacts, then increases with the number of contacts to go beyond 90% for more than 30 odd contacts.

– In the world map itself, there are at least five gradations from green to red. It seems that pure red means that about 70% of the users share their photos publicly whereas green means that about 90% of the users share their photos publicly. Since no information is available for the methodology behind the world map, I can only conclude that users in America, Brazil and Russia have a higher tendency to share their photos publicly than users in India, China or Europe.

The conclusion that Indians are more concerned about online privacy than Brazilians and Americans further complicates my research on attitudes towards online privacy in BRIC countries. Another research by Synovate showed that Brazilians and Americans are more concerned about online privacy than Indians, whereas my own understanding is that both Brazilians and Indians are much less concerned about online privacy than Americans.

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Brazil,BRIC,China,Gaurav Mishra,India,Privacy,Russia,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 26 2008

Universal McCann: Social Networking for Making New Friends, Blogging for Socializing with Friends

by at 2:31 pm

In my earlier post on the recently published Universal McCann study, I had written about how we use different communication channels to stay in touch with our contacts.

Perhaps the most important insight in the Universal McCaan study is that we use the internet for expanding our network of contacts but use the mobile phone to maintain our current network.

Here’s another interesting insight from the Universal McCann report: we use social networks for making new friends and personal blogs for socializing with friends —

Universal McCann Social Media Study

In the previous post, we found that Brazilians and the Indians are amongst the most social online whereas the Americans are amongst the least social. The same trend can be seen here.

While differences in culture partly explain this significant difference in online social behavior, self-selection is also part of the explanation. Given the low penetration of the internet in Brazil and India, social media usage in these countries suffers from a serious early adopter bias.

But, let’s return to the idea that we use social networks for making new friends and personal blogs for socializing with friends. The idea presumes that our social network profile is more public than our personal blog, and I think that it’s indeed the case for most of us. I’m sure that many active social network users who have hundreds of friends on Facebook or Orkut have personal blogs that are rarely updated and read only by a few close friends and family members.

However, many of us have built substantial readerships for our blogs and use them as much for broadcasting as for socializing. For us, the opposite is likely to hold true. We meet new readers through the blog, interact with them via the comment section, e-mail or internet messenger, become friends with them, and then add them as a friend on Facebook or Orkut. I think that Twitter and FriendFeed are more similar to blogs than social networks on the broadcasting/ socializing continuum, in the sense that they are also hybrids, used both for broadcasting and socializing.

What’s the directionality for you? Do you make new social network friends via your blog or do your social network friends become readers for your blog? Do share your experiences in the comments section.

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Brazil,BRIC,China,Gaurav Mishra,India,Russia,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 12 2008

Why is Spam So High in Russia?

by at 3:44 am

Spam in BRIC Countries

Over the last week, reposts of a rather misleading Trend Micro press release on on spam in BRIC countries1 kept showing up in my Google Alert feed for “BRIC + Internet”. The press release and most of the news articles quoting it verbatim focus on the high incidence of spam in BRIC countries. However, even some cursory math showed me that the incidence of spam in BRIC countries is not unusual: BRIC countries account for 28.5% of the world’s internet users and 27.1% of the world’s spam (according to Trend Micro). In fact, two other reports from Sophos2 and Secure Computing3 peg the contribution of BRIC countries to worldwide spam at 19.7% and 18.5% respectively. Continue Reading »

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Brazil,BRIC,China,Gaurav Mishra,India,Russia | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 07 2008

Social Technologies and National Contexts

by at 6:20 pm

When you are doing an interdisciplinary study of social technologies across four countries, it is important to focus on the connections between otherwise unrelated factors, and it is useful to develop a framework to look for these connections.

Here’s the framework we have been using for our research on social media in BRIC countries —

The Connection Between Social Technologies and National Contexts

The outer circle is the national context, which comprises of the five interconnected Cs of computing devices, connectivity, culture, content and capabilities. The inner circle is the social media ecosystem itself. Our research, which looks at the connections between the two, has three layers —

Layer 1: The role of the national context in social media adoption
Layer 2: The dynamics of the social media ecosystem
Layer 3: The role of social media in changing the social context

Finally, the national contexts we are looking at are the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and United States (as a reference point). Continue Reading »

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Announcements,Gaurav Mishra,Theory | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 04 2008

Breakout Years in Adoption of Communications Technologies in BRIC Countries

by at 11:53 pm

Here’s a brilliant TED presentation by Hans Rosling on how to look differently at development indicators across countries and continents, using Gapminder‘s trend visualization tool Trendalyzer —

I spent an hour playing around with Gapmindmer and discovered some interesting trends related to the diffusion of communications technologies in BRIC countries.

In all these charts comparing Brazil, Russia, India, China and United States, the X axis represents the income per person (in fixed PPP$) on a logarithmic scale while the Y axis changes. By pressing the ‘play’ button, you can see how the variable changes for these five countries over years. Continue Reading »

3 responses so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Access,Brazil,BRIC,China,Gaurav Mishra,India,Mobile,Russia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 10 2008

Civic and Consumer Culture – Will technology in the BRICs set a new standard?

by at 1:04 pm

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to India – I was returning after 3.5 years, and while the primary purpose of my trip was to study the US – India bilateral relationship, I couldn’t help but notice the transformation that had taken place in such a short period of time. It’s often easy to get lost in numbers – in policy circles in Washington DC especially, analysts are always citing 8% this, and 12% that. I am certainly not exempt from this practice. You can ask my classmates – I think I casually mention India and China’s break neck growth rates in many class discussions to argue for increased attention to be paid to Asia, instead of solely focusing on the Middle East. But that’s another debate for another time.

The 9% average GDP growth per annum actually has a face – in New Delhi, I saw it most clearly in the form of cellular phones, blackberries, digital television, and internet cafes. From the rickshaw driver with a Nokia N82 who charged me 20 rupees for a ride of 5 km (at the time, equivalent to $.40), to the chief physician at Ludhiana’s first IVT Clinic, who sometimes met with and diagnosed patients, and prescribed medications over his Nokia N96, the mobile revolution that Gaurav written about, is rapidly underway in India. I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least once the pronounced influence Bollywood has on the mobile industry; I don’t think I made it a block without hearing the latest ballads of Lata Mangeshkar, or the compositions of A.R. Rahman used as ring tones. (And yes, the ring tones are equally as obnoxious in public settings in India as they are here in the states.)

Continue Reading »

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows | Tags: , , , , ,

Sep 05 2008

Growth in Penetration of Social Media Usage in BRIC Countries

by at 10:31 am

This post is in response to Ben’s comment on my earlier post on social media usage in BRIC countries

Something happened in 2008 specifically that led to a large increase in worldwide participation. What was it? Look at the percentages of increase from 2007 to 2008 compared to 2006 and before. Was it a maturation of blogging software?

I think different social media usage behaviors are at different maturation levels in different countries. Continue Reading »

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,BRIC,Gaurav Mishra,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 02 2008

A Comparative Analysis of Social Media Usage in BRIC Countries

by at 5:29 pm

In this post, I have used data from Wave 3 of the Power of the People Social Media Tracker by Universal McCann (PDF/ Slideshare) 1 to do a comparative analysis of social media usage in BRIC countries (see original spreadsheets and charts).

At the top level, the total number of active internet users 2 in BRIC countries (101.2m) is higher than the number of active internet users in US (100m), even though internet penetration is a low 5.28%.

Even more surprisingly, significantly more users from BRIC countries than US engage with social media tools, both in terms of content consumption (watching online video 90.1m vs 74.2m, reading blogs 88.1m vs 60.3m, downloading podcasts 70.2m vs 29.5m, subscribing to RSS feeds 54.4m vs 18.6m) and content creation (creating blogs 60.2m vs 26.4m, creating social network profiles 68.3m vs 43.0m, uploading photos 71.2m vs 47.1m, uploading videos 57.3m vs 25.3m). Continue Reading »

5 responses so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,BRIC,Gaurav Mishra,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,