Nielsen Ratings for Social Media

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  • Nielsen released it’s first big picture of social media usage in the U.S.  It reported that Americans spend nearly a quarter of the online time on social networks like Facebook, which ranked 53 million minutes of our time in May.

  • Paul Scheer was not surprised in the least by the report.  He realized that people were spending too much time online when he noticed that, “People make Facebook profiles for their dogs.”

    From there, Chris explained that he believe that Facebook is offering the same “walled garden” feel that AOL provided the early web adopters.  He proposed that people want information handed to them, “Here’s this thing you like. Here’s this place you want to eat at,” Hardwick said while impersonating the Internet.

    As the conversation turned to what it might mean now that Nielsen is offering ratings for online, Chris seemed skeptical that the antiquated Nielsen model can hold relevancy online.  He continued, to suggest that perhaps Nielsen needs to create a system for truly tracking viewership in all it’s forms and through all delivery systems.  But, he suggested Nielsen works for network because, “Network TV does not want actual numbers to be tracked because I do not think it would fall in their favor.”

    Scheer and Hardwick finished with a discussion of the unique quality and value of podcast audiences.  Chris nailed the sentiment when he said, “It’s such an intimate form of media that it’s like they’re (the audience) your friends.”  If you have a moment we suggest checking out the Nerdist and How Did This Get Made podcasts.

    What do you think adding a Nielsen rating online will do?

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