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Nielsen’s internet footprint – a toe in the water at work?

The latest report from Nielsen, Social Networking’s New Global Footprint showing the growing normalisation of social media in internet use is of interest for several reasons. Most notable the age demographics refutes the fallacy that this is a novelty for young male users. The broad median of users extends from 38-49 across both sexes and shows a significant number of users in the 50-64 range, with the majority there being female.

Mobile time

Secondly, the report shows an increase in mobile use, particularly in Japan, where devices such as the iPhone are seen as a bit primitive, especially when compared to the functionality of the average Japanese fliptop phone. Finally, Nielsen note the increasing amount of time spent on these networks, this is increasingly not a flitter visit by users.

Implications for Internal Communications

So, what are we to make of this for the workplace? The most important aspect is the demographics. Most 2.0 literate internal communications professionals today, will have had experiences where 2.0 was dismissed as “not something our middle-aged managers will ever bother with”. One more case of refuting this. And whereas previous observers have remarked on the need to provide the same sort of tools and collaborative experience for Gen Y entering the workplace, the same could be applied to Boomers already there. If we can edit a website in seconds at home, why does it take a week or 2 at work?

Blue collar workforce

The enhancement of mobile use is also of note. As these things get better, even outside Japan then so their use will increase.This will have a knock-on effect for the the workplace. Put a WiFi device in a wireless work environment and even those not usually connected to a PC can be part of an electronic communication and collaborative environment.

Moore’s Mighty Woosh

Of course this does all presume a connected, e-savvy workforce. My point about WiFi ushers in the possibility of blue collars being connected with cheap(er) devices. Indeed I use my iPod Touch as a poor man’s smartphone and it works well as I move from wireless zone to zone. Why not then the same at the workplace? Even if the full impact of the tectonic shift – Moore’s great ‘Woosh’ isn’t there yet in the workplace, it sure is everywhere else, well everywhere that has the internet.

Not on the phone

On this we ought to be mindful of the fact that most people globally are not online. What we’re talking about here is for those countries and workforces that are already industrialised. Chomsky used to like to remind us that not only have the majority of people alive today never been online, most of them have never made a phone call. I wonder if this has changed much and if so by how much in the last decade?


Record LP Sales

There’s been something of a buzz on Nielsen’s data for US music sales in 2008. Not surprisingly it shows CDs hit by purely digital music, but also a sharp increase in LP sales. Lucas Mearian’s article Back to the future: Vinyl record sales double in ’08, CDs down is worth reading even though it suffers a little from the usual misplaced credulity toward the medium seen often in the more ignorant digerati. This was heard in depth on the BBC World Service Business Daily where a short trip from Shepherd’s Bush to The Walrus would have disabused them of their failure to research. More on that when the podcast comes out.


On to the Nielsen data, the overall stats are:

TOTAL LP ALBUM SALES (12/31/07 – 12/28/08)










% Chg.


    1.88*   .99   89%

But what’s the juice on what people are actually buying?






(based on vinyl album sales from 12/31/2007-12/28/2008)




Units Sold




Units Sold


In Rainbows/ Radiohead

  25,800     1   Radiohead   61,200

Abbey Road/ Beatles

  16,500     2   Metallica   39,500

Chinese Democracy/ Guns ‘N Roses

  13,600     3   Beatles   20,400

Funplex/ B-52’s

  12,800     4   Elliott Smith   17,800

Third/ Portishead

  12,300     5   Bob Dylan   15,200

In the Aeroplane…/ Neutral Milk Hotel

  10,200     6   Portishead   15,100

Dark Side of the Moon/ Pink Floyd

  10,200     7   Ryan Adams   14,000

Fleet Foxes/ Fleet Foxes

  9,600     8   Coldplay   13,900

Death Magnetic/ Metallica

  9,400     9   Guns ‘N Roses   13,600

O.K. Computer/ Radiohead

  9,300     10.   Neutral Milk Hotel   13,200

Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon??? What cotton-picking cloth-ears is going out and buying these?

Well so far, only data in for America, not been able to see what the stats are for UK and Europe or global and would love to see what Japanese ears have been listening to. Equally useful would be data on 2nd hand sales, this must be massive with vinyl, especially with sites such as eBay and Discogs.

If anyone has any data, please do let me know.