Archive for category: Research

The 4 SEO Trends Every Marketer Should Know to Survive Google’s Constant Algorithm Updates

The 4 SEO Trends Every Marketer Should Know to Survive Google’s Constant Algorithm Updates

It seems like as soon as I wrap my head around Google’s latest algorithm update, there’s another release that changes the game.

While SEO experts should live in the weeds of these updates to understand the nuances in how Google ranks content, marketers should recognize a few high level SEO trends that drive successful content marketing initiatives.

Click here to read the full post with the 4 SEO trends you need to know.

May 29, 2013 0 comments Read More
A Couple Things I Learned About Independent Insurance Agents

A Couple Things I Learned About Independent Insurance Agents

So, I am wrapping up a pretty extensive qualitative research project aimed at finding what drives/motivates independent insurance agents. In doing so, I think I learned a good bit about that world that I think might serve other people well to know. I can’t make my research public because it was done for a client, and it probably isn’t all that meaningful for consumers anyway. This post doesn’t contain research findings – this is just my opinion based on what I learned about the industry after dozens of interviews with agents around the country conducted by myself and my colleagues.

September 13, 2012 0 comments Read More
Stay-at-Home Dad Research: a liberal’s dilemma

Stay-at-Home Dad Research: a liberal’s dilemma

I’ve been working in my downtime over the past several weeks on an internal research project that aims to understand the stay-at-home dad. I started with secondary research, digging through the few marketing studies that have been published and the countless academic articles proclaiming the advent of the modern man. Then I moved on to a more ethnographic approach, analyzing forums, blogs, dad-targeted ads, etc. And what i’ve found is that the trend is growing very rapidly and that a collective identity is being formed.

I watched a conversation develop in the comment section of one blog post about how stay-at-home dads should refer to themselves. People threw out options like “full-time father” or “work-from-home dad” as opposed to “stay-at-home.” The conversation was heated with men and women alike weighing in. The woman’s perspective was interesting to me because it presented an experience the men didn’t have. One woman explained that her husband liked “full-time father” but when she used that phrase among her peers they felt judged, as if their husbands were only part-time fathers since they worked outside of the home.

One conclusion though is unanimous among the group: the term “Mr. Mom” is terrible. Not only is it emasculating for men, but it insults women by equating childcare with womanhood. This stereotype isn’t easily overcome, however. There are rumors that a remake of the 80′s film “Mr. Mom” is being planned which will by all accounts perpetuate the misguided gender associations. And even the census institutionalizes the stereotype by referring to a mother’s taking care of her children as “parenting” and a father’s as “childcare,” a babysitter.

I shared this ongoing identity exercise that is happening across the web in stay-at-home dad communities with two colleagues of mine. One was interested and concerned, wanting to ensure that the terminology we used, especially as we move into surveying and interviewing, was thoughtful and respectful of this social group’s experience. The other colleague was less concerned, opting rather to note that the phrase “Mr. Mom” is catchy so we’d have to think about it more later.

I really do try to hide my biases, but when it comes to dealing with people, especially ones that feel oppressed (as stay-at-home fathers rightly do), it is difficult for me to ignore obvious displays of apathy. I like to think of myself as a consumer advocate in my field, fighting for what consumers really want and protecting them from campaigns that would perpetuate oppressive stereotypes. But sometimes, often really, power wins – even when the decision-maker is acting on a whim. That is frustrating.

February 17, 2012 2 comments Read More
STUDY: 85% Say Internet is Positive

STUDY: 85% Say Internet is Positive

Whether or not social media is beneficial to one’s social life is often contested. Marketers and techy types have heralded it as a revolution in communication, but others point to Internet addiction, sleep disorders, and privacy concerns as dangerous side effects of this new medium. It looks, however, as if folks are now mostly viewing social media in a positive light.

According a Pew Internet and American Life Project study, 85% of people polled agree with the statement “In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the internet has mostly been a positive force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future.”  It seems that while there are certainly issues that have to be addressed as new technology changes the way we understand ourselves and how we relate, the benefits outweigh potential problems.

The study’s overview concludes by observing “that while our tools are changing quickly, basic human nature seems to adjust at a slower pace.” If that is true, it suggests a reason why fear of new media still exist.

I’m interested in what you think. What are your concerns with the Internet today and the direction it’s headed. Is it a positive force in your life or does it disadvantage you?

January 16, 2011 0 comments Read More
What do porn, javascript, and sniffing have in common?

What do porn, javascript, and sniffing have in common?

The short answer is: an online privacy concern.

A study from the University of California-San Diego found that some websites are collecting browser history information from their visitors without their knowledge or consent. Known as “history sniffing,” this invasion of privacy uses a piece of code to determine what sites a user has visited and then records that information. Of the 50,000 websites examined by researchers, 485 had the ability to record this information and 63 downloaded it to their servers. The highest ranking site on that list of 63 is YouPorn.com, an adult content distribution website that is now in the middle of a legal battle with two men who are invoking California’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to make a case against YouPorn.

If you want to protect yourself from this sort of tracking you’ll have to update your browser. The latest versions of Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome block all attempts at history sniffing, and Firefox plans to add the feature in the next full release. Internet Explorer has an option to block it, but that has to be done manually.

December 14, 2010 0 comments Read More
Thousands of Reddit Users Donate Their Data for Research

Thousands of Reddit Users Donate Their Data for Research

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb.com in full by Marshall Kirkpatrick.

Last month, Condé Nast social news site Reddit asked users if they would donate their data for research purposes. This week the site made available a data dumpfrom more than 40,000 people who opted-in to sharing what they do on the site. It’s a remarkable move than every social network could learn from.

October 24, 2010 0 comments Read More