Presentation at the IAMCR conference on Social Networking and AIDS Communications by Pete Cranston. Commissioned by Communications and Social Change Consortium (www.cfsc.org) for AIDS2031
Presentation at the IAMCR conference on Social Networking and AIDS Communications by Pete Cranston. Commissioned by Communications and Social Change Consortium (www.cfsc.org) for AIDS2031 (www.aids2031.org)
This isn’t an academic study, nor an in-depth review. It is a snapshot of key trends globally, user behaviour, attitudes and social change communication implications
Stand up/raise your hand. Only sit/put it down if you … Have never looked at a Social Network Site Don’t have a SNS profile Have less that 20 friends Don’t Interact with one or more sites daily Unless you’re already mentioned that you’re in this seminar via any SNS / twitter etc. Also: Where do you socially network? How do you arrange a party? Share holiday or baby pics? Would you tease friends or flirt online as easily as at a party?
Definitions: we also include communication which may start on non-internet channels, but which at some point makes significant use of the internet, such as MxIT as well as mobile phone text-message based access to Twitter and equivalents such as the Nigerian micro-blogging service, Naja-Pulse . (“chumby device is an internet connected digital picture frame and media access device”).
Some of the terms – see quiz for audience knowledge
The rapid growth trends we all know about. Note that these the data points represent millions
Note that the fastest growing areas are outside the OECD, notably Asia
Key change in UK. Nielsen quote relates to the countries Nielsen tracks (mainly OECD and including only UK, USA and Brazil of our sample countries)
Her’s an example of how behaviour is changing: in general trends shoe increased sharing and publishing media as a means to communicate
This is an extract (approx. 15%) from the Bibliography of the original UK Social Networking Literature review carried out mainly by Tim Davies; i.e., this section of the report has solid academic underpinning The larger sources are highlighted here. Following slides outline key findings about UK – a mature, or saturated SocNet market
Activity online isn’t different in type from activity offline. (In fact - many young people wouldn’t recognise the dichotomy) But - it is changed by being online: bedroom wall example -(Constant Contact generation)
Throughout the history of digital communication ordinary people have used or subverted digital technology to communicate and make connections, and will only adopt them when they meet such primary needs. The success of modern SNS is due to the fact that they exist simply to cater to our sociability.
Extract from Focus Group with girls in South Africa, Women’s Net Case Study.
[in Brazil]…a significant percentage of Orkut users are relative newcomers to the Internet …Orkut provides a simple, immersive experience that allows users with a low level of Internet literacy to gradually integrate the Internet into their lives with a minimum of expertise and training. […] The result is that a significant percentage of the Brazilian user base relies on Orkut as an alternative to the larger Internet. [..]
Pics, from top to bottom: Flash mob in NY Savvy-Chavvy: Social Network for and by Roma people in UK (note chav needs translation!) Brazilian based HIV/AIDS community on Orkut. The group, which has over 5,000 members and a predominantly gay constituency, provides a space for discussion and for media sharing – and for individuals with share interests, issues or concerns to connect.
An on-the-spot survey with young people in UK attending a youth festival But - we have to remember that young people see this differently. (in the same way workers might see their youth centre as being about personal and social development - and YP see it as a space for meeting friends and hanging out).
From left to right, and top to bottom Trends show growth on Internet access Two graphs show that access is still limited to a tiny proportion of Southern country populations Increase in Internet access over mobile phones Cost in relation to Gross National Income per capita
The natural tendency of Brasilian to absorb and mix/remix processes if available – particularly by means of dialogue and networked communication, online or offline - meant that this system was readily absorbed and taken probably in directions that Google were initially unable to conceive.
MxIT is a game changer
Snapshot from South Africa
Universal McCann, Sept 2008 from “When did we start trusting strangers? How the internet turned us all into influencers”
SNS have changed the campaign game – think pink chaddi and Iran. Thanks to Johnny Chatterton of the Burma Campaign and OneWorld Peer Exchange for the story of the Facebook group, “Support the Monk’s protest”
UK Govt-funded anti-knife crime campaign has Bebo profile as primary website – with blog posts, videos and other interactive media. 9,000 friends in 6 months Pink Chaddi Love Care Station – with forums profile pages created on Piczo, a SNS used predominantly for home-page creation by young teenagers, which are returned when searching for HIV/AIDS. These pages have been created by a man who has been living with HIV/AIDS for 20 years – and are intended to provide advice and support. The pages mention unsuccessful attempts that their creator has made to get support from formal agencies
Social Network Services & HIV/Aids communications Pete Cranston IAMCR Conference July 2009, Mexico City Research commissioned by Communications for Social Change Consortium www.cfsc.org for AIDS2031 www.aids2031.org
15-25 are using digital technology, particularly social media differently than their predecessor generations
digitally enabled social media play a central role in the communications of young people…..
… .with affordable, reliable and fast-enough access to these platforms
Socioeconomic developments in non-OECD countries along with trends in telecommunications and digital technology are likely to increase significantly access to digitally enabled social media platforms over 5 – 10 years
What is the picture of Social Media usage globally? Do young people in non-OECD countries actively social network using digital technologies when they can?
Are their behaviour patterns similar or different to those in mature markets?
What can we learn from those using Social Networks for Social Change
For active UK SNS users they are a more significant messaging platform than e-mail – with users checking their SNS messaging inboxes daily, and e-mail far less frequently.
In the UK in 2008 growth in Internet traffic SNS exceeded email traffic growth, which fell.
Nielsen: “social networks and blogs are now the fourth most popular online activity, ahead of personal email. Time spent on these sites is growing three times faster than overall Internet rate, and now accounts for almost 10 percent of all Internet time.” (Mar 09 )
Activity in SNS is seen as “virtual communication” but virtual is the opposite of “real.”
Communication through SNS is very real to those involved in the communication. For many users, SNS communication is woven into their day-to-day lives, with conversations continuing seamlessly between face-to-face meetings, on mobile phones and SNS.
Corners, corridors and kitchens: people “hang out” in SNS, interacting with the online community throughout the day, often filling dead time.
Online hanging out overlaps with and intermingles with offline hanging out.
SNS are changing the way people keep in touch and who they keep in touch with.
Users are as likely to use SNS to carry on conversations with friends who they see every day face-to-face as they are to communicate with old friends or with acquaintances who they do not meet regularly
SNS can change the scope, nature of friendship and relationship formation and how friendships and relationships operate.
Activity in SNS often reinforces and enriches physical connections
78.4% of British web users 15 and older visited a social network site in September 2008 and 54 percent of 16-25 year olds report having profiles on social network sites.
The highest SNS penetration rate is currently amongst 16-17 year olds, with at least 67% owning a profile.
UK Internet users on average make 23 visits and spend an average of 5.3 hours a month on SNS. For a younger audience some studies have anecdotally cited teenagers spending upwards of two hours every night connected to SNS.
The main social network site platforms (the big three) in the UK are Facebook, Bebo and MySpace.
ICT-aware public policies, including free or subsidised public access centres, and the natural fit of SNS to Brazil’s intrinsically conversational popular culture means that since 2003 Orkut, Google's social networking tool, has gone from a highly elitist club-style project to being almost universally used by people at all levels in society to chat to their friends and family across the country.
Being connected and in touch was found to be more important than content.
Orkut is today the second most accessed website in Brazil, the majority of Brazilian internet users has a profile
Global brands dominate but local, Indian language and state based, brands are growing fast
Little evidence of activity in Social Networks for social change objectives by organisations.
Focus Group respondents were active SNS users, browsing SNS to stay updated with their networks; playing games and using applications built into the SNS; sharing or consuming photos, video and music content within their networks.
Our research confirms that the interaction between people and social networking technology has changed and will change the way people communicate about issues and behaviours that impact on HIV vulnerability.
It provides evidence that young people in non-OECD countries actively social network using digital technologies when it becomes affordable and practical.
The case-studies from Brazil, India, South Africa and Thailand show that this is not restricted to the affluent or the middle classes and that young people will use whatever technology or access route is possible and affordable.
The material from South Africa illustrates how mobile phones are an effective platform for social networking even in areas of limited internet connectivity.
Outside English-speaking OECD, civil society globally has yet to engage with the new media
Develop a light-weight monitoring and evaluation framework to calculate the ROI of SNS based interventions
Aids communication to date has brought very limited benefits in terms of changing behaviours or increasing our understanding of the motivations of at-risk groups and individuals and we don't really know why. SNS, because of their interactive, buy-in nature, can at least provide an indication of whether individuals and communities are engaging with content, which is an important step in understanding what works and what doesn't
Develop a risk assessment framework for engagement with SNS
Social Network Services & HIV/Aids communications Pete Cranston IAMCR Conference July 2009, Mexico City Research commissioned by the Communications for Social Change Consortium www.cfsc.org for AIDS2030 www.aids2031.org