Note* I haven’t provided references for all of the stats in this presentation - most come from Nielsen and Gartner, which are great commercial sources for online stats, as well as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Telstra and Optus. I will spend the first 5 minutes of my talk giving the context describing how the online space will continue to grow in importance in all aspects of our lives. I’m going to quickly run through some major trends including: the continued growth in access to the internet and exponential growth in online activity the explosion of the cheap, always on, always available mobile web the now mainstream social web – which has taken the web from information to conversation to co-creation and how the role the web plays in our lives has changed – we now spend more time with it and trust it more than other forms of media, and we trust peer reviews much more than advertising when it comes to making decisions – including decisions about our health and well-being. I’ll then take a brief look at how the gambling industry has quickly moved in and adapted to the online environment, creating online gambling products and vigorously promoting them as well as their offline products. And I’ll describe how we in the community education, prevention and treatment fields are doing our best to follow them in and stake out some space along these new frontiers for our preventative information and help options, just as we do in traditional media and in venues and the community at large. I will then take you through our own online ecosystem here in Victoria, how it has evolved and where it is heading. Overall we are moving towards: creating increasingly tailored and personalized content and spaces for different audiences and improving the signposting so that they can find their way to what is most relevant to them, going where our users are – on the mobile and social web giving our users a voice – moving from static information site to a transactional site where users generate their own content. We are currently planning ways to get more value out of the comments on our site and exploring how to further connect and empower our users in a safe way.
Globally – there are 2 billion internet users – that’s 30% of the global population. 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of new information is added every day - doubling every 18 months. There are 1.4 billion PCs and 10 billion internet-connected devices 2 billion videos were watched on youtube ... yesterday 32 billion searches performed last month - on twitter alone Internet TRAFFIC is set to quadruple by 2015. Nearly all Australians are now online. It’s still growing - In 2010 internet subscriptions increased 14.8% on the previous year. As with most tech trends men (usually younger, wealthier, better educated and metro men) are ‘early adopters’ and lead the way before everyone else catches up. This overlap between early adopters of technology and at risk and problem gamblers – young men – lends itself well to online strategies. The internet is getting faster As of 2011 95% of online Australians have broadband. This has resulted in growing popularity of video. But, the digital divide still exists An estimated 15% or 3 million Australians are not “online ready” – more likely if you are poor, Indigenous, old or disabled and live in outer regional/remote areas of Australia. . The way we use the internet is changing Online Australians now spend more time with the Internet (21 hours, 42 minutes per week) than any other type of media – and they trust it more. 56% Of online Australians say it’s their preferred information source (up from 37% in 2006) 35% Most trusted source of information (up from 21% in 2006) When making buying decisions - 78% trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust paid advertisements. 83% of adult internet users search online for health information. Australian’s lead the world in time spent on social media (nearly 7 hours per month - one third of our online time). Facebook dominates with 9.5 million subscribers as at August 2010, representing 65% of internet social media use in Australia. Social media is not just for social interaction. People use it to research and evaluate products and services . There has been enormous growth in the number of Australians contributing to and relying on online reviews, discussions, comments and ‘Likes’ before making a purchase. Always on, always available - Mobile is taking over Australians love smart phones. We are now second in the world (behind Singapore) in smart phone ownership. 37 percent of Australians own a smart phone. This is expected to grow to 75% by 2015. Globally, mobile is predicted to overtake desktop useage by 2015. But that trend is already true among poorer populations that cannot afford home Internet access or computers. As you can see on the slide Millenials and Gen Ys are early adopters - currently biggest users of mobile. Again, males lead this trend And don’t forget tablets. Eleven percent of adults now own a tablet computer. They are also predicted to dominate schools. People are more likely to read long articles on their tablets, not just get headlines. 10.9 billion apps were downloaded in 2010 – spent $6.2 billion Everyday 200 million youtube videos are watched on mobile devices. 50% of local search is on mobile. Smart phones are our constant companions - 71% of owners say they won’t leave home without their smartphone Contrary to popular belief, mobiles are not used only ‘on the go’. According to Telstra Smartphone Index 2011 Highlights shows the biggest use is in the home – 86% Next is commuting – 59% In bed – 56% In a typical week 72% of owners use their smart phones to browse the net and 75% use search.
I’ll cover online gambling very briefly as Simone Rodda and Simone Martin will be covering this more in her talk. The gambling industry have been quick to offer gambling online. Globally there were 2,642 Internet gambling sites available. This slide from Dr Sally Gainsbury’s talk- Emerging trends in online gambling within Australia- which she gave at our RGAW Forum this year - graphically paints the picture of phenomenal growth in online gambling – 10 – 20% annually. Expected to yield $35 Billion in 2011 Gambling apps are some of the biggest sellers in iTunes. It has been estimated that four to five (maybe as high as 30 per cent) of Australians gamble online. Industry estimates Australians spent $968 million on offshore casino, poker and bingo sites in 2010.
You can participate in all forms of gambling online Betting on racing (thoroughbred, harness and greyhound) Sports betting (such as the outcome of a cricket match) Betting on the outcome of events (such as elections or reality TV shows and celebrity births etc – more appealing to young women) Lotteries and Keno/bingo Online gaming - casino games (Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette), all forms of poker and virtual gaming machines.
In response Victoria launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks of online gambling – Easy to bet. Too easy to lose. The campaign was extremely successful. Simone Rodda and Simone Martin will be telling you more about that campaign and its results. I just wanted to make the point that we are doing our best to stake out some space online, but as you can see from this next slide…
The industry is very well resourced….
Victoria’s Online Ecosystem The Problem Gambling site was reviewed in 2008. The result was the addition of targeted sites for discreet audiences. Problem Gambling : provides information to assist problem gamblers and their family and friends and where to get free, confidential help and support. We also have a mobile site for this audience. C. 1000 visits per week , 3 pages per visit, 3:08 on site m. site up to 13,000 per week during campaigns – 80 per week outside campaign period Gamble Aware: provides information about responsible gambling. - c. 200 visits per week , 3 pages per visit, 2:49 on site Professionals: has information for professionals to assist them to identify, treat and refer problem gamblers to specialist services. As well as an extranet for GH and PCPs - c. 140 visits per week , 4 pages per visit, 7:28 on site Take the Quiz: assesses whether you or someone you know might have a problem with gambling. - c. 12,000 per week during campaigns 24 per week outside of campaign periods It also has a mobile site Even though we don’t own it, Gambling Help Online is an important part of our ecosystem – providing online service delivery in the form of live chat and email with counsellors.
New portal page and brand bar The aims of this were: Better integration with campaign creative. As a general point, I think this is an area that we in Victoria are focussing on – integrating our campaign messages and creative right through all our communication channels, including online, rather than silo-ing traditional ‘ads’ from everything else. Better sign posting and traffic flow- gives users an ‘at a glance’ view of all our online properties creating a higher quality user experience – the right people going to the right site. After first month we can see it is working: Professional site 11% increase in visitors. Referrals from Problem Gambling jumped from only 12 to 239. Gamble aware site 76% increase in visitors by (69% of these visitors were referred from the Problem Gambling site, a marked increase from the 17% of referred visitors in the month prior) The increased time on site and decreased bounce rate suggest that the visitors who are arriving are more qualified and prepared to engage with the content. In other words – people are going to the right place to find what they want
Mobile sites It is important to build ‘optimised’ sites for mobile users – gives them a better user experience – faster to load, easier to read and navigate. This means reducing your content to the main points and simplifying navigation. People who visit the desktop sites on their mobiles are automatically redirected to the m. site A handy feature for our telephone helpline – the track-able ‘Click to Call’ feature. Since we enabled this feature on the Problem Gambling mobile on August 25 (post campaign) – there were 342 visits and the click to call was used 70 times. Since the Gambling Help Online mobile site was launched with this feature on 15 September – there were 30,068 visits and the click to call was used 166 times
So what about Social Media? If facebook was a country, it would be the third most populated in the world. Lady GaGa has over 16 million followers on twitter (= Australia minus WA). 25 billion tweets were sent in 2010. With stats like that how can you NOT be on Social Media?
Gambling businesses have been quick to exploit the new social frontiers as they open up; Here is the Betstar twitter account – busily promoting the Melbourne cup. A search on twitter for ‘Betting tips Melbourne Cup’ Zynga Texas Hold’em Poker is the most popular group on facebook with 29,000,000 monthly users, 52,127,328 likes and 790,222 talking about this Before diving in as well - we hired social media specialists to do an audit for us. They searched the ‘social web’ looking for mentions of gambling – who was saying what and where. They found people were very willing to join groups associated with gambling and plenty of gambling conversations going on. What they found was hardly anyone was discussing their own or someone else’s problem gambling. This is unsurprising when you consider the stigma that goes along with problem gambling and that platforms like twitter and especially facebook are very public–people who know you can see what you’re talking about. This was also the case with discussions around drug and alcohol addictions and HIV infection which were also investigated for comparison. People were more likely to talk about public policy in these environments –e.g. posting or re-tweeting statistics of regional/annual losses on the pokies. There may be opportunities to have a voice in these conversations to post educative/preventative content such as the odds of winning and understanding the house edge which people may be more comfortable to share or discuss as it is not in itself stigmatised or stigmatising. People were found having discussions around problem gambling in private channels such as forums. Which brings me to finally discuss what gives my presentation it’s name –the anonymous comments on our website.
Comments function on Victoria’s websites Comments enabled in April 2009 on the Problem Gambling website – went from being non-transactional to transactional This is referred to in the online world as User Generated Content. The intention was that users would comment on the content of that page. In practice the vast majority of commenters simply share stories of struggle with problem gambling – their own or their loved ones. Some share practical strategies for cutting back or abstinence and many urge each other to reform and support each other with best wishes for recovery Many commenters seem to have just ‘hit bottom’ and commenting is their first admission that they have a problem. Many use it as a way to strengthen their resolve to change – by making a public pledge even if it is anonymous Commenters also report they derive benefit from reading each other’s stories and feeling less alone with their problems and struggles - like any peer support model they offer they experiential knowledge not readily available from professional sources. Research on online mutual support bulletin boards suggest they offer greater emotional support and disclosure than face-to-face groups – due to anonymity and the ability to reflect on and edit your comments before you post. We also benefit from better SEO – search results. Because people are using natural language. 990 comments published (as of October 2011) – average 1 comment per day
No registration is required – email address is only mandatory field. Pre-moderated - only published if meet specified guidelines. Approximately 50% of comments are spam Where possible, aspects of a comment that break the rules are edited out of otherwise legitimate comments To date around 3% of non-spam comments have been unpublishable due to their content (to date - political or suicidal) Emails are sent explaining reasons for editing or not publishing Moderator also refers commenters to GHO and GH where there is a specific request for advice or help and/or extreme levels of distress (set out in detail in the Moderator Guidelines). In the last six month’s approximately 15% of comments have required these ‘help’ replies to be sent to them. On average the moderator spends approximately 30 minutes a day processing and replying to comments.
So, we have this great resources of people’s stories, but at the moment they are spread all over the site and just scroll into infinity. In the next phase of development we are going to organise them better: creating a page to aggregate comments category tags – things like type of gambling, age, friends and family, stage of change, tips and advice (moderator will tag) and improve user experience - making them more searchable and visually appealing – may prompt more posts will make it easier for us to learn from the comments replies enabled for moderator – to improve function as user generated content for ‘lurkers’ (usually 90%). Giving moderator a voice – can ask questions, post polls, generate discussion, try and steer conversations towards positive behaviour change tips and support Issues we are grappling with: Whether to allow members to talk to each other – they want to and do so already. This becomes a conversation not just between us and them but moves towards peer support – where the citizen is co-creating the service delivery. Is this the right place to enable an online peer support model? How do we make this Safe? That is we probably need some clinical oversight/supervision/mentorship Legal issues – counsellors can’t be talking to people who haven’t signed waivers – we would prefer to keep our comments non-registered – a barrier to participation What about the Gambling Help Online forum – which is also being planned for this financial year. How can we integrate with this community in the best way?
URL for presentation on Slideshare – Questions?
Victoria's Online Strategy: From information to conversation
Victoria’s online strategy: From Information to Conversation Presented by: Jo Argent, Online Communication Adviser Problem Gambling Strategy, Office of Gaming and Racing Victoria NAGS 21 st Annual Conference 24 November 2011 http://www.slideshare.net/problemgambling