Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December CommQuote

Zadie Smith's philosophical reflections in The New Yorker (December 17 issue) on her journey toward appreciating Joni Mitchell's artistry by way of Tintern Abbey (now you have to read it)  has me thinking for our December quote I should showcase Ms. Mitchell's most famous media lyric, You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio (it was a single if I'm not mistaken, and she doesn't have many of those).  Although Smith's essay, titled "Some Note on Attunement: A Voyage Around Joni Mitchell," is more focused on the album Blue, this song comes from the excellent follow-up, For the Roses. The only reference to media on Blue that comes to mind is mention of television in the devastatingly dark portrait of Richard in The Last Time I Saw Richard (And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on/And all the house lights left up bright...). So I'll go with this radio song which is a much happier celebration of love--and in this holiday season what's not to broadcast about that?

You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio (Joni Mitchell)

If you're driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who's bound to love you
Oh honey you turn me on
I'm a radio
I'm a country station
I'm a little bit corny
I'm a wildwood flower
Waving for you
Broadcasting tower
Waving for you
And I'm sending you out
This signal here
I hope you can pick it up
Loud and clear
I know you don't like weak women
You get bored so quick
And you don't like strong women
'Cause they're hip to your tricks
It's been dirty for dirty
Down the line
But you know
I come when you whistle
When you're loving and kind
But if you've got too many doubts
If there's no good reception for me
Then tune me out, 'cause honey
Who needs the static
It hurts the head
And you wind up cracking
And the day goes dismal
From "Breakfast Barney"
To the sign-off prayer
What a sorry face you get to wear
I'm going to tell you again now
If you're still listening there
If you're driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who's bound to love you
If you're lying on the beach
With the transistor going
Kick off the sand cause honey
The love's still flowing
If your head says forget it
But your heart's still smoking
Call me at the station
The lines are open
Remember, you can access The New Yorker from Penn Libraries e-resources.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Measuring the Information Society 2012

In last Thursday's fascinating CGCS lecture, Digital Innovation for International Development, Martin Hilbert referred to the International Telecommunication Union Report, Measuring the Information Society 2012 which presents two authoritative benchmarking tools to monitor information society developments worldwide. From the report launch:

The first of these is the ICT Development Index, the IDI, which combines 11 different indicators into one single measure to track progress made in ICT access, use and skills.

The IDI measures the level of ICT developments in 155 economies worldwide, presents country rankings, and compares progress made between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011.

The second is the ICT Price Basket, the IPB, which combines fixed-telephone, mobile-cellular and fixed-broadband Internet tariffs for 165 economies into one measure, and ranks countries based on the 2011 tariffs, and in relation to income levels. It also compares tariffs over the four-year period from 2008 to 2011.

The report also features new data and analysis on revenue and investment in the ICT sector.
This 213-page report is required reading for anyone interested in the global information society--especially in terms of equality/disparity issues.  

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Social Media Report 2012

Nielsen's 2012 Social Media Report is out this month chock full of growth statistics (compare to last year's report, 2011 Social Media Report, Q3 2011). It will come as no surprise that mobile platforms and app usage are huge drivers in all of this and that trend shows no sign of slowing. The report ranks top social networks with Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Wikia vaulting up  the list of "regulars" (Facebook, Blogger, Twitter). While there is some demographic data  provided for sex, age and race in the report, it's spotty--for instance, you can get a real demographic profile of Pinterest but not the same for Tumblr or Twitter. Nielsen only gives us samples of data in these free reports but we'll take what we can get. The report also tracks simultaneous usage of mobile platforms with television viewing and finally, takes a global view of usage. Definitely worth checking out if you work in this area and the data fact you need is there for you.

From Nielsen Wire:
Social media and social networking are no longer in their infancy. Social media continues to grow rapidly, offering global consumers new and meaningful ways to engage with the people, events and brands that matter to them. According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s latest Report, consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites—roughly 20 percent of their total time online via personal computer (PC), and 30 percent of total time online via mobile.  Additionally, total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PCs and mobile devices increased 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011. The recent proliferation of mobile devices and connectivity helped fuel the continued growth of social media. While the computer remains as the predominant device for social media access, consumers’ time spent with social media on mobile apps and the mobile web has increased 63 percent in 2012, compared to the same period last year.

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