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An unprecedented announcement by Twitter sheds light on site’s popularity.

According to CNN, it’s the first time Twitter has officially released an accurate number of accounts. That number turned out to be over 100 million. That’s

Courtesy Wiki-Commons

just one-fourth the population of Facebook[which has now outgrown the population of the United States], but still respectable.

Comments were mostly sarcastic, one stating, “Maybe I will sign up[for a twitter account] once I am through watching paint dry.” Although I don’t

agree with this comment, it’s certainly an opinion shared by many.

According to the numbers, Facebook users aren’t checking their twitter

accounts simultaneously. An obvious statement as there are far less ‘tweeters’ than facebookers. 100 million is still probably enough to write home about, however. The announcement comes on a day when twitter unleashes their new advertising platform as well.

Over a month ago, MediaPost ran a story explaining Twitter’s plan for a working ad platform. As the article explains, the platform is intended to be as unobtrusive as possible, providing relevant, helpful advertising to users.

This, of course, is the purpose of all advertising and there are sure to be some speedbumps as Twitter tries to use branding and ads to connect with it’s enormous audience.

Tweet with me.

As of March 15th, the fourth most visited website in the US was Youtube. Given the popularity of videos online and the fact that it is mainly user generated content, it seems like a logical pitstop for many internet users. Later on this year the site will celebrate its fifth anniversary making it the most – – – well there are just too many superlatives to put here so we’ll simply call it five years old.

It took just half a decade for all nearly apt internet users to become aware of the video upload giant. But just how popular is Youtube? Is there actually a group in the online community content to avoid it?

According to Alexa Internet ratings, Youtube is (to no surprise for any parent with a teenager) over-represented among the 18-24 demographic of the general internet population. I shudder to think of time spent differently among this age group…Studying? Working? Cleaning the pizza/beer/weird stain off the dorm room carpet? We understand the recreation side of videos for teens and undergrads, but what of their parents, or even their grandparents?

Between the ages of 25 and 54, traffic to the

Euchre Champ or Youtube Fanatic?

site is average, telling us they don’t lean to either extreme. However, once you hit the 55-64 demo., things

get interesting. This group (all prepped and groomed for retirement) visits Youtube much less than every other age range. More intriguing is the turnaround once you get into the numbers for 65+.

Audience ratings from Alexa tell us the 65 and older crowd is commonly over-represented at Youtube. This could mean a lot of things, but I’ll limit us to the most plausible.

1. The small number of grandparents exploring cyberspace have quite a fondness for online media.

2. The older generation uses it to keep in touch with extended family.

3. There are a lot of grandchildren with unlimited access to their grandparents internet.

Number 1 is by far the most likely simply because of the really helpful things on Youtube many people don’t ever think to use. If you have a chance or are in a bind, try a few of these links and see how Youtube can start being a resource as well as entertainment. And not just for the kids anymore!

Youtube How-to And Style

Cooking

Dance

Outdoors

Technology/Electronics

Photo Courtesy of Konstantin Sutyagin.

75 Million. That’s a pretty high number.

A number which could refer to the selling price of an enormous mansion in California featured on E! channel’s ‘The Insider’. $75 million. That’ s a lot of money.

It could also reflect the amount of CO2 a South American country did not send out into the atmosphere as a result of switching to a flex fuel used by 94% of the country’s vehicles. 75 million tons of carbon dioxide. That’s a lot of gas. (read more)

The 75 million I’m talking about happens to be more ridiculous than an unbelievably expensive house, but much less impressive than Brazil’s environmental efforts.

Some of you who read this are most likely part of this 75 million. Some because of supposed boredom and indifference, and some because of the odd addiction only this type of internet activity can provide. Nevertheless, 75 million have worshipped at the Mecca of social networking mini-games…Farmville.

According to statistics released by Zynga.com, there has been 118 million downloads of the cyber-farming phenomenon. Zynga, the company responsible for Farmville’s success, is proud of it’s breakthrough with the unorthodox gamer. In an article by CNN’s Doug Gross, the founder of Zynga explains his motivation behind creating the insta-gaming giant.

Mark Pincus managed to create a gaming experience that bridges the generational gap between  ‘traditional’ gamers and other factions of online users not typically accounted for. By doing this, Pincus happened upon a cluster of internet gamers often ignored in the video game industry. To find out who it is, feel free to read the article  here

Back to my rant.

75 million.

Americans really shouldn’t be surprised as we’ve seen our lives change from fast to faster paces with each new invention in the technology world. Fast food is no longer the default defendant in the trial for quick and painless satiation.

i.e. – Online video games which can be started and stopped with one simple, all-mighty click. Don’t have the latest Java client? Click. Invite your friends to play. Click. Talk to them while you are playing with them. typing noises here. Instantly. But look at the clock….Not so instant was it?

Whatever happened to kickball at the park? Basketball at the open-gym? Just riding around town on bicycles with at least one flat tire.

Well, adult. You grew up didn’t you?  But maybe we’re all kids at heart, looking for a game to play with our friends. The term friends is loosely applied and can be substituted for actual friendship, an online acquaintance, co-worker, or just some random guy that joined your World Of Warcraft guild.

75 million tells me a lot of things. Most of all, that even adults tend to have more than enough time on their hands.

As the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver conclude over the next two weeks, highlights will run for the next four years with gold medal finishes and disappointing defeats. Thanks (or no) to the all seeing eye that is news media, one image is sure to stay with viewers for a very long time afterwards.

Or will it?

The death of a luge competitor making a training run on Day 1  made the larger than life events seem just the opposite. Opening Ceremonies saw members of the Georgian Olympic team in obvious shock and sadness.  For many of the 50,000 attending, the Republic of Georgia became the underdog to win a medal of any kind in that moment. But what of the hundreds of millions who couldn’t be there in that instant?

We watch and move on. We feel bad and wish it hadn’t happened, but move on. We are amazed by the man’s skill, thrilled by the speed and excitement, even appreciate the stunning photos and video. By tomorrow we’ve forgotten everything that was written about him. We disregard the image.

Why?

Tigers and penguins. According to CBS News, a South Korean zoo had their tiger cubs and baby penguins celebrating the new year with visitor activities. Following a thirteen second clip of the Vancouver tragedy, two and a half minutes were devoted to the protected breeding and nurture of South Korean zoo animals. Wait. WHICH clip was thirteen seconds?!

Thankfully, CBS covered all their bases by labeling the horrendous luge video “Graphic” in the headline. Exercising my profound naivety, I hoped for a news package to accompany the video. I was disappointed. I was also unsuspecting. Failing to exercise their right of optional video queue loops, CBS threw me a curveball. Tigers and penguins.

Maybe they arranged it as a kicker piece to leave viewers informed and entertained. Maybe and more likely, the two videos were randomly generated for that media page but at opposite sides of the news spectrum. Regardless, the revelation was there.

CBS News felt confident in placing a 13 second clip depicting a tremendous athlete losing his life. 13 seconds, by itself to tell a story. A story some would argue, told far too often from the media. CBS was not alone either. NBC’s coverage of the incident was no better. Choosing to play the video along with explicit photographs in many of their packages. Being informative can also be courteous, can it not?

There is always something to be learned from news. If not, it would not be truly newsworthy. Reporters and journalists cannot be afraid to sit behind the desk at home as well as work. We’ve got to learn. We’ve got to progress. What type of lasting effect does visual media have, and how relevant is it to what we want to say?

We cannot equate life and death to baby tigers and penguins.

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