Archive | May, 2013

Marketers Remain Cautious Despite Consumer Sentiment Uptick

Many Hold Spending in Check, Say Economic Indicator’s Rosy Report Doesn’t Match Their Metrics

confidence game

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

U.S. consumers are feeling pretty good right now —¬†as good as they have since the pre-recession days of July 2007, according to one recently released key measure. But many marketers are unconvinced that the so-called new normal is about to be replaced by the old ebullience.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index posted a nearly six-year high this month. Its increase since November 2011 is stronger than any since the early 1980s, when the U.S. emerged from back-to-back recessions.

History shows the index is not to be taken lightly. It accurately predicted the last five recoveries and last two recessions (lagging behind the prior three it didn’t predict). Nor is it alone in flashing green. The Dow Jones Industrial Index recently reached a high. The unemployment rate, while still a steep 7.5%, has been steadily declining. And housing starts rebounded the past year, particularly in recession-ravaged California. All this comes despite a 2% hike in the payroll tax and federal budget cuts in recent months.

So why aren’t marketers jumping for joy? Many have other metrics on their minds.

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The Truth About Reddit

The Benefits of Neglectful Ownership, Where Gawker and BuzzFeed Get Their ‘Inspiration,’ and More

1. Reddit has become, simply put, mainstream media.
As noted in Ad Age recently, Reddit closed out 2012 with more than 37 billion page views and 400 million unique visitors. Even people who don’t check the so-called social-news site regularly — or at all — constantly experience the Reddit Effect because …

2. The mainstream blog media is almost ridiculously (even pathetically) dependent on Reddit.
Reddit has a state-of-the-art-circa-1998, text-centric user interface, but its critical mass and core upvote/downvote system has allowed it to become a sort of real-time cultural Zeitgeistometer. A post that captures the imagination of Reddit readers (aka Redditors) gets upvoted and then speeds to Reddit’s home page (and/or the home pages of Reddit’s major topical verticals, e.g., reddit.com/r/worldnews, reddit.com/r/funny, etc.).

And then an hour or two — or 12 or 24 — later, there’s a really good chance you’re going to see that popular Reddit post repurposed on Gawker or BuzzFeed. Well, the silly or controversial stuff, at least. (The random nerdy/newsy topical stuff that Redditors upvote — like last Wednesday’s front-pager about chickpea farming — tends to stay in the Redditverse.)

 

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