Thursday, November 8, 2007

I and my blog qouted by mainstream media

Metro quoted me in relation to the Facebook uptake in Sweden. Metro even recommended this blog.

Is this good? I guess so, it is always nice when you get reactions to your blog. Of course for your ego, and also for the brands of this blog and myself. The online article have generated some traffic to this blog, but I still get the majority of the traffic from other sources.

I must say the actual quote might not be that valuable. "You can see yourself that it [Facebook usage] is growing. You find more and more people you know [in Facebook]. Facebook is the only site that is really broad right now. On other social networks you find considerable less people you know".

I also discussed the accuracy of the figures with Metro. This was not at all discussed in the article.

Two of the questions around this:

  • The figures are probably based on registered users. This is fine, but does not say anything about the number of active users.

  • These numbers are not available for all countries (see Jeff Pulver's post for a list of the countries). Why? Do the other countries have significant less users? Or are there other reasons for countries not to be included in the list?

Anyway, Facebook is widely used in Sweden. See my post on that Sweden passed 1 million users here and the post with detailed statistics from Sweden here.

And finally. I was a bit disappointed that the paper verion of the article was shorter and didn't mention me or this blog... That's life I guess, better luck next time.

Update 071109: Turns out that I was quoted in the paper version after all! Not in the "mainstream", green and daily edition, but is the purple, weekly, edition called 'Metro Teknik'.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Annika Lidne said...

I think it is interesting that Metro didn't include the discussion of the figures nor anything about the accuracy.

Journalists tend to look down on blogs as being unreliable, inaccurate and not fact checked. Anyone in the media business know that journalists are not (much) better, but they very much want to be perceived as the only accurate media source.

November 8, 2007 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Johan Myrberger said...

Hi Annika,

my point about the quote as such was more a comment that it was a generic comment from my side. Not something very fact based as such.

And I didn't really expect Metro to do a deep analysis of the figures. I view Metro as a "media snack" publication. Short bits of new suited to consume on the bus.

However I personally would have given teh artcle the headline "One than one million facebook users in Sweden"
This is both more accurate (as this figure is derived somehow from Facebook). The "#4 worldwide" statement leaves a few question marks around the non-mentioned countries.
And I would also say that it is a snappier headline (who cares about the #4?)

Note that the figures around the penetration was not the ones presented in Jeff's article. Seems like Metro did some research on their own?

I also got the queston from Metro if they should mention my blog as an "it-blog". Sounded that this might give the blog as such more credibility... As I generally do not like to be put in a category I asked if that was needed.
I wonder if my credibility would have been ranked higher if I pushed my current position/title. But as this blog is not connected to my daily work I didn't want to do that.

Anyway, my take away from this experience:
* I need to get some media training and evolve my media strategy.
* Do not trust everything you read in a newspaper. Evaluate it yourself.

November 9, 2007 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Johan Lagerlof said...

Johan:

You wrote: "Two of the questions around this: The figures are probably based on registered users. This is fine, but does not say anything about the number of active users.
These numbers are not available for all countries (see Jeff Pulver's post for a list of the countries). Why? Do the other countries have significant less users? Or are there other reasons for countries not to be included in the list?"

Good questions. As Jeff Pulver says in his blog post, his "study was limited to only the 31 countries Facebook provides user information for". I tried to find some information about the number of registered users (as a fraction of the country's population) for a small group of countries, partly overlapping with Pulver's list of countries but also including a few others. My results are reported in the table below.

Country: # at FB / Pop. / % share / Pulver %

Norway: 425269 / 4627926 /9.19 / 19.26
Sweden: 656787 / 9031088 / 7.27 / 9.17
Singapore: 217182 / 4553009 / 4.77 / 4.02
Iceland: 13103 / 301931 / 4.34 / ***
Finland: 222700 / 5238460 / 4.25 / ***
Lebanon: / 144303 / 3925502 / 3.68 / 4.17
U Arab E: / 117613 / 4444011 / 2.65 / 4.24
Denmark: 135729 / 5468120 / 2.48 / ***
Belgium: 91536 / 10392226 / 0.88 / ***
France; 456944 / 63713926 / 0.72 / 0.67
Netherlands: 85741 / 16570613 / 0.52 / 0.67
Germany: 195150 / 82400996 / 0.24 / 0.32

The first column shows the name of the country -- note that these countries are the only ones I've looked at. The second column shows the number of members of the country's Facebook network (these were found here: http://rhbncac.facebook.com/networks/networks.php#elsewhere).
The third column shows the country's population (source: the CIA world factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html).
The fourth column is column two's share of column three, as a percentage. The fifth column is the percentage indicated in the table in Jeff Pulver's blog post, where "***" means that the country was not included in his list. All numbers were collected today (November 11, 2007).

My interpretation of the numbers in the table is that:

(a) For those countries that are also included in Pulver's list, the numbers in my and in Pulver's table are fairly similar (the correlation coefficient between columns four and five, excluding rows with missing values, is 0.93). This is consistent with the two set of numbers measuring the same thing.

(b) Among those countries that are not in Pulver's list, there are some, like Iceland and Finland, that have quite a substantial number of Facebook users (relative to the populations). This seems to suggest that, when selecting the 31 countries, Facebook did not choose the 31 countries with most users (certainly not relative to the populations, but also in terms absolute numbers -- see the table). If this is right, being #4 among the 31 countries does not necessarily mean #4 in the world.

P.S. Is there some smart and not so time consuming way of inserting a table (say, from Excel) in a comment to this blog? Now I did copy-and-paste from Excel, and then I had to do a fair amount of fixing afterwards. Hopefully one can read it.

November 11, 2007 at 4:08 PM  
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December 27, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
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December 27, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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December 29, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
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December 30, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
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January 5, 2010 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 9, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

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