Insights from ARF Audience Measurement Conference

ARF Audience Measurement conference - NYC 2011

I spent the last two days (June 13-14th) attending the ARF Audience Measurement 6.O conference in NYC, particularly the social media insights panels. It was exciting to sit there and listen to how companies such as Cisco and Verizon are using social media, as well as how media planning and technology companies are testing findings to roll-out of various advertising methodologies. The following post focuses on some of the insights I got from some of the Key Note and panels I attended.

Perfect People Meter:

Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, presented a keynote on how people use digital technology and how that makes audience measurement more complicated than in the past. Rainie  listed out three revolutions – the Internet, mobile and social media, and then proceeded to discuss each in detail.

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Is technology taking over our lives?

Always connected

So I am a self-professed gadget freak. I obsess about my laptop not being fast enough, and it annoys me that each time I get a new iPod, apple release a new version weeks later. I can seldom go without being connected to my network and the days that my Time Warner internet connection is down for even 30 mins leaves me panicking.

But I increasingly find it intriguing how groups of people out and about in the most exciting city in the world, are glued to their devices rather than noticing the Manhattan skyline. I noticed this family in Union Square the other day, and they were all staring at their iPhones/Blackberry and did not even seem to notice the gorgeous day and the farmers market set-up in the square.

Which got me thinking, if technology was developed to make our lives easier and simpler, what went wrong?

I read an article a while back which talked about how technology addiction was taking its tool in Asia.  According to the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, the number of cases brought to it for consultation on online games-related concerns rose to 1,692 in 2010, up from 1,437 in 2009, many of them involving youths. Apparently technology addiction is a real illness, and the effect its takes on your life is as real as someone coming of cigarettes or even drugs. A University of Maryland research described students’ thoughts in vivid detail, in which they admit to cravings, anxiety attacks and depression when forced to abstain from using media. Wow that really is serious stuff.

I don’t have answers to all these facts, but it just makes me think that maybe every now and then we need to take a step back and just enjoy the people and the world we live in. So lets all think over this and keep a watch on how the people around us behave and act, you might be surprised over what you may learn.