Early on in this whole Internet thing, I worked for an organization where the prevailing notion was, “I’m not so sure this Internet thing is going to last. It probably isn’t worthwhile for us to jump in.” I saw the potential and jumped in personally, even though the group I worked for didn’t see it.
Funny thing is that I hear the same thing today about social media, usually comments like, “Isn’t Facebook just a big time suck with no way of ever getting real business results?” A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me during a presentation, “Wouldn’t you agree that just about everything taking place in social media is negative? I mean, really — what good can come from any of it?”
Well, not to brag or anything, but I and a whole lot of other people were right about the whole Internet thing. And there’s some pretty strong evidence that this social things is going to turn out OK, too. Ah, but you work with people who need proof?
I love, love, love the work of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In fact, if you ever want to lose yourself in a torrid affair with technology statistics, I would highly recommend you begin here. In part, here’s what Pew offers:
Browse a list of our latest reports, look through our infographic highlights, and check out our frequently updated trend data.
This page holds a chronological list of our reports and commentaries from the most recent back to our first report in 2000.
This page highlights select infographics from recent reports.
TREND DATA (ADULTS)
This page contains charts and Excel data files of a selection of the Pew Internet Project’s latest findings on American adults (age 18+), including frequently updated demographic data, online activity data, and internet adoption trends.
TREND DATA (TEENS)
This page contains charts and Excel data files of a selection of the Pew Internet Project’s latest findings on American teens (ages 12-17), including frequently updated demographic data, online activity data, and gadget ownership.
I’m also impressed by Google Trends, which you can use to explore a whole host of topics. Below, you can see the trend line on searches about social media. A lot of people are looking for information, which demonstrates a high level of interest. Be sure to show the Doubting Thomases in your organization this graph. If they’re still not convinced, send them my way. I’ll explain how the Internet thing turned out and make it clear that this social thing is no passing fad.