We have moved!

Due to a change in our project name, we have also moved to a new domain.

You can now find all Listid-related news at:


We’ll hopefully see you there!


13/10/2009 at 10:52 Leave a comment

Surge in time spent on social networking sites

According to a report by The Nielsen Company, social networking usage by Americans continues to soar. From a comparison of internet time spent on social networking sites and blogs between August 2008 and August 2009, Nielsen has measured an increase of 11%, from 6% of all internet time to 17%.

Nielsen vice president of media and agency insights Jon Gibs explains this triplication of usage of social networking websites: “This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used. While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

As users spend more time on social networks, advertisers are starting to take notice and move their campaigns to social networking sites. Despite the recession, online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites has seen an increase of 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009.

And how about you? Have you spent more time on a social networking website this summer than you did a year ago?

Frederik De Bosschere

The Nielsen Company

11/10/2009 at 21:35 Leave a comment

Online vs. offline identities

In a master’s dissertation written at Georgetown University, Jessica Marie Vitak raises the question whether our traditional “offline” relationships are influenced by our online identity. A number of hypotheses were proposed and assessed in the light of data obtained in a survey about Facebook. One of those premises concerns the strength of interpersonal relationships: “In general, online relationships contain much weaker ties than offline relationships.” As common sense suggests, most of the data corroborated this hypothesis. The question then arises what the added value of Social Network Sites is if, for the greater part, we only manage to maintain those weak ties? Although SNS’s are time-consuming, they do provide us with the perfect instrument to maintain contact with acquaintances. Whereas in the past, we had to go through the trouble of writing and sending a letter, or cripple ourselves financially with long-distance calls, we can now simply “virtually hug” our recipient or post something on his “wall.”

Another interesting hypothesis refers to the discrepancy between our online and offline identity and the effects this can have in real life: “Because online identities often do not directly correlate to offline identities, offline relationships established before the online identity may suffer negative consequences.” Only a small number of respondents (13%) indicated to have been negatively affected by their or other people’s Facebook profiles. However, this can partly be attributed to the age and social composition of the group of respondents. University undergraduates have usually outgrown bullying, and are furthermore less susceptible to peer group pressure than adolescents. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, a 15 year old girl committed suicide, reportedly because she struggled with “the huge pressures placed on teenagers by social networking websites.”

SNS’s like Facebook might enable us to maintain superficial and transcontinental relationships in a playful way, but at what cost? Should we rigidly differentiate between our online and offline identity in an attempt to avoid adverse consequences?

Maarten Van Hoorickx

Vitak, J.M., (2008). Facebook “friends”: how online identities impact offline relationships. Washington, D.C.
The Telegraph

11/10/2009 at 21:07 Leave a comment

We accept Facebucks.

08-01-17_money8Once you have the ‘one-billion-dollar idea’ for an internet start-up, how are you ever going to be able to set up your project and keep it healthy in the long-term? Are you willing to invest your own capital in your business or would you rather rely on profits gathered with advertisements? Companies are definitely convinced of the importance of internet advertising due to the growing amount of time that people spend on it. In the UK, for example, recent studies indicate that internet advertising rose to 23.5 per cent of the advertising market, outrunning television ads that got stuck on 21.9 per cent. However, is internet advertising the best way to achieve profitability?

Facebook tries to escape from its constant dependence on online ads. The website decided to focus on the enormous amounts of money spent in the applications that run on Facebook’s platform. Therefore the social networking website started an internal currency. This payments system allows users “to purchase Facebook ‘credits’, then use those credits to buy virtual goods from the third-party applications that run on the site, or from Facebook itself.” The social networking website, being the payment provider, earns a percentage on every transaction on the website and hopes to increase its income.

Is this new and cool internal currency a smart strategy or is it never going to be successful?

Facebook brings in payment system, Financial Times
Facebook considering virtual currency system?
Net Advantage, Financial Times

Lore Vandoorne

11/10/2009 at 17:45 Leave a comment

Steve Jobs’ Ten Commandments

steve-jobs Steve Jobs, the chief executive officer of Apple Inc., is widely know for his inspiring speeches  and his great oratory skills. In an article on Forbes.com, Carmine Gallo, a communication  skills coach, summarises Jobs’ rhetoric style in ten clear rules. I cite here the key headlines of  Gallo’s article, explaining them in my own words.

1. Plan in the analog world

Although Steve Jobs is a man who is spending most of his time in the digital world, he “prepares presentations in the old world of pen and paper.” Before you actually start outlining a Powerpoint presentation, you should first “storyboard” your presentation on whiteboards. Brainstorming is an important part of that.

2. Create Twitter-friendly headlines

Steve Jobs introduces every product with one short sentence, “a headline that can easily fit in a Twitter post.” For example, the iPod was presented as “it’s one thousand songs in your pocket.”

3. Introduce the antagonist

Symbolise the classic story of the hero (your product) fighting the villain (the competitive products) in your presentation. As Gallo states it: “Creating a villain allows the audience to rally around the hero – your product.”

4. Create visual slides

Steve Jobs’ presentations are not chaotic and do not display an enormous amount of information at a time. Steve Jobs does not use the classic enumeration markers in his slides. On his visual aids, images predominate and text fragments are very limited.

5. Practice, a lot

In order to make a great presentation, you should rehearse a lot. It is told that Steve Jobs practises two full days before every presentation. That is why his slides sound like “a piece of poetry” and why his presentations look like “a theatrical experience.”

6. Obey the 10-minute rule

After 10 minutes your audience will automatically get tired. Therefore Steve Jobs always spices up his conferences, which generally last 1.5 hours, with attractive videos, demonstrations or guest speakers to give his audience a thorough shake-up every 10 to 15 minutes.

7. Make numbers meaningful

In your business presentation you might have to announce a great ammount of numerical data. However, you should present these big numbers in a proper context. Telling your audience your sale of iPods represents 73% of the market contrary to Microsoft’s 1% market share is more illustrative than saying that you sold 220 million iPods.

8. Reveal a ‘Holy Smokes!’ moment

If you want people to remember what you said, you should insert a ‘Holy Smokes!’ moment in your presentation. Steve Jobs always has one “showstopper,” one “water cooler moment.” That moment, Steve Jobs presents something that everyone in the audience will certainly talk about once the presentation has finished. For example, Jobs introduced the MacBook Air “removing the computer from an inter-office envelope.”080115-macbook

9. Sell dreams, not products

The only way to differentiate your company from other companies is to love what you are doing, to insert passion, enthusiasm and emotion in your work. The iPod does not represent a music player in the eyes of Steve Jobs. Instead, he believes it is ” a tool to enrich people’s lives.”

10. Have fun

Enjoy your performance on stage, laugh and make jokes! Gallo resumes it in the following words: “Steve Jobs creates an experience. It’s info-tainment intended to inform, educate and entertain and to sell you on becoming part of a dream.”

It might be very helpful to consider these ten rules before making a presentation.

How to make a great presentation, Forbes

Lore Vandoorne

11/10/2009 at 13:46 Leave a comment

Go intimate, go private

Why are we on Facebook, when there are a thousand much more interesting things to do in life? Like going outside, for instance? Why do we communicate with others, especially people of “flesh and blood” that we met prior in person, via internet? Don’t you miss your privacy or those agreeable moments spent outdoors (or indoors), instead of in front of your computer?

Facebook reminds me of those old times, especially in small villages, where everyone was acquainted with everyone and the social control was tight. But then people moved to the cities, where anonymity prevails. Whoever we are or whatever we do, our neighbour next door doesn’t know it. And it is not his/her business either (I mean our private life; I have nothing against social contact).

Indeed, one has to admit that Facebook is very time-consuming. And we spend more time befriending people we don’t know or deciding whether or not we should add our boss upon his request, than talking with the ones we really know and care about. Social networking sites (SNS) are also a form of exhibitionism: you go there to be seen and  “look how wonderful I look with these sunglasses during my wonderful vacation in Punta Cana.” They are a hype, but a hype is per definition temporary, like fashion: today is “in,” tomorrow already “out.” Maybe that’s the reason some predict Facebook’s bankruptcy, due to “social network exhaustion” or because we have “Facebook fatigue.” Facebook should have stuck to its original goal: a social network, but on a smaller scale; it works in the college environment for which it was planned, but apparently not so much in the broader world. Why don’t you try and look at the phone numbers on you cell phone?


Silvia Mendes

10/10/2009 at 21:48 Leave a comment

Flock: a social web browser

If the internet is the information highway, then you’d better have a proper means of transportation. That’s where your web browser comes in: your personal companion to making your way around the World Wide Web. And when it comes to an instrument used everyday, people have their preferences:
– some people just use a specific browser “because, well, it is there on the desktop”: Internet Explorer
– other people want a fast and responsive web browser, like Safari or Google Chrome
– and there’s those who want their browser to be as reliable and feature-packed as a Swiss Army knife, e.g. Firefox or Opera

And without elaborating on the plethora of different web browsers available to users, I would like to mention a (relatively) new player on the browser market: Flock!

The Social Web Browser

Flock is aimed at those users for whom the web is all about being social. It simplifies and extends the use of social and web-based applications to enable the richest user experience possible across information-gathering, sharing, communication, self-expression and interaction. Flock delivers a more personal experience of the web, where its users are in control and more connected to what they value.

Among the supported services are Google Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, YouTube and Flickr, meaning you can check your mail, edit your blog, add photos or share a video on your profile page, … (just about everything really) right from your web browser.

Add the fact that it is based on Mozilla technology, guaranteeing a safe and stable experience, and the price tag of € 0, and you might just find Flock to be your new internet sidekick!

Go take it for a spin!

Flock website

Frederik De Bosschere

09/10/2009 at 14:12 Leave a comment

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