Tag Archives: Personal computer

Fewer PCs And Fewer Cords

I saw two articles in the last day that might not seem to have much to do with one another but in my mind point to the ongoing changes in the media world.

English: Desktop computer Français : ordinateu...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first is from the Gartner folks along with IDC and it’s their quarterly report on PC shipments. Not surprisingly, the numbers aren’t good.  They are reporting around an 11% decline in shipments which continues a downward trend from last quarter.  There are a number of reasons to which analysts attribute this trend but the one with which I agree the most is the thinking that we’re now consuming media mostly on tablets.  PC’s are something that are used for heavy lifting – video editing, lengthy writing, spreadsheets, etc.   Families aren’t buying multiple units for the home any more (at one point we had four PC’s here for school work, business, and leisure usage among the family).

The second piece has to do with cord-cutting and comes from the folks at eMarketer:

Research company GfK surveyed US households with TVs and found that in 2013, 19.3% of respondents had broadcast TV only and did not subscribe to any pay TV service. That’s a 37.9% increase from 2010 when only 14% of households shunned pay TV services and relied solely on broadcast TV…The study suggested that while wider online video viewing and more internet-connected TV options may have boosted cord-cutting, basic cost savings is at the real heart of the move toward broadcast-only TV. The study found that 60% of those who cancelled their pay TV service cited cost-cutting as the reason.

I disagree with the notion that it’s the cost alone.  I think it’s more the cost/value equation (the expense to get the programming live vs. the cost of other sources on a delay) coupled with the wider penetration of tablets as cited in the first piece.  The market favors tablets over low-end computers, content producers are doing a better job of populating that channel, even to the detriment of their traditional distributors, and the business model (selling ads against an audience that’s viewing simultaneously) has been seriously disrupted.

I’m watching to see who moves to accept the new world and who denies that things are moving.  It’s sort if a climate-change analogy in my mind.  You can deny it right up until the ice pack mets and floods you out or you can take preemptive measures and move to higher ground.  Which are you doing?

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Working Backwards To The Web

When I work with clients on how they’re going to approach digital, I’ve been telling them something a bit different lately.  While I still believe that a company’s website is the primary point of contact, how that site is designed and built needs to be very different   They -and you- need to be thinking mobile first and working backwards to the web.  Sites that aren’t optimized for smartphones and tablets as a primary access channel are going to be out of date very quickly.  How do I know?  Check this out:

Underscoring the mobile migration story, IDC … issues a report … arguing that the number of people in the U.S. accessing the Internet from PC will decrease in coming years. The 240 million consumers currently using desktop and laptop PCs to go online will shrink to 225 million by 2016, they contend. In 2015, the tipping point will be reached where more people will come to the Internet through a device than through a traditional PC (emphasis added).

Think about how you use media these days.  You’re probably watching TV with a second screen somewhere nearby, and more often these days that means a tablet.  More people are likely to leave home without their wallet or keys than without their phone.  The desktop computer and even the laptop is an afterthought – something with which we do work but don’t necessarily consumer media or interact with brands.

Here’s a nagging thought to keep in mind.  Click through rates on mobile ads are awful – even worse than the pitiful rates we see on banner ads.  If it weren’t for the “fat finger” effect (people hit ads accidentally), I suspect these rates would be even worse.  How are you going to overcome that?  Have you been experimenting with mobile search and learning what makes it different from web SEM?  Maybe now is a good time to do so.  Is your site optimized for mobile access?  Maybe we should chat?

Working backwards to the web isn’t really working backwards.  It’s a forward look into the future.  Thoughts?

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Odd places for a Microsoft Windows Crash

Image by romkey via Flickr

I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday.  The day sort of got away from me due to a death in the family.  Fortunately, it was an old PC and not a person.  Unfortunately, it was the one serving as the host for all the printing on my network.  No big deal, right?  Install the printer on another PC on the network and all is well.  Well, not so much.

The deceased machine ran an old version of Windows – the new one runs XP (which is now an old version of Windows…).  While all the Windows machines on the net can print without issue, the MacBook that’s my primary computer can’t.  Oh sure – it sees the printer, it spools to the printer, but something seems to get lost in the translation since the printer just pauses and stays there.  Which of course got me thinking about business. Continue reading

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