“Alongside the explosive growth of online video over the last six years, time spent on social networks surpassed that for e-mail for the first time in February, signaling a paradigm shift in consumer engagement with the Internet.

According to a report released in April by Nielsen, Internet use for “short-tail” sites with large audience reach has evolved since 2003. The change is from portal-oriented sites, like shopping directories and Internet tools like Microsoft Passport, to social networks, YouTube and providers of niche content.

In November 2007, the video audience also exceeded the e-mail audience for the first time, and sites with long-form videos (averaging six to eight minutes) are showing much more growth and user time spent online than those with shorter videos.

Although Charles Buchwalter, senior vice president for research and analytics for Nielsen, said marketers had yet to master advertising on social media, he predicted that “over the next 12 months a model will emerge” that takes into account “the influence factor” of users who wield disproportionate power.”

From the New York Times.

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20 replies
  1. Ian - Make It In Music says:

    Isn’t this exactly what you’ve been saying all along – that artists will control their own exposure to potential fans through intellignet use of Social Networking?

    Not random friend adding, but a two-way, user created experience for fans.

    Great news if you ask me!

  2. swampyankee says:

    Is the “influence factor” of users who wield “disproportionate power” a fancy way of saying that the majority of internet users are NOT adults? I wish it was generally recognized that any statistics about “consumer engagement” with the internet takes into account that huge “age” factor. It’s definitely a youth market.

  3. Judith Leary-Joyce says:

    I understand from Robin Millar – see note below – that you believe your on line course is not suitable for disabled people. i am amazed that you would think this way – if this is the future of music, then something really significant will be missing.

    From Robin Millar:
    I’m pretty well-balanced about having a disability nowadays. You have to
    either wallow or swallow and I chose to swallow it and move on.

    However every once in a while something happens which brings all the hurt,
    all the sense of injustice and all the insincerity towards the disabled
    right back in front of my nose.

    This week the famous Berklee School of Music in Boston proudly launches its
    new online scholarship programme in the UK. Patrons including Sir George
    Martin are prominently featured.

    A few months ago I was approached by Berklee to become one of the 5 UK
    Patrons for scholarships for these new courses. I was quite touched and
    positively disposed to the idea. After sleeping on it, I got back to their
    UK rep Steve Mayall and said I would be happy to act as patron and that I
    would like my scholarship to offer a particular opportunity to a disabled or
    blind candidate.

    Steve said he would get back to me. A week later I got a three line email
    from Steve saying that the Berklee website was not suitable for blind and
    disabled students so the answer was ‘no’. I was pretty cross at this and I
    telephoned Berklee in Boston and asked to speak to the Director, a Mr Brown
    who, according to their website, is one of the world’s most philanthropic
    and egalitarian humans. The polite girl in his office took all the details
    of my dissatisfaction and all my contacts and said I would be contacted.

    I never heard another word..and the offer to me to act as a patron
    evaporated.

    So don’t believe everything people tell you about how great they are.

    Robin Millar

  4. George Shilling says:

    I too was astonished by the attitudes revealed by the communication – and subsequent lack thereof – with Robin Millar. It is truly astonishing that such discrimination still takes place; this is surely a scandal of the highest order! It is certainly not beyond the bounds of technology to make the course suitable for the blind and disabled; if it is not currently suitable, I sincerely hope that someone is beavering away to make it so. What’s the official word on this?

  5. Nigel ford says:

    I am amazed at how Robin Millar was not accepted as Patron, there could not be a more perfect match. The growing use of the internet will enable every one,particularly the disabled to work from a level platform. This is madness and agree with George, I hope someone is beavering away to make it so.

  6. Marc Jaffrey says:

    Like many of the posts I am shocked and saddened that Robin Millar has been treated in such a high-handed and careless way. For me this suggests a massive failure of ethics by Berklee College of Music and an inability to understand and live a great truth- namely that everyone’s music matters. In the case of Robin this is self evident – a hugely respected and loved figure in the music industry not least because this respect has been earned through his accomplishments in music, through the wisdom this has brought him and desire to give back to tomorrow’s talent. My fear is that if Robin Millar can be treated like this, how have young students been experiencing such apparent discrimination? Get your act together Berklee. Don’t be defensive, whatever you perceive the right’s and wrongs of this to be, start by listening and really hearing Robin’s righteous anger and understandable hurt – and then do the right thing – apologize and change your ways.

    Marc Jaffrey
    Ex UK Music Champion

  7. Richard Evans says:

    Robin Millar is an example to us all, not just because of his success in the music industry, or his ability to come to terms with a serious disability (my wife met him with me 20 odd years ago when we spent some time together, and she had no idea from that encounter that he was blind so easliy and well did he conduct himsef)but Robin is a true gentleman, seemingly with time and encouragement for all. He has been treated shabily by this organisation, but I guess this is what we have come to expect.
    Also if I were still in the music industry I would be praying that the growing market is 35+ because no one under the age of 30 pays for music anymore and no one under the age of 20 knows that they are supposed to

  8. Dominique Brethes says:

    Discrimination on the basis of blindness?

    Amadou and Mariam, Andrea Bocelli, Art Tatum, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Dunn, Doc Watson, Jeff Healey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and countless other artists including Robin Millar have made a huge contribution to the world of music, and I find it shocking that in these days of modern technology, this could be used as an excuse to exclude certain disabled people from bringing their wealth of experience to your new courses.

    Shame on you, Mr Brown!

  9. Chris Tsangarides says:

    Discrimination of any kind at best is disgusting, so to see it from this establishment fills me with dread!

    There are so many better and sensitive ways to communicate with people. I hope the powers that be at Berklee learn from this episode and that they can join with the majority of the human race to stop this type of negativity continuing.

    It really is Berklee’s loss in not accepting Robin as a Patron.

  10. Clare Kenny says:

    I was shocked and saddened when I heard details of the encounter Robin Millar recently had with Berklee College of Music. Berklee has been exposed at its worst. Quite apart from the arrogance and rudeness on display, the dismissive treatment of Robin Millar speaks volumes about the college’s attitude regarding the potential of students with disability. Have those representing Berklee forgotten the incredible talent that has emerged in the field of music despite personal disability? Thank you Dominique Brethes for the reminder.
    Those who have had the privilege of working with Robin over the years know that Berklee’s representatives have treated an inspiring, talented and much respected champion of music with complete disregard. Robin Millar’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Can you please explain Berklee’s position regarding the equal opportunity for all, Mr Brown?

  11. Kevin Patmore says:

    Sitting in your lofty towers you have no idea how much a blow your decision to withdraw your offer to Robin Millar to be a patron for Berklee college of music will mean to thousands of disabled people and their carers.Down here at ground zero legistlation has been passed to stop discrimination against the disabled but Berklee must have missed it. Who else don’t you want upsetting your perfect world? Perhaps you might publish a list of the unwelcome. I feel I must point out to you one bare fact, YOU CAN CURE YOUR BLINDNESS TO DISABILITY ROBIN AND MILLIONS LIKE HIM CANNOT! Kevin Patmore

  12. dkusek says:

    From Berklee College of Music

    Thank you all for your comments. Please do not jump to conclusions.

    This is an unfortunate miscommunication. We do not discriminate. Please don’t flame us without knowing what is really going on.

    I have reached out to Robin and we are discussing the situation directly. He is more than welcome to join us as a patron and friend of Berklee College of Music and I do hope that we can work together. We apologize to Mr. Millar for any misunderstanding and would be honored with his participation and involvement.

    We have many people with various disabilities studying with us both online and on-campus. It is a major challenge to offer online music instruction that is universally accessible and quite frankly, many of our interactive flash presentations are not 100% accessible. This is an area in which we and others have much more work to do. Nonetheless, we are trying and we welcome all assistance and advice in helping to make the online learning experience better for everyone.

    Berklee would love to have Robin Millar’s participation in our online scholarship program, if he would still have us. We have the highest regard for his work and we look forward to collaborating to make things better for all of us.

    Our apologies for any distress that may have been caused.

    Dave Kusek
    VP Berklee College of Music

  13. Ann Torday Gulden says:

    Robin is a distinguished, multi- talented musical philanthropist who has made a gracious gesture which has been summarily disregarded here. This attitude has no place anywhere, and certainly not in the field of higher education or any field of education in fact, where values such as ethics and inclusivity must be centrally important, at least as much as the transference of academic competence. Indeed, all these things are inextricable in education and should be valued as such. I suggest that Robin be invited to Berklee as patron and guest and given a series of workshops or a seminar series with students ( and staff!) at all levels. This would be massively beneficial to your institution, which evidently needs educating! Music, of all disciplines, must be taught and practiced for all.

  14. dkusek says:

    From Berklee College of Music

    We have students studying online using screen readers and software to enlarge the display. We also have had students study online with movement disorders who use special equipment for typing and navigation. We have wheelchair bound students and those with hearing problems all studying online.

    We had one autistic student who took 4 courses with us including Voice 101, even though he could not speak. The course has helped him with sound and pitch recognition. He has a tutor who helps him with the courses and she reports tremendous progress as a result of his taking the online classes.

    We have another blind student who has completed a Music Business Certificate with us, taking 9 online courses. He uses screen reading software and worked with a local tutor. We helped his tutor install and make sure the software was operating before he started the courses.

    We employ a lot of flash interactions and unfortunately flash is not 100% accessible. We often recommend that people with visual disabilities work with a local tutor or employ some technology to help them with some of these flash interactions. We are constantly making our system more accessible, especially as we develop new courses and new sections of the online school. Still, it is not perfect and there is more work to do.

    Berklee does not have a policy of excluding disabled students. We are in communication with Robin Millar and expect to make a joint statement in the near future.

    Dave Kusek
    VP Berklee College of Music

  15. Ned Bigham says:

    I am pleased to hear that Berklee is now in discussion with Robin Millar about the scholarship. I hope that they will honour his request to offer it to a disabled or blind candidate. I understand there may be implementation difficulties with flash technology, but this could also be a great opportunity for Berklee to establish itself at the forefront of online music platform development for the blind and disabled. And that would be something to be proud of!

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