Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 23, 201210:56 PM

Where The Boys (And Girls) Are

In schizophrenic times, there's a good chance you'll see some schizophrenic thinking.

It takes a couple of years as a Blogger to come to the realization that you will, eventually, write a Blog post that completely contradicts what you may have blogged about earlier on in your process. Some might see that as a complete corruption of being credible, I would argue that a lot of what happens in Blogging becomes a learning experience. Some Bloggers learn and change their perspective from how the comments unfold, while others learn from gaining more practical work experience, reflecting on an issue and then doing more critical thinking on a subject. Does this remove credibility from the Blogger? Hardly. There's a reason that I'm Blogging about this theme tonight, because what I'm about to Blog about may run in complete opposition to a Blog post I published... yesterday (see: Fear And Loathing In Advertising). Yes, some thoughts and perspectives change overnight.

Mobile is small.

Yes... you are reading that right. And yes, that makes me sad to write, but it may be true. What we (and, when I write "we," I mean "me") want to have happen in this new media world and how we would like consumers to be interacting with all things digital may take some time. According to Business Insider and their chart of the day today, Microsoft's Windows Compared To iOS And Android, the number one operating system (by a massive landslide) is still Microsoft Windows... desktop edition.

What do these numbers look like (as of December 2011)?

  • Windows (desktop): 77.89%
  • Mac (desktop): 13.15%
  • ios: 4.91%
  • Android: 2.65%
  • Other: 1.32%

We're not all that untethered... yet.

The Business Insider Chart of the Day goes on to say: "While Windows remains dominant, it's becoming less important. Over the last six months, it lost a few percentage points to iOS... Stepping back further, six years ago it controlled 90% of the market. And there doesn't seem to be any reason to believe Windows is going to reverse the trend anytime soon."

What we know vs. what we believe.

I call this moment in time "media purgatory" - we're not quite in heaven and it's definitely not hell. The numbers are trending in the right direction, but we have to able to recognize that the new conversation and discourse should not really be about PC versus Mac. The real shift that we're going to see is from desktop versus mobile. What we know (and what I believe) is that this shift will not be slow and linear. It's going to be a fast and exponential shift (and yes, I realize that this statement flies in the face of some of the biggest research companies out there). What we learned from yesterday's Blog post is that consumers are spending much more time with their mobile than other media channels. What we didn't learn yesterday (that we're learning right now by seeing this Business Insider chart) is that desktop (both PC and Mac) make up over ninety percent when it comes to share of platforms driving traffic to websites in the U.S. Sure, these numbers may not be one hundred percent accurate (and the article even says so), but that cumulative number still tells a story.

Some raw facts.

This moment of purgatory is the exact reason why Marketers struggle. This is why they're putting more dollars into television advertising even though consumers are spending less time there. This is also why they're not putting a lot of dollars into mobile, even though consumers are spending more time there. It's this moment of purgatory... this moment of uncertainty. That all being said, the trend is not towards the desktop PC... much in the same way that the trend in media consumption is with mobile (more than other, traditional, media channels). So, Marketers are going to have to place some bets. The good news is that these bets have some data and trends that come along with them (a couple of aces up the old sleeve, to go along with that gambling analogy). Ultimately, this Blog post may not be contradicting anything I Blogged about yesterday. What we actually see beyond a "snapshot in time" of data is, still, a massive and untapped opportunity.

Who's up for some big bets?

By Mitch Joel