Being Where?

If you want to find Americans, look for the flicker of their television screens. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American watches 2.57 hours of television a day, making it the third most popular activity du jour after sleeping (8.57 hours per day) and working (3.69 hours daily). The last figure contains what the BLS calls “work-related activities,” presumably griping. The report, the America Time Use Summary, came out last September. Judging from the press release (which uses the word “new”), it appears to be the first such government-sponsored look at how we manage our time. Am I the only one who missed the study when it was released during last fall’s presidential election? I only recently learned of the study’s existence after noticing a blurb online that referenced the TV factoid. This morning I decided to track down the report. BLS published a chart from which I extracted the figures used above. It seems that we, like the character portrayed by Peter Sellers in Being There, have become a nation of people who like to watch. In order to maintain the proper ratio between watching and working, and generally preserve the statistical balance, I suppose I should blog a few words on the business item that had been my designated topic before I digressed — how to generate subscriptions, a topic discussed at length in Paid Content’s coverage of a conference devoted to that subject.

I rooted around the conference coverage without finding any lightning bolts. Among the items that caught my attention, Dorian Benkoil reported on a seminar that offered a few don’ts (don’t offer free trials without asking for a credit card, and don’t publish author’s pictures with offers, because it will hurtsales as often as it will help).

Online marketing maven Anne Holland (aka MarketingSherpa) provided a fact-filled summary of the conference which is worth reading. I also signed up for a couple of her free newsletters (and, as expected, got pitched to buy content which I didn’t today but may eventually — which is, of course, the whole point of offering freebies). Okay, so let’s take stock of today’s blog. I’ve watched (or talked about watching), worked (or at least pretended to). What does that leave? Griping, I suppose. But I remembered to take my meds this morning and feel soooo much better as a result. Besides, it’s Friday!

Tom Abate
Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media