Research by Intel revealed earlier this year what happens in one minute on the internet.  The semiconductor chip maker confirmed that the number of networked devices was equal to the population of the world.  And that by 2015 the number of devices, smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks, would be double the global population.  In business and leisure, we have become ever more reliant on technology in order to communicate and do business.

Have a look at this infographic to find out more about what happens during and digital minute and how many Facebook Pages are viewed.

UK mobile network O2 was today battling to restore services to it’s customers nationwide after a massive outage.  The issues began yesterday lunchtime with many users reporting that they were unable to make calls or use data services on their smartphones.  Subscribers to Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff services were also affected, which use the O2 network, were also affected, although O2 said that the issues were not geographical.

Consumers took to social networks like Facebook and Twitter to let friends, family and colleagues that their phones were not working.

An analysis of shares on Twitter using Topsy.com reveals insight into what people were sharing during the outage.

  • 11 July – at 12.25 people mentioned O2 182 times, with the most popular shared link being of the site’s  Accessories Page
  • 11 July – at 13.25 people mentioned O2 144 times, with the most popular shared link being of O2’s Support Page
  • 11 July – at 14.32 people mentioned O2 480 times, with the most popular shared link being a Tweet to share if ”RT this if you have a problem with your phones reception (O2/3)
  • 11 July – at 18.35 people mentioned O2 7,185 times, with the most popular link to share being the story O2 outage story on the BBC news site.
  • 11 July – at 21.35 people mentioned O2 19,962 times with the most popular link being to Sky News story ‘O2 Customers Suffer Lengthy Network Outage
Mentions of o2 during July 2012 network outage (© Topsy.com)

Even at 03.25 there were over 300 tweets mentioning O2 with the top story being share being a link to the network’s service status page.

During the outage O2’s own status support page went down with so many people trying to find out what was going on.  Interestingly enough, technology sites such as Twitter use Blogger, while others host their support sites on Tumblr in order to keep in touch with customers if their own sites go down.  Why haven’t O2 considered this?

In all over 57,000 Tweets were sent mentioning O2 during the last 24 hours, many with negative sentiment.  Customers even took to using irony and sarcasm to discuss the mobile operator, with a popular Tweets like the one below:

Social media keeps us connected on the go and during a crisis, it is speed and reaction time that saves your reputation.  It’s communicating with influencers in these channels who, if convinced, can re-share your story to the audiences.  Below is a list of the most popular links, many from news sites, that were shared during the network outage.

Popular news links shared during O2 network outage (© Topsy.com)

Your communications have to ready.  Prepared for real-time engagement and communications.  There is no excuse, unless you like to be slow and enjoy watching your brand suffer, which I am sure your board and shareholders don’t.

Data and analytics is shaping the media landscape.  That is the message that came from the speakers at the first day of this year’s FT Digital Media Conference in London.

While Jimmy Wales opened the two-day media gathering with insight on the power of the community, it was the FT’s CEO John Ridding and AOL Huffington Post Media Group VP Noel Penzer who pushed the importance of data in knowing your audience.

John Ridding said, ‘I didn’t think that when I went into journalism 20 years ago I’d get excited about data and analytics.’  And data is becoming as central to the media landscape as making the content seamlessly available across platform.  Ridding himself added that HTML5 is a big deal for publishing as making content available across multiple platforms is very expensive, something that HTML5 resolves.  This move to HTML5 highlights the growth of users receiving content while on mobile devices – phones and tablets.  And it is this that gives the kind of real-time data that enables us to better understand the audience.

Many of the platforms that are becoming essential to those in media are funded by venture capital and it took Index Ventures Partner Neil Rimer to say that Facebook might not have yet exploited it’s full potential, before adding that it could become more valuable than Google.

Balderton Capital’s Dharmash Mistry provided the strategic and focused insight by stating that Facebook’s strength is as ‘a powerful distribution network.’  Mistry gave the example of Spotify, who grew in the US by making the decision to embedded itself into Facebook’s open graph.

The audience has gathered in one place and it’s just a matter of time that this benefit is fully utilised by those in media and communications.  I am not talking in a marketing sense either.  I’ve been making this point for the past 12 months, about how a connected community can bring together an audience.  This, together with using micro payments on Facebook, such as it’s credits offering could see revenues for publishers as for gaming companies like Zynga.  Dharmash Mistry himself said that the future for Facebook is with micro-payments.

Data is no longer dull, but a currency that can help not just business understand their audience, but help the audience find the content that is of interest to them.

Telefonica owned UK mobile operator O2 was this morning caught in a storm when a user discovered that his phone number was being sent to websites he visited when roaming through O2’s network.

System Administrator Lewis Peckover discovered the data and privacy breach when building a site and wanting to know the information that was being sent and possibly collected while browsing on a mobile network.

After alerting O2 yesterday 24 January at 15.12 through Twitter it took the mobile operator nearly four hours to ask @lewispeckover for a screenshot.  This request followed a previous tweet where the company tried to reassure him by stating that ‘the mobile number in the HTML is linked to how the site determines that your browsing from a mobile device‘.

This issue went public this morning when people bombarded O2 for answers, forcing the company to issue it’s first statement at 08.49 by stating ‘we are investigating this at the moment and will update everyone as soon as possible.’

This breach in privacy creates a massive concern not just for consumers but businesses that use O2 for data roaming as sending users numbers might enable bots to harvest these for spam.

Twitter users have already been calling for O2 to be reported to both Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC).

To check if you are affected switch to 3G and use the following script developed by Lewis Peckover to see if your own UK or International overseas cellular network sends your number.

This story is developing.

Wednesday, 25 January – 15.40: O2 has tweeted at 15.32 a statement saying, ‘We’re sorry about the concern re mobile numbers and web browsing, which is now fixed. Here’s what happened + Q&A.‘  They included a link to a Q&A in their blog: http://tfs.me/wdekaS