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Gawker Loses Its Unbelievable Traffic Machine

Neetzan Zimmerman is leaving Gawker Media to work at social media startup Whisper.

Zimmerman has what we in the blogging game call the “pageview gene.”*

He generates an insane amount of traffic. How insane, you ask? Well, for Gawker.com he was 99% of the site’s uniques.

For Gawker Media at large, he was equally impressive. Using Gawker’s publicly posted traffic for its writers, we put together the following comparison of Gawker, Gizmodo, and Lifehacker.

In October, Zimmerman alone had more unique visits than Gizmodo or Lifehacker.

His departure will leave a big hole in Gawker Media, but the company has 106 million monthly visits, so it will survive just fine.

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Facebook Grows Stronger In The U.S.

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Facebook Grows Stronger In The U.S.

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Facebook may have some product issues to deal with, but for right now, it is stronger than ever. The latest data from Pew (.PDF) shows that Facebook is used by 71% of U.S. adults, which is up from 67% a year ago.

This growth is impressive when you consider that it was already hugely popular, and that there are a lot of other social networks out there. In fact, the only social network that gained a bigger percentage of new users was Pinterest and it just barely outpaced Facebook.

chart of the day facebook

Facebook may have some product issues to deal with, but for right now, it is stronger than ever. The latest data from Pew (.PDF) shows that Facebook is used by 71% of U.S. adults, which is up from 67% a year ago.

This growth is impressive when you consider that it was already hugely popular, and that there are a lot of other social networks out there. In fact, the only social network that gained a bigger percentage of new users was Pinterest and it just barely outpaced Facebook.

Is Google Correct in Giving Away its Operating System, Android, for free to Hardware makers.

Aside

Both Apple and Google make popular mobile operating systems.

Apple packages its operating system, iOS, with hardware, the iPhone, and sells the whole thing for ~$600. This business has created huge profits for Apple, and now the company has a $500 billion market cap.

You would think that Google would see this success and copy it.

But it does not.

Google gives away its operating system, Android, for free to hardware makers.

Why does Google do this?

One reason: The company believes giving Android away for free increases the size of the world’s Web-connected population. The company believes that increasing the Web-connected population will inevitably lead to more Google searches — which Google can monetize with search ads.

Is Google’s theory correct?

There is some new evidence to suggest the answer is yes.

Horace Dediu of Asymco has a chart that proves there is at least a correlation between the size of the world’s Internet population and Google revenues.

chart of the day google revenue

Chart of the day google revenue

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Investments Charts and Implications from 2013 – “”Steady As She Goes””

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Disclosure: I am long SPYVTIXLFXLEIWMEEMFXIQQQVTVTI(More…)

Growth Highest In Three Years

The Internet has given consumers access to information and alternate distribution channels. A more informed consumer translates to stiff competition and lower margins for retailers. Taking a more optimistic view, consumers did buy more “stuff” this year. FromReuters:

Sales during the 2013 U.S. holiday season grew from a year earlier as deep discounting and increased promotions encouraged consumers to buy more. Holiday sales between November 1 and December 24 rose 2.3 percent, compared with 0.7 percent a year earlier, according to data published in the MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report. This sales growth was the highest in three years. “It was actually a Merry Christmas for retailers,” Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at MasterCard Advisors, told Reuters, adding that jewelry was the best-performing category.

Underappreciated In October – Still Underappreciated For 2014

On October 21, with the S&P 500 trading at 1743, we presented the chart below as support for the “stocks could surprise on the upside” case. Since October 21, the S&P has surprised on the upside by posting a 100 point gain.

Over the last six months, many have stated “stocks are in a bubble.” In the chart above, the stock market went nowhere between point A in 1999 and point B in 2013. In isolation, if you were told the stock market made no progress over a 13-year period that does not sound like a bubble. In fact, it sounds like a period of massive underperformance. The green arrow above shows the recent breakout from a 13-year consolidation period in the S&P 500. The two video segments below take the bubble vs. breakout debate a little further. After viewing the clips, you can decide for yourself.

  1. This video clip covers the stock market’s performance over the past six and thirteen years, placing it in historical context.
  2. This clip covers the concepts of consolidation (indecision), fractals, and breakouts, which tell us to keep bullish scenarios on our 2014 probability radar.

Skeptical Investors Returning Slowly

As we outlined in detail on November 12, an examination of hard trading data does not support the “everyone that wants to be in stocks is already in stocks” theory. From a December 26 Wall Street Journal article:

Despite growing signs that the economy is gaining steam and the relentless climb of stocks even after the Federal Reserve said last week it will shrink its monthly bond purchases, many investors still feel tepid about the overall stock market. Some analysts and money managers bet that further gains are ahead for the Dow and S&P 500 if individual investors continue returning to stocks, even slowly. With interest rates low, the economy expanding and the prices of many bonds and commodities having tumbled after a long rally, the case for stocks is stronger than for most alternatives, these bulls say.

Defensive Staples Lagging

This week’s stock market outlook video highlighted weak demand for conservative consumer staples (XLP) relative to the broader S&P 500 Index (SPY). The evidence did not change between Sunday and Thursday’s market close. As shown below, the weekly chart of XLP vs. SPY is making a new low this week, which aligns with a favorable profile for stock investors. If fully-invested-all-the-time institutions were concerned about the sustainability of the current rally in stocks, we would expect a strong bid behind defensive staples.

Investment Implications – Steady As She Goes

The observable evidence continues to call for a heavy allocation to growth-oriented stocks. Therefore, we continue to maintain exposure to U.S. equities (VTI), technology (QQQ), financials (XLF), energy (XLE), small caps (IWM), emerging markets (EEM), China (FXI) and global stocks (VT). If investors learned one thing in 2013, it was that calling a stock market top is nearly impossible. If we pay attention to the market’s pricing mechanism, the market will tell us when changes are in order.

What do we mean by observable evidence? The XLP vs. SPY ratio is one example. Another is the demand for conservative Treasuries (TLT) relative to growth-oriented stocks (see chart below). When the aggregate opinion shifts to “we are concerned about the economy and earnings,” typically the demand for consumer staples and Treasuries will begin to exceed the demand for the broader S&P 500 Index. For now, the evidence is indicative of economic confidence rather than economic fear.

CHART OF THE DAY: The Number Of Smartphones In Use Is About To Pass The Number Of PCs

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Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone

Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone (Photo credit: Josh Bancroft)

English: The "Boro Eye", photo 4 of ...

English: The “Boro Eye”, photo 4 of 4. Taken at dusk on an Apple iPhone 3GS. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The back of the iPhone 3G (left) and iPhone 3G...

The back of the iPhone 3G (left) and iPhone 3G S. the latter has shiny text. Both iPhones shown are white 16 GB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The back of the iPhone 3GS.

The back of the iPhone 3GS. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IBM Portable Personal Computer :: Retrocomputi...

IBM Portable Personal Computer :: Retrocomputing on the green (Photo credit: br1dotcom)

IBM Portable Personal Computer :: Retrocomputi...

IBM Portable Personal Computer :: Retrocomputing on the green (Photo credit: br1dotcom)

Image representing Henry Blodget as depicted i...

Image by None via CrunchBase

CHART OF THE DAY: The Number Of Smartphones In Use Is About To Pass The Number Of PCs

DEC. 11, 2013, 4:47 PM 301

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The technology analyst Benedict Evans recently tweeted the chart below, which is based on data from Enders Analysis.

Evans notes that the estimated number of smartphones in use is about to pass the number of PCs in use — probably in the first half of 2014.

The number of smartphones sold per year blew past PCs sold per year a couple of years ago. But the installed base of PCs is more than 1.5 billion, and they generally last a lot longer than smartphones. Tablets, meanwhile, which will probably start outselling PCs next year, are still a distant third in terms of installed base.

In a follow-up tweet, Evans notes that the PC installed base is estimated using 5-year trailing PC sales, while the smartphone and tablet installed base uses 2-year trailing sales.

Based on a still-functioning home-office PC from 2005 that I still use occasionally, as well as an only recently deceased iPhone 3GS, both usage lives may be conservative.

Here’s Evans’ tweet.

 

chart of the day smartphones pcs

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SEE ALSO: The Future Of Digital [SLIDE DECK]

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