Earlier this week, I received an email from my sister-in-law asking me to take action in support of the Protect Our Children Act – a bill currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
Originally, she learned about the legislation on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah tends to be very selective with issues she endorses, but when she does support an issue or cause, she can generate a sizable grassroots response.
My sister-in-law not only sent the email to me, but also passed it along to about three dozen other friends and family members.
Not long after I received the email, I noticed in my Facebook news feed that my sister-in-law had also posted a note on her profile about the issue. She knew that when she posted the item that all her “Facebook friends” would read the note because it would appear in their news feeds.
My first thought was to re-read an article that appeared in the latest edition of PR Week “Majority still share content over e-mail.” The article references a recent study by Forrester research:
Overall, 69% of the more than 2,000 people surveyed relied on e-mail to share information; more specifically, 64% of adults do and 60% of youths do.
Tim Schigel, CEO of content-sharing network ShareThis, said the study confirmed what his team was seeing in focus groups: that for trusted information from accredited media, people prefer to copy and paste url’s into an e-mail rather than share via a social network.
Despite these survey results, I suspect this reality is rapidly changing. Why? My sister in law is relatively new to the world of social networking, having joined Facebook only three months ago. Last spring, she would have only sent an email to alert her friends to this important issue – the thought of sharing through an online community probably wouldn’t have even crossed her mind.
Will it be very long before she shares the news with others only through social networking sites like Facebook?