Megaregion Research


Megaregions are massive interconnected cities scattered throughout the United States, e.g. the Houston/Austin/Dallas Triangle, and the America 2050 initiative is putting them under the microscope (metaphorically speaking). Their about page says, “America 2050 is a national initiative to meet the infrastructure, economic development and environmental challenges of the nation as we prepare to add about 130 million additional Americans by the year 2050.”

If you’re doing business research- especially research concentrated around megaregions- then their site is a veritable goldmine of information.  America 2050 features free reports on topics ranging from energy & climate, high speed rail, broadband infrastructure, commuter patterns, etc.

Beyond the sheer concentration of data and analysis packed in America 2050's content, their maps are an excellent highlight.  The main maps page features many versions of the national-level megaregion concentrations, plus proposed passenger transit lines throughout the US.

Furthermore the incredibly detailed region-specific reports found in the Research tab have maps illustrating economic interrelationships among cities, e.g. wood products’ traffic concentrations within the Texas Triangle.

For those who want to keep abreast of the major economic, environmental, infrastructure and transportation trends that are shaping America’s most heavily populated and trafficked areas, this site is definitely one to bookmark.

QR Codes–Are people using them? Do I need one?

bizologie QR Code

QR codes (quick response codes) are everywhere these days--on products, on real estate listings, even on buildings. But how effective are they? Are people using them? It turns out, we dig QR codes. According to Mobio Identity Systems, QR scanning growth exceeded 1200% in the last half of 2010. Women make up the majority of scanners with 64% and while we mostly scan things to gain more information about a product or service, payment scans accounted for 5% of all scans. Starbucks uses QR codes for their mobile payment app. I'm patiently awaiting the day when I can pay everywhere with my phone. According to JumpScan, 57% of Facebook and Twitter users say they've scanned a QR code at least once and  iPhone users represent the bulk of scanners with 68%. MGH recently published a QR usage and interest survey. You can read the full survey here, but here's a breakdown of their usage statistics for QR codes:

So if you want to join the cool kids and make your own QR codes, check out Kaywa or JumpScan. And if you need a QR reader for your phone, there are several available. QR codes might even help your library run more smoothly. The Orange County Library System in Orlando is using them to offer discounts at the Friends' bookstore and to offer patron access to a map of the library. Pretty Cool.

Are you using QR codes for something cool? Let us know about it in the comments. Happy Scanning!

2010 Digital Year in Review

ComScore Digital Year

comScore released their White Paper The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review this week. It's available to download for free (you have to provide some basic information) and contains information on Social Networking Trends & Demographics, Top Search Terms, the Online Video Market and the Mobile Market, as well as a look ahead at 2011. Just a few of the interesting facts available:

  • Cyber Monday (Monday, November 29, 2010) surpassed $1 billion for the first time--$1.028 billion
  • 2010 was the year for group buying (though you probably didn't need an official report to you that) with Groupon jumping over 712% over 2009; LivingSocial is a close second jumping 438%
  • In 2010 9 out of 10 Internet users visited a social networking site each month with the average user spending about 4.5 hours a month on these sites
  • Facebook grew 38% and became the 4th most visited web property
  • The percentage of us who watch TV online continues to grow with Hulu leading the pack--up 17% over last year
  • About 27% of us own Smartphones

As you can see, White Papers can be a great source of information and lots of companies provide them freely available on their websites.