Did you know that more than half of the world’s population is now online? Or that there are 70 million podcast listeners in the US? Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell explore these statistics and more as they list highlights from the 2019 Internet Trends report from analyst Mary Meeker. They examine the trends that sparked their interest and envision how current changes in usage could affect the future of the internet. In their second segment, they discuss the pros and cons of writing for web vs. print publications.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Exploring Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode #240 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we would like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: First, thanks to TextExpander for sponsoring our show. Communicate Smarter with TextExpander. Gather, Perfect, and Share Your Knowledge. Recall your best words instantly and repeatedly. Learn more at textexpander.com/podcast.
Tom Mighell: We would also like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted, prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high-volume serves, embrace technology, and understand the litigation process. Visit serve-now.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we discussed summer reading, how it is changing and some of the books we plan to read this summer. In this episode we go back to our roots. I mean after all this is a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus and we do indeed focus on the Internet, more specifically on the major annual report on the State of the Internet. The numbers from this report might surprise you.
Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be discussing the 2019 State of the Internet Report from Analyst Mary Meeker.
In our second segment we will talk about the differences between writing for the web and writing for print and Dennis’ new blog First Approach. And as usual we will finish up with our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, Mary Meeker’s 2019 State of the Internet Report and our highlights, the things that we took away from it. Every year since 1995, that makes this the 24th report, analyst, she is an expert on the Internet and Internet business and technology, analyst Mary Meeker has taken a comprehensive look at the State of the Internet in a report that is primarily designed for tech investors, but there is a lot here for us legal technology folks to unpack and we like to do that every year and see what’s new and what’s trending.
Dennis, what jumped out from this report for you?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, first thing for me was that there are 70 million people listening to podcasts in the United States.
Tom Mighell: Indeed.
Dennis Kennedy: And I think we need to bring this up Tom at contract negotiations time this year with Legal Talk Network. So we know you are listening at in cameras and we hope you didn’t fall off your mountain bike when we said that.
All right, Tom, I think maybe we will give a little — ask you to give a little background on the report and its importance and just the sheer number of slides in the report.
Tom Mighell: Well, I really don’t have much more to say about kind of where it started. Mary Meeker has been a venture capitalist and an analyst at a number of different firms. She was with Kleiner Perkins; she is now with a company called Bond. But since 1995 she has done a very in-depth analysis of Internet trends, like I said, primarily for investors.
So she is talking a lot about money, she is talking a lot about engagement with people on the Internet, and she typically presents this at the Code Conference, which is an annual technology conference that goes on every year. So it’s become a tradition, it’s become something she does all the time.
The other part of the tradition is the length of her report. This year, I believe the number of slides in the deck that I reviewed was 342, although I am seeing somewhere it was 333, it’s a lot of content. There is a lot to wade through. A lot of it is stuff that we are not terribly interested with on this podcast, but there is a whole lot there that is of interest.
Dennis, you want to kind of get started on maybe what interested you?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so two things that I want to say. Te first, I think this is a great place for those of us in legal tech with an interest in the Internet to kind of see the bigger picture. And I also think it’s a place where you can see some things that are happening elsewhere that will have implications for what we are doing and what we are thinking about. But I would say the main thing Tom that jumped out to me is what I call the more than half numbers.
So 51% of the people in the world, that’s 3.8 billion, now are on the Internet. 53%, more than half of Internet users are in the Asia-Pacific region, and digital payments are now 50% of transactions. So I think that it was an interesting year in that we kind of went over the halfway point in a number of significant areas and it just sort of shows you how over time there is that sort of steady growth of the Internet. And although I think in some ways we are getting to the harder part of the increase in Internet users.
So that was the big thing for me, I just thought that that more than half stats were really interesting.
Tom Mighell: Well, and I think what we want to do is maybe kind of go back and forth and give our top highlights that we found from the report. For me, the top highlight was the amount of Internet use. Like you said, more than 50% of the population is on the Internet. Internet use is up to a record amount. 6.3 hours a day people are on the Internet; that’s up from 5.9 hours a day last year. 10 years ago it was only 2.7 hours a day. So if you do the math and figure out what started about 10 years ago, the rise of the smartphone, that has a lot to do with the increase in Internet use.
Daily time on mobile devices is going to pass daily time on the television for the first time ever in the next year, which is an important thing to think about.
Some of the really depressing things to think about are 26% of adults are online almost constantly, that’s up 5% from three years ago, and for the 18-29 age demographic, that’s 39% of people online almost constantly. Really a depressing statistic to think about it.
But at the same time, Mary presents statistics that 63% are actively trying to reduce smartphone use and parents are taking a lot more action to regulate their kids. She mentions, like we did in our episode on digital mindfulness, that platforms are rolling out apps on how to make better use of your time.
And what’s really interesting about the statistic is, is that even though time online and on the Internet and on our mobile devices is increasing, time spent in social media is actually declining. So it’s an interesting evolution of what people are using their mobile devices for. I would have thought it would be social media, now it’s more like looking at videos and looking at content and things like that, really an interesting and a little bit depressing state of affairs in terms of Internet use.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I kind of wish she would have had some specific stats on the use of cat videos on the Internet and how much time and space is spent on that.
So my next one Tom is in sort of the legal world, there is still a wariness of the cloud and some people still wonder what the cloud is. But this year there is more data in the cloud these days than either on private enterprise servers or on consumer devices. So again, it’s sort of that growth of the cloud and the data on the cloud has really become significant to the point that it’s now above the two places you might — that have traditionally been higher and that you still might expect to be higher. And so I think those people in the legal world who are still wary or not sure about this cloud thing, these numbers are very meaningful.
Tom Mighell: Well, not only that, but what she talks about not necessarily in terms of some number, there is a couple of numbers I am going to mention here, but she talks a lot about how the use and data for commercial purposes is really driving a lot of efficiencies, a lot of improvements.
She makes the statement that winning businesses build and use data plumbing tools to improve customer experiences. It improves the business process, it improves products, it improves customer decision making. It eliminates inefficiencies.
And then one of the quotes that I found here was from the CEO of a company called Looker, which was that data is now fundamental to how people work and the most successful companies have intelligently integrated it into everyone’s daily workflow. That’s not terribly interesting, but the next statement, data is the new application is an interesting concept to think about.
Now, what Mary then goes on to talk about is that using data plus artificial intelligence can improve that customer experience. So 91% of people prefer brands that offer personalized recommendations. I know I do. I am one of those 91%. 83% are willing to passively share their information in exchange for a personalized experience, and 74% are willing to actively share information for personalized experiences.
So as we see data and artificial intelligence start to work together, things are going to become even more personalized than they are right now, which I think is an interesting and scary development.
I guess the only other thing that I would mention around data is just the totally mind-boggling amount of data that’s being collected. Right now this year there is probably only around 5 zettabytes, which I forgot to even do the math about how many petabytes that happens to be or whatever the next level is, but more than triple that is replicated all over the place, just take that 5 zettabytes and multiply it by three and that’s the number of copies you have and that’s going to increase by a factor of probably 40 in the next five years, the amount of data that’s not only kept on people, but also replicated all over the place and that’s a tremendous thing to think about and not a little bit scary.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, especially for those people in the eDiscovery world, those numbers are very significant.
The other big thing — another big thing is voice, and we have talked about that on the podcast a lot, but it struck me that there is 47 million Echo devices installed these days. And I know Tom, you are going to mention that there are of course other products that do the same thing, but 47 million people who are asking devices to provide them answers, play music, set timers, all sorts of things really shows the evolution of voice and how it is starting to become more and more integrated with our daily lives.
Tom Mighell: Well, and I think that — I will say that, just like you mentioned, there are others besides the Echo; I think the Echo is probably far and away the best seller, but I am imagining that when you think about the other devices that are voice activated or automated, you are probably looking at close to 70, 80, 90 million people or devices that are out there that are being used.
The statistic that I found interesting was that Amazon or the Alexa tool now has almost 90,000 skills that have been written for it. So a skill is a service that it can provide, that it’s going to read you about the weather or it’s going to help you add something to your to-do list or it’s going to help you go shopping at some website. 90,000 is a mind-boggling number to me, which seems both there is probably a lot of skills out there of varying quality and of questionable use, but the fact that there are that many people who are creating skills to make this tool more useful really shows that they think that there is some staying power with voice technology.
Dennis Kennedy: What’s sort of interesting is that we potentially are evolving to kind of like a new language or a new form of communication, that will be something to watch, and people looking for things to study in linguistics departments may be able to find something there as well that could be interesting.
So Tom, in the past we have talked about the dark web, which is an area that’s kind of unknown to me certainly, but there is an even bigger area that’s unknown to me and that’s online interactive games, and so this statistic was staggering to me. So 2.4 billion online interactive game players, so that’s up 6%. I think it’s one of those things where you need to step back and say, look, that’s all going on and that has an impact on why people aren’t watching TV and the time they spend on the Internet and their devices. So there is this gaming going on.
And at different times in the past you looked and said well, if I am marketing to certain groups, I need to go where they are and into their channels. So like I said, that online gaming world is not a world that I am in, but it could be, for people who are in it, I think there is some really interesting potential, there is certainly creation of digital assets and gaming property that has real world monetary value. So that I think is a trend that’s worth watching and maybe really starting to explore more.
Tom, I know you are sort of more into that online gaming world than I will ever be, so you might have a thought there as well.
Tom Mighell: Well, I am, but there is a difference in the fact that I go online to play specific games and what I think is the more interesting trend, which is not so much that people are gaming, but that so many people now are actually live streaming their games. So they get on — they decide they are going to play a game and they want people to watch it, and there are audiences of people who will just go online to watch someone play a game. If you go on YouTube and you look for the live channels and say I want to watch somebody playing live, you can do that right now on YouTube, just go try it.
There is a whole web tool that came up called Twitch, that is just about, among other things, it’s about gamers playing video live and online so you can watch them play. And I think this is where a lot of people are going. They are going online and they are in these video rooms. In fact, there have been, I am going to switch my topic real quick, there is a lot of kind of subversive or groups that are trying to lay low beneath the radar that are using tools like Twitch, that are using tools like Discord, where they can go online and meet and talk about the things they want to talk about without a lot of scrutiny. But I think we are going to start to see more scrutiny of these tools over the next couple of years.
One of the things that Mary’s report also talks about in that vein is about how social media can amplify bad behavior, how the Internet is starting to allow certain groups, conspiracy groups primarily, to become more homogeneous, their beliefs are getting stronger over time, it’s helping to polarize people into the groups they tend to identify with.
But I think the sort of amazing statistic that she did offer in this area is that the number of fact-checking organizations increased two times just in the past five years. It was somewhere around 40 or 50 and now it’s well over 100 fact-checking organizations, which again, I hate to say that this report is depressing, but the fact that we are having to have so many people check the facts of what’s going on really to me is disheartening and I am hoping we don’t see that for too much longer, although I suspect it’s something that’s really here to stay.
Dennis Kennedy: So Tom, let’s maybe kind of wind things up with two more from each of us. So the one I have is as it relates to images and so I’ve noticed that to get audience and engagement with social media tweets, or social media posts, tweets, blog posts that sort of thing, it’s really important to put a photo or some kind of picture in it. So, one of the stats, I dug out of here was that, at this point 50% of tweets now have images, which is really interesting because you start out, there’s this 140 character text thing, now you’re putting pictures in. Instagram is another way that people do photos but the idea that you just type this quick tweet now, it’s this more involved process you’re finding like a photo or the photos pulled in from the link that you use. So, it has actually made the Twitter a little bit more complicated to use, but it just shows how much that visual element and the requirement of images is coming into the way we communicate.
Tom Mighell: Well, it really shows that a picture is worth a thousand words because instead of just showing a headline of the fires in California, you can see a picture of the firefighters. Instead of talking about thefts on the rise in a town, you’ve got a picture of somebody’s doorbell taking a picture of somebody stealing an Amazon package from their doorstep. What was interesting to me in the report was how she described kind of the evolution of some of these image tools and how they’ve changed.
The Instagram evolved from just sharing pictures to data-driven discovery of images, to creating stories that would be stringing photos and videos together with a common theme to now using images for commercial purposes, and similarly Google Lens, if you remember we’ve talked about that on the podcast before, it started out by just visual text processing like scanning a barcode to image identification, saying, hey! That’s a dog. I recognize that that’s a dog to augmented reality placing healthful context in real-time images to what we see now you can point your phone at a sign in a different language and it will automatically translate that sign for you, and so just the things that images can convey and do for us now are changing at a very fast rate and I think that’s fascinating.
Dennis Kennedy: And my last one goes to the very important area of security and the stat is 87% of web traffic is now encrypted, which is a really good start toward making it a little bit safer out there.
Tom Mighell: Yup, and it needs to be safer because the other statistics you’re not mentioning are one, state-sponsored attacks are rising, large-scale provider attacks are rising, monetary extortion cases are rising. The good news is the time it takes to detect an attack is falling, so that’s good, but one statistic that did surprise me is that the number of sites and tools that support multi-factor authentication is actually holding steady at 52%. Last year it was 54%, so I don’t get that, I don’t get how 2% less are suddenly not offering multi-factor authentication but it seems awfully low that in a day that we’ve got lots of encryption that’s out there why we aren’t taking that extra step to do multi-factor authentication? When we get to my parting shot, I’ll talk about why that’s important but I’m really surprised that the number is that low.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I’m not surprised because the trade-off is convenience against security and convenience always wins. A multi-factor makes sense in a lot of cases, but it’s an extra step. So, I mean, maybe to wrap up from my point of view, Tom, I think that this really — I think this is a great way to step back and think about how the world is changing and how the Internet world is changing and then if you are in some of these worlds, especially in that online gaming world, I think that some of these stats will help point you to what we’re calling these is kind of micro-niche legal practice areas, and so that may be one thing you can take from this, another thing is you see things that you can learn about security, about the growing impact of voice and things like that. So I actually think that although, Tom, as you said this report is geared more toward the tech investment world. It’s really great information for all of us.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, totally agree. I really don’t have anything more to add to that so let’s move on to our next segment, but before that, let’s take a break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now, let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy And I am Dennis Kennedy. I’ve been complaining to Tom, well, just a little bit about how I’m thinking of never writing again for print publications. It just takes forever for your articles to peer among other things but probably more important that there are so many differences between writing for print and writing for the web and I’ve sort of as people who follow me on social media, now I’ve started to adopt a blog first approach to publishing my own work where I just go ahead and post my blog first and if somebody wants to use it, it’s great.
But I’m really pulling back on the print thing because of the delay from the time that you write it to what actually comes out. So, Tom — and maybe this should be the leading question for all of these segments, but am I onto something, or is this just another one of my crazy ideas?
Tom Mighell: Well, I think there are two issues here. The issue with print obviously and you stated it well is the incredible delay that it takes to get some articles in print. The column that I regularly write for the law practice division appears about five months after I write it and because that column is about technology, there’s no telling how much it will have changed in the meantime. So moving away from print definitely allows you to publish while the information is current and update over time if you need to. So it makes sense from that standpoint.
The second issue is that even if you publish things in online publications that can offer more currency, that can get you online faster, you are still not guaranteed that those online sources are going to keep your article online forever or even just break the links to your article by redesigning their website as I know you have seen several times and I think that, I think the blog first idea that you have is a good one. It’s not a crazy idea, primarily because it allows you to maintain control over your content both in terms of currency and permanency. You’ve got both of those issues covered.
The downside is that when you publish on other sources, your distribution tends to be a lot broader than just your own blog. So I think the challenge going forward will be how to work with online and print publishers so that you are allowed to publish on your blog and publish in these other locations to make sure that you get I think the most exposure that you can. I think it’s a good approach, but there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to it and to me one of them is that you get broader exposure by being in print or being on someone else’s publication. So I don’t know what you think about that but I think it’s a good idea worth exploring.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, and just to follow up on a couple of things. So one is that sometimes when we talk about print is that you sometimes are really concerned that there are all that many people reading what’s actually printed these days. So what you care about in a print publication is the fact that there is, your article comes out in an online version and then the thing I really hate is that my article comes out and it’s just saturated with ads and all these other things and then you’re saying as a writer I might not get paid, I certainly don’t get paid a lot and then when I go to see my own article I see all these ads surrounding it that I don’t get a piece of and I’m the one who actually is creating this great content that they are using.
So that’s a struggle I have and that’s why the blog first option is I just put it out there and if somebody wants to use it they can license it from me and use it and we’ll make an arrangement that makes sense in those cases.
So that’s the notion there, that’s my thinking. I’d love to get some of our listeners to comment on their own experiences because I know we have some listeners who do a lot of writing and have done that for a long time, and it just seems like the world is changing a bit and maybe we are at a point where like — so today is the NBA free agency day and it’s clear that the NBA players have a lot more power than they ever did and so maybe those of us who are our writers can claim just a little bit of power back from the publishers.
So now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So, my tip this week is not really about technology but it’s something that could be very useful for you. In the past week or two, I was the unfortunate victim of identity theft where someone was able to get enough information on me to open a bank account alongside my other bank accounts and use that new bank account to transfer a lot of money out of my savings account into this new account and then take it away.
We were able to lock everything down. I am looking forward to getting my money back. There’s still an investigation going on. None of this was done online, none of this was done through the online app. I’ve got lots of security on that, I have two-factor authentications. I have everything I think locked down there. This was all done over the telephone and what I’ve learned is that at least with the bank that I use, they have a feature that they call a forced password so that even if when you are on the phone with them, even if they are able to validate your phone number, in case someone can spoof your phone or in case someone learns all of your secret questions or somehow gets your Social Security Number and is able to talk about it, then the bank will still be forced to ask for your personal passcode which only you know. It’s a verbal passcode.
It’s something that only you would know and they’re going to ask that question on my bank account no matter what, no matter who calls going on forward and I think that it’s a reasonably good way to make sure that you stop somebody dead in their tracks because it’s the one thing that only you know and I can’t stress enough how important it is to go and look at what your bank is doing right now to protect your information and make sure that you take advantage of every security feature that they have right now. Dennis!
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, this is an added warning. There are a lot of people who still, especially on Facebook, sometime on Twitter but we’ll do these quizzes that essentially reveal the likely answers to their personal questions and it’s shocking every time that I see it but that’s still fairly common.
So I saw something on the How-To Geek blog, one of my favorite blogs for tips and it was talking about just using the themes in Excel. So, sometimes you’re doing an Excel spreadsheet and you’re going like, oh, I would like to have it where the lines are a certain way or one row is shaded, the next one isn’t, other things like that. I just like to have a look nicer and then you think, well, how am I going to do that and that sort of thing?
But the Excel and all the Office tools come with these themes that you can apply just to make things look nicer and to have the type of design that you would like and some of them are more subtle, some of them will do more things, but it’s kind of an easy way to do that and that reminded me that they also come with templates so sometimes when you’re starting something up, you go, I’d like to do like a budget report or something and there are templates and they are sort of pre-formatted and you can use those, and then the newest thing is this coming across certainly in PowerPoint, in Excel, and I don’t know why Microsoft does this, but they give them different names, but in PowerPoint it’s like a design tool that will suggest what your slides should look like and give you about eight to ten different choices. I basically use that all the time.
Tom Mighell: That’s really a cool feature I love for my slides because otherwise you’re going like, I don’t have to worry about centering things and all this stuff. I just go to that design thing and I pick the thing that was I get a consistent approach to all my slides. It will do similar things in Excel. I don’t know that there’s one yet in Word but I got to assume that it’s going to be here soon but really nice little tools just to make your life a little easier and your audience’s life even easier.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at tkmreport.com.
If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts with transcripts. If you’d like to get in touch with us, please reach out to us on LinkedIn, or remember we have a voicemail at (720) 441-6820. We would love get questions for our B segment. So that’s (720) 441-6820.
So, until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy, and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus.
If you liked what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcasts, and we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.
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