COVID-19’s Impact on Global Networks

COVID-19’s Impact on Global Networks

An update on the internet congestion’s details during COVID-19

Allconnect recently compiled data to provide key information on the best and worst times to be online. Of interest, specifically:

  • Days of the week with the fastest upload & download speeds
  • How to best avoid high latency periods
  • Average speed by according to the time of day

You can view the full report here:

An awesome, comprehensive, and detailed look at how COVID-19 has impacted global networks.

Lots to think about and how we might prepare for future catastrophes.

TL;DR

To understand how the internet is performing with the changes in internet use brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we investigated two key metrics during February and March in some of the countries and states that were hit hardest by the virus: changes in the traffic volume served to those regions as a reflection of changes in internet use, and changes in download speed measured at our servers as a reflection of internet quality. In almost all regions, the largest increases in traffic volume occurred immediately after public policy announcements, such as school closures or stay-at-home orders. Similarly, the most dramatic decreases in download speed followed the official starts of those policies — presumably when populations made the shift to staying home.

(source)

For a much more detailed analysis of how Corona-19 has effected global internet usage, look here. It’s fascinating.

How Much Are You Worth?

How Much Are You Worth?

You are being hired because you know something that your client doesn’t. Your client needs your services and is hiring you specifically because you know what you are doing. That time, that effort, that expertise that has attracted you to them has a value of some sort. Now, I wouldn’t expect you to charge $50,000 just for your time to overhaul a WordPress website. Hell, if you did, I certainly wouldn’t hire you. So whilst you may feel you are worth $50,000, you will also have to factor in the going rate.

Read Nathan Hawkesanswer to How much should a WordPress developer charge for a complete overhaul? on Quora

Quarantine & Ecommerce

Quarantine & Ecommerce

Quarantine does have its advantages.

Dressing up means wearing pants. You now have a rock-solid excuse to not speak to your shitty neighbor. Groceries are delivered and you never even have to face the delivery person (who is definitely shaming you in their head for the case of Pop-Tarts). The Vodka & Valium Flavor. Your dog is asking “don’t you work?”

If you live in my grand city of Los Angeles, we’re at the beginning of a torturous plague that is infecting thousands per day. You can’t get a drink anywhere and “fine dining” means not-the-paper plates. Economically, we’re facing the prospect of not having one.

I’m watching closely how this is impacting us, and particularly how we behave as consumers. If I were to fully comply with California’s guidelines, I would have no toilet paper, food, water and my dog would have definitely left me for greener pastures. It seems, that the entire country is “just making it through.” And I totes get it.

 

RELATED: U.S. Ecommerce Up 92.7%

The Change is Permanent

This isn’t happening automatically. There has been a fundamental shift in e-commerce and the signs are just beginning to show. McKinsey & Company has a fairly good read with “The great consumer shift: Ten charts that show how US shopping behavior is changing

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is this:

Black Friday shopping in stores craters 52% during the pandemic as e-commerce sales surge.

  • Traffic at stores on Black Friday fell by 52.1% compared with last year, according to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions.
  • “Shoppers are spreading out their shopping throughout the holiday season because of concerns about social distancing and the pandemic,” said Brian Field.
  • Online spending on Black Friday surged 21.6% to hit a new record, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

CNBC, again

It is a perfect confluence. Isolation + Fear = Online Shopping. And boy, did it take off. With roughly nine months of experiencing the cataclysm that is COVID-19, The data is astounding:

  • Holiday shoppers spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday, up 15.1% from a year ago, setting a record for the largest U.S. online shopping day ever, according to Adobe.
  • That came in short of Adobe’s original forecast of $12.7 billion in spending.
  • Adobe cut its online sales forecast for the entire holiday season to $184 billion, which is a 30% increase from last year.
  • Shoppers started their gift-buying earlier than ever, as retailers promoted deals in October.

CNBC

Stats vs. Design

Stats vs. Design

I’m not really into “top 10” lists of anything, really. But this one quote caught my eye:

“I think we’re in an age of user feedback that drives well-optimised but increasingly generic executions,” argues Simon Gater, creative director and co-owner at Mad River. “The quality feedback we get from users makes it much easier to get a solid understanding of whether your work is ‘fit for purpose’ quickly, and ensures we achieve client goals at a statistical level. But as more and more people get similar feedback, we’re at risk of being filtered down the same design trend or path of execution. Because of this, we now need to work harder for that point of differentiation while maintaining the optimum user experience.”

Source: creativebloq.com

I think market research and “feedback” are essential tools that make sure that you’re not making an obvious mistake in understanding your markets. But when stats start dictating which font to use, I begin to have a problem. 

Statistical analysis has, I think, grown out of all proportion and is anathema to creativity. This reliance on numbers can produce some very boring endeavours. Why? Because context is lost when you start staring down the rabbit hole that is Google Analytics. This is glaringly apparent when people start relying on social media to either influence or straight-up decide for them what strategy to take. The users of Twitter who take the time to write a scathing review of your product really is not representative of your consumer base at all. Just look at the demographics that social media companies provide: 

Source: SproutSocial

Mob Rule

It’s important to remember that these are percentages of percentages which are created by the social media companies themselves. And -if we continue to rely on statistics, every page would either look like a fascistic Apple white space or a chaotic, laissez-faire Amazon. Statistics don’t take into account creativity, failure, accidental, surprise brilliance or the power of a deadline. It also obviates experimentation for no reason other than to do it.