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As the economy slows, will advertising take a hit?
Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur known for his role in the creation of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia launched in 2001. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, holding the board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a privately owned, free Web-hosting service, along with Angela Beesley.
Together with Larry Sanger and others, Wales helped lay the foundation for Wikipedia, which subsequently enjoyed rapid growth and popularity. As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Wales took on the role of the project's spokesman and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances. Wales has been historically cited as the co-founder of Wikipedia but he disputes the "co-" designation, asserting that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia. Wales' work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world's most influential people.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Wales attended a small private school, then a university preparation school, eventually attaining a bachelor's degree and master's degree in finance. During his graduate studies he taught at two universities.
Question: As the economy slows, will advertising take a hit?
Jimmy Wales: I think, you know, during a downturn, you know, how much is advertising gonna drop by? Well, it may drop by three percent, five percent. It shouldn’t be a total disaster for anybody, except those who’re really on the margin. At the same time, I think we’re still, though, we’re experiencing a very long term trend towards internet-based advertising, away from traditional media. And that is probably a big enough factor that it would override for our industry any downturn in general ad revenues. I think that what we haven’t seen in the past-- I agree with John Battelle who says that we sort of went down the rat-hole of pay-per-click advertising for a long time. And that the idea of brand advertising is one that has not gotten its due in the online space. I think it’s because clicks are measurable, people over-focused on clicks as a measure of the effectiveness of the ad, and so we haven’t seen a lot of really, really big advertisers doing all that much online. But I think that’ll change. I mean, just the idea that, you know, so pick your random big advertiser like Coca-Cola, or McDonald’s, right? Well, they’re not selling Coca-Cola online. It’s not an ecommerce product, and never will be. McDonald’s, same thing. And so measuring the success of an advertisement online by a click-thru rate, and the number of people who came and played with your stupid flash animation, may be not that great, right? I think, instead they have to step back and say, “Oh, actually, this is kind of like TV, right? It’s kind of like a billboard. We put up a billboard. We know how many people see it. We really have some historical understanding of what that might mean for people thinking about Coke when they go to buy a beverage next time.” But we need a lot more of that on the web. Just to say, “Look, actually we’re gonna mention Coke’s name in a banner ad, or in a little sidebar ad, and we really don’t care if people click on it. We really don’t care. It’s not about that. It’s actually just getting that word in front of people everyday, so that when they do get ready to think about it.” That’s one type of product. Another type of product would be a very information dense product, so something like Toyota Prius, right? There, I think that the lure of interactive advertising is to actually-- it is a bit ecommerce. It is a bit get people to come and play with your stupid flash site. Although, hopefully, it’s not a stupid flash site. Hopefully, you can say in that space, “Look, we actually feel like this is a product that more people would want to buy if they understood it better, right?” If we do research and we say, “Well, people kind of like the idea of a cleaner, green car with better gas mileage. But they’ve heard it’s some kind of hybrid. Maybe they’re a little scared of it, and they don’t know, you know, does it run out of electricity, or what is that all about?” I don’t know what the problems they face are-- I’m just being hypothetical. But it is a product where you can imagine that lots of people would like to go and learn more about it, and then actually maybe click and buy it, you know? So I think there’s still like tons and tons of room for a lot more ad money to flow into this space away from traditional models. And that’ll be a stronger effect than any downturn.
Recorded on: 04/30/08
It will only be a disaster for people on the margins, says Wales.
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Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
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