Stupid Magill Watch: The Data is from When? Oh. Um ... Oops
By Ken Magill
Tsssssss. What’s that sound? Why that’s the sound of my red face scorching with embarrassment.
In one of the dumber moves during the course of my career—and there have been some doozies—I ran a story last week quoting mobile penetration percentages from Harte-Hanks.
Oh, the numbers were fine. And I’m reasonably confident they were accurate.
But they were from 2011.
And with smartphone usage growing at such an astounding pace, that makes the data pretty stale. Or at least stale in the way I reported it.
The report came out in May, so I assumed it was fresher than it was. This is no defense, however. And Harte-Hanks did nothing wrong. The report was labeled 2011 multiple times on every … single … page.
In the times I have looked at the report since some readers politely pointed out what a dufus move I made in reporting that piece the way I did, the number 2011 literally leaps off the page. Over and over again.
Now, I could have made a decent story out of the report by noting up front the numbers were from last year and then focusing on the differing mobile email readership percentages by industry.
I did report the numbers by industry, but I did it under the hook that mobile viewership accounted for more than 50 percent of email readership in only one segment—entertainment.
Surely, that is no longer the case.
I am always humbled whenever I hear of someone spending their valuable time with my work. Time is a business executive’s most valuable asset. With last week’s piece on 2011 mobile numbers I wasted hundreds of people’s time.
To everyone who read that piece, please accept my apology.