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The Almighty Buck Christmas Cheer

Cyber Monday Doesn't Exist 247

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the whole-lotta-hype dept.
xsspd2004 writes "Despite a huge amount of hype, the Monday after Thanksgiving is historically only the 12th-biggest online shopping day of the year. Do a Google search on "Cyber Monday," and you get as many as 779,000 results. Not a bad haul for a term that was created just a week and a half ago."
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Cyber Monday Doesn't Exist

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  • Uh (Score:2, Interesting)

    If it was created only a week ago, I somehow doubt that google has spidered and indexed ~800k sites/pages containing such phrase, in that time period.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:42AM (#14137047)
      Well, most of the hits on the google search are from msg board posts that actually say "Wanna cyber, Monday?"
      • Eep. Only 2 results for "wanna cyber monday" on Google. Obviously Monday isn't the most popular time... still, curious, I checked the other days and Monday comes out on top. Seems people are just too impatient to plan these things. Pah, kids these days.
      • Who's Monday?
    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

      by myspys (204685) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:43AM (#14137055) Homepage
      looking at google now, it's up to 1.8m

      look at the results though, they are from cnn, yahoo, cnet etc etc
      all big sites, and as you can probably guess, google crawls these sites a few times every day

      so google crawling and indexing 1.8m pages in a week isn't impossible at all
    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:43AM (#14137056) Journal
      Well, we have the primary news sites, then we have the secondary news sites, then we have news blogs (like this one), then every fricking blog and message board, then all the spam-blogs...I googled it just a second ago and got 2,060,000 [google.com] hits. So if it can jump from 800k at the time of submission, to 2,060,000 hopefully not too much later, I think you may be underestimating how many people can talk abotu nothing, and how fast google can make that meaningless blather available to the world.

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go google this post.
      • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

        by WebCrapper (667046) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:46AM (#14137484)
        It all depends on how you search...

        Without quotation marks I get 5.2M results. With marks, I get 706k and the top 100 results (ok, so I scanned the top 100) are all news sites printing or reprinting stories.

        I have to agree here. It appears that someone coined the term and something happened. I'd love to see the historical data off some of the larger E-tailers to see if the term increased sales. If so, I'm predicting that retailers will start naming different days in the year to try to get more sales.

        BTW, in case no one knew this Black Friday [wikipedia.org] is historically a day when something bad happens.

        Oh - and it looks like "Cyber Monday" is now on Wikipedia as well. Oddly enough, its pending deletion...

        The term Cyber Monday is a fairly recent term which refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Similar to Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year when retail stores often offer great deals, "Cyber Monday" has in recent years been a busy day for online retailers, and one in which online stores offer similarly low prices.
        [edit]

        Origin of term

        The term "Cyber Monday" is a neologism invented by the National Retail Federation, and was never in common use within the ecommerce community. According to shop.org, Scott Silverman, the Executive Director of the company, coined the term during a meeting in August or September 2005 to describe an emerging trend first noticed on the Monday after Thanksgiving, 2004.
        • Re:Uh (Score:3, Informative)

          by akadruid (606405)
          Now at 6,670,000 on Google... where can I find a nice bit of Javascript to show a pretty counter, alongside my 'terror level guage', my 'no. of war dead in Iraq/$billion defense budget graph'.

          Mind you, http://www.googlefight.com/index.php?lang=en_GB&wo rd1=cyber+monday&word2=orange+wednesday [slashdot.org]">Orange Wednesday is still beating Cyber Monday on GoogleFight
        • According to shop.org, Scott Silverman, the Executive Director of the company, coined the term during a meeting in August or September 2005 to describe an emerging trend first noticed on the Monday after Thanksgiving, 2004.

          Does essentially one day worth of data (monday after thanksgiving online shopping numbers from 2004) qualify as an emerging trend? Sounds like Scotty just wanted some free advertising this year.

          • I'm assuming you're attempting to be funny and failing it badly, because I really can't believe that you're that stupid. The fact that the trend was first NOTICED on the Monday after Thanksgiving 2004 does not necessarily imply that he only used the sales data from that day, it only states that that was the sales season when the "trend" first became noticeable.

            That being said, I think it's a bullshit term being used to generate buzz and higher sales of cheap plastic crap.
        • Black friday in retail got its name because it was traditionally the day retailers moved "into the black" which means moved from the loss column to the profit column for the year.
    • O rly? (Score:5, Funny)

      by parasonic (699907) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:45AM (#14137062)
      I somehow doubt that google has spidered and indexed ~800k sites/pages containing such phrase, in that time period.

      Somebody has a case of the cyber-Mondays!

      • I believe you are required to link to pictures of the 'O Rly?' owls. :-) Linky to Google cache [64.233.161.104] for the three people that have not yet seen the owls.

        Yes, I know owls can't smile, etc. with their beaks, but the original picture cracks me up anyway. (I'm easily amused.) He just looks so joyous and enthusiastic, even though that's a gross misanthropomorphism.
    • by aug24 (38229)
      He's an idiot. A search for "cyber monday" [google.co.uk] which only finds the two words together, not co-incidentally in the same page, finds only about 1,020,000. Still, more than I would have expected.

      J.

      • Wow, that's really interesting. Why does Google.uk [google.co.uk] have half as many results as Google.us [google.com]? Either they are completely separate databases, or one updates the other on some schedule so the data stays linked. Iiiiiinteresting.
    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:00AM (#14137164) Journal
      If you're doubting the freshness of the term, try searching in Google Groups instead. A usenet search can often give you a better picture of how a term or phrase evolved through culture.

      "Black Friday" [google.com] - 11,000 results dating back to at least 1993 [google.com].

      "Cyber Monday" [google.com] - 20 results, all but one were indeed posted within the past week. The other one is in Russian, and doesn't actually appear to contain the term.

      So, if there was such a thing as "Cyber Monday" prior to this Thanksgiving, nobody seemed to know about it, and they sure as heck weren't discussing it.
      • by MikeURL (890801)
        This is how "shopping holidays" get started. I even heard this whole long monolog on the radio that on this day employers are generally looking the other way as employees shop online. Hey, I'm not immune, I was thinking that if that IS the busiest day then I better get on there and see if I can clip a few good deals. I really only refrained due to heavy workload early in this week and the fact that I run my budgets by cycle and the holiday budget does not start until Thursday. For my part I'll probably
        • I'm in the tiny minority of people who actually budget their personal finances like a corporation.
          In other words, you pretend you're earning a lot more than you really are, you spend money as if this were true, then when the shit's about to hit the fan, you spend your remaining capital on buying politicians?

          Why didn't I think of that!
    • Ether I have supernatatural powers or it's a really slow news day.

      Cyper Tuesday didn't exist until 20 seconds ago when I typed it into Google and I got back 3,390,000 hits.

      Now if only I could use my powers to eliminate dupes from Slashdot. Nah, I'll stick with useing them to get girls.
    • It's fairly irrelevant anyway, as after you go past page 9 of the results you get: "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 409 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

      So who's to say that google really have 800k results? Google? they're not very objective. Maybe they just make numbers up to make their searched look good? I wouldn't put it past them, abuse of power is becoming a Google speciality.

  • by lbrandy (923907) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:37AM (#14137008)
    Are you trying to say that our media is creating and over-hyping something that doesn't necessarily exist to make for better headlines? Noooooo... not our media....
    • Oh come now, it isn't the media's fault. They were simply misled by (insert Democrats or Republicans depending on your politics).
  • by know1 (854868) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:38AM (#14137013)
    this will be just like when they tried to add grandma and grandadas days to mothers and fathers days, just another excuse to try and drum up more profit. seems a bit pointless in this case though, they are both wrong and it's a growth business anyway. perhaps marketing were exceptionally bored. or maybe it was the work experience guy
  • by glomph (2644) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:40AM (#14137031) Homepage Journal
    On CyberMonday, my whole family stands in line for hours to buy stuff on the Internet! It gets to fisticuffs and hair-pulling when it comes to grabbing the mouse and clicking on the 'Complete Purchase' button!
    • Gas lines (Score:3, Funny)

      by porkThreeWays (895269)
      I thought I saw you in line. Remember me? We met in the gas lines after the hurricane. I met your brother once in line for Styx tickets and your Uncle in another line for space mountain. Man I love waiting in lines....
  • by ysegalov (849765) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:43AM (#14137050)
    From the article:
    They quickly discarded suggestions such as Black Monday (too much like Black Friday), Blue Monday (not very cheery), and Green Monday (too environmentalist), and settled on Cyber Monday.

    I would call it - 'November's fools day'.

    • I was amused so much a few days ago while scanning headlines that I actually clicked one.

      According to one "news outlet", people were lining up before 5 AM at a store to get great bargains.

      That's just pathetic, and the only thing I can think of right now is what Homer said once he saw that the tree and the presents were gone: "Lisa, where did Christmas go?".
      • What's pathetic about differing marginal costs of time? You may argue that they should not give commercial gifts, but still celebrate Christmas in a more meaningful way. However, getting up early on Friday is just a trade of time for money either through outright payments or on purchases that will be made anyway.

        • Or maybe it's a media event fuelled by the "if I don't get it now..." Pavlov situation.

          Do you think the "thousands" of people worldwide that lined-up to get the first Xbox 360s were trading time for money?

    • "They quickly discarded suggestions such as Black Monday.."

      My band would have loved that choice! Finally we'd be part of a media frenzy!

    • It's too bad, really. 8 years ago, that name would have had nerds everywhere laughing. And secretly hoping.

  • DOH! Does this mean I missed the biggest day of the year to get online and talk dirty to women who are actually men pretending to be women pretending to like men who are pretending not to like little boys?
  • by FirstNoel (113932) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:45AM (#14137064) Journal
    The first Monday after Thanksgiving has always been and will always be Deer Slaying Day. Hell, we have off for work and school, just so we can go slay some of those fierce creatures.

    Sheesh...get it right.

    It's kind of like Snake Whacking day...only with deer.

    Watch out those antlers can be nasty!

    Sean D.

    • The first Monday after Thanksgiving has always been and will always be Deer Slaying Day. Hell, we have off for work and school, just so we can go slay some of those fierce creatures.

      Don't be fooled, Timmy: if given a chance that deer would kill you and everyone you care about.

      It's kind of like Snake Whacking day...only with deer.

      At least that would be a fair fight:

      "Monday! MONDAY! MONDAY!! A knock-down, drag-out brawl between Homo Redneckien and a Deerus Pistofficus! It's antler vs whacking
    • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:32AM (#14137369) Journal
      Watch out those antlers can be nasty!

      My sister was once bitten by a moose.
    • Damn straight. Even the St. Louis Police Department [ksdk.com] got in on Deer Slaying Day when one wondered into the remains of old Busch Stadium.
    • The first Monday after Thanksgiving has always been and will always be Deer Slaying Day. Hell, we have off for work and school, just so we can go slay some of those fierce creatures.

      Gee, neither I, my wife, nor my children have that Monday (yesterday) off. Do I need to take up hunting to get that day off? I do like venison.

      • It's not really a holiday, but in some areas of the country (e.g. Wisconsin, where I grew up, and Minnesota) a lot of business and schools close down on the first day of hunting season because they know that the majority of their employees/students/teachers will take the day off anyway. I had a friend who went to University of Wisconsin, and while she never officially had opening day off, almost every year all of her classes that day were cancelled so the professor could get his deer.
    • I'm okay with you being against hunting, but in the absence of natural predators, it is a good idea to control the deer population. If you drive down US 2 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you can see the problem without getting out of your car; there is no green on cedar below about 5 or 6 feet. The deer eat any and all of it they can reach. No new cedar is growing. For me, that's a problem. It isn't just cedar either. A few years back, the Michigan DNR was managing for license revenue rather than popula
  • "Cyber monday" and came up with this:
    naked girl naked underage and nude boy nude boy teen pic nude boy... and tgp preteens very female nudist cyber monday real underground erotic ... lolitas gay art european porn clitoris story little lilamber sex polish ...
    Relevant!
  • Strange... (Score:2, Funny)

    by creimer (824291)
    When I clicked on the CNN Money poll asking if you were shopping on Cyber Monday, the "No" was running at 85%. No wonder there was no internet slowdown when I was browsing the Amazon site at work. Alas, I didn't buy anything. Bad, consumer, bad!
  • Love Day (Score:5, Funny)

    by farfisa69 (526335) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:50AM (#14137098) Homepage
    Marge: "Happy Love Day everyone!"
    Lisa: "Come on Mom! The stores just invented this holiday because they wanted to make money!"
    Homer: "Lisa don't you ruin another love day!"
  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @09:52AM (#14137112) Journal
    Black Friday exists because physical shopping at a Brick-n'-Mortar has a number of very real constraints on when it can occur - You need the store open and staffed; You need to have free time (ie, not at work) to go; You need a reason to go; You need money to spend there.

    Most people meeting the last condition have the Friday after Turkey-day off from work, thus meeting the second condition. Most retail sales staff do not, thus meeting the first condition. And our annual Materialism-and-oh-yeah-that-dead-Jew festival provides the final condition, a reason to go shopping in the first place.


    Shopping on-line changes all that. The store always has its virtual doors open. They always have what you want, even if you don't know you want something. You can even find things on the cheap, if you look around carefully. It eliminates three of the four constraints necessary for a "holiday" flood of shoppers to occur on a particular day. And for the only one remaining, we still have at least another 20 or so "shopping" days up to which Amazon will guarantee delivery by December 25th. So no rush.


    The entire premise of a mad rush to shop on one particular day comes from the same minds that can't understand why we "abandon" 90% of shopping carts at online stores, after they force us to add items to a cart to see its price.

    Nothing to see here, move along - Captain Obvious has struck again.
    • In addition, of course, most stores have huge sales on that Friday. It would be interesting to see the order that all this occured in, but I suspect that the sales just made a fairly popular shopping day into a very popular one.

      Of course, even Black Friday is only the Fifth Largest Shopping Day [snopes.com] of the year. Apparently weekends leading up to Christmas are bigger, and I suspect that peaks in online shopping will occur based on when things can be shipped to get to people in time for Christmas. This year, wi
    • That's a lot of restocking!
    • Nice summary.
      However, you missed touching on your last (and perhaps most important to the "lack of shopping this year") point:

      ...You need money to spend there.

      There was a massive spike in US bankruptcy claims the 4th quarter of this year. This was mostly spurred on by the changes in laws around bankruptcy making it more difficult to do. So large was this spike that many credit card companies profits for 4th quarter are projected to be wiped out completely. With so many people declaring, their spend
  • What good is a work day without the internet? People would be quitting their jobs in droves.
  • Oh, just wait... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greg_barton (5551) * <.moc.oohay. .ta. .notrab_gerg.> on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:05AM (#14137202) Homepage Journal
    A few more years of this hype and it may well exist. Just wait.

    The interesting question is, "Why the hype?" Or, more specifically, "Why do some people want it to exist?"

    A related question is, "How can the entire media be manipulated to hype something that doesn't really exist?" Sounds *cough*WMD*cough* familiar, doesn't it?
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NOsPAm.optonline.net> on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:15AM (#14137247) Journal

    Of course Cyber Monday doesn't exist, by way of the fact that you can shop at most e-tailers at any time, any day, and with advances in shipping, you can shop and get things delivered to you right up to Christmas day in most cases.

    Of course some marketing person thought this up -- they thought up New Coke didn't they?

    From Business Week: That's not to suggest that the Cyber Monday boost is a total fabrication. The fact is, people do most of their online shopping at work -- 58% of them, according to comScore Networks. They often get started in earnest on Mondays, when they return from a frustrating weekend at the mall to their broadband connections at work.

    The fact is, many of us are smart enough not to buy into the hype of Black Friday, let alone Cyber Monday. I can shop online any time, from work, from home. It's easier to do from work because there's little chance of someone discovering what you're buying. Mind you, you have to be careful and actually work occasionally...

  • Doing a simple Google search [google.com] I get "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 283 already displayed." although more than 1,000,000 pages were indexed. (YMMV, all Google frontends don't yield the same results, especially with newly coined terms). This simply means that hundreds of useless blogs or news sites use the phrase on hundreds of their pages, and that those pages are accessible through hundreds of different URLs. Typical Google pollution.
    • That only shows that ~70% of the top 1000 google results were judged to be redundant. The Google algorithm first selects the 1000 most useful results (so you can never actually receive more than 1000 results), and then filters out the ones they consider redundant, which in your case left 283 results. This doesn't mean there aren't 778,000 other pages out there using the term "Cyber Monday".
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @10:30AM (#14137349) Homepage
    Sounds a lot like the "baby train" and "birthrate peak nine months after the 1965 Northeast US blackout" myths. Only less entertaining.

    Someone said, "Gee, I betcha there's a lot of online shopping when people get back to work and their high-speed internet connections" and the plausible and amusing speculation became a legend.

    I actually was skeptical about this, because most e-commerce sites are quite usable even at dialup speeds, and, conversely, DSL and cable are far from rare.

    It's not like the days when people had 28Kbps modems at home and T1s at work.

    It would be very interesting if someone actually managed to track the "Cyber Monday" meme to its source. It might be possible, since it originated recently and probably spread mostly via the Internet.
  • Um.. er... hmm... To all the people I was cybering with yesterday... sorry about that. I had missread the "Cyber" part..

    Hmm... it's gonna make the meeting with HR awkard this afternoon..

  • What a load of crap..

    By Monday all the good deals are GONE!!!!

    Most stores have the same sales online on Friday that they do in the stores and they start at midnight.. Just stay up after Thanksgiving (if you can, stupid Turkey). Hit Ben's Bargins & Fat Wallet then go shopping at midnight EST.

    We scored everything we wanted and never set foot in the shopping nightmare at the mall.
  • I just bought about $2000 of computer parts Monday. Now I read this. I'm a pawn!
  • I work as production manager for a toy company. I am responsible for product being in the correct location to ship, so I see every order.

    Our sales Friday were the best ever for our "direct" business. Yesterday's orders (in front of me) are standard for the season, but nothing like "Black Friday".

  • Seriously.

    I stood in line for an hour in the freezing cold on Thursday night, for the chance to save $30 on a Bluetooth headset at CompUSA (store opened at midnight). Unfortunately, there were 500 people in line ahead of me (and another 700 behind me), so ALL the good stuff was gone by the time I got into the store. I left empty-handed. I was going to get up early on Friday morning to stand in line, but after that experience, no way.

    I have to wonder why internet retailers aren't trying to put the kibosh on
  • Wag the dog (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mr. Stinky (753712)
    Yeah, of all people my Mom told me about this on Sunday. I am an online retailer, and historically the Monday after Thanksgiving has not been the best, however yesterday was our largest day ever on record, beating the prior largest day by about 40% more! I belive because of the hype produced by the media, it subconsciously persuaded people who would have bought on Tuesday or Wednesday to buy on Monday. I hate it when my Mom is right!!! -=Dave
  • We saw a 35% bump in sales between last week and yesterday. Cyber Monday is very very real.
  • There weren't any good deals online on Monday that I saw, especially compared to the insane deals on Thu - Sat, so I don't get where this "Cyber Monday" concept comes from. People were talking about it as if you could buy gold for $.01 / pound.
  • I found this out first hand. I work at UPS in one of the sorting hubs (we get a lot of stuff from amazon and other online retailers). We were gearing up for Monday (when a lot of stuff was suppose to ship and get to us) and we didn't get too busy. Busier than normal but no where near the hype.
  • I coined that term, like, what, a decade ago?

    Hey, baby, my folks are home tonight.. Wanna Cyber Monday?
  • Here I thought that "Cyber Monday" was the day for 40 year old men to pretend to be teenage girls and chat each other up online.

    Who knew it involved shopping too?

  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @12:09PM (#14138230) Homepage
    She promptly informed me that the day was 'Cyber Day' and that everything on the Internet was 50% off.

    That'd be my dream. I told her that the only thing that was half off was women's clothing at myspace.com. She then asked me if I've ever shopped there before.
  • Sure, it's a manufactured story. But it illustrates the Internet's amazing power to make something out of nothing overnight, and lots of folks will be reviewing how this was done so they can replicate it. I've worked in the news media for a long time (25+ years), and am hard-pressed to recall an instant PR success of this magnitude. The Google numbers are less important than the quality of the news organizations that rose to the bait - without checking to see whether it was even true. This was all over the
  • by tgeller (10260) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @12:20PM (#14138345) Homepage
    The story implies that being the twelfth-biggest shopping day is some pathetic underachievement. But consider: That means it's in the 96th percentile! I'd say that's significant, especially if (as the article implies) shopping then falls off for the next week, i.e. until 5 December.
  • Hype (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fdiskne1 (219834) on Tuesday November 29, 2005 @12:39PM (#14138555)
    Just one more thing that demonstrates the reason I ignore the mainstream media. I refuse to believe any hype. As soon as I hear about anything "new and wonderful" I look into what makes it new and what makes it wonderful. When I first heard the term "cyber Monday", I thought to myself, "That's a bunch of bull. It's all just media hype." I was proved correct. I'm tired of all the media hype. Like NBC's Today show having the woman in a canoe to report on all the flooding, only to have a couple of guys walk through the few-inch deep water in front of her. Like the guy reporting on a hurricane a couple of years ago, struggling to stay in front of the camera despite the ferocious winds, only to have someone walk behind him, looking at him funny like "Why are you acting like the wind is blowing that hard?" Don't believe what the media tells you. All they want is to have more viewers for their commercials so they can make more money. What a bunch of crap.

    --Okay, you can now mod this -1 Obvious.
  • It's meaningless to anyone outside the United States, non-Christians or anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas. For example why would a Hindu, somewhere int the World, care if Christmas was coming up and if they weren't from the US they wouldn't care if Thanksgiving Day was over either.

      It's just another day.

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