Is digital confidence set to plunge?

2857718837_cd74d07dd6_m.jpg Freshly back from Digital Mission to Web 2.0 Expo in NYC, the members of the team who went are still battling the twin evils of jetlag and mountainous inboxes.

The first day of the Digital Mission coincided with what turned out to be one of the most tumultuous weeks the city had seen since the crash of 1929. Taxis between venues inevitably crossed Times Square and the Lehman Brothers HQ building with what now look like grossly ostentatious wrap-around LCD screens covering most of the lower floors.

Despite the carnage across the financial markets, the entrepreneurs, the VCs and the exhibitors at the Web 2.0 Expo remained upbeat. The money guys had their funds raised and still needed to invest them. The Expo floors were busy with potential buyers. The conference sessions were well attended, as were the multitude of networking events across New York City last week.

The question remains on how the demise of Lehman Brothers and the rescues of Merrill Lynch and HBOS will trickle down into the rest of the economy. How well is the digital sector insulated? Stories of recruitment freezes, redundancies and some tightening of marketing budgets are surfacing amongst Chinwag's contacts, but they're certainly not widespread. Yet.

The results of August's Digital Pulse - Chinwag's confidence index for the digital industry - saw confidence levels fall by 2.33% back to the levels shown in May. The decrease in confidence shows across all the indexes, particularly on the six-monthly view with a 6.33% fall.

The Online Publishing and Ecommerce sectors appear, from the August results, to be the most negative, possibly responding early to consumers reigning in their spending and advertisers looking to cut back.

Market Conditions in Six Months Time by Sector


The responses pre-date the current round of financial wobbles, so September's survey will give a better steer on how the digital sector. Why not take the survey now, it's only six questions and takes under a minute.

[Pic courtesy of tshein]