Category Archives: myspace

Visitors or Users? Myspace vs. Facebook Traffic

ReadWriteWeb picked up the latest Hitwise numbers that indicate that Myspace is still way bigger than Facebook in terms of traffic. Depending on which metric you’re looking at you end up with a very different picture though.

I’ve only recently started using Myspace and I use it exclusively to listen to music. I don’t even have a Myspace account. I consider myself more of a visitor to the site than a user of the ‘social network’ Myspace. However I’m a user of their ‘DJ/Band pages’ and a consumer of the online music.

I’m a pretty engaged Facebook user on the other hand. I have an account with over 300 friends and log in about 4 days a week if not more. I change my status, send messages and post on walls.

My engagement and therefore user value is clearly higher on Facebook.

I think Hitwise could measure active accounts by looking at the subset of URLs that is only accessible when logged in and report that number separately from overall traffic to the entire site.

Page Views Are Already Dead!

The Ajaxian is asking: Death of Page View Metrics? based on Steve Rubel’s prediction that the metric has four years to live.

The page view metric (PV) is already dead! Not everyone got the memo though…

Page Views (PVs) have never been a great metric (better than hits though). It is easy to architect a site to generate more PVs. Mike Davidson explains how MySpace is abusing this. And it’s also easy to game the system for example with a hidden iframe.

In fact, a higher number of PVs indicates low usability. If more PVs was better than there would be no Ajax! Remember how online maps used to work? High PV count. Compare this to how they work now with only one PV.

Steve Rubel mentions several Google products but I believe Yahoo! Mail* could actually spearhead the change. Take the largest email provider with its huge number of PVs and see the numbers drop as more and more users migrate to the beta. I believe this should be visible in the October/November numbers – see ComScore. We will see a declining number of PVs while the number of users is growing.

This is not the first time this topic comes up. evhead, Zawondy and others wrote about it before. I think the geeks understand the problem. However, it takes more time for advertisers, press and Wall Street to understand that the game has changed. I believe the transition will happen in two stages:

  1. Page view metric is declared dead after losing significance over time
  2. A new metric is introduced as unique users and time spent are not sufficient to measure engagement

It will be a slow transition to a better metric. I sure hope it’s not going to take four years though!

I’m surprised by the reaction (or lack thereof) of the metrics companies, mainly ComScore and NetRatings. Their entire business model is based on the page view metric (unique users and time spent are closely related). They’re only slowly starting to understand and acknowledge the problem.

The only usable metric today is unique users/visitors. But even that metric has to be taken with a grain of salt. (Don’t get me started on the accuracy of their current metrics…)

* Disclaimer: I work for Yahoo! Mail. The thoughts above are obviously mine.

Updating LinkedIn Network

I spent some time tonight updating my LinkedIn Network, something that I’ve been putting off for far too long. While doing this I realized two things:

  • A ton of people are on LinkedIn
  • I don’t remember using LinkedIn for anything other than connecting to people I already know

Is it just connecting for the sake of connecting or will it serve me in some way eventually?

Someone mentioned once that only job seekers are really using it. Is this it? LinkedIn definitely is the ‘professional network’ under the networks. Could this be hurting it in the long run? Should I not connect to my boss in that case? No worries, I’m not planning on switching jobs anytime soon.

I’ve also wanted to play around with MySpace for quite a while now to better understand this phenomenon. Next weekend maybe…

Blogosphere in a Crisis?

It strikes me how many bloggers have announced recently that they’ll discontinue their blog: Dave Winer, Xooglers, Russell Beattie. Some of them have been blogging for years! At least Scoble took only a break and is back now.

Blogs have always been about conversations. But as they attract more readers, they also attract the idiots that are here to spoil the fun, sometimes even with personal attacks. Scoble has been pointing this out repeatedly and Russell has even turned off his comments a while ago. Well, geeks have never been an easy crowd.

Are we seeing a trend here? Are the old-timers getting frustrated with what the blogosphere has become? And if the old-timers give up, is the MySpace generation ready to pick it up? I’ve been mostly underwhelmed by the content I’ve seen on MySpace so far.

Keep it up guys. We need you! We appreciate the long hours and hard work that goes into quality content.

Are guest bloggers and ‘turning off comments’ signs for a blog’s nearing death?