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The Internet

Four Companies Get Half Your Clicks 193

AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Napster. These four "web properties" account for 50 percent of the time people spend online. Check out the trend: at the 60-percent level, the number of companies shrank from 110, two years ago, to fourteen today. Hello, I'm with Mergers & Acquisitions, can I borrow your mouse please?
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Four Companies Get Half Your Clicks

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    McContent? That's funny... I live in McSconsin... they've bought my state.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ....people spend looking at pr0n.

    Actually for me, it's more like 30% Slashdot, 70 percent pr0n.... but I'm talented.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    No kidding, who ARE these people?

    • AOL: well, this one's obvious, it's all AOL customers. If they consider ICQ part of my clicks, then I do spend some time there.
    • Yahoo: occasional directory lookups, maybe once a week?
    • Microsoft: only source for updates, by necessity, about 2-3 a week.
    • Napster: not the website, that's for sure. In any case, Napster's dead, has been dead for over 2 months, move on.

    So it's obviously masses of newbies and AOLers and MSNers generating all those useless clicks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:22AM (#176192)
    Thats funny... I don't visit any of those four.... whats wrong with all the rest of you people?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:29AM (#176193)
    It is fairly easy to lie with statistics. Meaning that the results depend heavily on the research methods used, from whom (what people groups, demographics, etc) and how the data was actually acquired and so on. A lot of people won't show on almost any on the statistics, there are huge user groups who couldn't care less about those web pages,.. If they have got their people in a way that doesn't produce a describing sample, for instance asking from Microsoft magazine subscribers (lol), you can scrap the whole thing. There are hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of pitfalls that can compromise the study integrity and most likely this study can be classified as pure trash in case someone really bothers to check all the things out.

    The amount of clicks doesn't also equal the time spent on the pages. If I open and go have a cup of coffee and then click something, I have "been" on the page for an hour? Besides, doesn't it just tell that the pages are very BAD if I can't find anything from the labyrinth of and I just have to spend 3 hours and 700 clicks to find one single file?

    The claim that those couple companies would get "that many surfers" is simply not true. I haven't seen anyone actually ever visit any of the company pages/services listed on the research. They have obviosly not reached all possible surfer groups, causing a severe disorientation in the survey data.

    Sorry guys.. But forget the whole thing as fud/crap/whatever. Never mind. And the M$ (/Yahoo etc) pros stop cheering.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:40AM (#176194)
    Dear God,

    When I die and go to heaven or hell the only thing I ask of you is you send the two previous posters to the other place.

    Thank you.
  • by Parise ( 423 )
    Yeah, it would be like if a company were to start buying up the popular open source -related web sites (Slashdot, Freshmeat, ...) so that they all fell under a common company's authority and "protective wing" ...
  • I thought the title was Four Companies Get Half Your Chicks !

    Breathing a sigh of relief...

  • I wonder why sites like Microsoft's get so many hits. is a relatively boring functional software site, not a "portal" or some place where people would go for fun or for finding non-specific technical information. It's a huge site, with lots of changing information, links to the content die often, finding stuff is ocassinally tricky... I won't go there unless forced to or if I need to find some miracle cure for a MS product.

    Or are they speaking of MSN, Microsoft's portal?

    Yahoo! would qualify (portal / news / search engine / web directory / coffee maker), and other listed sites, but

  • My guess is that most Windows users won't have switched off the 'check for updates' stuff (for Windows and IE), and that's where Microsoft will be getting a ton of their 'hits'.
    Yeah, I was thinking that, but I forgot to add that to the comment. (It *was* in the comment, but this old copy of Mozilla crashed...)

    I guess the reason for these high numbers is simple: People don't change the default homepages, they just use what browser makers or their ISP recommends.

  • Offering further evidence that media companies and online portals will control the bulk of e-commerce traffic, four Web properties -- America Online (NYSE: AOL), Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Napster -- now account for more than half of all the time spent online by U.S. surfers, Jupiter Media Metrix (Nasdaq: JMXI) said Monday.

    That's pretty weird: I haven't been to *any* of 'em..

    Guess there's still no accounting for tastes..

    I think not; therefore I ain't®

  • Perhaps, if you limit it to PCs in the US running x86 based chips.
    Include Macs and everything else, include the rest of the world, your 96% figure is considerably wrong.
  • It doesn't surprise me that those sites (Napster?) would be common initial pages for many people. I would imagine that most don't know how to reset their browser's default pages. Personally, I change them as soon as I get a browser. But my real question is: do people respond to advertisements on those sites? I don't. I never do. I am _this_ close to implementing a filtering system so I don't have to see them anymore. That goes for sites like Slashdot, too, btw.
  • And that Google isn't.

    Considering that Yahoo uses Goole as their search engine for "Web page matches", Yahoo hits == Google hits.

    - Sam

  • Good thing the big four haven't yet taken away the ability to create new sites.
  • How many active distros are there for Linux right now? 14? Really? Raise of hands for Mandrake/Red Hat/Slackware/Debian/Suse? Did I miss anyone? (probably did and that will just serve to destroy my argument...).

    There's more than 14. Check out LWN []'s Linux Distributions [] page for more info. Amongst those that you missed: Yellow Dog Linux, TurboLinux, Progeny, the Linux Router Project, etc...

    How about your television shows? How many *major* stations are there? Certainly not 14...

    Does cable count? What about satellite? How about radio stations? FM and AM?

    As the goals of a large group of people come closer together, the group merges, pools resources, and strives to better the achievement of the common goal.

    Which is what? To become a monopoly and lock out the industry?

  • Yes, but not in a way that makes it a duplicate of Google. The engine is important, but even more important is the database structure and web ranking system. I suspect Yahoo (a) is influenced by payment (paid links come up higher than unpaid) and (b) is influenced by site descriptions.

  • I use Napster to download choral music I sing in concerts. It's great. Particularly for rare stuff. I'd happily pay for the privilege too, although the bank won't let me get a credit, nay a debit card because I haven't been working 12 months yet (I know, I know, whose money is it, are they fith or what)

  • I look around to the neighboring cubicles and see each screen lit up with the green Slashdot logo... my coworkers clicking intently. :)
  • Whoa! What police state wanna be city do you live in? If someone wanted to see my drivers licence before they would even show me the place, I'd be looking else where. I've never even heard of such a thing before and housing is tight here (Calgary AB; the vacancy rate is down around 1.5%)
  • Such actions would be considered acceptable even in a purely libertarian society -- if you dislike them, you take your money elsewhere.

    And elsewhere is where I would be. I got the impression that the majority of rentals were requiring this information. I'm glad to see it was just one; and that single example probably paranoid to boot. I find the concept of a gated community somewhat unsettling anyways.

    The problem is when one has no effective choice because certian behaviours have become the defacto standard in an area. I moved around a lot in college(11 times in 4 years), and it seemed every city had something wierd and wacky that was verboten. One town it was almost inpossible to find a place that didn't require a one year lease; and in another city forget getting a place that wasn't next to a toxic waste dump if you had an even slightly exotic pet (a ferret for example). I'm glad to see pre identification hasn't reached this point; at least in your area and mine.

  • You can get a better idea of what this looks like here. [] Notice the little note at the bottom-- *Two -thirds of AOL Time Warner's minutes come from communications services (e.g., e-mail, instant messaging, greetings) That doesn't seem right-- many people use mail clients that operate "offline," and hence wouldn't be counted in these statistics. That doesn't mean that AOL and MS are taking over everyone's email. More to the point, if most of AOL's clicks are coming through email, do we really care? AOL *is* an ISP, and reading email is one of the main things people do with their computers. I don't think controlling a person's email is the same as controlling their content. The same considerations apply to MS and Yahoo. I'll bet money that HotMail accounts for at least half of MS's hits. Again, this isn't a terribly sinister development-- Hotmail is a convenient mail client, and it's not like they try to control what you send in your emails. Yahoo! also offers popular mail service, so i you take out mail-reading as an activity, the numbers look more like this: AOL: 10% Yahoo!: 5% MSN: 4% Napster: 3.6% In other words, the top 4 web *content* sites take up at most a quarter of time spent online, not half as the report says. More to the point, the fact that only 39% of our time is spent on the rest of the web isn't all that sinister either. That's still a big chunk of time, and it's *still* distributed over thousands of sites. I'd like to see the numbers for the top 70% and 80% figures-- that would likely be more informative. The fact that a few big players are able to attract a lot of people with highly generic content doesn't mean that people don't have choices. A lot of people have come online in the last few years, and they will tend to gravitate to the big names. That doesn't mean that the rest of us can't continue to enjoy slashdot. Besides, I think it's narrow-minded to assume that just because MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! are big they don't offer useful content. Yahoo! in particular offers dozens of useful features that I use on a regular basis-- news, stock quotes, movie listings, search. These are all things that are fairly generic in nature and I don't particularly care who provides them. I go to more obscure sites like slashdot for tech news or salon for poltical commentary. But that doesn't negate the value of being able to get a free stock quote or movie listing at one of the big three.
  • You don't leave google if you go to the cached page, but if you click on a link in the cached page you'll leave the google cache.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:51AM (#176212)
    > I'm suprised Yahoo! is so popular.

    Well, one thing that both MS and Yahoo! have in common is free email. Yahoo! (unlike google) also mirrors lots of content (news articles, weather, TV listings, maps, yellow pages, etc), so you can spend a good amount of time searching Yahoo! and never have to leave. With google, you type your search and off you go...
  • I'd agree I spend a good deal on Slashdot and similar sites and use Google quite a bit. I do a decent amount of online shopping and auctions so I hit Amazon, Ebay, etc every few days. A lot of the things I get online for are technical resources so I spend a lot of time looking at PHP, Python, SQL, Linux, etc sites. I've seldom been to Napster's website but I do use it often to download songs along with a couple similar programs. I use some webmail, when I don't want my real email addresses shared (to cut back on spam) so I suppose once a week or so I hit a couple of those sites. I use Jabber and ICQ and old fashioned shit like MUDs for chatting online. I like to browse small sites about movies, music, games, anime, people dogs, etc when I get the chance but I like to avoid most big sites that have generic information everyone has and to many ad banners. Mmmm then there is always shit like online porn. I don't bother with web sites and such. I wrote some spdier programs that just suck the stuff off the web and usenet and then I can just sort and view it locally without ad banners, popup windows, spam, etc.
  • It has less to do with the rebellion level and more to do with how long it takes the pages to load, and how annoying they are once they've loaded. is still the best interface to the google search engine.

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • You realize that that pre-installed OS isn't actually free, right? [/nitpick]

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • Yes, there are. And they use it as their primary email address. The even set it up to check their work or school POP accounts.

    Personally, I think that a web browser is the exact wrong interface for email. I'd rather use pine.
  • by Raphael ( 18701 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @05:32AM (#176217) Homepage Journal

    I was also about to post a link to the report from Jupiter Media Metrix, but I am glad to see that someone else has done the same research. After a bit of URL-wrestling (removing some junk and user-tracking stuff), the direct link to the report is: 010604 [].

    Indeed, the most interesting part of this report (not mentioned in the article) is that AOL Time Warner gets almost one third of the total time spent online, mostly through e-mail and instant messaging. All other companies get less than 8% each. Outside the top 10, they get less than 0.5%.

    This report measures the time spent looking at or using the web sites or applications (e-mail, messaging, ...) but does not say anything about the number of "clicks", number of advertisements seen, or total traffic. The time spent reading or composing e-mail messages should not be counted in the same way as the time spent looking at some web sites, because the user is focused on different things. Also, if two thirds of the time spent on AOL Time Warner comes from communication services, I expect that Microsoft gets a fair share of time from its MSN Hotmail service, but the report does not provide any details about this.

  • spent on websites operated by CmdrTaco, CowboyNeal, Dem Bones, Hemos, et al.

    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • How dare you suggest such a thing! I think I have been to Yahoo twice this year to check if a client was indexed.

    I don't go to - too dangerous, too many trojans...

    What is AOL? I thought it was a company that made shiny coasters?

  • Actually, I noticed that with IE 5.5, if I type in a a wrong URL, it automatically goes to a MS search site. Maybe it's just me. Try this, though, if you're using IE 5.5: type in www.slash and press enter. Watch the stuff that goes on in the bottom left hand corner (the status bar). You'll see it get confused, and then call home to MS.

    I personally think there's a quite a bit of "spyware" going on in IE, but I can't confirm it, and stuff like this doesn't make me feel more comfortable. I wonder if I were to setup a firewall and then read the logs to see just exactly where I connect to "unknowingly". A friend of mine has discovered that IE under Win2K server tries to reach various sites while he's not around that he frequents (page caching?).

    my 2 pence.
  • Wow.. I didn't even realize that the option was there. It's also rather sneaky "check here to not use search from address bar" instead of what would probably be a more user friendly "check here to enable..." like the rest of the browser. I wasn't aware that there was a general manual for I.E. (probably up there in Help. As to the snippet that some "people can't read their browser manual", jesus, get a grip. I used to browse with HotJava and Mosaic (back in the day.. why does that feel wrong to say for a 28 year old?) for god's sake. I didn't need a manual then and I *assumed* that I wouldn't need one now.

    Sometimes I miss lynx. :)

    I used to do desktop support for a large OEM. Here is what I view to be the typical internet user these days:

    "My computer is broken and I want my money back!"

    "Whoa, ma'am. Exactly what is going on?"

    "It says "Password invalid!" It's broken, I want my money back!"

    "Um, is this when you try to get on the internet?"

    "It's when I try to use the internet it won't do anything but give me this error! It's broken! Give me a new computer or my money back!"

    "Um, who is your service provider?"

    "What's that? Is that the internet? I thought I was on the internet! Can't you see what I'm seeing on my screen!? I want my money back!"

    "Okay okay, I'm trying to help, ma'am. What do you do when you get that error?"

    "I click on this MSN butterfly."

    "ANd then?"

    "it asks me for my username and password."

    "And what do you then?"

    "I type in my name and a password, and it dials, and it says "Invalid password". It's broken! I want my money back!"

    "Ma'am, ma'am. Have you registered with MSN yet? Have you spoken with them and recieved your username and password or anything like that?"

    "No! They said this computer was internet ready and it's not! I can't get on the internet! Aren't I supposed to be on the internet? I want my money back!"

    "Ma'am, before you can use the internet, you have to have an internet service provider. Think of it as before you can have cable TV, you have to contact the cable TV people, or if you want electricity, you have to contact the electricity company. They set up an account and hook you up, right?"


    "So, there's nothing wrong with the computer, you just need to contact MSN and have them activate your account or whatever it is they do over there, and you'll be able to get on the internet.. I can even give you their number.."

    "NO! I'm not calling anyone else! This is on my machine, therefore my machine is broken and YOU have to fix it! I want a supervisor and I want my money back!"

    "Okay, please hold."

    that's a greatly abridged version of the call. It took 30 minutes to get that far. Not a very nice experience.

  • In Memphis, TN, most of the (non-gated, non-exclusive) apartment complexes I've looked at also required some proof of identification before they show you an apartment.

  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @03:36AM (#176223)
    Now, here's a thought.

    Say you owned a diner or pinball alley or something like that. Say a bunch of well known thugs frequented your establishment. Even say that while they are there, they are well mannered and even pay for drinks. However, they sit in the back corner, planning their next hits, and other illegal deeds. Do you, as the establishment owner, have any moral obligation to turn them in? Or do you, as the establishment owner, have any moral obligation to ban them from said establishment?

    If Napster wants to pretend that its users aren't trading illegal MP3's (indeed, wasn't that one of it's early "advertising" pushes? "You'll find everything you ever wanted on Napster" kinda attitude?), the fact is, people are. Millions of them, although the number has gone down due to the filtering and such. Honestly, I like it this way. I don't listen to "mainstream" music, anyway, and the stuff I listen to is usually rather obscure and I pretty much own the physical materials as well. For example, I have the It's A Small World punk compilation with a great Jawbreaker song on it, but having no working LP player, I can't rip it to MP3. However, I did find it on Napster, saving me the trouble. I personally don't know where Blake of Jawbreaker stands on trading his bands' MP3's around, but I hope that this falls under "fair use".

    Basically, if Napster can't survive with the filters in place, with only independent and pro-napster music being traded over it's network, then it deserves to die. Period. If it requires pirating to justify itself and make the numbers it needs to keep investors happy, then it deserves to die. Period. I'm hoping that's there's enough interest in 'non-mainstream' music to support it, though.

    Napster needs to forget about "swooning" Sony, BMI, etc. They won't be happy until they either a) shut Napster down or b) buy Napster outright (ala Napster needs to get back to the grassroots, where it began, and start talking with Merge, Touch and Go, SubPop, Fat Wreck Chords, Dischord and a myriad of other small, independent labels and get their support. When the artists that come from these smaller labels to majors are used to the idea of swapping songs on Napster, they will demand it when they "make it big." Think of it like getting used to an OS. UNIX made it big in the server room because the computer scientists used UNIX in college, it was what they knew. NT is making rather large inroads in middle-line corporations because it's what's on the desktop, it's what the support people know, and through generous college grants, more and more students are being exposed to it. So, we get the future music execs used to the idea of napster, we get the future "big name acts" used to napster, and hey, we might have a winner.

    just a thought.

  • Are there really any Hotmail users anymore? I know lots of people who have hotmail accounts, but none that use them seriously. The occasional 'need email to send game registration to but dont want to end up on spamlist with real mail address' mail, but not any daily use. Most dont even bother to remember the account, if they need a throwaway mail account they set another one up somewhere.

    Seems like its just one huge spamfest over there by now. Still, its sorta amazing how many servers theyre having to dedicate to the spammers, the millions of mail accounts to recieve the spam and the couple of dozens of actual users...
  • by Confused ( 34234 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:30AM (#176225) Homepage
    If you consider that AOL, Hotmail (MS) and Yahoo all offer very popular web-mailers, it becomes obvious why Google isn't included in the list.
  • Yahoo: Always use it for tracking stock info. Much more useful than my etrade account.

    MS: Always visit it after I first get a new Mozilla installation set up, and use their search thingy for "Linux". I like skewing statistics ;-)

    Aaron Sherman (
  • by macpeep ( 36699 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @04:59AM (#176227)
    No, it doesn't mean, even though it's one of the most frequently visited sites on the net. It means MSN and all sites that belong to that "division" such as Hotmail, Expedia and possibly MSNBC too, though I'm not sure about that.

    And let's not diss Microsoft about their site because quite frankly, MSDN is one of the best tech documentation sites on the net! The MS knowledge base is also very good..
  • by akb ( 39826 )
    Your comment is interesting to me because it seems to reflect a shift in 'net culture. The concept of "netizen", Internet users with some shared cultural context, seems to be on the wane. The 'net has grown large and commercial enough that meme of "I've got my corner of the 'net and don't care about the rest" is becoming dominant.

    To my mind this is too bad. Shared cultural spaces are more precious than isolating commercial ones. The entertainment industry will not be satisfied with 50%, they want 100%. With content providers buying network pipes your corner of the Internet is not involiate.
  • The problem with MSDN is that there is only recent information. Any older technology documentation is all but impossible to find. Combine that with their search engine which returns a thousand hits about .NET anytime you search for anything and it's downright annoying as hell. It's better to do a search on Deja/Google then MSDN most of the time.
  • The even set it up to check their work or school POP accounts

    And that is the problem - I would actually use it if I could check hotmail through POP but nooo - then I would miss all the ads. On the other hand, MS is more than happy to check my POP email for me.

    similar problem with MSN (my girlfriend has it). She can check her mail through POP but only using SPA (Secure Password Authentication) which is only available through outlook and outlook express which means I can't use any client I choose. Isn't email supposed to be convenient? Or am I missing something. AOL, MSN, Hotmail - these are all more trouble than they are worth!

  • dammit.... Didn't actually check to make sure I was logged in. I guess that other browser window with a naked picture of a beowulf cluster of naked grit covered natalie portmans confused (aroused?) me so much I just forgot to use the little login box.


  • If they include since that is the default homepage for Internet Explorer. Mine goes there all the time b/c I can't be bothered to change it on a new system, but I never read it & never click on anything on it. It's not a destination I decide to goto.
  • if every AOL browser decided to point to goatse

    Sounds like a surefire way to cut into their luser count...

  • Actually, I noticed that with IE 5.5, if I type in a a wrong URL, it automatically goes to a MS search site. Maybe it's just me. Try this, though, if you're using IE 5.5: type in www.slash and press enter. Watch the stuff that goes on in the bottom left hand corner (the status bar). You'll see it get confused, and then call home to MS.

    Mine came back with Squid's 404 page.

    You can deactivate this (mis-)feature under Internet_Options -> Advanced -> Search from the Address bar -> (Radio Button) "Do not search from the Address bar".

    It would appear that using a proxy server also bypasses this misfeature, as when I checked my settings, nothing was selected.

  • How many of us here havne't been to notice the "An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved." line in the footer?

    Not at all since they got taken over by AOHell. Even before that, I usually went elsewhere for news (typically MSNBC, NYT, and/or Fox) because Ted Turner is a pinko bastard. About the only time I ever went to CNN was if /. linked to it. Now I don't even do that (gotta check those links to make sure you're not being sent to CNN or to

  • > I personally think there's a quite a bit of "spyware" going on in IE,

    You can deactivate this (mis-)feature under Internet_Options -> Advanced -> Search from the Address bar -> (Radio Button) "Do not search from the Address bar".

    Of course, 99% of people don't do that, because it's the default, as are things like "Browsing -> Automatically check for IE updates" and "Enable Install On Demand" (which just sounds like an accident waiting to happen).

    Back on topic, these sites get so much traffic because they're the default home pages. If users are too dumb to change the default home page (and I've seen usability studies that show many users don't even know the default home page can be changed - they think of the default home page as "The Internet"), they're too dumb to secure themselves against stuff like this.

    This isn't an anti-M$ rant. Nutscrape blows hot donkey meat when it does the same thing with "What's Related".

    For lack of a better term, I call it "stealth spyware".

  • I wonder what the top web sited for technical personell are? I know a lot of my time is spent at places like (I have to use MS at work), slashdot, & .org,, and other more technical sites. I have not been to an AOL site in years. I wish they would have done some more in depth surveys.
  • by coffii ( 76089 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @03:54AM (#176242)
    Microsoft products have their place, but you are wrong in saying they dont hold a gun to our heads.

    I am constantly getting word documents emailed to me that contain a few lines of text (some from Sun distrubuters!) I use Solaris, i dont want to receive text in doc format, i certainly dont want to receive it through email (look at the size difference between doc and ascii files).

    I choose not to use Microsoft products, the trouble is I get forced into a situation where I HAVE to. (Word, IE (web sites being specifically written to chuck out browsers that are non-MS (there is no reason for this other than market dominance goals))).

    As for MS products being better than the competition, personally I think not. BUT that is a personal opinion, based on my own preferences.

  • *grumble*

    Napster does NOT "give away something you should be paying for". They do NOT provide MP3s. Yes, I agree that most people see it that way but I haven't seen a single server providing MP3s that is operated by Napster.

    What they do is provide peer to peer networking for their customers. What you use that for is your problem. If 90% of Napsters customers use it to trade illegal warez (and I do understand that musicians want to be paid for their work), that's their customers' problem, isn't it?

    (I still don't understand why the RIAA doesn't encourage the police to shut down all supermarkets. It would only be logical, because most of then sell e.g. kitchen knives. And I don't know if you realized that, but you can commit illegal, even brutal acts with kitchen knives. Just as you can commit illegal acts when you use the Napster network.)

  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:35AM (#176246) Homepage

    Really, does it? The huge expansion in connectivity, while it has certainly benefited some geeks, has mostly been in hooking up joe blow and jane gno. These are people that were really ok with television, but now that the internet is trendy they have to get onboard. Naturally they gravitate to sites that mimic television, that make things simple, etc etc. And naturally, for that crowd, there can only be a few sites at a time that are popular.

    This is nothing to be either surprised or alarmed at. As long as these people and the companies they support don't change the basic structure of the internet, we can coexist. Vigilance is called for, but no less so than yesterday. Watch ICANN, watch ".net" and "hailstorm" and raise the most unholy rucous ever seen when necessary to defend that structure, for certain. But don't panic on this "news." It is, sadly, a given.

    "That old saw about the early bird just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."
  • by rasjani ( 97395 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:18AM (#176249) Homepage
    ... the reason why people spend so much time there is that if you are really trying to find something usefull eg. downloads or some documentation, they are impossible to find because everything seems to be behind 100*n clicks..
  • 590701.html?tag=st.dl.10001-103-1.lst-7-1.5590701
  • Ahhh Yahoo uses Google for their search engine. But then Yahoo's not a rebelious new company (anymore), so slashdotters shouldn't support it.

  • Look at the rates for banner ads for Slashdot/OSDN? They are 5-10 TIMES the current average for normal sites.

    Technical people make lots of decisions about spending for computer companies. Those company's all use to Internet heavily.

    We matter, we just matter differently. If you are selling servers, you'll pay a premium to hit us.

    General people don't matter as much. Only large companies competing in LARGE oligopoly markets try to hit generic users. That's why events like the olympics and the superbowl (which hit everyone) get lots of ads from companies like Coke and Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King, etc.

    If you don't have a generic market, you want to hit your target. Targetted advertising is more difficult, and you pay a premium.

    Microsoft may have more viewers, and that helps them sell ads to generic companies. However, I guarantee that Compaq is willing to pay a premium to put ads for its high end boxes in front of computer people above and beyond what Coke and Wendy's are willing to pay Microsoft.

  • I have this feeling that it was "magic" because it was new. It was fun to explore around. However, there is FAR more available on the net as a whole now.

    I think that the biggest problem right now isn't the lack of hobby sites, it is the lack of linking. The reason that the search engines are having trouble in part is that people don't get link.

    I've been interviewed in eWeek a few times, and my company's name is mentioned. However, it isn't linked. Obviously an interested reader can figure out our domain name, but it is still inappropriate to not provide that linking. Without linking, search engines can't figure out what is going on.

    Get the linking back, and the Internet becomes infinitely more useful for information again.

  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @03:33AM (#176261)
    I'm 22. Getting a modem when I was 14 meant calling BBSes. That required that we knew to get a modem, and knew to find things. The people I meant online were similarly intelligent, because their was a learning curve.

    When I was 17, the people coming onto my favorite multiline BBS were the more general public. Their parents had bought a new computer, and a modem happened to be in the machine. They got the number from a friend, and never ventured. At one point I called 10-15 boards, by the end I was down to 2 or 3. They never called more than 1.

    Now, my girlfriend's kid sister (15) is online. Her family uses AOL because it's easy. She spends ALL her time in AOL things and Yahoo. She plays Yahoo games, hangs out in Yahoo chats, etc.

    She isn't stupid, but Yahoo and AOL satisfy her needs. She doesn't feel the need to venture out. If she is interested in a piece of information (which the web is good for), she can search for it. But random cult sites aren't getting found anymore.

    Hell, my personal viewing has dropped from HOURS surfing around following links 4 years ago to 6 or 7 news websites. I don't good off on the Net (outside of Slashdot).

    Quite frankly, with the money that was in the Internet for a few years, people built up. Also, if you are an executive at Yahoo and saw something on a hobby site that you thought was cool, wouldn't you have your staff build it in a few weeks. If the page owner was a killer hacker and knocked it off in 2 days, wouldn't it be likely that Yahoo could reimplement it in 2 weeks or 2 months?

    There is LESS compelling reasons to venture around on the Internet. You used to need to go to random places for things. Those of us that used Yahoo by '96 (when I did briefly) found a need to go elsewhere... The old-timers from earlier USED Yahoo to go elsewhere. Now, Yahoo provides lots of resources, instead of just information about what else is there.

    I'm not convinced that younger people will change this. They may go out and explore, but there is less and less compelling outside the big boys. There used to be neat games that could only be found elsewhere, but they were all bought up by big sites.

    For information, people will still do searches. However, the Web as a leisure activity will likely outnumber the web as a research tool for a LONG time.

  • Sooo, no surprises that AOL and M$ are up there, what with their browsers sending lamers straight to their sites. Frankly though, I'm surprised no pr0n sites made it to the top - I can see the statistics - 50% of traffic to the lamer magnets, then another 35% going to look for "Cristeena Auglieria nekkid".

    These stats are presented in a way to make the big companies feel good (not really taking account of people like me who tend to browse several sites simultneously in seperate windows cos of crappy d/l speeds), so I think it's time to harness the Slashdot Effect to screw up the next set of stats. Suggestions for sites that could use the publicity anyone?

    Personally, my vote's for.....

  • by CptnHarlock ( 136449 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:09AM (#176276) Homepage
    The thing with google is that is so good at doing it's work so you are there a very short time. You look up something, get a good hit and you're gone. With yahoo (I do use it sometimes) you wade through page after page to get to what you are looking for. MSN and microsoft get a huge amount of traffic because of default page install and immense ammounts of redirects. Just look at you that status bar go!.. Not to speak of all the hotmail users who get to msn at loging off...
    $HOME is where the .*shrc is
  • Every time we look at porn a devil gets its horns.
  • Yeah... that's so true. If you try to explain to people that the internet is more than the web and typically you get met with blank states at best. Now, with AOL and MSN, we're actually stepping backwards... not only do they think web=internet, they think AOL+MSN=web. It's just like TV to them now. It doesn't occur to them that they could actually be a part of it... help make the web cool... they're just mindless consumers... maybe they think they could put a baby picture or two up on the web, at most... :/

    Ah well... maybe it's also just sour grapes... maybe I'm just bitching because the once super-cool world of computers and the 'net has now been "invaded" by the mainstream and now it doesn't feel special or different anymore?

    I guess this happens to most little sub-cultures... like rock-and-roll... "raves"... even sports... they just get kinda commericialized and absorbed. They can still live on though, no matter how fucked-up and corporate large parts of them become. No matter how many albums NSync sells, rock and roll is far from dead. I guess that's how the spirit of the 'net will have to be... (did that analogy make any sense to anyone but me??!) :P []
  • Around 1995 is when I disovered the internet I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. A place where people could share ideas and information that was centered around the world, a place where anyone could be a publisher. Best of all, it wasn't tainted by big stupid money and advertisements. It was just like... a cerebral connection between people with similar interests or that just wanted to share information.

    Then the web got all commercial. Nowadays it's a freaking ad-fest. Most major sites are whored out to major corporations at least to some extent. Which really depressed me for a long time. I watched the internet being ruined by commercialism.

    The really sad part is that the average Joe on the street has already become dissillusioned about the internet. People are actually turning AWAY from the internet at this point. Do you know how many 30 and 40-somethings I know that have "tried" the Internet and found it stupid? To them, the internet is AOL or MSN. Just more chances to have their eyeballs spammed with ads and do a little shopping- in other words, just like the rest of our capitalist world except less convenient to use (compared with TV or opening up a magazine). In their eyes... the internet is absolutely nothing special... basically just TV, with hyperlinks, and added technical annoyances. Plus everyone's sick of hearing about the dot-com thing, which is a huge turn-off. They don't know or care about the rest of the internet, the real communities of people and the intellectual potential out there...

    Which sucks, obviously. But then I realized... the cool part of the internet is still THERE! All that commerical bullshit floating on the surface doesn't prevent people from using the internet the way it was meant to be used... for sharing information and ideas and fun, not a fucking online version of tabloid magazines and shopping malls (not that buying things online isn't cool).

    In fact... I realized it's all the money coming in from mass media that's actually helping the cool part of the net... paying for more bandwidth, driving the PC pricewars, etc.

    So what I'm saying is, while it sucks that 50% of the clicks are concentrated on such a small number of huge-corporate-monolith sites... but you know what... fuck those people who are supplying those clicks. They're the stupid, mass-media brainwashed masses... not the type you really WANT contributing to Slashdot... or any other worthwhile online (or offline) endeavor. Let's just be glad their dollars are helping to fund things like broadband access and so on. We can still use the internet how it was meant to be used.

    (Of course... we still need to be vigilant. The money pouring in from the corporate whores could have a polluting effect on the "cool" parts of the internet, too... witness things like the DCMA... etc..) []
  • In the article they said that four companies, AOL, M$, Yahoo!, and Napster account for half the internet traffic. Everybody here is assuming that the article meant,,, and (I guess) However, if you consider just the various other sites owned and ran by these companies, I can very well see where these statistics could be true.

    AOL: Although I almost never go to AOL's main site (except for the occasional use of AIM Express) I do spend a lot of time at, which is owned by AOL-Time Warner. Hell, I spend as much time at CNN as I do at /. and it's my homepage. But, if you conisder the vast numbers of AOL users who probably do have as their homepage, you can see where a lot of the web time comes from. Also, conisder some of the other sites ran by AOL. They own, which just happens to be the default start page for Netscape browsers. Also, you can't discount the fact that has been turned into the "convienient" (for the internet impaired, anyway) web portal. AOL also owns the two most popular instant messaging clients on the internet: AIM and ICQ. I'd put money that the corresponding web sites are visited fairly often.

    Microsoft: Although I'll agree that sucks big donkey balls (I still can't find the software to my intellimouse there) the biggest site for microsoft is possibly It is the largest web based email site on the internet. I have a hotmail address and I visit their site several times a day to check my email. However, they too probably fall under the "default home page" category, with But, hell I even spend time at the MSN gaming zone as I have gotten hooked on Bejewled lately. And, you can't discount the portal factor for those who don't like to (or don't know how to) type in URL's.

    Yahoo!: I actually wouldn't be surprised if accounted for a lot of Yahoo!'s web traffic. It was one of the first and most popular web portals. And, I believe that it still is one of the most popular. It's more than just a search engine these days. It's your "gateway to the rest of the internet." They offer their own classified listings, their own very popular web-based email system, their popular system of chat rooms, and their popular online gaming section. Although, I prefer google for searching, the average web user is probably just content with, who liscenses Google's search engine, by the way. Furthermore, you can't discount some of Yahoo!'s attempts to break into other markets with thing like their Yahoo! branded "internet keyboards." Like the hardware or not, that's still some free publicity. Lastly, when it comes to Yahoo!, you cannot forget that they own geoshit^H^H^H^ the web's largest and one of the web's oldest providers of free web space. Geocities probably generates at least 1/3 of Yahoo!'s portion of the time spent online pie.

    Finally, Napster: I am a little surprised that Napster's web site would account for much of the intenet traffic. It's just the site you go to when you want to download the Napster client. However, once one takes in to account that the latest versions of the Napster client all connect to Napster's site to download the html content that you see when you log on, I'm no longer surprised. With the number of people out there using Napster, that's a hell of a lot of hits.

    So, in conclusion I wish everybody here would just RTFA (read the f***in' article). They never once said that,,, and specifically got all the traffic. Only that those four companies could account for 40% of the traffic. Furthermore, we must realize that we as geeks, are in the minority of the web users and as such, do not visit the same sites that the average computer illiterate internet user visits. In such a light, these statistics aren't surprising at all.


  • If you change that to Blockstackers, then it is well over half. It is more these days then Slashdot, though.

  • While there is no reason to be on the main AOL page, if you are skipping out on all MS and Yahoo pages, you are either ignorant or know way more then I do.

    I suppose the only MS page that I ever use is Hotmail. But Yahoo has lots of great, maps, yahoo mail, the entire newsgroup archive. I suppose for the super-31337, going to one central place to get all these things instead of knowing super-specialized sites for all of them is l4m3, but yahoo works rather well for me for these things.

  • And most web users have been on the web for 2-3 years. For most people to surf the web, it involves going to an aging, ill-maintained computer in the corner, sitting down in the uncomfortable spare chair they've allocated for the computer desk, waiting for the analog modem to connect to AOL and then clicking about haplessly for a while. Is it really any wonder that the vast majority of people out there aren't venturing beyond a few lowest common denominator sites plus whatever homepage to which Microsoft or AOL has set them to default.

    These people don't read every day. They don't even know what you mean when you say "webcomics". They read dead-tree news and complain about the text on their 15" monitor. They print EVERYTHING.

    Given time, though, there's a new generation coming up for whom the web is a second home. Give them another 5 years and we'll see the balance of clicks changing. Of course, older people may not ever really change their habits, but those of us who use the web a lot are responsible for many more pageviews per capita. The only reason we might find this article surprising is because we have gotten used to everything moving at internet speed that we've forgotten that people still move at people speed.
  • 50% of my clicks probably go to the following:

    1.) []
    2.) []
    3.) the refresh button while I'm at Slashdot []

  • "I should switch to Yahoo instead (POP3 access), ..."

    Don't. In order to get POP3 access, you have to opt-in to their "Bulk-Mail" (read: SPAM) program. I would't mind if it was one or even two emails a day, but I was getting 5-10 junk mailings a day. And they all come from different addresses, so they couldn't be filtered reliably...

    Just a thought...

  • I don't use any of them!

    I've never knowingly been on an AOL page, I've been on MS about 3 times per year, Napster once (just long enough to confirm that, yes, it was an on-line fence for stolen goods), and I left Yahoo behind about three years ago.

    MS and AOL I can understand since they're default homepages for people who don't know what a URL is, but the other two are hard to believe.


  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @05:08AM (#176307) mean copying is stealing, but, nah! that's just stupid.

    Copying is not stealing. Copying something you don't own and don't have permission to copy is stealing.

    The problem with theives like Napster is that they make it harder for the rest of us that want "fair use" to continue to exist in the digital age. By blatantly ignoring copyright they make it easier to justify "tightening up" the law.


  • I think its more to do with the fact that there are no countless millions of people out there that don't know what they want. Thus portals such as AOL, Micro$oft and Yahoo get lots of peoples time, because they claim to have taken all the leg work out of finding interesting things to do with your new $$$ toy (ie. the computer).

    Most /.ers miss the point, we're not the general public when it comes to browsing, Joe Bloggs and his wife who're struggling through page 2 of "How to use your mouse (that cute clicky thing) for dummies" is. Its like Popular music, we men (and women) of fine taste hate it (this progably explains napster getting so many clicks) but its Pop because the general public likes it.


    ps. can anyone remeber which uni had thier coke machine hooked up to the net so you could find out the number of cans in it at any time?

  • However, they sit in the back corner, planning their next hits, and other illegal deeds. Do you, as the establishment owner, have any moral obligation to turn them in? Or do you, as the establishment owner, have any moral obligation to ban them from said establishment?

    I can't help but extend your already great analogy to cover the incident (9 months ago or so?) where a list of users who were sharing Metallica mp3s was presented to Napster.

    Let's say that a collection of local business owners complain to the restaurant owner about a specific list of hoodlums who've been using the restaurant to discuss extortion plans. The restaurant owner then proceeds to ban everyone one that list from the restaurant. However, the restaurant owner then allows back in the restaurant anyone who signs a statement ("I promise I'm not discussing extortion in the back of your restaurant.") or anyone who makes even the most superficial pretenses at pretending to be someone else ("I'm not Bob. I'm his evil twin, Ted. See? I've got this realistic looking mustache.").

    Personally, I think it'd help to have some sort of standardized identification system on the Internet, as a means of allowing service providers a way of placing legal responsibility back on the party in question. I'm not talking about a constant, Big Brotherian identification scheme, but rather something where a service provider can request your identity and you can conclusively provide it. For example, when I went apartment hunting, a number of places wanted to view my driver's license, so they knew who they were showing apartments to. If I later went nuts and started urinating on the floor or something, they knew who I was. If I was concerned about my privacy, I had the option of not giving them my driver's license. However, they would've then invoked their option of not showing me the apartment. In online realms, on the other hand, identity confirmation tends to rest on email address confirmation -- a scheme which fails when you realize that anyone capable of typing "" into a web browser can make as many throw-away email addresses as they want. It's not anonymous enough for doing something that would get you major attention (like threatening the president), but when you're one of thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) engaging in lesser offenses, the cost of tracking the user becomes prohibitive.

    On the other hand, to deflate my own scheme before it's even started, given how pervasive all the various Windows-based email worms are, would it really take that long before someone created an identity-theft worm?

  • What police state wanna be city do you live in? If someone wanted to see my drivers licence before they would even show me the place, I'd be looking else where. I've never even heard of such a thing before and housing is tight here (Calgary AB; the vacancy rate is down around 1.5%)

    It was a gated community in Miami, Florida. Given that you don't generally anonymously rent apartments, anyway, I wasn't particularly upset at them wanting to know who I was. It was certainly less annoying, to me at least, than Radio Shack asking for my phone number because I've bought some batteries.

    As for the implications of this being a police state, we're talking about a private organization stipulating lack-of-anonymity as one of the pre-qualifying conditions for an economic transaction. Such actions would be considered acceptable even in a purely libertarian society -- if you dislike them, you take your money elsewhere.

  • by krystal_blade ( 188089 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:53AM (#176312)
    1. People never change their startup screen for I.E.

    2. Because only REAL MEN type the URL...

    3. They don't want to read the whole article either, like us slashdotters.

    4. They're looking for the "BillG ate my balls" links.

    5. They have to find out why their win 9x box just died.

    6. No one else has that useless I-Greeting thing.

    7. It's their cover page for surfing slashdot at work.

    8. They want to know if that email about getting money for forwarding it is REALLY true.

    9. They already sent the email, and are trying to find out where their checks are.

    10. That's where the best Pr0n is, man!


  • I rembeber reading a report somewhere else that people spend 50% of their online time each month viewing pr0n sites. Am to believe there are people who's entire internet experience is these four sites and pr0n?
  • by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:22AM (#176320) Homepage
    Napster give away something you should be paying for. MS and AOL are both default homepages for installed browsers. Its hardly suprising they'd get a lot of users surfing time.

    That said, I'm suprised Yahoo! is so popular. And that Google isn't.
  • by satanami69 ( 209636 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:40AM (#176321) Homepage
    Yahoo! uses Google for it's searches.
  • Well, apart from Yahoo mail (never even heard of it)...

    So you've never, ever seen someone with an email address? Try searching this page, there are at least 3 under this story already.

    I've never seen the attraction of portals which exist only to filter your view of the net - I don't want it filtered, I want it all.

    Err, yahoo is good for finding generic sites about a subject, whereas I'd use google for anything more specific. Trying to do broad searches under google means you get far too many results to deal with, most of which are only tangentially related.

    Geography may be an issue here, I'm in the UK and YahooUK is just junk; perhaps the US site is better.

    Errm, I've just been to the UK Yahoo page, and it's pretty much identical to the .com version. There's a link to Yahoo Mail in the top-right hand corner.

  • How many of us here havne't been to notice the "An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved." line in the footer?

    yup, 1 hit for the bad guys.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @06:08AM (#176328) Homepage Journal
    r053 r r3d
    v10137 r b1u3
    4a1f my c11ck
    r b310ng 2 u

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:14AM (#176330) Homepage
    Slashdot still gets half my clicks.

    Awwwwwwwwwwww... Group hug, everyone!

  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @05:31AM (#176331) Homepage
    (I still don't understand why the RIAA doesn't encourage the police to shut down all supermarkets. It would only be logical, because most of then sell e.g. kitchen knives. And I don't know if you realized that, but you can commit illegal, even brutal acts with kitchen knives. Just as you can commit illegal acts when you use the Napster network.)

    ...oh, brilliant analogy. "Kitchen knives may be bad, therefore supermarkets should be shut down." Somewhat akin to, "Well, since there exist dogs that will attack innocent pasers-by, we should eradicate mammals! " Short, succinct, hard-hitting, and completely bunk.

    Hey, look--I found a better example, right here under my chair!

    Let's say that Bob's Corner Grocery has one aisle of produce and ninteen aisles of kitchen knives. The vast majority of the kitchen knives are stolen property, though purchased by Bob from various distributors (Bob himself wouldn't even think of stealing somebody else's property.) "Heck, I'm no criminal," Bob is fond of saying, "I just sell groceries. It's not any of my business how my suppliers get their goods, now, is it?"

    You're the dupe that looks straight into Bob's bewildered, childish eyes and says, "It's OK, Bob. You're not part of the problem. Don't you worry one bit, I still believe in you!" right as the police arrive to drag him downtown.

    Napster does indeed give away something you should be paying for. Napster, before it started getting sued, was doing exactly jack and squat to curb the distribution of copyrighted material through it's service. The Napster client app is completely useless without the central server, and Napster is in charge of running that server. It's like saying that the bullet just happened to hit Mr. Doe, and all this poor guy here did was pull the trigger.

  • I bet if they did a second study it would show that half the people who do not use the big 4 sites tend to spend more time on Slashdot than any other site.

    End prophesy here

  • Why is it that porn is always delibrately left out of these "statistics"? Is it just too damn embarassing for some prudish people? What's the deal with that?

  • by The 42 Maniac ( 258854 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @04:21AM (#176343)
    Things usually get wrong when a Slashdot article is written about an article that has been written about an article.

    1. The slashdot header is about four companies getting "half the clicks" when the report measured "time spent online". Quite something different.

    2. The article from the e-commerce times did not include a link to the original report and did not print the actual numbers from the Jupiter Media Metrix report. You can find the report from Jupiter here:

    3. When you look at the numbers you see that AOL alone gets 32% of the minutes spent, Microsoft gets 7.5%, Yahoo 7.2% and Napster gets 3.6%.

    And even the report from Jupiter says very little about the method: "Total Usage Minutes: The total number of usage minutes spent at the online property, Web site, category, channel or application during the course of the reporting period."

    In my opinion this report only states what we already knew: many American households connect to the Internet via AOL.
  • by serutan ( 259622 ) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @02:40AM (#176345) Homepage
    Saying these 4 companies get half my clicks is like saying I live in a nicer house because my property taxes went up. Mergers and acquisitions have no effect on the friend sites, club sites, weird physics rant sites and so forth which I visit frequently. I don't care if ONE company owns all the sites I never look at, as long as the part of the Internet I actually USE is still available.
  • These are just estimates taken from round the web but are probably as accurate as any other survey done:

    50% of users time is spent on 4 sites.

    There are 500 Million users approx.

    Lets say 75% of them surf the web, thats probably being fairly conservative too.

    Lets now persume they spend, on average 5 hours per week on the web for personal reasons.

    OK so 500 Million * 5 * 0.75 = 1875 Million Hours surfing time.

    Now 4 companies get 50% of this time. 1875*.5 = 937.5 Million Hours on these 4 companies.

    No of seconds in a week: 604800

    606,350 hits per second for these four sites, persuming that each user makes one hit.

    Taking the average no of hits for the front page or,, and 12.25.

    606,350*12.25 = 7,427,788 hits per second.

    Now lets persume msft gets 1/4 of this traffic:

    7,427,788 * .25 = 1,849,519 hits per second

    Now they must have one hell of a server farm to get IIS to serve that lot, if it actually manages to stay up long enough.. they would be far better off using apache and a *nix which would fare far better :)

    Another interesting thing to note out of these 4 sites, 1 Uses IIS, 1 uses AolServer on Solaris, 1 uses apache on an unkown unix and the other runs using an unkown server (probably apache) on FreeBSD.

    (Yes and I know no of hits != time spent on the site, but then again its likley to be connected in someway.)
  • by TheophileEscargot ( 309117 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:41AM (#176349) Homepage
    The report refers to "time spent online".

    I can't help noticing that Napster and Microsoft both offer very large downloads... most of the "time" is probably just people downloading huge files in the background.

    I'd guess that therefore AOL and Yahoo are the real biggies for time spent actually looking at stuff.
  • by gregfortune ( 313889 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:34AM (#176350)
    Where do you buy your groceries? How about your gas? 14 different major gas stations might actually be a tad high. Remember the article a few ....... ack, how long ago was that... the days are merging together (oops, now the days are merging too. what ever shall we do?)

    Anyway, the article citing the concentration of big business... This is a surprise? Consolidation is a new thing? How many active distros are there for Linux right now? 14? Really? Raise of hands for Mandrake/Red Hat/Slackware/Debian/Suse? Did I miss anyone? (probably did and that will just serve to destroy my argument...).

    How about your television shows? How many *major* stations are there? Certainly not 14...

    And on and on and on... You see, consolidation is a fundamental principle. As the goals of a large group of people come closer together, the group merges, pools resources, and strives to better the achievement of the common goal.

    Now perhaps this is a dangerous merge, but a surprise. Hardly...
  • No way those statistics are accurate.

    Think of how many AOL-ers are out there. And guess what? I'm sure 95%+ of them still have their default home page as Same for newbies using IE, visiting Microsoft's site. Or someone who happened to download a program from Yahoo that changes your starting page (with or without your knowledge/confirmation). Napster? Well, if you count some college kid queueing up 200 songs while he's at class as spending HOURS a day on Napster, then that's just as wrong.

    I'm sure these portals get plenty of traffic, but if every AOL browser decided to point to goatse, I'm sure the media would be reporting that America is suddenly fascinated with people ripping open their asses.
  • by iamroot ( 319400 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @04:20AM (#176354)
    Both AOL, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have other software that accesses their servers.

    AOL has the AOL client, and is really more of a very large BBS than an ISP, some AOL users may hardly ever use the internet, they might just use the BBS services. A second point about AOL is that many people that don't use the official AOL might use AIM.

    Yahoo! also has an instant messenger, which people probably leave connected while using the internet.

    Microsoft has MSN, and who knows how many people use things like windows update and other "features" of windows that access Microsoft's servers.

    Many people who use Napster probably just leave it connected so people could download files from them, also downloading MP3s can take a long time.

    These results do not really reflect the actual usage of the websites.
  • by uigrad_2000 ( 398500 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @06:40AM (#176363) Homepage Journal
    How many of your favorite sites have become part of one of these companies?

    cnn -> aol
    terraserver -> ms
    hotmail -> ms
    ussearch -> yahoo
    infospace -> ms
    four11 -> yahoo
    mapquest -> yahoo?
    egroups -> yahoo
    netscape -> aol?

    I'm sure there are many more. These are just the ones I've used.
    Instead of learning to adapt, they just assimilate.

  • the trouble is, to the big advertising companies and whatnot, you don't matter. neither do i. us technical types are, generally speaking, not part of the flock. the other sheep can be herded quite easily. they're also the majority. and so the attention of the big companies is directed toward them.


    revenues. they make more money. if microsoft can say "we're the most visited destination on the web" then everyone wants to advertise at hotmail, and they'll pay a ton of cash to do so.

    they don't care about you, because you'll see past it. like most of the non-flock.

  • by Magumbo ( 414471 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @03:38AM (#176365)
    every time a mouse clicks an angel gets it's wings


    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I marked the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    -Robert Frost

    do not bemoan what the masses do my slashdot friends ;-)
  • Depends on what they are considering an AOL page. and are both AOL pages, since Netscape is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL., which I've used countless times to find out when movies are on, is an AOL page. MS owns Salon, at least I think they still do. Yahoo and MSN have the whole finance section. A lot of people who trade stocks use it, even if they have Ameritrade or similar accounts. And I think it's one of the MSN sites that has free live quotes. Napster I can't understand at all. I'd think you'd hit that page once to download the client. Unless they are counting every access of the client as an access to their site.
  • The data can be interpreted that over the last 2 years, people changed their behavior and started using fewer and fewer sites. But it can also be interpreted that over the last 2 years, a large number of people came on-line who haven't yet discovered that there is a whole world wide web for them to explore. These interpretations might have very different implications about the future of the web, and from the reports, I couldn't tell which one is more accurate.

    (Of course, that is not to deny that mergers have happened and that the available choices have narrowed.)

  • by avtr ( 457172 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:18AM (#176380)
    ... is that this is happening *everywhere*. After the AOL / Time Warner debacle, the shutting down of the various baby DSL's, the increased push by Microsoft for dominance at the server /desktop/pocket pc level... we're getting way too 1984. Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer indeed.

    We get all of our content in one place, because it's quick and it's easy. The sad thing is, all the cool stuff slips between the cracks. It's kinda like radio these days: you can get decent sounding blandness on any radio station, but good luck getting Tom Waits. Updated for today: you can get an easy OS installed free, but stability is gonna be a bitch to get your hands on. Or, for this new survey: you can get your news and your content at CNN and Yahoo!, but you're going to get one narrow viewpoint - McContent, if you will.


Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?