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Where the Online Traffic is Going 78

vitaly.friedman writes "While growth is slowing at most top Internet sites, it is skyrocketing at sites focused on social networking, blogging and local information. The dramatic success of those Internet categories is apparent from a recent online-traffic analysis provided by market research firm ComScore Media Metrix, which examined visitor growth rates among the 50 top Web sites over the past year."
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Where the Online Traffic is Going

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  • Localized wikis (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:54AM (#15066492) Homepage Journal
    it is skyrocketing at sites focused on social networking, blogging and local information.

    Local information sites ARE growing. Sites like Bloomingpedia [] (city wiki for Bloomington, Indiana) are getting lots of new articles, editors and interest from people all over the place. There are also other city wikis starting to pop up here and there and I just started the first State Wiki for Indiana [] last week to help centralize information about the DST change here.

    I think a lot of people are starting to get there information from wikis in general because they are showing up so high in searches for information. In just the past couple months, we've been getting lots of search requests for restaurants around Bloomington.

    I guess this is the evolution of information on the internet. First it was "fan websites" in the 90s, then directories of information, now localized wikis and blogs.
  • Alexa (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:54AM (#15066496) Journal
    You don't need a research paper to tell you where the traffic is going.

    Check out Alexa's Society Category []. It's rife with the named blogging machines and even Slashdot!

    All the report provides is the sheer visiting numbers and the rate of increase over the past year. And give proof that Tom [] over at MySpace is laughing all the way to the bank. You may call me a karma whore but that man has 68475709 friends!
  • Basic trends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liliafan ( 454080 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:56AM (#15066507) Homepage
    There is a reason for this, google is a superior searchengine, putting aside the regular flamewars on 'evil or not' they offer a better service than their competitors, this is why they are continuing to grow, additionally basically everywhere you look you see something related to google these days, even the whole china upcry, all publicity is good publicity.

    The reason for growth with the other sites is because of basic marketing treads they are cool, they are new, myspace has grown because they offered a unique service that people picked up on, blogging is also a major area of growth the fact that is tied to google is a likely reason why they are going better than a lot of their competitors, as for wikipedia, it is a one stop shop for all your information needs that and it has a great google ranking it is an unsual day for me to perform a search on something contained in wikipedia and not have that entry returned on the first page.
    • "There is a reason for this, google is a superior searchengine"

      I agree. The traffic to my domain has been increasing at a rate of over 20% per month. I run several blogs there along with a podcast. I keep the content fairly fresh. It is Google searches that drive in a majority of the new traffic to my site. I do get my share of traffic from other bloggers linking to me, but Google is my friend. Another interesting traffic generator for me is my iTunes store. I am averaging over 20K visitors per mon

    • myspace has grown because they offered a unique service that people picked up on

      Remember Friendster? That was around long before Myspace, but it didn't take off. Maybe it was better marketing or a fluke...

      But Myspace wasn't the first nor was it unique.
  • by Moby Cock ( 771358 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:59AM (#15066536) Homepage
    It seems to me that this represents that the internet is maturing. A couple of years ago, it was mainly used as new way to do things we already used to do. i.e. read news, yellow pages, correspond, shop (this one may be a stretch). However, blogs and social networking are new thing that the internet has made possible. These sites are growing because this form of communication is growing. Such activities were not possible before the internet, but now, as it matures, new communication phenomena are emerging. Heady days, indeed.
    • Been to MySpace or Blogger lately? If anything, those sites are a testament to the Internet's immaturity.
      • Internet != Internet users

        Internet can actually be really mature, even though I do agree with you that most Internet users aren't. They are distinct concepts...

    • What I find most interesting about this trend, is that "social" interaction carried out online is world-knowable. Anyone who wants to look at, use, or even track what you do online, can do so. It's not like going to a party for a drink and then leaving for the day- it's like going to a party and having everything you do etched in stone so that a nice little memento can haunt you forever.

      It will be most interesting to see how much fallout those who participated in sites like MySpace will endure as a result.
      • it depends if they use their real name and standard email address really.. it's quite possible to still stay anonymous if you want - even if you put up a picture of yourself, how likely is it that someone you know will find you out of the millions of other users? I personally dont mind others seeing what I do online, though may get a little embarrassed at some things, and sometimes do have to catch myself thinking "wait a minute, my family/friends can see this", hehe..
        • Or you can have multiple online identies. Church Lady for the Family/Employers and Sister Cistern for fun!
        • I agree with you in theory, but here's something to consider: ten years ago when people were happily participating in usenet discussions, bearing it all in some cases, few if any ever anticipated the persistence that this online material now has. Few people anticipated that a telephone service provider would stoop so low as to entertain the idea of selling call-related information to third parties - or that a city government would be selling information pertaining to your drivers' license. What's to stop co
          • I thought that was a little thing called the Data Protection Act? At least here in the UK. I think you're allowed to sell depersonalised information for use in statistics, but not to include personal information like addresses etc - I'm guessing when you tick little checkboxes like 'I would like to recieve more information/correspondence from blah blah' that maybe then they sell your information to other people. I guess some companies may not comply with the law, but in reality I'm not worried about slashdo
    • Read "The Global Village" by Marshall McLuan and Bruce Powers. It says basically the same thing about how tech evolves. First it is just an extention of the old, then it morphs into something new. McLuan said in an interview in the 60s that there was some new tech out there beyond the present electronic mediums of tv, etc., but we just dont know what it is right now. Too bad he isnt still alive to see what has happened. BTW the Global Villiage was published and evidently written / put together 10 year's af
  • I don't think these sites would do as well if people realized the exposure and danger they risk by volunteering so much personal information on the internet. There is a great deal of education which should accompany this growth.
    • Yes, there is some inherent danger in giving away personal information. But there's always risk, in everything. Most of the trouble with putting personal info on the web, at the moment, is that they use it for marketing purposes. Most people don't mind too much about that. They'll happily sign up for Club Savings cards at supermarkets, take surveys without second thought, and generally don't mind if their name is in some huge database with millions of others. They know it won't personally affect them to any
    • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:33AM (#15066900)
      I don't think these sites would do as well if people realized the exposure and danger they risk by volunteering so much personal information on the internet.

      Quite a point. Google sees everything you do online, and a cunning questioner can get more information about you than you might think.

      Some script kiddie got into a webforum I rather liked a few months ago. Obsolete version of Invision with more holes than a Sierpinski gasket. He Defaced it, deleted stuff, the usual crap. Gloated about his leetness under his leet hacker's handle.

      Which led to other places he'd posted.

      Which led to other names he'd used.

      Which led to a website.

      Which had a whois record.

      Which had a phone number.

      Which was answered by his mother.

      We got a photo of him from his eighth-grade spelling bee, too. Cute kid :-)

      • I hope you also reported him to the police/FBI. He may be cute, and he may be a kid, but that doesn't mean he should get off scott free for something that is considered a criminal offence.

        • yes, because the FBI has people standing by to prosecute a guy who defaces a web form.

          A server where I work (not one of mine) was hacked once. The guy put an IRC bot on it. We logged in to the channel pretending to be the bot and when the hacker came along, we got his handle. Much like the parent's story, knowing his handle eventually lead us to his university email account. We provided all this to the FBI - and nothing happened.
    • This is true. Education is definately the key.

      There is a high level of fear-mongering going on in the media. I have users come to me asking, "Should I block my child from Myspace? A reporter on the news last night said my kid is in grave danger using Myspace. Is he right?"

      The problem with getting your technical info from *insert popular news show here* is they are rarely getting their info from real net savvy people. Add to that, fear makes good ratings. There is a risk of children seeing objectionab

  • by dotpavan ( 829804 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:03AM (#15066569) Homepage
    Right now, to Washington Post :)
  • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:04AM (#15066577) Homepage
    When I joined Wikipedia (July, 2003) it had just broken into Alexa's top 1000. Since then, the traffic has doubled every quarter, meaning that it has jumped over 900 places in less than three years (it was at 18 last I checked), and traffic has grown by several orders of magnitude. This article lumps Wikipedia in with blogging, social networking, and local information, but I don't think any of those categories are appropriate. It's a general reference - it just happens to be a particilarly good one, delivering a service that you will not find on Myspace, Blogspot, or a local newspaper site.

    • Hey, Wikipedia's a pretty good social networking service, just add a bunch of userboxes to your userpage and look in the different categories to meet people you like! Ohh, wait, people are also using it to write an Encyclopedia? Pff, chumps :) ~~~~
  • It looks like places like [] - VLOG as well as more Google like weather services, like that of [] are ones to watch. Just succinct in character. They grow organically. We like that!
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:05AM (#15066592)
    People want more specific information about their various interests. No longer do they just surf the web for stories that corporate entities write, they want to hear from REAL people and REAL opinions.
    People are tired of being force-fed information that they may or may not deem useful and have no way of responding to that information.
    Blogs and related ventures will be much more popular than corporate-only websites, and that is a good thing indeed.
    • Isn't this what people have been doing since usenet and forums and such??
  • by Pudusplat ( 574705 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:08AM (#15066615)
    It seems reasonable to assume that useful sites will get lots of hits. Sites such as Mapquest [] and Wikipedia [] get hits, because they're very useful to quickly get information that used to require a lot of time and effort. They're simple examples of how amazingly useful the internet can be. The article then tries to give examples of how some "popular" brands are now not doing as well as new "trendy" sites:

    Yahoo retains the largest audience in the United States, though its visitor growth slowed to about 5 percent last year.
    Is this something else that is supposed to be news? Huge "super-sites", the website equivalents of multi-national corporations (Yahoo, Aol, MSN) have slower growth rates than new sites with much smaller userbases. 5% Growth in usage of is still HUGE, when you look at the numbers. That's nearly 6 million more users, which is about 1/5 of Myspace's entire userbase!

    This whole article seems to be stating the obvious. Trendy sites are growing quickly. Huge sites are growing not so quickly. Useful sites continue to grow at a steady (fast) rate. Is there something shocking, or newsworthy, mentioned here?
  • by rewinn ( 647614 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:10AM (#15066640) Homepage

    Freecycle [] lets you give or get free stuff in your community with minimal effort.

    It's very important that each Freecycle node is geographically localized, e.g. one city, so that you're offering/accepting only to/from people for whom the offer is geographically practical. For this application, the internet does not annihilate geography, it only minimizes other transaction costs of offering/accepting free stuff ... but that's plenty of benefit!

    Example: Seattle-area uses [] []

  • Heh, I loved ", where young people do virtual preening and share musical tastes." I'd first heard of it as a music site and couldn't understand why it was blocked at work.

    And CitySearch is big-time now? What's next, Starwave? Pathfinder?

  • Just a couple of months ago i visited this page []. The ranking now has altered more than expected. Google should have been on the top of the top list, but also think about the research done by comScore Media. Let us take a look at some of the networking sites like [] and []. These site is much popular in the Asian countries like India and China. Huh ... the population matters ... that too to take part freely. I bet it will increase
  • Is this any surprise? Really?

    Humans are social animals, isolated geeks not withstanding. We have always loved interaction with others. Back in the Commodore/Apple II days, BBSes were extrememly popular. Then came national/global entities like America On-Line and Prodigy. The message and chat areas were enormous draws to those entities. Of course, Usenet replaced BBSes when the Internet became the rage, but people were then turned off by spam and trolls.

    So, now blogging and other social web sites
    • Yes. Because the internet is "the final frontier" ... I can walk over to my computer and in two seconds, I can check my "myspace" profile. (If I had one, that is.) The other things you mentioned had access fees, dial up times, etc.


      Best place to get info from experts on a specialized topic is still usenet, whether you post regularly to their group or not.

      Best place to get very specific info on any topic from WWII to Wrestlemania is Wikipedia.
      • Um .. you do realize that you proved my point, don't you? Newer forms of social communication took over for previous forms. Regardless of why (dial-up, etc.) social communication has evolved, the simple fact is that BBSes went to AOL/Prodigy which went to Usenet which went to on-line forums which went to blogs and therefore MySpace. It's a very unsurprising migration from one form of social communication to another. At least, it's unsurprising to me. What is surprising to me is that this is apparently
  • As long as this is a new story on Slashdot, all the web traffic will be diverted to the Washington Post.
  • Rupert Murdoch paid $580mil for it... he thought it was cool.

    Myspace as of Feb. 2006 has 54mil accounts.

    180k more accounts daily... [] (yeah whateva, thats my source)

    Anyways... yes. The internet is changing, as users are given the ability to share opinions more freely and the average user begins to value those opinions more and more, the internet effectively becomes more human.

    After all, an article posted by a professor is a bit more raw than one shoved pa
    • Re:Myspace (Score:3, Funny)

      by robertjw ( 728654 )
      Anyways... yes. The internet is changing, as users are given the ability to share opinions more freely and the average user begins to value those opinions more and more, the internet effectively becomes more human.

      Funny. That's what everyone always said the Internet should be about. People freely exchanging ideas and conversations. Now everyone is bitching about all the stupid people and stupid sites. Just can't please anyone...
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:26AM (#15066812) Homepage Journal
    It seems like we've seen a drop in slashdot numbers in the past few months. I've also seen drops at the local stores and at the local restaurants. Are people starting to have their debt catch up with them, decreasing their available time spent online or doing things they like to do? Or is there really some odd social network change going on?

    My blogs have seen a decent increase in traffic over the 4-5 months I've been writing them. When they were e-mail newsletters (opt-in only), I had about 8000 readers, most of which have NOT returned to my blogs on a daily basis. As more people learn how to use RSS feeds properly, though, I'm starting to see more feedburner access than ever before (about a 400% increase in 3 months).

    I'm amazed at the amount of traffic that is generated in short time with very little promotion, but I am also amazed at the blogs I read daily. The quality of many of them on my regular feed list is second-to-none! In fact, I can't even read the news anymore since it is all canned newswire feeds it seems. I just did this search at [] and if the link is valid for others, it shows pages and pages of the exact same article at dozens of news papers. Boring.

    Do people really prefer to be preached to as a choir from people with their same opinions? If so, will tomorrow's news networks serve only a la carte instead of packaged news as previous models had?

    That's something that surprises me, actually: slashdot regulars here want a la carte cable channels, a la carte news, and a la carte lifestyles, but most prefer pre-packaged politicians. If we could just change that last part to being a la carte, I'd say we'd see the best social network change.
  • ...of the same bull crap. You can only view so long before you figure out how to change your default website. There's also lots of sites being advertised on TV, which pulls people away from the "old" standard websites.

    and no, i didn't RTFA.
  • by DesertWolf0132 ( 718296 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:03PM (#15067286) Homepage
    Blogging and social networking sites feed our society's need for three things. For the Bloggers it feeds our need for attention and validation. As a blogger, I readily admit to that. For the readers, it gives us glances into the lives and minds of others feeding the voyeuristic tendancy that reality television has brought out in our culture. How else can you explain the popularity of sites like [], a site where Dooce writes about her everyday life? Just like the rise of reality shows that follow around regular people 24/7, blogging feeds the inner voyeur in all of us. Finally, the social networking sites make us feel connected to other people, a need often unfulfilled in real life where we work all day and never really connect with anyone. Speaking of connected, I have a Myspace message...
  • so long as people remain enthusiastic about being the building blocks of web site content, i.e. wikipedia, why on earth would a web author choose any other route? oh and uh, check out ;)
  • by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:15PM (#15067471)
    The study measured relative growth rates. Small things grown at a larger percentage than smaller things. "Fastest growing" is a claim often used as a marketing tool by small organizations to sound impressive. If my website gets 2 hits per month and now goes to 10 hits/month, I've grown 500%! Wow!
  • by jheath314 ( 916607 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:51PM (#15067896)
    Where-ever /. tells it to go, of course. :)
  • by Illbay ( 700081 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:35PM (#15068419) Journal
    The day your mother gets a blog, is the day you realize blogging has jumped the shark.
  • Tracing route to []
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 1 ms 1 ms 2 ms
    2 35 ms 35 ms 35 ms
    3 35 ms 35 ms 35 ms []
    4 93 ms 39 ms 37 ms []
  • What do you think of tools like [Alexa] []? Are the numbers even representative of slashdot traffic?

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.