Show me your traffic

Hawk Wings has an interesting post about Web 2.0 & Flickr.

Some interesting stats are talked about within the post, especially the fact that Flickr ranks 6th in terms of market share ( when measured by hits ) vs. other photo sharing sites like Photobucket and Yahoo Photos.

I found that to be a bit interesting, but not really all that surprising. A lot of what bugs me about the Web 2.0 hype is that it seems like very cool and useful stuff to people who are tecnically savvy, but it won’t really make an impact on typical users. People are creating things that we ( the industry ) thinks is cool, but it doesn’t solve any perceived problem for standard users.

A good example is AJAX. Now, people in the industry hate HTML & CSS for a number reasons . AJAX, which enables richer GUI’s from within the browser, is seen as a great thing that enables all sorts of things that we couldn’t do before.

But does it really help the non-technical users out there? Do a richer UI really mean more usable? If you show a selection of web UI’s to non-technical users, and ask them what they would change, how many would say they would like to see it richer? I am betting not a lot.

The same goes for a lot of “mashups” and other Web 2.0 fodder out there. While very cool, does it really have mass appeal? As I have stated before, if you’re not actually solving a problem that people already know they have, you’re going to have a tough time.

One other interesting thing about the post is this quote ( bolding is mine):

“Secondly, hits are a very crude measure of importance. They only tell
me what people are visiting.
They tell me nothing qualitative, nothing
about how interesting, useful, stimulating, innovative (or not) the
destination is, only how popular it is.”

Very true. But isn’t that the point? If something is more highly visited vs. someting else, hasn’t the community spoken as to which it finds ( interesting | useful | stimulating | innovative ) ? If you’re an advertiser, which site would you rather advertise on, the one that is very cutting edge, deeply profound, and highly stimulating ( according to some other measurement ) or the one that has all the eyeballs?