Monday, August 09, 2010

0.000220008%

Is it me, or does anyone else find it strange that LinkedIn claims to have 75 million members worldwide but has managed to attract only 16,506 Fans on Facebook? In other words, the percentage of their users who claim to 'Like' LinkedIn is 0.00022008%. Yep... That reads as 2 ten thousandths of a percent.
To put this number in some perspective, that's the equivalent of having 100,000 University of Florida students and alumni pack Florida Field (a.k.a. 'The Swamp') on a college football Saturday against heated rival and defending national champion University of Alabama, and seeing only 20 of those people cheer for the Gators while the other 99,980 take a nap.


Okay, maybe not an apples to apples comparison, but you get my point. Given the nature of their business and it's relevance to Facebook, it seems mathematically impossible for LinkedIn to have such a low fan base. Even Fast Pitch!, which pales in comparison to LinkedIn's supposed size, has organically grown our Facebook Fan Page to 3,000 with almost zero effort.
So what's the deal here?
When you compare LinkedIn to other Top 50 trafficked Internet sites worldwide (LinkedIn currently ranks #26), you can see why this is so perplexing. For example:
  • YouTube has 1.5 Million Fans
  • Google has 1.5 Million Fans
  • Twitter has 400,000 Fans
  • Bing has 1.5 Million Fans
  • Wikipedia has 400,000 Fans
  • Mashable has 250,000 Fans
Heck, even BP has 40,000 Fans!
For a company who claims not to be in competition with Facebook, who employs close to 1,000 people (all of whom are probably Fans, making their actual % of Fans even worse) and whose founder is also an early investor in Facebook... to have only 16,000 people cheering for LinkedIn defies all logic.
Dare I say it but, could it be that LinkedIn just isn't giving people anything to cheer about?

Bill

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Slow and Steady...

During a recent meeting with a colleague the topic of Alexa rankings came up. Alexa estimates the popularity of websites and over the years has become a resource for quickly gauging the success of most websites around the world.

To be honest, I had not looked at the Fast Pitch! Alexa rankings in over a year. Here's why:
  1. Alexa's data gathering process is flawed and based on an extremely limited sampling of people who have downloaded the Alexa Toolbar (for the record, I do not know a single person who has downloaded the Alexa Toolbar. Do you?).
  2. We measure our own traffic internally anyway, and know exactly how we're doing, where the traffic is coming from, etc.
  3. We don't rely on advertising for business, so perceived traffic to the outside world isn't all that critical to our business. Most of our growth happens through referrals.
  4. Alexa rankings can be easily manipulated. I won't say names, but it's happening more than advertisers realize.
  5. DHTML style click thru's aren't recognized by Alexa. That's at least 50% of our traffic.
Nonetheless, after the conversation, I figured it was time to re-visit Alexa and see how they had us ranked these days. It had been almost a year to the day that we rolled out the latest version to our website (which now includes lots of DHTML).
As expected, most of the page view data was off which subsequently affects our overall rankings in the world (currently 14,000th in the U.S.). But as I mentioned that's not really important to us.
On a positive note, what was nice to see was the gradual upward trending of our graph - which does reflect our own internal numbers. I'm still not sold on Alexa as true measure of a website, but I am pleased to see that they are capturing the essence of our overall growth. It's a good trend. Remember, slow and steady wins the race... :)

Bill