You Want Numbers, You Got It.

There’s been a lot of talk lately from internet ‘A-listers’ who suggest that Twitter users are flocking to FriendFeed, in lieu of their recent issues.  They say that FriendFeed is where the conversation is and that by the numbers and how fast they’ve grown their networks, FriendFeed has something that Twitter should be afraid of – conversation. Do these numbers really show the truth in FriendFeed as a fast growing conversational network? I don’t doubt its increased popularity as a micro-blogging/life-streaming portal, but what’s funny is the fact that these and other prominent folks in the industry talk about numbers, when in reality it’s about the actual conversations and engaging the user.

Nonetheless, my point actually alludes to more numbers and an email I received the other day from Compete. It provided their June 2008 traffic data and a Top 20 list of the fastest growing websites for the month:

Taking a look at the Top 5, three of them relate to Tennis and Golf, which clearly shows the influence that the US Open and Wimbledon had on those sites.

The surprise on this list though is number 4, Plurk, with a 4561% increase in Visits from May ’08 – June ’08. This jump is huge for a new site that’s diving into the already chartered waters of micro-blogging.

But wait…no FriendFeed? I thought users were jumping ship and heading over to the real conversation? Not to downplay FF’s success, they rightfully increased 53.5% month over month, but fail in comparison to Plurk’s increase. If it’s a numbers game people want to talk about – Plurk came out about 6 months after FriendFeed and has already surpassed them in visits:

For a fairly fresh site that most ‘A-listers’ didn’t even give a shot, the numbers show the power of Plurk’s conversational platform, which many early adopters are finding great value in.

Some of the more prominent and active users have started Plurkshops, which are a series of workshops that are created by and for the community. The workshops cover a vast array of topics in social media, marketing and blogging and are known to easily get hundreds of responses. I’d be hard-pressed to see such a mini-phenomenon happen on FriendFeed in the same amount of time as it took Plurkshops to evolve.

I’m not saying that Plurk is the savior for micro-blogging sites and that ‘A-listers’ or other people on the FriendFeed bandwagon should use it immediately, but don’t overcompensate claims of FriendFeed’s popularity and their ability to create conversation when in all reality, Plurk has clearly shown this…and the numbers prove it.

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