Future Web Traffic
It's always amused me when some no name offers his opinion that is contrary to an arguably very successful business leader. Of course, that's what I'm going to do now. I'm the no name and the comments by Rupert Murdoch are my target.
In an interview with CIO Magazine, Murdoch said, "Young people today -- who are the great users of the Internet -- know exactly what sites they want to go to, and they go there. They don't have to go and work their way through Yahoo's homepage or MSN's or someone else's." While that comment is partly true, I think he's missing out on the next generation of these portals. Content aggregators with more advanced features than what Yahoo or MSN currently provide will emerge as the content gateways for users. Users won't check the home pages of niche sites. Instead they will look for ways to aggregate content of interest via things like personalized pages, RSS feeds, social bookmarks, and other, yet to be created techniques. And of course, search engines will continue to be the starting point for a large percentage of users especially when there's a specific question in mind.
Murdoch goes on to describe how MySpace.com has 47 million users, representing a gold mine of data for targeted advertisers. And apparently, there are 1 million new users every week. Does anyone else think that those numbers are big? I could buy the current user count, but where are the 1 million new users coming from? A quick search on the Internet reveals that other people are skeptical too. At best, they acknowledge that there may be that many registrations, but that most people don't go back after their first visit. At worst, there is speculation that most of the profiles are created by automated means to direct traffic to certain sites selling certain products.
So there you have it. My criticisms of a man who probably earned more while I was writing this piece than I will all week.