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Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
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Sat, 03 Feb 2007 20:37:12 GMT
Social Website Survey

Last month, I ran a small social website survey to try and figure out what were the most popular social websites and maybe find some diamonds in the ruff. I got 47 respondents, which is about what I expected. That isn't a lot, but enough to derive some meaningful information.

One thing I did was use awareness as a baseline. This way I could judge the other questions against whether the person was even aware of the social website. You can think of awareness as first base for a social website. It's the most important base, but doesn't really say much about the experience. Second, third and home base I set as whether you actually bothered to setup a profile, use the website regularly and whether it's your favorite. I then computed the percentage of time that any user moved from one base to a higher base. I figured these scores would tell me less about the marketing of the website and more about the actual experience of using it. I further deduced that by summing the scores, then maybe I'd get an interesting ranking. Check the spreadsheet details.

Let's focus on the top 5 websites from the survey.

  1. YouTube - YouTube was #1 because 14 of 25 (56%) respondents who said they've visited the website also say its their favorite social website. Of the 14 that said it was their favorite, only 10 had profiles. That's not surprising as many of my friends love to surf YouTube, but don't have profiles.
  2. Facebox - This was the big surprise. In fact, I included it only to round out the list to 20 websites. I've never used it, but 3 of 4 respondents who have used it also say it's their favorite.
  3. Flickr - Ten people responded they had a Flickr profile, ten responded they used it regularly and ten responded it was their favorite social website. In other words, if you setup a profile, you'll like it, but until you do, you don't use it.
  4. MySpace - In aggregate, the scores for MySpace were off the chart. Almost everybody knows about it, has a profile, uses it regularly and call its their favorite. But once you dig into the numbers, you realize the numbers simply fall out of the fact that everybody knows about it and you can't even watch the weather network without hearing they have a MySpace profile.
  5. Facebook - Facebook's stats were very similar to MySpace except that only one-third as many respondents had visited it and that translated across the survey to similar one-third numbers.

Some surprising numbers came from the middleweights; Orkut, Friendster and MSN Space. Nobody responded that they used the site regularly or called it their favorite. Heavyweight LinkedIn posted surprisingly average numbers. I will check-out Facebox and Bebo, which I've never visited before and did very well.

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