Watch That Space

, Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Today‚??s Washington Post has an interesting article titled New Trends In Online Traffic: Visits to Sites for Blogging, Local Information and Social Networks Drive Web Growth. I read the article for free on washingtonpost.com which by itself requires another blog item on the current (sorry?) state of print media. But, I digress.

The article has really fascinating numbers based on the user traffic data from ComScore Media Metrix, so it is highly recommend reading for everyone. The top three sites with the most growth between Feb 2005 and Feb 2006:

  1. Blogger.com: The blogging tool, now owned by Google. From 2.5 mil visitors in Feb 2005 to 15.6 mil in Feb 2006 which is a whopping 528% growth
  2. MySpace.com: The site, now owned by Rupert Murdoch‚??s News Corp, where the youngsters hang out. From 9 mil visitors in Feb 2005 to 37 mil in Feb 2006 which is a 318% growth
  3. Wikipedia – the ‘free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’ which is controlled by the non profit Wikimedia Foundation had 275% growth in the same period (no numbers break down)

When I saw this article, another Washington Post article from a couple of days ago came to mind. This one was about Northern Virgina area students marching to protest the immigration bill titled Students Walk Out in 2nd Day Of Immigration Rights Protest. I quote a paragraph buried somewhere in that story:

School officials did not try to stop them."Part of the Washington-Lee mission is to encourage students to take an active role in their community," Robertson said. As with earlier demonstrations, word of the protests was spread by cellphone and the Web site MySpace.com. Some students said they learned about the immigration debate from newspapers or in class. Others said friends convinced them that many of the proposals were unfair." (emphasis is mine)

So, here is a mobilization tool of choice for the youth – MySpace.com. Non profit organizations that are attempting to reach young activists, better watch that space – bad attempt at pun :).

Additional Reading:

  1. The MySpace Generation: They live online. They buy online. They play online. Their power is growing (Business Week)
  2. Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace (Research Paper)

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