Internet: 08Feb1999

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Internet Story: 08 Feb 1999

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In this issue:

Tribute to King Hussein

Measuring Web Site Traffic


Who's polluting your area?


Tribute  His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal died at 1143, local time, on Sunday (7Feb1999).  One of this century's great leaders, he was comitted until the end of his life to bring about a lasting peace in the middle east.  More information about him can be seen on the following sites: His own Web Site, Queen Noor's site, Jordan Radio & TV, BBC Obituary, CNN Obituary.  For information about Jordon see their National Information System.

You can add your own tributes here.


Web Site Traffic  Is the number of hits on a web site page a reasonable indication of how popular a site is?   If we are to believe recent news from Yahoo! it is.  However, let's just examine for a moment what the number of "hits" to a page, and "reach" as this has now evolved to, means.  It's a measure of the percentage of the Web-surfing population who alight on a company's pages at least once in a given time period (usually a month).  It's the sort of statistics that companies like Media Metrix produce by monitoring individual surfers and extrapolating to the general population (like Nielsen and Milward Brown do for TV audience statistics).  So why is this TV monitoring style not suited to the web?  One major reason: it gives equal weighting to, 1) people who flee in disgust after one look at a home page; and 2) loyal users who return again and again and rely on a site as a major part of their lives.  For a potted history of web statistics and why we DON'T want a TV rating style system for the web see Scott Rosenberg's recent article in Salon Magazine.

UK Retailers... this is your WAKE UP call!   Yet another set of statistics show that if UK retailers don't start to get their act together soon then the US will just take over the online (and probably the rest, eventually) retail market in the UK and Europe.  Jakob Nielsen's latest piece on "Why people shop on the web", explains that convenience and ease of use are the main reasons people buy at websites, not price (although that came 3rd place in the study).  Shoppers only purchase 5% of the time that they visit an e-commerce site.   Most people are looking for information to make a purchasing decision.   Few people were too interested in information about the vendor.


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See who's polluting your area!   By the time you read this (it's due to go live today at 10.00, though it does seem to be struggling at 12.30) you should be able to get on to the Friends of the Earth's database of just who's emitting pollutants into the environment around where you live.  You can see just which companies are the worst offenders!


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999



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