David RD Gratton

Tag: Hitwise

Hitwise has a bad definition of Social Networking

March 15, 2007

Stephen O'Hear reports that according to Hitwise, the US market share of the top 20 social networking sites grew by 11.5 percent from January to February 2007.

Pretty impressive numbers over 2 months, and the list of the top 20 Social Networks was interesting. However after talking with Stephen, I discovered that the Hitwise definition of a social network is horribly flawed. Their definition limits the study to sites that are broad friend-based social networks. It omits sites like, Flickr, Last.fm, 2nd Life, or Project Opus which are deemed "social software".

This is absurd! Social networking is a feature of almost any media publishing service. A friend based social network like could easily be called a mailing list social network. is a roll-a-dex social network. Last.fm is a music recommendation social network. Flickr is a photography social network.

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