click_what_millions_of_people_are_doing_online_and_why_it_matters-400-400Click is a book by Bill Tancer, founder of Hitwise – a company that tracks online usage. This book is about understanding human behavior and drawing conclusions from aggregate online behavior such as search trends. It has a very interesting start talking about adult sites:

  • Throughout the year, Thanksgiving is the day with least visits to adult sites since family members are around.
  • On a daily basis, adult sites receive most visitors on Fridays, and least on Sundays. Having least visitors on Sunday is explained by religious beliefs but Friday is pretty counter-intuitive.
  • 70% of the visitors are male, female visitors prefer erotic literature, whereas male counterparts prefer pictures and videos.

Another interesting claim is that the competitors of adult sites are social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook because their traffic trends show strong negative correlation.

Another counter-intuitive conclusion from this book is about prom dresses. Since proms are usually in May or June, one would expect people to look for dresses during May or April. However, search traffic for prom dresses starts peaking in January, showing a change in our behavior over the years.

Other parts of the book talk about our fascination about celebrities, failed resolutions, what people are afraid of etc.

Not all parts of the book are equally interesting, but there are a lot of counter-intuitive findings mentioned that makes us question our intuitions and beliefs. Overall, it’s worth reading if you are interested in learning more about humans via our online actions.

July 30, 2009

sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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