Blogs at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

At the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Technical Plenary and Advisory Council week last week, there was concern that not enough people knew about the W3C blogs.

Well here is a list of some of the ones that I read…

There are probably more that I just don’t know about. Hopefully someone will send me those links

These blogs are a great opportunity to interact and have a conversation with those who have an influential role on the future of the Web.

The Number of Active Users Is Different Than The Number of Accounts Created

More and more when I talk with application developers and people who run startups, they throw around numbers like I’ve gotten 400,000 people who’ve created an account with my application or 100,000 people who’ve added my applications on Facebook.

These numbers are really decieving.  While it may sound like getting 100,000 people to add your application on Facebook is really good, if you dig deeper,  you’ll find out that they only have 3,000 active uers.

Is a 3% return rate good enough?  It wouldn’t be for me…  I’d start questioning the long term success of my product.

You don’t judge a new brick and mortar store by how many people show up on grand opening day.  You go three months later and see if people still care.  Is it still serving a need when all the buzz has warn off?

Almost 10 million people have been like, hey Second Life sounds cool (which is AWESOME).  They’re going to give that a try.  Only around a million have decided to stick around and login in the last 30 days.  Thats a 10% return rate.  I’m not going to run around and just tell people the approx. 10 million signups number.  I’m going to also tell them about the number of active users.

I dunno… it just seems like we need to become more knowledgeable about the metrics that we throw around and hold accountable the people who use them irresponsibly.

Random Thoughts Over Coffee at Port City Java

Today’s set of random thoughts are brought to you while sipping a coffee and sitting outside at Port City Java cafe in Eastern Market in Washington, DC.

  1. I’m realizing the importance of having Web sites which can come up quickly. You click that link or type in that URL and you want it to be there. You shouldn’t have to wait. There are so many things which you can do to improve your site’s performance.
  2. I’m really excited to get my hands on Steve Sounders’s new book “High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers. It’s supposed to give really good guidance on how you can improve your site’s speed through tweaking your HTML & CSS. Apparently, it’s done a ton of great work for Yahoo (where Sounders works).
  3. The guidance Sounders has worked so well that Yahoo has developed a tool around it. YSlow is a Firebug plug-in that you can use to test web sites. It’s amazing how poorly a lot of really popular Web sites do. I wanna write about this soon.
  4. One of the Web sites which is the fastest to load is Google. I know speed and performance is a big thing for them.
  5. Something that’s funny is when you try the Mahalo Challenge, which allows you to pit Mahalo’s search engine against Google, Mahalo loads so slowly that I’ve usually clicked on my result in Google before the Mahalo page has even loaded yet.
  6. I’m constantly giving Facebook a hard time but there is one thing I have to say… It’s awesome the level of success that CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg has reached at such a young age…. he’s like a month older then me. He’s created a company that’s potentially worth $10 billion dollars. That’s crazy.