Accepting the data does not mean that you need to accept the claims…

Seth points us to the new ranking based on our attention called “Compete Attention 200

Please read Seth’s post -“Meaningless to two decimal places” before reading this as what Seth says on this kind of ranking is VERY important.

I have another perspective on this data. Let us forget the top 200. Let us just focus on top 10 sites. (Note: The Attention Index is based on the amount of time U.S. internet users spend across the top one million websites.)

This data is telling us something. Let us dissect this a bit more.

1.  11.9%
2.         8.5%
3.             3.7%
4.            3.7%
5.         2.1%
6.               1.7%
7.           1.6%
8.    0.97%
9.      0.67%
10.   0.64%

Total attention percentage: 35.48%

More than one-third of the attention is spent on these 10 websites. Here are my assessments (warning: some assessments may be half-baked so read the last paragraph before you think of anything else)

1. There are four sites out of the top 10 that are search engine focused. Yahoo, MSN, Google and AOL. As they say, people are drowning in information but starving for knowledge. Large majority of people are SEARCHING for something. Either they are not doing anything with the data they found or the data is bad or they just want to search some more 🙂

2. With, and are on the top 10, it just means that lot of internet-savvy youngsters are more comfortable to mingle online than to shake hands. That is understandable – you can chat with ten people online at a time, send emails to hundred or more people at a time. But to shake hands, it is a lot of work and the ROI seems to be low for them. However, most people also know that it is hard to replace a handshake with technology gimmicks. But, you know, it is convenient to spend time online 🙂

3. eBay is on the top 10 list. This is interesting. eBay for me is a masterstroke by confederation of microbrands. Makes me wonder – is it worth spending money on building a big brand or be a microbrand and win big on eBay 🙂

4. And I love the fact that is on the top 10. Just shows that once the utility value is high, coolness factor does not matter. Craigslist does not have a flamboyant personality but makes it very easy for a common man to give and get value 🙂

Please note: Before you go and make an analysis of my analysis, the point I want to make is that data is just data. What is more important is to observe the claims that are made based on the data. You can agree or disagree with the folks that this list represents the best of the best on the web.

You can also spend time proving or disproving that claim. Rather than that, why not spend some time on this data and see if this data means anything to your business. In other words, if this is hard data, what can you infer from it that will change the way you view your own business?