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September 20, 2006



Hi Bob. Actually, the site now known as Techmeme isn't cannibalizing the site now known as memeorandum at all, and never has. Both are growing, not shrinking.

But it is true that Techmeme moving from tech.memeorandum.com to techmeme.com has decreased overall accesses to the memeorandum.com domain, which is what that Alexa measures.

Why the apparent ongoing memeorandum.com decline? It follows from people changing their bookmarks to reflect the new domain, a process that takes months. Alexa also exaggerates this effect, as it tends to exaggerate traffic to most techy sites. In fact, memeorandum traffic is 60% of Techmeme's traffic, something definitely not reflected in Alexa.

[Bob Wyman responds: Gabe, thanks for the additional detail! If I understand you correctly, you're saying that technical folk are more likely to use Alexa than are non-technical folk. Thus, as the technical folk shift their bookmarks to TechMeme, Alexa reports a disproportionate drop in the number of visitors to tech.memeorandum... That makes sense.

Of course, we've now got another interesting question to deal with: How accurate is Alexa data and are its biases well known? I know a great many people rely on Alexa to give them an accurate view of web activity, yet I also know of many cases where folk who manage web sites are convinced that the Alexa data is inaccurate. This is disappointing, of course.

I wonder how many business plans for "non-techie" sites have been weakened by folk looking at the techie-heavy Alexa numbers and extrapolating them to the general marketplace?]


Bob, this subject does come up from time to time. Probably the best recent post is from David Galbraith:


Try also Googling for "alexa tech skew"

Mike B

How does either meme site make money?

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