John Chamberlain
Developer Diary
 Developer Diary · You Heard It Here First · Thursday 8 January 2004
The Top Web Sites
A British toolbar company called Alexa that spies on its customers' browsing habits publishes a list of the most frequently visited web sites. Some of the results are surprising.

The English language top 500 is mostly the news, portal and advertising companies you would expect. Nevertheless there are a lot of surprises. The ones I found most interesting:

#6 Passport - By using the power of their operating system Microsoft is essentially forcing millions of clueless "consumers" (whatever that means) into visiting this site which has no purpose other than to constrain people to the evil will of Redmond.

#24 - The top domain-specific (non-genaralist) site. Nothing is more powerful than all-consuming search of females for an acceptable mate. That this is the top site (not involved with the computer/portal industry) should tell you something about human nature. Site #34 Adult Friend Finder is the same idea except you get to share dirty pictures.

#52 Neopets - I think this site reveals the British roots of Alexa. English are fascinated by pets, even virtual pets. This company is truly wierd. It is like Teletubbies (another wierd British import) on steroids. That this is the number 52 site in the world freaks me out. I am going to go sit in a corner now and be totally weirded out.

#55 Craig's List - A global classified ads system that is free. Now why didn't I think of that?

#64 NBA - I admit I can't explain this one. Surely more Americans are interested in football or baseball. Why is the basketball site the top-ranked sports site? At least it wasn't the national bowling association.

#75 The Cartoon Network - People like cartoons. This is the top multimedia site. It's all Real media, though, so I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

You might want to explore their list for your own suprises. What's popular and what's not. I'm baffled by a lot of the picks, but then again that's probably why I'm not popular.

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