Jenkins: Speed vs. stickiness is emerging web debate

Jenkins: Speed vs. stickiness is emerging web debate

October 8th, 2010 by Donnie Jenkins in Life Entertainment

A report on this week raised an interesting comparison of Google and Facebook. At issue: Is it better for a site to be quick or to be sticky?

Speed is always highly desired online, but the common wisdom is that sites also want to keep visitors "sticking around" as long as possible. Facebook has mastered the sticky part, with some users staying online all day. Google takes the opposite approach in its new instant search service, trying to get the user where they need to go as fast as possible.

There are business advantages to both approaches. Google certainly benefits in the short run and makes huge sums of money for its convenience and speed. Facebook has the advantage of being a closed system or "black box" and has more ability to figure out different approaches and especially to benefit from its control of extensive and specific user data. It will be fascinating to watch how these two giants battle it out over time.

I received a large number of e-mails on my recent article on "the concept of the primitive." After reading several of them I got to thinking further on the idea and wanted to share a final thought on that subject.

There is now a lot of talk about the idea of Internet TV or online video channels. Google TV, Apple TV, Roku, Boxee - these are all contenders in the next generation of online video distribution. As broadband internet service becomes even more prevalent, we'll see more and more services emerge and sooner or later one or two of them will become dominant.

While this will result in a wonderful selection of content to choose from, let's hope we never lose the primitive or primal spirit online that has led to YouTube and similar services. You need only study the devolution of original rock and country music to see what happens when things get too organized and civilized.

n Speaking of music, one of the most interesting music services out there now can be found at For a fee, the site offers multiple downloads to your mobile device and a truly great and high quality variety of music.

My primary way of testing any new music service I run across is to look for obscure tracks from name artists, and this site did well in that regard. They also offer an online radio experience somewhat like the excellent Pandora. All in all, this is a great service and very fairly priced.

n The film "The Social Network" about Facebook is a huge hit as expected and has resulted in an equally expected discussion over how factual it really is. To me, the most important issue is the fact that it was made at all. The film's very existence is testimony to the importance of Facebook and social networking, and the huge interest in it shows how hungry people are to hear and see stories about other people who are friends with other people who are friends with other people.

n Finally, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg appeared recently on "The Simpsons," proving that cartoons always tell the inside story on society best. Paraphrasing Homer Simpson again, just because we don't care doesn't mean we don't understand.

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