Matt Mullenweg has a blog post entitled MSN Spaces Numbers where he writes
Scoble has been questioning the claimed numbers of MSN Spaces
and somehow the conversation got sidetracked in the technicalities of
“what’s a blog?” I’m not sure what Microsoft hopes to gain by inflating
their numbers so much, now claiming 70 million “blogs”, but it’s interesting to note back in March they were claiming 123 million blogs at SxSW (Flickr photo of their booth). Of course that was like 2 name changes and reorgs ago. Maybe 50 million people left the service?
I wasn't planning to blog about the recent round of player hating on Windows Live spaces certain bloggers but the above claim by Matt Mullenweg that we are 'inflating' our numbers really got my goat.
First of all, the two numbers quoted above by Matt are unrelated metrics. The count of 123 million users is explained in the press release MSN Spaces Now Largest Blogging Service Worldwide which states that comScore Media Metrix has measured the service's reach as being 100 million unique vistors a month and this number is in addition to 20 million unique visitors from using the chinese version of MSN Spaces. The 70 million number is the number of
blogs spaces that have been created since inception. This number isn't particularly interesting since it doesn't correlate to how many people are actually getting value out of the service.
For example, according to the LiveJournal statistics page their current statistics are
How many users, and how many of those are active?
- Total accounts: 10945719
- ... active in some way: 1870731
- ... that have ever updated: 7278240
- ... updating in last 30 days: 1164416
- ... updating in last 7 days: 679693
- ... updating in past 24 hours: 204465
According to those statistics only 1 out of 5 LiveJournal accounts is actually active. Of course, it would sound impressive to tout 11 million LiveJournal accounts even though the number of active accounts is much less. For that reason, the number of spaces on Windows Live Spaces isn't a particularly interesting metric to me nor is it to anyone I know who works on the product. We are more interested in the number of people who actually use our service and get value added to their lives by being able to share, discuss and communicate with their friends, families and total strangers.