What Kind Of Content Is Popular On The Internet?

I love how Gawker Media is so transparent with their traffic stats. At the bottom of every Gawker site is a link to the sitemeter stats. I've spent some time over the past week looking closely at Gawker's site network and looking at the stats. It's an interesting story. Here's most of the Gawker network:

Gawker properties

In addition, Gawker also operates the Fleshbot porn network. So it's interesting to see how all these sites do and what are the ones with the largest audiences. The links below are not to the sites themselves but to the stats pages of the sites.

The Gizmodo blog (Gadgets) is by far and away the most popular site on the network with 90mm monthly visits and 6mm uniques.

Lifehacker (hacker lifestyle) is next with 5mm uniques but only 30mm monthly visits.

Kotaku (Gaming) has more visits than Lifehacker (45mm monthly visits) but about 3mm uniques.

The flagship Gawker (gossip) blog has 2.7mm monthly uniques and about 20mm monthly visits.

The rich verticals of autos (Jalopnik), women (Jezebel), and sports (Deadspin) all clock in at between 1mm and 2mm monthly uniques and 10mm to 20mm monthly visits.

Coming in at the back of the pack is Sci-Fi (io9) and porn (Fleshbot) with about 10mm monthly visits.

Of course, it's a bit crazy to use one blog network to make any conclusions about the overall popularity of various forms of content on the Internet. And some of these sites are more mature (like Gawker and Gizmodo) than others (io9).

But it is interesting to me that gadgets and geek lifestyle are bigger properties with more growth than things like autos, women, and sports. And it is also interesting that gaming is doing much better than gossip. And of course, it's worth noting that porn is coming in last.

If you look at the comScore/Media Metrix Global Top 100, what you see is that very little of this kind of content is in the top 100. It is dominated by utlities (search, social networking), games, ecommerce, and international properties. However, ESPN does have 35mm monthly uniques and iVillage does have 33mm uniques. Gawker Media itself comes in at #247 on the Media Metrix global list with about 15mm uniques.

So, in conclusion, I think it is safe to say that the Internet is not just for porn. It's mostly for social media, search, shopping, and other utilities. And when it comes to content, geeks and gamers are still a very important audience on the Internet. I wonder if it will always be that way.

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