TechDirt points to a post noting that MySpace has intentionally avoided improvements at usability under the rationale that poor usability often results in more clicks and hence more page views, which in turn generates more advertising revenue.
That’s right. I hold that at least 2/3rds of page views would disappear. Here’s what I mean. This would be the flow in a, say, Google-engineered network experience:
1. Click over to “GoogSpace”, or whatever we want to call it. (+1 page view)
2. Click through to read and reply to all mail (0)
3. Visit a few friends’ pages (+3)
4. Edit my profile page (+1)
That’s about 5 registered page views. The rest of the interaction comes from XML/HTTP requests.
Here’s the same sequence on MySpace:
1. Click over to MySpace. (+1 page view)
2. Log in, because MySpace doesn’t remember logins very well. (+2)
3. Click through to read and reply to all mail… about three per mail. (+21)
4. Visit a few friends’ pages. (+3)
5. Reload a few pages because of server errors. (+3)
5. Edit my profile page. (+10)
It essentially boils down to the AJAX issue -- AJAX results in less page views and for CPM-friendly publishers, this can spell less advertising revenue (at least in the short run).