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September 14, 2006

Comments

Greg Linden

I don't know, Jeff. According to Alexa, Dogster's traffic is essentially flat:

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?&range=1y&size=medium&compare_sites=&y=p&url=dogster.com#top

Unless Alexa is wrong, I am not sure you can characterize Dogster as a site with "consistent growth".

Jeff Clavier

Greg> You know Alexa is so skewed that it sometimes does not mean crap. Having access to numbers re users subscriptions, visits and page views, I stand by the "consistent growth".

Gopi

I also doubt it will grow to 3-4 fold in the next 12 months...Yes Alexa is not accurate but ranking.websearch.com is accurate for non-techie mainstream websites (as its gets data from a spyware installed in 10% of US households)...It also shows more or less flat growth.

http://ranking.websearch.com/TrankTrend.aspx?url=www.dogster.com&period=3&size=1

But said all this i am sure this site can sustain a consistent 2-3 million/year business and you will get a decent return for your investment but not a outsize return!

Jeff Clavier

Gopi> We'll see about the size of the return when we get there. For now, we are going to focus at building a great company.

Jason Wood

Jeff,

The success of Dogster speaks to the greater concept of specialized consumption. As someone in the business for a long time, could you speak to how Dogster would've been impossibe to create even a few years ago? It seems to me that without:

A) The maturation of the online ad/revenue model
B) The commodiziation of the infrastructure stack (i.e., allowing a company to bootstrap to launch)
C) the pervasiveness of the concept of "long tail"

...Dogster wouldn't have a chance at success. Would you agree?

vps hosting

I am sure that growth of dogster.com has increased with time, i am also aware that for bieng in the online business, we need to be very smart and matured to handle major responsibilities which come all of a sudden without expectations.

Greg Linden

Picking up on this old thread again, Jeff, I wonder if you are still claiming consistent growth for Dogster?

The Alexa chart shows a steady decline in traffic since Sept 2006.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/dogster.com?compare_sites=&range=3y&size=medium&y=p#top

Is that data wrong? You said it "does not mean crap" before, so is it true that Dogster's internal numbers do not show this same decline?

Ted Rheingold

Hi Greg,

Jeff forwarded me your comment, so I thought I would answer.

Yes, the Alexa stats are off, way off. Starting about a year ago they stopped reflecting usage trends as seen in both our internal and 3rd party web stat tools.

However, we do find that compete.com is reflecting our usage trends correctly. Compete gets anonymized logs direct from ISPs - instead of using a distributed toolbar as Alexa does - and so far they've displayed the right trends for all the sites I know actual numbers for.

Looking at Compete for dogster.com and catster.com you will see that our growth and usage has remained very steady. Check out the overall monthly visits, the pages/visit, and average stay to see significant growth. In fact just earlier this month we had our biggest day ever in terms of uniques, dog profiles added and banner ads served. (http://tinyurl.com/2a4o5w)

At this point we are a 15 person break-even business. We have over 550,000 registered members, about a quarter of which log in weekly. Our subscription program, virtual currency and digital gifts features are all widely embraced on both our sites. Shutterfly, 9-Lives, Arm & Hammer and Pup-peroni are run-of-site sponsors and we currently have direct ad buys live on the site for Paramount Pictures, Suzuki Motors, Mug Rootbeer, Humane Society US, AKC Foods and a bunch more.

Overall I think Alexa is a dead service. Compete and Quantcast are doing a much better job by relying on a much better data pool. Our business and our communities are doing great. We may not have the growth of a zombie biting app on Facebook, but we'll be popular a lot longer. From what we're experiencing you definitely don't need hyper growth to be very successful on the Internet.

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