Seth Godin uncovered a list of the top one hundred websites in the U.S. I found the list rather enlightening. After removing public companies and those that only do commerce, here are the independent companies in the top thirty or so:
* twitter.com * squidoo.com
* wikipedia.org * grindtv.com
* answers.com * drudgereport.com
* wordpress.com * coolmath-games.com
* craigslist.org * city-data.com
* tumblr.com * urbandictionary.com
* pandora.com * wundergraound.com
* whitepages.com * chacha.com
* manta.com * bleachereport.com
* photobucket.com * twitpic.com
* yelp.com * deviantart.com
* wikia.com * cafemom.com
* webmd.com * zimbio.com
* hubpages.com * typepad.com
The $64,000 question that people have been asking for the last twenty five years is simply this: how do company’s like these get so many people to visit their sites?
May I suggest the answer might just be the same way leaders gain followers:
1. They add value to people. Users visit sites to gain something from them.
2. They provide helpful guidance. Users want something they possess.
3. They are engaging. Users visit sites because they’ll be appealing.
4. They are relevant. Users know the data on the site pertains to them.
5. They improve people. Users believe they’ll be better for the visit.
Perhaps this is how we should be leading the next generation. After all, they inform us as to what they want by visiting sites likes these above. I believe if those of us who lead young people could be described with the list above—we might just gain some more “visitors.”
Just a thought.