May 4, 2010

SA vs. USA Web Traffic, And What This Means For Us


The following is a list of the top 20 sites of both USA and SA, and I’d like to compare the two countries in extremely rough terms from this data.

Top Sites in SA Top Sites in USA
  1. google.co.za
  2. facebook.com
  3. google.com
  4. yahoo.com
  5. youtube.com
  6. wikipedia.org
  7. twitter.com
  8. gumtree.co.za
  9. blogger.com
  10. news24.com
  11. standardbank.co.za
  12. live.com
  13. absa.co.za
  14. wordpress.com
  15. microsoft.com
  16. linkedin.com
  17. flickr.com
  18. iol.co.za
  19. bidorbuy.co.za
  20. msn.com
  1. google.com
  2. facebook.com
  3. yahoo.com
  4. youtube.com
  5. wikipedia.org
  6. blogger.com
  7. ebay.com
  8. craigslist.org
  9. myspace.com
  10. live.com
  11. amazon.com
  12. twitter.com
  13. msn.com
  14. aol.com
  15. go.com
  16. linkedin.com
  17. bing.com
  18. cnn.com
  19. wordpress.com
  20. espn.go.com

My understanding is this: SA is pretty new to the whole Internet thing. There are only 5 million South Africans online (about 12% of the population), even though we have 102% mobile penetration in this country.

Just from looking at the top 20 lists of one of the most developed nations in the world and us, I draw the following insights:

  • The social web exists irrespective of a country’s GDP, internet penetration or employment rate. The social web is equally strong in SA than in the USA, and those online are using social networks extensively in their daily lives.
  • Twitter is an interesting outlier, since it is ranked 7th in SA and only 12th in the US, even though it is a US based product. From Fuseware’s Twitter report for South Africa, up to 40% of Twitter usage is from mobile devices. Since mobile penetration is so high here, it explains the massive use of Twitter.
  • Online banking has hit a home run here in SA. Or has it? I attribute the bank popularity to the insanely small number of banks we have here compared to USA. This focuses SA traffic into any one of the four main bank sites.
  • Nobody uses Myspace here, but we already all know that.
  • SA is very news focused, perhaps because we’re always afraid of impending civil war or another quip from Malema? Either way, SA puts a great focus on news, getting it from News24 and IOL as its primary sources.
  • SA tends to focus on a smaller number of social networks. This is almost definitely because of the small number of people online compared to the US.
  • It is important for SEO companies to optimize results around both Google.co.za, and Google.com. The results will be different!
  • Craigslist never took off here, and Gumtree practically has a stronghold on the online classifieds market. Comparing the two sites, I couldn’t find a definitive reason why Gumtree has become so popular here. But after looking at the age of the domains, the SA Craigslist site is 2 years old and Gumtree.co.za is almost 7 years old, so the explanation becomes obvious.

What other insights can you guys see?

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3 Comments

  1. David Kruyer May 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Strategic success: An elusive dream, or a real possibility?

    Strategic management practices are often over-praised as being a key driver of business success. Paradoxically, at the same time, the art of strategic management, along with its associated practices, is one of the most under-utilised tools of business leaders.
    The success – or failure – of a business can rarely be ascribed to only one reason or decision. Business success is the result of a number of factors that are combined to create positive conditions for a company. The idea that there is a fixed formula for business success is an illusion. There is, however, a brighter side that reflects more than merely another list of excellent business practices as a path to quick success.
    It is increasingly being recognised that long-term sustainable business success from a strategic perspective is based on two leadership capacities.

    The first is the ability of leaders to make strategic choices that improve the performance of their organisation. This implies that the current success – or failure – of a business is the result of past strategic choices.

    The second involves the capacity of business leaders to instill a culture of strategy execution, meaning a firm focuses its resources on the areas that are the key to its success.

    Over time, organisations become the result of the strategic options they have executed and the effects of these choices are displayed in the firm’s competitiveness in the strategic landscape. Strategic choice and strategy execution are key leverages in the creation of sustainable stakeholder value.
    Strategic choice
    Too many leaders are either oblivious or unwilling to make the tough choices that create a strategically focused organisation. While speeches about a firm’s strategic direction reflect a commitment, this does not always translate to a concerted effort by everybody in the organisation to make it a reality. When the strategic position of the firm is not articulated properly, it is difficult for well motivated employees to align their thinking and actions with the strategic intent of the organisation.

    A leader’s future success is not driven by either the chances they take or by postponing difficult decisions, but by the conscious and intended choices they make today.
    Strategy execution
    Business results that are better than those of your competitors do not occur by themselves. Good results come from carrying out the strategic choices a firm has made; those who are able to quickly execute their strategic intent reap the benefits. The focus should be on getting a few things done properly rather than simply ‘talking a good talk’.

    Organisations that are able to mobilise a focused execution of their strategy also benefit from feedback, creating an opportunity for emergent strategies, proactive adaption and learning.

    Risk
    While it may sound simplistic, the reality is that only a few companies get the basics right on strategy. As previously suggested, strategy is vastly under-utilised, but the question remains as to why it is so difficult to achieve consistent long-term strategic success.

    By its nature, strategy is a risky business and there are no guarantees. The reasons are related to the influencing environment in which organisations operate. This environment is the context in which the competitive business game plays itself out over time.
    There are four key factors that contribute to the risks associated with the strategic choices leaders need to contemplate:
    • Changes in the needs of customers increase risk. Customer needs are dynamic rather than static. Consumerism, mass media communication and the need for individuality are all trends that shape the needs of customers. Efforts by the Competition Commission in South Africa are changing the power of consumers forever.
    • Technological developments change the domain of what is possible. These developments enable the ongoing creation of new products and services and increase opportunities for better internal efficiency of organisations. The Internet provides new opportunities and is as significant in the modern era as the invention of cars and telephones were for a previous generation.
    • Competitors in a strategic landscape are changing constantly. New and current competitors are changing their competitive onslaught continuously. The performance of a market leader often tends to force all competitors in a strategic group to new performance heights. As an example, Dell was the leading supplier of personal computers for many years, however, Hewlett-Packard has recently surfaced as the new pack leader.
    • Access to the resources a firm requires for executing its strategic intent contributes to risk. Competitive resources in the form of systems, people and processes take time to develop and need to be nurtured constantly. Intangible assets such as talent, reputation and relationships are elusive constructs, but are integral to the success or failure of a business. To be recognised as an employer of choice, attracting and retaining outstanding talent has become the hallmark of many great companies.

    Application
    Our informed sensitivity to the above change drivers is a starting point for strategy, but only when these strategic choices are practised as an ongoing business process and not as an annual ‘rain dance’. In this case, strategy is not only the domain of a few, but equates to the contribution of all in a firm as strategy represents what the staff do on a daily basis and not simply what the firm wants to be in the future.

    Strategy execution is created through involvement, meaning the efforts of employees and partners of the firm are aligned and focused on the execution of choices the firm has made consciously. This focus can be strengthened retrospectively, by use of feedback and reflection for achieving ongoing strategic success.

    Due to the dynamic nature of customer needs, technological developments, competitor forces and resource stocks, it is a starting condition to treat strategy as an emergent people-centric process. Strategy cannot be a static paper-based activity only. Organisations that accept that their leaders must create clarity on their strategy and see to the execution thereof, will enhance their chances to be the future winners.

    Strategic success is an organisational practice that leaders and their followers need to live into; it is not a standard to live up to. More than being a mere tool, the strategy of a successful organisation is a vital part of the DNA of the organisation empowering all its employees to contribute actively to its execution from an informed perspective

  2. David Kruyer May 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    ‘The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour.. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.

  3. David Kruyer May 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

    Concerning all acts of initiative, (or creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

    All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred.

    A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.

    Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.

    Action has magic, grace, and power to it.

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