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Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters Hardcover – September 2, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Do Americans really spend that much time surfing porn sites? Which demographic visited Anna Nicole Smith's Web site most frequently? Who reads Perez Hilton? More than mere trivia nuggets, the answers to these questions define online behaviors among a varied mix of Internet users. Tancer, who leads global research at Hitwise, an online market research company, guides the reader through the search patterns among 10 million Internet users, challenging myths and making new discoveries about the psychology of consumers, illustrating that clicks speak louder than words and can reveal unspoken truths about individual drives that are not expressed via other forms of media. Everyone from marketing managers who want to know how much power social networking sites wield in the online market to political pollsters trying to decipher the disconnect between exit polls and election results would be advised to heed his research. Witty and invaluable in its insights, this book is destined to become a primer for online marketers and usability experts while shedding new light on the mindset and curiosities of the average Web surfer, i.e., your friends and neighbors. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tancer, a search-engine data miner, takes a look at our culture by evaluating the millions of search queries on the Internet. He crunches the numbers to quantify our desires, our fears, our quest for knowledge, and our aspirations. From porn to prom dresses to politics, the content of our search queries reveals much about our private thoughts that we would not reveal to loved ones, friends, or a stranger taking a survey. His lists include the top “fear of” searches; fear of intimacy and fear of rejection were ranked high, while the fear of public speaking, usually sited as number one, came in at number nine. “How to tie a tie” just beat out “how to have sex” in the how-to category, with “how to levitate” clocking in at number six! For businesses, searches can reveal surprising information that dispels assumptions about customer behavior, such as the seasonality of clothing purchases. Tancer brings humor, clarity, and insight to the trends that are revealed by the ways we seek out and consume information on the Internet. --David Siegfried
Top customer reviews
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From his account in the book, it seems like Bill basically wanders through life from conference to conference, encountering oddities in Hitwise's vast collection of data. Through intuition and observations from the real world, he brings his analytical mind to bear and puzzles out why people are using the Internet in the ways that they are. Bill discusses many patterns in Click, including traffic trends to pornography websites (Sunday is the least popular day), the unusual traffic to prom dress retailers in January, and the many ways people use search engines. Through these stories you will learn how the Internet is actually many things: an advisor we trust to tell us how to tie a tie or explain why we've been dumped; a vast web of social connections dominated by a few attention-starved maniacs; a place we research fashion and make purchase decisions; and a place we can confide our secrets to.
This book is a unique and interesting take on the Internet. It is a quick and compelling read which will take you through the mind of Internet consumer by exploring patterns that only could be recognized by taking a step back and mining a treasure trove of data. It definitely has a place in my library and should be immediately purchased by any self-respecting marketer, psychologist, or blogger. But the book's appeal is really in how accessible it is - you don't have to be a geek to "get it." My only problem with the book was that it ended so quickly, it left me wanting more!
Some of what Bill has to say is indeed interesting and will surprise many of us. Like Celebrity gossip attracts more eyeballs that almost any other news or event. Wow !
But that also brings me to my main gripe about this book. I feel the author has wasted his book on meaningless analysis of data. If the data had been more intelligently analyzed, and written from a reader's perspective that how can I learn and benefit from this data, it would be a much better book. Its like having backstage passes to the biggest show in the world, and talking about Paris Hilton. Meh !!!
Good for understanding what is out there though.
I had seen Tancer on TV and thought that the insights he gleans could result in a compelling book. However, despite being only 200 pages long, there simply isn't enough compelling content. This would have been better as a long or multi-part magazine article.
Most recent customer reviews
First, the book did a good job on its overt topic, that of "what people are doing online and why...Read more