Where the Social Media Numbers Are Numbing

Ever wonder how many new blogs are posted each day, hour or minute? Or how many text messages are sent daily on Second Life?

If so, Gary Hayes has the perfect Flash application for you. Director of Australia’s Laboratory of Advanced Media Production, Hayes also is fascinated with social media. On his blog, Personalizemedia, he’s created a dynamic box called “Gary’s Social Media Count” that shows viewers data for 21 (so far) categories of social media metrics.

But before you click on that link, a pop quiz. Without peeking, try to figure out which of these categories grows the fastest in any given time period?

Members added on Facebook
Tweets sent
Videos watched on YouTube
Searches made on Google
Text messages sent globally


The order of finish, from the top item to the bottom, is 5, 4, 2, 3, 1. And the contest for first place isn’t even close — for every Google search there are about 2.5 text messages sent. Google searches are conducted at a slightly higher rate than YouTube videos watched, while tweets and Facebook members lag way behind.

(It should be noted that the numbers don’t represent items literally counted. Rather, they’re generated from key data points Hayes has determined from each social media source.)

Hayes also has some categories I wouldn’t have expected, including three for Second Life alone, as well as money spent on virtual goods globally. But he wants more, and urges readers: “If you think of any more profound ‘dynamic’ stats to replace some of the above, COMMENT!”

I’ll go first. Here are some stats I’d like to see:

Undeserved down-votes from reddit haters
“Teabag” references on Twitter
Blatant efforts to suck up to Robert Scoble
Phony claims of social media “expertise”
Instances of “sexting” (Note to Gary: more than raw numbers preferred)

Feel free to make your own suggestions to Hayes. And please tell him to fix that embed code.