Happy Mother’s Day…

This is the first mother’s day my mom hasn’t been alive (she died last May). That’s weird. It’s also the last mother’s day that Maryam won’t be a mom. It’s a transitional mother’s day for me, in other words. I hope you have a great mother’s day. Enjoy your mom if yours is still alive. Soon enough you’ll be in my shoes.

We need better statistics…

Almost every entrepreneur I talk to lately whines privately about the stats they see on places like Compete.com, Comscore, and Alexa. Today Tom Conrad of Pandora told me that they are extremely low. He says his service requires registration, so he has very accurate stats of who’s signed into Pandora and he can’t figure out why the stats services are so far off of the real stats.

Marshall Sponder, over on Web Metrics Guru, looks into Comscore’s stats of Second Life’s users and finds the same problem.

The thing is these services rely on toolbars (I can’t even use any of the toolbars on the Macintosh for some reason, and how many of you even have one of these folks’ toolbars loaded? None of my friends do and I’ve been checking). Or they rely on “panels” of Web users that they survey regularly. Do you know the selection mechanisms? How do they know they are getting a representative sample? Clearly very few people who run Web companies find their stats accurate. Yet we’re supposed to believe in them?

Also, there are lots of sites who seem to have more traffic than, say, my blog, but they get less comments on every post and if we both link to someone new, the new site gets a lot more traffic from me. I have such a site in mind, but I don’t want to get into an argument with that site. Translation: the engagement levels on some blogs are quite different, but advertisers are being sold on these stats companies and on pure “uniques.”

I don’t know what the solution is, though. What stats do you think are the most important? What’s the most accurate way to measure your sites’ visitors? What will advertisers insist on seeing in the future?

Oh, and in the future people aren’t going to visit your page at all. Most of PodTech’s traffic comes from its embeddable gadget. So, are you visiting a blog that has our gadget embedded when you watch one of my videos or are you visiting PodTech? I bet most normal people will answer “a blog.” That’d mean that PodTech’s traffic will get way underrepresented in these services (which matches what we’re seeing in our server logs when we compare our real traffic with what Alexa/Compete/Comscore are telling us).

The Wii isn’t hurting Xbox? Really?

A Wii showed up at PodTech recently and it flipped me around.

I used to be one of those guys who thought that Xbox or Sony’s Playstation 3 would take over the market due to the much better HD graphics.  But after playing a while on the Wii I get why people think it’s so cool: casual gaming and game play.

I can’t really explain it, but after 10 seconds you forget that the graphics aren’t as good looking as on the Xbox. Who really cares when you’re playing all sorts of games that are somewhere between Zuma and Geometry Wars anyway?

This why I think Robbie Bach is full of it when he disrespected the Wii. This is the kind of stuff that Microsofties are taught to say after they are getting their butts handed to them in the marketplace. I remember Microsoft execs saying similar things about the iPod and iTunes two to three years ago.

Hey, I’m a total Xbox freak. But the Wii has me. I wish Microsoft did more innovation on the controller side of the house too, but that’s not all of why the Wii is getting so much hype (it’s still hard to find one).

I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs about Halo 3 and most of the bloggers aren’t giving it rave reviews. Here’s Blake Snow’s review over on GigaOm.

If I were Robbie I’d worry a little more about controller innovation, gameplay, and coming out with a few more killer games that keeps our attention on the Xbox system.

Another thing? Since I don’t get a lot of exercise I’m looking for some games that’ll encourage me (and my son) to get moving a bit and off of the couch. At least Wii gets you worked up playing tennis and other active games. That’s VERY appealing to not just me but most families I know with kids who tend to spend too much time looking at game screens.