By the people or For the people

There are different types of web applications out there. Some are based on content. Youtube and Flickr will fall into a content sharing site with a social network built in. People upload videos and pics and then share it with there online and real world friends using its different features. If we neglect small differences in features it’s about the same. One big difference though, Youtube is google searchable while Flickr is not.

What does this imply?

That considerable hits from youtube would come from google search. Now there is a high possibility that those who searched for a term and then came through google to a youtube video page, either:

  1. did not know about youtube
  2. did know about youtube, but did not think it would have what they needed.

In any case once they reach a youtube video page, there are two further possibilities:

  1. they find what they were looking for
  2. though close they need more precise result
  3. they don’t like the result and go out of youtube

In both 1 & 2 if the video is surrounded by more related things, the chances of the user staying there longer increases. Now a video in youtube is surrounded by different things. Below it is what the registered users can do with it, favorite it, send it to friends, etc. On the right is the metadata, details of the video. Below that is the related videos. In 1024 resolution I can only see two of the related videos above the fold.

The question is if the percentage of users from google users is really great, should the related videos get more limelight?

The overall bigger question here is while some sites say Twitter or Pownce would have (my opinion, i have no data) less people coming from google. So the design should be optimised more for the registered users or for the people who know what the service is about. While other sites where data is more generic say Scribd, SlideShare or Youtube (in parts, ads, music videos and such) can expect a lot of traffic from google and should optimise for such users.

In short is your web app by the people or for the people?

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