The End of the Pageview Paradigm
There’s a reason why a few creative people wanted to build entire websites in Flash during the pre-Ajax/Jquery era: they wanted a seamless user experience, without that pageload.
It might only take a fraction of a second for a page to load on most sites, but that interruption in the experience has been identified as unnecessary. Inelegant.
More can be experienced these days without a pageload.
And it’s through the pageload that most web analytics tools capture data.
The writing was on the wall for a long time – perhaps since the begining, starting with real player content, quicktime, and then the onset of flash video. As experiences become more distributed, the pageview paradigm decays that much more.
The denial cock won’t crow anymore. In a world where in a single page visit, a user can view, read, rate, and comment and then leave the site – and none of it captured unless the script is artificially forced to fire – there can be no tolerance for the pageview paradigm.
In the previous blog post on this, elegantly named “Screw Pageviews“, Jacques Warren, in the comments section, predicted that “Pageviews” are essentially “Clicks”, and that the whole vocabulary would be dominated by the word “interactions”.
The problem with breaking the current model is that the server load on the third party side goes up, and since vendors are typically compensated on the basis of pageviews: server calls – the costs escalate.
That poses a barrier. I can see the vendor arguing: “Want three times the granularity? Pay three times the amount”. And I want vendors to get paid. They do good R&D and there are some really good guys out there.
It’s at this point that I have to question the cost of a pageview.
I keep on hearing how cheap memory and processing power is. It’s really cheap. Google gives so much of it away for ‘free’ in exchange for being a lookie-loo. It’s truly cheap.
But if the vendors are charging a lot on the processing power – because they sure as hell arn’t investing processing power into actual analytics – where is all the money going?
In a post-pageview paradigm world – where we will be gathering a lot more information and richer information – what is the right monetization model?
What are we, as practitioners and clients willing to pay?
What are vendors, as investors and researchers, willing to charge?