Faster page loads may be hazardous to your revenue

At the Lunch 2.0 that Kosmix hosted today (Aug 6, 2009), the panelists from Kosmix, Mozilla.org and FriendFeed shared a few pearls of wisdom on Postcards from the Edge: Shaking up Markets, Mindsets and Media with the 200 people who showed up in Kosmix’s Mountain View office.

Bret Taylor from FriendFeed said (and I paraphrase) that the rules that the experts espouse are not always the golden rules to run your company with.  He once helped a friend to improve the page load times as every web expert can tell you, pages need to load fast or else the users will go elsewhere.

However, the site’s advertising revenue went down drastically after this fix.  It turns out that when the pages were loading slowly, the users were actually looking at the ads.  After the page load got faster, the users went straight to the content and clicks on ads went way down.

On the topic of experience, the panelists all agreed that it can be a blessing but also a curse.  Breakthrough is often achieved by those who didn’t know that it couldn’t be done.  An advice that the panelists gave for those who feel they already know too much to do this:  if you have a ton of experience, swing for the fences and don’t be afraid to fail.

The folks at techpulse360.com provided more detailed reporting of this event.  I have just written down a few points that I find poignant for those of us who are product builders.  I will post another entry on this event later.

Lunch 2.0 Panel @ Kosmix

Lunch 2.0 Panel @ Kosmix

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