Finding the Shape

I have meant to blogroll Ross Mayfield’s weblog for a while, but it took his linking to me a second time (after I jokingly compared him to Gibson’s Gentry) to get around to it. Ross’s site is the best around for pointers to publicly accessible data about the shape of the Internet. These days if I have questions about how fast the Net is growing, how its users are distributed, what its mechanism of growth looks like I look to Ross first. This morning, for instance he points to a paper by NEC researchers that says that the old “power law” explanation for the popularity of web sites (the most popular attract more links than the newer entries) doesn’t hold across all categories. He goes on to suggest that the falling barrier to entry for web publishing may also be a factor.