There has  been plenty of comment over the past week on which are the top Irish websites and how can we find accurate ways to measure activity. Who this most benefits of course is advertisers and marketing agencies. Comscore it seems uses a panel of 2,000 Irish Internet users. While this has it’s disadvantages one alternative being suggested will never happen – that companies allow third parties access to their log files. In the early days of the Internet companies freely shared their user data, but the online competitive landscape has shifted and this has long since ceased.

In the age of Web 2.0 it does seem that user-generated stats are probably the most reliable and hence the role of sites such as Alexa which invite users to download a toolbar on their browser which feeds information back to Alexa. Damien Mulley points out  in today’s Tribune that because so few Irish people have these toolbars then small numbers can skew the data. Seems like more of use should get use these toolbars to equalise things out.

Alexa’s Top Irish Websites has quite a different flavour to Comscore’s and gives a strong sense of the diversity that exists in Ireland. Feels a little less like the advertiser’s dream list than Comscore’s does.