After I’d completed my previous post on the JNIR report on Internet usage on Ireland I came accross the Net Behaviour Research output released two days prior to that on the same subject. Net Behaviour are a media-buying agency specialising in digital media. They undertook a research project around the same time as the JNIR guys at “30 online sampling points in Ireland and abroad”. Their focus was very much on Irish web users (whether based here or abroad) and took 500 websites into consideration. Net Behaviour don’t tell us how many actual users were captured in the research; you’ll remember that JNIR surveyed 5,000.

Here are the Net Behaviour top ten plotted alongside the JNIR top ten:

NET BEHAVIOUR:

Google.ie
Yahoo (any)
AerLingus.com
Ryanair.com
RTE.ie
eBay
MSN
eircom.net
iTunes.ie
MyHome.ie

JNIR:

Yahoo
Eircom
Ticketmaster
RTE
Myhome.ie
Ireland.com
Irishjobs.ie
Golden Pages
Entertainment.ie
Loadzajobs.ie

My List of the sites
missing from JNIR:

Google.ie
MSN.ie
Bebo.com
Ryanair.com
AerLingus.com
YouTube.ie
Ebay.ie
Daft.ie
Hews.biz

As you’ll see, the commonality between the two pieces of research is Yahoo, Eircom, Myhome and RTE. Yahoo tops with the others following in different positions thereafter.

My list of the sites that I felt were obviously missing from the JNIR research has the following overlaps with the Net Behaviour findings: Google, MSN, Ryanair, AerLingus, and Ebay.

Put these together you’d get a list of the top ten websites in Ireland that looks something like this:

1. Google
2. Yahoo
3. Eircom
4. MSN
5. AerLingus
6. Ryanair
7. Myhome
8. RTE
9. Ebay
10. and in last place I’m taking a punt on Bebo

And I’m just going on common sense.

The question is, who do you believe? In fairness to the JNIR they are clearly not setting out to report on the actual top websites in Ireland, only the top of the 19 websites that are paid up members of the JNIR. (I do note with interest that none of Net Behaviour’s clients actually feature anywhere in their list of top sites – in any of the categories they list. Not sure what that says?)

It probably all goes to emphasise the need for a standardised and independent approach to measuring Internet activity in Ireland. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a few of these research houses knocked heads together and came up with an agreed approach that would offer more reliability.

If that doesn’t transpire, we could revert to common sense as it might just give us a more reliable steer. What do you think?