Neopets Anonymous - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
10:07 PM

Neopets Anonymous

With more than 60 million registered users and some of the stickiest content on the Internet, its users spend more time at the site than any other site reported.

Most of us are aware of the heavily trafficked sites. But somehow, comes in under most of our radar, unless you happen to have children or enjoy playing games and interacting in large online communities.

Neopets first came to my attention as a nominee for the Wired Kids Best of the Web 2003 Awards. Over and over, kids and teens across the United States and in English-speaking countries around the world nominated it as their favorite Web site. The Associated Press followed with an article about how a mother withheld access to Neopets when her daughter wouldn't clean her room. It proved an effective punishment.

Take Parry Aftab's Cyberloafing Survey

When we began our review of Neopets, we learned that with some of the stickiest content on the Internet, its users spend more time at the site than any other site reported. They also revisited more often than most other sites. (It averages 2.5 billion page views a month.)

But what is at first glance brushed off as a kids' site has its adult fans as well, especially in the under-30 age group. Its popularity in the workplace was driven home when Neopets general counsel Stephanie Yost Cameron called another lawyer. The legal secretary answered and asked for Stephanie's name and affiliation. On the mention of Neopets, the legal secretary exclaimed that she was a big fan and was playing it as they spoke. She played it whenever she could, she told Stephanie. While Stephanie was thrilled to find another Neopets fan, she commented on how often she heard about employees playing Neopets from work.

If you combine the stickiness and frequency of visits of Neopets' registered users with the number of users accessing the site from work, you've identified a serious, but fun, time drain.

Return to main story: The Privacy Lawyer: Cyberloafing's Drain On Productivity

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