Today's fun stats

Some fun facts from the two keynotes I attended at the Wharton Technology Conference today: Lou D’Ambrosio of Avaya and Jeff Weiner of Yahoo!

  • In 1998, the average Web search query was 1.2 words long; in 2004 was twice as long (2.5 words). Weiner (who heads up the search business at Yahoo!) made an insightful connection between this stat and the Long Tail phenomenon. Longer queries means more permutations. More permutations means more unique searches. More unique searches means a longer tail in the distirbution of queries, which enables business models (sponsored search and micro-targeted advertising) that focus on that side of the curve.
  • Yahoo!’s Launch service has three billion recommendations about music from its users. I wonder how many recommendations has on its site? Must be a biiiiiiig number
  • There were 17 million business voice over IP lines deoployed in 2004. In 2005, that is expected to be 24.6 million, which for the first time will exceed new TDM (traditional telephone) lines deployed. In other words, this year is the inflection point for VOIP in business.