Metrics tend to play a middling role after a social-media company is established. With a few notable exceptions, most sites hit a peak then flatten out. The same can be said for open-source projects. There are peaks, but really what you want is consistency in the numbers. Hyper-growth is not sustainable and you will eventually saturate the addressable market.
One of the things open-source projects tout is their number of downloads. Download metrics are often very flawed but can help tell the story of how big the market potential is. Social-media companies talk about their number of registered users. Neither talks much about retained users unless the metrics are very impressive.
As I was reading Jeremy Liew's blog today
, I realized the models of adoption of open source and social media are very similar:
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