Evan Williams (one of the makers of Blogger) posts a strong argument for why organisations should be moving away from using page views as a metric much in the same way we all moved away from hits in the late 90s.
Looking at MySpace he compares page views with ‘reach’ (effectively uniqiue visitors) and maps the results against the same for Blogger.com. MySpace suddenly doesn’t look as far ahead as it did when based solely on page views. He draws on Mike Davidson‘s argument that MySpace has such enormous metrics largely as a result of poor architecture – requiring the user to go through refresh pages many more times than necessary if MySpace was redesigned from the ground up with usability in mind.
Ajax is only part of the reason pageviews are obsolete. Another one is RSS. About half the readers of this blog do so via RSS. I can know how many subscribers I have to my feed, thanks to Feedburner. And I can know how many times my feed is downloaded, if I wanted to dig into my server logs. But I don’t get to count pageviews for every view in Google Reader or Bloglines or LiveJournal or anywhere else I’m syndicated.