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Very true. Demographics are useful only insofar as they correlate with certain patterns of behavior. It also helps us make stories, e.g., "Young mother do X because their babies do Y."

But it certainly seems more proper to segment on behavior rather than demographics, since behavior is ultimately what drives sales.

This type of analysis is called "cohort analysis," as I'm sure you know, and the set of all users who join a site on a given day are a cohort. It's how you should measure retention on a web product, for example, giving you a "retention curve."

This might be of interest, too: a CMU researcher published a paper about the long-term behavior of Facebook users from a specific cohort. I wrote about it, here:

I'm adding your blog to my feed reader as we speak.


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