The challenge of measuring the Distributed

Social Media Measurement has been a focus area of mine for some time. Factiva’s Dow Jones ran a roundtable last winter where we grafted out the requirements for what Social Media Measurement should look like. Engagement, Interaction, Attention and new terms that we’ve not measured will be in addition to Page Views and Web Activity. We want to answer why did they come, and how did they feel are key.

For a distributed network (like PodTech) our ‘traffic’ is spread out over the web.

“Most of PodTech’s traffic comes from its embeddable gadget. So, are you visiting a blog that has our gadget embedded when you watch one of my videos or are you visiting PodTech? I bet most normal people will answer “a blog.” That’d mean that PodTech’s traffic will get way underrepresented in these services (which matches what we’re seeing in our server logs when we compare our real traffic with what Alexa/Compete/Comscore are telling us).“. says colleague Scoble.

The new model? it’s through viral players that spread over the web. Same thing goes with any company that releases a ‘viral’ video campaign through YouTube, Google Video, Blip or Viddler. While a great number of plays will happen on any of those respective sites, a significant number of plays will happen on blogs and websites where it’s embedded.

More importantly than the embedded video consumption is how people responded after they watched the video. Did they leave a comment? Rate it? or most importantly grab that video and share it. I focus more on the amount of time people spend on a particular post rather than total views.

It’s clear, new types of measurement are needed for new types of media. Yahoo is going to put resources into MyBlogLog’s (Blog “Distributed” measurement), although Google Analytics’ recent relaunch still looks like pre-existing functionality, where’s MeasureMap?

By the way, I don’t prefer the term “Analytics” or “Statistics”, I believe that the term Measurement is most appropriate, as it’s just beyond activity on a site.

Change how you are showing success of your social media programs at your corporation. The most important thing you could do? Start to measure and show success of your programs not just from analytics or ‘clip reports’ but see how people responded, and how they interacted with the content. Everytime you provide metrics, also give interaction and qualitative content.