Web Strategy Show: Eric Peterson, Web Analytics Guru on Measurement, Engagement and Attention

This was one of my favorite discussions, Eric and I have been exchanging ideas on blog posts about the terms “Engagement” and “Attention” and the value that they bring as we start to measure social media.

I even posed a few interesting questions to Eric, which he was very eloquent and professional in responding to. Did you know that Eric recently left his full time job to now be a Web Analytics Consultant? You can learn more about him at Web Analytics Demystified.

Did you like this interview? You should also check out my interview with Avinash, or you can learn more about the Web Strategy Video Show.

  • Sorry for the background noise, we were in a hallway at a conference.

  • Jeremiah, thanks for interviewing me when you were in Portland. I look forward to your interview with Jim Sterne as well!

    Eric T. Peterson

  • Thanks for another interesting interview & providing another title to read, Jeremiah!

  • Great interview. I especially like Eric’s position on time spent.

    It will be exciting to see how Eric continues to develop his Analytics 2.0 framework.

    I really like his suggestion to integrate qualitative analysis with click stream analysis.

  • Jeremiah, thanks for your continuing great views into the next stages of web analytics. I am happy that Compete.com made it into your conversation about Attention and Engagement; looks like our Scoble interviews increased awareness of Compete.com usefulness for web analtics! We’re hell-bent on using our clickstream and survey capabilities to come up with universal metrics in these two areas (frameworks are key, but our view is that marketers need universal measures in order to put their own performance into context – relative to rivals, peers, or anyone else they want to compare themselves to).

    Earlier this year, we introduced our Attention metric, and I need to disagree with the conclusions that you, Eric and James (above) have come to. Attention is a time-based measure, so logically the more time we spend on a site, the more attention we give it. We think of Attention as a pie-chart – its finite – so the sites that are increasing in Attention over time are performing well along this metric. Sure people can cite the issues of multiple browser tabs, etc, but the point is that marketers need an effective way to see why sites like http://www.millsberry.com are so incredibly cool. This General Mills site ranks in the top 1500 in visitors but leaps into the top 100 in Attention because its members spend over 30 minutes on the site each time they visit it (more than Myspace). Click here to see this phenomenon: http://snapshot.compete.com/millsberry.com+myspace.com+generalmills.com?metric=avgStay. Ask the folks at MillsOnline if they think that total time spent on site is a great way to understand whether they are increasing/sustaining Attention in the marketplace – I’ll bet they’ll say yes.

    Here’s another great application of our Attention metric: http://snapshot.compete.com/barackobama.com+hillaryclinton.com+johnedwards.com?metric=att. Don’t you think this will be a great predictor for which candidates are generating the most momentum between now and Fall 2008?!

    Engagement is a different story altogether – and we agree with you and Eric. Unlike Attention (a pie-chart), we see Engagement as a spectrum. Worse yet, its tough to place companies/sites on the same spectrum because of the important “emotional layer” of metrics that need to be considered and that are company/situation specific. Our view is that you necessarily need to use attitudinal inputs gathered via surveys to crack the code on a universal Engagement metric (and we think that Reicheld’s work around advocacy and net promoter scores is a fertile place to begin).

    We appreciate you including us in your conversation and would love to advance our approaches with further feedback from you, Eric and your collective fans. We’ll keep you all abreast on our progress….Best, Stephen (Compete CMO)

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  • Hello,
    Sorry to be getting to this so late. I know people will be shocked that I disagree with “Attention is a time-based measure, so logically the more time we spend on a site, the more attention we give it.” I’ve written about this topic in a number of places, most notably http://www.imediaconnection.com//content//14568.asp.