Source: Flickr User Lynetter
I'm tracking social media metrics for a variety reasons. Surprisingly, what I'm reading is coming to me via social sharing. What you're seeing above is a visualization of sharing intensity - this was the slide I took out of my presentation for the Bridge Conference Presentation earlier this week. Sharing, Engagement, Interaction, Popularity, etc are some of the emerging terms for metrics for social media that are in process of being defined.
In between plastering a copy of Hugo's photo (Nina Simonds' cat) on Facebook Profile and letting me know that blip.tv has a facebook app, Steve Garfield pointed me to this TubeMogul post about the lack of standards in video viewing metrics on the web. (He knew that I am obsessing about video metrics as part of all this exploration.)
How an online video site records a view for their online videos varies greatly from site to site. We conducted research to test such differences across eight of the top video sites (results can be seen in this report). While one site may count a view every time the play button is clicked, another might only count finishes. Further complicating the issue is how sites calculate views on embedded videos, page refreshes, and views from the same IP address. Therefore, an advertiser looking to use viewership data to allocate ad inventory or place viral videos has no comparative ability at this point in time. This lack of standardization has stymied business model growth for online video sites, content producers, and advertisers, and will continue to hamstring the industry until standards are in place.
This points to why certain metrics just don't make sense for social media (and video too). Last week, I noticed a few posts about "measuring engagement" that caught my eye. These articles, of course, were talking about metrics for virtual worlds.
But yesterday, Marshall Kirkpatrick of Splashnet wrote a post called "Time On Site, Viewer Engagement, and the Future of Splashcast." Along with the sneak peek at the mock up of the forthcoming new look of the Splashcast player, Marshall shared some metrics tidbits.
About Page Views
Nielsen/Net Ratings, a growing web traffic tracking project with a world class reputation, announced this week that it’s going to abandon the page view as its primary metric and instead use “time on site.” The move was widely discussed as a key shift towards recognizing the importance of both improved website design and rich media like video.
The second news item this week was a new study of the impact of viewer engagement. Analysts at a company called Omnicom Group presented findings that they say indicate that engaged viewers of ad supported media have 8 times the economic impact of average viewers of that media and ads. The study argues that viewer engagement has a significantly bigger impact than total advertising budget in driving brand loyalty and sales.
Chris Pirillo also mentions the change in Nielsen/Net Ratings and highlights this quote from the site:
“’Total Minutes’ is the best engagement metric in this initial stage of Web 2.0 development, not only because it ensures fair measurement of Web sites using RIA and streaming media, but also of Web environments that have never been well-served by the page view, such as online gaming and Internet applications,” said Scott Ross, director, product marketing for the NetView service.
Jerimiah Owyang, has amended this metric by asserting three specific key indicators:
- Interaction = How many messages were in chat room per minute on average.
- Velocity = How fast did the embedded player go, did it get embedded on blogs?
- Tone = What did people say about the show, in the chat room, in the blogs, or whatever. This can be qualitative.