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May 2010

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Harold Jarche

I agree with you in that the data are indicators, but must be looked in context. This works on a personal level but usually falls apart in an organisation where the numbers can take on a life of their own. Once you start measuring, there can be a tendency to only look at the numbers.

Yes, I look at my stats, but they sure don't drive what I write about. Sometimes they influence a re-write or where I put some information, so it's easier to find.

David Brazeal

Measuring "your blog's outcome" is ridiculous. It's like measuring 'friendship'. measuring 'reflective moments'. As Beth Kanter says, "numbers and data alone are almost meaningless." I don't think they get a lot more meaningful even if you add them to qualitative data.

We can't rate friendship numerically, but we most certainly measure it. It's why we use the term "best friend."

I'm all for blogging because of passion, but if you want anything from it other than personal fulfillment, it's a good idea to figure out whether you're doing the right things to achieve your goals. That's not stripping the heart or humanity out of blogging. It's simply recognizing that we may blog for reasons that allow us to set goals and measure our results -- sometimes using numbers.

Catherine Carey

Whew. This is tough on a Saturday morning. Weeds in by back garden, my City Farms plot, visiting a sick friend and buying coffee, gifts, bacon ends, etc. are calling me.

Stephen goes on to say:

Measuring "your blog's outcome" is ridiculous. It's like measuring 'friendship'. measuring 'reflective moments'.

In addition to "best friend" other words for 'friends' include:

Good friend
Fair weather friend
Old friend
Dear friend
Firend of the family
Instant connection
Love of my life
Someone I know

These 'friends' are not simply gradations of friendship. Though that may be one way to think of measuring. It seems to me that we make judgements about our relationships with people when we call them an acquaintance, a confidant or a dear friend. The relationship differs among the three.

Thus it is with blog outcomes and learning. If my blog is about making friends or putting information out in the world my outcomes differ from a blog that seeks to encourage commerce.

If a family friend calls and says I need you right now, I'd turn off the computer and go. If a fair weather friend calls with the same request, I'd say, "sorry, I've got stuff piled on me today."

Outcomes measures should be designed to help you make decision, choices and judgements.


Liz Strauss

Hi Beth,
I think that paying attention to what's happening using both sides of our brain, using our heads and our hearts, is the way to go.

No, numbers to don't tell us about people or relationships, but they point out patterns and sometimes reveal information that we won't consider or even recognize if we don't use them.

Humans have a natural tendency to count what we care about and to disregard what we don't. Metrics help us -- if we let them -- to keep a balance on what else we might look at to be curious about.

Nothing is ever wrong with being curious. :)

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