Measuring Your Blog'S Outcomes and Use of Other Social Media Tools

Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog, May 17, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Discussion of the idea of evaluating the effectiveness of blogs, and in particular, a set of metrics from Avinesh Kaushik:
  • "Raw Author Contribution (posts and words in post)
  • Unique Blog Readers (content consumption - Unique Visitors and Feed Subscribers)
  • Conversation Rate (measuring success in a social medium)
  • Technorati "Authority" (measuring your impact on the world!)
  • Cost (what!)
  • Return on Investment (what's in it for you/your business)"
Would this newsletter be twice as good if I wrote twice as many posts or wroite them twice as long? If I wrote about a more popular topic - educational policy, say - I would have more readers. Would that be better? Is Will Richardson better than me because he gets more comments? Am I better than you because I have a higher Technorati rank? Would it be better if I made money and spent less on my website?

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.
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