Thursday, August 21, 2008

Social Media Metrics and Measurement

Speaking of memes, "social media" is one that has taken off quite a bit in the last couple of years. Web 2.0 and rich internet applications have been my domain of interest for a quite a while now as were my other blogs (some since 2002), so this seemed like a natural fit for my interests. While researching for a paper on making the business case for Web 2.0 applications, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of knowledge in the social media metrics and measurement - something I had never quite thought about, at least in a formalized manner.

One of the first things I read about this was a white paper on a roundtable discussion organized by Dow Jones about metrics and measurement of social media, called "Tracking the Influence of Conversations".

I could tell something was a little bit off in the paper as I went through it and then realized this happened in Q4 of 2006 - eons ago in blog years. The focus seems to be mostly on blogs and meme propagation while a lot of other social media phenomenon are missing in action. Still, there was quite a bit of interesting information in the paper. A couple of things that stood out to me were the metrics to measure such as the "velocity" of a meme (speed at which a meme is picked up from one blog to others) and "conversation index", the ratio between blog posts and comments/trackbacks.

So, we now have atleast two metrics to measure the impact (ROI - Return on Influence) of blogs as social media tools - how does this apply to social networking sites? What metrics would be relevant to say, microblogging? How can these metrics be captured and measured - leave alone used in a corporate setting?

I guess I have my next mission figured out ;)

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