New audience metric needed: engagement

I was just reading Jeneane Sessum’s post about the latest Ze Frank/Rocketboom dustup and she’s right, we need to measure stuff other than just whether a download got completed or not. She says we need a “likeability” stat. I think it goes further than that.

There’s another stat out there called “engagement.” No one is measuring it that I know of.

What do I mean?

Well, I’ve compared notes with several bloggers and journalists and when the Register links to us we get almost no traffic. But they claim to have millions of readers. So, if millions of people are hanging out there but no one is willing to click a link, that means their audience has low engagement. The Register is among the lowest that I can see.

Compare that to Digg. How many people hang out there every day? Maybe a million, but probably less. Yet if you get linked to from Digg you’ll see 30,000 to 60,000 people show up. And these people don’t just read. They get involved. I can tell when Digg links to me cause the comments for that post go up too.

So, why should engagement matter to an advertiser?

Well, as an advertiser I want to talk to an audience who’ll actually DO something. Yeah, I’m hoping to get a sale.

Yesterday Buzz Bruggeman CEO of Active Words, was driving me around and told the story of when he was in USA Today. He got 32 downloads. When he got linked to by my blog? Got about 400.

My audience was (and is) a lot smaller than USA Today, but the engagement of the blog audience got his attention.

How could we measure audience engagement?

Is this something that Steve Gillmor’s GestureLab could do? If he could, that’d be a valuable company that advertisers would die to buy stuff from.

127 thoughts on “New audience metric needed: engagement

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  2. Is the difficulty of measuring engagement inherent to the browser or the browser-based way we engage on the internet? It seems users need to be empowered in some way to measure their own level of engagement – but it needs to happen on the client side because so much of it is opaque to the server.

  3. Is the difficulty of measuring engagement inherent to the browser or the browser-based way we engage on the internet? It seems users need to be empowered in some way to measure their own level of engagement – but it needs to happen on the client side because so much of it is opaque to the server.

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