How can you measure how much a community loves you? Can you turn love into money?
BarCamp NewsInnovation at the Univ. of Missouri ended this past Saturday with a discussion on how media companies in a digital world measure success.
The group came up with three areas we’d like to measure but haven’t yet figured out how to quantify. They speaks to the two questions above, and are: Love, engagement and influence.
Love – The perceived value of the total product, not just individual pieces of it. The model to look at is the NPR or Wikipedia model, where you’re essentially going out of business every few months and it is up to the readers to decide whether they’re willing to save you.
Engagement – How much activity is happening on the site. The karma model being used on Vita.mn is a great example, since it assigns different values to different levels of engagement.
Influence – What impact the content has. There were several suggestions for different models, including measuring outside links, doing surveys to measure positive or negative changes in crime rates, etc.
These appear as written by Gary Love, the director of product development for the Houston Chronicle, who attended the barcamp and better recalled them than I.
There is no doubt about the need for news measuring tools. Audiences are more segmented. User interfaces are designed for better experience, meaning less page views. Selling audiences instead of eyeballs is going to become more popular and more valuable than ever before.
So, can we turn love into money? Can we turn the 1,000 true fans into a profitable business model?
A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans. – Kevin Kelly
Here is a transcript from this section of the BarCamp NewsInnovation live blog as we talked about measuring success.
4:15 Jason Kristufek: Matt Thompson – we focus on broad measures of attention. I am really interested in how we measure how engaged audiences are in our stuff and how devoted is the audience
4:15 Jason Kristufek: Matt Thompson – pay for performance will continue to overturn CPM rates for advertisers.
4:16 Jason Kristufek: Matt Thompson – impressions still count, especially in brand campaigns, but it strikes me that other measures of engagement will become increasingly valuable
4:17 Jason Kristufek: Jen Reeves – our sales staff doesn’t know how to use the metrics they currently have.
4:18 Jason Kristufek: Gary Love – Newspapers are trying to sell to local business and they always say the advertiser doesn’t understand the value. But Google is selling to smaller with no sales staff.
4:21 Jason Kristufek: How do you measure whether journalism has meant something to a community? – Matt Thompson
4:25 Jason Kristufek: Jane Stevens – we don’t take journalism to the solution point right now. The only place we do that is in sports.
4:26 Jason Kristufek: Bill – If you do news the way you do sports, maybe you will get more readers, because we cover sports from beginning to end.
4:27 Jason Kristufek: David – politics has become so much like sports coverage. Jane – but look at how much people were engaged in politics this year
4:28 Jason Kristufek: Ask people in your community to quantify things like police chief candidates and school board candidates
4:28 Justin: Gary: “What I would like to measure is audience love.”
4:29 Jason Kristufek: Mark – a gross national happines level – socially quantify happiness
4:31 Jason Kristufek: We want to be able to measure how much a community loves us. Can we turn love into money?
4:33 Jason Kristufek: Matt Thompson talking about karma points
4:33 markpoepsel: Matt Thompson: used a system of karma points to invite interaction
4:33 markpoepsel: Matt: points were given for adding information, more points for commenting, most points for creating something that brought the “most love”
4:35 Jason Kristufek: Gary Love – once you set a sucess metric and start to move toward that you need to strive for something better
4:36 markpoepsel: make sure that your success metric actually involves giving something of better quality to the community
4:36 markpoepsel: (Gary)
4:37 Jason Kristufek: NPR measures love by donations – Matt Thompson.
4:41 Justin: Matt: We should never be afraid of angering people in power–but it should never be our goal.
4:41 markpoepsel: we measure our worth by how we assist our community. we can no longer afford to take an adversarial stance against…well…pretty much everybody
4:44 markpoepsel: Elizabeth’s question was how we can measure our worth in other ways besides ad $$. Matt: You put something on the front page of the newspaper, and it moves something, it causes things to change…it is a shame to lose that.
4:45 markpoepsel: Bill: change the idea that news is news because it’s new and different…instead measure it by how many people it affects.
4:48 markpoepsel: Jane: Yeah, consider covering topics such as domestic violence with the kind of depth that you cover a sports season. If sports were covered the way crime was, we would only report the highest scoring games, the biggest stats, without any context of which teams were really ahead (it’s almost like the diff. between fantasy sports and real sports -mp)