Re:Public: Measuring success in citizen journalism panel

Jan Schaffer moderating; Margaret Duffy presenting a study on exploring citizen journalism; they discovered the sites often have gatekeepers in the web site builders.
She and her team have built New news media, a beta site to bring together “people who have solutions for community journalism in a networked world.”
Next preso is on the Media Habits of Poli-fluentials–Carol Darr and a large team did a study that
assessed the internet audience and showed online users were the most active and plugged in members of their local communities–they promote candidates and causes. This in turn, she says, educated the campaigns and the news media about the wired political influentials and their impact. Her new research loks at the media habits of poli-fluentials and what activities correlate with this label:
More likely to be a poly-fluential

  • 1.46 read daily newspaper
  • 1.92 watch Sunday morning talk shows
  • 1.51 read news and opion in magazines
  • 2.16 watch news of PBS
  • (translation, these folks are huge news and political junkies)
  • Other critical behaviors
  • 5.51 pltical schwag on net
  • 7.37 Belonging to local organization
  • 9.12 Advocacy group member
  • 10,.54 Letter to local officials
  • 73.3 Contributing to a political contribution in 3004 election and being an independent

Discussion:
Dan Gillmor: “Where there is no barrier to entry, gate-keeping becomes irrelevant. Bloggers are solo tenants.”
Circling back on metrics of success and measuring:
Quoting Jeremiah around posts as an engagement metrics
Measure against your goals
(Susan sez: I am a metrics junkie and this soft, fuzzy stuff drives me nuts.
Here’s my 2 cents–want to measure engagement? Now the rest of this is my digression–
Measure some of the following to assess your own site:

  • time spent on site
  • frequency of visits
  • # of names acquired (registrations)
  • * of content items contributed per user
  • number of comments overall month to month (track trendlines)
  • Increase or decline in end of period active users
  • Number of new users (registrants) added per month

Also assess the following:

  • Links to your site/posts
  • Page views
  • Comments in the blogosphere about your site/posts/content

Many smaller sites don’t have the means to do sophisticated click steam data and complicated pathing, but these data points should be within reach with Google Analytics and other accessible metrics packages.