How Promotion Affects Pageviews on the New York Times Website. Substantial, valuable research.
And you know what? I have no idea whether my numbers on those services are good or not. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about them. In fact, though I love Chartbeat, the information that I get from them that means the most is their push notifications on my phone which tell me when my site is over its maximum monthly number of visitors. That is meaningful.
Insights like exceeding my usual level of visitors, or achieving some threshold I’d never crossed before, or doing some task particularly efficiently would be meaningful markers that I could respond to intelligently.
Anil Dash — All Dashboards Should be Feeds
Currently, works of journalism (articles, videos, galleries, graphics, etc.) no matter what subject (news, sports, entertainment, business, features, investigations, etc.) are quantitatively measured the same. An investigative piece that might be nowhere near as popular in pageviews across a mass audience (yes, sometimes, they can be) is quantitatively measured the same way a celebrity death story is. Either story could make a sensational splash, truly connect emotionally with readers, or both. Each has value, but there are different kinds of values across different subjects journalists cover.
If we value impactful accountability journalism, why are we quantitatively equating it one-to-one to entertainingly impactful news? For example, when an investigation is published that saves taxpayer money or even human lives, we should instead try to measure these in a more multi-dimensional way — instead of merely the simplistic ones — and measure them differently from journalism works that have different goals. We should do this not just because the quantification would be more accurate (again, still imperfect), but because it would be a better model of the complex real-world response.
Specifically, editors at separate organizations asked us the same question: Can you share some of that data with us? You know, the topic data and the data on authors? Begrudgingly, we agreed, and started to send out reports on a monthly basis. Editors: “Hmm, this is great! Can we get this quicker?” Parse.ly: “Uh, sure. […]
Pipe Dream in numbers. 7,763 articles containing 4,136,279 words written by ~380 authors in the BU Pipe Dream’s export from College Publisher.
Short list of questions publishers want answered that I believe could be answered with the right data: Who are my best writers? What topics are my audience most engaged in? Which types of pieces do best over time? What type of stories should I have my writers work on? When is the best time to […]