Tag Archives: metrics

16 reasons why this research will change how you look at news consumption

Most research on news consumption annoys me. Most research on news consumption – like Pew’s State of the News Mediarelies on surveys of people self-reporting how they consume news. But surveys can only answer the questions that they ask. And as any journalist with a decent bullshit detector should know: the problem is people misremember, people forget, and people lie.

The most interesting news consumption research uses ethnography: this involves watching people and measuring what they actually do – not what they say they do. To this end AP’s 2008 report A New Model for News is still one of the most insightful pieces of research into news consumption you’ll ever read – because it picks out details like the role that email and desktop widgets play, or the reasons why people check the news in the first place (they’re bored at work, for example).

Now six years on two Dutch researchers have published a paper summarising various pieces of ethnographic and interview-based consumption research (£) over the last decade – providing some genuine insights into just how varied news ‘consumption’ actually is.

Irene Costera Meijer and Tim Groot Kormelink‘s focus is not on what medium people use, or when they use it, but rather on how engaged people are with the news.

To do this they have identified 16 different news consumption practices which they give the following very specific names:

  1. Reading
  2. Watching
  3. Viewing
  4. Listening
  5. Checking
  6. Snacking
  7. Scanning
  8. Monitoring
  9. Searching
  10. Clicking
  11. Linking
  12. Sharing
  13. Liking
  14. Recommending
  15. Commenting
  16. Voting

Below is my attempt to summarise those activities, why they’re important for journalists and publishers, and the key issues they raise for the way that we publish. Continue reading

Study: do news industry metrics underplay print’s importance? (cross post)

In a cross-post for OJB originally published on The Conversation, Neil Thurman argues that his recent research that suggests current news industry metrics underplay the importance of print reading time. 

Figures published recently suggest that more than 90% of newspaper reading still happens in print. This might come as a surprise given the gloomy assessments often made of the state of print media in the UK but, it turns out, we’re just not measuring success properly. Continue reading

How do you measure a blog’s success?

Brazil correspondent Gabriela Zago looks at the variety of metrics for evaluating the popularity of blogs. A Portuguese language version of this is available here.

There are many ways to measure a website’s success. Some use a more quantitative approach, and others are more qualitatively based. You can say a weblog is popular for many reasons, such as:

  • traffic (page views, visits, visitors),
  • discussions (comments, trackbacks, linkbacks),
  • position in search engines (page rank),
  • readership (feed subscriptions, blogroll presence) and
  • reputation (a more subjective approach, based on what people think of a website, and the qualifications of the person that writes for it).

If you obtain all that data and construct rankings based on these different types of information, chances are that not all blogs ranked will appear in the exact same position in each one of the ranks. Continue reading