When we think of the “top blogs” or the most effective social media / digital projects we fundamentally think of measurement. Underlying any rating system, from Mack Collier’s Top 25 Marketing and Social Media Blogs through the AdAge Power 150 to Meg Tsiamis’ local Top 100 Australian Blogs or Julian Cole’s Australian Marketing Pioneer Blogs, at play is a form of measurement. These rely on a whole range of (mostly) publicly available data.
For example, Mack’s list used to rely on Technorati rankings but is about to shift to Feedburner subscriber counts. Technorati requires the registration of your blog and Feedburner requires that your blog reader numbers be published. Meg’s ranking relies on a combination of the Technorati ranking and the Alexa traffic ranking (which in itself requires the installation of the Alexa toolbar to track and submit user data). AdAge uses a range of data as well as a personal ranking from Todd Andrlik, the index’s inventor — and Julian has employed the same approach, with a subjective “pioneer score”.
But no matter how many elements you combine to measure the impact of your blog, your branding, your product launch etc, the challenge is finding a way to simply aggregate the scores and balance them in a way that makes sense for the large brands that dominate our consciousness as well as those who happily make waves in the long tail.
Ari Herzog points out a tool that may actually give us some relief — focusing on the conversational power of your brand. How Sociable allows you to track your brand across 22 different metrics to produce a visibility score. This score draws upon quite a range of data from Technorati, Google, Facebook, Upcoming, Vimeo, Flickr, YouTube, Bebo, Twitter, Magnolia and Delicious, Photobucket, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Ning and MySpace — and no doubt this will expand as uptake continues. The thinking behind the visibility score is:
We took a set of benchmark results using one globally recognised traditional brand and gave it a score of 1000. To ensure that even small, local brands would register we made it a sliding scale.
Unfortunately, in terms of ranking blogs, it does not include subscriber numbers which do actually provide a consistent form of readership. However, adding subscription numbers via a formula could provide a real sense of the spread of your social media footprint.
Perhaps, more importantly, for marketers, How Sociable could provide a much needed (and free, for the moment) method for measuring the success of your social media outreach program. Why don’t you give it a try? Drop your name, your blog or your company name into the box and see what comes back.
For the record, “gavin heaton” returned a score of 42, just slightly below the 44 achieved by “servantofchaos”. How sociable are you?