I ran into Adam Metz on Monday while lobbycon’ing the SNAP conference. We had a really fascinating conversation spanning a broad spectrum of topics but one in particular is spurred him to write an introductory post.
"If I were able to define the solution, I’d have a bestselling book on my hands. My conversation with Jeff only defined the problem, and I hope this becomes the start of a larger conversation about RSS engagement. We temporarily labeled this problem The Loop. Maybe I called it that because I lived in Chicago for a few years. But this loop is a loop that stubbornly remains open. The question is this: how do you effectively put a metric on one’s engagement with an RSS feed?"
I say introductory post because we are both hoping that this topic rises to the level of being a broader conversation. The metaphor he used is the top button of the shirt, which is always the toughest to get buttoned. In the RSS world we can measure adoption in terms of subscribers, albeit not with great reliability, but we still struggle with measuring impact.
In other words, I can tell you how many people subscribe to a particular feed and I can even tell you what feeds have clusters of common subscribers, I can tell you what posts are clicked on, and what links are clicked through, but the thing we struggle with is measuring what you find meaningful and what impact that has for you.
Adam calls this an engagement metric and right now it’s something everyone is doing anecdotally if at all. Buzzlogic is an interesting company you should check out, but their solution is to measure influence and that’s not the same thing as measuring impact.