In an article that was passed around our curve of the blogosphere recently, MarketingSherpa tries to validate blogging for businesses using metrics.
Looking at blogs from that perspective misses the most important aspect of blogging: The only ‘metrics’ associated with blogs for now should include in-bound links, velocity, feedback and stickiness.
Neither businesses nor blogs have reached consistency in the measurement of their influence and authority. By applying the current metrics - as understood by ‘interactive media’ types (hits, clicks, etc) - they are not only one-dimensional, they change the way people see tools such as blogs and other communication media. This is the problem of understanding what communication is all about. Just because you cannot measure something the way you are used to, it does not mean it is irrelevant or even intangible.
Technorati is measuring in-bound links and using it as a “vote” for attention to understand a blogging site’s influence. With a database of 3.2 million bloggers, A-list bloggers move to the top of Technorati’s list based on the blogger’s number of in-bound links. But even this novel approach is considered crude by no less than Technorati CEO David Sifry, who told a BlogOn audience:
Only looking at the number of in-bound links is too blunt. We need a measure of relative authority. We’re closely watching velocity - the change in the number of a blogger’s links in one hour divided by the blogger’s total number of links.
For myself, I find the metrics discussed in the article only a starting point. What constantly amazes me about Samizdata.net is not the number of unique visitors but the fact that so many of those visitors are ones who return each and every day. We need metrics for affinity and loyalty.