It was my distinct pleasure to be included in the list of individuals asked by Terry Poulton of Media in Canada for their opinion about the biggest emergent digital trends for 2007 and what they see ahead for ’08. Under the heading, “Privacy Will be a Big Issue in ’08″ I touched on everything from Facebook’s Beacon fiasco to why we need to think carefully about what we’re measuring when we gather social media metrics. For the full story in all its opinionated glory, click here.

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3 Comments

  1. Right on Maggie – our attention has value. Today it is online companies that are reaping the handsome rewards from selling our attention. I thought that having screwed up with Beacon, Facebook would be a little more careful with our data, but the latest application – MicroSocial – has me concerned (more here http://www.realtea.net/microsocial_spam_friends)

  2. “I would really like to see more marketers and others understand that interest can’t be measured by pageviews or clicks. It’s a cognitive event …”

    Thats true – but measurement is important – for no other reason than it helps determine what works, and provides a basis to determine what tweeks make it better.

    Clearly engagement measured soley by pageviews is very misleading – but it is an easy metric to start with and if one subtracts bounces and then uses some concept of the time required to engage with the content you can statistically identify the number of users who actually consumed the content – and at least started the process for it to become internal.

    The other issue with measurement is that the metric needs to be related to the desired outcome. If the page or site has some calls to action (like commenting, down or up loading etx) – it’s easy to measure. It’s more difficult if the outcome is soley cognitive – but with some thought there should be something that can be measured that is associated with that change.

    In fact one of the reasons that clients should retain social media consultants is to use their expertise to develop measurement approaches that link social media interactions to the goals marketing, PR, product development and/or customer service metrics the company traces (depending of course on the objective of the site).

    It’s an area that I hope sees a lot of work in ’08.

  3. Needless to say, Maggie, I agree with your point. As companies experiment with the information they have collected from their customers/users, they will get more and more “feedback” from those people.

    And some of it will be virulently negative.

    As a society, we face a challenge as users, developers and PR hacks to manage this process effectively while maintaining appropriate (and personal) evels of privacy.

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