Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion

How do you measure the impact of TED?

TransparentMeasurement

Not only do I get to go to TED this year (hooray!) but I also had the great pleasure of participating in a truly brain-tingling workshop whose goal was to help TED figure out how to better facilitate the spread of breakthrough ideas.

Of course everybody (and their mother) is obsessed with web analytics these days: how many hits did I get? How many likes? But media engagement pros (and the workshop was chock full of them) realize that counting clicks doesn’t really begin to tell the full story. Who’s clicking and why? Did they talk to their dad about that TED talk over breakfast? Did they laugh or cry? Did they feel empowered to do something? Did they make a donation? It can be really difficult to accurately measure the impact of any piece of media (including a TED video) without finding a way to bridge that daunting divide between online click trails and offline actions. One way to do it? Surveys!

I’m a big believer in supplementing rigorous web and social media analytics with survey research. And I’m an even bigger fan now that my team at the Lear Center has developed some innovative new methods for taking into account self-selection bias in media consumption (i.e., only certain people decide to see certain TED videos – there’s nothing random about it – which makes it tough to accurately measure impact).

So, imagine my delight when I heard that the Knight Foundation is partnering with TED to work on amplifying and measuring the impact of their content as it “ripples through society, producing technology tools and best practices for connected action.”

One key theme that emerged at the workshop this weekend was the importance of sharing the discoveries that TED will make when they develop their new kick-ass website and state of the art dashboards for tracking engagement. Information is power and nothing is more empowering to an engaged audience than access to information about how their beloved TED talks, along with all the content and actions that they themselves have generated, are moving the needle.

I’m looking forward to what comes of this . . .  stay tuned!

If you’re at TED2013, be sure to check out the Knight-sponsored pavilion centered on Tech for Engagement.

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2 Comments»

  ilyssamiroetiroet wrote @

I really enjoyed this post because it got me thinking about mass communication and not only what we see from mass communication, but also why and how we see. I agree that it is important to know more about web analytics than just how many likes did photograph get? Or how many clicks did my webpage receive? It would be beneficial and awesome to be able to measure the impact of media on a person or group. This post has informed me on the TED/Knight Foundation upcoming website and ways to track engagement to learn more about media consumption.

-Ilyssa Miroshnik
Ilyssamiroshnik@Gmail.com

http://ilyssamiroet.wordpress.com/

  johannablakley wrote @

Thanks for your kind response, Ilyssa. You may be interested in a new project at my research institute: http://www.mediaimpactproject.com. We’re just getting started, but we have already posted some resources about how to measure the impact of media. I hope they’re helpful!


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