Context … small area, small LGA with 170 staff responsible for a wide range of services, from assets & engineering to community services & a library and art gallery
This is Ed Mitchell, a good friend of mine, from Bristol UK, with many years experience in online communities, knowledge management and web metrics. He wrote a Masters paper on the corporate use of website metrics. When preparing for this presentation, I asked Ed – what was your key finding? He sent me this JPG … --- Masters thesis on web metrics: an exploration of corporate use of website metrics; whether and how organisations used web metrics in their decision making (they didn&apos;t). It was a background of statistics and web stuff in general and then a survey of organisations using the web. On the whole, editors used metrics to assess the pros and cons of different editorial choices, and the tech staff used it for load bearing etc, but not many other people! It backs up to other ideas about decision making (not rational) and organisational design (web projects finding their home). … I asked Ed what was his key finding
They collected good metrics – technical staff used it for load bearing, tuning their servers … and some editors used them to evaluate editorial choices, but basically, organisations didn’t use web metrics in their decision making. So, that speaks to how organisations make decisions (often, it’s not rational or based on evidence) – we see what we want to see. So there’s a challenge, up front. an exploration of corporate use of website metrics; whether and how organisations used web metrics in their decision making (they didn&apos;t). It was a background of statistics and web stuff in general and then a survey of organisations using the web. On the whole, editors used metrics to assess the pros and cons of different editorial choices, and the tech staff used it for load bearing etc, but not many other people! It backs up to other ideas about decision making (not rational) and organisational design (web projects finding their home). … I asked Ed what was his key finding
this is Andrea Di Maio. A distinguished, senior analyst at Gartner. He is without doubt my favourite blogger or commentator when it comes to Gov 2.0. I like reading Di Maio because he looks at Gov 2.0 with a critical eye. He’s a believer – but he challenges accepted wisdom … and here’s another challenge.
recently he asked … those of us implementing or looking to implement web-based tools for collaboration and sharing must demonstrate value … for instance, my favourite Australian initiative Australian Newspapers … having said that, how do you measure trust or community engagement? Whenever I think of this aspect of government use of web 2,0 tools, I think of this diagram by Laurel Papworth
X axis time
Profiles & identity: Accounts, friends & connections – This is like an audit, an appreciation of our places & spaces Activity is what our reputation is built on – tone & quality, content submitted, comments, discussion, roles voluntarily undertaken – I especially like that last action “roles voluntarily undertaken” … in my experience, with open source software, and with other forms of community self-organising, this is fundamental … putting your hand up, volunteering to work on a particular problem or vector “Sentiment” perhaps allows us – in some way – to quantify trust … no doubt during the Federal Election you saw on the ABC? website the computer-generated sentiment analysis? Works with big topics, but still flawed … EG … We can also talk about “reuse of content” – tthis might be Creative Commons licensed material, perhaps given added value, or applied in new ways … and certainly over the next few years, a key metric will be how your data is being distributed & repurposed… I’m confident that much of this analysis can be farmed off to machines in the near future, but for the moment we’re tracking it by hand… based on your profile, identity & reputation … Surveys? Sentiment analysis? Stories? Retweets/reuse
So I thought I’d update our own audit at Mosman Council of accounts with networks, services & community sites … and we’re well over the 30 mark – not all are shown here … most important So as you can see, when we go and look at activity, there’s lots of places & varying types of metrics to collect …… Using social media since 2005 – about 30 accounts with networks, services & community sites!! Twitter (x2), Facebook (2 pages), Flickr (x2), Youtube, Tumblr (x2), Google Accounts (x2), Issuu, Cycling Sydney, TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Ning, Wikipedia Lots of adding up
Lots of site specific tools … we regularly check Facebook Insights, YouTube Insight, Flickr Stats For Twitter, the Klout service is quite handy – this aims to measure “online influence” and has a metric called “true reach” that eliminates spam and inactive twitter followers to try and give you a more realistic view of how many people you are engaging with … bit.ly is a URL shortner, and also provides us with some stats on how many people are clicking our links that are being shared on social networks but first and – for me – foremost is Google Analytics … even if you have software to analyse your server log files, I’d suggest adding Google Analytics on top – if nothing else, as a (reaasonably) human-friendly way of seeing and sharing results on your web properties … things like number of visitors, length of stay, etc Key technique here is to create unique URLs for your campaigns – basically you’re adding a string at the end of your URLs so that you can accurately track the impact of a particular approach … for example, we’re working on adding these unique variables to QR codes, so we can see if people actually use them Talking of Google Analytics – also Webmaster Tools and you get good metrics too from Local Business Listings if you have mappable places like libraries, sports centres, etc
&lt;number&gt; Here’s a screen grab from Google Analytics … make sure you’ve got this on your web properties … it allows anyone to dive in and explore the metrics – it’s simple to “add users” with permissions simplly to access … all the figures can be dumped into spreadsheets like Excel, or rendered to PDF … this screen grab incidentally shows accesses by mobile devices to Council’s website in March this year … the figures have more than doubled for October, and we used them just this week when planning for a way to track our community bus in real time on a smartphone
Another quick example – this time from Flickr – showing a spike when we uploaded photos last Friday from our children’s fair … I think at least some of the spike can be explained by the fact that we uploaded these straight after the event, when there was still a buzz, excitement about the day … we shared this among all the staff who worked on the day, timeliness is so important on social network, we’re all going to endeavour to make photo uploading a key task as part of an event, rather than something to wrap up days or weeks after an event … hopefully I made my point simply with just one graphic
Just as important, if not more important, is constant monitoring of keywords about your area, demographic, subject, etc … Twitter: Tweetdeck, but also Twitter lists
And of course, monitoring & metrics brings up lots of feedback – some of it not necessarily even sent to COuncil, but mentioned in conversation … and its key to forward these on to relevant officers … during the day I get 2 to 3 emails from the monitoring services, and it’s a simple matter to forward …
This is a page from the Powerhouse Museum’s website – the kids craft section … how to make a King’s Crown. It is one of the most popular pages on their website. Is it a success? Digging into the stats, they found most of the visitors to this page came from Texas … not the Powerhouse Museum’s key demographic. Seb Chan tells this story on the Powerhouse blog. For local govt, this highlights a particular issue … how do we tell if our interactions are with constituents (residents, visitors)? If you’re on Optus Cable in Mosman, your IP actually shows you as being in Atarmon, several suburbs away. Not so much of an issue for projects with a nation or statewide focus, but certainly for smaller areas. We get great numbers on our Flickr photos, sometimes 300-400 views a day, but how many are from constituents? 1%? 5%? Hard to tell… One way of filtering these results is to look at contacts, or – in Twitter – I’ve set up lists for accounts that are likely to be constituents – but it’s still an issue … I’m sure with all the geolocation work on phones, we’ll be able to better understand our web visitors soon
And of course we have to be aware of spammers, bots and other less than useful accounts on social networks … I’ve noticed a lot of text being harvested from our websites recently for auto-generated pages to game the page rank algorithm, or act as attack vectors, or just as content for spam emails
Now to the most important bit!! … web 2.0, gov 2.0 are really about sharing, collaboration – and metrics are no different Those of us who are ‘get’ the web have even more responsibility to our colleagues especially, show what’s out there; help people understand the social, collaborative web; empower your colleagues to make decisions on how/when to use web 2.0 tools … Demonstrate value of web internally … help improve services/facilties IN REAL LIFE
So I guess this suggests that it’s not all about graphs, or numbers – and I’d like to propose that with web 2.0, gov 2.0 that stories are as – or even more – important … Perhaps we can think of it as ‘continuous disclosure’ – and I’d like to propose that a tool already exists for this purpose, and it’s called a blog… here we can tell stories, share results with colleagues & constituents, and the blog acts as a ‘live’ ongoing report … Here’s a story that was told to me by our Waste Education officer…
… how do I capture this particular metric?
These photos are from our informal web 2.0 group in the library; we hosts talks and workshops. Top right is Morgan from Yahoo! Australia, when he gave that talk he looked after Flickr … Mosman Library and Morgan had actually been contacts for a few years, Morgan took some great photos of Mosman, and the Library had favourited them … Bottom left is Liam Wyatt talking Wikipedia, which generated much interest from one of our Local Historical Society … and bottom right is Wal Pilz, who has a particular interest in historic photos, copyright and Creative Commons – and often contacts us to talk Flickr and Ning and other web 2.0 … all these connections were made with and continue with our social networks – how do we measure them? ‘Social’ is about ‘people’ – right?
These are some great photos of the local community orchestra taken by the local camera club … they met at one of our Social Media Mob meetups at the library … the camera club used a rehearsal as an outing
and shared the photos with the orchestra, who have them on their facebook page
we did an online photography comp with our teens librarian, and did it all thru Flickr
Hans from the camera club shortlisted the images by using Flickr Galleries (a way of curating images from other users) and was very generous in providing an expert’s commentary on each image To me, these are great stories that illustrate what we are doing and what we might be able to achieve – and yet it’s a million miles away from KPIs, and graphs that go upwards!
And finally, stories sell … I read a transcript of a talk presented just the other week at TEDxCanberra by Kristin Alford. Her challenge was to think “way beyond” … and I loved the way she approached this challenge. She said “We need better stories. Better to develop the idea so it becomes more robust, but also better to inspire others. Between the idea and action we need to build better a better vision from a multiplicity of perspectives. Go and create better stories. ” An example I’d like to suggest is the Powerhouse Museum’s blog – a rolling record of their endeavours, from which I and I have no doubt many others have also learnt. We are accustomed now to learning from subject specialists via their blogs and digital trails; this must extend to organisations.
I want to go back to Andrea di Maio – and suggest another very important metric when evaluating your organisation’s success or otherwise with sharing & collaboration tools on the web. Are the professionals in your organisation empowered to use sharing technologies in their everyday work? And are they having a go with it? More than an organisational Facebook page, it’s the organisation
Government 2.0 is for every employee, not just communication or public information officers Government 2.0 is not a communication tool, it is a working tool. Every single employee can use participation, collaboration, engagement as “tools” to be more effective or efficient to produce the outcome he or she is supposed to contribute to. That’s why the success stories that I find are not high-profile initiatives (such as opening data or launching a service on Twitter or creating an agency page on Facebook), but almost accidental events featured by normal employees, rarely government 2.0 experts or superstars, who find a smart way of solving a problem,. This happens in all domains, from social care to tax compliance, from public safety to procurement, from human resource management to cultural heritage. The key to success is not necessarily to get leadership support, as leaders – and especially political leaders – tend to change. The key to success is to look at government 2.0 approaches and technologies as a toolkit at the employee’s disposal – pretty much like their Office suite or their case management tool or the codified processes they are supposed to follow. Success materializes when government employees are able to make the right decision, engage the best resources, become agents of innovation without forgetting their accountability.
If I was asked the two main gov 2.0 achievements at Mosman Council, I’d say 1) the Council adopting a Community Engagement Strategy that explicitly tasked Council with participation online (so that’s the top down pieze of the puzzle); and 2) the number of staff – even though still limited – directly involved in web 2.0, whether it be uploading photos to Flickr independently, or coming up with ideas for how to use sharing & collaborative tools to better perform their jobs … and this team are exemplars … the Urban Planners wanted a blog, they wanted LEP maps that worked like Google Maps, they wanted to make a video, they wanted a Facebook page, they even had some fun with HTML – although I must admit I panicked when Nazia told me that over the weekend she’d “changed some of the codes”
This about managing expectations … with website stats, we’re used to seeing huge numbers. There is an expectation that by setting up, say, a discussion forum on the net that we’re going to get a large percentage of the community involved … in my experience that’s not realistic. With hot button issues, you can be guaranteed of sizable results … but more many local, and to be frank mundane matters, are unlikely to get huge participation. This is another subject really – ADD?????
Content curation & creation
There is no doubt that over the next 5 years the landscape we’re working in now will have changed beyond recognition. I point you to Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle’s paper ‘Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On’ from last year. I just recently re-read it. “everything and everyone in the world,” they say, will cast “an ‘information shadow,’ an aura of data which, when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mind bending implications.” in government we must work to release not only our own data into reusable forms but learn how we can use data that people collect themselves. We must learn to see patterns in data, learn how to turn unstructured data into something useful. By doing so we can build smarter systems that learn from that trail of information we produce – traffic & transport flows are particular issue for us in Sydney, as is the maintenance of our physical assets. Identifying trouble spots via live reporting from our community is an obvious target for us. But we’re only just beginning to ‘get’ Gov 2.0 as we absorb what the internet enables for individuals and communities… over the next 5 years, I look forward to having some great stories to share with you from local government. --- building intelligent systems – whether for traffic, or allocating resources – will require us to see patterns in data, turn unstructured into something useful “Businesses must learn to harness real-time data as key signals that inform a far more efficient feedback loop for product development, customer service, and resource allocation. “
Evaluating our online
Bernard de Broglio – Internet Coordinator, Mosman Council
State Library of NSW, 16 November 2010
• 8.7 square kilometres
• population 28,000
• approx 170 council staff
(19.5 library staff)
It seems that open government
initiatives are still more
fueled by principles than by
evidence of actual value
How Long Will the Open Government Fuel Last?
Andrea Di Maio, October 20, 2010
• More than 30 million articles from
over 3 million newspaper pages
• 9000+ members of the public have
corrected 12.5 million lines of
newspaper text so far
• Number of sites, profiles & networks
• Accounts, friends & connections
• Tone & quality, content submitted,
roles voluntarily undertaken
• Reputation, influence
• Mosman Readers
• Mosman Memories of Your Street
• Mosman Voices
• Mosman Library of the Future
• Blog, teens blog
Social media use since 2005
• Flickr photos
• YouTube •
• Google Analytics
•Google Local Business Listings
• Facebook Insights, YouTube Insight,
• Klout & bit.ly for Twitter