Metrics for the Social Web


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Slides for talk on "Metrics for the Social Web" given by BriaN Kelly UKON at the DevCSI workshop on Open Data and the Institutional Web held at the University of Reading on 25 July 2011.


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  • I should add that the slides are available under a Creative Commons licence (although this may not apply to embedded images). In addition a Creative Commons licence is granted to the presentation of this talk as well as the resources themselves.
  • There is a clear political and economic context to this work. A year ago the Government announced that a “clamp down on Government Web sites would save millions” Notice that this was a one-dimensional view, with no discussion of the millions of pounds which Web sites could save in comparison with, for example, costs of using print and TV media. However this announcement sent a clear signal of the need for higher education to be prepared to respond to similar Government initiatives aimed at the HE sector.
  • The Government White Paper on Higher Education was published on 28 June and, as had been trailed in advance, requires Universities to publish data about their services and the student experiences. It should be noted, however, that the move towards greater transparency and openness in the public sector had been initiated by the Labour Government so it may be argued that this provides an opportunity for the sector to demonstrate the value of the services it provides and we should welcome the opopo9rtunity to take a lead in publishing data openly, with the White Paper providing a useful tool to overcome institutional inertia.
  • We should also remember that, although quality matters, numbers matter too – as can be seen from the recent announcement at the Apple Developers ’ conference with the BCC News item picking up on the numbers mentioned in Steve Jobs’ talk. A recent JISC-funded report published by the Oxford Internet Institute made a similar point that if we wish to engage with the media and public we need to gather and use numbers and metrics.
  • But although the sector is aware of the benefits of sharing experiences there are dangers in failing to engage because of concerns that we may be doing badly; not doing as well as our main rivals or, ironically not wanting to be boastful. Anotther tendency in HE is wanting a perfect solution rather than one that is good enough. Or perhaps we want to learn from others but keep our strategies for success to ourselves.
  • Metrics for the Social Web

    1. 1. Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK Metrics for the Social Web or how institutional data may include data about institutions / members of institutions held elsewhere UKOLN is supported by: This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Acceptable Use Policy Recording this talk, taking photos, discussing the content using Twitter, blogs, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Twitter: Email: [email_address] Blogs: Twitter: #devcsi #iwmw11hack
    2. 2. You are free to: copy, share, adapt or re-mix; photograph, film or broadcast; blog, live-blog or post video of this presentation provided that: You attribute the work to its author and respect the rights and licences associated with its components. Idea from Cameron Neylon Slide Concept by Cameron Neylon, who has waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights. This slide only CCZero . Social Media Icons adapted with permission from originals by Christopher Ross. Original images are available under GPL at:
    3. 3. <ul><li>Services being considered: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Technorati, Wikio & Slideshare </li></ul>
    4. 4. Twitter: Personal Trends <ul><li>I thought I used Twitter regularly ever since signing up in March 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence from Tweetstats: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant use began in Jan 2008 (100+ tweets) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No use in Mar-Jun 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant use began in Apr 2008 at MW 2008 conf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed community in order to gain benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our memories may be incorrect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data may be wrong (due to Twitter downtime??) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Social Media Analytic Summaries <ul><li>Social media analytic summaries for Russell Group Universities </li></ul>Outliers may be interesting
    6. 6. Peerindex Comparisons <ul><li>Peerindex ’s ‘topic fingerprint’ for Oxford / Cambridge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford covers news, politics & history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cambridge covers technologies </li></ul></ul>Peerindex and Klout group comparisons for Russell Group Unis available (data used in this talk is available freely for reuse under CC0 licence)
    7. 7. Slideshare at Events (1 of 2) <ul><li>IWMW events used Slideshare since 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics show: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall nos of views (<1,000 live audience) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and suggest: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential for amplification of parallel sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential value of aggregation of slides </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But does decline since 2008 peak indicate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slideshare is past it (use Slideboom, …)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewing slides is passe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of longstanding availability? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Slideshare at Events (2 of 2) <ul><li>Statistics of most popular slides suggest: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Popularity of non-HE speakers ’ slides </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Popularity of slides not in corporate house style </li></ul></ul></ul>This has some positive correlation with experiences of local audience Could this inform selection of speakers in future?
    9. 9. Facebook <ul><li>Survey of Russell Group Unis Fb use: </li></ul><ul><li>Branded Fb URL: 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Fb page: 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Fb group: 1 </li></ul><ul><li>No easily found Fb presence: 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Neglected or unofficial Fb presence: 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Range of ‘likes’:  2,047 – 137,395 </li></ul><ul><li>Recent report on ‘ROI of Fb advertising’ suggested “ 1 Facebook fan = 20 additional visits to your website ” </li></ul>How would we know if Cardiff ‘s 20,035 Likes have provided an ROI?
    10. 10. YouTube Edu <ul><li>Survey of YouTube Edu accounts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1M+ views at Coventry Uni </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of comments </li></ul></ul>Example of stats available
    11. 11. iTunes Edu <ul><li>Numeric data not readily obtained from iTunes Edu </li></ul><ul><li>Is this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be welcomed as an escape from bean-counting? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of concern since gathering qualitative evidence can be costly? </li></ul></ul>Blog post analysed how services marketed: “ lots of content ”; “ free content ”; “ available on iPods ”; …
    12. 12. The Context <ul><li>The need to demonstrate value in light of Government cuts </li></ul>NB 1D view: no comments on ROI, comparisons with print, TV, … costs
    13. 13. Open Data <ul><li>Government to ‘force’ Unis to publish data about courses, student experiences, … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds on Labour ’s Open Gov initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An opportunity to be welcomed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can take initiative in publishing open data about uses of social media </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Numbers Matter <ul><li>“ Sales of 25 million iPads in just 14 months. 200 million iOS devices in total. 15 billion songs downloaded since 2003. 130 million books. 14 billion apps downloaded from a store that now runs to 425,000 apps.” </li></ul>BBC News 7 Jun 11 JISC-funded OII Impact report: “ The media and the public are influenced by numbers and metrics ”
    15. 15. Prisoner ’s Dilemma <ul><li>We can all benefit by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreeing on ways forward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But concerns that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We might be doing badly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We might not be doing as well as our rivals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We don ’t want to boast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We want a perfect solution, not a good enough one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We want to learnt from others, but not share our experiences </li></ul></ul>Prisoner ’s dilemma:  why people might not cooperate even if it is in their best interests to do so. Concerns
    16. 16. What I ’d Like from Developers <ul><li>What I ’d like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To avoid marketing departments paying Social media companies for social media analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers to demonstrate how they can add value to gathering, interpreting and visualising data for personal /institutional use of Social Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be completed by 10am tomorrow for demonstration at IWMW launch! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can you help? </li></ul>