According to eWeek,comScore is the latest of a host of services whom have developed products and methodologies to measure blog and social media traffic:
“…Market researcher comScore Sept. 11 said it would start counting the audiences for blogging sites in what it is formally calling a Conversational Media Report. The report will tally the number of readers of blogs both popular and obscure, as well as some social networking sites.
comScore has developed a Conversational Media Report that projects web traffic for blogs and social networking sites. I am looking forward to seeing what metrics come up for the social networking sites and how that will be measured.
But wait there's more…
Josh Chasin, comScore's Chief Research Officer, who is also a contributing columnist at Online Metrics Insider, says there are two types of Internet metrics: audience measurement and Web analytics, each with its own culture and approaches.
I thought I would use Josh's excellent article to put together a resource of audience measurement and analytics tools, both for my reference and for yours. The following list of blog measurement tools is not comprehensive (I am sure), but it is a very good start.
The Audience Measurement Camp
Audience measurement techniques are not collected directly from a site, but are inferred through various methods. These are often used to determine value for advertisers and others.
- comScore and NetRatings collect behavioral and demographic data from a panel and project it onto the Web-at-large.
- Alexa collects information from Web users who have downloaded and installed their toolbar.
- Hitwise collects data from ISPs.
- Quantcast and Compete use combined data from several sources to make their audience projections. Quantcast combines data from advertisers, publishers, ISPs, and ad networks; Compete combines data from ISPs, toolbars, and panelists.
(Aside: Compete doesn't rate sites like this one that are subdomains, a big problem since most blog sites are subdomains. Quatcast does, and you can register your site with them and add some code to your page to report out more accurate data)
The Web Analytics Camp
Web Analytics are site-centric and are meant primarily for internal use and benchmarks.
- First, there are the free web analytics services. The best free site measurement services, in my opinion of course, are Google Analytics, Feedburner, and Site Meter. I use all three, but currently like Feedburner first, closely followed by Google Analytics.
- Second are the services meant to be used at the enterprise level, such as Omniture, WebSideStory, WebTrends, and Unica.
Which of these tools you use will largely depend on your objectives and budget. However, measurement of ROI from online campaigns will only become more intense as time goes on.
Especially for Web Analytics, I suggest that you read Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik, who is an evangelist for Google Analytics.
For audience measurement, you can put comScore's blog in your feedreader.
(Hat Tip: Bitemarks)