Many of you know how I love to find new metrics for measuring the impact of blogging. We’ll here is one that I think merits some attention and maybe modification.
Stowe Boyd, a consultant on social media tools (who is also working with Shel Holtz), has a great post about a new metric he invented called the Conversation Index.
The number in his metric, which was updated by one of his readers, gets higher as the conversation gets richer. Anything over 1 is considered good, but the gold standard would be 2, meaning your visitors talk more than you do.
Here is the metric if you want to apply it to your own blog:
Comments (C) + Trackbacks (T)
Total # of Posts (P)
As of today, Communication Overtones has a CI of 1.317.
Diminishing Returns: Stowe and the chorus of folks who wrote about this metric don’t mention it, but I think there probably is a point of diminishing returns. For instance, one blogger talks about have a blog with more than a 7 ratio. When comments swell to more than 50 per post, I think that you lose the reader, and most people just start adding a comment without reading the others, thus, no real conversation, just a little “me too.”
Counting Clips: Also, this metric reminds me a little of counting clips in public relations. The ratio doesn’t consider the quality of the “conversation,” nor does it take in account spam trackbacks and comments. Also, one reader pointed out that spam comments shouldn’t count. I think that is pretty fair since spam adds zero to the conversation.
What do you think about the metric? I would love some to see someone help me define this idea and expand it to be a little more useful. Katie, are you interested?
[Credits: Thanks to Constantin Basturea for the link that led me to this post.]