Random ramblings from a national democrat.

Following the ‘clicks’ — Webmetrics and analytics (WTF are they?)

As a blogger, it had always been both my frustration and fascination to get likes, comments and shares online. Not to be narcissistic or egotistic but, I mean really, who writes “not to be read”? Without any other means of accessing whether I get read or noticed, these were my only things I rely upon to gauge whether my message gets across, or whether people just ignore it.

In my personal blog, I commonly use these conventional feedback mechanisms in order to asses whether people think my writing style was any good. I do so if people find my writing, thoughts and opinions upon issues relevant enough to talk about or share.

However, there has always this question that keeps popping in my mind every once in a while when my posts don’t get any responses, “What if people are reading me, was moved by the article/content, yet don’t leave comments, or likes to begin with?”

In a lecture not so long ago at the UP College of Mass Communication, Edson Tandoc shares the wonders of utilizing “web-metrics” and “web analytics.” But exactly what are they?

Really, WTF are they?

In his lecture, Tandoc expounds that it is possible for people to give feedbacks “without giving physical feedbacks” at all. As weird and paradoxical as it may seem, it is possible. Through monitoring where the clicks are coming from your website, you are able to know how many people have actually viewed your content.

From these mere clicks, news organizations are able to evaluate what topics, issues, and methods of reporting keep your readers glued to your site, and more, skirting around “the blindspot” that has hounded online news sites for quite some time now.

A useful tool for journalists

As a tool, it could serve both as a practical feedback and research mechanism in studying reader behavior and reception. Used wisely, news organizations could adjust their presentation in order to attract more readers.

However, journalists should be mindful of this dilemna: there is a disjunct between what people “want to know” and what people “need to know.” As gatekeepers of knowledge, journalists have the responsibility to strike a balance between keeping an interested public, and equipping the masses with the tools of analysis they need in order to make informed decisions.

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This entry was posted on March 23, 2013 by .
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