10 June 2011

Leveraging OneTrueFan's Fan-alytics

-- Full disclosure: I am an employee of OneTrueFan. --

Yesterday OneTrueFan released a public preview of the company's Fan Intelligence (aka "Fan-alytics") solution. If you've not seen it, check it out.

While this preview is really cool and exciting - I thought it would be interesting to see how much more someone could get out of it with a little more work.

In this case, I decided it would be interesting to look at the size of each site's daily engaged fan base not as an absolute number - but as a percentage of their daily user base (daily visitors). This should give an interesting perspective on "engagement rate."

In this case I'm actually using "engagement rate" to express not what the odds are that a user will "engage" with content on the site. Instead I'm looking to determine what percentage of the user base is passively engaged ('users') vs which percentage is actively engaged ('fans'). The higher the percentage who are fans (who have actively engaged, and are expending social capital in a manner which benefits the site) the better obviously.

To do this I took the data from the OneTrueFan Fan Intelligence system for each of the Top 25 Tech News sites - and then went to Quantcast to get the number of visitors per day for each site.

As it turns out, of the Top 25 only 12 are available on Quantcast. And some of these sites are not quantified. Even with this, the data still yields some interesting results.

Ranking these sites by Reach (daily visitors) gives the following sort:
  1. Gizmodo (750k)
  2. Mac Rumors (680k)
  3. Business Insider (447k)
  4. Mashable (379k)
  5. Apple Insider (187k)
  6. GigaOm (136k)
  7. The Next Web (105k)
  8. New Scientist (85k)
  9. Venturebeat (75k)
  10. ReadWriteWeb (75k)
  11. Search Engine Land (32k)
  12. Tech Dirt (27k)
But once we sort by Engagement Ratio (as defined above) a very different picture emerges. This yields a ranking that looks like:
  1. Search Engine Land (3.4%)
  2. ReadWriteWeb (3.32%)
  3. The Next Web (3.2%)
  4. Mashable (2.94%)
  5. Tech Dirt (1.58%)
  6. GigaOm (1.41%)
  7. Venturebeat (1.31%)
  8. Business Insider (1.05%)
  9. New Scientist (0.77%)
  10. Gizmodo (0.29%)
  11. Apple Insider (0.26%)
  12. Mac Rumors (0.23%)
My gut interpretation of the difference between these two rankings is that engagement ratio is largely driven by two factors.
First - the creation of valuable original content. The key words here are "valuable" and "original". The content needs to be the sort of thing someone is willing to expend social capital on.
Second - the publisher needs to understand how fan engagement and the social distribution cycle works.

If you look at the rank by engagement ratio, you'll see that the publishers who do best not only create original and valuable content but they also understand fan engagement and social mechanics.

Where this gets most interesting is not just in what it points to (strategically) as goals for the publishers ranked lower on this list - but also what it means to advertisers looking to leverage these audiences.

I think this is a great example of what we can do with this sort of information and analysis!

Oh... for shits and giggles I also took the full list and pulled data from Compete wherever I couldn't get data from Quantcast. Now... obviously this is highly problematic as it's two different data sources generated with two different methodologies. But I think it's kind of cool none the less so I will share the results (with the caveats that they're more interesting than accurate or useful).


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