This is my Metrics Insider column which was published today – TGIF.
Three days till Hannukah and six days till Christmas – pick your day, but the holidays just can’t come soon enough this year! We need a day of downtime and reflection from clients, vendors and colleagues. This year has been a roller coaster for those of us in the Web 2.0 space. The long hours worked in the earlier part of the year gave way to a lot of momentum in social media over the summer only to be sobered by the impact of the financial markets come fall. So where have we come and where are we going?
The most common questions with respect to Web 2.0 I heard this year at OMMA conferences, the Social Ad Summit and E-metrics were:
- How do we measure Social Media?
- How do we monetize Social Media?
Interestingly, even though these two questions haven’t been completely answered, we have made progress. Advertisers are testing campaigns on social media platforms and publishers are testing and running trials on how to monetize their offerings while delivering value. We haven’t cracked the code yet, but brands large and small are participating in the conversation.
So where is the progress? Sometimes it feels like we take one step forward and then two steps back, but really, in the face of the bumpy ending to 09, there is a positive indication that the investment and progress made so far will continue.
On the measurement side, Web Analytics vendors are innovating to capture social bookmarking shares, widgets and social application events. Standards groups within organizations like the Web Analytics Association are studying Web 2.0 technologies to draft measurement standards so that Web Analysts can optimize around the emerging media channels that are working for their organizations.
On the monetization front, brands are starting to see revenue flow through channels such as Twitter and Social Networks. Dell’s recent announcement that they made $1M through Twitter this year is proof that value creation is happening. More successes will come – it will be a combination of the publishers providing monetization opportunities as well as advertisers and users creatively using these platforms and tools to meet their business needs.
The holidays and celebration of the New Year will allow us all to take a breather and start January 09 refreshed and ready to press on again. We’ll all continue to pound away at working through the business models that will drive revenue, profitability, value and scalability. It won’t happen overnight, but I venture to predict that at this time next year we will be talking about the successes of 09 and who “made it”. Sure, we will see consolidation, struggle and failure along the way, but we will continue to move forward. The progress will continue!