audience management

Measurement isn't easy

Poynter's Rick Edmonds, in a rambling review of the ten-trends sort, says "Measurement is easy" and adds "Actionable measurement is tougher."

I'll go way beyond that: Measurement is outright hard, and it can be dangerously misleading.

A good metrics system is a boon to any site -- for sales purposes.

But for analysis, beware. We don't know what we don't know, and serving up a bunch of dazzling charts, graphs and heatmaps is a good way to be led astray.

Some examples:

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Some science on the registration question

Kudos to Jay Small for sharing discoveries from a carefully test of registration models at Scripps newspaper sites.

In a test at 13 newspaper sites, Scripps modified the so-called threshhold -- the number of "free" pageviews a visitor is allowed before being challenged for registration or login -- and carefully measured the results.