The number of online news analysis tools has grown by at least one since last night. The BBC has produced its ‘Most popular stories now’ tool which ranks all the online news pages according to number of times they are being accessed and forwarded. It’s a great attempt and one which answers most of the obvious questions you would expect from it. What would be great is if it provided statistics on a specific country’s habits, or the number of accessed pages on business stories as opposed to the arts, for example.
It’s a massive move forward for news measurement. In the world of media analysis it is great to have a tool which sets a barometer on the news, as often it seems like such an intangible commodity.
For too long media content analysis has been driven by media output. This new tool makes it possible to do something which, up to now has been an expensive luxury – see an exact measure of media out-take. In my experience this is quite revolutionary. Before this could only be effectively measured using customised market research. Following the time-honoured sequence of output, out-take and outcome, this is a valuable step on the way to understanding surfer habits, interests and influences. I predict you will hear a lot about this in the coming weeks.