Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't use a computer to measure online media 'buzz'

Adweek has put together a very interesting discussion on online and social media measurement. The principle points IMO relate to the practicality of programs from providers like Cymfony and BuzzMetrics being able to automatically tell you how good your media exposure is.

I must admit I am beginning quite sanguine about the notion of how good automated solution for representing online and social media are. Organisations are spending many, many thousands of the ever-tightening media budget on the online equivalent of a wetted figure in the air.

I really think we need to step back and take a long look at the sense in letting a computer mark your coverage. Even with the recent developments in the semantic web a computer can not understand text. It can not grasp an argument, highlight creativity, isolate messaging, or most importantly assign favourability. Until they can, any automated measurement tool will be nothing more than an expensive marketing gimmick.