I have said (and written) many times that Social Media needs to begin making the transition from craft to science; I believe that is dependent in a very big way in us, the practitioners, becoming more formal about the way we call, measure and report on our efforts and findings.
A whitepaper I read recently give me great hope we are already heading in that direction; here a few snippets and comments on it as well as the link to where to find it:
- Basically Lithium is proposing the “Community Health Index” (CHI) and its discrete elements as standards to measure the health status for online communities; and also as a tool for marketers and audience managers to identify issues and opportunities.
- The elements accounted for in the CHI “formula” are: Membership growth, Content Volume, Traffic, Responsiveness, degree of Interaction and Liveliness.
- The overall CHI score is interesting; but I find it even more interesting that the individual elements present great scoreboard metrics and actionable information… is your Responsiveness lower than it should? Maybe time for a program to promote and reward participation. Membership grow stalling? Maybe time for a stronger promotion of your community; or bringing out the value so people appreciate it and join. This comprehensive set of measures allow you to look at the Community as a whole, and not only at membership volumes and page view which only tell a partial story.
My wishes for what should happen next:
- I’d love to see the same or similar measures applied to most community platforms, and use the same names for the elements. Lets get our semantics in place and use them consistently.
- I’d love to see this applied to pages and groups in Facebook; why couldn’t marketers and group owners that use Facebook have these same resources?
- I’d love to see others (myself) build on top of these and complement as necessary.
What do you think?