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December 17, 2011 / Kirsty Pitkin

Metrics and Social Web Services: Quantitative Evidence for their Use and Impact

  1. Dirty Words

    Impact, ROI, Marketing….
    All dirty, highly commercial words within the HE sector.  However, in the current climate these issues are becoming more and more important to universities.  Amber Thomas opened the workshop by explaining why these things need to be considered…

  2. The theme of impact ran as a thread throughout all of the day’s discussions, emphasising the difficulty of using social media metrics to clearly demonstrate a change in behaviour.  

  3. Gaming and Data Quality

    One of the major concerns for most participants was how well they could rely on evidence supplied by social media metrics.
    If universities are to make key strategic decisions based on this data, or if individual academics are to be assessed in any way based on their influence via social media activity, these issues need to be explored further.
    Here are some of the observations and concerns raised by participants, particularly in response to Brian Kelly’s presentation, in which he warned of the need for healthy scepticism when considering metrics, and Martin Weller’s presentation, in which he discussed the identity and role of the individual academic caught in the mix…

  4. Be slightly skeptical,about impact metrics, says @briankelly at #ukolneim. Good point.
  5. Peer index building self referential cliques? #ukolneim
  6. interesting use of TweetStats (http://tweetstats.com/) and the flakiness of data as evidence #ukolneim
  7. Metrics are exposing the tensions between academics and institutions – sharecropping vs traditional publication credit #ukolneim
  8. Also, if you blog/contribute to another site and that has impact in terms of visits/tweets etc. all good for wider reputation too #ukolneim
  9. Is gaming inherent in metrics? Are there metrics which cannot be gamed? #ukolneim
  10. Show Us The Money


    Money was one of the key themes of the event – both the cost of collecting (or paying someone else to collect) social media metrics, and the role that money plays in telling a story with that data.

    Ranjit Sidhu gave a rousing presentation, emphasising that “pound signs are good” and demonstrating clearly how metrics can be combined with offline data to create powerful arguments about the value of the social media engagement for the university.

  11. #ukolneim Nobody wants to pay for external social media consultancy. We want free stuff!
  12. Gathering metrics is resource intensive #ukolneim
  13. Indeed the cost is not just in terms of money, but also in energies required to set SM up. #ukolneim.
  14. #ukolneim re: costs I’d add that staff time can cost more than 3rd party tools but can be the best tailored filter for an organisation
  15. ‘Pound signs are good’ #ukolneim
  16. #ukolneim I am impressed with @rssidhu ‘s examples, esp over the £value of a visit from prospective students in india
  17. Being challenged by @rssidhu at #ukolneim to stop overcomplicating things, get the data, tell the narrative, wake up!
  18. Interesting comparison of online /offline enquiries and projected applications – have these been tested yet? does medium matter? #ukolneim
  19. Questions


    The event raised a number of questions, many of which require further thought and exploration.  Here is a selection, as shared via Twitter…

  20. How do you make data from diverse online media outputs comparable? E.g. views of a blog post or slidecast vs a conference talk? #ukolneim
  21. #ukolneim. Question: who do you think should take decisions? Staff? Government /chancellors? Which organitzation would you suggest ?
  22. Views – v – citations is there a clear comparison/ relationship? Can we evidence it – should we? #ukolneim
  23. How can we integrate “what we are saying” metrics with “what are they saying about us” metrics? #ukolneim
  24. Reflections


    The workshop was designed to provoke thought and explore the issues.  Here are some of the initial reflections this process elicited, but there may be more over the coming days…

  25. Great day at #ukolneim Really interesting to hear what people had to say about current state of web analytics in social media in HE.
  26. Thought provoking stuff at #ukolneim today lots of things to ponder and some ideas to develop
  27. “I think we should think seriously about paying for some services following this workshop” #ukolneim
  28. Reaching Out

    The workshop also reached a remote audience outside of the room, including participants from the University of Girona in Spain.  

    There were 18-25 people viewing the live video stream throughout the day, with several participating in online breakout sessions held in CoverItLive.
    Here are Professor Duran’s reflections upon attending the workshop remotely…

  29. Conclusion

    We will leave the last word with @jennye, who succinctly summarised Ranjit Sidhu’s vital point about the need to tell the story of your data and make use of what it tells you…
  30. You need to organise your data or someone else with a different agenda will do so #ukolneim
  31. Further Details


    Further information about this event can be found at the event website, or by searching the event hash tag #ukolneim.

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