WSS Whitepaper: New Metrics for the New Media, a comment


I downloaded the new WebSideStoryNew Metrics for New Media white paper this morning from the newsletter that had entered my mailbox. At the end of the day, I took the time to rapidly glance through it’s content as the title sounded quite appealing: New Metrics for New Media.

It’s actually quite daunting how suddenly there is an increased interest for the revenues generated by media companies. Ever since the Economist landed a complete 3 page article on the subject this summer, I have the feeling that suddenly an entire sector is waking up.

What’s also funny is that this evolution had already been predicted quite some time ago by, amongst others the Online Publishers Association, who already mentioned 2 factors: loss of paper readership and decreasing margins on online advertising, compared to the off line world.
The logical solution should therefore lie in volume and diversification. Hum, rings a bell… Long Tail?

Yes, clearly the head is getting smaller and the name of the game will be to define these nice little niches that will be consuming your pages views (allowing you to sell more advertising), interacting with your website, sharing information with their peers and, if you’re lucky, also acquiering some of the stuff you’re promoting on your website with one partner or another.

I also got a mail this morning from Peter VanderM. from De Standaard with the results of the elections in my “commune” in Brussels, Ixelles. I noticed the mail and so did Siegert. In the evening, I clicked on it and played around with the application showing the results, with the map of Belgium. I did a couple of page views and wondered about how much money this would actually bring to VUM.

I was actually calculating this figure for another client of mine, late last night.
I know that each page sold at a certain CPM, where the volume of advertising is sold at a certain average percentage, with so many types of creatives per page or content “group” would amount to so many €, or cents in this case 😉
One could of course complexify the model by adding some notion of the influence of these pages on actual conversions, adding a few cents and hopefully € here and there.
Remember, you still need to define conversion events. Subscribing to the paper version and purchasing a product, is the easy part of the Web Analytics iceberg 😉
Most of my clients, none the less, in their inevitable plunge for the fast and easy, mainly take a look at provenance of traffic in order to rediscuss their partnerships for example.
Anyhow, easy with Google Analytics and the good thing is that it’s free 😉

My point is that you can buy the best possible product on the market, that has all the fancy “toetertjes en belletjes” on it but the question you should really ask is “do I have the person that’s going to drive this Porsche and further than the 1st gear?”.

So, what’s interesting about the whitepaper?

I like the design, clean, and slick and not too much to read on each page. It reads easily and in this sense is a lot more “digestable” than the previous SAS web analytics white paper (no comment) on the same site.

Some KPIs are interesting and gave me new ideas, thank you WebSideStory for sharing knowledge, mainly the ones about streaming media. I would like to add by the way that I’m not convinced by the uniqueness of the solution proposed by WSS for streaming media as other vendors such as WebTrends also propose it. Some KPIs are screamingly obvious and are part of any basic web analytics package, read Eric Peterson’s KPI book and you’ll get a better feel for what I talking about.
Some others are still theory yet to be proven on our Benelux market, in my humble opinion.
I really can’t imagine reading my Newspaper on my QTek, sorry… but I do watch Netwerk on my laptop, not on my TV. Oups, other sector… similar issues?

In any case, a good read. Put a sceptic eye to it if you’re thinking about a Web analytics product and define what you’ll be looking for in terms of KPIs and reporting integration facilities before starting to test out products and their respective partners.
WSS might be the solution for you but it’s not a silver bullet: the web analytics product chosen will not, by miracle ask the right questions in your place.
And these questions evolve with time, as does our environment and certainly the business model related to the media sector. 

A special thanks also to WebSideStory for their free resources section. Thank you for sharing, thank you for allowing this market to move forward.

Agree? don’t agree? let me know, good night.


3 Responses to “WSS Whitepaper: New Metrics for the New Media, a comment”

  1. Eric T. Peterson Says:


    As one of the authors of the white paper you cite I’m glad you liked the work. AT WSSI we’re always looking for ways to improve everyone’s general knowledge about metrics as a business driver. No application or technology is a silver bullet to be sure. An excellent post.

    Any chance you’re coming to Emetrics?

    Eric T. Peterson
    Author, Web Analytics Demystified

  2. Aurélie Pols Says:

    I should have guessed 😉 At least it’s a paper you can discuss and throw out on the table to debate what you, as a client, would use to best reflect your online business. An excellent starting point.
    By the way, I also regularly use brown bags with our logo on it to do “brown bag” lunches. Love those! especially when it’s smoked salmon sandwiches 😉 But it’s really the best way to debate needs.

    Yes, I’m going to Washington, packing my bags for this Saturday. Gonna be a long week, looking forward to it.

    Any chance of catching a good glimpse at Visual Sciences? It’s the only WA product our IT team, former games developers, remember and mention spontaniously…

    Catch you at the bar?

  3. After eMetrics, an urge for Web Analytics European professionalism « Blog Says:

    […] All presentators and attendees agree on the fact that Web Analytics is hard! Education remains the essential underlying theme of sucessfull web analytics projects and as Avinash pointed out, curiosity and spending at least 20% of your time “providing analysis no one asked for and only you can perform” is actually where INSIGHT can be found. Gosh, that was so true! Please note I used the term insight and not reporting or reports. It’s not about reports as these can be spitted out by any tool. The WSS whitepaper I commented upon (thanks Eric for your comments) last week defines KPIs for the media sector. Such reports can be set-up of course in WSS’s HBX but also WebTrends, Instadia or Coremetrics, amongst others. […]

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