Friday, October 22, 2010

Context, Context, CONTEXT!

One thing I get aggro about when I read news, blog posts etc is lack of context. They take big numbers, great numbers, and use them to promote an agenda. But fail to put things in context so you can see if it is really news, important etc. It really is very poor reporting and more towards propaganda (calculated or innocent). Sadly many people buy it hook line and sinker.

Story: Facebook breaks 250mil video views in 1 month (second most on web)
Context: 0.46 Videos per Person Per Month. Think of the tens of hours per week so many watch TVCable.
Context: Even YouTube's claim of 2bil videos viewed a day comes out to a few minutes per person who have the internet vs the hours per day spent watching TV Cable.

250mil video views is nice on Facebook in a month. How much can they monetize out of each view? Can I compared costs for Facebook, YouTube, or Cable/TV advertising to judge what will give me best results for my budget? Maybe Facebook winds up limited reach but high value per video view.

Story: New York Times now has more Twitter Followers than Print Subscribers.
Context: Apples to Oranges. They get $2/day in NYC more elsewhere plus Advertising for Print. To follow on Twitter is free, brings in little revenue and takes little effort on behalf of the follower.
Context: a better story would be how many click throughs from Twitter to an Article hosted on the Times Website are they getting each day/week/month. Yet no mention of this.

This could be a non-story if no one is clicking through to the NY Times Website hopefully generating some Digital revenue. Maybe it helps convert some followers to print subscribers or newsstand buyers. Maybe it will help convert digital only subscribers once the pay wall goes up?

Story: Twitter passes 150 million user account.
Context: with 100 Million Tweets per day most Twitter Accounts are not used each day.

What if only 20-30million people world wide were tweeting each day? But those people generate increased revenues and business activity from connections, faster awareness, loyalty, engagement where the value per Tweeter is worth more than a passive print add, cold phone call, or PR efforts will bring in per contact? 

This is business news to me and needs to be more accurate with proper context. Often the shiny coat being spun over shadows very impressive achievements. It's easy to be suckered into the Mashable/People Magazine type reporting. But ask more questions, and ask the right questions.

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