Independent hyperlocal news sites are busy trying to get their users fully engaged, but they say they can’t measure how well their strategies are working. A new studyfrom J-Lab at American University finds that nearly eight in 10 news sites “could not measure whether their engagement strategies were also converting readers into advertisers, donors, content contributors or volunteers.”
“Such an effort is beyond our capacity,” said one survey respondent. “We need help,” said another.
The predicament reminds me of that nursery rhyme:
“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost…”
These sites say they are unable to get the depth of information they want from various engagement tracking services, relying instead on old standbys — unique visitors and page views — the report says. UVs and PVs are important, but, of course, they don’t begin to measure depth…
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