Welcome to the Second Issue

Well, well, here is the second issue. From now on, we have to publish on a fixed schedule; this is where the real commitment begins. The first issue was well received, with David Jenkins article the most read. It is no surprise: David offered amazing insights on back end process optimization in e-commerce that are not often discussed in the digital measurement business.

In this issue, Jim Novo offers the readers a very rare exposé of the tumultuous relationship between Measurement (analytics), and what he calls « Gut Feel », or what I would refer to as informed intuition. And to boot, he gives us practical clues on when to use one or the other in the decision making process. Quite something!

Jim’s article indirectly touches the question of clichés, or received ideas on the Web. The Internet, with all its benefits, is also a terrifying place for unproven half-truths, and this phenomenon has been exponentially amplified with the popularity of Social Media. The HIPPO idea is a good example. Everybody repeats it, everybody seems to make it a certainty, whereas reality is not that simple. « HIPPOs » often have to call the shots on guts, not because they are egomaniacs, but because analytics fails to deliver the level of predictability they need. As Kevin Hillstrom said somewhere on Twitter, at the end of the day, they are the ones who lose their jobs when targets are not met.

As for me, following my review of two books on Social Media measurement in the first issue, I decided to tackle the concept of « influencer », one that is at the heart of many tools, but more importantly, that is presented as the key to understanding Social Media dynamics. I happen to believe we got it all wrong, and there are out there examples of people getting it, and offering possible ways to better think about, and ultimately use Social Media.

Finally, if you think this newsletter has any value, thanks for forwarding it to colleagues. It will evolve, both in volume and quality, and adding new subscribers is certainly a good motivation.