Social Media Metrics?

So I run this blog/website on the “business” of Podcasting and New Media.

That would indicate that there is so money to be made here.

That would / should result in some metrics so we can track this stuff … you know, the old fashioned “can you actually prove that all your time online is making us any cash?

Rachel Happe offers this list of “Social Media Metrics” that is certainly worth your look but her list, for me at least, brings up more questions than it does answers. These include:

Is surveying really an effective way to measure the “effectiveness” of your new media venture? I mean, let’s be honest here, your fans are the ones who are going to complete your surveys. Of course they’re going to say nice things. Also, with the “smart” audience that consumes this stuff, they’re going to answer in the way that they think is the best for us (“of course I buy any product you recommend”).

How do we really measure an “engaged prospect?” Is there some definable metric for that? I have some huge fans who buy anything I produce who don’t wish to comment on blog posts are send me Twitter messages.

Is number of mentions online a good goal? The echo chamber that is all-too-often the Blogsphere only indicates that you got the attention of bloggers – and nothing else. Good if you’re selling a blogging product – meaningless if you’re selling anything else, right?

Could I suggest some social media metrics really worth tracking?

PPC – Profit Per Click. This one is SO important for so many reasons: A) If your PPC is lousy, growing your audience isn’t your first goal. B) If your PPC is significantly more or less than other methods, now you have some obvious action items. C) If this number is high, you can finally legitimize your social media efforts and get your boss off you back / get the funding you deserve.

STC – Subscribers to Clicks Here’s one nobody wants to talk about. Right now I got 2,200+ “followers” on Twitter but if I offer a hyperlink, how many of them will click? Facebook, Ads in Podcasts, Blog readers, etc. – if this number is lousy I better have a good explanation for why I’m doing this.

EPD – Earnings Per Download. I love how Podcasters love to argue what should be paid for CPM when the concept of EPD becomes so much more powerful. I’ve worked with Podcast Properties where we’ve seen more than 50 cents in PROFIT every time an episode was downloaded (through a direct marketing / commissioned sales ad). At that point, arguing about how many people actually “listen” becomes moot – I start looking for audiences to download these things. Yes, obviously, consumption must happen for earnings to be possible, but the metric of EPD is so much easier for me at least. You can translate these numbers directly to CPM too.

VV – Visitor Value. O.k., you’ve had 25,000 people through your site over the last year. It’s o.k. to ask how much money you’ve made from them.

What social media metrics do you use / follow / track?

My Google Presentation Is Live At YouTube (All 75+ Minutes)

Quick update, my presentation at Google the week before last is up and live at YouTube.com. Visit https://podcastpartnership.com/paulcolligan/google/ for the embedded file, all links and a PDF of the presentation.

New Media’s Future Has Little To Do With Your Desktop or Laptop

Today I drove in the car listening to a Podcast I streamed over the Edge network on my (v1) iPhone. Didn’t have the time to sync things up this morning and since I have a charger in my car, I really didn’t need to sync. And this was over the SLOWEST data network this country has to offer. Twas truly on-demand radio.

Tonight after we put the kids to bed we’ll be watching a pay per view movie we rented on the xBox. Comcast, who needs you?

My 8 year old is reading a Ramona book tonight. She’s reading it on a Kindle – we downloaded the book via “Whispernet” a few minutes ago.

I’m getting ready for my speech at Google on Tuesday (fun doing that when you have no idea what Job’s is going to announce on Monday) and need to review some previous events over there. I’ll be reviewing them on my Apple TV streaming YouTube directly on my HDTV – sans computer. I can then focus on the content.

And I have to do a bit of work tomorrow. I owe my New Media Inner Circle students some content. A number of them will get their content shot straight to their iPods without a computer in the middle through the Casgle Podium Box I keep talking about.

I’m in the process of revamping PodcastTools.com. One of the features I’m most excited about introducing is the delivery of the Podcast episodes over the phone.

Next week (or maybe the week after, depending on what his Steveness releases on Monday), I’ll be launching that on demand DVD and CD product for Podcasters. It will be so nice to let Podcasters deliver their content without having to explain syncing to their audience. Should have some case studies in time for New Media Expo.

Next week I have a quick trip to Vegas. I’m considering not bringing the laptop. Between my Kindle and iPhone, I got the connectivity I need for a few days of intense training.

The future of New Media has little to do with your desktop or laptop.

New Media Makers – Distribution Need Not Be Your Worry – Keep Making Content Worth Making

What a great time to be a new media maker.

How can you not make money if you got a great product?

Distribution is getting easier and easier and everyone is fighting over the chance to distribute your content.

We hear that 40% of all music will be distributed digitally by 2012. Let’s put that into perspective:

Click on this link. It’s the direct link to my CD at iTunes.

Don’t worry, it’s spoken word – not music.

How did I get that in there? CDBaby.com. Not only do they sell my CD directly but they are the ones who put it at PayPlay, Inprodicon, GreatIndieMusic, AudioLunchbox, Tradebit, MusicIsHere, Apple iTunes, GroupieTunes, BuyMusic, Verizon, Napster, Ruckus, Pocketgroup and Amazon. Total cost to me was $35.

40% of all access to that kind of media and I’m in at $35. YES!

Speaking of Amazon, I’m working on getting some titles in the Kindle. Here’s how I’m going to do it. It’s even easier than getting them to sell your book in their bookstore.

I’m also seriously considering their fulfillment services. As any of my readers know, I’m not usually one to sell my stuff for ten bucks. This should let me fix that issue.

Boooyah!

But I sure won’t be pressing discs around here with a company like Kunaki to do that kind of work for me.

When I caught Battlestar Galactica last night on my Xbox via Amazon Unbox, I remember the piece I wrote over a year ago about publishing your video content via that channel (which means Tivo and some other cool options as well). That option is still there.

And if you don’t think some sort of option for getting into the iTunes Store for video producers is coming, you haven’t been connecting any dots as of late.

So, physical fulfillment, digital delivery, protected video content, disc production and more can all be outsourced and made very possible and very doable today.

But Paul, I want a piece of that advertising budget I keep hearing about. No fair that us indies can’t get a piece of that.

Uh, … first of all I have to insert my token “I don’t know if that’s the smartest path to go down” statement … but if you want to go down that path, I have to point to Ninja.

You can’t get much more indie than Kent and Douglas yet rate card says they’re getting $40 CPM for their pageviews and that they’re getting 730,000 page views a month (yes, that’s more than 29K a month for the banner ads). If you got the audience, you can get the green without getting bought by someone else.

And, yes, I know that’s rate card and that Federated certainly gets their piece but … this is very doable is my only point.

And yes, you have to have the numbers which is A) the marketplace – deal with it and B) the reason I think selling for higher to a smaller audience is a better move all together. But I digress.

So while others bicker about the meaning of the word Podcasting and more money gets spent in streaming pipe dreams remember this dear friends …

Those with the content are the winners when distribution becomes a commodity.

And we’re already there.

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You Can’t Handle The Truth About Podcasting

First, please watch this embedded clip from YouTube to put you in the proper mindset.

You can’t handle the truth!

Son, we work on an Internet that has limits. And these limits can’t be changed with men with vc funding – no matter how much you’ve got.

Who’s gonna stream to millions at once? You? You, Hulu?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You praise streaming and you curse the Podcast. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not admitting what I know: that streaming, while sexy, simply can’t scale.

And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, is the future of media online…

You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want portable time-shifted media. You need portable time-shifted media – without the restrictions that simply won’t scale.

We use words like streaming, drm, walls … we curse these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under tens of millions of dollars in funding without ever facing the truth, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!

I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you tell me how your plan on streaming to millions of users at the same time. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think our future is!

As much as I just enjoyed watching 30 Rock on Hulu a few minutes ago, …

Streaming won’t scale.

DRM won’t scale.

Devices that dial home with my watching habits won’t scale.

Oprah tried, and fell flat on her face, and then released everything she had via Podcast.

Did her impact change? Did she make any less money? Did they sell less copies of that “New Earth” book?

Do we have something to learn from Oprah?

Yes, we can track everything – but at some point it all falls apart. I point to the USSR and East Germany as recent examples.

Yes, we can stream video right now but it is simply nothing compared to a few million people watching American Idol on a Wednesday night. If you want the numbers television provides on our glorious Interweb then, dear friends, you’re going to have to find something that scales – something that “works.”

Podcasting can scale.

Without the need to call back home, without the need to worry about where every 1 and 0 is located, without the need to own it all, this can work. Podcasting can scale.

Streaming can’t.

DRM can’t.

You can’t handle the truth about Podcasting.

Thoughts?

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7 Ways Apple TV Changes The Game And What Podcasters Need To Know And Do About It

Digg this story …

If this is your first time at the Blog, let me tell you this: yes, we love the gadgets and have a house full of ’em, but … this ain’t always about the gadgets. This is about the business and politics behind the gadgets. With that said and done, we’d love to have you as a subscriber.

Apple TV "Take Two" was introduced yesterday. I haven’t found anyone yet who isn’t thrilled with the results.

I would suggest however that this is much bigger than this. Yes, we have cool elements like HD video rentals (which I don’t know about you, but I’ve had on my xBox for what a year now?) and Flickr browsing but I’d really, honestly, like to suggest that Apple TV is now, officially, a game changer and here are my 7 reasons why.

The Podcast Subscription Paradigm Is Dead (with Apple TV at least). With this gorgeous box, I can watch whatever Podcast I want (as long as it is in the iTunes directory) and the word subscription isn’t anywhere to be found. Apple TV is now a video on demand service where you simply pick your favorite Podcasts and play and/or download them on demand. We’ve been saying for years that we need to make the subscription process easier. Apple did it by killing the susbcription process.

This Is Standards Setting. The joke with Apple TV is that this would all be news if people actually had an Apple TV to upgrade. They aren’t as popular as they should be and I don’t think this round will make any kind of dent on anyone’s numbers. It does, however, set the standard. When xBox releases their Podcasting application, it will look more like Apple TV than the Zune. Trust you me this. Want to see where Podcasting will be in 2 years? Visit your local Apple Store today.

Network Quality Suddenly Becomes Important Again. One of the nice benefis of a behind the scenes download process is that you can put your files on a lousy network and it doesn’t really matter as it all happens in "the background." This is no longer the case. If the Podcast you want to watch doesn’t stream well via "click to play," you will switch to another one – there are too many choices. I streamed several gorgeous HD video Podcasts with no problem and watched a few others sputter there way into oblivion. The commonality? The network. Some "big names" in this space don’t stream well at all.

YouTube Is As Important As Any Video Podcast Channel. Subscriptions in YouTube are just another button on this thing now. Actually, come to think of it, the only subscription option is YouTube. Video Podcasters, get your show as a channel on YouTube asap

The Price Just Went Down (Way Down). An Apple TV is less than any iPod touch. There are also no monthly fees like one would pay with their Tivo (remember Tivo?) This is one of the cheapest options in town.

Apple Owns The Premium Process. One of my biggest questions with this was always going to be "how does this affect Premiumcast.com?" At this point, there is no way to grab premium content directly through the Apple TV interface that Apple ain’t directly selling. Apple owns the only sales process for Apple TV. Sure, you can download to your computer and sync over but … why do that anymore? Premium is currently, a walled garden on this gorgeous little box.

Updates Included. We saw how Zune updated their v1 product to v2 without charge. We’ve seen Apple update the iPhone and the Apple TV without charge. We’ll be seeing more of this in the future. It is the new normal. Yes, the Touch update was $20 and I’ll be good scratch that the guy who thought that up has been yelled at by Steve more than a few times.

This one is a game changer people. Mark my words.

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Podcasting Is Not Dead – It Is Also Not The Story Anymore

You’ve seen me tracking numbers as of late. My presentation at CES had a bunch of them too. I posted late last night about Wizzard’s numbers. Again, put pinky to lips, one BILLION downloads. Couldn’t be more thrilled.

Actually, I could be.

I think we’re telling the wrong story.

As a few million geeks fly home from CES this week, how come nobody is reporting on the technology that made their flights possible?

I mean, airflight certainly isn’t dead.

When Steve Jobs makes his keynote next week, how come nobody is going to report on the wonders of streaming Quicktime?

Streaming sure ain’t dead.

When everybody writes about YouTube, how come nobody takes time to talk about the Web browsers that make YouTube possible?

The browser ain’t dead yet.

May I suggest dear friends that yes, Podcasting ain’t dead … but it ain’t the story either.

The tech world would laugh at a piece about CES that said the real story was the jet planes that got people there.

Bloggers would tear apart any piece about Job’s keynote next week that went on and on about the streaming Quicktime and how great it was.

Even my Dad would wonder why a piece about YouTube spent time focusing the Web browser.

May I also suggest that pieces about what we’re doing that focus on the Podcast deserve the same response?

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Stompernet Free Giveaway – The Definitive Post

Update: STOMPERNET SMARTS GOES LIVE AT 11A PACIFIC / 2P EASTERN.

I’ve mentioned this before, but at the request of a number of you, I’ve decided to put together the definitive post on this.

The guys from Stompernet are launching a massive course on social media marketing tomorrow. To prove their value, they’re giving away a nearly obscene amount of free content – videos, software, pdf training and more. We’re talking hours of video, software I’d pay for, and an excellent PDF primer on social media marketing.

Yes, they will ask for an email address for some of the stuff (although you don’t need an email to view the videos below) but these guys are top notch and follow/honor all of the “click here to unsubscribe” rules of the trade. They make enough money in this that, trust me, they don’t want to get sued.

The Video Series

Three things to note on the video: 1) Note the “Go Full Screen” button on the bottom of the player. I highly recommend it. The quality of the video is excellent and the detail for some of the stuff will need a full screen. 2) You’ll notice the “View Playlist” button the player. This is how you jump between the different videos. Watch all of them. 3) If you want to open this player on a new blank screen, click here.

The videos include (no email required):

Double Your Traffic And Triple Your Profits (22:17)” (a guide to getting some amazing double listings in Google).

Destroy Duplicate Content (24:47)” (a very important piece on the danger of using content from other sites).

Happy Holidays (6:49)” (a fun/short little video where they decide to giveaway the Stomper Scrutinizer software for free). Watch if for the funny dig at “The Rich Jerk.”

Stomper Scrutinzer (31:21) ” (where they show you how to use the free software).

Social Marketing – There Are No Secrets (50:38)” (excellent primer on social marketing – excellent).

Again, watch all of ’em, here. No need to sign up at their site.

The PDF Primer

You can grab the Social Media PDF here. Yes, that is me on page 29. Yes the story is true. I do answer any communication from these guys – even while at CES.

The Software

The FREE Stomper Scrutinizer software can be found here.

The Stompernet Blog

The Stomper Blog tracks all of these issues, the launch, etc. I suggest you head over and subscribe to the RSS.

At the very least, check out the crazy amount of comments they’ve got. Last time I checked, more than 150.

About Their Class

I love these guys because they ain’t about selling Internet Marketing products to people who want to learn how to sell Internet Marketing products. These are real-world businesses in here (check out video two, yes the guy really sells swords on Yahoo) that are doing really (do I dare say obscenely?) well because of the stuff these guys teach.

If you want real world Social Media Marketing training. This is worth examining.

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www.TheSocialMediaTelesummit.com – I LOVE This Model

Check this out – the first Social Media Telesummit.

My cynical readers (and I love you dearly) will say “this is another one of those get rich schemes” and pass on it. Fine, enjoy, I would expect nothing less.

My insightful readers will read the letter a few times and note two different things:

Leesa has put together a very impressive speaker list. I’ll tell you this, to be on the same page and at the same event as Sherman Hu, Andy Wibbels, Jody Colvard, Paul Vogelzang, Anna Farmery and others is a kick in the pants. When this thing is done, it will be a treasure trove of social media content.

This model is the first of it’s kind – but you will see it again. Now, I’ll admit, I pushed hard for this model with Leesa but she saw the value of it and ran with it. I want to make sure you don’t miss this: The value of the event is in the content, not how the content is delivered.

When you read through the sales letter you’ll note that if you don’t pick the continuing education option and just buy the content, you essentially have two choices: listen once live for less – or listen multiple times at your own pace for more.

Where did she get this crazy model?

I paid $8 to see “Enchanted” with my girls. They were $7 each and Heidi was another $8. We paid $30 to watch it once. Yes, when iTunes releases it for $12 in a few months, it will be “more” than my ticket was but if you really run the numbers … you get the idea.

We see this model all over the place and for new media to survive, we have to embrace it as well. Leesa has done this with her Social Media Telesummit.

The skeptics won’t get this far but one could say “Leesa, your cost for the CD set is much less than the price of your cost for the PMP player.

You’d be right but YOU’D BE WRONG.

Stop focusing on production and distribution costs, start focusing on the value of the content. Leesa has been pretty bold in how she’s presented this event – and I couldn’t be prouder of her.

This is the model to follow people.

And, yes, the Social Media Telesummit is going to be well worth your money – no matter which package you buy.

Oh yeah, I am also tickled pink that 3 of my students from Podcast Secrets last year made it in as trainers for this event. That thrills me to no end at all. I had no idea who else Leesa was going to bring on this thing and just giggled when I read the sales letter.

More on the Social Media Telesummit at PaulRecommends.com.

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Watching A New Media Meme Mature Before My Eyes – While Rockin’ Out

For the hundreds of you joined in on the Geoff Smith live concert / album launch party, you know what a treat it was. What a guy.

For those of you who missed it, you missed out on something very special.

The whole family watched the first hour or so before the kids went to bed (hooked the laptop up to the television – remember my whole Year of Living Digitally thing). My seven year old is in her first year of piano lessons so she was very curious. Geoff played “Great Balls of Fire” in full piano bar glory and I don’t know if Lindsey will be the same. She asked as I was putting her to bed “can we buy the cd?”

Sadly no, could you imagine the mess of getting rights for a piano bar guy taking requests?

What a pathetic shame. But that’s another post all together.

At the height of it, there were about 325 people on the uStream.tv stream. It started to choke around that time. Don’t know if that is coincidence but let’s be way conservative and say – that was the max.

How many does Geoff see in his bar on a Thursday night?

How many albums does he sell on a Thursday night?

How big is his tip jar on a Thursday night?

I’m gonna bet he broke some records tonight.

Yes, how often can he do this?

But there is something to this intimate house concert model here.

We’ve already seen Chris Pirillo doing “Call for Help” over at http://chris.pirillo.com/live/.

What about fabulous teachers teaching a home school crowd?

Doulas teaching childbirth breathing exercises?

Grandmas teaching how to really cook?

Beer brewers?

The mind is blown with the options.

This list could go on and on.

BTW, kids didn’t mention once that the video was grainy or that the audio wasn’t perfect.

Cause it ain’t about that.

Thanks Geoff.

Thanks Cali.

Thanks uStream for making this possible.

I’m gonna go to bed tonight with great tunes and visions of new models dancing in my head.

How about you?

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