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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Metaphors, Metaphors Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

Metaphor: Ocean
When I talk about social media, I often think "This is big. No, Bigger than big." Well, you can't beat the ocean for big. Covering 70% of the earth, it qualifies as bigger than big. And the ocean is a great place to collect metrics.
The ocean fascinates me. The systems in place in the vast submersed world all around us interact so gracefully. Water moves through every interaction, constantly flowing around the globe. But, to measure the ocean you have to look at bodies of water. It's not viable to measure the drops of water but the entire mass has very visible effects.

This is how business has typically measured their consumers. They ebb and flow like the tide and understanding when the body of consumers will be at high tide has been very lucrative. In this model companies have little reason to understand the individuals because you only need to capture enough of the swell to meet your sales goals.

When social media is studied at a population level, rather than tracking a single campaign, what trends emerge as important? This is the area we know the most about and I'm interested in getting your thoughts. tag: metric+metaphors