Yesterday I had been asked a question regarding the number of “hits” we received during our last fusedlogicTV broadcast entitled “On The Road.” I was explaining to a group on a conference call that what is much more important to us in terms of measuring success is the overall time people spent watching our show and the overall viewer minutes in general. Further, how that engagement turned into opportunity.
The point is. Which would we rather have. 10,000 hits from 10,000 unique visitors who spend 1 minute watching and do not communicate to us? OR 100 unique visitors who spend on average 20 minutes watching while communicating within our chat room and who call us or email us looking to talk about an opportunity? The ultimate scenario is having both factors be higher and yet still remain manageable. The reality is we were closer to the second part of that example and we’re in the middle of several new business discussions as a result.
We define success via engagement, not hits. This I think is evident because within my personal digital profiles I don’t have the most massive numbers pertaining to raw hits, followers, connections, friends, fans etc. What I can tell you is that from our efforts on that very fun Thursday at the Golden Rice Bowl, we’ve generated several strong opportunities for more business. I believe quality is far more important than quantity.
We are surrounded online by those who would look to drive what I call “false positives.” Essentially big numbers. You can quickly identify them on Twitter and elsewhere. They typically generate lots of “white noise.”
We have found sustainable growth within the quality engagement model. That works for us AND the concept of quality over quantity is certainly not a new concept. Katie Paine has been saying H.I.T.S. – How Idiots Track Success for years. My intent is not to offend my colleagues from yesterday, it’s simply to communicate a different set of priorities. We’ve seen it work for others as well.
In the context of Open Government/Data for example, it’s not how many data sets you can put out the door in a catalogue, it’s how many data sets are being used in applications. A point made just this morning by Andrea DiMaio of Gartner. If you launch Open 311 API’s and no one asks to use or develop with the available data, is there any value to offering it? Was there a strong desire for the information? Luckily in the case of the City of San Francisco there is a slight increase in demand for this data set and the level of development is climbing.
I’m with many when describing the need to have more public organizations open up their data. First, because I believe that many of the organizations we’re talking about are “tired.” This is a way to get cities, provinces and the feds to step forward. However, we must step forward on a basis of quality and sustainability. My hope and my intention in Ottawa while at Canada GovCamp next week is to propose and hopefully lead a break-out session on the topic of “sustainable engagement.”
Do you or does your organization focus on sustainable engagement? Do you think there is enough discussion about Open Government being sustainable?