Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Vocabulary Lesson - Rigor and Diversity (or - Two ways to measure the strength of your presence on Wikipedia)

My title's ridiculous - I know, I know. It is also ridiculous that my poor blog has been neglected for so long... but no longer! Here we are, delving back into the pudding to find the proof... in other words, trying to figure out how to measure the success of marketing tactics, campaigns, etc.

My recent web wanderings have brought me to a blog post by Katie Paine, who via her blog has introduced me to two new terms of which I've grown rather fond of, rather quickly... "rigor" and "diversity". Paine uses these terms in reference to measuring your brand's strength on Wikipedia. And since, as Paine attests to, Wikipedia dominates organic search listings, this is something that we, as marketers, need to be paying attention to.

"Rigor", again, according to Paine, refers to the number of times an article is edited. "Diversity" refers to the total numbers of unique users (note - not readers, but users). And apparently, especially if you're a big brand, then these stats can be indicators of brand strength - as can measuring the sentiments of what is written about your brand in Wikipedia.

While I value the importance of non-financial measurements, I cannot help but wonder how this information, once gathered, might be acted upon. If you have poor Wikipedia rigor and diversity, what do you do? Or are these just symptoms of a greater disease for which the cure is a brand strategy overhaul? And if this is the case, what are some of the other factors that should be considered? While I love measurement, sometimes it's difficult to seperate what is essential to measure as opposed to what is simply interesting. Food for thought.