With the explosion of comments, posts, articles and conversations available on digital media platforms today, private and public sector organisations recognise this immense volume of data may yield valuable intelligence. In branding and retail, consumer relationships, attitudes and tastes can be assessed in unprecedented detail. So too for politics: the opinions, attitudes and responses to political events of ordinary people can be monitored and analysed using online methodologies. Participatory media allow for ongoing engagement with ‘targets’ online in order to shape offline behaviour. Consequently, the imperative to accurately evaluate digital media and measure complex metrics such as influence, trust and reputation online becomes ever greater. Researchers at the NPCU are investigating the possibilities offered by these technologies - often labelled web metrics - and the practical and ethical dilemmas that accompany them.
Summary notes from the Measuring Online Behaviour workshop held on 15 September 2009 are available here.