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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Measuring the Impact of Measure Map

I've been pondering the reasons for the Measure Map acquisition by Google. As we know, Google purchased Urchin back in March of 2005, then re-launched it in November as Google Analytics. It's a terrific analytics offering. So, why buy another analytics tool?

There are two compelling reasons. First, there's Jeffrey Veen and team. Clearly, they are doing some very slick, and very interesting stuff. Google is lucky to have them on board.

Second, I believe it's not about web analytics (or even blog analytics), it's about buzz analytics. Measure Map has two important analytics dimensions that distinguish them from other analytics tools: Links Out and Comments.

Links Out is a pretty easy one for web analytics vendors to solve. It requires some additional javascript, and some additional data collection. But Measure Map noted that it was a must-have feature from the start. Why? Because they get the fact that your blog is one link in a larger conversation chain. The more you understand the chain, the more you can manipulate it to your advantage.

Analyzing Comments is a more difficult proposition. It requires a better understanding of how blogs are structured, and how to extract information. But how cool is this...it gives you the ability to start to articulate new social networking dimensions, including "conversation index" values (frequency, volume, etc.), and a better understanding of those who are commenting (more than just paying attention).

One further bit of analysis on the importance of this acquisition. I'm a huge fan of memeorandum, which has featured the conversation of this acquisition as the top meme for the past day. Now, this analysis may not be totally fair as there are many variables involved, but take a look at the discussion as of this morning. Now, compare this to when Google Analytics launched. GA was a big deal at the time (remember that Urchin was a released product too), but it wasn't generating the same level of buzz (and by the next day, it wasn't even a major item on memeorandum).

It's the buzz. This will be fun to watch as it matures.

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