How do bloggers measure their writing, article effectiveness, viral marketing power, and popularity with readers? Comments from readers and blog traffic can only provide a margin of insight into your effectiveness. Clive Thompson’s great New York Times article “If You Liked This, Your Sure to Love That” describes an interesting contest hosted by online movie rental company Netflix.
Netflix is offering anyone the opportunity to win a $1,000,000 prize. The challenge is to increase Netflix’s Cinematch it’s recommendation search engine. The engine suggests movie titles to consumers based on what they have chosen in the past. Netflix will pay out the cash prize to anyone who can increase their search accuracy by 10%. The leaders in this contest and their progress.
Statistical analysis and algorithms do not account for a genre of movies that have been described as quirky or unpredictable. The effect is called the “Napoleon Dynamite Problem” because it is said that this type of movie is either loved or hated by it’s viewers. Very little middle ground exists or gray area of preference.
Blogger’s Measurement Experiment: Posit for Answers
According to the article, Netflix is considering the following experiment:
“. . . hiring cinephiles to watch all 100,000 movies in the Netflix library and write up, by hand, pages of adjectives describing each movie, a cloud of tags that would offer a subjective view of what makes films similar or dissimilar. It might imbue Cinematch with more unpredictable, humanlike intelligence.”
Posit: How We May Learn
1. Bloggers set up a tag cloud for each individual blog article rather than for an entire blog’s library
2. If that can be done, the next step would be to ask readers to provide 3-5 adjectives that describe the blog article they just read.
3. Tag Cloud information would give bloggers an idea how readers perceived the value of their article and provide the following benefits:
3 Measurements Benefiting Bloggers
1. If a blog reader likes one article what other articles in your blog library would they enjoy?
2. Internal blog linking and construct could be improved if the blogger understood synergy between their articles
3. Don’t just rely on Categories as predictors for synergy between articles
Final Analysis and Acknowledgements
Netflix realizes that their best method to answers is to measure a social network: “It might imbue Cinematch with more unpredictable, humanlike intelligence.”
Thanks go to Vijay Krishna who alerted me to this information on Twitter.com: a fantastic social media site that provides 80% of my research data. You can find solid information by following Vijay on Twitter . Thanks also go to New York Times writer Clive Thompson for his insightful and wonderful piece on this challenge. Thank you Clive!