New Software for Measuring Reader Engagement Online

In researching and writing about  magazine publishers’ online strategies – I have found that metrics like page views and traffic are being overshadowed in favor of reader engagement. Publishers and their advertisers are cultivating  loyal, interested audiences rather than a ton of disinterested traffic.

The only downside is, there’s no set of standards or tools for measuring engagement yet.  A page view is a page view- but how do you know if a reader is truly ‘engaged’ with your content?

That’s why this article on Nieman Journalism Lab’s site caught my eye. It’s written about a new piece of software called Tracer, which measures reader engagement by how often readers copy and paste text from articles and content. Publishers can use Tracer’s analytics to follow any re-use and reiteration of their content wherever their readers are cutting and pasting it (in blogs, emails, gchat away messages…).

Tracer’s set of analytics tools is a good way to start building a comprehensive engagement metric. I think cutting and pasting text is only a piece of the engagement puzzle but a step in the right direction and a necessary application for publishers.

To read more about Tracer, check out the article here.

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