5 mistakes publishers make with their data

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What do most people think of when they think of analytics? Metrics and measurement, mostly. Is this wrong? No. Analytics starts with data that can be counted, sorted and arranged into recognizable patterns.

But limiting analytics to just metrics and measurement limits what you can do; the power in analytics is in the translation from metrics to action. It’s the difference between knowing you have one million readers and having one million readers interact with you — in a way you strategized for.

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Sachin Kamdar, September 18, 2014

Parse.ly Introspective: We’re not a “Content Analytics” company

For years Parse.ly has been working on building a beautiful and smart dashboard UI, an analytics backend that supports billions of monthly data points, and an easy to use API. All of this was based on a website’s content.

This is the way our team thought about our product:

Thanks to this tech perspective, we’ve referred to what we do as “content analytics.” Without the content of posts, stories or articles created by publishing websites, there would be no readers, no sharing, no engagement – and we wouldn’t have anything to analyze.

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Clare Ondrey, September 2, 2014

10 ways you can use data like Mashable, Upworthy, BuzzFeed and College Humor

Everyone wants to know the secret to attracting and keeping audiences on their site. BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor, Upworthy and Mashable have gotten a lot of attention for their fast growth, millennial audiences and innovative approach to integrating analytics into their operations.

For these sites, collecting and accessing data is just the beginning; the real power comes from how they each apply it to grow their audiences and to help their organizations’ overall strategies. Continue reading

Parse.ly, August 21, 2014

Speaking Different Languages: Separating Ad Measurement vs Audience Insights in the Attention Debate

This essay is a reposted response from Parse.ly’s CEO, Sachin Kamdar as part of a debate on Attention Minutes over at The Media Impact Project.

mediaimpactprojectA frank conversation on the value of attention minutes/engaged time is long-overdue.  Richard Tofel kicked it off by questioning “the panacea some have suggested that [engaged time] might be.” And rightly so — spending months and years dedicated to chasing anything without questioning its value won’t end well for anyone.

In responses from Jonathan Stray, Daniel Mintz, Tony Haile and Anthony Hitchings, they all agree on something: that attention or engaged time should not be the only metric publishers use to evaluate content.

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Sachin Kamdar, August 11, 2014

Learning from your audience: What your readers are already telling you

Often, when presented with an analytics platform people focus on metrics. What are the numbers telling us? How many people are reading my post right now?

Last month, at the News:Rewired conference, hosted by Journalism.co.uk, we asked 40 journalists, editors, social media editors and audience development to not think about numbers, but to think about their audiences.

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Clare Ondrey, August 6, 2014

How to work smarter, not harder, with evergreen reporting

Today we’re announcing three new features in Parse.ly that help our clients access and identify insights about their audiences clearly and quickly, which allows them to make better decisions, faster. We now offer Evergreen Reports for identifying evergreen content, Multi-Author tracking for posts with more than one author, and an Audience Overview report (in beta) for understanding what encourages engaged, loyal readers.

To understand what each of these features means for our customers, we’ll be focusing on each in a blog post over the next few weeks. Read more on our Evergreen Report here.  Continue reading

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Parse.ly, July 23, 2014

The Top Five Things Digital Publishers Need to Know About Audience Loyalty

Wondering what you need to know when it comes to thinking about your strategy for growing loyal audiences? Here’s a crash course from Parse.ly’s CEO Sachin Kamdar.

1.) Loyal readership comes from building strong relationship between you and your reader.

Audiences don’t become loyal readers just because your headlines are crisp and your UI is well-designed. Those things play a role, but it’s part of a bigger picture. Casual or one-time readers turn into loyal readers through an individual relationship that you build by providing them with unique value.

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Sachin Kamdar, July 18, 2014

85% of the Internet has better things to worry about than LeBron James going back to Cleveland

The news broke at 12:29 p.m. Four years after LeBron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach in an on-air extravaganza with ESPN, SI.com released a personal essay by Lebron explaining why he was coming home.

How did the internet react? The SI.com article has the highest Twitter shares, with over 130,000 at the time this post was published. ESPN’s coverage got over 30,000 likes, shares and comments on Facebook.

But it wasn’t just the sports websites that cared about LeBron. In just four hours after the announcement, 15% of total views across Parse.ly’s network of over 200 online publishing websites were on articles about LeBron James.

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Parse.ly, July 11, 2014

Newsrooms Explain How to Make Data Talk

As analytics become more and more common in digital newsrooms, the conversation has shifted from “Should we use analytics,” to “What are analytics actually telling us about our audience?”

It’s a difficult question to answer, with the only consensus appearing so far is that there is no consensus. Digital publishers have different audiences; their business models vary from ads to subscriptions to more; those that cover breaking news have different prerogatives than those that seek to entertain. That means each online publisher must have their own, personal strategy to bring their data to life through an eye for the creative power of seeing stories and trends. We call it: combining the art and science of measuring success in online journalism.

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Clare Ondrey, June 30, 2014

Hacking The News

A Sunday morning in the MIT Media Lab atrium, all the clues were there. Few words spoken between huddled teams. Quiet determination encoded in methodical keystrokes. Yes, a hackathon was entering its final hours.

Hacking Journalism, a hackathon hosted by Embed.ly & MIT’s Media Lab brought together journalists, students and technologists to hunt for solutions to familiar problems in digital journalism. How do you find new ways to tell a story? How do you determine what is relevant and true in a world of noise? How do you figure out who will reveal the next detail of a story as it unfolds?

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Garrett Wilkin, June 18, 2014