My previous post focused on the "traffic" health factor - where it is today and where it's headed in the near future in terms of reformulation. Today I'll be talking about another health factor: Content.
The Content Health Factor
Once critical mass is reached in terms of human traffic, the next thing to focus on is building content within the community. Visitors won't return time and time again without an abundance of interesting, useful and highly desirable content. The content health factor is a measure of both the quantity and the quality of the messages posted within your community. Contrary to traffic, which measures the passive engagement of visitors, content measures the active participation of your community members. Because posting (whether it is a message, a reply, or a comment) adds consumable information that is persistent within the community. This is a form of active participation.
Measuring the Quantity and Quality of the Posts
The post count metric provides a straightforward measure of the quantity of posts, but how do you measure their quality? We leave this decision to the readers. Using a marketplace metaphor, when the number of consumers (readers) in a community is large, the "economics" of the community can give an accurate estimate of the relative demand (whether they are useful or interesting) for the posts. Since the demand for a post strongly correlate with its viewership, the demand for a post must be reflected in the page view metric. However, highly viewed pages tend to draw more random views. This snowball effect will inflate the estimate of consumer demand. Therefore, the post quality can be approximated by a dampened version of the page view metric, which we call viewership.
The Current and Future of Content
In the current implementation of CHI, post counts and page views are aggregated over the weekly window, and then computed at the community level. However, this computation prohibits any drill down capability for this health factor. Yet, drilling down to a category or a board and seeing the content health factor at different hierarchy of the community can provide actionable intelligence for the community manager. Because this is a common use-case, and personally I've been asked this specific question at our customer conference earlier this year, I will make sure that we address this issue in the next reformulation of CHI. This drill-down view can be achieved by computing the product before the aggregation.
Can you guess what is coming? Yes, we will talk about the member health factor next. In the mean time, please do tell me if there is a feature you want with regards to measuring community health. Stay tuned at mich8elwu.