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Digital Ecosystem. New Rules of Engagement PAMRO 2011 . Vivien Marles Managing Director, InterMedia Africa. Fundamental Change. Driven by. Broadband – speed and connectivity Mobile – real time; hyper local Social Media - forums for action;

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digital ecosystem
Digital Ecosystem

New Rules of Engagement

PAMRO 2011

Vivien Marles

Managing Director,

InterMedia Africa

fundamental change
Fundamental Change

InterMedia Board Meeting- 2 May 2011

driven by
Driven by
  • Broadband – speed and connectivity
  • Mobile – real time; hyper local
  • Social Media - forums for action;

people now have their own audiences



InterMedia Board Meeting- 2 May 2011

challenges for the industry
Challenges for the Industry
  • Acknowledge how the terrain has changed the way we seek and spread news and information

- Google has grown from small beginnings in 1998 to index a billion web pages by 2000 and a trillion by 2008

- Facebook (2004) now has 500 million active users collectively spending 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month

- 24 hours of video are added to the Youtube servers every hour

- Twitter has over 5 billion friendship relationships between its users

  • Reframe our traditional thinking and adapt our rules of engagement
  • Strategies and research must adapt to the shifting landscape

Influentials now play a critical role in

  • advocacy and act as conduits of credible
  • information flow
  • We need move beyond correlations of
  • demographs and audience behaviour to
  • understanding the profile of these Nodes
  • in information networks
why nodes are important
Why Nodes are Important
  • Nodes are Opinion Formers/ Influentials
  • They are connected to a significant number of other people
  • They play a critical role in information and social networks
who are nodes
Who are Nodes?
  • Many in this room today..

- degree of connectivity to peers and to people of higher or

lower positions in society

- extent of news and information consumption

- perceived level of expertise (in news and current affairs)

- numbers of people who seek their advice and opinion

Nodes are respected, connected and networked


New Framework for Engaging

Networked Audiences

new rules of engagement
New Rules of Engagement
  • Recognise that meaningful engagement is taking place through huge numbers of few to few interactions
    • Traditional model of “one to many” is no longer relevant
    • News and information seekers huddle in niches
new rules of engagement1
New Rules of Engagement
  • Participate in User Networks to generate loyalty

- successful media organisations must become

participants in the digital realm rather than distant


  • Redefine concepts of Reach, Motivation, Response and Impact

- complex multi-directional networks call for tools that

measure engagement in multiple directions

new rules of engagement2
New Rules of Engagement
  • Move beyond time and geography as the standard for defining audiences

- focus has shifted from broadcasters deciding when,

where and how to broadcast content, to users

deciding when, where and how to consume, share

and create content

  • Identify prominent producers, brokers and consumers of information

- tap into brokers/ nodes as a way to expand reach

new rules of engagement3
New Rules of Engagement
  • Give ‘reciprocity’ equal weight to reach as a factor in successful engagement

- analyse reciprocal flows of information

- identify nodes clusters of users sharing content

  • Propel journalists beyond reporting to information brokering

- as instigators, moderators and drivers of online


new rules of engagement4
New Rules of Engagement
  • Tap into the extensive networks of celebrities

- celebrity sells – Alyssa Milano in the Arab Spring

Twitter galaxy

  • Strive to retain users’ trust as users increasingly turn to their own networks

- individuals use social networks as evaluators of the

quality and trustworthiness of information

- media industry need to be aware of those influentials (nodes) who are the arbiters of quality and trust


Good Social Science Research

Principles Remain

  • Clear objectives
  • Sound sampling and recruiting – have you reached the target population; is your sample random, representative?
  • Appropriate instrument design—do the respondents understand your questions as you intended? Do your questions reflect cultural sensitivity?
  • Avoidance of bias—intentional or accidental
  • Field training, piloting, pre-testing, observation—is fieldwork going as planned and how are corrections being made?
  • Data entry and processing quality control
  • Data analysis—accuracy, reliability, validity, generalizability?
  • Reporting—clarity, synthesis, user-friendly, compelling graphics, action-oriented, recommendations

Conventional Measures

still Relevant

  • Reach
    • Percentage of a given population reached
  • Frequency
    • Count of exposures e.g. how often an individual listens/views material
  • Share
    • Percentage of the total audience for a given platform, programme, genre or time of day





Mouth: Audience amplifier impact






Key influencers





& trusted












Social Media: Amplifies WoM


Whole new Industry Measuring

Online Activity

  • Many tools are available, some for free:
    • Google Analytics
    • Piwik
    • Snoop
    • Yahoo Analytics
    • BBClone
    • Omniture
    • Radian6
    • Collective Intellect
    • 4Q……etc., etc.
  • Key is interpretation and synthesis

New Engagement Metrics

  • Ever-evolving metrics on what constitutes online engagement:
    • Unique visitors
    • Time spent on site
    • Total time spent per user
    • Frequency of visits
    • Depth of visit
    • Conversions
    • Most popular content
    • Location of visitors
    • Bounce rate (% of visitors who left site after visiting a particular page)
    • Who is reading your blogs?
    • How many comments? Who is contributing? From where?
    • How many and who are bookmarking your site/blog posts?
    • How many and who are subscribing to your RSS feeds?
    • How many emails are being sent through your web forms? Who and where?
    • Who is talking about you, how often, where and with what ‘sentiment’?