Introducing MetricShift, Dedicated to Media Metrics, Analytics and Impact

    by Alexandra Kanik
    February 26, 2016

    When I began analyzing newsroom metrics, the emphasis was on things you could easily measure. Pageviews were hot. Everyone wanted more pageviews. Stats like high follower count were at such a premium that organizations were paying good money for fake accounts to follow them en masse. (Sadly, this is probably still happening.)

    That was just 5 years ago. A lot has changed in metrics since those days of chasing numbers. I would say  the change is mostly positive. Now, newsrooms are talking about engagement and editorial analytics. The race is no longer toward quantity; it’s toward quality.

    But what are quality metrics? How do you know what’s quality for you? Is quality subjective? And what do you do with quality metrics once you find them?


    The great shift from quantity to quality has surfaced many questions.

    Enter MetricShift.

    MetricShift is here to be a hub for metrics-related information. We intend to address the need for actionable, accessible information in these rapidly changing times. We’re here to ask and answer questions, provide solutions and create communities around telling the story of impact with quality media metrics.


    What Makes MetricShift Possible

    MetricShift is made possible by funding from the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), which gets support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Metrics, analytics and measuring impact have been covered by MediaShift in the past, but we’re here to kick it up a notch.

    In December 2015, Tim Cigelske and I were hired to manage the MetricShift coverage. You may have already seen some of our coverage:

    Tim and I, together with freelancers and leading minds in the industry, will continue to bring you this coverage, all of which can be found at MetricShift.org.

    We’re also launching this site with the help of a great Reader Advisory Board. The Board includes people from public media, non-profits, startups and for-profit media to provide diverse feedback on the site’s direction. In addition to providing us feedback on our coverage, the Board will help us understand the issues that media organizations face in measuring analytics and talking about impact.

    MetricShift Reader Advisory Board:

    • Anika Anand, Seattle Times Education Lab
    • Hannah Eaves, Consultant at Public Media Company, Gates Foundation
    • Clare Carr, Parse.ly
    • Lindsay Green-Barber, CIR / Reveal
    • Brian Boyer, NPR
    • Alisa Miller, PRI
    • Celeste LeCompte, ProPublica
    • Anjanette Delgado, Gannett / Media Impact Project
    • Ian Gibbs, Guardian

    How We’re Going To Do It

    We’ve defined a few general topic areas that we’re going to focus on in order to bring you the best possible coverage of media metrics:

    Best Practices

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to work with media metrics. We’ll cover industry best practices as well as innovative tactics.

    Case Studies

    A recently released Reuters Institute Report found that news organizations worldwide are “increasingly embracing the use of analytics and metrics as part of editorial decision making […].” We’re going to be featuring articles from people at these organizations so that we can learn from their successes, their failures and their experimentations.


    Impact is at the heart of everything we’ll be writing about on MetricsShift. Metrics exist not for their own sake, but to illuminate the path to true media impact. We’ll highlight ways to use metrics to talk about and understand impact.

    Social Metrics

    Social media platforms not only refer traffic to our content, they’re also major contributors to brand awareness and audience engagement. Tracking social metrics can be just as important as tracking site analytics. And just as confusing. We’ll address issues of measuring social metrics and how to talk about these in relationship to organization goals.

    Tools & Resources

    There are dozens of analytics platforms out there and more are being developed every day. From the more popular platforms like Google Analytics and Chartbeat to the lesser known platforms like PIWIK, we’ll bring you reviews and guides to the tools and resources that will help you better understand your metrics.

    #MetricShift Chats

    The 2nd and 4th Friday of each month we will host Twitter chats at the #MetricShift hashtag to discuss a specific metrics-related issue or topic. Each chat will feature a different set of guests who will help us think through the issue, provide expert advice and ask insightful questions.

    In addition to our original reporting, we’ll be republishing and linking to the best coverage about metrics, analytics and measuring impact from around the web.

    Sign up for our newsletter and join our Facebook group to stay up-to-date with everything we’ll be doing here at MetricShift.

    How You Can Join In

    We’re dedicated to bringing you in-depth coverage on everything metrics related. But no matter how much we read, how many tools we try, how often we comb through analytics, we can’t provide the best coverage without your help.

    You’ve got experience that we can’t have. You’ve faced problems and solved them. You’re working with real analytics. And we need you to share your knowledge.

    • Join our bi-monthly Twitter chats to ask questions and offer suggestions.
    • Join our Facebook Group and let us know what you’re working on and what your struggles are. Chances are you’re not alone!
    • Write for us! We’re always looking for insightful, in-depth articles about real-world analytics issues and solutions. If you think you might have something to share, contact me at [email protected] and let’s talk about it!

    Alexandra Kanik (@act_rational) is the Metrics Editor/Curator for MediaShift.

    Tagged: analytics impact introduction newsletter reader advisory board resources social tools twitter chat

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  • MediaShift received funding from the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), which receives support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to launch the MetricShift section to create a vibrant hub for those interested in media metrics, analytics and measuring deeper impact.

    About MetricShift

    MetricShift examines the ways we can use meaningful metrics in the digital age. We provide thoughtful, actionable content on metrics, analytics and measuring impact through original reporting, aggregation, and audience engagement and community.

    Executive Editor: Mark Glaser

    Metrics Editor: Jason Alcorn

    Reader Advisory Board

    Chair: Anika Anand, The Evergrey

    Brian Boyer, Spirited Media

    Clare Carr, Parse.ly

    Anjanette Delgado, Gannett

    Hannah Eaves, consultant, Gates Foundation

    Alexandra Kanik, Ohio Valley Resource

    Ian Gibbs, Data Stories

    Lindsay Green-Barber, The Impact Architects

    Celeste LeCompte, ProPublica

    Alisa Miller, PRI

    Connect with MetricShift

    Facebook group: Metrics & Impact

    Twitter: #MetricShift

    Email: jason [at] jasalc [dot] com

  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

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