Tag Archives: audience

Popularity Contest

All media producers want to know who their audience is. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Title: Audience at a Frontier Fiesta show

There are lots of different ways to measure audiences. In Australia, Unitam is installed in thousands of homes to measure how many people are watching which shows. GFK is set to take over measuring radio audiences, incorporating a new online element.

But what happens when it comes to measuring online audiences?

When it comes to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, its easy to tell how many friends or followers you have. The number is often used to gauge a person or organisation’s influence.

But how accurate is this? Does having a thousand Facebook friends mean that you’re more influential than someone with only two hundred?

Many people disagree.

Klout appears to be offering a different perspective.

For a quick introduction to the concept, watch this:


Klout goes beyond just looking at social media audiences in terms of their numbers. It cross-references Twitter and Facebook and other major social networks, to measure a person’s actual influence.

Each person gets a score out of 100, with 100 having the highest influence. This is based on how active you are on social media, how your followers/friends respond to you, as well as how many of them there actually are.

My face when I found out my Klout score

Even if I tweeted and retweeted all day long,  if no one was retweeting or mentioning me, my score would not be very high. This would probably be because what I was saying was not relevant or interesting.

Whereas someone like Kim Kardashian, who has millions of followers who are very interested in what she’s up to, would have a higher score (it’s 88, to be precise).

Barack Obama has a score of 99. This makes sense.

Obviously, there are flaws in the system. Just because a follower doesn’t retweet you doesn’t mean you don’t influence them. And, just because someone retweets you, it doesn’t mean you are actually impacting them.

However, it represents a significant step towards combining quantitative and qualitative data.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go improve my Klout score.





DIY Media

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll know that the way we relate to media has changed. Dramatically.

We are no longer the audience, we are prosumers.

This means we don’t just passively accept and digest the media when it is spoon-fed to us at regular intervals. We decide when, where and what we want to view, and then make our own decisions about how or if we want to interact with it. We make Facebook statuses, tweet news, leave comments, and hit the ‘like’ button. We can also share what we find interesting with those we know. Or don’t know, as is often the case.

In effect, we have become part of the media, integrated into the whole. This has a whole range of potential that we’re only just finding out about. “The Mobile Phone and the Public Sphere”, you can begin to understand the effects an active audience is having upon the way information is gathered. For example, if you look at the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, you can see that social media became integral to the organisation of protests, as well as reporting what was going on within Egypt to the outside world. “Twitter is Blocked in Egypt Amidst Rising Protests” outlines how the Egyptian government attempted to block Twitter, but how news leaked through anyway.

In this way, rather than getting what would be an official, censored version of the truth, the outside world and people within Egypt were allowed a more accurate insight.

This is not the first time convergent media has altered the outcome of an event, the Boxing day tsunami in 2004, the London Bombings….

In these times, anyone can be a journalist.

I took it upon myself to look at what was happening, media wise, with the emerging story of North Korea’s declaration of war. Hackers accessed North Korea’s social media pages, (watch “Hackers target N Korea as tensions mount“) but the difference here is that North Korea’s media is so closed. It will be interesting to see what kinds of impacts convergent media will have upon these events.

However, it’s not just news that’s changing, it’s our entertainment. YouTube ‘vloggers’ are amassing thousands if not millions of followers (charlieissocoollike being my sister’s favourite). The phenomenal power is that these are everyday people, who have now been given the creative and expressive freedom to make their own media.

YouTube Trends Dashboard

YouTube Trends Dashboard (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

There are home-made videos that receive millions of views. What does this mean for traditional broadcasters? Well, in a nutshell, everyday people can upload content at zero cost to themselves which is viewed by more people than when millions of dollars’ worth of investment is put towards producing traditional content.

The content industry is in trouble: the audience has discovered DIY


Gordon, Janey (2007), The Mobile Phone and the Public Sphere: Mobile Phone Usage in Three Critical Situations, Convergence 13/3 Pages: 37-319.