Your Communications Measurement Reading List for September 2022

A image of school children to illustrate the concept of a communications measurement reading list.
School children in Sierra Leone. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

It’s back to school time, and time for you to brush up on your reading. Here’s this month’s communications measurement reading list…

Numbers and data

“Number soup”: Can we make it easier for readers to digest all the numbers journalists stuff into their stories?
Researchers used the wonderfully named tool Dedoose to analyze each of 230 U.S. news stories for their quantitative density and the sorts of literacy that would be required to comprehend them.

Data Is Plural
A weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.
The 2022.09.14 edition features: An official Congress API, voter ID laws, local internet speeds, the Getty Provenance Index, and space weather.

Marketing metrics

Why Your Customer Experience Metrics Are Lying to You
One of the big problems of delivering customer experience marketing is that many of the metrics used by marketing teams are burdened by bias. They may be unintentionally manipulated to paint a rosier engagement picture than what is really going on.

Mergers and acquisitions

Reddit acquires contextualization company Spiketrap to boost its ads business
San Francisco-based Spiketrap offers a range of solutions in contextual ad targeting, impact measurement, brand safety monitoring, and other research and data-as-a-service solutions.

Back to school

The Pursuit of Worldly Wisdom
Excerpts from Tren Griffin’s book Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor. Includes a summation of Munger’s liberal strategy toward education, his worldly wisdom strategy of solving problems, and many quotes applicable to complex situations such as communications measurement.

RIP to a school supplies legend: E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper, passed away at 85.
The Hustle
The Trapper Keeper was introduced by Mead in 1981. By the end of the decade, the company claimed half of all middle and high school students had one, per The New York Times.

Misinformation and the information divide

Can you inoculate people against misinformation before they even see it? This study says yes
“In our new study we designed and tested five short videos that “prebunk” viewers, in order to inoculate them from the deceptive and manipulative techniques often used online to mislead people… We found that not only do these videos help people spot misinformation in controlled experiments, but also in the real world.”

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
The New Yorker
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason. Any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?

YODA Tool Found ~47,000 Malicious WordPress Plugins Installed in Over 24,000 Sites
The Hacker News
As many as 47,337 malicious plugins have been uncovered on 24,931 unique websites, out of which 3,685 plugins were sold on legitimate marketplaces, netting the attackers $41,500 in illegal revenues.

Social Media

Why YouTube’s best weapon is its library
The Hustle
Every three hours, YouTube adds as much content as Netflix and Amazon’s entire catalogs combined, or 20x Disney+’s. Here’s the amazing deets:

Thanks to The Hustle for this chart.

How much is that influencer worth? The answer may surprise you
The Drum
Measuring the impact of an influencer program is notoriously sketchy. It’s an emerging channel without industry standards. (See also our articles “Beginners Tip: How to Get Started With Influencer Measurement” and “The Measurement Menace of the Year: The Influencer Marketing Industry and the Social Platforms that Enable It.”)

Potty humor

Kids Yell “Poop” At Alexa, And These Musicians Profit
It’s not surprising that there are songs about the most basic of human functions… But connecting these songs with their ideal audience (children who can’t yet spell) took a technological leap: voice-enabled smart speakers like Alexa. Several of the songs’ creators told BuzzFeed News that their biggest source of revenue by a landslide is Amazon Music — the default music player for Alexa. When it comes to these novelty artists, the evidence is clear: The word “poop” translates to streaming gold.

Thanks for the photo to Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

About Author

Bill Paarlberg

Bill Paarlberg is the Editor of The Measurement Advisor. He has been editing and writing about measurement for over 20 years. He was the development and copy editor for "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit" by Beth Kanter and Katie Paine, winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Book Award.