Someone just asked me how I got the name “Measurement Queen.”  I’ve told the story so many times, but I realized I’d never written it down. In doing so, I realized that it was nearly 8 years ago and many of the characters and events might need a little explanation. In the process, to my delight I found the video of the actual event. 

Here’s the story:

It was at South by Southwest. Beth Kanter set up a panel called “the non profit ROI poetry slam”    We were all supposed to come in costume but I was coming from another conference and didn’t pack a costume. However, a friend had just given me a tiara and Beth gave us all measuring tapes to commemorate the event. I wove the measuring tape into the tiara and wore that. (see attached)   The next day there was an “all  hat no cattle party”  that Richard Binhammer   was throwing and everyone was supposed to have a hat. I couldn’t afford (and really didn’t need) a cowboy hat, so I wore my tiara. It was either Richard or Scott Monty that introduced me as “the Measurement Queen.

One of my most oft-quoted pieces of that entire experience is “The Return” by Measurement Raven Danielle Brigida, who was social media manager at National Wildlife Federation at the time. Even now, 8 years later, I bet many of you will  relate.

Here’s the full text:


Once upon a non-profit theory, measurement was weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious meetings with little to account for,

While I nodded, nearly napping, an idea for a strategy came a tapping,

What if measurement could include social interactions and what they stand for?

I shall investigate – I muttered – to know what ROI could account for

Instantly I knew, this was something I must explore


Ah, distinctly I remember, I wanted the opinion of a member,

Because it is each separate inspiring member, That I do wildlife justice for

So I tweeted, questions and links, to see what each member thinks

But from my stats surcease of sorrow, I realized – some things you can’t keep score

Aside from rare and radiant traffic spikes, there was nothing traditional to record

I thought this it is, and nothing more.


It was our executive VP who had unfounded belief in me,

Thrilled me filled me with fantastic insight I’d never known before;

So that now, to still the ADD of my moving mind, she stood repeating

“Remember at NWF it’s revenue, reach and engagement that we push for

Keep this is mind for what you measure – for this is all I will implore


Only this and nothing more.


Suddenly, my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

You sure? said I, for Madam, truly it’s a return hard to account for

But the fact was I kept tracking, never loafing, never slacking

And so slightly traffic came tapping, tapping on my website door,

I used listening to confirm I saw it – then I recorded to be sure

Not just linkbacks here but something more.


Deep into the analytics peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing

Listening, and dreaming dreams no marketer ever dared to dream before

Instead of traditional ROI abounding, I saw something even more astounding

And the only thing I could think was How can I measure engagement more?

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word “explore”

Merely this and nothing more.


Back into my cubicle turning, all the questions within me burning,

Soon again I started tweeting more strategically than before.

‘Surely,’ said I, ‘surely there’s a chance for program assistance;

Let me see then, a potential instance, and this mystery explore –

Let my mind be still a moment and this mystery explore; –

‘Tis a test and nothing more!’


Wildlife watch – an idea release, it holds the key engagement piece,

For people who spot all from crickets to geese, can use twitter to tweet

With NWF as the hash tag; Wildlife sightings perhaps would not lag; (for all to brag?)

Updates made by phones to twitter, are searched more easily than before –

Searched using Twitter Search with no URL to look for –

Perhaps with this we will engage more.


With the wildlife we’re compiling, We could keep the scientists smiling,

And lose the grave and stern decorum that was our storytelling before,

‘Though tweets are short and fitted,’ I said, we’ll increase the total submitted

Ghastly grim and empty forums we’ll be faced with nevermore!

Tell me what thy wildlife name is on the twitter feed-but be sure!

Share the findings, ‘forever more.’


Then, methought, the air grew denser, social media had no censor

There were still those unbelieving, even worse were those misperceiving

That Twitter was the answer to all their programs’ problems evermore.

`At last,’ they cried, `thy God hath lent thee — social media — the angel — sent thee

Traffic, comments, tweets and other means of engagement to record.

Yet it is important to remember, that goals determine the ROI accounted for

Forget this, `Nevermore.’


So there I was, sitting lonely needing support, but thinking only,

For Social media change we needed to move past communication days of yore

A little birdy told the web team “We should use a twitter stream”

And the idea, instead of dying was kept alive and continued flying

Till I found myself crying `Wow this is much easier than before –

With Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Stumbleupon gone are the days forgotten lore.

Doubting social media, `Nevermore.’


Though I feel the time spent disputing could be better spent recruiting

On the social sites that are intuitively fantastic for good rapport

It is my job to continue thinking how to keep goals and return from sinking

But trying to pinpoint every intangible value is simply uncalled for

Though I love data, traditional numbers are so far from social media at it’s core

It’s the relationships I adore


As for complete measurement, we’re still waiting, we’re still waiting

And anxiously anticipating metrics that assign value even more;

And my hopes have all the seeming of a marketer still dreaming,

That my efforts not in vain, will yield intangibles and metrics all the same

And that all the hours invested carefully will open future media doors

This I hope and so much more.



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