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Oct 21 2007   12:50PM GMT

Overheard: How do you measure engagement?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

josh_chasin.png “Lately, of course, there has been some controversy around the efficacy of the Page View as the atom of Internet consumption—largely triggered by the penetration of AJAX technology, which enables content to refresh on screen without serving a new Page View.”

Josh Chasin, The Now is Time

Josh writes: These two developments—the decline in the efficacy of the Page View and the increased demand for engagement—dovetail nicely in Internet metrics, because both argue for a reconsideration of time and space. Specifically, I contend that they argue for a shift in emphasis from Page Views to duration-based audience metrics.Maybe we need to think about online media consumption in two flavors: Time Spent, and Engaged Time Spent.

What if we could track the time consumers spend with each web property—whether comprised of pages, audio, video, IM or widget—in a way that allows for capturing multi-tasking behavior? Say I’ve got Facebook and CNN.com open on my screen, along with two IM windows and a ballgame. My engagement to any one of these things ebbs and flows, but I’m spending time with all of them simultaneously.

I’m laying all this out because I think this is where Internet audience measurement needs to go—tracking both total Time Spent (maybe we call it “Multi-tasking Time Spent”) and Engaged Time Spent. With these two metrics, advertisers and publishers could start thinking about things like Share of Time Spent; what percent of a website’s Time Spent is Engaged Time Spent, and how can they drive that figure higher?

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