Thinking about what makes successful web presence for education portals, has also led me to wondering what indicators make for successful social networking sites. Conventional metrics such as hits, time spent on site and unique visits are OK, but better measures should include return visits and number of comments. (If I was to include spam measures this would bolster my own blog participation considerably). Search engine analytics such as http://www.searchcrystal.com/home.html are probably also worth exploring-but take some sophistication to properly use. Kami Huyse sets out eight indicators for good blogs:
- Number of unique users
- Returning versus new readers
- Referring source statistics
- Links from other sites
- Google PageRank
- The ratio of blog comments to blog posts (where applicable)
- Total time spent on the site
Avanish Kaushik sets out a profile of indicators since 2006 and his qualitative (3 comments /post) and quantitative goals (Technorati top 10 000).
Indicators for other social networking applications would take on a different analysis.