Thing 22: Tracking success

This Thing had us exploring altmetrics or alternative metrics.

I had a quick look at the analytics section of a Twitter account I run and got some surprising results. It appeared that within all the positive tweets, the most popular tweet was actually one that tackled a controversial subject with a negative bent. The other thing that stuck out was that the one with most mentions was actually from a comment made in a whole other language!

Certainly, it became clear that the most popular tweets were ones that dealt with twin subject areas and those that were original reworked tweets from other sites (rather than direct easy retweets).

TweetReach – having participated in an impressive Open Conference event recently I was keen to see the graphic that might be represented showing the reach of the tweets that the #OpenConCam hashtag generated…. pretty impressive exposure!


This particular hashtag trended on the day so it’s unsurprising. More on this in my “OpenConCam” blogpost here (which includes a link to a neat Storify article).

My next job was to investigate Altmetric, the altmetrics tool.

I downloaded the “Altmetric It!” bookmarklet and had the instant gratification of seeing various published content analysed. I will say, as a proviso, there was quite a shortfall with several articles failing to even register with Altmetric and some that simply flatlined. However, when the hits came I can’t fault it as way of measuring reach across a variety of metrics:

  • How many news outlets picked it up?
  • What level of attention did it receive and how does that compare with other articles?
  • How much social media or blogging activity did it generate?
  • Which country redistributed data about the article?
  • What type of user read it?

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