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Rory MacDonald

Do you think that web 2.0 exists as _a_ media?

Are "blogs, video sharing, communities and social networks" one single entity?
Isn't this like grouping: PR, print advertising and DM under the banner of "things on paper"?

Just a thought.

As for the metrics, I think the PR analogy is perfect. For years, I can remember people trying to put ROI figures on PR to the extent that it got in the way of doing PR properly. How do you measure the value of a relationship?

Now people just seem to accept PR, when it is done well, as a very cost effective tool and they concentrate on that, rather than trying to measure ROI.

Measuring ROI on intangible assets is like city-boys putting exact figures on debt default risk: it works sometimes, but when it goes wrong .......

Sometimes it is better to just be straight with people and say, the way to measure the value of PR or community based marketing is using your intuition. Marketing managers can always play safe and hide behind an accountant, but leaders sometimes run with their instincts.

James Cherkoff

Hi Rory, I don't if Web 2.0 really can be considered a media, but I think we can lump together "blogs, video sharing, communities and social networks" as tools from the same box.

Measurement has indeed always been the achilles heel of the PR industry. However, everyone is clear about the potential outcomes eg story in national or influential press, contact with government and discussion about policy or people showing up for an event. Social or networked media doesn't have those intuitive benefits as a marketing tool - as yet.

If I had to guess, I think community building will be a key marketing skill in coming years and that those communities will be evaluated using all the traditional markers eg magnitude, frequency and sales.

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