I visited the AideRSS team the week before the launch of PostRank.com. CEO Carol Leaman, co-founder and chief technologist Ilya Grigorik and Community Manager Melanie Baker took the time to sit down with me to chat.
In today’s interview, Ilya Grigorik explains PostRank and AideRSS’ approach to measuring engagement. Among the highlights:
- Ilya defines engagement as “any interaction a user can have with a post or an article.” To measure engagement, AideRSS aggregates all the metadata it can find about each post: number of views, the number of times the page has been clicked, how many people have bookmarked the story, how many people people have blogged, twittered, shared it on Pownce or Ma.gnolia.
- AideRSS uses the metadata it collects to compute an Engagement Score. In doing this, they assign different weights to different types of actions. Viewing a page would be considered a “lightweight” action. A click would be assigned greater weight. A comment requires a greater investment of time and thought. It would be assigned yet greater weight. AideRSS assigns less weight to a Twitter comment. An Engagement Score for a post is calculated using the weighted instances of all of the actions detected for that post. A higher Engagement Score signifies more attention from the community.
- PostRank is an indicator of the relative Engagement Score of each post on a blog. Thematic PostRank is an indicator of the relative engagement score of a series of posts across a collection of content sources.
- PostRank is dependent on context. Ranking articles against other articles in a specific blog will yield a different PostRank than ranking articles across a collection of blogs.
- PostRank scores are computed based on a post’s performance compared to the previous performance of a blog. Thematic PostRank does the same thing for a collection of content from different sources.
- AideRSS is continually tweaking its algorithms by adding sources like Twitter and Pownce and adjusting the weight assigned to various sources.
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