Monthly Archives: March 2009

@Google visits Boston at Cambridge Meetup

Google Mug | Chrome color?

Google Mug | Chrome color?

I stumbled into Adam Lasnik in Harvest Coop in Central Square in Cambridge, Mass. last night on my way to Google’s first official Boston Meetup and asked him if he knew where Enormous Room might. I knew I was in the right general spot but hadn’t been there in a while. Plus, his fleece read “Google” on it.

I think asking Adam where something was may actually count as “googling” something in person.

And, true to his role as Google’s Search Evangelist, Adam was quite helpful.

I walked over and up to Enormous Room with him as his two other Google compatriots finished a snack.

Since I followed him, that may count as using a human version of Google Maps.

After a snagged a tasty “Blue Bear” at the bar, I started circulating and meeting the crowd of local entrepreneurs, webmasters, analysts, marketers, writers, IT pros and other Cambridge tech mavens. Good times.

Eventually, the Google organizer for the event, Nate Tyler, welcomed the packed room to the evening and then turned it over to Adam. He took questions submitted online using Google’s own moderator tool. (See all the archived questions here). Adam mentioned that Google itself uses the tool every Friday to collect questions internally. Great insight into corporate culture.

I tweeted the following posts during the presentation:

When the Q&A ended, the Google guys unexpected asked “Who is digiphile?” and noted I’d been busy on Twitter. They offered me a t-shirt or a mug. I went with the latter (above.

I met many new people, caught up with the local social media crowd that had traveled out west at SXSW in Austin and generally enjoyed the turnout.

Tom Lewis (@tomdog) was on-hand recording videos. He and I have been following one another on Twitter for many months but this was our first meetup “IRL” (in real life) — always satisfying to put a face to a name.

Tom recorded the following video from the event:
Bostonist @ Boston's First Official Google Meetup from Tom Lewis on Vimeo.

Note to self: As I mentioned to him earlier today, I need to remove the word “value” from my personal spoken lexicon and look into the lens more. The light on the HD video camera he brought was, unfortunately, bright enough to make that uncomfortable.

Tom blogged about the Google Meetup much more extensively at Bostonist:
Bostonist @ Google’s Boston Meetup

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Improving cyberfenses through cyberwarfare simulation ran cyberattack mapping could alter security defense strategy today,  my new article on how cyberwarfare simulations may be key to the national strategic interest. I’m quite pleased at how the piece came together.

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How do you measure social media ROI on Twitter? A ReTweetability Index?

A carpenters' ruler with centimetre divisions
Image via Wikipedia

I was asked a “quick question” about my Twitter use yesterday:

How many user responses do you get from your tweets?

It’s a fair question. As soon as I started thinking about how to answer it, I realized how many dimensions a proper answer should measure and compute that number.

What constitutes  a user response?

A @reply?


A FWD using a (via)?

A HT (hat tip)?

A @mention?

There’s “influencer marketing ” metrics to be considered in there too, like whether users can be driven to comment or watch something elsewhere.

If you accounted for each metric on a given tweet, what measurements for the ROI of Twitter use could you generate?

If you’re measuring click traffic, you can see the traffic for @digiphile at That includes links that have been shared on three different Twitter accounts: @digipile, @epicureanist & @ITCompliance. The reach of the first account is dramatically greater, so results vary widely.

In aggregate, my qualitative answer to the original questions has to be:

“It depends.”

There are so many other variables: when I tweet, what I tweet, whether there is a link, if it’s directed to another user or if it includes an identifying source for a link.

Dan Zarrella, a social media and marketing scientist, has been at the forefront of retweet research focused on offering other quantitative models for measuring ROI.

His newly published Retweetability Index ranks Twitterers by his own formula:

[ Retweets Per Day / In(Tweets Per Day) ] / In(Followers)

I’m ranked at 1919 today with an index in the 7000s. I think that means I get a modest amount of user response. For more information, check out what Jennifer Grove ‘s post on Zarrella’s  ReTweetability Index at Mashable.

I’ll ask “How do you measure social media ROI on Twitter?” today and see what other people think.

In the future, I hope Dan and other researchers will create and share formulas or indices that include @replies, FWD, (via),  HTs, @mentions & influencer variables.

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