content creation – how to measure it

March 9th, 2010  |  Published in Ankündigungen

Note: Yes, that title sounds really boring, a bit academic, but I’m getting warmed up to writing my bachelor’s report, so what do you expect?

When creating content for digital distribution, a plethora of tools are available to the writer(s) and producer(s). In this section, we will find an overview of the primary criteria for evaluating them.

For a simpler navigation, the three main dimensions can be arranged as a triangle:

Each criterion can be viewed as a continuum between two extreme points. While some cases allow for a black- and white answer, most other measures have an important middle ground. It is important to note that all factors have only a qualitative dimension and are thus hard to quantify.

Furthermore, each factor can be seen as a subset of the continuum between the general notions of control and chaos.

people individual observed transactional synchronous
? ? ? ?
group self-paced poetic asynchronous
technology process centralized integrated
? ? ?
artifact distributed loosely coupled
content consume perfect private
? ? ?
collaborate good enough public
To understand these dimensions further, let us explore them one by one:
  • individual – group: how many people? (Blog, Google Docs, Wikipedia, World of Warcraft)
  • observed – self-paced: how much oversight is necessary, wanted? (hand-holding, individual coaching or self-directed, reflecting work with own methods)
  • transactional – poetic: tho what extend is the task creative? (straight to the point email with less than 5 sentences or complex, nuanced and well-crafted editorial work)
  • (a)synchronous: are people working on it at the same time, and over what time frame? (just-in-time meeting or letter writing)

in short: social, autonomous, creative, timely


  • process – artifact: is the tool geared towards a specific way of working (sketch, review, comment, publish) or does it put the final product center stage? (ECM(S), BPMWordPress - DIGG)
  • centralized – distributed: is the tool usable in various (physical) situations? (heavy copy machine in office corner or online-CRM with mobile access on laptop/mobile phone)
  • integrated – loosely coupled: how well can this piece be integrated with others? how high is the switching cost, friction for the end user when performing a range of tasks? (one system to rule them all, having all solutions in one place or niche- and task-specific situational applications)

in short: bendable, movable, pluggable


in short: interactivity, polish, delivery

This section was meant as a broad overview of the metrics, soon a more detailed discussion of specific examples across all factors will follow.

Until then, please provide your comments on the applicability of these measures and share your examples of a product, service or person that was too chaotic, strict, formal, complex or boring for you to continue using.

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