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This blog is where we announce new videos & talk about the power of explanation & the change it can create. 

Tracking Reactions on the Web

I must admit that each time we post a new video, we go into buzz mode - What are people saying/linking/doing?  Where are they doing it? How many said something?  What do we need to say in response? 

Watching the reaction is something I anticipate and love about the process.  At the same time, I wonder if I'm doing it right.  I'm always looking for new ways to scan the web.  Here are some tools we use - please suggest ideas/sites/tools that you think would help.

Blog Comments - Of course, our blog is the home of the videos, so we pay close attention to the comments.  We've seen the number of comments per video decline in general, which I don't take as a bad sign. Personally, I think people are commenting in other ways, like on Twitter.

Blog Post Views - The views that the blog post receives are certainly a powerful indicator.  However, because the video exists on video hosts, these page views are not comprehensive.

Referrers
- Our blog software (Drupal) tracks referrers - sites sending traffic our way. This is one way to see the sites from which the most traffic is coming.

Google Analytics - On a high level, this is how we measure the overall impact of the video over time. It's a very powerful tool and we look at a number of the stats, but the big one is impact over time - did the video increase views/visits? For how long?  To what degree?

Video Hosts
- The views and ratings (and to a lesser degree comments) on the video hosting sites like You Tube and Vimeo are always useful in measuring traction, etc. You Tube has been our vehicle for having the video shared on blogs, though that may soon change.

Technorati Reactions
- We have a persistent Technorati search for "commoncraft.com." Whenever someone links their site to Common Craft it (hopefully) shows up in a Technorati search. This gives us a view of who is linking to us, what they're saying and how influential they are.  Often, this is how we identify discussions in which we should participate. We use Technorati every day.

Diggs
- When a new video is posted, we usually include a button with the video that allows people to Digg it. We've seen this produce amazing results, but only if the video makes it to the "popular" list and the front page. Otherwise, it almost seems like a distraction.  You have to be pretty provocative to get the Digg community's attention.

Del.icio.us Bookmarks
-  Bookmarks are another way we gauge popularity.  Like Digg, if the bookmark can make onto the popular list, it can drive more traffic and bookmarks.

RSS Subscribers
-  This is more of a long range stat. We pay attention to how the number of subscribers changes in the days after the video is posted.  This can be powerful conversion metric.  If we're doing well, we turn a more and more visitors in subscribers.

Twitter @RepliesTwitter has become our #1 resource for understanding perceptions about our videos.  We always announce the videos on Twitter and the @replies are our first look at what people think.

Twitter Search
- I don't know what we would do without Summize and/or Tweetscan.  We track the search results for "commoncraft " and "plain English " on these services. Often, this reveals how the videos are being spread through Twitter and what people are saying.  When we see people asking questions, we do our best to reply to them.

Twitter Subscribers
- Did we see more subscribers after the video?

Viral Video Countdown - These days, getting onto the Viral Video Countdown front page is a goal and we look for it with each video.  It's one of our consistent, objective ways to see the degree to which the video is being shared on blogs. The Social Media video made it to #2 yesterday. Ice Rocket's Popular Video List is something we check too.

dotSUB translations
- We share each of our videos on dotSUB, where they can be translated into multiple languages.  We love to see this happen and check in often to how many languages are present.

What else should be using for tracking reactions?