Dashboard Gripe Session

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what are we looking for?

  • monitor our new projects
  • find free (or cheaper) tools
  • gripe (at gunner's request) about expensive tools
  • what should I recommend to my clients?


  • most based on rss feeds
  • aspiration uses netvibes (has free version, but no analytics)
  • aggregates social media searches in one place
  • tabs for different program areas / keywords

how does it fit in the workflow?

  • for lots of folks, it's the first thing they check in the morning
  • for upwell, dashboard isn't the starting point, but part of the whole campaign cycle
  • assumes you know what you're looking for
  • can be hard to filter signal from noise
  • radian6 actually not good at things you don't know you're looking for
  • keyword searches + exclusion can work, but hard to manage
  • automated tools exist that use your social graph for curation
  • tweeted times w/ org account gives us first pass
  • paper.li (more noise, also can find hidden signal)

what are the inputs into the dashboard?

  • keywords
  • source lists
  • org social graph
  • twitter lists
  • facebook friends
  • most dashboards go forward, not historical
  • can pay surcharge for older data
  • layer conversations on top of each other to determine comparative volume
  • plan for the divorice, make sure you're able to get data out
  • Listening Matrix template helps documentation
  • the way you phrase your queries become your IP
  • learn from each new keyword, how to describe conversation
  • terms matter (misspelling, proximity)
  • easy to just look at data on your dashboard
  • but you can miss the context & trends

gripes about radian

  • it's built in flash
  • UI doesn't scale
  • it's hella expensive
  • you can't export on your own

what about open source tools?

  • piwik
  • managing news (drupal 6, may not have new development since 2011)
  • anything else?
  • feel free to add (or build?)

how do you track facebook?

  • facebook search is awful (due to user privacy settings)
  • google+ is worse
  • fb share button count may not match what you can get direct from the api
  • very little transparency from dashboards about where their data comes from
  • just because someone is buying data, doesn't mean they have all the data (eg: quora might be hidden)

how do you start?

  • not with radian6
  • what are the decisions you want to make based on your analytics?
  • need to map out what you're trying to do before you start
  • flow chart the desired change
  • determine useful indicators & metrics
  • counting the wrong thing can be wasted energy, or counterproductive
  • rss feeds are (still) really useful
  • google search tips:
    • site: search on a specific site
    • link: who's linking to you
    • quotes to keep words together
    • minus sign to reduce noise

how do you introduce to non-techies

  • rss still pretty technical term (despite being really simple)
  • people love to hear about mentions
  • instant gratification in new connections
  • can be bad if there's off message content that the leadership didn't know about
  • set up role-based aliases for accounts, so you're not dependent on staff names
    • internal ownership over channels