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Such a great post! Agree 100%! Thanks for sharing.


Agreed, this is a great post. Do you have any thoughts on ideal benchmarks for each data set over time, or do you think it's all just relative to the type of community you manage?

Rob Elliott

Great stuff, this is one of your most interesting posts recently. I think we'll try to do these measurements on the Wikidot community.


Thanks for this. So many good thoughts here I can put into practice right away!

Dan Limbach

Excellent post. Which tool (or tools) do you recommend for compiling and analyzing the objective data?

Mike Goncalves

Terrific post Rich. This certainly helps identify the important areas to focus on and analyze when running a website. Thanks!



This is a great post. I completely agree that the opportunities to make informed decisions (rather than intuited ones) is unprecedented.

But we also have to keep in mind that it's the analysis that's really valuable, and the data is just a tool to get there. Something like 'Members active within the past 30 days' is great as a general benchmark of community health. But it won't tell you why the numbers drop when they do or climb when they do, which is what you need to know in order to make tactical decisions.

Measuring active monthly users will never tell you what your community needs. The right measurement program combined with rigorous A/B testing is key to gleaning insights into what tactics nurture an engaged community (and what tactics drive members away).

Lalitha Brahma

Great information. It is tough to keep track of all the above, but having this knowledge and making a commitment to improve in each area, will help increase ROI. Thanks Rich.


Great advice in here, but I have to agree with Mike above me. Numbers are great, but when it comes to community it's about people and people require quantitative analysis.
The numbers are a great place to start and I'm sure that most people that deal with online communities will be able to use at least one piece of advice you've given here, but don't forget the analysis part of both those numbers and your community members.

Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos


Great post. Data-driven insights are what bring brands and their communities close. The analysis piece is the driving force behind the intelligence needed to connect people with content that is customized for their consumption, and the driving force behind engaging new contributors and points of view. Looking forward to reading more from you.


This post is very helpful, thank you for sharing. Is this is a measurement plan for websites in general or are you speaking to social media communities? If so, how can you know where your visitors are coming from? Thank you.

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