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Beyond game sales: Measuring interaction


Which is the most popular video game, the one that sells the most units, or the one that sparks the most buzz? The same question echos through much of social media—and the answer depends in great part on whether the business model is based on sales, advertising or marketing.

I just got a preview of a study (to be released tomorrow) from Networked Insights, the Madison (WI) company that measures social interactions around a product, brand or service. Their thesis is that companies that track the blogs and social networks pick up only the buzz from the “loud” 15% of the users that posts comments online.

But what about the other 85% that are interacting with this content in other ways just as important as posting? This could be inviting a friend to join a group, sharing a video, linking to it from a social network page, or the many other ways of interacting online. They are the silent majority who speak through social actions.

To gather data for this Measuring the Social report, Networked Insights tapped more than 17,000 social media and social networking sites, which included 3.5 million conversation per day and over 120 million unique users, and analyzed all interactions and post content around songs. The following data includes all the various types of interactions available to online audiences, including reading, listening, rating, sharing, linking and inviting.

The analysis also attempts to weigh the influence of each person in each realm. It means more if Tiger Woods recommends a golf club than a movie.

Using this analysis, Networked Insights looked at video games. One conclusion is that Nintendo Wii games sell well, but generate relatively little buzz. Three of the top sellers we Wii, but only one of them ranked in the top 10 in interactions. Sports video games are also low on interactions. People play them, but don’t talk about it much.

Why does this matter?

For in-game advertisers, knowing exactly what their gaming audience is engaging around can provide information on how to target them, in what part of the game, and with which product.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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