Engagement and complexity

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I think it was Denis Healey a onetime Chancellor of the Exchequer who quipped about something I think it was a change in interest rates or something of the sort. He wanted to convey his mixed feelings and did so by saying it was like watching his mother–in-law driving over a cliff… in his new car.

This came to mind as I read Anthony Mayfield’s post about this article at Wiredset: Terms of Engagement: Measuring the Active Consumer Like Anthony, I like their simple listing of levels of engagement in social media, ranging from adoption to collaborative filtering, to content creation to social.

I just wish they didn’t explain their elegant taxonomy in this ugly diagram:

Ok I’m probably nitpicking, but the diagram seems bonkers to me. Instead of elucidating their ideas, it raises a series of rather unnecessary questions. For instance, why does Content Creation overlap with Collaborative Filtering but NOT with Adoption? Why does the Social circle overlap with Adoption but not with Collaborative Filtering? What does the bit of the yellow circle in the middle that doesn’t cover any of the others represent? And what do the bits of the circles not covered by the Yellow circle mean? These are rhetorical questions. I DON’T want the answers: that’s my point. I’m suggesting that this diagram confuses me by bringing in extraneous meanings that I don’t think the authors intend.

It’s a sort of bastard child of simplicity and complexity, having the crudeness of the first, without its clarity; and the confusion of the second, without its richness.

Having got that off my chest, I do like the simplicity of the four levels of engagement. I think it highlights how many different ways in which social media can engage us and encourages us to think carefully of the many ways we can choose to measure it.

(By the way, Antony’s blog is near the top of my faves at the moment.)

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