Measuring Streetfilms’ Success

Streetfilms is in the process of applying for a grant to improve their site.  This poses the question of how do we measure the effectiveness of streetfilms.org so that we can show whether any investment in it pays off?

Streetfilms produces short films showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play.  Its goal is to inspire action and behavioral change to make the cities of the world more livable.

So how do we measure Streetfilms’ success at achieving this goal?  If we look at how people engage Streetfilms, we can draw a few rough categories of increasing degrees of user engagement:

Grazers

  • watch a film, or part of a film
  • read the accompanying write-up, transcript, subtitles, or comments on a film
Subscribers
  • watch streetfilms on a regular basis
  • subscribe to streetfilms updates in RSS, facebook, or twitter
Contributors
  • comment on films to discuss with other community members
  • translate subtitles into different languages
Activists
  • embed streetfilms in their own websites
  • buy dvds of streetfilms and hold screenings in their community
All these types of users are important and help accomplish the Streetfilms mission.  Their activity can also be measured.  Here are some metrics that we can use (with some stats for the last month) that correspond to each type of user:
Grazing
  • number of plays (35,745)
  • number of plays that are watched to the end (13,985)
  • number of single-post views on streetfilms.org that give people access to the write-up, comments, transcripts, and subtitles (27,742)
  • number of unique single-post viewers (23,244)
Subscribing
  • number of facebook followers (1898)
  • number of twitter followers (3722)
  • number of Google Reader subscribers (823)
Contributing
  • number of comments made
  • number of films translated
Activists
  • number of dvds purchased
  • number of high-resolution films downloaded
  • number of community screenings held
So now, assuming that these metrics help us understand how we are “inspiring action and behavioral change to make the cities of the world more livable,” how can we increase the values and become measurably more successful at accomplishing our mission.  Here are some ideas:
  • continue to create high-quality relevant films
  • better understand the segments of our user base and create films of different formats to appeal to different types of users
  • translate film subtitles into more languages, especially into Spanish, to make the films accessible to the non-English world
  • translate the whole site into other languages
  • promote films online in relevant communities, such as on blogs of the Streetsblog Network
  • have more of a presence at related conferences
  • get covered and aired on local television and big news brands
  • create films that are more likely to go “viral”
  • increase our calls to action on Streetfilms including how visitors to the site can sign up for our email alerts, use Streetfilms as tools in their own communities, invite us to their communities, and get more involved in Streetfilms
  • free dvd distribution to related organizations
  • providing engaged users with more ideas for what they can do to distribute streetfilms
  • promote the sharing of our films through social networks by keeping our sharing technology up-to-date
This is just a first draft at measuring and promoting the success of Streetfilms.  This process is something that we should continue to refine and iterate on as we learn from our initial measurement efforts.

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