By their clicks you will know them: What your audience says about itself with its actions online

Thursday, November 1, 2007
(Originally posted to the Web in 2007 as an adjunct to the textbook Advancing the Story, by Debora Halpern Wenger and Deborah Potter)

Once upon a time, a journalist who wanted to know how well a story fared—how many people read past the headline, how many changed the channel at the tease for a newscast—had to guess, based on occasional readership studies or ratings periods.

As more journalism migrates to the Web, audience measurements or metrics have become more accessible, and journalists can learn such things with great accuracy—daily, hourly or even minute-by-minute.