Metrics As The New Business Model For Social Sharing Services

I recently noticed how popular the slides presented at UKOLN’s IWMW 2008 event have been, with the number of downloads ranging from 26,000 views for Ewan MacIntiosh’s closing plenary talk, through to 4,900 views for Alison Kerwin’s talk on “Let the Students Do The Talking” and 2,118 views of Cameron Neylon’s opening plenary talk on “Science in the YouTube Age”. Even slides used in the parallel sessions have proved popular, with 18,350 downloads for Gareth Saunders session on Mind Management For Content Management  and 4,426 and 2,070 views  for the slides used by myself and Marieke Guy in our session on Web Preservation (not bad for a session which, if I remember correctly, had fewer than 20 participants!).

I have previously commented on the popularity of an individual’s slides, and speculated on ways in which the 12,000+ downloads for Stephen Wheeler’s talk on Web 3.0 The way Forward could be related to impact and value.  In the case of downloads for the slides used in IWMW presentations the value might relate to the event (which provides an opportunity for the aggregation of significant talks) and for the presenters (as it can help raise the profile of their work and their ideas) as well as to those who access the slides.

Now it is not possible to get richer metrics for usage of Slideshare resources using the free version of the service -for this you need to purchase a premium account.  Might access to metrics provide the sustainable business model for such services, I wonder, as the need to provide statistics as evidence of the value of services grows in importance?

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