Think small: the new metrics of engagement for news

Forget about the big numbers of total page views per month or unique users per month.

Fans are engaged and willing to give their time and money.
Those numbers are misleading and meaningless. They had meaning only in the days when the media business depended on mass media, massive audiences, and products aimed at the masses.

That was when the news media depended on advertising.

Today the business of media is all about touching potential customers with personalized, customized messages. It's about identifying the small number of people who are truly fans of your publication or the stars on your team. It's about strengthening the emotional attachment people have to your brand and its mission.

How the big numbers mislead us

In their very successful campaign to reach 1 million paid subscriptions for their digital-only edition, the Washington Post learned that the users most likely to subscribe came to their site three times a month.
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