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Sparkwise: A New and Innovative Tool for Measuring Media Impact

Tomorrow Partners, a Berkeley based strategic design firm, recently launched a free cloud-based online tool for aggregating all sorts of metrics, including social media and web presence in a personalized dashboard.

Sparkwise, is an innovative narrative data communication platform that collects, tracks and compares data and metrics and combines those raw numbers with video, audio, text feeds and PDFs to create a dynamic story. Essentially, it provides you with a blueprint of exactly where your online presence has the most impact, where you should promote your projects, and areas where you may be deficient in attracting your audience.

Sparkwise is designed for filmmakers, activists, journalists, funders, programmers, community organizers and change agents. Film and media makers including, Kristi Jacobsen, Director/Producer of “Finding North” and Jonny Bunning, Social Media/Community Manager on “Herman’s House” are already utilizing and testing the tool. Jacobsen and Bunning are amongst a group of media makers who will be participating in a panel discussion at the upcoming, Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival, to discuss and explore their experiences with using Sparkwise to leverage audience engagement and raise awareness for their upcoming films.

The beta version of Sparkwise recently launched and I just had the opportunity to create impact dashboards for the Center for Social Media. At first, I wasn’t sure how this tool was any different from google analytics or other data collecting software, until I discovered, the purpose is in the name. Sparkwise, not only tracks and analyzes your data, it also showcases your unique story, evaluates your impact and sparks audience engagement. The best part, it that it’s easy to use!

Here’s how it works: You create widgets that link to your sites and/or accounts to collect your data. Next, you tell the widgets how to analyze and display your data, whether you want a number, a map, a trend, or a feed. The widgets are live and updated daily to continually track your progress. You can link them to all sorts of metrics and data, such as, traffic to your website, google mentions, tweets, facebook likes, youtube and vimeo views, and there's even the option to create JSON and XML feeds.

One of the features I find extremely useful, in assessing impact, is the “compare” tool. This tool allows you to compare various sources of data and metrics side by side, such as, twitter followers, facebook fans and website visitors in one widget and see the trend over weeks, months or years. Another useful feature, is the option to add events to your data widgets. For example, I created a widget that tracks and graphs the number of visitors per day to the Center for Social Media website, I then added important CSM events to the calendar and now we are able to compare which events lead more people to our website and we can analyze the correlations.

To really bring your data and story to life, embed videos, upload pictures, audio files, pdf’s, logos, and call to action links to your boards. When your boards are complete, publish and share online, engage your audience and direct attention to your projects and sites.

Be sure to check out the Center for Social Media's impact dashboard!