This is my article as it was published in New Media Age yesterday:

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations Social Media Panel launched a Measurement Group last month to help practitioners navigate what is a rapidly developing and increasingly confusing area, writes Philip Sheldrake.

As I commented in the Social Web Analytics eBook in 2008:

If you could go back to the mid-1990s and offer a marketer a little box that would sit on their desk, let them listen in on thousands of customer conversations and participate in those discussions regardless of geography or time zone, it would appear so far-fetched that they’d probably call security.

And yet here we are, with somewhere upward of 200 services vying to be our eyes and ears on the social web. Social analytics is a growth market reminiscent of web analytics ten years ago, with all the potential and confusion that comparison implies. The market is just beginning to demand that some order, consistency and semblance of maturity is brought to bear, and the three big asks are: Read more