Analytics Content: A Devil's Dictionary

Published on March 10th, 2013 | by Derek Slater


Content: A Devil’s Dictionary

Yes it’s an old meme … Ambrose Bierce wrote the original Devil’s Dictionary circa 1906 … but it’s still fun.


A/B testing – Systematic process of pretending to compare confounding variables to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion.


AggregationSee ‘curation’.


Analytics – Software that generates a broad range of numbers of uncertain provenance and reliability, from which mathematically unsound extrapolations can be used to create dubious content processes serving everyone and therefore noone


Bounce rate – Percentage of your site visitors who depart immediately for Avinash Kaushik’s blog instead.


Branding – Heating an iron implement in the fire and burning its pattern into the skin of an immobilized cow. Only in a good way.


CMS – Continuous Maintenance Sinkhole.


Content audit – A spreadsheet used by content strategists for a painstaking, arduous task of keeping track of billable hours, I mean content assets.


Content strategists – A few dozen Web professionals who align content creation processes, UX and information architecture with business goals. Also, several hundred thousand ex-journalists who want jobs.


Conversion – When someone comes to an ecommerce site but experiences a religious enlightenment instead.


CurationSee ‘syndication’.


Editorial calendar –  For content marketers, a schedule of content they’d like to cover. For journalists, the opposite.


Pages-per-view – Measure of how well you’ve succeeded in trapping site visitors in an inescapable labyrinth of confusing navigation, redundant pages, and misleading-anchor-text links.


Engagement – Measure of blog commenters who issue creepy drooling marriage proposals to anyone with a remotely attractive photo anywhere on your site.


Opt-in – Like when a vampire tricks somebody and they invite him into their home, not realizing he’s a vampire (see next term).


Opt-out – A theoretical impossibility, like a perpetual motion machine or a Britney Spears a capella album.


SyndicationSee ‘aggregation’.


Traffic – Key term for paradigm shift of Web and content design towards regarding site visitors as Pavlov’s dogs, or customers of a meth lab.


About the Author

is editor of an award-winning B2B media website and magazine. Opinions and ideas expressed here are my own, not my employer's.

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