A Brief Hey! Nielsen Update

Hey everyone,

I might get to Pushing Daisies tonight, but it’s a hectic week and I don’t have all that much to say about the episode. What I want to focus on instead is an email I just got from Steve at Hey! Nielsen. After our Sound Off! Week came to a bit of an abrupt end when I pretty much ran out of time, I didn’t get a chance to properly address some issues. One of these was just how fantastic they are about making changes to their system to better reflect actual activity.

In the short term, these are a risky proposition for the Hey! Nielsen crew: they result in decreases in the scores of shows, which angers the fans who have put their efforts into the site. However, they’re about long term sustainability: remembering that this isn’t just a month-long installation, but rather a site that is intended to make an impact for years ahead, this is an important step in that direction.

In this case, Steve revealed two important things:

  • That recent activity is valued more than past activity. In other words, rather than cramming all of your efforts into one day and bursting to the top, it will take a continued presence on the site (Let’s say one opinion a week) to really make a long-term impact. This means that there is incentive for people visiting on a regular basis. This could cause more spamming, more often, but I am hoping that people refrain from this.
  • That although they won’t reveal the exact formula (It’s the internet’s own Caramilk Secret), they can confirm that Reactions, which were where fans of Jericho and Supernatural were seeing people responding negatively out of spite, do not have a huge impact. In fact, they never have, and it has actually been adjusted further.

These two things are great for fans: on the one hand they provide a great deal of incentive, and on the other hand they downplay the negative nellies who ruined the experience for some fans of shows like the Dresden Files, Jericho or Supernatural. It creates a much more positive environment, which I think should help the long-term sustainability of the site.

And speaking of long-term, there’s no more long-term in the TV Blog Contest, which ends tonight. So if you want to get in a last minute vote for Cultural Learnings, it would be most appreciated!

Hey! Nielsen TV Blog Entry – Cultural Learnings


Filed under Hey! Nielsen

6 responses to “A Brief Hey! Nielsen Update

  1. And if you get to the top and stay there, what does that mean? Is anyone other than Nielsen looking at this? Is it just another poll, or will this be used to show the popularity of a show instead of or along with the Nielsen ratings? In other words, are we just wasting our time here or is it really important?

  2. Wasting time is the wrong way of looking at it. The site wouldn’t be there if it was serving no purpose, but Nielsen can only offer the information: it is up to networks and advertisers to open their eyes to the service.

    I’d argue that any sort of fan support might look better packaged with other Nielsen data than on some disparate edge of the internet, so it’s certainly a solid option even if it isn’t a perfect one and doesn’t represent the depth of a message board or blog environment.

  3. Myles, thank you for the update. I was one of those who got turned off by the nasty, spiteful comments on Hey!Neilsen, as you know :>. But I did write a lengthy e-mail to Steve from Hey!Nielsen about that issue, as well as some others, and he was most gracious with his response. I really appreciated his taking the time to respond to me. And I appreciate your continuing to follow this experiment to better capture the real will of TV viewers.

  4. Myles, Thanks for the updates. I feel good about Hey Nielsen and a lot of that is due to Steve, He responds to questions and really tries to help.
    I don’t know how important it is but I do know it’s another way to advertise Jericho. That’s what’s important to me.

  5. hanncoll

    Myles, thanks for sharing this. The one thing that concerns me about taking this information back to my fandom is that I fear telling people ‘ratings don’t count for much; it’s opinions that most drive H!N rankings’ is that we’re going to be right back to square one, with everyone creating a new opinion, people getting irritated with what looks like spam, and backlash against the shows we’re trying to promote. I do like that a continued presence on the site is being weighted more than a flurry of postings over a couple of days, though.

  6. Heya…my very first comment on your blog. 🙂 I have been popping in and out and reading your stuff for some time and just wanted to say hi. . It is important stuff indeed. Also, could you let me know how I could subscribe to your website using email? It would be wonderful to get your posts in my inbox!

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