In sports, the goal is clear. Score points, more than the other guy or team, and savor success.
Goals and success in other parts of life are a whole lot less defined.
We say things like “I want to be happy”. What does happy mean for you? It’s probably different than it is for me or anyone else for that matter. We say “this person/job/meal/experience makes me happy.” But I would argue that happiness is not caused, it’s something that has to come from within.
There’s been a ton of discussion going on on places like Chris Brogan’s Blog about what the numbers mean- analytics, SEO, followers, readers, conversions, sales, etc. But even in the sea of numbers, I think we are losing the bigger point, or goal.
We are often trying to quantify and measure things that are truly hard to measure- engagement is a broad term that encompasses things like trust, faith, willingness to try something based on a recommendation, attention and more. We know that people have feelings and emotions about who and what they interact with through the net, but just because a computer in involved, does not mean their feelings and emotional aftertaste after an interaction are really quantifiable. We’re mixing left and right brained stuff here- art and science, math and humanities, money and family, and more.
There’s a fundamental challenge involved in trying to measure feelings- we want to know, but we never really can.
Do you love one child better than the other?
How much do you love your significant other? Do they love you more or less than their ex? More or less than their parents? Than their children?
What makes chocolate better than vanilla ice cream? Could you be persuaded to change your mind?
You can’t quantify these things. And no matter how hard we try, I don;t think we’ll ever be able to develop a love meter.
In our family, we always say things like “I love you more! “No, I love you more! “I love you to the moon.” I love you to the Sun.” “well, I love you the whole universe. ” I love you the whole universe plus a googleplex” and on and on. yet the real truth is we love each other deeply and truly and the measurement is silly and impossible and in the end it doesn’t matter.
So maybe, we should start thinking about our goals and measurements of success online without always attaching a firm number or measure to it, but perhaps as an amalgam of all the positive things we do, and how much of an impact we have on others, and consider these worthwhile goals, even if not quantifiable in traditional terms.
And I’ll still like you even if you disagree. I’ll like you even more if you comment and tell me why. (Like we can measure this, right??)