(*I mean the reactions with value, of course, not snide passive-aggressive and near-libelous tweets about kick-backs, lies, brown envelopes and whatever. That's just being silly and bitter.)
Anyway, it's all fair provided it's done appreciating this context:
- Firstly, as we have pointed out regularly in this piece, these are UK-only numbers. Low numbers or absent sites could be due to having a wider spread geographically/internationally to create a bigger audience.
- Secondly, of course absent names could be an oversight in the material we've collected through a source. I'll gladly - as I've just said to two prominent media figures - distribute an updated list if more Comscore stats come in (for June 2010, obviously, as that's where we've started). Publishers can find out their Comscore stats directly - for FREE. I doubt anyone who claims to be missing will be in the 1m+ group and have to pay - if you are, lucky you!
See this link for more detail: http://blog.comscore.com/2010/05/comscore_announces_media_metri.html
If you think our original list has something wrong/missing, let me know. People in the industry know how to contact MCV.
- Thirdly, yes Comscore data is just one metric. And as someone points out, we never say it is THE metric above. But metrics are worth the value placed on them, and some of the biggest media buyers in the world (that book advertising on all the sites listed in the original story, I'd say) place huge value on them.
Pat Garratt (who publishes a site I love) says on Twitter we could have run random numbers - but they have no meaning to anyone. They are random numbers - no one values them. I'm not defending Comscore - there are some wise comments above that I should reiterate here a) no audit system is above reproach (hence widespread scepticism of ABCe's), and b) just because there is a top ten here doesn't mean there are only ten sites in the UK.
And is that wrong that media buyers base their decisions on something like Comscore, which uses methods that are loved by some and contentious to other? Maybe, but that's not my call - they can do what they want. They are deciding what becomes the 'go to' metric. But what I can do is put together a piece that points out a massive grey area in the games media right now - using data an influential set of people *do* trust as the jumping off point on a wider debate.
- Fourth: It's that debate which is key. The 'world wild web' is unchecked and exciting - but sites can't have their cake and eat it. I'm sorry, but if journalists are going to declare print to be dead, silently condone their bosses opting out of ABCs, and publish things like 'the whole market is changing towards digital - even Chart-track is irrelevant now' then they have to stand up and be counted in the same terms.
So with this story I followed the 'conversation' about games media to its new home in terms of web content. Do I love the fact this has sparked a reaction so passionate? Of course. But that's a short-term thrill. I'm more proud this is the first, tender step into something much more long-term, interesting, revealing, and accountable.