CPIs and PPIs

Another thing I pondered whilst away, driven by my obsessive watching of CNBC and its little stock ticker, was the CPI and PPI. In the mainland USA, these are economic indicators (consumer price index and producer price index) relating to inflation – ie. expansion, growth and what not.

I think we need two such indicators in UK government content. So, today I am creating:

– The CPI, or Content Proliferation Index, which will measure the total count of certain key words across the entire “.gov.uk” domain. I’ll pick the words over the next few days and then run the counts and publish the starting count along with a baseline that sets the start as 100. Over the coming months, we can see how much we’re duplicating. To give the numbers a bit more basis, I’ll declare an owner for each term (i.e. a site on which the term should legitimately appear) and discount that from the total (so, DWP would own Disability Living Allowance, there are more than 9,000 occurrences of that and only 900 odd on DWP’s site).

– The PPI, or Page Proliferation Index, which will measure the total count of pages in the “.gov.uk” domain. A bit harder to do this as it means I need to be aware of every domain name registered in this space (I don’t track them all the time). Last year when I first put this number up after a bit of digging from my team, it was a total of 1,600 domain names and around 1.5 million pages (although I think that included some NHS and MOD sites and didn’t include some others that should have been there). Today, we’re at 2643 (again, before I went away so probably moved by now) and around 2.8 million pages. We’ll call those each “100” now … and measure how they move up.

Be fascinating to see how these grow …. what’s a good (or bad) growth rate? How should they trend (up or down)? How will we know we’re getting somewhere just from these? Clearly these both steer people’s perceptions of the US economy to some extent, so can we make a similar leap?

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