The CPI (Cocktail Party Index)

The Cocktail Party Index

We have developed an even easier method of evaluating the books, a quick visual we call The Cocktail Party Index (CPI). Instead of simply giving a book a thumbs up or down, or perhaps the overdone star rating, we’ve devised a more amusing and in-depth analysis.

X Axis = Quality

On the X axis we measure a book’s overall quality including:

  • Information relevance
  • Engagement level
  • Content

Each book is given one of five drink rankings including:

  1. Wine Cooler: Bad content, information not timely, boring
  2. Beer: Ok information, a bit of a snoozer, OK content
  3. Wine: Average at all levels, high school stuff
  4. Margarita: Fun, engaging, and definitely some great content
  5. Martini: Awesome info, hard to put down, very timely

As an example, Groundswell was a team favorite and all three team members gave it the illustrious Martini rating. Think of this as the four star or two thumbs up rating.

Y Axis = Utility

On the Y axis we chart a book’s overall utility including:

  • Applicability
  • Difficulty
  • Usefullness

Here again we focus on a five point scale:

  1. Not applicable: No real life application, no action items, hard to read, not useful
  2. Some applicability: Old info, rough to get through, some good points sprinkled in the mix
  3. Average usefulness: A little dry, somewhat helpful
  4. Very useful: Good amount of case studies to get the party started, fairly easy read, useful in real life
  5. Extremely applicable: Information, easy read for the information presented, extremely useful

For example…

Going back to our Groundswell example, we all gave it a 5.  A Martini-5 to be exact. not only did we find the book extremely relevant, engaging, and chalk full of incredible information, we thought the book’s case studies, detailed action items, stats, and read level was incredible.  Five years later, it’s still a great read on all things Web 2.0.

Another example is Black Swan. While the group gave it a Martini level rating because of the incredible abound of information and relevance, it was extremely difficult to read, for what we do, we didn’t find it that useful, and there were really no action items to take from the book and apply to our real life careers. Overal it got a Martini-2.