Altmetrics is another way of looking what impact is.
Impacts is measured at the moment as the number of downloads, citations and peer review. With altmetrics even other metrics are considered, such as discussions online (mentions in blog posts, Twitter, Facebook…), links to, book marks and more are included in measuring impact.
Altmetrics is an area which is growing and is getting more interesting because the new ways researcher can publish research. Altmetrics is a way to take advantage of researchers’ communication on the web since it is blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and other social media that is measured for impact. Instead of waiting for several months for feedback on your article you could post your research in a blog post and ask other researchers to discuss it. You will have comments and questions on it within days.
Altmetrics builds on participation. You and your colleagues can share your research and join in discussions about it. Research seminars and conferences are not they only way to have meaningful discussions about research.
Read Altmetrics: a manifesto to find out why those speaking in favour of altmetrics consider altmetrics to be a better way to measure impact than relying only on traditional Journal Impact Factor, which is the impact of a journal.
You can also test some other altmetric tools. ImpactStory can be used to map how blog posts, papers and presentations are spread in social media. Another example is PLoS that map information from Twitter, blogs, news channels, Google+, Facebook and other channels. It collect data on article level, you register and add article DOI (document object identifier; a type of ID number for an article) of which you want to follow.