Thursday, December 20, 2007

The AdAge Power150 Needs Serious Rethinking

Ok, ok. You're probably on the Top 150 list that AdAge started publishing a few months ago. It's supposedly a "who's who" of Communications bloggers based on a ranking system -- a metric, if you will. And like any other metric you have to ask "What are we trying to measure?" and then "What is the purpose is of measuring?".

Let's answer the first question first:

If it's only to point out the top blogs based on a few manipulatable metrics like Google PageRank, Bloglines feed subscribers and, LMAO, Alexa rankings, then fine -- the AdAge Power 150 is fine. Find the sites with the most "traffic", used in quotes because, like I tell clients, "the beauty of the internet is that everything is measurable - agreeing on the measurement is also it's biggest downfall", then fine -- it's who gets the most traffic among those blogging about Communications.

Author note: this next part was taken from my comment on Naked PR.

When it comes to the second answer, things become a bit more perplexed:

Realistically the “Power 150″ is somewhat of a joke because all of the metrics can be rigged and are only based on a limited number of metrics, all based on old school thinking — if the masses like it then it must be good, to which I say “Apply that logic to music -- N’Sync, Milli Vanilli and Spice Girls. And you'll have my answer to 'what's popular is good'". :P

This is why, by the way, the "Top bloggers" in any given category hate PR people. And Ad people. And interactive people. You client needs to get that there's more to the interwebs than Top Lists. Top Lists are created by humans, and as humans, we have faults. The range of what and which the "top bloggers" read, however, is much greater.

Quick anecdote: Back in the day, when I worked as a webmonkey, I was told by our metrics guy that we should delete 1/3 of our site’s pages because they accounted for the least amount of traffic and wouldn’t be missed.

My rebuttal was “But what was the goal?”, meaning if I invited 20 physicians to an event via a form on the site and all 20 responded, then I met my goal — 20 out of 20. Sure, it only means 20 unique visitors, but success was 100%.

My blog has regular readers from the top PR, advertising and Fortune 50 companies because my goal isn't to have the Average Joe subscribing. Sure, it’s nice, and I do appreciate the bump in traffic thanks to silly posts about Dave Chappelle, Rick Roll and other off beat topics, but realistically the majority of what I blog about is of no interest to them — because that’s not the goal of this blog.

Me thinks the Power150 needs re-thinkin’.

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