Like Pace Lattin “doesn’t cross paths with Shoemoney at all,” I don’t cross paths with Pace Lattin at all (although Lattin and I are fellow ClickZ columnists).
All I can do is read what he’s writing on his blog, accept the words on their face, and try to get meaning out of them.
Commenting on the already-well-documented brouhaha about Fast Company’s ill-fated, easily-gamed “Most Influential Online” survey, Lattin makes the following incomprehensible statement:
The real strange thing is that in the article they mentioned that “clicks are the currency” of the internet This is probably the worst statement I’ve heard about the internet and marketing in general. Perhaps in 1998, “clicks” were the most important thing, but with all the developments and technology that have occurred in our industry, I’m amazed that a company like FastCompany would ever make this ridiculous claim. It completely ignores the real truths of interactive marketing, from real influence in social networking, to real influence in branding, to real influence in blogging.
It’s fine to finesse a point here and there, to make a point.
And it appears we all agree that the Fast Company survey was lame, as definitively documented by Danny Sullivan.
But why blatantly deny a very important point in our industry? That clicks are currency? In a large part of the online marketing world, advertisers pay for clicks. That makes clicks, literally, currency. Of the $25 billion that Google will make this year on advertising, over $20 billion of that will have been charged by the click. That’s a lot of currency.
As for the specific alternatives Lattin suggests, I only have questions.
“The real truths of interactive marketing”: Define “interactive marketing”. Can you distiguish between real truths and fake truths?
“Real influence in social networking.” Please distinguish real influence from fake influence.
“Real influence in branding.” Define “branding.” Now go back, and define it again. Compare your responses. Please distinguish real from fake influence.
“Real influence in blogging.” Please distinguish real from fake influence.
Clicks=currency: that much we know.
Fake and invalid clicks should be filtered out, not paid for, and not counted in surveys. That, we also know.
Who wants to win a “most influential” contest, anyway?