Posts in category "Technology"

Fans are worth $3.60 each. That Much?

Did you realize that your following or friending someone, or some company, had a monetary value?

Well, thanks to fellow blogger Adam Singer I found out that yes indeed there is a price sticker on my forehead, at least according to some company called Virtue (with a name like that you gotta know this isn’t going to end well). It seems that after studying a combined 41 million fans from their client’s pages (there are 400 million accounts on Facebook – I’ll let you figure out the statistical value of their sample base) the people at Virtue have concluded that a fan is worth $3.60.

All this “based on impressions generated in Facebook’s news feed” eh. Wow. Incredible.

The only problem is – as Adam pointed out – this is for the most part, all bullshit. Virtue said that it arrived at this dollar figure based on a $5 CPM that they say is worth $300,000 in media value if a brand has a million followers.

A couple of points that Adam makes regarding these figures is worth mentioning

  • This company is lumping together their clients who are from multiple verticals – something that makes this number muddied even if you were going to take it seriously (you shouldn’t).
  • Impressions by themselves from the news feed – or from the web in general mean absolutely nothing to a company’s revenue (unless the company is ad supported).
  • Tagging a fan to impression value makes absolutely no sense.
  • They claim a $5 CPM without any rationale for that number.

The other big point is that these numbers are totally self-serving as Virtue’s main business is selling Social Media management solutions, but of course because it’s all about Social Media no one would have any reason to skew or glorify questionable numbers now would they.

If you ever wanted a clue though as to how Social Media is all about marketing; regardless of all the it’s about the conversation you hear pouring out of these people, it is bullshit studies like this that put a price sticker on us in order to sell products.

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Cory Doctorow admits to being conned

The other day Cory Doctorow posted a story on Boing Boing about soyburgers being laced with neurotoxins – specifically hexane a neurotoxic byproduct of gas refining. Well it turns out that he was spoofed

Looks like I got spoofed: the study in this morning’s post about neurotoxins in soyburgers turns out to have been funded by an anti-vegetarian, pro-meat lobbying group, the Weston A Price Foundation. These are also the folks who say lard is good for you. Maybe the science is good, maybe it isn’t (read the comments for good debate on it), but I sure feel a lot more suspicious about it than I did this morning. (Thanks, Xeni!)

Now I may not always agree with what Cory writes, besides his science fiction, but it is really good to see a blogger of his stature willing to admit when he was wrong about something they have written. My respect for the man has gone up a notch.

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Please get that Branding iron off my ass




If you are involved to any degree in the tech blogosphere and especially Social Media that is a word you hear a lot. It’s all about securing your brand, promoting your brand, protecting your brand and we all seem to be sucking it up as it is the greatest idea to come along.

Except it’s not.

I’ve written about this whole branding thing before in the past even to the point of how I fell for the same buzzword bullshit. Then in the past week Doc Searls, one of the people in this industry I respect the most, had a go at this whole idea and really how it is all a load of crap. As he said in Brands are boring:

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Canadians can keep an eye on their politicians due to web activists

A year or so ago I got the bright idea for a website that would keep a record of promises made by our Federal politicians especially during elections and let people rate how much they believed that the promises would be kept. The idea was that once the government had been form and promises were suppose to be kept they couldn’t wiggle out by saying they never made such promises.

Nothing really came of the plan in the end and the domain lapsed but fortunately for Canadians there are other folks out there who have had similar ideas about trying to keep our politicians honest. David Eaves at the Globe and Mail has a great article detailing a few of these efforts and people.

For example there is Michael Mulley who launched which is a website where you can search Hansard (the official transcript for what happens in the Canadian House of Commons) to see what MPs say in the House. As well you can explore voting records, search and read bills, as well as look up press stories about any given MP.

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