Influence Addictions Measure


I find myself today thinking that what I really need is a patch that alleviates the painful symptoms of withdrawal from tablet computing devices.   Mere months after getting my ematic Genesis tablet–  which I had been so pleased with–  I regret to say that I have somehow managed to destroy it.    It appears that I somehow managed to shatter the screen,  which shows a web of cracks all over the surface.   When I turn it on,  the screen does not respond to any touch.   I am frankly baffled at how I managed to crack the screen while I was asleep.   Though I’ve long been told that I am an athletic sleeper.

I suppose it is a measure of my addiction to tablets that mere hours after discovering my poor tablet is toast I am already shopping for a replacement.    I recall when my first tablet died,  I ordered another one almost immediately.   I expect I will do so again.   I wasn’t really addicted to Angry Birds.   Though I admit I have been trying over and over again to do the one I was stuck on.   You have a whole bunch of different birds to kill three slugs beneath all kinds of wood and ice.   I can often get two of them,  but the third one is elusive.   Part of me worries that even if I do get a new tablet and it does have Angry Birds installed on it,  who knows how long it may take me to reach the level I had been stuck at.   Starting over is fairly easy,  and is perhaps the one thing that everyone has gotten skilled at these days.   But it is never the same.

It seems to me that measurements are one of the least useful things in social media.   While it is trivially easy to count, say,  how many Likes a status update receives,  these numbers are inevitably quite disconnected from the real exchanges of ideas and emotions and the relationships with other users that are the real meat of social media involvement.   It seems as though every week or so users are bombarded with yet another tool that will analyze their history on some site or another and provide a pretty graphical report about what they are doing right or wrong.    I believe these reports to be usually less than useful and at times dangerous in that they may cause people to mis-direct their energies and efforts away from real interaction with their audience,  in pursuit of numbers which don’t ultimately mean much of anything.

And finally today,  my thanks to Kamal Bennani who suggested today’s words.


42 comments on “Influence Addictions Measure

    • Actually Gerard, I decided to order the exact same model as the one I broke. I really quite liked it and it is not the tablet’s fault I often fall asleep reading and wake up to find my book….Lord knows where.

    • I have resolved to put a little tablet stand on the night table and make sure to set the tablet safely there when retiring. I have to say that library books were generally much more tolerant of being tossed about wherever in my sleep.

  1. I agree so much with you Alan and we see more and more social media “influence” and “effectiveness” measurement systems. Some are not only “fun” but certainly addictive… Did I mention – did we meet via – Empire Avenue lol 🙂

    • We did indeed meet on the Avenue, and you have taught me so much about social media. It really is amazing all of the people you can connect with. And the more connections you make, the harder it can be to keep it real and not go all rock star 🙂 I really respect how you keep it real, Dom.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. All thanks for the theme go to Kamal, who chose today’s words. (If you leave me three words, I will make a blog post out of them 😉

    • I’m not sure what you mean about technology taking on its own personality. The fact that I can carry, take with me and read hundreds of books on a tiny device seems at times quite like magic to me. But I don’t tend to anthropomorphize it or ascribe to it a personality.

  2. In the vast sea of variables we are awash in, there will never be one measure that rules them all. Measures are always limited and, as you say, can be misleading. In general, they are the way people outside the game measure the game. Those in the game see the weaknesses of that lens. But still lenses are worth having. All of this has to be sorted out somehow. And every effort will bring us closer to usefulness.

    • mmmm. For _years_ I was somehow convinced that Google Page Rank was the be all and all of having a ‘successful blog’. I wasted tons of time and energy driving junk traffic that was not in fact interested in my content to visit my site every day. And my Alexa went down and my page rank went up. Until finally one day, I said hey wait a minute. What is all of this traffic I am spending so much time and energy to chase, that never actually reads or interacts with the posts doing for me. I stepped off the treadmill and worry a lot less about traffic and a lot more about actually chatting with the folks that stop by.

  3. As luck would have it I had just received a Klout update email prior to reading your post. ‘Klout I thought, I remember that, it was very popular a while back.’ I guess the only real measurement is what we get out of all this… money, entertainment or whatever is your zing thing. 🙂

  4. This summer I was to learn that Angry Birds was a Finnish company and quite incredibly their ‘prospective’ share value puts them at a phenomenal level above certain major companies. Crazy nevermind Angry

    • I thought Rovio– the folks who make Angry Birds– was a California company? (and I’m pretty crazy already thanks….just happy to shoot the birds and kill the slugs 🙂

  5. What is the ROI on 50 Re-tweets?……… How long is a piece of string?
    The infant that is social media has yet to come up with an answer to either question…IMHO.
    I feel each Re-Tweet should be looked upon as building another relationship or the chance too.
    Hard to measure good will.
    Oh and maybe leave the tablet on the nightstand from now on.

    • I don’t know. That seems like a rather….overly ideal way of looking at Tweets. There really can be lots of real conversations on Twitter, though for the most part we are all re-tweeting each other’s broadcasts. I love to follow back and then re-tweet my contacts’ stuff. And lather, rinse, repeat another social media platform mastered. LOL

  6. Social media will always struggle to get traction until there is a meaningful way to show an impact on the roi. It is sad but true. It is certainly helpful to get real time responses to your products but we are still in our infancy to verifiable results. All the best on the Tablet.

  7. One of the things that is most missing in the world of internet is the real connection with people.. For those who get that connecting in a real way is more important then staying online every minute can not only break the tablet addiction but the quick hit and run marketing schemes, email push features on iPhone and looking at the ROI of thier suishi Dinner last thursday on thier Klout Score..

    Be YOU and let others love (or be haters) and connect via technology not to technology!! Great Blog, hope people take the time to digest.

    • Thanks so much, Bryan. For me the payoff is when folks leave great comments and we get to chat a bit about this, that and the other. Over the 20 or 30 years I’ve been online now, the technology has changed a great deal. The people….not so much.

  8. A measure of respect and influence is reflected in one’s management of one’s own addictions. LOL…You writing has improved a lot, Alan. I am sorry to hear about your tablet. Don’t pay any attention to meaningless scores and these so-called social media measurements. They will be forever gamed by the gamers. But creativity, inspiration in writing could never be gamed. Rock on!

  9. One of the real challenges of measuring social media impact, influence, and relationships is deciding what metrics are important. It would appear that social media measurements are very straight forward on the surface, but the superficial friend, like, and follow numbers alone don’t tell the entire story. Metrics must find ways to dive more deeply into the data, and managers must determine which data is really important. Measuring the wrong thing may lead a manager in the wrong direction.

    • The problem with most all of the numbers is that they are fairly easily gamed by most anyone in the know. You can make an impressive case to the uninformed, but the numbers pretty much always need to be taken with a grain of salt, at the very minimum.

  10. After struggling with a hardcore Mafia Wars addiction, I resolved to avoid Angry Birds at all cost. So far, so good. My technology addiction is harder to overcome… I use two e-readers, an iPhone, a MacPro, and MacBookPro laptop, so I can’t justify a tablet (i.e. iPad) by any reasonable metric. But I think about it every single day and life will simply not be complete until I break down and buy one!

    • I played Mafia Wars on a website called Tagged. Tagged is still there actually, but one day Zynga just announced that Mafia Wars would no longer be offered on Tagged and come play with us on Facebook. And I said feh. One of the things I liked about Angry Birds is it was just on my tablet, I was competing for high scores and didn’t need to be connected. Just a little game to occupy the mind now and again. And e-Reading is the other thing besides Angry Birds that I use my tablet for. But I use it for that All the time.

    • I really am going to put the tablet stand on the night stand and try real hard not to let it get bashed in by my hard head like the last one did. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ben.

  11. I can see a new blog post title: The Travails of Sleeping with my Tablet.

    I have such a funny relationship, all in my own mind, with SM measurement. I think that the failure to take a businesslike approach to SM metrics is one of the central barriers to getting real budgets for SM. The whole wishy-washy touchy-feely stuff that SM experts are offering instead of ROI that can be measured and evaluated reminds me of the early years in IT. When we got smart enough to own our costs and demonstrate our value, the corporate coffers opened; so we could get real stuff done building and supporting applications.

    The other half of SM metrics is stuff like Klout, Kred, PeerIndex, and the rest. The all have a barnyard whiff that makes me suspicious. They are too easy to game, and I am not even sure what they are trying to tell me. Life is funny.

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