Tuesday, September 19, 2006

jdigittl on BASH

Its late at night and the brain isn't feeling as sharp as it was 10 hours ago so the only thing left to do before stepping away from the computer is to check out bloglines. John Battelle links to a site that calculates the worth of my blog. My blog is worth $6k. Neat. Totally wrong, but neat.

Actually, its not neat. Silly numbers piss me off. I left marketing analytics world because people didn't pay attention to ROI metrics in 2000 like they paid attention to numbers with dollar signs in front of them.

Things have changed somewhat and now the entire world of lead gen and direct marketing live and die by campaign metrics.

But that's not the point of this post.

After toying with the calculator (aka sticking in jdigittl.blogspot.com and then leaving), I searched for jdigittl on technorati. This was the first time I did a blog-o-sphere ego search. I find only 2 links to my name -- one of which is a direct quote of a direct quote of mine that appears on bash.org (an IRC funny-quotes site).

I'm not going to link to the blog that quotes this, because whilst it is in German, it looks like a spam blog designed to get organic mortgage traffic. And in all their wisdom, the algorithms behind the site chose that quote to garner $$$ traffic.

At this point, I'd love to rant about the comparative uselessness of algorithms that 'price' things that are neither bought nor sold, but the blog-$-meter says that the spam mortgage blog is worth $0.00.

Its worth something to someone.

postscript
Ok. I just revisited the German site. They are not a mortgage spam site (as far as I can tell), but rather than editing my post I'll let my point stand. I do this for two main reasons:

  1. That was a pretty cool segue, wasn't it?
  2. Blogger causes Firefox to run really really slow on my Linux box

But rather than falling prey to the sin of silly numbers, let me reinforce my point with this blog. The same blog-$-meter gives also says that it is worth $0.00. This strikes me as odd given that I found this spam site linked directly from the Google organic search results. I guess that only counts as 1 link using the 'Tristian Louis' method. Actually, it counts as 0 links, because Google isn't a blog.

Now, I'll be the first person in line to state that valuation is hard. People way smarter than me may even agree with me on this point. But picking one measure, and extrapolating from that can be quite dangerous.

Let me suggest four criteria for choosing a good measure for valuation:

  1. Measurable - Can you actually measure this for the thing you are trying to value?
  2. Testable - Can you measure it for enough other things that have been valued by some 'market'?
  3. Accurate - If you use your measure(s) to come up with a valuation, does it make accurate predictions?
  4. Sane - Even if it is accurate, does it make sense? I.e., can you rationalize why it may actually work for observations outside of your sample.

Clearly the blog-o-bling meter falls foul of a few of these.


post-post script
*giggle* Blogger's spell check doesn't know the words 'Google' or 'Blog'.

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