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An Open Letter To Fast Company

Dear Fast Company,

First, let me congratulate you on your monthly magazine. It is a magazine, I still look forward to getting every month (along with my bible, Entertainment Weekly). It is great to get a magazine that has reviews, comment and articles about people I actual know instead of, say, Spencer and Heidi.

I am writing you this letter because you, well, do not get it.

You put out this well-done resource with articles about new technology, design, leadership, blah, blah, blah. It was something that told me, “Fast Company is a resource that is creditable and a good source for things in the Social Media/Online area.” That was until yesterday, when I got invited to take part in your  “Influence Project.”  See, first I got this teaser email back in June:

Hi Dave, it’s Rebecca from Fast Company and I want to share with you a very new, soon-to-be launched project.

The project? It’s a fun experiment called The Influence Project that will visualize and track how active influence spreads, the reach of people’s social graph, plus it will map degrees of separation, etc. By participating in the program, you can more accurately measure your active influence on your networks.  Everyone’s photo will land in the pages of Fast Company plus interesting stories from the program will also be covered by the magazine as well as online.

We’ll ping you Wednesday with more detailed info. And for being one of the first to jump in, we’d like to give you something back. We’ll email you the link to the site the eve prior to launch to check it out.

Looking forward to seeing you in The Influence Project and feel free to get in touch anytime.

Best,
Rebecca

The Influence Project :: Fast Company

I thought, “Cool, I am looking forward to this amazing metric, new technology  and new way to measure influence. Wow, maybe they will give Klout a run for their money.”

Then I got this email:

Dave,

Thank you for participating in Fast Company’s The Influence Project.
You’re about to find out how influential you really are.

Your unique, personalized ‘influencer’ URL is:

http://fcinf.com/v/ase7/welcome

Click on the above link, and start influencing!

Remember:
1) You can use any means to spread your unique link to your online network.
We shortened it for you so you can share on Twitter and Facebook.
2) Your goal is to influence as many people to click on it as possible.
3) You want those people to sign up as well, since they will be spreading
your influence along with their own.
4) You can track how your influence has grown, where it’s lead, and where
you stand at any time on the site.
5) Your picture is going to be in the November issue of Fast Company
magazine, where we’ll reveal the most influential person online!

Thank you,
The Fast Company team


Ummmm…a link? You’re measuring influence by the number of people I get to click on a link? A lousy link? Are you kidding me? Is this a joke? I know — you’re punking me right? Where is Ashton Kutcher?

Oh, you’re serious… this is your great project?  Well, I  hate to break it to you. It’s flawed.  No, really, it is. See look…

If I have a network of 100 people and I get 100 people to click the “link,” but there is another person that has a network of say 100,000 people and gets 1,000 to click it, they have more influence? I am far from being a math wiz, but I do not see how that person has more “influence.” They have a larger network, but a smaller success rate.

Also, you are looking at influence being based on clicking a link? Did I mention that? I promise you that somewhere right now, someone is setting up a contest that says “Wanna have  a chance at winning $1,000? Just click this link.” Oh, and that link would be the influence project link. So they get to buy influence, kinda like Bernie Madoff.

Bottom line, you’re measuring influence on getting people to click a link. You are way off base.

Well, thanks for reading my letter.  I appreciate it.  Also, I was looking to renew my subscription and wondering if I can get the Fast Company clock radio this year instead of the blanket? Is that okay? I mean, I do not want to influence you into doing it…

July 7, 2010 By : Category : Featured News,Open Letter Tags:, ,
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