Why #VanityMetrics Are Worthless (and What Really Matters)

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Web 2.0.
The original queen of mommy bloggers, Dooce, is retiring from blogging. And blogging’s original crown prince, Jason Kottke is having similar thoughts. For no other reason than what used to seem like a decent business model (ad-driven, independent blogging) isn’t so much anymore.
Across town, Twitter just lost billions of dollars in market cap, for pretty similar reasons — Web 2.0 just isn’t as valuable a place to spend time as it used to be.
At least, not for people hoping to make money.
According to McKinsey, “email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.”
My own email marketing experience using MailChimp with my company, Gapingvoid, would confirm this. Seth Godin also backs this up, citing the new online course he was selling recently:
I just looked at the stats for my course. 22% of the traffic came from my blog. 74% came from email and RSS. 4% came from social media. I think showing up in a trusted way, regularly, is priceless.
And don’t talk to me about the advertising business
“It’s not the same anymore,” my very smart-but-jaded advertising friend, Jeff recently told me. “We used to want to change the world. Now we just spend our days optimizing industrially-farmed content across different platforms. Nobody actually cares. Nor should they.”
It’s utterly tragic how so many people (and businesses) hope to get rich just by getting

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