I have been noticing increasing frustration from people with sites like Empire Avenue and Klout recently, where they are spending large amounts of time trying to get their score up and being frustrated when the result doesn’t match the effort.
This is something I have blogged about before:
Having signed up to these sites myself to get an insider’s view, and been ‘successful’ there, I have deleted my profiles and… nothing happened! The world didn’t end as some people predict.
There was a comment I read a while ago from Chris Voss about Empire Avenue that applies to all of these public sites that claim to ‘rank’ you (according to their own rules) that I very much agree with:
“Companies spend millions of dollars to have people mentally ASSOCIATE their brands with success and positivity. Since most companies can’t be online all the time, their stock eventually loses. On discussion boards Companies and Brands get kicked around and trashed with the association of their name as “losers.” They are listed in categories as Losers. It doesn’t seem that smart to me.”
Indeed, Hannah Liversidge recently blogged about smartphones and the potential dangers, it is something that is magnified greatly by the use of these sites.
I do own a smartphone myself and I do use it out of work hours, however this is something I have chosen to do as it differentiates my business.
If I receive an enquiry from a client in the evening or at the weekend and it is a quick reply, and if it is appropriate, I will respond.
This isn’t to increase some fictional score or ranking, it is adding value to the service I provide to clients and as a result we both benefit in real terms.
As I say in my book, the combination of online and offline networking can bring great results – but be aware of activity that feels like work but isn’t.