News of the Tweet: The Value of a Like

Fine wine, whining gentlemen and the true value of a brule.


By Seb Kemp

As far as I know, the following article wasn’t penned by Pinkbike’s Tyler Brule.

In this interesting diary/column/ritual condescension the writer harps on and on about fine wines and exotic dishes served in luxurious surroundings, shared with another man of equally exquisite taste and cultural elegance.

At times it reads like the memoirs of Alan Partridge, where the writer suddenly breaks into the dazzling immediacy of his first person narrative. KABOOM-TINKLE-BANG, the writer is struck by a thought so profound, so monumentally penetrating and so acute that it very nearly cuts the page it is written on in half. It comes out so perfectly formed that he doesn’t need to back it up with anything as troubling and clumsy as fact, science or reasoning. Because, he, Tyler Brûlé, is a man of depth and clarity. And not to mention a thorough understanding of where to find the most exclusive restaurants in any glamourous city anywhere on the globe.

I suppose I take some issue with Tyler Brûlé’s column because in the first half it really does seem very unnecessary to jibber jabber on about such bourgeois amusements. However, my ears/eyes twitched when he says – after stumbling out of his secret dining lounge and onto the streets of Tokyo to see a large, electronic screen advertising the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

“I couldn’t help but wince – so much hype about not much in the way of life improvement. Should we really be heaping attention on an event hosting companies that are actively making people dumber, aiding and abetting in the invasion of privacy, and for the most part making life more complicated than rewarding?”

At first the assertion that smartphones, tablets, computers and the software that powers our ‘need’ for them is making us, everyone of us (except Tyler and his ilk) dumber, was a bit much, I thought. But there might be something to his cherry smoked thoughts.

Looking at my own experience is the only currency I have on this matter, so I charge you to look inwards to find your answer. Personally speaking, I have found that I have become, er, stupider in recent years. I could put it down to living in mountain town enclaves where value is put wholly onto the physical experience and little time allowed for mental exercise. It could be the result of my adolescent experimentation, but even in the tallest of big fish stories I doubt my party prowess was wild enough to restructure the wiring of more than a tea kettle, let alone my mind.

So by simpleton’s deduction I believe it is the Internet which is responsible for turning me into a hollow minded, gormless beast. You see, perhaps the advent of Wikipedia has turned my retention of knowledge into something I need to ask Google what it is to start with. Is there any need to even retain facts, figures, names, places, ideas or even cookie recipes if there is an App that contains everything we need to know? I wonder whether pub quizzes have become obsolete now that smartphones and the power of Wikipedia are at our fingertips.

Like a boy with my finger in the dyke, my efforts to preserve knowledge is futile. Since information speed is now weighed against an index of 256 kilobites my brain has just stopped working as it once did. I don’t remember any useful information or facts, just vague abstract thoughts. There just seems no reason to have to remember anything, at all, ever, when a faintly correct answer is an I-phone click away.

Tyler’s solution to this is to charge people to comment on the internet. You could say it would be creating a revenue stream from the stream of consciousness (or stream of piss and vomit) that is internet commenting.

“Why do responsible newspapers make such a fuss about the number of people who “follow” or “like” certain people or brands, when we know very well that talk is cheap? Wouldn’t it be more interesting (and valuable) if there was a cost attached to belonging to these media channels?”

Part of this comes back to the value of a Like.

The link in the above tweet uses a very simple to understand and concise infographic to highlight the cost and value of a Like. However, its seems somewhat like pseudoscience.

Darren Zarrella of the Harvard Business Review used something resembling science to come up with the Value Of A Like formula

The VOAL formula ends up looking like this:

L/UpM · (LpD · 30) · (C/L) · CR · ACV= Value of a Like

Check out the breakdown of the formula to understand the maths behind this.

To find out the value of your company’s Likes go to valueofalike.com

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