Surfing the +Wave … All the Way to the Bank

kloutI recently wrote about The Problem with Google +1, which sparked a pretty balanced discussion between those that were for it and those that were against it, however, it wasn’t until I read about the introduction of +K from Klout that I really lost it … just ask my co-workers … they were there when I flipped out in the middle of the office and launched into my diatribe.

Though +K actually makes some sense, and may enhance how accurate the Klout service is in terms of documenting a particular Twitter user’s influence in their niche, it made me wonder how many others were going to jump aboard and ride the +Wave. That’s right, it’s not about you. It’s about the services — the companies — riding the wave, because in the end, it’s about free user generated data … similar to user generated content, which everyone flipped out over a few years ago when the review sites were exploding onto the scene.

If you read the previous post mentioned, you’ll know that I was on the side against Google’s +1 feature … not because it offers little to no benefit to those +1′ing content, or because Google is trying to create a social network around their email account holders (users don’t want to mix email with social activity … duh, privacy), or that Google’s extremely too late to the social bookmarking party (two of the largest bookmarking services, Digg and Delicious, have seen their heyday and packed their bags), it’s about web-based companies trying to pull a fast one on their users by providing this cool new feature where you vote whether or not you like something, thereby providing the company with a favor … with no benefit to you at all.

It’s user generated data.

Once a system is in place, users will provide the data while the company sits back and watches the activity unfold in automation. Again, we’ve seen this unfold with social bookmarking and it didn’t really work out. It’s one sided and, though conversational at times, it’s shallow in terms of interaction and engagement with likeminded people.

What do you think about the +Wave? Which services do you think might benefit from the +1 feature?

Chris Rice is an SEO with Sachs Marketing Group. He writes about WordPress themes, plugins, and services for entrepreneurial bloggers at CreativeBlogger. Get more from him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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