The currency of the web is attention and reputation

28 Aug

In her review of The Long Tail author Chris Anderson's new book Free, Debbie Weil discusses what matters online:

"I've been saying for years that the currency of the Web is links. Anderson says it better: the currency of the Internet is 1. Attention (translated as number of visits or traffic to your site) and 2. Reputation (roughly translated as number of links pointing to your site or blog)."

That reads like a good summary of online public relations and reputation management, with suitable measures of success.

The premise behind Free is also readily comprehensible in a PR context. The publicity and media relations role has always been based on the giving away of free (ie no cost and copyright free) content in the hope of receiving free media coverage. There are critics of this hidden exchange, but fewer of the underlying principles of a free society underpinned by free speech, press freedom and 'free and fair' elections.

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