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I need an Award Program so I can Win Too

I just read a statement about a site winning a “best” award. It was in Marketing. It wasn’t the best. There’s no way it was the “best”. So I looked further.

I saw another “award winner” for “best” from that same Awards Program. It was Best Advertising Network. It went to AdBright.  Huh?

Okay so it’s fixed, right? I mean, I like AdBright, but is it the “Best Advertising Network” by any stretch of the imagination? What happened to Bijillion dollar success story Google?

I think the ClickZ brand behind the awards program is far from premium quality, based on my experiences running into it over the past MANY years…. all the way back to a party in NYC early Internet days (could it have been 1997?). The ClickZ “experts” were like celebrities, yet it seemed all they really did was take the risk of publishing an actual opinion in public. Today that’s what bloggers do; back then that’s what ClickZ experts did. Today the vehicle is the blog; back then the vehicle was a column. The experts were LEADERS, and the parties were PR. Just as today we hear about bloggers getting sponsored by companies, so their only job is to keep blogging, we heard of advertising agencies hiring ClickZ experts but requiring very little of them beyond maintaining their status.

Today? The leaders are blogging. The true experts don’t often claim to be experts. Today’s talking heads and party celebs are much farther removed from expertise than they were in the late nineties. I have no idea about the quality of ClickZ’s experts today or their websites or any of their content because I never read them. I have no reason to read them, and I would guess that is because I rarely encounter them as validated leaders and experts in online marketing. Lately every time I hear about them it in the context of some old-timer suffering foot-in-mouth disease and getting bitch-slapped for it. So is it any wonder that the “best” award for Search Engine Marketing almost went to bitch-slappee Pasternack’s company (first runner up).

To be fair (and I do prefer to be fair, when possible) the Awards are based on voting, and voting is done by ClickZ readers. So it’s not “fixed”, right? It’s just, well, biased.

I now realize a downside to my choosing not to participate in these little societies. I will never get voted best of anything. Alas, woe is me.

Again, to be fair, ClickZ was once important. I note that the founder of ClickZ once said this:

It’s like these pop-under ads. They’re increasingly invasive. They’re not going to listen to you just because you shout louder and wave your hands. That doesn’t make them any more amenable to listen to what you have to say. The online medium is an interactive medium. The kind of marketing that companies start doing on the Internet is not necessarily in-your-face advertising but a two-way conversation. I think smart publishers can create places within their online publications where dialogue, information exchange, and quality contact can take place between sponsors and those who subscribe to the publication. I think that we need to treat it in a different way from other media. You can’t interact with the magazine. You can’t interact with the TV. You can’t interact with the radio. But you sure can with the Internet. You can have a two-way conversation. When publishers move away from the model and the language of impressions and clicks and conversions, and start talking about dialogue and conversation and information exchange and truly taking advantage of the interactive media, then we’ll begin to see a recovery.

That was not last year. He said that in July of 2001, when advertising slumped.

Awards programs. Still working after all these years? In my circles awards programs are a joke. Seriously, a joke, like something you say to make everyone laugh. You might suggest someone start an awards program to get back links. And honestly, everybody does laugh. Meanwhile, the Award for Best Business / Marketing Blog of 2006 goes to….

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