Is American Idol really a talent search or has it turned into a popularity contest? At the end, when the season 10 winner is announced will the most talented and promising singer of the season emerge or will we be left with the most popular singer standing? Last night, as I was watching to see who emerged as the final two, Ryan Seacrest announced “Over 95 million votes”, “Biggest non-finale number in our history”, “15 Million more than last year’s final show”. Were those really impressive numbers or reality TV spin? What is actually being measured here? What are the odds that this year’s American Idol winner will actually go on to achieve mega-star status?
As I watched this show, it made me think of blogging. Which bloggers are achieving mega-star status? How do we measure success? Are you more apt to follow someone back on Twitter if they have more followers than the number of people they’re following? Do you think if someone has hundreds of thousands of followers that they’re worthy of you following them too? Which numbers really matter? Is blogging becoming a popularity contest?
What Are We Measuring?
In the case of American Idol, where you can vote as often as you want during the voting period, are we measuring eagerness, fan loyalty, perseverance? Is it the goal of the show producers to find a recording artist or to generate buzz and popularity for the show itself? In the case of blogging are we measuring the number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with sales, clients and conversions? Do you use Google Analytics to track what readers are doing on your blog?
What Is the Influence of the Judges?
If you followed American Idol this season, you probably are aware that Pia Toscano (arguably one of the most talented contestants this season and long considered a front-runner) was voted off early. Pia was the fifth girl in a row to be voted off prompting Jennifer Lopez to urge America to “vote for the girls!” (After this plea, no other girl had been voted off until last night.) Are likes and RTs, diggs and stumbles votes for our posts? Do you participate in social networking sites like BizSugar, BlogEngage, BlogInteract and Blokube that have vote buttons? Are you driving traffic through these sites?
Are You Relatable?
Did the fact that James Durbin has a girlfriend and a son hurt his chances of winning by costing him votes with the young girls? Will Scotty McCreery win the entire competition partly due to his strong appeal to the ladies? (Unlike James, he makes it clear that he is single and appears to be singing directly to the women in the audience.) Who do you like and follow? Where do you go for information? I know I have favorite bloggers. With so many choices, how do you differentiate yourself so that people will “vote” for you?
What are your thoughts? Do you see the parallels between American Idol and blogging? (Maybe my next post should be about how Boston Rob won Survivor. 🙂 )