| The 200 Million Dollar "Ego-Surfing" Industry|
Ego Surfing is searching the Internet for mentions of one's own name,
discussions of one's own content and opinions. It has become quite a popular
hobby among those who think they are important.
Apparently, this ego-detection is a two hundred million dollar industry! A lot
of people pay a lot of money to see their own names cited and referenced. I
guess it is natural, but I am still shocked by the size of this business.
The biggest vendor of this space is not Google, but
Thompson ISI (combined revenue for
2003, $7.6 billion, of which $200 million is from the "current contents"
business). They have a tool that I'd call "Ego-Alert" that tells you whenever
someone cites, reviews or critiques your work. Having a high-ego-factor (called
"ISI Impact Factor") is very important in many vertical industries to get
promotions, grants, tenures, and jobs.
Naturally, I was curious if a phenomenon analogous to being a "Link-Slut"
(linking to other's pages with the understanding of a reciprocal link, so the
ego-factor goes up) was prevalent, and unbelievably, it is! I have been speaking
to many scholars and users of ISI Impact Factor, and they all said that's just the nature of the beast.
Opportunities in the
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, March 25, 2004|
Last Modified: 3/25/2004 10:20:50 AM