Here's an example of the Facebook like arms race gone haywire. As of October 31 and according to the Facebook metrics the New York Times Facebook page is being discussed more in Punjab Pakistan than New York City? Also its main demographic seems to be people barely old enough to vote -- 18 to 25 year olds.
Is the New York Times buying Facebook likes? Pakistan is where all those accounts seem to be where you see a site blow up over night. When you see this kind of wierd demographic it tends to indicate something fishy. We've been watching some other publications and Facebook pages get recent unusual rises followers. What gives? There's a need to be percieved as a social media power to be taken seriously but the Times should understand the whole trust thing.
Is the Times freaking out this much? Or is it that they've got a whole Pakistan plan and moving out of the US in an attempt to grab an international audience?
Papers have to sell ads. This means they have to have solid trustable data to give advertisers. And what's the point in buying followers when it won't show up in the user engagement?
Gaming the system is like inflating subscription base. Sooner or later the advertisers will begin to catch on and stop trusting. I suppose they already have.