Social shares are replacing uniques and pageviews. By Gregory Galant @gregory, contributor FORTUNE -- Imagine an Olympic sport without any universal quantitative metrics. Thousands of hyper-competitive athletes competing furiously with each other, but only able to keep score by chatter at cocktail parties and complements from their colleagues. Welcome to the world of journalism for the past several centuries. In the age of print, circulation numbers were dubious at best and there was of course no way for anyone to tell how much a given article in a newspaper or magazine was read relative to another.