Influence is a particularly tricky thing to understand. The right word form the right person, a nod when a wink would do, a thank you with just the wrong tone, the flow of opportunity are all examples of influence in action. Whether or not there should be, there is no correlation between merit and influence.
That some people are more influential than others is a given. Exactly how influential they are and what that means is a more challenging question. One of this week’s articles suggests that Influence is best understood from the perspective of the influenced. I think that means that everyone has their own internal Top Influencer list.
Many of the critiques in these articles are answered in part by the Traakr algorithm. (That’s what we use to make the Top Influencer lists). Traakr uses followers as a component of reach and couples it with cross reference behavior, inbound links and relevance to the topic at hand.
Influence will remain a potent conversation in the coming years. As we try to understand, model and predict organizational and individual behavior, influence will come to be understood as a key management tool. You might think of influence as the inherent environmental bias towards decisions. Influencers individually are the chorus of voices that move towards that predisposition.
Of course, that’s just one aspect.
- 6 Impossible Things
The right idea at the right time can generate viral influence beyond the imaginings of the opiner. This scientists notes that science is “a creative enterprise that has this in common with all other creative enterprises — you do it not because it provides you with security and a stable career ladder, but because you can’t bring yourself to do anything else.”
- Printing Social Currency: Influence vs Intentions
“The latest twist in the new currency movement is the idea that on-line influence can be used to support a currency. There is no shortage of noble leaders aspiring to “define the standard” in their own image as a service to the lesser masses who seek their respective place in the great new economic void. PeerIndex and Klout are the two main players that promote a social score based on influence, ostensibly to mimic the credit score upon which all currency depends.”
- Blogging isn’t dead, influence contests should be, and hyperlinks rock.
“Sure, an influence project might have sounded like a good idea in 2010. Many people disagreed. Strongly. Despite the backlash, new social media contests are still coming online for people to game. Predictably, strong critiques emerged, including those that focus on a different kind of digital divide. There is an emerging industry of analytics services that crunch big data and social recommendations to determine online influence or grade social media accounts, although they all have a long journey yet to evolve. Instead of encouraging a community to engage in a popularity contest, considering using the power of an established media platform to empower new voices, highlighting what’s unique about an area and connect neighbors who might not know one another.”
- Your Followers Are No Measure of Your Influence
“Since Malcolm Gladwell began popularizing his “Tipping Point” theory 14 years ago, marketers have fantasized about a world in which they can identify a small number of influential folks who can credibly, effectively and cheaply push product for them.” This Ad Age article debunks the notion that Twitter, in and of itself, generates any influence.
- Matt Creamer on Influence
“Influence is what makes the difference between an idea or behavior being adopted (or not) amongst those around us and those around them (and so on). Influence is often much easier to see after the fact and harder to predict ahead of time than we imagine – as Duncan and others have repeatedly pointed out – so we shouldn’t imagine that because something does or doesn’t seem to be a driver of others’ behavior that it would do so if we re-played the tapes). But it’s probably best understood as something the Influenced do in response to those around them (as opposed to something the Influential do to them).We call it Social Learning or plain old Copying