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Influencers Have Clout – Problem is What Does Influence Mean April 3, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Gavin at Mediapost today says that Influencers pose less clout.    Big miss by Mediapost here.  One flaw in this article and the study is that Mediapost and the company doing the survey don’t understand what Influence means.  In an age where engagement is the new metric influence is about distribution of content, ideas, and opinions with group based validation.  It’s true that people value information from trusted sources, but what is missing here in the analysis is that influencers create conversations which in turn drive information based output – meaning group work together to form opinions and analysis.  This peer production is enabled by influencers in a distribution system (web 2.0 viral) that rewards connections.  One way to look at this is think – influencers = access to distribution of social graphs + group peer production + SEO + redistribution of group approved information and analysis.I like Mediapost but this is a big miss by Gavin.   

Comments»

1. Alex Hammer - April 3, 2008

Agreed. Tracking this influence (BuzzMetrics, Friendfeed and Twitter influence etc) will be a big thing going forward, as it’s one great thing to have the influence (be centrally involved in that group), it’s another to know who has it, why, in what areas, etc.

2. . - April 4, 2008

“influencers create conversations which in turn drive information based output – meaning group work together to form opinions and analysis. This peer production is enabled by influencers in a distribution system (web 2.0 viral) that rewards connections.”

total bullsh*t.

3. John Furrier - April 4, 2008

comment #2 even anon comments drive conversation which drive peer production. Let me simply my comment by saying it’s word of mouth.. peer production of opinion is word of mouth communication.

if you think it’s bullshit then what’s your opinion

4. Matt Mantey - April 4, 2008

Definitely tracking with you on this. Equate to traditional media, journalists, editors, media were big influencers. The ability to have them talk about you, cover your story, etc. expanded the network of those that knew and could propogate to their networks; WOM, sandwich boards whatever. I’m not sold though that there will ever be a universal method of reporting or measuring influence.

Only discrep I have is that in this age engagement is an emerging metric with little acceptance and definition. It isn’t THE metric.

5. John Furrier - April 4, 2008

Matt,
I agree engagement isn’t the metric now but will have to emerge to generate a conversion valuation for performance. DaHowett commented on Twitter that there are multipoints of conversion – true and that is the key to engagement. No platform can aggregate that today although everything is measurable no one has threaded that togethet yet.

A deep thought is this: Widgets and a ranking algorithm for example around influence and affinity will create a contextual point for performance.. I’m sure Google is working on this… and others like me.

Today social media in social graphs don’t scale which is the state of the market. That is why sponsorships work today

6. John Furrier - April 7, 2008

It’s great to see the big thinkers are picking up on the main message to this post..

influence isn’t about people – it’s about groups.. ding ding 1 point for fred wilson; welcome to the party Fred.

http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2008/04/the-declining-p.html


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