Jun 19, 2011

More musings on online influence

Free twitter barImage via WikipediaI've posted earlier on online influence here and here. So I was reminded of it again when Pinstorm came out with its list of India Influencers (I rank 24 today, but the rankings change today) - which is an average of an individual's Klout and Peerindex scores. Then my ex-colleague Gaurav Mishra, posted some more research on India's online influencers.

However, these rankings need to be taken with a caveat. Online influence cannot exist in a vacuum - and therefore you cannot say that I am more influential than the people who are ranked below me on the list.

Influence is defined as the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others. Influence is most often linked to power - however online influence relies almost solely on one being accepted as an expert/credible source by others. Which is why Twitter emerges as the app that's used most often by these services (they use Facebook too, and Peerindex looks at your blogging/quora posts too) to calculate a person's "influence" - because as gaurav recently shared in a tweet "not having any client, team, P&L (no power) means that the only way I can influence others is by sharing more, serving more."

And that's the heart of influence in the online world.

The more you share and participate, the more your influence will rise. Social media is not really domain specific. I tweet about movies, cricket, HR, OD, Social Networking, Enterprise 2.0 several times a day. I share my insecurities and vulnerabilities.

A person's influence on social media is based not on what what degrees he's got, what college he's gone to, whether he's a CEO or a MBA student - it is about how much content he creates, how much content he curates, and more importantly whether that adds value to his audience.

Influence in an online world is like the correctness of Wikipedia. It's not absolute - its probabilistic.
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