Internet Fame and the True Impact of Influence


You may be aware that there is a big debate going on in the social media blogosphere about “influence”.  We’re all familiar with the mantra that we should be out there leveraging influencers in our communities in order to get the word out about our causes, brands or services… and that makes total sense from a generating-word-of-mouth point of view.

But hold on.  If you’re trying to do this, and you don’t actually know who your industry influencers are (perhaps because you’re not really immersed in your own open community, or because your community is too large or public-facing to be able to list your champions in an organic way), and you’re looking at some tools out there that purport to measure influence….  maybe you’re starting to think “this is not as easy as it sounds.” Maybe you’re starting to think that influence is not about how many followers someone has on Twitter.  Maybe you’re starting to think that “influencer scores” are totally meaningless for your goals and objectives.

So what is influence, really?  Can it be measured (and if so, how)? How can you find the influencers in your industry? Do apps like Klout or Twitalyzer really work to automate this?  Or is this all bunk?

A group of us are going to be talking about Internet Fame and the True Impact of Influence in a BlogTalkRadio show on Wednesday February 9 at 10pm ET.  This new show is the brainchild of some really smart social media practitioners and consultants from various industries, and the purpose of the show is to debunk some of the social media bubble/hype around various issues.   The tone will be irreverent, but the concerns we have are very real. I hope you’ll be able to join us (expect the accompanying chat to be lively and extremely snarky), or listen to the podcast afterwards (bookmark this page and come back to listen!).

Listen to internet radio with PVSM on Blog Talk Radio

Danny Brown will be hosting this inaugural episode, and Tamsen McMahon, Lisa Thorell, Allyson Kapin, Rich Becker and Olivier Blanchard will be chatting live with him – but as it’s BlogTalkRadio, anyone can call in and ask them questions. Lots of other people with thoughts on the topic will be listening in and participating by chat.

In preparation for the radio show, here are some of the blog posts the group may be referencing.

Oooh – and I get to repost one of my favorite slide decks of all time. Enjoy – and put the kids to bed, grab your tipple of choice, and join us on Wednesday evening!


Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny February 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Interesting topic and very timely. I notice my Klout number going up and down and I wonder what I’m supposed to do about it. Then I remember, that I don’t really monitor people’s Klout when I decide to follow them or not. So! Waiting with bated breath for this discussion about Internet Fame and Influence. I’m sure you’ll be tweeting reminders. I’ll watch out for them.

David Prohaska February 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Excited to hear this session. Everyone’s wrapping their heads around this topic right now. We’re holding a webinar about it tomorrow, too: It’ll be interesting to see how the social media sphere collectively agrees to quantify influence and how we’ll ultimately work it into our social media efforts.

David Prohaska
VP, Marketing

Shanelle Newton Clapham February 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Thanks Maddie for an enlightening post – in my world the term “influencer” has meant something far less specific than you managed to articulate in this article.

I was not aware of influencer scoring and while your presentation has made it clear that not too much emphasis should be placed on these tools its good to even know they exist as part of my social/ community self education.

Thanks for also promoting other thought leaders in this area, much appreciated.

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