Social web and the new play for information has scrambled rules of former process for distribution of power and information. The simple idea, in thinking that “one”, at the peak of the pyramid can hold now all the power is so stupid…And this concept may be extended to “A-list”, so called influencers, while we figure out and dream that they can decide for your future (eg your company or your products), or decide of your life or death. In fact, we must not focus on this dumb fake reality, not that they are not listened or respected, nor they don’t have any influence, but they don’t have the monopole of spreading the buzz. And some may be more effective than ever…You see? You guess? You bet?
You. You as a customer, as a simple citizen. Anyone has a circle of reference, value and thinking and influence his own private circle. And that’s the mass, the so called “mass marketing” that can be more effective and buzzing, than a happy few “top of pyramid”, who turn around together, recycling their ideas, comfortable with a “kind of mindset”, sometimes unplugged from reality. As you start to meet some social nodes, you’re in contact with a whole ecosystem of information, that leads you in a kind of influence as well. And those little stones you grow make a silent but strong way to a certain kind of influence. Fastcompany tried to mesure the randomize influence of lots of people, in launching the influence project.
ThoughtLead, another social agency organized the shortest trial, for influence thinking, in creating shots for 60 influencers, in short talks or thoughts, for a 60 minutes session. Another way to spread quickly a fast debate on many influencers mindset.
What I found in all these projects is that small groups around a simple topic get their way to a particular sport of influence…So big bloggers can drive you fast and high, but there’s nothing more efficiency than the “long tail of influencers”. Finding your own local circle of passion, chat and meetings can assure you a long and constant effect, sustainable. And that’s brighter than a short shot with a passing star: could a “A-list” start remind you, even if you spend a while with him/her? I probably say no. Influence is a complex concept, that means that the thing to be influenced is ready for it, and the noise and environment too. Readiness of the market and regular word-of-mouth with local folks can rise you far ahead. Buzz is so unpredictable that you’d rather trust on constant and flowing network than stars that shine only one day…Remember next time you’ll meet a A-star, not to wait too much, but taking a good time, as any link to your personal network: you’ll receive only what you’ll give.
Chris Brogan’s work brings a stone more on this tricky subject as influence. The way is really long to build, grow, maintain and in some ways, moderate such communities. But it’s for sure, worthy, more than one star encounter and fill your inheritage of spreading the news and the buzz. How? Simply by doing what you like…sharing, listen and take part of this worlwide silent long tail of knowledge. Brian Solis himself, engages ourselves in a total “bliss”, considering influence as “the ability to cause desirable and measurable actions and outcomes”. And so different than popularity that consists only on a passing action, that not stays no more in our minds. Influence is when people talk about you and your outcomes, your thoughts or ideas, making them spread. Popularity is a static concept as you may be appreciated, but not “retweeted”, not viralized…And that makes all the difference between one shot and a long, ongoing action…
In this forest of “friends”, forget about the so called leaders and follow your intuition to build your own 6-degrees-of-separation scale of influence. And start by doing your best as a link to listen and spread any comment, thought ou idea you find interesting. Influence is not a passive state but a real job…in building strong and sustainable relations with active and solidary members. The human web is endless link to more humanity, friendness and care for others. Influence starts as you do something for free…just for pleasure. A viral pleasure.