This Times article goes into attempts to measure someone’s online influence, and the how, why, good and bad of those efforts.
It was interesting to have all of my online activity reduced to a number that supposedly would get me deals on airline tickets, hotels and more, but I became more fascinated with the path to getting so quantified: becoming an influencer.
Based on a study from Hewlett-Packard, the article says that a true influencer is someone who gets other people to actually do things. It’s not just getting followers. You’ve got to convince them to take action: buy tickets, go on a vacation, bungee jump and so on.
To obtain such a role, social media spellcasters say you should specialize in a topic area, and be passionate, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Seems straight-forward enough.
What fascinated me, though, was consistently trying to approach the creation of content with the intention of getting someone to make a certain type of decision. At first glance, it would seem that words persuading people to buy or not (or click or not) are the ones given the most heft.
I’m not saying turn every blog into a review site, but I am going to experiment with thinking of these entries more like arguments for or against an action, rather than what they often are: comprehension-seeking wonderings that may inadvertently exert influence though they are not overtly aiming to do so.
If you want to measure your online influence, here are the services mentioned in the Times article: