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David: Great post as always. Would love to see you / others tackle the question of what this graph would look like if we added a second line showing how people act in real life (IRL) instead of online. I wonder how many SMSRJs are also IRLSRJ? How many are actually "ok" people who for whatever reason feel empowered to act like total jerks when online? Are most SMRSRJs also IRLSRJs? It's an interesting debate and also fascinating topic for how we're evolving as a culture.
Great post as usual Valeria. As you know, this "black art" of influence identification is something my company has a vested interest in, and we've spent the last 12+ months studying, measuring and developing solutions around it. So I'll weigh in to answer your question "How can you tell them apart? What are the kind of clues you look for?" by highlighting a few things we feel are critical: a) Look at the content an influencer produces. At its most simple level, what are you talking about? Do you write on the automotive industry a lot? Your favorite baseball team? What? Influencers have a voice -- usually across multiple topic fronts for work and play. And one of the first thing we have to look for are people saying things that matter to the community of interest (aka: market) we are trying to find influencers for. c) Look at the impact of that content as it's published. We then need to look at "what happens" when you write. When you tweet, blog, post an article, what happens? Are you quoted a lot? Retweeted? Is there a ripple effect of your work across the web and between networks on the web. This can be measured, and it plays into how your voice has authority when you publish your content. d) Look at the size of someone's network (aka: how loud is your voice). If your blog is one of the most widely followed blogs in the world, or you write for the Wall Street Journal, or you have 2M followers on Twitter, then your content has a lot more eyeballs than if you write for a blog only your Mom reads. Common sense, and unfortunately far too many people measure influence by weighting this one factor too high. Popularity alone does not equal influence. So to find influential voices, we look for people tweeting, blogging, writing, commenting, streaming, etc using the keywords and topics our community of interest is listening for; we look at the impact your voice has on the web; and we project the potential size of your voice as it speaks. There are a million other things underneath this, but these are the three core and critical areas we've found to be most indicative. AND, one last and very important point we all need to one ever has just one single "influence score". It's fun for gaming purposes, but generic influence scores are about as valuable in determing influence as shoe sizes and zodiac signs. If I look at a person against the communities / market I am measuring influence for (automotive industry; women's fashion; mobile gaming applications, cardiac surgery products; Atlanta Braves baseball, etc, etc), I will quickly see as I look at an individual that they either have a voice and presence in these communities or they do not. Where they have presence and where they have a voice, we can measure their influence against others talking within that community. Where they do not, they have NO influence score. Would welcome debate on all of this. I don't agree with Watt's on all fronts. I do believe we can and should measure influence - if for no other reason than to find the people who are fascinating to read, follow and interact with on the topics we have a passion for. Gary Lee CEO, mBLAST @gary_r_lee
Love slide 16! In a world where people are very happy to tweet their opinions in sometimes the harshest of ways as a way to show how "smart" they are, I am quoting slide 16 to my team!!!! Thanks for posting these Valeria. grl
Great post Valeria. I've been online and playing with Google+ for a few days now. I love the circle concept that you outline here and can see how it may change social forever by allowing you to segment your audience. This seems to be the one resounding positive I see from early adopters / testers of Google+ . Beyond that, I can see the promise of Google+. but am not (yet) convinced it can and will upset Facebook as a mass offering especially if we see Facebook move to something similar to Circles very quickly. If they do, this could be a very strong defense to Google+. What are your thoughts on Facebook's ability and appetite to counter Circles? I'll continue to dig through the offering, experiment, play and learn from others like yourself. Thanks for posting your thoughts. Grl
David: Great post as usual. One thought back to you: I think at least two of these, and maybe three, are not mutually exclusive and in fact are most powerful when viewed with each other. You talk here about "topical’s really what counts in influence." and also how the "relevance" of who follows you on Twitter and who you follow back is important. I think these two, properly measured, are key factors to measuring influence. If one is not topically relevant, then it's pretty hard to impact and influence a market that is interested in a topic. An interesting correlation to measure is to find these voices who are all topically relevant (aka birds of a feather) and then measure how they are influencing each other by following each other, re-tweeting each others tweets (another point made above), or even quoting each other in tweets. Doing so allows you to form a view of "influence of influencers" and then use that with other measurement points and data to derive their real ability to impact a market. This is an interesting way to marry a few of your points together, and from our own research is a key part of the real-time measurement of influence across Twitter and even other networks. Gary Lee CEO, mBLAST Use mPACT to find, listen to, and measure the voices impacting your market.
Great post, and sorry I missed this panel, as it's one I would have liked to have heard and participated in. Love this quote: "Instead of counting the people you reach, Reach the people who count." This is exactly right. And sums up why influencers matter so much. If we can reach the voices most impacting, or most influential, to our market, we have the potential to dramatically improve our marketing efforts over social networks, blogs and online publications. Great quote. I agree with many of the points made here as they align tightly with how we at mBLAST (and many other smart people in marketing) are talking about the "art" and "science" of influencer identification and measurement. Refreshing to see your points here. Well done. One note for you and your readers, the process described for identifying the influencers in the case study for Tigressa aligns with our mPACT solution set, and can automate the process if you have to go through it again. Check out for additional information on our solution, or also our blog at to learn more. We designed mPACT from the ground up to tackle the hard work of sorting through all the voices out there to find the ones most topically relevant to the keywords important to your market, and then use a set of algorithms and heuristics to discover and rank the most influential ones -- the ones actually impacting your market. We cover social networks, blogs and articles. Nice blog and keep me posted if you guys decide to convene this panel again or one similar. I would be interested in participating as this is a topic we are passionate about. Gary Lee CEO, mBLAST twitter: @gary_r_lee Use mPACT to find, listen to, and measure the voices which impact and influence your market.
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Mar 28, 2011