Is this the Rise or Fall of Social Influence?

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Online business chats are the reason I love (and stay) with Twitter. Today, I have the pleasure of moderating #smchat on the topic of Influence.

#SMCHAT

Has social media (and we as its masters) stripped away the meaningful value of influence?

Over the last few weeks that thought has nagged me until at last I threw it at my friend Chris Jones (@sourcepov) for a sanity check.

DM with SourcePOV

If you know Chris, then his reply to my pondering will come as no surprise. “OMG, how awesome. This is a conversation made for #smchat.” So that’s how easily we arrived at the Thought Du Jour for the December 17 edition of our online chat.

Here’s a little contextual framework for our conversation

Influencers – and influence – mean different things to different people.  But let’s run with the description I snagged from TheNextWeb that says “Influencers are the power users and authorities. They lend credence to products or services and they elevate conversations. Influencers are experts; the trusted voices with social capital.”

Fair enough, influencers are people in the know.

But what’s…

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Unlike that Buick, This IS Your Parents’ Social Network

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Skepticism is slow suicide. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Ralph were alive today, I’d buy him a Venti 7 Pump White Mocha no Whip to thank him for that quote. Alas, he’s long gone, but I’d lay down money that the American philosopher and poet would’ve been a social networking maniac.

You can walk away from my bet on Ralph, but don’t be so quick to dismiss social networking as merely a playground for teens, 20-somethings and the mega-brands who chase them.

For goodness sakes, don’t take my word for it. Pretty soon your own parents may have more online friends than you or your teenage nephew.

Do, however, heed my warning that you can’t afford to be naive (or pompous) about social networks and their inevitable relevance to your business.

The following 3 links will take you to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, one of seven projects at the Pew Research Center.

Seniors finding social networking exhilarating

The largest percentage increase in Internet use since 2005 has been in the 70-to-75 age group, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Adults and social network websites

While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites.

Generations online in 2009

Over half of the adult internet population is between 18 and 44 years old. But larger percentages of older generations are online now than in the past.

Chock Full of Goodness: 10+ Article Faves

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Here are 10 share-worthy articles from 2009.  If you care about communication, collaboration or leadership, dedicate your next coffee break to reading them.

  1. The Value of Visual Thinking in Social Business – Slideshare (David Armano)
  2. A Selection of 2009 Collaboration Posts (collected by Oliver Marks)
  3. Stop, Collaborate and Listen: knowledge management has a brand new adventure (James Gurd)
  4. Advice for Saving the WorldOutside Magazine (Nicholas Kristof) FAVE
  5. Media Heroes and Villains of 2009 (Trevor Butterworth)

  6. Best of 2009: 24 social media experts interviewed (Graham Charlton)
  7. The Social Customer Manifesto (Christopher Carfi)
  8. PR Disasters That Aren’t (Shel Holtz)
  9. This I Believe: A Manifesto for Web Marketers and Analysts (Avinash Kaushik)
  10. Five Ugly Numbers You Can’t Ignore: It’s Time to Calculate Hiring Failures (John Sullivan)

It’d be a crime to leave these links out of my list of 2009 faves:

  1. Blogging Starter Checklist (Rajesh Setty)

Blogging Workload: a Poll

If you are a leader, then you ought to be blogging.”~Hugh Hewitt,
author of Blog, Understanding the Information Reformation

That sounds good (and it’s true), but how much time does it really take to write a single blog article? I’m guessing that most people underestimate what it takes.

Weigh in on how much time it takes you to write any given article!

Related Reading in the MarketingVeep Vault: