Influence was one of the most used and abused words of 2010. I probably contributed with my share too.
But it seems like lately everywhere you turn there is a discussion about it, either to redefine the term, to analyze how it should be measured or simply to say that Klout Scores are not relevant.
Let’s face it, Klout has been under fire for the last few weeks. Then you’re not helping yourself when you come out and say that Justin Bieber is more influential than the Dalai Lama, Barak Obama or Lady Gaga (I think Gaga deserves the top spot). But let’s stop right here, bear with me for a second to explain where I’m going with this and make my point. This is a short post.
Should I Not Pay Attention To Klout Then?
I’m not here to recommend you should or shouldn’t use Klout or to question their formula, Justin Bieber is probably more influential than Obama these days anyways. The concern to me is how we use this score, I think it is a fine metric as a marketing tool for your personal brand and I can even see it as some kind of social proof, you know, another counter on your sidebar. But we should not be looking at it as to measure how much influence we really have.
Let’s Step Back For A Second…
According to the dictionary, Influence is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
Wikipedia says that Social Influence occurs when an individual’s thoughts, feelings or actions are affected by other people. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing.
I was planning on adding something on how Klout formula works so I visited the “How We Measure” page but I almost fell to sleep so let’s skip that and if you’re interested in reading that just follow that link.
My 2 Cents
I get it, I’m pretty sure whatever Justin says around these days reaches a bigger audience, has more demand and it gets amplified a lot more than a message coming from Obama. If you think about it you’ll agree that it’s kind of obvious. I was talking about this very same thing with @Nathanael_Ramos earlier this week and I mentioned the time Ashton Kutcher said he was bigger than news. Sadly he was right. Remember the “We Are Bigger Than Jesus” statement by John Lennon? was he wrong? (I ain’t touching that one).
But I want to forget about all that and move forward so, here is my proposition to you: what if we focus on being responsible for our impact!
We all impact other lives every single day and at different levels, from your kids to huge corporations or thousands of followers online. Every decision we make and action we take, every single word that comes out of your mouth has an impact on others.
So if you have “Influence” that is awesome. NOW, how do we stop talking about it and trying to measure it, how do we stop looking at a score to move on to relevant shit like what are we going to do with that Influence?
I’m not about to suggest you start a non-profit organization. I’m talking about how you can have a positive impact through your work and through what you communicate to the point that you can change or improve people’s lives.
There’s No Such Thing As “No Impact”
There is no such thing as “No Impact”, it’s either positive or negative. If you don’t do anything (I mean sitting down on the couch and not say a word all day) it doesn’t qualify as “No Impact”, it is very much ne-ga-ti-ve impact.
If you are conscious about how you affect people’s lives, on and offline, then the result is that you build up influence, you have a positive impact. Sound to me like long term tough. You can always keep staring at the thermometer.
Move on, maybe in a few months we will be saying “Influence is sooo 2010”
List of Words to Destroy:
What’s the next word on the list?
What’s Your Take?
We can talk about it, we can acknowledge when a person is influential, we can even compare and list influential people, we can even use it as digital social proof but we can’t measure it with a score and we can’t be obsessing about formulas on how to get it right.
Now, I know YOU have something to say about it so head over to the comments department and express your thoughts.