Pitiful is a deliberately pejorative description. The pitiful and low levels of maturity described in Table 5.1 are described as influencer-centric as opposed to the influence-centricity of the higher levels. They obsess with identifying influencers on the basis that some publicly available quantities about them betray the influence they actually have on others; i.e. changing what others think or what others do. Yet, as mentioned earlier, an individual’s popularity is not synonymous with the influence he or she may exert on others.

Someone’s influence is not …

  • the number of friends or followers or subscribers
  • a sum of Diggs or Reddits or Stumbles or @’s or Retweets
  • their website’s Google’s PageRank or SEOmoz’s mozRank
  • the number of blogs and columns they write
  • the books and papers they author
  • the job they have

… when these things are considered in isolation or out of context.

And influence is definitely not some quantity invented by a PR firm, analytics provider, or measurement and evaluation company that rolls up a number of indices and measures into some relatively arbitrary compound formula that makes any appreciation of the underlying approach, variables and mathematics completely opaque to the end-user, thereby radically attenuating any little use it may have been but in such a way that it can be nicely branded and sold as ‘unique’. (Phew, I’m glad to get that off my chest.)

Since criticizing services such as Klout for doing just this sort of thing in my presentation ...

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