If you listen to conversations about online power — at least those supported by bloggers — strength centers on the individual voice. Yet, now that big money has arrived online, the solitary influential voice represents a role player in the Internet ecosystem.
Let’s use a metaphor to illustrate this point: Hollywood and its power structure of actors, directors and producers. Individual voices represent actors. Entities like budget-rich companies investing in online media, traditional media companies, publishing houses, and already successful individuals are the directors and producers.
This is not to demean individuals that have made a name for themselves online. Consistently excelling online as an influencer takes significant effort. There’s a reason why so many social media voices are obsessed with influence.
You can debate whether people garner attention or become noteworthy for achievements, but long-term success is not an accident. It’s the result of doing something right consistently over time.
Back to the metaphor… Everybody wants to work with the most successful actors (cough, stars [ugh]). We know this. Any blogger just needs to show you their in-box and the heaps of spam pitches they receive as proof points.
“Far more commonly, [futurists are] weird people with weird ideas and practices, and are objects of ridicule,” Bruce Sterling
True thought leadership helps people — on and offline — understand the near future, the far future, and often the evolving now. Thought leaders are futurists, people who serve as modern oracles that can help businesses, organizations and societies adapt to the unknown. They break new ground and help us understand how change will impact us, technologically or sociologically.
You see blogs titled like this periodically, and they get tons of attention from top online voices. Invariably, the post is how to promote one’s self as a thought leader, not actually how to offer valuable thought. And that’s a damn shame because while this will certainly vault someone to the level of modern pundit, it rarely achieves the desired effect of producing true thought leadership. So how do you become a real thought leader?
Read More »How to Become a Thought Leader
Co-author’s Note (11/20): Trackbacks on this post have been turned off. Links/SEO were not my objective. The following is a joint manifesto. (Cross posted with Ike) Please follow along with: Geoff Livingston… and… …Ike Pigott. (Audio link.) With pitchforks and… Read More »Down with the Teflon Revolutionaries