This year’s Exposed DC Crystal City Fotowalk Underground Exhibition features 13 local photographers, including me. I contributed a 12 photograph series focusing on isolation and self identity. Modernism as a movement interested me because of its take on the isolated individual in the industrial world. My favorite modernist was Franz Kafka, with his characters often alienated and trapped alone in […]

The impact of choosing balance in favor of influence.

There is a movement about how to monetize individual blogger and online personality influence. Influencers considering monetization of their online trust should also weigh how such strategies can lessen trust within a community, and hurt search rank. This old debate goes back to paid blogging and affiliate marketing. As in those past cases, every influencer today needs to weigh how […]

The Internet and in particular social media have empowered thousands, perhaps millions, to start their own businesses. One outcome of the social media movement is how easily people become “thought leaders” or topical influencers. As a result, we have many paper tigers running about, almost indistinguishable from the ones with real teeth with one singular exception: Results. Last week for […]

As one of my projects, Vocus asked me to program the Demand Success 2013 conference (6/20-21), their first marketing conference open to the general public. Last week we announced our second major keynote, Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy Olsen on Mad Men. I was tickled that the buzz revolved around Mad Men, and not the presence of two strong ladies […]

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. […]

The highlight of my SxSW experience this weekend was meeting Tim Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. I took the opportunity to ask Sir Berners-Lee what he thought of social influence metrics like Klout, Kred and PeerIndex. His response was remarkable, but before I share it with you let me frame the scene. Sir Berners-Lee […]

A recent infographic published on a Forbes blog ranks the top 20 Fortune 100 CMOs based on social scoring. The graphic poses an interesting question: Should CMOs be judged by their individual social media prowess? The methodology for the social scores released in the infographic was not released, and there was an incredibly wide disparity between follower counts and placement […]

The above video is my TEDx PeachTree speech (below is the written form) on how any of us can be make change happen in our lives. I wanted to empower the audience with lessons learned about influence through my grassroots social change efforts. Most importantly, any of us can create change. We don’t need heroes to save us. We can […]

Image by Continuum Last Friday, I spoke at TEDx Peachtree about how any of us can become influential and affect change in our world (you can read my speech here). The speech took to task social scoring technologies Klout and Kred for failing to predict influencers and movements as they arise. Attention — and more specifically public recognition of influence […]

A few weeks ago, I blogged about needing to make ideas more palatable. Well, this afternoon I have an opportunity to strut my stuff at TEDxPeachtree. I’ll be speaking about how we don’t need heroes, and that anyone can use influence to affect societal change (you can watch via livestream at 3:05 this afternoon). I have been preparing this speech […]

In today’s online world social scoring systems like the new Klout matter, unfortunately. For example, some jobs are tied to scores now. Scoring systems encourage people to build wide networks to foster reach and create the perception of influence. The highest scoring “influencers” like to think they deliver widespread impact with their followings. Every single book I’ve read by a […]

Image via Flickr “The ignorance, prejudices, and groupthink of an educated elite are still ignorance, prejudice and groupthink,” Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society goes into great detail about the flaws intellectuals bring to bear upon society with their influence. Some of the behavior of A-Listers matches those of intellectuals, historically. First, let’s use Sowell’s definition of intellectual, an […]

Image by jot777stan It’s funny how much we talk about content frequency, retweet ratios, comments, etc. as key determinants of influence. What really matters in interactions with people, particularly as a content creator, is consistency. Not that content, retweets and interactions aren’t important. They are (depending on your goals). They’re just public and measurable, making them easily quantified. Go Klout. […]

Often cursed by reactionary pundits responding to the popular, groupthink remains an inescapable behavior pattern in social networks. For those unfamiliar, groupthink is when a community’s desire for harmony overrides rational examination of ideas and concepts. Conflict is stamped out in favor of consensus. So long as people act in tribal ways, we will always have groupthink regardless of media, […]

Image by Matthew Venn Influence: The act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. I’m reading a series of books right now trying to understand what makes someone influential. There are more tangential theories and approaches into the psychology of motivation than one can imagine, well beyond the universe of Klout. […]

Tomorrow marks the start of the NBA Finals (Go Thunder!). One of the sideshows at the NBA’s highest stage is Charles Barkley, all time great power forward turned NBA pundit. Given Sir Charles’ stature as a nationally renowned loud mouth and current public weight loss, one has to ask, is he more influential now than he was as an NBA […]

Image by Khiera Falconari Have you seen “The Grey?” What a dark movie! Of course, if you’re a wildlife fan, the wolf pack scenes were fantastic. And how menacing was the wolf pack leader? I don’t think he’d be invited to the high school prom. Yet the alpha male is the most influential of all the wolves in the pack. […]

Image by codecarnage You probably know the legend as Bigfoot, the yeti, or the Abominable Snowman. The mysterious, gigantic hairy biped eludes human contact in mountainous regions, vying for its own survival. Thrilling and scary at the same time, northern cultures dream of this elusive and powerful icon of the unexplored wilderness. Similarly, PR and marketing types alike dream of […]

Danah Boyd wrote a fantastic post last week about Internet fame and its negative impact on individuals. It is easy to buy into the rock star kool aid when people frequently sing your accolades (and fallacies) online and at events, especially when popularity is valued by society as an achievement. But accepting a pedestal as an individual, and viewing a […]

“Spreading your content across multiple networks will now directly impact your Klout score. As on Twitter, our underlying premise for influence is not the number of friends or followers you have, but your ability to drive action. Create great content and engage with your network and you will see your Klout score continue to rise!” This is the message Klout […]

by Beth Harte and Geoff Livingston The anti-social media guru meme received a death wish from Shel Holtz last week. As early co-authors of two top 25 posts that put some early flames to that fire, we couldn’t help but take notice. And we thought to ourselves why just stop with the anti-social media guru meme, there are so many […]