Posting Under the Influence

How do you feel about Fast Company’s The Influence Project?

It’s a wild, unwieldy, imperfect, and hopefully fun way to take a look at the wild, unwieldy, imperfect and certainly fun world of social media.” Mark Borden of Fast Company writes in his post today called Popularity, Ego and Influence – What is the Influence Project?

When Fast Company sent me an email invitation to join in, I must admit I jumped right on board, wrote this and thought maybe there was something that was valuable somewhere, And, yes, I was curious about how far and fast influence could spread.

Just into a day or two into this campaign and the reviews are mixed. Take this one about how the Fast Company Influence Project turns off online influencers.

Right now, the value lies in a lesson for the “how not to” case study section. And, as it turns out that, according to this project, I am not very influential at all – at least in terms of getting people to click on a link about the influence project.

If this is all there is – a call to get others to click on and visit a URL – then there really isn’t that much worth reporting. After all, anyone can track URL shortener stats, retweets and likes or comments every day. Collectively, there may be some project stats that we can all use – or not.

When I first found out about this project, I thought there must be some kind of tracking code or program to follow a select group to see how what they shared what was important. Kind of like following seeds in the wind, seeing where they settle and watching how they bloomed and reseeded. Where does information go? Does it matter who sends it out? Is there a way to map influence for global good?

But, that’s not the case – yet. From what I can see, it is what it is: a click-through counter that measures out results as icons in motion with images of a person’s influencers stacked in revolving tiers.

Even with all of the negative initial reactions, I have to thank Fast Company for bringing the subject of influence front and center. And, I’ll follow the accompanying blog that covers influencers and their stories as part of a Fast Company feature story for the November 2010 issue.

How do you think The Influence Project will affect your relationship with Fast Company?

Image credit disclosure: thanks to Shutterstock for providing images.

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