You have probably heard about the Fast Company Influence Project. As Fast Company states:
“Influence is not only about having the most friends or followers. Real influence is about being able to affect the behavior of those you interact with, to get others in your social network to act on a suggestion or recommendation. When you post a link or recommend a site, how many people actually bother to check it out? And what’s the likelihood of those people then forwarding it on? How far does your influence spread?”
Another definition of influence, as you can find on dictionary.com 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“
Influence is simply the ability to affect an action. Nothing more, nothing less. The Fast Company project is measuring influence, plain and simple.
Now, to be fair, there are plenty of people who have come out strongly against the project, a couple of great post that you should check out include:
- Breaking Rant: Fast Company is Incredibly Stupid . from Esteban Kolsky. While I disagree with the majority of the argument being made, it is important that you understand this key point: “Your influence both varies and carries across all your social networks and fluctuates almost by the minute based on your last (and next action).“
- How Fast Company Confused Ego with Influence , from Amber Naslund. Amber states “It’s about the trust, authority, and presence to drive relevant actions within your community that create something of substance“. While trust, authority, and presence impact your ability to influence they are not the same as influence. They are contributing factors to your ability to successfully influence.
Alright, so there are certainly arguments to be made that this is a popularity contest, something to stroke the ego, and other negatives as well. Fair points that go to the core of your purpose, your mission. My mission is simple… Spread the word of The Social Ecosystem as a framework to maximize an organizations ability to meet its goals. I am certainly selfish enough to ask you to take two minutes to vote for me, to help me increase reach, increase visibility, to get this message out there.
So, are you too righteous to promote your efforts, yourself, your organization? Trust me, if you won’t do it you’ll have a hard time having others do it for you. Sometimes being a little selfish is necessary…. What do you think?