Posted by: Michael Atkisson | October 28, 2010

Online “Influence”, what character are you?

The influence Project that Fast Company launched last summer asked its readers to participate by creating a profile on the project’s site. You gain influence by how many people click on your profile. The more that people clicked on your profile, the bigger you picture got and the more you moved to the top.

Images and portates of people  who participated in the web influcence project. Thre are thousands of small images pieced together into a giant web mural.

Influence online, how big is your picture?

But the interesting thing was the type of influence that people used in order to increase clicks to their profiles. Here are some categories I coined for online influence based on the types of participation reported in the article.

The Gauntlet: People with huge existing networks obviously did very well in clicks, like the winner and creator of ShoeMoney Media, Jeremy Schoemaker, who gathered more than 500,000 clicks.

The Billboard: People who advertised invitations to click on their profiles on sites like Craigslist, where no known previous connection with the clicker existed.

The Hollywood: Celebrities who said that they would participate only if they were guaranteed some benefit in advance.

The Ideologue: Nathan St. Pierre (No. 246) tried to redirect the purpose of the experiment for an altruistic, but restrictive goal of doing something “good” with their influence, which would have limited the reasons why many wanted to participate in the first place.

The Activist: Like the ideologue, the activist wanted to make a difference in the world through online influence (awareness of children in poverty in India) but by invitations from the bottom up rather than by grabbing the steering wheel. Their actions saw results for a boy in India and started similar attempts elsewhere.

The Missionary: Some people were very good at, not only gaining clicks but converting clickers into profiled participants in the experiment, like the Youtube marauder iJustine, who converted about 25% of her clickers. As the article suggests, this may be a better measure of influence than by just looking at clicks.

What type of social web influencer are you? Can you get people to follow your cause? Can you get people to replicate your socially responsibly? Do you want something in return? Do you want to win? Do you just hope that people will follow? It’s an interesting landscape of participation.

See the original article below.

Measuring Influence One Click at a Time | Fast Company.


  1. […] an interesting definition of influence in comparison with the influence project that Fast Company did last year. Would the definition of influence in a network of people change if […]

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