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Engaging Influentials: Twitter and Beyond
In networks, some members are more connected and active, and therefore have more influence. These influentials are important members because they add significantly more value to the network. In the digital world, they blog, twitter, upload videos, experiment with new gadgets, and create widgets. As early adopters, they tend to be trendsetters that are followed by their friends and sometimes the masses. The book, the Whuffie Factor , talks about Social Capital, and how our society is increasingly motivated to become more useful and creative. Today, more people want to be influencers, and they want to be enabled.
In 2009, Twitter has emerged as one of the most talked about platforms in the network economy. Indeed, there is a simple network exchange on Twitter: influencer creates bite-size content, and follower discovers new information. Here are a few examples of the exchange:
• Gavin Newsom , mayor of San Francisco and California Governor Candidate, has over 500,000 followers. He keeps his followers informed about upcoming events and fundraising, and enables them to interact with him directly.
• Mike Massimino , a NASA astronaut, has over 400,000 followers. He combines his human life story with a behind the scenes look at being an astronaut.
• And of course there is Oprah , approaching 1.4 million followers.
Twitter makes it easy to share your voice and build your presence in the community.
RegularGeek’s comment sums up the value: “Even someone like myself, and I do not have a huge social media presence, can talk to and possibly influence about five thousand people. If I have two thousand subscribers on the blog, Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook, the number of unique people could be around 5,000. That is direct contact, and the network effects could create an audience much larger.”
While we are all familiar with Twitter, there are many more communities that engage and enable an influential audience with network principles. One of the key elements of a network is the idea of reciprocity. The idea of “I win, you lose” doesn’t work in a network, or it will fall apart. Instead, there must be mutual win-win exchanges. One such example is at Triggerstreet, was founded in 2002 by Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey, which is a community for emerging artists. The promise of the network is to democratize exposure and offer a career boost through a ne...