I read this post by Loic LeMeur, founder of Seesmic regarding Key Influencers. The post came out around the time that Google+ was being opened to the public and at a time when some of the tech writers (at least the ones that I saw) and apparently those LeMeur knows and reads as well were throughly trashing G+ as an utter and complete failure and jump ship. What I’ve thought about since reading the post is:
How much does the key influencer matter? What is a Key Influencer Anyway?
My first stab at social was in web forums and subsequently MySpace. For what I was doing (writing) and with whom I was interacting I certainly had no idea what a key influencer was nor had even heard the term. After moving to Twitter and finding a proper blogging platform, I still didn’t know who or what a Key Influecer was but stumbled on to some and start following them. The bell finally went off that the key influencer was actually an early adopter in marketing speak.
Based on the Twitter experience, I found that key influencers definitely matter, some are quite helpful and provide a wealth of knoweledge that I otherwise would have had to dig around for on my own. They save us regular users a lot of time because they see all the new/hot/useful stuff (and stuff that sucks) first and can help the rest of figure out if it’s worth our while to jump in or not. It was after my experience with Google’s Wave and Buzz where I first saw what LeMeur calls the Influencers Verdict.
I got in early on Wave and Buzz and thought I had arrived with the “cool kids”. Though “not an influencer” myself I rode this same graphic, probably a bit later than the influencers and decided on my own that the two services sucked. In fact Wave in particular was just beyond my understanding.
Google+ is just latest stab at social that is riding the above wave. I believe that the influencers have been important to its early success but I also think that the rest of are a bit more savvy as to how this social thing works. Influencer groupies will leave when influencers bail. The rest of us who dig it will stay and it’s us non-influencers that will keep G+ and whatever else that comes thereafter alive.