--Influence-- Ample term; loaded term and very important one for the Social Media space…
The influence we have on others and others have on us is (just like many other aspects of Social) a consequence of old instincts embedded in the human nature..
- If you don’t know the restaurants on this street, but you can see one of them is almost empty and the other almost full; which one would you choose? (Assuming all other things are equal)..
- You arrive at an intersection and the traffic light is not working; there is a man in the middle of it with dark clothes and a yellow vest; would you follow his direction and stop/go as instructed?
- Your neighbor helped you jump start your car a few weeks ago; have you been attentive to his needs? Would you be more likely to help him given the help he gave you before?
- The car geek fanatic that you have known since high school makes a public statement about the virtues of a new car; unbeknownst to him you are looking for a new vehicle and you were hesitant between this model and another one.. is this person’s opinion going to influence your choice?
We have evolved with a set of embedded social behaviors that have helped us achieve wonderful things as a society: in unknown circumstances we watch what others are doing and tend to fall in line, we pay attention and respect authority, we help those that have helped us (or may be in the position to help us in the future), we understand relevancy of expertise and filter input accordingly.
What has been happening lately is that technology is eliminating friction… we can quickly see what many others are doing (i.e. Oldspice) and if we have the slightest inclination (need) for the product/service we will likely follow, it is now very easy to give/receive from others and return in kind (i.e. Farmville or other virtual gifts that you likely received in Facebook), Retailers create and apply authority schemes to help drive participation and sales (i.e. Amazon), Manufacturers make sure you know what others (and maybe others like you) think about their products (i.e. Intuit)
When the print with movable type was invented the profession of scribes died but many new ones were born or simply exploded up (i.e. teachers, librarians, etc.); I wonder what is the equivalent n the advent of an era where the influence we all have on each other will be quantifiable (domain, speed, volume, etc.) and likely publicly available (based on digital breadcrumbs we all create daily).
What do you think?