The Term “Influence” Does Mean A Lot

Last week I was reading a post by Chris Brogan titled Improve Your Influence. The most interesting thing I found in the post was actually the first line, where he stated “The term “influence” doesn’t mean a lot, and yet, it seems to be the holy grail for online social media people“. The reason it was so interesting is that the rest of his post indicated that he pretty much understands how influential he is, whether he was trying to get there or not, and some of the name dropping, which I’m going to do some day (smile), shows that he knows and has talked to some fairly influential people.

social circles of influence
Social Circles of Influence
by Anne Adrian

Being more influential in 2011 is one of my goals for the year, and I figure this blog is probably the one that’s going to help me get there. It was actually because of a comment made by Chris on one articles that prompted my post asking how I could be useful to some of you, and I thank those of you who responded. It pretty much gave me permission to be, well, more of me this coming year, which in turn helps some of y’all be more of you. In a way, it made me think of two lines from the movie Happy Feet, both of which most of us should have in our repertoire of favorite lines, even if we keep them to ourselves; to whit:

I hear the world wanting something… Me!!!

Thank you; I’ll take a moment for myself.

So far I’ve followed some bits of advice in working on that influence thing. I wrote a post where I pretty much showed every link I knew of that talked about me in some fashion.

I’ve given thoughts to the messages I’m trying to project with this blog an realized that me talking about, well, pretty much everything, seems to work for me here, as long as I don’t deviate too much from the norm too often; no promises on that one, but it does prove to be a good thing that I have that other blog to keep me grounded somewhat.

I’ve set up ways for people to like me on Facebook or retweet posts they like. And I’m still figuring out new ways to use social media to work on that influence thing.

In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that a big part of our becoming more influential with our blogs or social media actually coincides with three of our favorite characters from the Wizard of Oz. Let me explain; stay with me on this one.

The Scarecrow said he needed a brain. The Wizard gave him a diploma. If you check your thesaurus, another word that can be used for diploma is “credentials”. Those of us who write about things that we have the credentials for and can prove it on a consistent basis have a great opportunity to increase our influence as we go along.

The Tin Man said he needed a heart. The Wizard gave him a testimonial, which meant that he honored the Tin Man in a way that others could see the type of person he was. When we acknowledge others at times, like I did in my 5 Top 10’s post, he not only help boost them but we boost ourselves because we show that we know it’s not only about us. Very few people succeed on their own; that’s a hard lesson to learn. Touting others helps your influence because it will come back to you in spades (I wonder what that phrase actually means).

The Cowardly Lion said he lacked courage. The Wizard gave him a medal and called him a hero. I tend to believe that every person that writes a blog and continues writing, even when it seems somewhat fruitless, is a hero, and eventually heroes are noted by someone for their contributions. Heroes also help other solve problems, or gain perspective about things, and that’s also a big part of blogging. Become a hero and your influence will definitely grow.

I don’t try to make my bones by disagreeing with someone whose words I’ve come to enjoy reading (but rarely comment on his blog because it’s a Disqus blog, and you know how I feel about that. In this case, I really don’t think I’m disagreeing with him overall, except for the perspective of the first line of that particular post. It just seems so obvious that whether one wishes to be influential or not, if they provide what he’s said and what I’ve written here, how can anyone not end up being influential? And if that’s occurring, then the “term” does mean a lot, as well as the actions that get us there.

Your thoughts on all of this?

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Is It Easy To Comment On Your Blog?

I just left a post on another blog. The blog required me to register first, then it sent me a password so I could fully register and add any pertinent information I wished to. It’s a WordPress blog, so I’m familiar with it.

Thing is, the blog has been in existence for almost 18 months, and there’s never been a comment. I would pretty much figure it’s because the blog owner makes one have to register first. I usually don’t register for blogs, but in this case I made an exception. I don’t usually like doing it for three reasons. One, it takes time away from my commenting; when I want to comment, I want to comment now, while I’m thinking about it. Two, it gives the blog owner a feeling that they can start sending me all sorts of email that I don’t want or need; I’ll visit the blog and possibly read or buy stuff when I want to. And three, you can’t unregister; I tried on this one blog and finally just fudged an email address, because the writer was inundating me needlessly with updates, then updates on the updates; enough already.

There are other blogs I’ve left messages on, only to receive an email asking me to click on it to prove that it’s me. It’s easy enough to do, but it leaves me wondering if I want to continue dealing with it long term; I’d rather you just read the comment and determine if you want it on your site or not. A couple of times my entry has never shown up on one of those sites anyway, which left me feeling like I wasted my time. And, if I feel like I’m wasting my time, you’re probably not going to get any love back in the form of links or even being added to the blogroll some day.

I never had it set up that people needed to register for my site (though some do anyway), but I realized fairly early on that I was going to have to add something to stop as much spam as was coming through. I first loaded Botcheck, which took care of a lot of stuff but not nearly enough. I then loaded Bad Behavior, but the same was occurring. Finally I added Akismet, which is supreme, and it catches virtually everything. On my business blog, I added a plugin that makes people put in a randomly generated number. I haven’t had to go that far with this one, as Askimet seems to be doing a great job on its own.

The main idea of your blog is to encourage others to comment; at least that’s usually the intention. You share your ideas, and you hope others will either validate your thoughts or offer something new. If you’re just writing for yourself, then that’s something entirely different; enjoy that. Some folks don’t have comments open at all; their choice. But if you’re going to do it, make it easy.

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