The New Influentials
Savvy web users — many college age or early 20s — pooled their links on Digg and developed the power to drive server-crashing volumes of traffic, forcing traditional media sites, who still lack such influence, to plaster themselves with Digg This buttons.... While traditional media brands are still powerful channels on the web, they are losing influence everyday to the link-driven web network — journalists and PR professionals can no longer depend on controlling these former monopoly channels to exert influence online.
There seems to be a bit of a witch hunt that’s been generated by this article in Fast Company against theories about Influentials suggested by thinkers like Malcolm Gladwell. ‘They don’t exist!’ explains the author Clive Thompson and this idea seems to be supported by a bunch of ‘toldyouso’ bloggers who would traditionally not be cast as traditional Influencers. Inferiority complex, anyone? Or that’s how it looks from here.
They shouldn’t worry and should spend some time looking at a far more useful (and related) article by Scott Carp in Publishing 2.0. Carp looks at the new influentials, how they leverage the web and how they’re replacing key influencers like journalists with the simple power of the hyperlink. He explains: