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« Disguise Me | Main | What is Control and Does a Company Have Any? »

February 01, 2008


John Cass

good post.

I think that the Watts research adds to the debate about influentials, and that we need more studies. I was thinking that although trends might not always be promoted by existing influentials wouldn't it be interesting to track the level of influence of an individual once they initiated a meme. Perhaps we should look at the characteristics of those people who initiate a meme, we might find they are just coming on board as an influential. Just an idea.

To me this whole debate also supports the idea of the long tail, on the web every product, even the slow sellers can now make you some profit. On the web, everyone can have some influence however small.

Mat Morrison

Anyone who can read Deleuze or Derrida or Lyotard, and be confident about what those writers mean is clearly too clever for me. I found Lyotard difficult, too. And that was when I was young and clever. These days I am not so clever.

But it strikes me that some people have (for whatever reason) more influence than others. Perhaps not in all fields, but certainly in enough to make it interesting, and worthwhile pursuing.

It also strikes me that there is some trade-off by which people who are more influential than others need some help achieving and maintaining this influence. I think they are prepared to make a deal.

I would be, if I were in their position.

I certainly don't mind if everyone else (particularly the clever ones) would like to take the alternative view, and stop wasting their valuable time pursuing what may well be a dead-end practice.

This may make my job job easier, as I will have less competition.

James King

If you read Watts' book Six Degrees he talks about the concepts introduced in the Fast Company article. The one thing that I think has been missing from this conversation, at least as far as I have read, is that Watts was discussing things on a world wide scale. But if you target influentials in a niche group I think the Gladwell Tipping Point idea is much more plausible. Now will an idea blow up on a world wide scale even though it is a hit in a niche group (Watts uses Madonna as an example), I think that is where Watts' networks come into play.

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