One of the new things that’s been added to Standard 3 is the sidebar widget that calculates Social Influence.
What it does is it aggregates the combined follower count of Twitter, Facebook, and your RSS subscribers (via Feedburner) and gives you a total look at how many people you’re impacting at any given moment.
Online publishers like you and I know that it’s not good enough to simply write content (although that will always be our chief motivation and is why you started in the first place, right?) but people have to read it.
You want people to read it as this validates what you’re writing and provides momentum and encouragement to continue to do it. Yes, even I feel a little bit better about myself when I know that others are reading it and are getting the value out of the content as I would hope they do.
What’s neat is that Standard 3 is the first WordPress Theme to have this type of aggregate built-in natively – you typically have to find this type of functionality in a bloated or somewhat broken plugin. The 8BIT Team has built this thing in from the beginning and we’ve seen a lot of copycats crop up since.
This doesn’t bother us as it’s a good feature to add but what we’re looking into for the long-haul is how to extend this neat feature in even greater ways.
Have you ever considered how powerful and important your social influence is? Have you ever wondered what it really means in terms of traffic generation, comments, and engagement? I’ve been thinking about this for years and I believe the research has matured to a point where we can come up with some really neat and helpful data.
Social Influence is just beginning to be understood but it’s dynamic has been around for quite some time, especially in the offline context.
I believe that influence is leadership defined and there is no better way to describe leadership than through influence. We are all leaders in various different capacities, contexts, and our leadership extends into different social circles, constructs, and can be qualified and quantified in a number of different ways.
But in the end it’s simply influence and our ability and opportunity to positively impact those that trust us for information. How are you influencing others around you? When was the last time you considered how important and powerful your influence really is?
I saw this the other day as I shared some of my candid thoughts with a small group of passionate online publishers at a neat Blogger Gathering event.
These were people, just like you and I, who just wanted to do what they were doing, but a bit better than before. I lead them through a number of different paths but ended on two points very squarely:
- Blogging is about developing clarity – I believe that the point of online publishing is to help you and your audience gain more clarity around who we are, what we are doing, and why we are doing it. I expanded on this much more during our time together.
- Creating value equals education – I believe that our greatest gift to others is giving of ourselves and our experiences and knowledge in the form of education. It is far greater to give than to receive.
I had the opportunity to provide value to this group, influence them for good, and encourage them not to quit. The numbers of social influence are important but not all the time do they reflect the much smaller contexts where it’s felt in a much more powerful way.
Get out there and be an incredible influencer.