Five key trends in how influence is transforming society

August 27th, 2009 / 01:08 by Ross Dawson

I just got off an interview on the future of influence on 2SM radio which lasted almost 15 minutes – close to a record for my interviews on live AM radio, which tends to do 3-5 minute segments. The talk show host was clearly fascinated by the issues of how influence is shifting away from people like him, and towards the unwashed masses.

In the interview, done in the lead-up to Future of Media Summit which is on next week in Sydney and San Francisco, I discussed the social transformation wrought by the changing influence landscape, and pointed to key five trends driving this change:

1. Influence is democratized
It used to be that people were influential by virtue of their position, such as CEO, journalist, or politician. In a world of blogging, Twitter, and social media anyone can become highly influential, shaping how we think, behave, and spend. Companies can ignore no-one. As many more become heard, a truer democracy will emerge.

2. Influence can be measured
Subjective lists of the most influential will be replaced by accurate assessments based on the extraordinary information available. New metrics for individual influence and reputation will guide who we hire, do business with, and even date.

3. Reputation shifts from the corporation to the individual
Today corporate reputation matters less than the reputation of the individuals in the company. People don’t trust companies, but they might trust the people working for them. The corporate war for talent will become the war to attract the influential and trustworthy.

4. “Influence is the future of media”
People no longer pick up a newspaper or turn on the television to get their media fix. We now discover the movies, music, news, books, conversation and even new friends we like through influence – the recommendations of many are driving our choices. Publishing or broadcasting itself won’t get an audience – only influencers will create viewers.

5. Business models for influence are emerging
So what if you are influential? Today you can earn directly from your trust and respect, through tools such as TweetROI and IZEA’s sponsored conversations. This is the birth of a true ‘influence economy’. The $500 billion advertising industry may be transformed.

Far more on all this at Future of Influence Summit!