Influence: perception and reality

A tale with a lousy ending

The most recent ‘Social Showdown!‘ to be held on STweM offered readers the opportunity to vote on whether they believed empireavenue, Klout or PeerIndex was the leading measure of influence.

The results are now in.


They surprised me.

They’ll probably be something of a surprise to the creators of empireavenue, too.

Here’s why:

โ€œ There’s a clear leader in the ‘which platform is the leading measure of influence’ poll: @empireave @Klout @PeerIndex
August 12, 2011

To put this in context, PeerIndex was the ‘clear leader’ I was referring to when I published the tweet above.


Tom Ohle (EvolveTom) of Evolve PR who works with Empire Avenue commented:


โ€œ @andrewspong Just a good thing we’re not trying to measure influence at Empire Avenue ๐Ÿ™‚
August 12, 2011
I replied:
โ€œ LOL! Perception|reality slippage –> RT @EvolveTom: @andrewspong Just a good thing we’re not trying to measure influence at Empire Avenue ๐Ÿ™‚
August 12, 2011

Without launching into some tedious post-structuralist account of reader response theory, I suppose that all I was alluding to here was that a creator’s definition of the values, benefits and features of a given product or service, real or virtual, need not align exactly (or even inexactly) with a user’s assessment of the same product or service’s values, benefits and features, nor need the originator’s intentions be reflected in the way that the end user chooses to utilise it.


Nevertheless, the EmpireAve account itself (which in view of the proximity of response to Tom’s tweet I’m guessing Evolve take care of, but I’m happy to redact that if anyone wants to clarify the issue – not that it matters for the purposes of this narrative) stepped up a matter of minutes later to expressly state that:


โ€œ @andrewspong We initially launched and said we’d be measuring influence but soon accepted that influence isn’t measurable ๐Ÿ™‚
August 12, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I felt compelled to respond that whilst that may indeed be the point of view that Empire Avenue has now chosen to adopt, a number of voters in my poll (whom one assumes are also Empire Avenue users, although this need not of course be the case) took a contrary position in this regard.

โ€œ @EmpireAve The folks who have voted for you as the leading measure of influence clearly disagree ๐Ÿ™‚
August 12, 2011

So that was yesterday afternoon.


Empire Avenue was languishing in third position in the poll, but had nevertheless managed to secure five or so (about 11 percent) of the votes that had been cast up to that point.

I recall that PeerIndex was leading with around 21 votes, and Klout was bringing up the rear with 14 or so votes.

This morning, however, I’ve logged on to find that the case has radically altered:

All of which has led me to reflect upon the beginning of the final stanza of Robert Burns’ ‘To A Louse’:

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion!

One thought on “Influence: perception and reality

  1. For me, I voted for Empire Avenue, as I was reached out to inside the site. With Klout, it is really unpredictable for me, and I have huge swings. Peer Index is something I have not used much. So at least from my point of view, Empire Avenue players cared how theywere seen by your poll.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s