What is an Online Influencer?
A person, character, group, website, social media personality, or journalist who uses an online medium to portray a thought or idea, that induces a feeling that changes your views, perception or paradigms that cause’s individuals to take action, make a change, or make a decision.
Pretty Vague, huh?
There is a lot to think about when we think about who or what an online influencer is. It can be easy to identify online influence with popularity, but it is more than just that. Just because Asthon Kutcher has millions of followers, doesn’t mean that when he tweets about eating breakfest it inspires you to take any type of action. Twitaholic shows the most active twitter users; however this does not indicate their influence.
A method of determining influence is Klout. What is Klout? The website defines it as, “The measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.” Klout uses clicks, retweets, comments, thumbs up, likes, etc, to help determine a score.
Why do we care about Klout?
This is a tool which can help us differentiate between a popularity contest and the opinions that people trust. Klout is also a metric. It helps put a numeric value on influence so we can better understand what it all means.
Who do we consider to be online influencers?
Some well known examples are: TMZ, Perez Hilton, Ellen Degeneres, Lady Gaga, CNN, Martha Stewart, and so on. Note: All these people have a klout score greater the 50.
Online influencers according to The Influence Project (from: http://tcrn.ch/bsRBY4)
1. Jeremy Schoemaker
2. Shefqet Avdullau
3. Tod Sacerdoti
4. Cory Boatright
5. Greg Clement
6. Frank Kovacs
7. Sebastian Saldarriaga
8. James Dunn
9. Richard Lee
10. Pace Lattin
If you would like to read more about how to determine online influence, Mashable has an article: HOW TO: Measure Online Influence.