I just spotted the bit in LinkedIn Groups that identifies “Top Influencers this week”. In the Connected Marketing Network Group I’m apparently the Top Influencer this week. The fact is though, I’m the Manager for that Group so I add lots of comments and generally hang out there a lot. On the other hand, there are members who post much more insightful comments and who are certainly (in real life) far more influential than me.
At our Social Media Monitoring Bootcamp in London in March, Philip Sheldrake ridiculed the influence calculations of Twitter monitoring solution Klout – highlighting how they were calculating influence based on what they could, not what actually reflected the real nature and complexity of “influence”. The same seems to be the case for LinkedIn: the number of posts you make is no reflection of how influential you are. It might indicate how committed, networked or bored a person is, but not how much they are influencing people.
This raises the obvious question, is a flawed measurement better than no measurement? Or are we just trying to ascribe value to something far too nebulous, fuelled perhaps by the personal vanity of people (like me) who love to be defined as “influential”.