Welcome to The Influence Project

The Influence Project

Obviously you're totally connected and know someone who knows someone because you're here on the inside at the outset. Actually, you're more than connected. You're an early adopter and a fearless explorer of the world of online influence.

I'd like to thank you for participating in The Influence Project. If your goal is to become 2010's Most Influential Person online, best of luck. But if you're like me and are intrigued by how influence works on the Internet and are curious to see what happens when a person's social network is asked to act, then I believe we're set to gain some valuable insights.

What the Influence Project aims to do is remove some of the mystery behind the inherent passivity of social network numbers. This experiment will show what happens when an individual takes an audience at rest and applies an unbalanced force—through suggestion, advice or direction—that converts it into an army of action. That's power that can be quantified and lead to an understanding that can be applied to both the largest and smallest of networks. No doubt it's profound to address a million followers and get 100,000 of them to respond. But what does it mean when you have one hundred friends on Facebook and 97 of them click through to a site on your recommendation?

The clicks and networking and connectivity (out to six degrees!) collected in this experiment will provide a compass for where real influence lies on the Internet. It's something I'm sure every business is curious to know more about. I also think it's a powerful bit of awareness for anyone who wants to know who in their network is fully engaged with them.

Of course, as powerful as influence can be, it's also a fragile and slippery seductress. Abuse the privilege, and poof, it's gonzo (just look at Tiger Woods or Bernie Madoff or the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff). Who knows, there may even be people involved in this project who exert tremendous influence in the time this plays out, yet do something that undermines their credibility when this story in the making becomes a feature on the new influentials for Fast Company's November issue. As Vonnegut said, "So it goes." Even locked in time, I'm certain the results are going to be thought provoking, surprising, and dare I say it, enlightening.

Personally I'm fascinated to see what happens as I immerse myself in the social media currents. While I have a Facebook profile (312 friends) and a Twitter account (as of this writing I've sent four tweets to my 8 followers), in many ways I feel like a print-media chimpanzee on the verge of evolving into a 21st Century digital humanoid.

I've always been an optimist and already I find myself imagining how this all works out. I'm excited to exert some influence on you and I'm especially looking forward to feeling the force of your influence on me.

Something tells me it's going to feel a little weird.

Good weird.

But weird.

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40 Comments

  • Lloyd Hanson

    It is critical to use every avenue to stop exploiting children and appreciate the effort you are leveraging to keep children protected. Thank you for the results you have achieved and driving other platforms to assist in this global effort.
    Regards,
    Lloyd

  • Ed Cohen

    Mark... this is why we wanted to use the Influence Project to call attention to Prashanth's story and the plight of the homeless and abandoned children... The orphanage where we met Prashanth was not a good place. We suspected bad things were happening and we managed to rescue him, just one boy. Almost 2 years later the founder was arrested (Sep 12) and is charged with trafficing and molesting the girls. Please, Mark, will you use the Influence Project to call attention to this atrocity? How can anyone look away?

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDAT...

    Sept. 12: The founder of an orphanage was arrested by the Vanasthalipuram police on Sunday for sexually harassing eight minor girls who lived and studied at his institution.

    M. Malyadri, 37, of Prakasam district, was the founder and secretary of Siria Orphanage Home and School located near Ganesh Temple in TV Colony here and initial investigation revealed that Malyadri had outraged the modesty of eight girls though the police suspect that there might be more victims.

    “There are 135 orphans in the hostel of whom 95 are girls. Malyadri also runs a school, Siria Orphans Residential School, where he provides education for nursery to Class IX students residing in his orphanage,” said the Vanasthalipuram inspector, Mr B. Ravinder Reddy.

    “Malyadri stayed in an office on the hostel premises. While drunk at night, he used to call students of classes VII, VIII and IX to his office room. He then touched and pinched them on their private parts. If a girl refused to go to the office he used to beat them and exploit them sexually,” added the Vanastalipuram ACP, Mr B. Srinivas Reddy.

    There are also reports that he used to force them to participate in sex and if they didn’t obey him he used to spit on their faces. “There are many allegations and we are investigating. We have sent the girls for medical examinations. As per the complaint lodged by the girls, we have registered a case under Section 354 (outrage of modesty) of IPC and have started investigation,” he said.

  • Semi Penguina

    Ummm hi! For one thing i think mimo mcadams is somewhat cheating. ok here is his website:
    http://www.clubpenguingang.com...
    see he said that if he gets in the top ten he will be giving out memberships and throw a party. That is bribing people. which is cheating. and then there is a image that says click here to get famous. i think that is cheating.

  • vicky wojtas

    This site appears to have raised quiet a buzz among the FB crowd. I'm looking forward to see how it takes off.

  • Renee Prejean-Motanky

    There seems to be a problem with the Influence Project site. I'm unable to access any of the links? They appear to be loading, but never do.

  • Roxanne Reid

    I can't seem to be able to register for the influence project on my computer.... click the link and the page doesn nothing.... WEIRD!

  • DAVID M OVERSTREET

    I tried to change my picture last night and fell asleep waiting on it to load. When I awoke this morning it was still loading so i canceled it. now i have no picture of me on this. I have tried multiple time to update it with no new results, and this seems to be the closest place I have found to ask about the problem and how to fix it.
    Can anyone help me?

  • AreYouKidding

    Fast Company: The vote should not automatically be given if you click on a link.

    Christopher Renz is on a spam campaign to fraudulently rig the results in his favor.
    I have no idea who Christopher Renz is, Although I do know he is a spammer!

    SPAM EMAIL! I clicked contained this:
    FROM: christopher@br-prmiami.com
    Subject: *****SPAM***** FC Competition

    Check it out here:
    =====short-link deleted======

    We have some interesting events upcoming...stay tuned!

    The brpr Group
    Unsubscribe / Change Profile
    Powered by YMLP

    I don't normally click on any such emails, but I was curios today.
    Then I got pissed off!

    Shame on you Christopher Renz!
    Here is his phone numbers if you want to call him at 4 am and tell him what a scum bag he is:
    (305) 397-8725
    (305) 978-8964

    I hope you get hit by a bus Christopher Renz, you lying cheating scumbag.

  • Russ Palmer

    When is this over? Seems to be growing by a minimum of 1000+ 'influencers' daily.
    Feel free to click my influence page - http://fcinf.com/v/bo32
    It is proven to cause happiness and random bouts of laugher

  • Tony Thornby

    OK the ranking is getting really silly now. Please explain how Joseph Aquilino can be rank 8 out of 13,880 when all he has is 9 1st Degree Influences and nothing else - it's nonsense!!

  • Odyssee Ndayisaba

    I have no idea how I can register and get to send out influence URL and track. Any help? Thanks so much

  • David Hagan

    I'm intrigued by the project and attempted to participate. Multiple attempts with the "Get Started" link failed. I give up!

  • David Johnson

    These comments suggests something needs to be done to make this project work.
    I wait with baited breath.

  • Tony Thornby

    I noticed that Tina Cook only has 13 1st degree influences, 8 2nd degree and 3 3rd degree. Using your measurement system she should not be ranked as well as 50 with these figures.