The End of The Influence Project. Long Live Influence!

The Influence Project concludes this Sunday August 15 at midnight EST. The surge of interest continues and there’s that last minute at an eBay auction feeling pulsing through this network of networks that is the modern Internet.
We couldn’t be more impressed with the response: Over 30,000 people signed up and more than 1.2 million people have visited the site. Fast Company thanks everyone who has engaged in this experiment—fans and critics alike. Next week will be dark on the Influence blog, but it will start again the following week and go through the publication of the November issue where we reveal the results of the project, showcase the collage of participants, and present our findings on the current state of influence online. Stay tuned.

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  • Kevin Mullett

    Interesting project. Although I scored surprisingly well considering that I didn't participate in the spreading of my url. I am not sure what metrics were used exactly. I also noticed that despite several efforts to add my picture in via 5 different the browsers. The system would not accept a picture on initial account creation or any attempt thereafter.

  • Alexander Chalkidis

    I am just annoyed that i didn't hear about this project earlier and only managed two weeks' worth of influencing! Will make sure that I stay better tuned to what you are up to from now on, the influence issue is a major factor for modern marketing and this type of project is a unique opportunity to map it out in ways that neither Analytics nor Insights can.

  • Sheri Adams

    I too was asked by a certain site that has been great for me as a leader to others and for myself personally to come and vote for them, not being notified of an end date. I really don't understand what this website is for. Can anybody explain this to me in clear and plain English? Thanks.


  • Brendan Lee

    Really interesting how much reaction and conversation you all received from everyone in te interwebz.

    A few things I noticed about the whole thing that I wanted to share here:

    The application and sharing mechanic is, in itself, a stripped down social network, where you are only given an avatar and a link to share. Depending on what features/fields you add to this base interaction, you have yourself a Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Digg, etc. Likewise, when you strip away all of the details of these big brand social sites, it becomes about thinking in terms of "resource management" and "resource acquisition".. I also feel like exposing this is what pissed some people off about this project.

    The amount of social stratification that was alluded to in the discussions to describe peoples "status" as A-List, B-List Social Media ... participants? practitioners? and hence "more equal than others". I think it is maybe difficult for people to quantify these kinds of connections, and as Guy Kawasaki pointed out, the more of a "broadcaster" ( as opposed to "node" ) role people have, the more fragile their network can be. It also raises the point of what is the value of "follower" ? Is the term "follower" pejorative? I am skeptical of brushing those questions aside, because there is so much that goes on chemically and emotionally for people to participate in these online social networks, to not try and describe it in the most objective of terms is irresponsible.

    The last point is that I found it very difficult to discern between personal brand and personal opinion. People speaking for or against were engaged in a public dialogue, pontificating the values and meaning of very abstract terms like "influencer", all the while leveraging the hype for their own personal brand and the S.E.O. of the participation in the conversation ( I am not throwing around buzz words, participating in the conversation would bump you in google searches ). It made me consider how dangerous it can be for people to assume that "openness" == "honesty".

    Some questions I still have:

    If you all used a different, less loaded term, other than "Influencer", would the reaction have been different?

    If you made the application more vertically focused, for example "people who are red car owners" or "people who love the song Tiny Dancer the MOST" would the interaction have been the different?

    Did any of the nay-sayers offer a solution on how you might augment the interaction to fulfill whatever qualities they felt should be included in the interaction to begin with?

    If you pointed everyones energy toward something collaborative as opposed to competitive, how would have people interacted? ( like a stripped-down crowd sourcing experiment )

    At a certain level, this application represents underpinnings and trappings of most of the internet tools we use everyday. As an informed, critical thinker you should be aware of the structure and dynamics so as to better understand where we are going with all of this.

  • Dan

    Even though new accounts aren't allowed to be created, should the existing people still be sending others to their influence URL, or has the competition ended?

    The reason I ask is because when someone clicks my influence link it still says something along the lines of "Thanks, Dan has been credited" or something like that, i.e. it's still saying that the influence counted.

    So, is the whole competition closed or is it simply no new accounts allowed? If the competition is closed that message should stop being shown.

  • Danny Garcia

    I was influenced by someone else to go there and then influenced others, my problem was that I wasn't made aware of the "expiration date" How can you measure influence without providing everybody with an equal opportunity

  • Tony Thornby

    Yes screen loading was a problem throughout the project. But the biggest problem was that the ranking formulae clearly wasn't implemented.

    EXAMPLE: In the top 100 listed now the project is closed, is a guy called Jamie Brown - he has zero influences. What an insult to the efforts of so many who aren't listed in the top 100.

  • Gene L

    I don't think that zero influences is an insult. The guy probably has thousand of followers ready to click for him. That's it. The task was not to influence people enter the contest.

  • Elizabeth Stocks

    Could there be a better way of accessing the site next time. The site seems to be loading everyones' picture before allowing access. Even places with bandwidth the network struggled to load the page.