Dec 13, 2009

Influence Ripples


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» Influence Ripples from Futurelab's Blog
by: David Armano An update of the levels of influence graph.... [Read More]
» Influence Ripples from WebMetricsGuru
Look at this diagram and the commentary that goes with it about Influence Ripples. I'm not sure where David Armano, the creative director at Digitas, got the diagram from (or if he created it himself). I suppose that the number... [Read More]
» Influence Ripples from WebMetricsGuru
Look at this diagram and the commentary that goes with it about Influence Ripples. I'm not sure where David Armano, the creative director at Digitas, got the diagram from (or if he created it himself). I suppose that the number... [Read More]
» Skimming the Ripples from Servant of Chaos
Skimming Stones Originally uploaded by stuandgravy. There has been a lot of action over at David Armano's Logic Emotion blog over the last couple of days. It started, for me at least, with this post on the need to [Read More]
» Blogsourcing from Futurelab's Blog
by: David Armano Irecently Googled the word Blogsourcing to see what would come up. I found this: The practice of news gatherers outsourcing to blogs the quotes they would usually get from interviews with qualified sour... [Read More]
» Influence Ripples + Social Media Fragmentation from Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog
by: David Armano(click on image to enlarge)By now most of us wouldnt argue that the media landscape has been fragmented. In the old days if you wanted to communicate somethingyou had a few choices. A marketing campaign fueled mo... [Read More]


Ed Lee said...
just a small thing - would you think that a level four ripple could go between a level two and level one on the diagram?
just a thought...
David Armano said...
Yes. That would make sense. I actually experienced that myself months ago when I got on the radar of more influential bloggers.
I'm going to update the visual.
Toby said...
Dave you have to be one of the most creative guys around! One aspect to keep in mind - the "ripples" do not remain static within their sphere of influence.
Imagine what happens when different size pebbles drop into a pond. Then think of posts, trackbacks, comments, blog rolls, mentions, etc. as virtual pebbles of various sizes (relevancy determined by the reader). That means the influence sphere is constantly changing.
Perhaps you can add a little Flash to your presentation ;-) Would be cool.
DA said...
I like that idea a lot! I may have to speak to it though. Don't know if I have the time to animate, but I get the notion of this being very fluid with things moving, expanding and contracting like droplets. It captures the "liquidity" of the Social Network.
Ed Lee said...
i think one could also argue that there's room for influence outside the ripple of a level one blogger - for instance, i don't read boing boing, engadget, gizmodo or the huffington post so the only way i'd hear about something they wrote about would be via another blogger.
Karl said...
First time commenting here, I've been a reader for some time.
It's great you are tackling the thorny issue (why is it, I don't know) of influence in the blogosphere.
I was wondering if you ever read this Clay Shirky piece from back in 2003?
DA said...
Thanks for the link! I'm going to pull some bits from it for the next post.
Good point about this being a thorny issue. Though I don't know why as well. I feel like I stepped into a hornets nest. I'm trying to get my head wrapped around this, so I can present it in a way for people who don't follow any of this to grasp.
mindblob said...
I definitely agree to the "Ripples" visualization (vs. linear/pyramid). I think it helps have a clear overview of "blogging effect". Agree with Toby, would be great to add 1 more dimension.
I'm still missing something though... don't see it as a pebble dropped in the water.
This for two reasons :
- Pebbles once dropped don't move anymore and so after a while, water + gravity will tend to come back to calm (fluid dynamics). Does a blog (or post) fade through time to finally disappear completely?
- Pebbles don't grow. Several things would influence the size of the ripples : obviously... weight and height of the fall, probably its shape also, etc. So, because of the nature of the pebble, the ripple is set from the beginning to a certain size and time of existence.
Toby said also, and I agree with that, "ripples do not remain static".
Now, what if the pebbles could generate a pulse (post, trackbacks, comments, blog rolls, mentions) of various "intensity" (read "relevancy"). I see the pulse as the "human touch within the pebble". This is the reason why I think we might need another dimension : 4th dimension: time. Influence ripples are continuously changing, and so are the sizes of the pebbles, and so are the ripples.
Check these links, it's a metaphor of course, but I thought of it right away when I saw your visual with the influence ripples. The sphere (blog) has a pulse from the inside, various sizes, various intensities and frequencies... making ripples, or making waves.
PS : Video is in French, I can translate if you want, but film is clear enough to make the link I think. ;)
Nick Rice said...
David, you've really hit it this time. I like the ripples. Even though they naturally fade away, I think the same is true with lower level influencers. If Seth Godin stopped blogging/speaking today, his content will ripple much longer than mine. And we both will fade appropriately.
Keep up the great work. It's awesome to see a creative director that's wrapping his head around new media and understanding audiences as well.
Mack Collier said...
David I like the ripple idea better. And this goes to the heart of why I was saying that a link from you would ultimately benefit me more than a link from Doc. Whereas Doc might have a bigger initial ripple, your link would cause a smaller ripple, but it would be among several closely-linked communities, and the final resulting ripple would be larger than one from Doc.
If that makes sense.
The one problem I have with these types of models is that they assume the b-sphere is a closed system. Given that links to MSM outnumber links to other blogs, the 'underground b-sphere,' and all the other communication effects in bloggers' lives (in-person meetings at conferences, let alone with 'outsiders'), it's a model - but one that should recognize a lot of other overlapping ponds. {worm holes might be another analogy).
DA said...
Nick, thanks—I can only try.
Mack, glad this is working better for you. I'm not happy if you're not happy. :)
Craig, yes the Social network is a newtork within an broader network (the internet). I like your pond analogy. You may also be interested in this:
Thanks everyone for the comments and conversation helping to shape this visualization. It's a nice evolution from the original pyramid.

Gavin Heaton said...
David, good to see this generating such good discussion! I was thinking that the conversations or ideas that are discussed are like stones that are skimmed across the top of the water, rather than dropped in. You never know where, or how far away, the ideas will hit and cause a ripple.
Those unique and powerful ideas are the ones that will not just cause a ripple, but will also hop and skip across the pond. And as with all things, zeitgeist will see the gems rise to the surface over and over again ... starting the discussion all over again.
DA said...
Like the idea of the stone skipping across water. But don't expect to see a visual any time soon. If I don't get some sleep, I'm not going to be skipping across water, I'll be drowning in it. :)
karl long said...
Great conversation David, I especially liked the comments on , the higher up the influence 'chain' the more those folks are getting pitched. I wish there was some way to show how often ripples that start at the outer levels influence the higher influence blogs.
One conceptual problem I have with the ripple concept is ripples disappear, where as the ripples in the blogosphere form permanent records of memes and ideas.
BobG said...
Exciting thread, David. And Ed's comment resonates beyond just a thought. This is going beyond the original "levels concept". Think of what happens to level 4 - me and a cast of 1000's - when it gets hit by ripples from separate and distinct levels 1,2, and 3 influencers. Now we got the real web going - is this Web 2.0?
Eric Kintz said...
Welcome back! Love the visual as usual - I may even steal it for a post I am writing on viral networks (with the appropriate credits of course).