Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hot Topic: Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers in 2013

Who decides what influence is? Judging by the buzz on the interwebs, not Haydn Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy recently published a blog post on the Forbes website entitled “WhoAre The Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 2013?” sending tweeps and bloggers alike into a frenzy of disagreement.

JureKlepic over at the Huffington Post takes issue with Shaughnessy’s methodology – measuring influence solely on Twitter, he points out, ignores “the metrics of comments on their blogs, content quality and other social networks” - and the PeekAnalytics tool in general, arguing that it doesn’t measure influence at all. He offers a compelling counter-argument by pointing out the many people who were not included on the list, and I recommend you check his list out. Many of my personal favourites are there.

Mark Schaefer’s critique of the list was also oft-tweeted, and he, too, provides an alternate list of influential people in social media that the original list did not include, saying I have no idea how many Twitter followers these people have. But they have all accomplished something.”

Some, like ErikDeckers at probloggingservice took a softer approach, and of course the original Forbes post was tweeted many a time.

The debate over the validity of the Forbes list, I think, shows us two things: one, if you're regarded as an authoritative source, you'd better make sure you're publishing quality content based on sound analysis, and two, measurement of social media influence is not yet an established metric. 

So what do you think? How would you measure social media influence? And who are your go-to tweeps, blogs, Facebookers, and Google+ pages?