Tuesday, July 26, 2011

With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility

I haven't been blogging much lately because I'm been channelling much of my creative input full steam ahead into a book project (nearing the "finalize and sign the contract" time) which I'll likely announce relatively soon here on this blog.

But sometimes I come across a single line that makes me think and sends me back to bloggy land where I try to work out the thoughts that bounce around inside my head. (Seems I won't be able to get back to the project at hand until I spend a bit of time tossing and mixing the ideas formulating there)

In this morning's RSS stream, I was reading Chris Brogan's blog and had to chuckle at a line he wrote:

"Worrying about whether or not you’re an influencer by someone else’s measures is like having a toy steering wheel and thinking you’re driving the car." - Chris Brogan

Brogan, author of books such as Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust (co-written with Julien Smith) and Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online, has been an influence on the way that I think about and look at digital culture and social media for several years now -- particularly since I first heard him in discussion with a group of amazing techno culture nerds like Mitch Joel and Hugh McGuire on the Media Hacks podcast (which is built directly into Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation podcast feed)

I've had the pleasure of meeting both Mitch and Hugh (even the priviledge of getting to share the stage with Hugh at the 2010 BookNet Canada Tech Forum for a talk called Trailblazing: Leading the Way to a New Kind of Supply Chain), but I haven't yet met Chris. There's no doubt, though, that I pay attention to the many great insights and valuable bits of information that he regularly shares and puts out there for free.

One of the thing I like about Brogan's blog post, and which appears consistently in his messaging, is the importance of using whatever influence a person has for good. Brogan demonstrates that repeatedly through his own social media interactions, regularly pointing out and sharing things he believes will add value to those who follow him, rather than visciously "selling" something of his own.

To me, Brogan is like the Spider-Man of social media, who does his thing to make the social media world a better place while constantly reminding himself that with great influence comes great responsibility. (With apologies to Stan Lee for adapting Peter Parker's penultimate catch-phrase into this new format)

There, all that meandering babble just so I could work out the fact that I think Chris Brogan is an inspirational super-hero type figure and that Stan Lee has likely been a subtle yet significant influencer on me for most of my life.

Okay, I can get back to my book project now that I've got that out on the table.


Monique Muro said...

Awesome, I'm a major Chris Brogan fan myself, and aspiring writer. Keep us updated on Twitter...I'd love to hear about your upcoming book! Congrats on finalizing everything, what an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Brogan practically begs for affirmation of his "exalted" status daily. And sulks when someone challenges his influence.

Mark Leslie said...

Thanks, Monique! I'll certainly share the latest book relatively soon!

That's not my impression of Brogan at all, Anonymous. He strikes me as someone who recognizes and respects that everybody has their own unique perspectives.