I’m still on an influence kick.
Maybe it was Angela Connor’s comment on a recent post that motivated me or the kick of inspiration from connecting further with Erika Bitzer this past weekend. Regardless, it’s all for good reason as social influence sits at the core of activating change online.
It’s all got me thinking further about how “influencer” can seem like a pretty intimidating term. We often envision influencers only as “big guns” on the social Web that can drive change through tweets, blog posts, etc. But let’s drill down for a second and look at what “influence” means according to dictionary.com:
The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
The action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.
I have some earth-shattering (joke) news to share. That little definition above describes YOU. It describes me, it describes ALL of us.
Now, are there degrees of influence? Of course, but the big takeaway is this:
We ALL have the ability to influence change.
Apathy is the curse of Americans but most of us are indeed passionate about something. There is some issue out there that churns our hearts and makes us want to take some type of action to help make a difference. Call it the “Obama Effect” if you’d like but I’m a firm believer that small steps taken by many is a tried and true path to building community and impacting change.
Therein lies the beauty and power using the social Web to make a difference. Stop assuming you must have 50,000 Twitter followers or 5,000 blog subscribers to move the ticker on an issue in any one direction. Your network is your network. No one knows your friends better than you and no one is going to have a greater impact on getting your friends to take action than you will.
So do SOMETHING.
Here’s your homework: Find an issue out there that your passionate about and take a minute today to do SOMETHING. I don’t care if it’s a retweet of organization X’s call to action or a status update encouraging your friends to do Y and Z but do SOMETHING. Support a local nonprofit, encourage civic engagement and remind people to register to vote, ask friends to donate $1 to your favorite cause – whatever it may be, do SOMETHING.
This week, I happened upon this article from Do Something CEO Nancy Lublin downplaying the rise of “slactivism.” I couldn’t side more with Nancy. Those of us without hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers may not be moving mountains by publishing a single 140-character tweet, but we are contributing to the pie. In my book, progress is better than no progress.
If you need a little inspiration, remember that it didn’t take rocket science to create an overnight flurry of attention and support around breast cancer. April also happens to be National Donate Life Month. Old client work and all, I’m a huge supporter of organ/tissue donation and find it to be one of the easiest ways for others to give back and help save lives.
So, I’ll start. If you haven’t already, please go register to be an organ/tissue donor. If you’re already a donor, please fire off a tweet or post a status update on Facebook linking to the site above. Heck, here’s even a few fun videos and a site you can use to help put a fun twist around the issue to your network.
Drop a comment and let me know what you did. I don’t care how small the online action, but let’s all do something.