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The dimensions of influence
The dimensions of influence
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The dimensions of influence


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  • 1. The Dimensions ofInfluenceI like using analogies because when material is hard to relate to, a well craftedanalogy can bridge the gap between two knowledge sets.If I were to ask you to rate how influential Bill Clinton was, you’d likely say; Bill“He’s very influential”. The problem with that is simply this, you’ve already madeseveral assumptions in your conclusion that you may or may not realize. Forinstance, I highly doubt that President Clinton is of any influence to the Swahili influenceTribe’s of the African Serengeti. Why? Nothing he says impacts them at all! Otherthan a personal interest in the going’s on of a well known US politician, I highlydoubt anything he says or does can possibly influence their daily lives However, lives.what if you were a gubernatorial candidate for Arkansas? Well, he would be highlyinfluential.This is the problem in essence, because the very nature of communication doesn’tallow us to accurately define influence in a way that transcends perception and perceptionlocality. That is why I propose we start evaluating influence via a framework ofmeasurement, that places the influencer categorically where they are heard the bestby listeners.ObjectiveSubjectivity?
  • 2. For instance, in music, a lot goes on in order to get a song mixed correctly. Manywho teach about how to mix properly have used tools and experience to try toconvey the process. One of the major challenges is our inability to divorce thesubjectivity of our own perception. For instance, in the Bohemian Rhapsody, therewe over 100 vocal overdubs, to tape no less, to get what sounds like one singerwith some backup harmonies. These takes can’t all be played at the same volume,otherwise the dynamics of the song just become mud. Accordingly the problembecomes translating or rather teaching a method of understanding the best way tomix to others. The very best tool I’ve come across in In music is to visualize themix in a 3-dimensional room. Where pitch is the perceived tonal characteristic aseither high or low on the vertical axis; panning, which is the perceived placementof the sound is left to right and volume is how loud something is, perceived asfront to back. The louder it is, the closer it seems to you.Using TheAnalogyHow do you think the 3 dimensions could be best ported to measuring influence?Certainly volume is easy. The louder, or more present your message of influenceis, the more out-front you’ll appear. Does volume translate to influence though?And what of the other dynamics of influence? In keeping with the music analogy,higher pitched sounds do not need to be as loud to be heard as well as lowerpitched sounds. Then it follows that those who have the most piercing message,who are also the loudest, will be heard the best. I believe panning can simplydefine ideological root positions. It would be really interesting to gather somefeedback from you guys on if you think this analogy can be developed further.Posted in: Influencer Formula