On Influencers, Armani and Burma

Maybe you only think you’re an influencer, blogger Bob.

At Yahoo’s Passionista summit, held at the Time Life building in New York last
Wednesday, Ed Keller took the stage to tell the crowd that the secret
to good marketing is getting to a group he and many others call the

In fact, Keller is the author of a book called The Influentials and he’s CEO of a firm, The Keller Group, that helps companies
embrace his marketing strategy.

The basic idea is that people buy products because someone they
trust, an influencer, told them too. Companies should therefore spend
their money marketing to that trusted person and others like him.

These influencers, according to Keller and others, are people who
lead an active life online and off. They attend community events.
They are media mavens and early adopters of technology. They are the
secret to commercial success.

Not so fast, Duncan Watts, a Principle Research Scientist at Yahoo told the crowd. Watts said that while the theory of influencers makes intuitive sense, it’s not necessarily an accurate description of how
people decide what products to buy.

He said that spreading a product’s word-of-mouth credibility has more to do with those hearing about it than those telling about it.
The secret to marketing in his mind might be pitching products at the
“easily influenced” rather than at the big mouths who seem to be
starting all the latest trends.

Armani goes after Second Life influencers anyway

Georgio Armani doesn’t know Duncan Watts or his science. Why else would the clothing designer tarnish his brand by making it available to avatars in the virtual world Second Life, as reported in
the Sydney Morning Herald.

Hmmm…does he know about the sex toys?

“Finally, I can really be in two places at once,” Armani said in a

Burma Cuts The Web

Back in the real world, demonstrations and protests in Burma have
reached their second day of violence and the Burmese government is
sick of the world knowing about it. So the generals who run Burma’s
government today cut public access to the Internet.

The Sidney Morning Herald reports that Internet cafes were shuttered
and the main internet service provider did not answer its telephones
to explain why there was no access.

The Burmese are rioting over fuel prices. The New York Times
reports that soliders began firing automatic
weapons at protesters yesterday. The number of deaths is as of yet unknown.

Nicholas Carlson is a Senior Editor for InternetNews.com.

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