Both NMA and .NET magazine run features where they ask people in the advertising and web industries what their top 5 websites are. With the internet being a sprawling mass of oddities and curiosities, I still love a good personal recommendation for somewhere good to visit.
This took me to newshelton.com/wet/dry, which complies assorted thought pieces from across the web. I found something on post-structuralism, a medical study into itching and eventually this piece by Jamie Monberg.
Every now and again you come across something that shifts your perspective in a certain way. Reading it, you think you’ve uncovered a gem of knowledge you never knew existed; minutes later you wonder how you could have ever managed without this.
To save you the effort of wading through it, and so I might actually remember it, here’s that nugget:
What you say about yourself no longer affects your future; it’s what your supporters and detractors say that will really help.
In an age of PR and 24 hour media coverage this is obvious. But for me it was this realisation that changed everything for that fraction of a second.
“Today, any brand has a potential army of credible, unpaid spokespeople that are willing to work on its behalf. And this army is the exact same group of people who are willing to work against it.”
It’s like looking how small the earth is compared with neighboring planets or even the solar system: you realise how small you are in the scheme of things. Individuals can of course make a difference, but the more people that are involved the more can happen. You’ll never succeed by trying to go it alone, so getting other people involved is what counts.
This matters for everything and everyone, whether it’s at a personal, group, corporate or national level. Since everyone is more connected than ever before, creating “fans” is more important than ever before. The gist of the article was that creating positive experiences (having a good time with friends, a political party that makes people feel they can change things, or a country that’s enjoyable and pleasant to visit) makes all the difference.
Instead of worrying about having the right kind of audience or the size of it, worry about the experience you’re creating. Influence (of any kind) is about enthusing people, and it’s much easier to enthuse other people if you’re passionate about it yourself.