≡ Menu

Influence: Off-line vs. On-line

The more you yap...

This is simple. Influence off-line is gained by listening a lot and saying very little. Influence on-line is gained by listening very little and saying a lot.

One of these types of influence is not worth much.

Which type would you rather have?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ted Pavlic 26 October 2011, 9:54 am

    I think people view the question as, “Which path to influence is more accessible?” 
    Blogging provides a cheap way to get quick influence (“Klout”, borrowing from the site that shares the name). The catch is that the influence is typically fleeting — partly because it is hollow (as your diagram implies).

    There’s a Pakistani proverb that compares the sound from two wooden bowls — one hollow and one full. Of course, the hollow one reverberates the loudest.

    • PurpleCar 26 October 2011, 10:08 am


      The point is, social media gurus will tell you these lines are not like they are presented here. They will tell you that influence works the same way online as it does off. Hollow bowls, indeed.

  • Mark Dykeman 26 October 2011, 10:17 am

    For the purpose of discussion:

    ” Influence off-line is gained by listening a lot and saying very little. ”

    How so?  

    Also, where is the impact of actually doing things in all of this?

    • PurpleCar 26 October 2011, 1:17 pm

      Let’s picture the office gossip/chatterbox. Her opinions are dealt out often; they are “a dime a dozen.” Her judgment is not thought of as valuable.
      Let’s picture, in contrast, the executive secretary: She is observant and quietly powerful. She is also someone the boss trusts. Her opinions are not “a dime a dozen” simply because she shares them rarely and only when she is asked.

      The office gossip gets a lot of attention and is sought out for salacious information. The executive secretary is more isolated but treated as an advisor at work.
      If you look at advice/opinions as a commodity, then handing them out freely isn’t necessarily the smart way to preserve one’s wealth. But spending resources on something that matters (and doing it at the right time) advances one’s status and in turn gives them more opportunity to gain commodities (e. g. a college education).