Imagine I’m a prolific tweeter on the subject of sports fitness software. I regularly tweet about specific relevant vendors. Now I find myself listed on a few of these ‘platforms’ and many tens of PR agencies get to know I exist and am relevant to their interest topic. I start to get inundated with media releases, email offers, new product invitations, meeting enquiries and the like. I no longer fulfill the same role I previously did. I either ignore my new-found popularity with agencies and try to continue my traditional role, or I give in, commercialize myself, attend all the PR junkets and deliberately become a regularized marketing channel. Perhaps even a pay-for-play blogger & tweeter.
If I choose to commercialize myself, as I know many have and will, their role in the industry sector, the role that got them listed on the platform’s database to start with, will change dramatically, sometimes making them more important to the marketplace and sometimes less.
If they choose to stay as they were, they’ll have preferred life before all the agencies bombarded them. It’s inevitable, as it is when any of us are added to a new commercial database, that we soon tire of all the new calls and incoming emails and wish we could be removed. I wonder if the platform providers are already being asked by some on their database to be de-listed.
As happened with Klout, the platforms will be appreciated by those individuals who chase and thrive on their new-found fame and notoriety. It provides added oxygen for the fame-seekers and will encourage those people to become even more prolific. Less selective but more prolific. And in doing so they’ll move further and further away from any form of real influence.