The social media world has been abuzz with very honest (well, social media tends to be honest anyway) feedback on the (in my opinion) ill-conceived Fast Company “Influencer Project”. You can read more about it here, and probably the best written, and with the most traction (influence in my book) post about it here. I’ve been seeing bits and pieces flying about on Twitter and in blogs over the past 2 days, and the response has been severely skewed towards negative. My professional colleagues Esteban Kolsky and Mitch Lieberman also weighed in on their viewpoints. With so much opinionated stuff circulating around the social web, I just couldn’t resist measuring sentiment around the topic. Measuring across blogs, microblogs, videos, discussion forums and online news.
At closer examination, I discovered that the vast majority of the positive and neutral mentions come from Tweets sharing blogposts written on the subject and further expounding on ideas put forth. Because oftentimes a tweet says “Great post by @xyz – really captures what I think about the issue [link]“, the tweet itself is indexed as positive or neutral, even though it’s used to share a negatively-themed post. This was extremely true in this case, because a lot of people agreed with the blogposts that were written. Let’s see what happens if we take out Twitter as a source:
The picture changes quite a bit, with most posts negative. Scanning through the positive and neutral posts, I saw people blogging about the project in a positive context, usually asking for votes. The mixed mentions typically were skeptical of the project, but said something good about the project’s ability to measure reach, or Fast Company in general, such as its apparent facility with social media monitoring and engagement (comments by editor Bob Safian peppered through the blogosphere).