Monday, October 5, 2009

IZEA fest - The Influencer

I just have to write another post about IZEA fest. This sketch is of a panel discussion with Sarah Austin and Julia Roy. Sarah who has just moved to LA is an online life caster who interviews tech-oriented developers and Julia hosts a Twitter news show called Tweet Week on YouTube.
However what I want to share is the inspiring comments from Aaron Brazell, founder of technosailor, the keynote speaker at the event. Aaron offered his insights in short concise tweet like bursts. His primary point was that bloggers have the ability and responsibility to help change a community and affect people in a positive way. He particularly wanted to point out that this influence is much different than celebrity. He said some bloggers have a Rock-star mentality that attracts attention for a short span but a true influencer gets attention for the long term.
Someone who is an influencer is hungry all the time they always want to learn more. He told a short story about a hermit in ancient Greece who had a thirst for knowledge. He was socially awkward but studied constantly. He ended up teaching at the Great Library of Alexandria and went on to invent Geometry which is the cornerstone for most every modern advancement. His name was Euclid. The point being that hungry people change the world. Whatever your area of expertise, dive in and dig deep to find its inner workings. Always stay hungry.
He said that an influencer should offer information in an environment that makes people want to come back every day to find out more. They should always be consistent they should offer thoughtful responses not knee jerk reactions. Their is no point to divisive arguments. To many people today are always ready to pick a fight. They should instead offer quality insights.
An influencer needs and should seek out allies. They should find people who are supportive of the same cause and issues.
An influencer needs to do what they say and say what they do. People need to trust what is said. The primary function of a blog is to interact, make friends and influence people. They should create something for the community bringing others into the spotlight. The point being to build others up and inspire them to bring out their best qualities.
An influencer is often unsung. They believe in what they are doing, they love doing it and they just do it. Often they doesn't even know they are influencing others.
Liz Strauss gave a talk that was just as inspiring. She said that with all the digital discussions going on, that we are more connected than ever and yet all so alone. She said that when you feel alone you should reach out and help someone else. She also pointed out that a blogger should encourage the followers of a blog to comment. A blog should not be a one way conversation. The early followers of a blog are very much a part its growth and development. They are part of the barn raising of the blog.
My head is spinning from from all the insights and inspiration offered. I seem to be experiencing what Liz called the euphoric enthusiasm of the beginner. She said that phase in a bloggers development usually fades after 5 or 6 months. I am at 10 months now and the enthusiasm just seems to keep growing. She claims that every blogger then experiences a period of disillusionment. I hope to coast past that road block with hard work but now I am braced for the inevitable fall. I hope she is wrong.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Monika said...

I follow your blog for a long time and must tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

Thor said...

Thanks Monika.