Money has historically been the most commonly understood (and
easily measurable) metric of power. In recent decades knowledge has also become an accepted
benchmark of influence. In our open, modern society, reputation may be one of the single biggest sources of power a person can have.
of measuring power via wallet or intellect, how do we measure
influence? The evolving social web provides some substitute
metrics for personal income and the master's degree. Influential sites like Stuff White People Like or Shit My Dad Says
that began as low-maintenance blogs or Twitter feeds are testaments to
the potential for power and influence in the high-velocity social space. At Fast
Company, Austin Carr and social media guru Dan Zarrella have looked to Twitter as a way to measure celebrity influence.
studying click-through rates--the amount of clicks a tweeted link
receives--Zarrella was able to graph celebs' influence on their
followers (see chart below). Some of the names are not so surprising (Ashton Kutcher), but others, including British actor Stephen Fry and poet laureate "Weird Al" Yankovic, may come as more of a shock.