Being “Good Stewards” in Our Networks

This post – Klout, Kred and the Ugly Truth About Social Influence Measurement – from Jennifer Leggio, a long-time social media blogger and raconteur – got me thinking – or rather rethinking my thoughts – about the Networks, Virtual and F2F, the Wisdom of the Crowd, the people and institutions that you follow and share with, etc..

And how incredibly important it is.

But it’s all about quality of the networks – and only a little bit about quantity – when it comes to influence. And your position in it.

100 Tweets of interesting but not practical value and therefore never used – cannot be compared to be close in value to 1 Tweet of significant practical value.

But the larger the downsteam network – the better chance it has.

But that’s only if it has value downstream somewhere. It may not. It may be worthless drivel – it is in the eye of the beholder – and perhaps some is  interesting/amusing. Perhaps there are otherwise worthless posts that made you smile – brought up a particular memory of something pleasant that it wouldn’t likely do for others. Turned your day around. So it’s a contribution. And it may have come from one of your 27 connections in your limited network.

Law of Unintended Consequences Applied to Personal Networks

Some Influence can lead to changes that reduce the Performance – it’s the old Law of Unintended Consequences.

It’s the same as asking and answering: What Possibly Could Go Wrong?

And then assessing the Likelihood for only those Risks that have enough significance to extend the Risk Assessment Assessments efforts – at some point it might be inconsequential low-hang-fruit. Easy to go after – but not the best fruit available.

Some insight/advice/links to something else can lead you into a ditch. Otherwise known as Bad Advice or Erroneous Information – your Network could be leading you astray. Into fads and fallacies.

Do you ever measure your network against The Evidence when you come across something that is different than what you were told or read – from your Network  – say around the issues around Learning Styles or MBTI – and a long list of other Snake Oil?

How often – if ever – has your Network led you down the wrong Path?

Do you correct your Network – or do you accept poor quality when it comes to information?

There is a place to value the contributions of Those Who Influence.

In the corrections of falsehoods. There is too much Foo Foo.

Ripples Can Become Waves and Create Sea Changes on Distant Shores

I recall a conversation with the late Geary Rummler about attributions – which I covered in an old Newsletter here – about the influence he’s had. The conversation started when I acknowledged that I had done a lousy job over the years appreciating just where or from whom I learned things. I just sponged it up and used it – adopting what I could (the lazy man’s way) and adapting the rest.

I was asking him about how he would like attributions to his work for extensions by others. He guided me and that is how I did attributions in my 1999 book: lean-ISD – for which he designed the cover and gave me a great testimonial about not just the book – but also about the methodology it represented.

He was well aware that he could read something that had come from him – but that the writer may have gotten it themselves without the appropriate attributions – and it was too darn difficult (in 1999) to search and find original references to thoughts, concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques. He got that. Many times those errors are forgivable. But sometimes not.

He was a Good Steward.

The Value of Your Influence 

The Value of Your Influence in the Network is not Measured by your activity – but by the worth of the activity Downstream.

Influence is very much a Network Function:

Are you a Connecting Node or a Terminal Node?

What is the Value of What You Put Out versus What You Take In? 

I like to think I am a Connecting Node – that takes in a lot and puts out a lot as well. I like to think I provide a Quality Assurance filter to what I pass forward. I look for others who do so as well: those that are Evidence-based – and follow the findings and implications of The Research.

Being “Good Stewards” in our Networks requires that I think.

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