Nobody vs. Somebody
In his new book Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki
makes the assertion that Nobody is the new Somebody. Not too long ago the internet was a playground ruled by somebodies, some argue that it still is. The internet’s power structure has shifted against the Sombodies of the web – influence peddlers like the New York Times, Forbes, CNN. In its place, the collective Nobody has risen to assume a greater voice online. These paramount content providers allow less contingency for nobodies to spread information and promote outside interests. The somebodies deem information ‘news worthy’ then utilize their social status to spread the information quickly.
The nobodies have created a community of user generated content. People who want to tweet about where the KimChi food truck is, post memes about cats, blog about street art and things of that manner.
What we’re really talking about here is influence. These nobodies are gaining klout
. Influence is sometimes misunderstood by marketers as a person or brand who has a high number of followers on Twitter, RSS feed subscribers and Facebook page likes, but influence comes from brand experience and trust. Having one hundred strangers re-tweet a brand name or an article they’ll never read doesn’t create the same kind of influence or produce tangible outcomes.
The nobodies have community leaders who have a greater chance of creating an impact on individuals because the content is relevant. Take the example of a new mom, she might be more likely to trust content on a ‘mommy blog’ rather than the Pampers website because she knows she can trust information created by someone who is like her. Marketers can gain a lot more than influence by courting the small groups where trust is implicit.
Essentially the nobodies are acting like the old somebodies but on a smaller scale. If mainstream media finds a way to compete with user-generated content that creates tangibility could they could transform the power of the nobodies?
We know that the nobodies can create buzz, communities and promote, but we also know that nobodies are unpredictable.