Advertise to the Influencers

Google has applied for a patent for a method that seeks to identify who the “influencers” in a social network are (see related blog post here). This is interesting- the idea of identifying structure and influence in graphs has been around for quite some time, but now there is a money-making application: serve targetted adds to the influencers. Will this affect how innovations are diffused throughout society? This also seems to reinforce a related post (assuming your influence is proportional to how much people trust you): “trust is not evenly distributed.”

2 Responses to “Advertise to the Influencers”

  1. mike says:

    Once your friends have realised you’re being paid to influence them, will they still trust your opinion?

  2. On top of that, what if the whole idea is ill-thought out. what if influencers turn out to be accidental influencers?
    http://mobblog.cs.ucl.ac.uk/2008/02/04/how-word-of-mouth-works/