"- but is there a place for circles in this sphere? Using a worn analogy - like ripples from a pebble dropped in the stream."
"The ripple concept is a great one ... especially when you start to see
these as a number of conversations happening simultaneously. As the
waves overlap and hit each other, we get extra flavour added to the
story, we open paths to new audiences and also allow the sphere of
influence to expand or contract according to its relevance to the
audience. -- like rain drops hitting the surface of a lake."
From Caffiene Marketing
"This ripple concept is amazing and brings back thoughts I had about the sphere of influence in the blogging community. About a month I was discussing how best selling author Seth Godin of such books as “Purple Cow” and “Free Prize Inside” can post a thought in his blog and have thousands of other bloggers responding and paraphrasing his work. His “sphere of incluence” puts him at the top of the charts when it comes to the online world of bloggers.
Surely being a best selling author automatically puts his ’sphere of influence’ towards the top. But how can a common blogger just starting without amazing credentials reach a higher sphere of influence? Producing high quality content and resourceful tools is a start. Unique content or tools can have a ripple effect. One person might find your tool useful and tell another person and so on.
The link-back popularity of your tool or article will directly have an effect on your search engine rankings as well. Those bloggers with pre-exposure, such as acclaimed authors and heads of corporate agencies will often automatically get a large scale of exposure. The key to achieving a greater sphere of influence over the blogging community and therefore your blog’s traffic is to create the unique. To create what others are not talking about. Simply put, to be yourself."
...And a great thought from Stephen Downes in relation to the previous "Levels" post:
"Influence is a function of four properties (and people who have read my work before will be very familiar with these properties):
1. Diversity - a person who communicates with a diverse audience will be more influential than a person who communicates with a unifo0rm audience.
2. Autonomy - a person who is free to speak his or her own mind, and is not merely parroting some 'official view', will have more influence.
3. Openness - a person who writes in multiple languages, or who can be read on multiple platforms, or who is not limited to a single communications channel, will have more influence.
4. Connectivity - a person you can communicate with, and who will listen to your point of view, will have more influence than a person who does not."