It's a Poll, It's a Viral Campaign, It's the Fast Company Influence Project

I received a notice from my LinkedIn group this morning with a link in it to the Fast Company Influencer Campaign.

Fast Company Magazine is looking for the most influential person online in 2010.  And they've thrown it out to the cybernet to pick the winner.  The entire picture collage will be featured on the November 2010 cover of Fast Company and the most influential person interviewed.

I wasn't sure what to think.   Of course it's fun to do.  My ego pushed me to post the link on a couple groups and sites -(full disclosure, the link above is mine).

Then I thought it was an interesting way to drive engagement with the brand.  Maybe they expect that everyone who makes the cover guarantees at least two additional sales (one to that person and the other to their mother).

On a serious note.  This idea of using the masses to create and influence editorial content is not a new one, but it's never been easier.  It's certainly fun and entertaining.  And gives us all some brain candy to think about how powerful, visual and fun data presentation could be.

Is it Influence?

I do have an issue with the use of the work "Influential."  I don't really see asking people to click on your link as the full definition of the word influence.  Influence, to me, requires intellectual persuasion and I didn't do much of that.  I would expect that the person who wins this will have put an entire campaign together which might include some kind of benefit to those people who vote.

Maybe someone will get the idea to ally themselves with another influential group and offer some kind of prize in exchange for their votes.

What are your thoughts?

Here are some more articles to read about it:

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