The Ultimate Tipping Point

I was away on holiday last week and I read a terrific book written by Malcolm Gladwell called The Tipping Point.

The author defines the Tipping Point as:

What is The Tipping Point about? It’s a book about change. In particular, it’s a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. For example, why did crime drop so dramatically in New York City in the mid-1990’s? How does a novel written by an unknown author end up as national bestseller? Why do teens smoke in greater and greater numbers, when every single person in the country knows that cigarettes kill? Why is word-of-mouth so powerful? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? I think the answer to all those questions is the same. It’s that ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an examination of the social epidemics that surround us.

The book was written in 2000 long before the Blogosphere became such a powerful force. As I read the book, I constantly thought about the social dynamics surrounding our experiment called Blogtalkradio. In his book, Gladwell talks about three key contributors to the development of a social epidemic. They are called Mavens, Connectors and Salesman. Maven’s are people that try out new things and love to get into the details. They not only try new things, but they tend to tell everyone they know about their new experience. Connectors are people that know tons of people. They are highly respected, not only in their own circles of influence, but other’s as well. Salesmen of course can convince anyone to buy something, whether it be a product, service, etc. So how I can I relate these points to Blogtalkradio? Since the outset, we have had our share of Mavens. Bloggers who tried the service and blogged about it’s value to extend their reach with their audience.But it’s the “Connectors” that continue to use our network and blog about their experience. Here are some perfect examples:

  • James Boyce – Focused on the progressive blogosphere and political campaigns – Put in Heading left show. Ed Morrissey – Maintains the popular conservative blog Captains Quarters and will be joining Blogtalkradio as political director.
  • Stowe Boyd – Popular Web 2.0 blogger who writes /message is starting a show called /talkshow.
  • Mike Sansone – Changing the way business’s get the word out with his blog and show, Converstations
  • Wayne Hurlbert – Blog Business World has become such a success that Wayne has become a much sought after personality for other shows on BlogTalkRadio and he is booked well into July with some of the biggest names in the blogosphere.
  • Pamela Atlas – Pamela Geller from the popular blog “Atlas Shrugs” has become an icon in the right wing blogosphere, she is revered as one of the best on the right and has made enormous headway for woman bloggers in the political arena her show has attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners.
  • Charles Warner – The Media Curmudgeon, a long time media insider who has held positions with NBC Radio and AOL is changing the way we look at main stream media with his show and blog.
  • Daniel Myers – A 16 year old young man involved in politics from the age of 4 who plans on running for office someday, Daniels blog has attracted the interest of some of the biggest names on the 2008 campaign trail and his guest list on his show reads like a laundry list of who’s who in the running for presidency. Daniel is bringing an interest of politics to a younger generation and by the time 2008 rolls around Daniel will be old enough to vote, and I will gauruntee you alot of his friends will be hitting the polls with him after the education they are receiving first hand on Daniels show and blog.

Creating viral word of mouth campaigns are challenging at best, but for BTR the key element is getting the best content on our network and building our audience one listener at a time.

Alan

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