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the tipping point and blogging

For those in the marketing and advertising industry, you may have already encountered the popular book by Malcolm Gladwell titled The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. The premise of the book describes how certain events can become ‘tipping points’ that change the tide of social behaviors such as trends in fashion, ways of thinking, and statistics.

Gladwell talks about the three types of influencers in today’s society – mavens, salesmen and connectors who are actually the sources of tipping points for specific niches in technology, politics, fashion, business, and the arts.

Paul Revere was able to galvanize the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a “Connector”: he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere “wasn’t just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston,” he was also a “Maven” who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell.

The phenomenon continues to this day–think of how often you’ve received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.
Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the “stickiness” of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger.

– Ron Hogan

Another example of the tipping point was when Rodimus Prime opened the Matrix to turn the tide of battle against Unicron in Transformers: The Movie.


I’m a few chapters into the book and realized how tipping points can occur in blogging – that each post is actually a potential tipping point depending on how it is marketed or depending on the timing of the post.

For instance, Ingrid Diaz from Play-Girlz, together with Erin Harvey, had traffic shoot up on their site after this post was cited in several other gaming blog sites as well as in Delicious. Why? Well, it attracted attention because it was hella creative, witty and simple.

Every now and then, bloggers need to keep an eye out for stuff which they can possibly post that will tip traffic in their favor. Here’s a personal example.

When I got quoted by Gizmodo for this post, my traffic shot up just because of one measly post.

Look at how traffic doubled afterwards on a per month basis and stabilized to that count ever since.

Twice the number of uniques in ONE month due to ONE post is definitely something to write home about. Till today, from two months ago, it remains my number one entry being Googled for and linked to.

As a guideline, bloggers should always be searching for that “next best post.” It need not be an exclusive piece of news that everyone will eventually get. It just needs to be something that you can “own” because no one else has thought of it.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

7 replies on “the tipping point and blogging”

Hi Jayvee. Great post! Another book you may want to check out is Grapevine. This one tends to challenge the Tipping Point. However, both are great read. Based on the people you’ve met in the blogging scene, who would you classify as a maven, connector, or salesmen? (or a combination)

Tipping Point is a great book to give info on how people think. Additional books that can be suggested are Blink (Gladwell also), Thinking for a Change, Six Thinking Hats, and Think (this one partly challenges Blink).

@miles – i bought both books actually. meron na kasing paperback edition 🙂 heehee

@janette – thanks! it was glad to see everyone sa iblog! saya saya!

Yikes, our network is down so I decided to blog-hop. Just to share, I’ve always considered blog entries to be the highest level of PR. It means that campaigns went beyond traditional forms of media vehicle (TV, radio and print) straight to the emotional (intimate) level of consumers, strong enough for them to write about it in their personal blogs… =) It’s a yard stick of an advocacy’s success (for me) and it feels wonderful to read about what they have to say on the campaign (I get into such a high!) This happened alot with the dove campaign for real beauty. =) Good morning!

@janette – hmm the maven ,connector, and salesman concept for blogging? wow. maybe that should be reserved for a separate post 🙂

[…] Yesterday I physically introduced PTB owner Abe Olandres to some guys from K2 Interactive, a nontraditional ad agency that goes beyond traditional tri-media. I say physically because the two parties had been corresponding via email for quite some time now, and being friends with people from both parties I introduced them. Putting this in Malcolm Gladwell terms, I’m a “connector,” Abe is the “maven” and K2 is the “marketer.” […]

[…] Christ. We’re hooked with the mavens. With what they do, on and off their professional platforms, we’re hooked and this has nothing to do with aesthetic beauty. This has more to do with Alister Cameron’s post on the real reason why no one read’s your blog — and it has nothing to do with you, but with who you really know in the industry. So yeah, the whole mavens, connectors and salesmen thing you read from that Tipping Point book. […]

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