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.