Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Paying Influencers with Influence

I blogged about Wahooly when it launched as a company to reward "influencers" with equity in the companies they promoted. The company has pivoted, renamed itself, and now is trying to tell a story about reciprocal sharing. Sharing links ("content") earns points, which can be cashed in to get others to promote your content.

In theory this attempt to make influence a fungible commodity seems like a novel effort. If you're a well-respected expert on, say, VMware, but want to promote your sister-in-law's new novel, a "whuffie" marketplace allows you to make that trade. Or you may just want to expand your blog readership beyond the circles you can already reach.

But, I remain dubious. It seems like the desire to do any sort of cross-domain "credibility swap" would be rare. It's hard to see how a Duncan Epping would be motivated to earn points by making tweets he wouldn't otherwise send. But there's no economy of influence without those additional tweets, so there has to be a critical mass of influencers who think they could be bigger influencers--- or, enough people who wouldn't otherwise see each others' content but do have in common.
Tags: startup
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