The Cyber-Asylum: Measuring Impact of Online Influencers

The inmates are running the asylum. No, it isn't an epithet for Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but rather an acknowledgment of a tough reality for communicators: Customers - once the passive consumers of brands, products and services - now are taking charge of corporate reputations by breathing fire in cyberspace, thus burning anything that comes into their paths. Of course, communications executives have tamed the wild beasts in many contexts by using digital platforms to build relationships with elusive stakeholders, but a significant challenge remains: measuring the impact these online influencers actually have. First Things First Measuring online influencers' impact is among the most elusive capabilities for communications professionals, but before they can peg this skill, they have to know who their online influencers are in the first place. There are various strategies for doing so, including monitoring the number of comments on a blog, checking Technorati rankings and quantifying the number of links bloggers publish.

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