going beyond “influence” and “viral”: socialmouths

List of Words to Destroy:

Viral

Influence

What’s the next word on the list?

via How To Stop Talking About Influence | SocialMouths.

One of the words of the year that SocialMouths wants 2011 to leave behind is “influence”, as in the idea that Justin Bieber has “influence”. Its an interesting pet peeve. What may be even more interesting is that he wants it to join the word “viral” in the forgotten list. What I find attractive about these two words is that they counter-balance each other. Viral is meant to communicate a reach that is with responsibility, a near bio-mechanical, media undead, the un-stoppable and un-predictable spread of a meme. This is to be distinguished from the cultural concept of “influence” which is attributed to agents (persons) who have achieved some sort of “reach” and thus can do or say something efficaciously, with effect. The call for responsibility taken for influence in an important one, but I think that instead of destroying these two words/concepts, 2011 may do better investigating their relationship, how mechanisms of spread meme-ing bring with them a certain cache influence, and how influence takes up with this a certain medium heft. We should perhaps start talking about viral consciousness, responsive meme-ing. Some thoughts. Thanks SocialMouths for the post.