To be influential you need to be authoritative, not religious

To be influential you need to be authoritative, not religious.

JR Conlin writes me a note: Influencers
use weird crap. They use Macs and Linux, Mozilla, and other eminently
hackable systems. They don’t generally run Windows and IE

Problem is, I'm in the business of working with influencers, and I
don't find this to be true at all. In fact, let me turn it around.
Let's assume you were going to buy a car. Would you be influenced by
someone who only drove Segways? Of course not. If you were considering
a Mercedes, would you consider someone who only drove Ferraris to be
authoritative? Of course not.

The thing is that influencers are influential BECAUSE they use
EVERYTHING and aren't religious about any one thing. IE, use the best
tool for the job kind of people. Heck, even influencers who SHOULD be
religious (like, say, Doc Searls who
is an editor for Linux Journal) aren't. Doc uses a Mac, is fluent on
Windows, and doesn't come across as religious, even when he's trying to!

If you want to be an authority figure you try everything out there
and can speak about everything's pros and cons. And, really, if you're
a technologist and aren't within a few hundred feet of a Windows
machine then either you work at Red Hat or you're a hermit working in
the middle of Montana.

It's why I make sure I visit an Apple store every few weeks. It's
why I use Linux and Firefox and Opera and Netscape and have a Tivo.
It's why I read (and link to) feeds from people who hate me and the
company I work for. It's why I ask PHP users why they love PHP (easy
string handling is the answer I got at the geek dinner on Saturday

You wanna meet an influencer? Try Peter Rojas of Engadget. Why is he an influencer? Because he tries EVERYTHING under the sun.

But, I'll have more to say on this topic this weekend since I'll be
hanging out with 200 of the world's top technology influencers.

Another thought: do you think you can influence Michael Hyatt's technology
choices if you don't know the pros and cons of the new Tablet PC
software (hint, he's effusive with praise for the Tablet)? He's only
the CEO of the fifth largest publishing company in the world. Do you
think you can influence him if you tell him “you should switch from
using your Tablet to using a Linux-based computer.” Do you think you'll
be successful if you've never tried the Tablet PC and don't know its
pros and cons?

On the other hand, do you think that Michael Hyatt is influential?
Damn straight he is. People listen to a CEO of a large company.

Speaking of CEO bloggers, there's a new CEO Blogger blog. Are you the CEO of your company? Do you blog? List your blog there. I found that link at the BigBlogCompany blog. Oh, there's a whole Wiki that lists CEO blogs too. Cool!  [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]

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