Where the Influencers Roam

While getting the most buzz, “YOU” are not the only influencer out there. In addition to what’s happening on social sites, let’s identify where all the influencers roam. Here are sources that provide that extra punch to what’s crawled, indexed and ultimately shown by the Big Engines today.

Taggers: Active taggers contribute through services like Del.icio.us, Furl, Flickr and many others. Bloggers fall into this arena too, because they actively tag their own content. Those who spend a lot of time and energy will be rewarded as big influencers. Those who are interested in specific long-tail items also can participate.

Verticals: Online publishers create their own vertical searches and bring some content expertise into the mix. These verticals often begin as destinations, and end up syndicating elsewhere too. Many well-known sites focus on Health, Sports, News, Entertainment, Autos, Employment and Shopping arenas.

Directories: Traditional publishers hire staff to create content, and then license to influential sites. Examples include InfoUSA business listings via Citysearch.com; or Columbia Encyclopedia reference from Answers.com or Infoplease.com. Trade publishers are more proprietary, such as industrial listings created by ThomasNet.com.

Guides: Some guided services also exist. About.com thrives with influential guides who present original material but also scour the web for what’s interesting and appropriate in their specific topics. One might also include Wikipedia here, as openly-guided content that’s edited by volunteers.

Libraries: Libraries still influence end users. Increasingly, you can remotely search your library’s electronic databases and holdings. This previously hidden web of content indices and abstracts is getting exposed by suppliers. Examples include Gale’s AccessMyLibrary.com and ProQuest CSA’s newspaper archives from the mid-1800s.

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