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Author Topic: Does having a website make you an influencer?  (Read 1011 times)
Melooon
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« on: December 04, 2022 @779.11 »

I though I'd start a series of discussions about web revival culture; so I'll post a question every few weeks! The goal is not to argue for or against an idea, but just to think about it.

OK, this is a debate I remember discussing some time ago and its worth bringing it back. Does having a homepage/website make you an influencer? What is the difference between someone who posts about their life on a social network, verses posting about it on website?

From a technical perspective, theres not much difference between posting about a hobby or trend and getting a few thousand views on social media and getting a few thousand views on a website; however I feel like most people here here would argue there is a big difference! Do you consider yourself an influencer? Or do you hate that idea with a vengeance? :omg:k: If so, why? Where is the line between the two? What makes the web revival different, if you think its different at all.

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« Last Edit: January 10, 2023 @201.11 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2022 @801.91 »

I guess the biggest difference in my opinion is between the end goals of Getting The Numbers Up (and playing The Algorithms to that end) and posting just for the sake of posting about things, if that makes sense. And social media lends itself more to the former and a personal website more to the latter, naturally.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2022 @873.14 »

I have to agree with sig, when I used to post a lot on instagram (oh lord that account was cringey) I felt like if I didn't get likes then my post wasn't worth even making. On my website I couldn't care less, of course I do like when people enjoy my site but it's more like writing in a journal or just creating art like I used to in MSPaint. I love my website because it feels so much more natural. Not exactly completely related but I also can't stand modern social media for how much it revolves around sticking to trends, making money and keeping eyes.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2022 @887.94 »

I should add that I was thinking of an influencer as someone who "broadcasts and effects peoples opinions on something"; but I can also understand how its often heavily linked to "following trends and trying to gain numbers as a primary goal".

If those are the two sides of the coin in this discussion; I have an extra question! Can we/Should we reclaim the idea of an influencer? Can we turn it into something positive? Can you influence by just being yourself? Can you have a voice without pushing negative trends and hogging attention?

I like to believe that if your true to yourself, you do the things you love, and share those things honestly and creatively; that you can and will effect change in people who come in contact with you. Maybe Im very naive though!
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2022 @946.67 »

I should add that I was thinking of an influencer as someone who "broadcasts and effects peoples opinions on something"; but I can also understand how its often heavily linked to "following trends and trying to gain numbers as a primary goal".

If those are the two sides of the coin in this discussion; I have an extra question! Can we/Should we reclaim the idea of an influencer? Can we turn it into something positive? Can you influence by just being yourself? Can you have a voice without pushing negative trends and hogging attention?

I like to believe that if your true to yourself, you do the things you love, and share those things honestly and creatively; that you can and will effect change in people who come in contact with you. Maybe Im very naive though!
Considering this, I would agree that we are "influencers" to an extent. We should definitely reclaim the word in that meaning. Regardless of what you post and how many people see it, webmasters almost certainly influence people to some extent. Even today I visited someones site and their art inspired me to try to get back into art. Having a voice and broadcasting it was the original point of the web and we as web revivalists (are we called that? we are now I guess lol) are dedicated to bringing back the days of using the web to express yourself. No matter who you are or what you are here to broadcast, the internet is an opportunity to give yourself a voice and influence people to some extent.
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2022 @228.44 »

I think in my brain the term "Influencer" has always been tied to some intent to influence the actions of others. Like, I wouldn't consider a youtuber with a million subscribers an influencer just because of their audience. I'd only consider calling them that if they're actively attempting to change the lifestyle of their audience, through hobbies, habits, fashion, consumption, etc.

So, I wouldn't really think of most webmasters as influencers unless their sites actively encouraged a change in lifestyle (which to be fair, many do! Telling people to ditch social media and start making websites is influencing, baby!)

There is probably an actual definition of influencer out there but it's also fun to see what ideas people think of when mulling over the term.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022 @231.22 by wodaro » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2022 @442.07 »

I think in my brain the term "Influencer" has always been tied to some intent to influence the actions of others. Like, I wouldn't consider a youtuber with a million subscribers an influencer just because of their audience. I'd only consider calling them that if they're actively attempting to change the lifestyle of their audience, through hobbies, habits, fashion, consumption, etc.

So, I wouldn't really think of most webmasters as influencers unless their sites actively encouraged a change in lifestyle (which to be fair, many do! Telling people to ditch social media and start making websites is influencing, baby!)

There is probably an actual definition of influencer out there but it's also fun to see what ideas people think of when mulling over the term.


I agree with this definition: if we consider everyone who has any influence at all an 'influencer', then every single one of us is an influencer and we gotta draw the line somewhere! In my mind the definition is still mostly tied to Instagram, TikTok, Twitter etc. users but I can get behind the definition being 'anyone who tries to cause a lifestyle change within their userbase' whether it's good intentions or plain ol' advertising.
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2022 @748.77 »

this is really interesting! i didn't expect everyone's definition of the term to be so different from mine. to me, the line between influencer and non-influencer has little to do with the goal of the thing being posted (whether that be seeing number of views/likes/etc go up, or influencing people's actions), and everything to do with money. if the person in question has endorsement or product placement deals with companies*, they're an influencer.

influencing people for money is a marketing job; influencing people for free is a hobby. with this definition, recommending that people play a certain game on your website doesn't make you an influencer (no matter how much reach you may have), unless you are getting paid to promote it. so my answer to the initial question is no.

i do think the points everyone else has brought up are great though! thinking about the motivations and goals of sharing things online is important, both for deciding what you want to share and for deciding how to interact with the things other people are sharing.


*the deals with companies point is important to me. i don't that think artists promoting their work (with the goal of selling things and making money) counts as being an influencer, for example. i'm sure there may be some grey areas here, though.
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2022 @919.59 »

this is really interesting! i didn't expect everyone's definition of the term to be so different from mine. to me, the line between influencer and non-influencer has little to do with the goal of the thing being posted (whether that be seeing number of views/likes/etc go up, or influencing people's actions), and everything to do with money. if the person in question has endorsement or product placement deals with companies*, they're an influencer.

influencing people for money is a marketing job; influencing people for free is a hobby. with this definition, recommending that people play a certain game on your website doesn't make you an influencer (no matter how much reach you may have), unless you are getting paid to promote it. so my answer to the initial question is no.

i do think the points everyone else has brought up are great though! thinking about the motivations and goals of sharing things online is important, both for deciding what you want to share and for deciding how to interact with the things other people are sharing.


*the deals with companies point is important to me. i don't that think artists promoting their work (with the goal of selling things and making money) counts as being an influencer, for example. i'm sure there may be some grey areas here, though.


I pretty much agree fully with this. "Influencer", to me, is a corporate job description. People use social media, gain popularity, and then are sought out for brand deals and paid to produce content as advertising.

I think of it as mostly an Instagram and TikTok thing, where attractive people feed their own vanity and manage to make a living by doing it. I don't think of someone with tens of thousands of followers on Twitter as an "influencer" because, at least from the popular people I have followed on there, they're usually popular for their wit and wit doesn't sell Vitamin Water to the masses like a pretty woman in yoga pants does.

Chasing the Al Gore rhythm is certainly part of it, but I'm not sure how integral it is. It's basically a feedback loop where influencers need to stay relevant by producing whatever will get them seen, and the algorithm gets tweaked to better highlight content that brands have paid both the platform and the influencers to promote.

If an Instagram influencer moved all of their content to their personal website, and they could somehow maintain the same level of visibility as they would have on a social media platform, I'd still consider them an influencer. So I guess that is the most direct answer I'd give to the original question. But social media is the new content aggregator, which caught on because you can go to one place to meet many needs. It'd be impossible for a single person to create a personal platform and get the same visibility as they would get by playing to a corporate algorithm that will put them in the content feed of a website that most people in the world are already looking at. So in that sense, yes, hypothetically you could become an influencer by running a personal website, but in reality you're never going to get the same reach on your own.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2022 @33.73 »

Honestly, if I could "influence" people in any way, I would want to encourage them think for themselves and not base their life choices on what some random person on the internet is doing, popular or not.

That's what I dislike about influencer culture (at least my understanding of it). People look up to strangers they don't even know and let them determine what they want or think they need. This has been a thing long before the internet though, as celebrity endorsement and appeal to authority is something that has existed for ages.

I'm nobody's role model, and if someone chooses to see me as such then it's on them.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2022 @816.89 »

I dunno because when i think of influencer i think of pretty popular person who is always trying to sell you something, and i feel for the most part personal sites, or even just fansites or stuff in general is the oposite of that.

Like I barely show my face and just wanted to created a place that show things I find interestin, I dunno
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2023 @614.99 »

If I want to spread the ideas and actions that have worked for me in hopes it can help others make their lives better, does that count as "influencing"? I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit reluctant in using that term for myself for that reason because of the baggage it holds (all the "corporations manipulating people through popular people so they buy their products" stuff). Compared by someone sponsored by a company, I feel like I'm some random granny you're sitting next to her in the subway who rants at you about making the most of life, or the value of homemade food, or stuff like that. Is that grandma an influencer?
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2023 @705.75 »

In the most literal sense I can think of, webmasters might as well count as influencers if they happen to be promoting ideas to an audience. However, there's a big enough difference between social media influencers and webmasters who promote ideas that it would be sort of weird for them to share the same label.
I want to say that one of the main motives of being a social media influencer is getting a high score on something, where even if there isn't a lot of monetary gain coming from it, there's still likes, shares, views, etc. to be made.
Most people who run personal sites typically just do stuff for the sake of doing stuff. Even on Neocities, which has some social media functionality built into it, I've only seen a single a few celebratory view count milestone posts made on it, and those weren't even posted on a site that promoted anything.
I guess social media influencers are more on the marketing side of things than personal website "influencers", but idk.
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