Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Community Conundrum; Connections, Interaction and Influence

Dr. Michael Wu, PhD, chief scientist at Lithium presented a workshop in the (very cold) Boston area this past week called "the science + ROI of social media influence". I stress the very cold statement as when we discussed the topic of "creditability" he pointed out that he is not credible when it comes to clothing. His wife, however is very credible, as she picks out his clothes. He was extremely happy that she had selected 6 layers of clothing for him on that cold, snowy day.
Thumbnail image for mwu_whiteKangolHat_sq_nj_fix[3].jpg

Akamai is currently designing an Akamai Customer and Partner Community, and this session was incredibly insightful. I have read Dr. Wu's books The Science of Social: Beyond Hype, Likes & Followers and The Science of Social 2: Social Strategies for Long-term Business Advantage-and the Science Behind How They Work... but this was the first opportunity that I had to hear him present. 

The 3 specific words that I have swimming around in my head as we design the functionality of the community are: connections, interactions and influence and how they relate to each other ... and how they relate to the value we want to accomplish with our community. I am not sure I will do justice to Dr. Wu's presentation, but I hope to encourage to you think about these concepts in both your professional and personal social media experiences.


Here is what I summarized when putting this in context of our community goals:Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for community_icon_big.jpeg

  • ConnectionInteraction 
    • Connection only takes 1 action (do you know everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn?) 
    • Interaction requires persistent actions over time
  • Influence requires interactions 

The next conundrum is - who is the Akamai Customer & Partner Influencers that I want to attract to the community? Dr. Wu presented that influencers are required to have all 6 characteristics:

  1. Domain Credibility: expertise in a specific domain of knowledge (hence his comment about his lack of credibility around clothing)
  2. High Bandwidth: ability to transmit his expert knowledge
  3. Content Relevance: how closely the information coincides
  4. Timing: Deliver expert knowledge at the right time
  5. Channel Alignment: Amount of channel overlap 
  6. Target Confidence: How much the target trusts with respect to the knowledge. I asked Dr. Wu how do you measure trust? He agreed that it is very tough to measure trust, but then came up with formula: transparency = trust. When you think about this - it truly makes sense. 

I am looking forward to discovering the Akamai influencers (internally and externally) as we design and rollout the community.

Are you an influencer?

Leave a comment