Trust Agents 7a: Building an Army
In addition to joining a group, creating one (and filling it with the smartest people you know) is the true path to influence online.
In chapter 7 of Trust Agents, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith talk about the power of creating groups and leading them to accomplish big things.
The web makes it possible for people with a common interest to join together in groups (or Tribes as Seth Godin calls them). We’re no longer limited by geography, time, or logistics. Like-minded people anywhere in the world can come together around a blog, a forum, a Facebook page or any number of other social networking tools.
The power of groups is immense…
The power of groups comes from what Brogan and Smith refer to as “asynchronous aggregation.” “Instead of asking one person to make all the effort, we can ask 100 people for a fraction and get even greater results.” A great example of this is Wikipedia, which was developed and is maintained by a huge volunteer army and has totally blown away expensive, old-school print encyclopedias.
Another great example of power of groups happened just this week at the Stuff Christians Like blog. On Monday Jon Acuff kicked off an effort to build a kindergarten in Vietnam by asking his readers, which number in the thousands, to donate to the cause. Within 18 hours, the entire $30,000 goal had been reached.
How was this possible?
Well first, let’s not discount God’s hand in this. But just looking at the human factors, this was possible because of several important things Jon did.
- He built up a lot of trust among his readers by being honest and transparent in his writing.
- He built up a large number of readers by writing consistently and doing it well.
- He asked people to do something he knew would resonate with his readers, something he knew they would want to do.
- He took a big risk – he asked. Despite all the other stuff, this could have totally bombed. If a month later he had only raised $500 towards the $30,000 goal it would have been somewhat embarrassing. But Jon took a chance and used his influence to do something really, really good.
I’ll leave you with thes question.
What is God calling you to do that you can’t do alone? Is it time to take the trust and influence you’ve built with people, form a group, and lead the group to accomplish something bigger than yourself?
[image by toucanradio]