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Thanks for these thoughts. Still mulling it through, but thanks for sharing!

I wouldn't. I had written a post "Brand Conversations: How much do what others say matter to you?" to present my point of view on the same. You could it look it up here http://bit.ly/4g2msO.

Klout has a category of people that they call "Specialists" = People who are experts within a narrow field. I think there is some truth to this idea. One is more like to make a purchase where there is (1) likability and (2) some expertise which is part of creating trust, even if it is just "street cred"! Lastly (3) I think motivation is huge here. A likable expert who appears to be only out to make some commission or sale probable won't perform as well as someone who has some real passion and love for their product.

Influence equals Likability + Expertise + passion & motivation, in my book.

I am not a marketing expert nor do I play one on t.v.

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