Everyone has influence, and influence is the ability to drive action. You’ve heard Klout say this time and time again. The 2012 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World have been named, and this year the list speaks volumes to the shift of the web from pages to people, and the profound effect this has on influence.
As TIME Editor Rick Stengel writes in his excellent opening letter, “Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now she can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier — or more ephemeral.” This is an important statement from a publication that issues the annual barometer of real-world influence.
Time put these words into action with the inclusion of people like Manal al-Sarif, the woman who was jailed for driving in Saudi Arabia (it’s illegal for women to drive in the country), and Samira Ibrahim, who stood up to the courts in Egypt over forced virginity tests. These women are part of the 47 percent of people who are not scored by Klout because they are not active on social media. We’re working on that.
However, the internet gives us the opportunity to measure how the people who are active in social media influence each other online. Some 53 percent of of the TIME 100 have Klout Scores, ranging from Rihanna’s 95 to Donald Sadoway, the MIT scholar who measures in at 23. The average Klout Score among those on the list is 62. Interesting entrants on the list are also extremely active and influential online. Outside of the U.S., Russian watchdog Alexei Navalni comes in at 81 – that is higher than the average of all U.S. politicians on the list (80). The highest “mogul” on the list also resides outside of the U.S. – Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista clocks in at 77, higher than mogul cohorts Chelsea Handler (73), Sheryl Sandberg (52) and Warren Buffet (64).
Our desire is to help every person understand and unlock their influence. We have a long way to go before we’re able to fully realize that goal, but we’re encouraged by TIME’s recognition that we are all influential, both online and off.