Influency: Seeing All Colors, Controlling All Things

Verizon may be known for their red logo, but they understand all the colors of Influency.

Today this piece at Mashable made me think about my one-time employer. Verizon has started deploying ‘regular’ phone service using wireless spectrum. And it make sense. And it’s probably illegal, but Verizon is going ahead and doing it anyway. And they’ll get away with it.

And THAT’S Influency*While most of use won’t ever have the kind of juice it takes to just do whatever we want, the goal of chasing Influency is being so in-control of the things you touch that you might as well have that power. And if you follow the tenets of Influency closely, you can get awfully close—at least in the spheres where you work the Influency equation.

Let’s start by pointing out that there’s nothing regular about the way Verizon is setting up phone service on Fire Island. And that’s (mostly) OK. Nobody really needs new copper wire deployed. It isn’t fast enough to handle anything but voice reliably; copper wire is a relic of a bygone era. And while the tariffs that control the way your “local incumbent phone carrier” is supposed to work require that they provide telephone service to any resident within their geographic footprint, they don’t specify copper wire be used, and certainly never speak about newer technologies like fiber optic cable or <gasp!> wireless spectrum.

In other words, so long as Verizon is providing their VoiceLink devices to Fire Island residents without charge, it doesn’t matter that there’s no new wire being installed on Fire Island.

That was the carrot. Now, the stick.

Verizon, influency-overlords-who-do-whatever-they-want position notwithstanding, still need to interface with somebody, sometimes. No, it won’t be you, and often it isn’t even the federal government. But everybody answers to somebody, either literally or in practice. The question to be answered, whether you’re Verizon or the smallest of small businesses, is whom?

Verizon doesn’t answer to individuals making crazy demands. Neither should you. Verizon makes lots of deals that don’t pan out. You will, too. And there are things that will cross your path toward Influency that you won’t ever “understand” fully. Censorship? The different types of content search optimization? The changing rules for search optimization? Verizon is Verizon; they don’t have to worry about those things beyond having their cadre of lawyers ensure they’re “good enough“. The rest of us need to keeps tabs on all of those things, and more.

That’s Influency. And I’m right here when you want to talk about it.

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