Vint Cerf is Watching You. So You Have No Privacy, but Here's Influency

There’s an old man watching you. He’s a very smart old man. Vint Cerf was—Al Gore, are you listening?—one of the inventors of the Internet, and he’s just come out and said something I’ve been telling you for years: Privacy is a cute idea, but it’s also a new one; it’s time we stopped worrying about privacy, because we’ve never really had very much of it, anyway.

Whether you see this story as a self-congratulatory look-how-smart-and-ahead-of-the-times-I-am-I-said-this-three-and-a-half-years-before-Vint-Cerf message or something more scholarly than that, underneath, it’s still about Influency. Being influential, aside from the boost you get if you’re Vint Cerf famous, is something you take control of, and sometimes the ways that control gets grabbed is less obvious than other times.

I’ll throw in a long-tail marketing reference here. And I’ll give you easy pointers at pages on the elements of Influency (Development, Optimization, Design, Media, and Content). But the how-Influency-is-that? payload is in this list of stories about the changing face of privacy that Vint Cerf made me dredge back up this morning as I thought about just how right he is on the topic:

And of course, the big story Vint Cerf is helping tell:

Now again, the point here, besides me crawling a bit closer to discussions about Vint Cerf and his ‘new revelation’ on privacy, is that Influency is something that happens over time and takes either a lot of work or a dollop of fame—or both. And while you might come by fame accidentally, the ‘a lot of work’ thing is a far more likely path to Influency for most businesses. So hey … when you’re ready to talk about Influency and your absolute need for a bit of your own … you know where to reach me.

And Mr. Cerf? You may be watching me, but … I’m watching you, too …

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