I’m sitting in on an excellent presentation (that is me in the back row, third one in) by Nate Elliott of Forrester Research who is presenting his findings on the New Influentials – Internet users who maintain a weblog or personal homepage, who join in discussions on web message boards, forums, etc. and regularly update their social networking profile page – who continue to become a growing influence on consumers in decision-making around products, technology, music, etc. New Influentials primarily exert active influence by proactively giving advice, but are rarely sought out as compared to Classic Influentials who’s opinions are sought out but who rarely give unless asked. Forrester’s research shows that classic influence remains stagnant, while new influence continues to grow. But, as users grow overwhelmed by influence, they will seek greater context and ways to filter New Influencers for opinions they would value. So what needs to happen? New Influencers need to be rated so users can filter and decide who’s opinion they want to follow. And the further development of social graphs that map the people you know with the content you are looking at online. For example, you go to a restaurant review site, and are immediately shown reviews from the people you know immediately, and likely trust.