Industry News, Influencing

Epic Twitter thread tackles influencer lists, fintech and women in tech

I can’t remember when I last saw this much Twitter chatter from this many influencers in one thread.

It all started with a tweet by JP Nicols on Nov 15:

Taking advantage of Twitter’s new 280 character limit, Nicols published two tweets and mentioned a couple of dozen people included in a recent influencer list.

While the list itself was a bit dodgy, both in terms its ranking as well as referencing outdated information on some of the people listed, it actually included many of the A-list #fintech influencers who are active online.

Sparked, no doubt, by Nicols’ cheeky infographic, an epic discussion ensued about the nature of influence and influencer lists, the term “fintech” and the role of gender bias in tech.

On influence

Pascal Bouvier captured the typical response to influencer lists by most influencers:

A discussion of influencer lists wouldn’t be complete without a healthy injection of snark from Ron Shevlin:

Online influencers, you see, are not very comfortable talking about their influence. They awkwardly accept being included on a list, but are quick to question the legitimacy of the list. Thus, the conversation quickly turned to jokes about their “influentialness” (Wester) and “influentiality” (Shevlin) or the more philosophical “influentialism” (Liolios). All in good fun.

Ajit Tripathi offered an alternative way to rank #fintech influencers:

Brett King one-upped this definition:

In the end, undisputed fintech influencer Jim Marous waded in to challenge the notion that influencers should be limited to those that write or speak on the topic. He correctly points out that well-curated retweeting and re-sharing in general is an important way for good content to be distributed:

And this, in my opinion, is spot on. Of course there are spammers and gamers of the system, but there are also many people acting as nodes in the network whose sharing of great content with their audience is an important part of the way content is distributed in social networks. To the extent these people have target reach and followers who trust the quality of their content streams, they are also influencers.

Read more – Influencer Lists: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Whither Fintech?

With the concept of the influencer list adequately diminished, the discussion turned to the appropriateness of the term #fintech.

Liz Lumley and David Bannister seemed to agree on the term’s origins:

April Rudin made a case to retire the term, but Duena Blomstrom played Devil’s Advocate:

Matt Dooley reframed the discussion in terms of emerging markets, essentially arguing that it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as it’s focused on meeting unmet customer needs:

“Women getting shit done”

Liz Lumley pivoted to the issues surrounding gender in fintech, launching a fascinating discussion about very actions on which online influencer analytics are based:

While a number of women influencers, including April Rudin, Jill Castilla, Christine Duhaime and Duena Blomstrom, were already active in the discussion, Liz named names and widened the conversation to include a number of other influential women in #fintech:

Leda Glyptis joined the conversation and, along with Nina Mohanty and Sharon O’Dea, exposed some of the underlying biases reflected in the very metrics on which most influencer lists are based:

“We’re all theatre critics”

Twitter is often the punching bag of social networks. But it remains the best social network, in my opinion, because of these types of far-reaching conversations that bring together geographically far-flung people with a common interest. Er, maybe not always a common interest:

And Ron Shevlin gets the last word.

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