Sure, it may look like a big list of celebrities from the latest and greatest films, but the art behind TIME’s list of most influential people is more than a “cool kids club”. TIME magazine first published the list in 1999 and have had annual reviews ever since.
Barack Obama was listed 11 times in the span of 18 years that it’s been published, which is the highest number anyone has ever been listed. You could say this is celebrity-favored, however if you consider the top followed person on Instagram has never been featured (sorry, Selena Gomez), then maybe TIME magazine really has a bountiful way of selecting people after all.
So, how are they picked, you ask? According to TIME, they use alumni of previous publications to help select the individuals they see fit for the list, as well as a board of individuals who rate the nominated individuals on scale of influencer. They say it themselves, “Influence is hard to measure, and what we look for is people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in. Influence is less about the hard power of force than the soft power of ideas and example.”
In 2017 in particular, individuals were selected based on those who made the most change in this ‘turbulent year’. Those individuals who have spoken up about issues they and similar communities face led them in the race to be featured on the list. And it’s not all CEO’s, celebrities and politicians, there are also younger, less-known individuals. One example is a 17 year old Gavin Grimm, who fought for transgenders use of public washrooms, against the legislation Trump passed to rewind this use of conduct in national law. He’s admired by many for bringing the conversation to the courtroom and further plans to bring it to the house of senate to bring back the rights to the LGBT community in form of “bathroom talk”.
"But that's what's so great about the TIME 100. It's not just a list of the world's most influential people — it's a conversation among them." (click to tweet)
- Dan Macsai, assistant managing editor
To be on the list of TIME’s 100 influencers list means to be walking against the crowd. It’s making positive change in the communities by bringing up discussions people either 1) don’t want to face or 2) haven’t been discussed in hopes to make a better tomorrow. These individuals walk the walk, they don’t just talk the talk.
This list is used to amplify the actions of courageous and bold individuals in hopes to snowball the effect. It’s used to point out those who took action against issues in a time where these actions feel like they go unnoticed. It’s also used as a way to show that you don’t have to be a celebrity, CEO or politician to make a change, rather there’s a spectrum of individuals and how they impact the current climate can be done by anyone in a similar position.
WIth the use of social media, viral video apps, and online community forums, news spreads quicker than ever. Often times, the game of telephone can distort the original message, and things can take a turn for the worst (i.e. fake news). On other occasions, media has worked to be for the better and good samaritans are being recognized or noticed by hundreds of thousands, where as before their reach wouldn’t have been as large.
The power of micro-influencers
It doesn’t take a million followers to spread the message, heck most of the time only a portion of those people are paying good quality attention (click to tweet). It takes standing out from the crowd with individual creativity, passion, and interest in the niche-est areas of everyday life. It means having the conversations that other people feel strongly about but are too uncomfortable to discuss. It means having a following of quality over quantity.
Influencers or social ambassadors are the way of spreading messages that matter. Learn how you can search, identify and engage micro-influencers for your own brand or online community with easy-to-use software at Sociapeeks.
Check out the full list of TIME’s 100 most influential people and let us know who you would add in the comments below!