'New Generation of Hidden Influencers' Builds Buzz Online

february 13, 2007  05:18 pm
In an examination of the growing influence of social bookmarking sites (like Digg.com, Del.icio.us, Newsvine.com and others), the Wall Street Journal ferrets out and profiles the "handful of users" who are key influencers, from a 12-year-old Canadian to the proprietor of an antique rug store in Italy. "The opinions of these key users have implications for advertisers shelling out money for Internet ads, trend watchers trying to understand what's cool among young people, and companies whose products or services get plucked for notice," the Journal says. "It's even sparking a new form of payola, as marketers try to buy votes."