I recently attended my first Tweetchat. Thanks to the guys who run #InfluenceChat for a wonderful discussion yesterday. The topic: what starts a trend?

First, we framed the discussion. We focused on why and how things become popular and what keeps them popular. People threw around a lot of ideas. The overriding thought was that trends tend to spread by one person influencing another person who influences another, etc. It’s not necessarily that one person can influence millions of people unless their sphere is large enough.

Personally, I linked trending to a mob mentality. If an idea carries some stigma, positive or negative, it has the ability to trend. One person latches on, and soon enough everyone joins the wagon train without really knowing why. They might say, “Because it’s cool,” but being cool is really only a measure of how trendy something is in the first place.

Interestingly enough, Twitter (the actual web service) marked our hashtag, #InfluenceChat, as one of the trending topics during the hour of our conversation.

Our blossoming influence

We posted 467 tweets. These 467 tweets reached over 147,000 people through our contributors’ networks. They left more than 1.4 million impressions. Not bad for a day’s work! If you’re interested in more stats or some of our discussion, check out the transcript.

About #InfluenceChat

Just a quick note about the wonderful tweetchat I attended: it’s a chat about social media and other business marketing whatnots. They talk about how these methods influence the public sphere. It’s pretty interesting stuff. They meet every other Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m., and the next gathering of minds is May 15. I encourage everyone to check it out.

If you know of any interesting discussion groups on Twitter, let everyone know about it in the comments below. I, for example, believe I am an interesting discussion, and you should follow me on Twitter @IllusionOfMatt if you aren’t already. While you’re clicking random things, click that button on the right under “Follow Blog via Email.” Until next time!

Peace. ~Matt