What is authority and why it matters?

What is authority and why it matters?

Authority level accorinding to topic relevancy and peer recognition
Authority level according to topic relevancy and peer recognition

Authority stands for targeted audience. Unlike overall Audience, Authority measures qualified audience with respect to a targeted community of interest. Authority matters as it pinpoints the  influencers focused  on a topic and recognized by their peers.


  1. Authority is to value what Audience is to volume
  2. Audience counts Authority matters

Audience Versus Authority

When looking for information we naturally tend to be attracted by audience leaders, and influence is today often confused with mere audience. The main reason is that audience is straightforward to measure on social media, and all social networks provide a direct counts of followers and likes. What does audience really stand for? Audience is at best a measure of number of fans.  In fact, relying on audience to measure influence has several drawbacks and biases.

  1. First of all audience can be bought; in fact there are many sites who offer you ways to increase your number of followers so that you can appear bigger than you really are.
  2. Second, audience leaders are good to engage a general public, and audience leaders are to social medias what national newspapers are to traditional press. They are generalists who cover a bit of everything and are followed by a diverse public.

So Audience alone is missing on what’s really different between mass media and social media.
To get a better handle on social influence we need a community specific measure of influence.  We call that Authority. Authority is by construction community specific.  Authority is topical, as such it must measure the online authority mindshare of a topic leader within the community.
Measuring topic authority is both simple and hard. It’s simple as it’s focused on two objective criteria.

  • First, is the source sharing content about the community?
  • Second who in the community is following the source?

In other words the source is focusing on community topics and is recognized by its peers among the community. The challenging part is to compute the authority, it’s an AI challenge:  Authority is a unique combination of semantics and social. Topicality challenge calls for powerful semantic engines. The social challenge is that authority leaders are not as visible as audience leaders, and hide in the long tail of sources with limited audience. Agilience computes authority rank relying on it’s powerful A3S Artificial Intelligence engine.
Agilience identifies community centric topic authority. Agilience authorities is your community authority guides, pointing out the top authorities in your field, the top stories that matter to your community and the most valuable way to engage the community. Find the authorities on your topics at https://agilience.com.


Antoine De Jaegere

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