Herding The Herd

The value is determined by the market.

The market is the herd.

The herd can be manipulated.

Is your blog or website hardcore kick butt? Awesome resources, excellent content, but the traffic (or market) isn’t pushing things along (providing inbound links, comments, net chatter)? Do you even have traffic?

Does your blog or website have a competitor with substandard content, or at least not as good as yours? And yet the market (herd) responds to it in high gear?

Rule #1:

You don’t determine what’s valuable and what isn’t–the market does. Give the market what it wants or what it’s ready for.

Rule #2:

The market (herd) can be manipulated.

If you think a particular market is too savvy to be manipulated–you’re probably wrong-o. Watch competitors who are successfully manipulating chatter and achieving results. You’re bound to recognize herd signals (things that manipulate the market to act and respond in ways that keep the momentum moving).

Ask yourself:

If someone I look up to says “Blog ABC is great”, do I accept that without question? If what I consider an authority blog steadily points to “Blog ABC”, do I readily transfer internally that same authority to “Blog ABC”?

If I see a lot of action on a blog post (inbound links, digg counts, comments, outside blog chatter), do I accept that post as high value and participate in the ‘word spread’ or buzz myself? Even if initially (before seeing all the response) my reaction to the blog post was: So What/Old News/Light Piece?

Chances are you have found yourself running with the herd a time or two and not even know how it happened or why.

The market typically isn’t mainly comprised of Critical Thinkers, but more Group Thinkers. And Group Thinkers only need a few triggers to keep the momentum going and the herd running.


Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group (herd), maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those.


When an association of animals (or, by extension, people) is described as a “herd”, the implication is that the group tends to act together (for example, all moving in the same direction at a given time), but that this does not occur as a result of planning or co-ordination. Rather, each individual is choosing behaviour that corresponds to that of the majority of other members, possibly through imitation or possibly because all are responding to the same external circumstances.

Once you recognize how valuable Group Thinkers can be and how manipulating the herd effectively can create a force and momentum that propels you forward (traffic, authority, net chatter, sales, etc.) remember: Do No Evil ;).


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.