mentioned a book on her show the other day, and subsequently it shot to #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list.
Adam Lambert, of American Idol 
fame, talks about his makeup, and the stores sell out.
The power of celebrity in selling 'the goods' is amplified by the many channels
(and the immediacy of those channels) available today.
The influence of famous words isn't limited to stay-at-home mums
and teenage swooners
, however. Geeks and The Street
(which could be the name of a new game show) suffer a similar fate.
Let's take the unlikely couple mentioned above.
is the Fed Chairman, a former all-state saxophone player and #4 on Newsweeks' "Global Elite 
". What he says about money moves minds. And when he says it, the markets react
. Never have so few words inspired fear or joy in so many Brooks Bros.-clad Wall Street workers (even the Stan Getz accompanying, saxophone playing Alan Greenspan
couldn't inspire the same fear.)
When Bernanke said:
"The U.S. government is not going to print money and distribute it willy-nilly ...although there are policies that approximate this behaviour."
Grown men wept, markets dipped, and a small rift opened in The Force. Never have the words "willy-nilly
" carried so much weight.
is also an influencer of a different kind. More Rabbi and less rabid than the average politician, Matt Cutts doesn't pontificate or waffle, Matt Cutts IS
the mouth piece of almighty Google engineers, and is therefore held in much higher regard than most people since The Messiah*
Where Bernanke influences markets, Cutts influences marketeers. SEO-types with aspirations of ranking #1 on Google search results pages (SERP) absorb his every word, and are often seen searching through Palo Alto Starbucks' trash in hope of finding his coffee grinds.
To paraphase the great Winston Churchill
with an exhorbitant amount of poetic licence:
"Never has so little, inspired so much, in so foolish"
When Matt Cutts noted at the SMX Advanced conference that:
1) "Your leftover PageRank will now evaporate”
SEO folks were seen with cold bottles of beer trying to capture the evaporated PageRank as it condensed.
2) "If you’re using nofollow to change how PageRank flows, it’s like a band-aid."
Rand Fiskin 
(of SEOMoz) immediately started analyzing a box of elastic bandages 
for possible SEO 'lift'.
As silly as this may sound, Matt Cutts does little to dispell the myth
around the man. His speeches and interviews are often more obtuse than Nostradamus 
in predicting the likelihood of higher rankings from miniscule tweaks. (We do still like you Matt. Yes we do.)
Yet still the followers follow
, interpreting nuances in phrases like "I plan to talk sometime soon about what I learned in the process of moving to a completely different domain for a month" as househunting
It may be silly to you and I to expect the influenced to think
before they react, or the influencers to think
before they speak.
With technology amplifying the effect
of influencing (and by extention peoples' gullibility
) in creating and supporting a vast watercooler of conversation, both influencers and the influenced need to be more aware
of the power of words.
Homer Simpson, paraphrased it perfectly... "doh"
Please consider the environment before reading this message
depending on your religion, this could be any number of people, including Elvis.
[note: This post is the brainchild of Alec Green 
who said "wouldn't it be a great idea if..." and the rest is history. Thanks Alec!]