An experiment: Who's really out there and how do you measure influence?

Fred brought up the issue of deceptive statistics today--RSS readers, Facebook app installs, Twitter or Friendfeed followers, etc.  I'll add one to the mix.  Registered users.  You name the social network and chances are I'm a registered user on it.  Check to see what I've actually logged in to in the last month--very very different numbers there.

So what are we really talking about?  People who are concerned with such numbers are usually trying to figure out and compare influence and perhaps maybe engagement.  If the people reading aren't doing anything, either passing your message on or responding, what's the point of having readers?

That made me think about my readership.  What do all the numbers mean?  Do I really have 2600 readers?  How many of them are really paying attention?  What about twitter followers?  LinkedIn, AIM, etc?  How big an impact could one really make?

So, I've decided to make this post an experiment.  I'm asking you to please link to this post, digg it, tag it in, Tweet it, retweet it, triple tweet it, Stumble on it....whatever.   And please comment the hell out of it, too.  Blog about the idea on your own blog...  blog about the concept of influence... just make sure you post a link.

In fact, if you read this post, please leave a comment on it and tell me how you found it.  Were you reading anyway or did you see it somewhere else?  Where?  If you're new here, did you know how I was or am I new to you?

What I want to do is see where people wind up coming from, how many links in I can get to it, and where the engagement (if any) comes from.  I'll post as much as I can learn from all the linking and traffic after a couple of days--like who drove the most traffic (with links back, of course), what service drove the most traffic, etc.

Can I just will myself up to the top of Techmeme?   (Or will you to get me there, rather?) popular?  Digg popular?  How much does it take?

Ok, ready, go...  Swarm!  Swarm!