Maintaining and building such hubs is where the true value of collaborative web lies. But in particular for companies, it's very difficult to quantify. The closest we have is potential reach numbers and interaction numbers. But neither of those is what we are really looking for: it's easier to gauge influence based on interaction measurements, but not really accurate in terms of effectively measuring how your message has influenced a reader. I wonder – how would an effective metric for digital influence look like?
The Altimeter Group is on to something again in this report: digital influence, not potential influence, is what online brand marketing cares about. And influence is obtained by building highly interactive communities. Such as those forming here in Google+ – there are cliques of highly interactive hub people who others hang onto.