What is a Key Opinion Leader?

The concept of KOL’s has been around in the pharmaceutical industry for a while and Elihu Katz in answers the question, “Who is an opinion leader?” One or more of these factors make noteworthy opinion leaders:

  • expression of values
  • professional competence
  • nature of their social network

Opinion leaders are individuals who obtain more media coverage than others and are especially educated on a certain issue. In the jargon of public relations, they are called thought leaders.

Social Media Key Opinion Leaders

So who are these people that can have such impact? I have peoples Twitter names below, the person responsible is @FacingChina for this program @HuaweiTechnologies.

@invinciblesaad (Pakistan), @mrbrown (Singapore), @shaanhaider (Middle East), @craigbrownphd (USA), @shapshak (South Africa), @gbengasesan (Nigeria), @userexperienceu (UK – me), @grattonboy (UK), @grattongirl (UK), @mrthaibox123 (UK), @profkevincurran (UK) @marshacollier (USA) @petershankman (USA) @glengilmore (USA) @scobleizer (USA), @alexpuig (Spain), @cscolari (Spain), @edans (Spain), @tomfgoodwin (UK), @charleneli (USA), @FarrukhNaeem (Middle East) if I’ve missed you off just message me

Being invited to be a Key Opinion Leader

When I was first contacted about attending the Mobile World Congress #MWC17 in Barcelona as a Key Opinion Leader #HuaweiMWC17, I was dubious. I’d never heard of the concept before and I just used social media as a route to test ideas and share information. Going back to my first blogging days I blogged because I had been offered a book deal and I did not want to entomb information in a book but rather wanted it to be freely available. I asked a bit more about it and did a huge amount of research to try and understand the concept.

The idea is quite enlightened, no one is paid anything by Huawei, its a structured but flexible activity with amazing access to insider information including product launches, press briefings and private events. And for that access we are asked just to share what we think is relevant to our audiences. If we want to challenge anything they would like recourse and a chance to inform before we publish, you might say the experience is like being journalists with the same verification processes. Or perhaps

Key opinion leaders are a form of disruptive journalism a move from mass media to targeted media

About the Experience

There can be a pervasive and quite western sense of having arrived when being courted for a thing like being a KOL for the first time, recognition at last! But I find that gifts can be quite fragile, even if your opinion has got you the invite;

humility and flexibility is more valued, in fact it all comes down to attitude

What I found on arrival was a bunch of good hearted but highly focused people. After all, we are all communication people, we all consume huge amounts of complex information and most of us convert it into 140 characters for others to easily consume.

huawei mwc17 KOL

In the picture left to right from the back: @gbengasesan @craigbrownphd @invinciblesaad @userexperienceu @FarrukhNaeem @shaanhaider (always in motion!) and @mrbrown

That is not to say that these are all Twitter folks, in fact the list includes blogs, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Periscope and others. There were defiantly super stars present but in fact they were helpful and joyful people not divas in the slightest just really, really good at sharing opinions that resonate. In a world so focused on fame meeting people who are simply great at what they do and have a whole load of fun while doing it is breath of fresh air. Thanks to you all, it was exhausting but also fun.

What I Learned about @HuaweiTechnologies

From my perspective I’m not interested in technology of itself;

I’m interested in what technology can do to augment human existence

So I come at Huawei as an enabler of new dimensions in humanity, it is hardware to a small extent but its actually considerably more, it’s mental model and beyond.

Huawei has been blocked in several markets for cultural and political reasons but they have not accepted this situation instead they have challenged themselves to think in an extensible way, to build infrastructure for services that don’t exist yet, but will fundamentally change the lives of humans. Clouds of CLOUD is fantastical, CloudMetro with open API access in its core it may be intended to enable package creation by Telcos but any decent enterprise architect will see it’s the critical access point for real-time, true ubiquity.

huawei mwc17 clouds to cloud

What most amazes me is just how reserved and understated Huawei has been about the advances it has made, it may be cultural, I know in Northern Europe its seen as crass and rude to say how good you are at something. From what I can see

Huawei has cracked the network side of Smart Living and true ubiquity

with #5G in 2020 humanity will be able to advance more dramatically by 2030 than it did in the last 100 years. Hold on to your seats, this ride will be wild.

About Karl Smith

Karl Smith is an inventor of open network IoT3 UbiNET which he has patented and a holistic transformation consultant more involved with how humans have to deal with technology than the technology itself.

A former Global Head of Mobility User Experience at Accenture and Partner, Global Head of Digital Design at Wipro Digital, current Chairman of the Human Centered Design Society and has relaunched or launched Design as a USP in six global enterprises.

He has always been fascinated by how technology can augment the lives of humans;

my desire was not to build things that humans already do but to find out how technology could evolve our human experience

He is still looking for the Gene Roddenberry future today where humanity pulls together and projects all of us the the next stage of evolution. Ubiquity or the IoT is a gateway point to that evolution so is highly engaged.

He has been involved in Human Centered Design his entire career from designing operating models, services, products to websites and mobile applications always reverting to the intended users to avoid waste.

At heart I’m an inquisitive person, unashamed of failure provided I learn and by learning continue to find unexpected solutions and delightful experiences for clients and users

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