Anyone who has ever been in a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) business understands the importance of circles. Circles are your revenue streams. You begin with your own circle, to which you add downlines–people you recruit into the business. You make a percentage from their business. You down lines then go out and recruit their own downlines, which become part of their circle of revenue, but also part of yours. You downlines’ downlines then make their own circles, and so on, and so on, AND SO ON, AND SO ON…..! It’s just so exciting!
One thing that is always stressed to people in an MLM is that it’s not a pyramid scheme because any downline can make enough of his or her own circles to become bigger than the upline. In fact, any low person could conceivably become bigger than even the guy who created the first circle ever! The fact that this never happens is irrelevant, because it could.
Lately, I have been trolling a lot of sites who trumpet conservatism. What I discover is that there are a lot of people like me out there–people who are following other people who have a lot of downlines (followers). It’s clear from reading posts that many smaller fish (like me) like to share the limelight with the big fish (re-blog). I will agree that I like reading what others are writing to gain new insights and also to garner ideas for jumping off into my own posts. And, there is a certain economy of effort in re-blogging, not having to re-invent the wheel all the time when some other article expresses “my feelings exactly”.
I also tend to believe that circles come into play here. The more sites I follow, the more exposure I get. As I move up to bigger and bigger sites and become recognized, I also begin to grow by osmosis. Eventually, maybe I’ll be spotted by some really big fish and be asked to come on board. Then, maybe readers will like me so much that I’ll actually become bigger than the bigs, and everyone will want to be in my circle! It’s so exciting!
It’s hard to know everything about everything. That’s why the really big fish “have people for that.” In other words, staffs can coordinate the division of labor to cover all things well and efficiently. We small fish don’t have that luxury. But there is a role for us to play in being re-bloggers, commenters and ping boards. Small fish are the downlines that help direct people to the best uplines. We are also the ones who keep the uplines in business. So, maybe we never become a fat cat. But we help the collective, which is really the point in grassroots politics, isn’t it? And, if we have enough talent and perseverance, we’ll get noticed. The point is to all grow together, so that everyone wins, and not grow at the expense of others. As hard as it seems at times, we have to balance the tendency to ride on the bandwagon of others with the ability to make a unique contribution to the discussion.