The Nielson company – that agency famous for their ratings boxes back in the Eighties – has compiled a fantastic study of social media users and web use in general. The study is full of useful insights, some more obvious than others, on the way in which we use Social Media.

But the really interesting point is that, contrary to popular belief, Social Media users tend to be much more involved outside of their SM networks than most. Of course this makes some sense, because if you’re not doing anything interesting, you’re not likely to have much to say.

Social Networkers, the report suggests, are more influential because the personal recommendation of someone you know is more powerful than other forms of recommendation. And SM users are more likely to voice an opinion on television, music, cloths, and of course political issues of the day.

So the million-dollar question is: does the use of Social Media make you more influential, or does your presence on Social Networks make them more influential? I don’t think this is necessarily a question that can be answered in the aggregate. But for those of us trying to make the most of SN, its worth taking the time to contemplate how much is coming from Column A and how much is coming from Column B.