Got Klout?

Ok, I figured I had to find out what Klout is about. Could I match Justin Bieber? He has a 100 rating on Klout, rumor has it that he can get free upgrades, restaurant meals, etc. -- the bottom line is that he had klout before Klout existed -- so to speak.
Klout evaluates your online presence in the areas where Klout evaluates your online presence -- such as Facebook, LinkedIn (although I'm not as sure of this), Twitter, Google+, -- yea verily, even Blogger. It looks for followers and friends, but even more for re-tweets, references, etc.  When other folks point to your stuff and tell others about it, it increases your Klout.  All of which makes real sense.
Once upon a time there was Google, and they made money by associating the things sought (search) with things that could be bought (ads)
Then there was Facebook -- where friends count.  Or more specifically, when you "l.ike" something, your friends find out. -- sort of an online "word-of-mouth" recommender system. Logic, folks will take more interest in the things their friends find interesting. [Result -- massive IPO valuation expected.]
Klout is a logical extension of this -- evaluating how influential your web presence is, and assigning it a number. I understand that 50 is the magic target (for those under 50) -- and if your Klout is low you may not get that job, or upgrade -- well let's face it, why treat someone well if their Klout is zero?
So there is a new game to play ... for Klout score ... room for mutual backscratching (I'll K+ you if you K+ me, or I'll cite your blog, etc. etc.) -- and it could make sense, if Klout has any Klout.
For example, members of IEEE (or AMA, or the Sierra Club) could create Klout Klubs, endorsing, recommending, and otherwise promoting each other on Klout.  From this both the individuals Klout would raise, and there is the potential to establish visibility for the overall Klout of the organization.
There is the other side of this ... I find that Vint Cerf has no Klout. -- this doesn't make sense in my book. At least Tim Berners-Lee has Klout ... although it seems to have been declining according to their graphing. These are two folks I'd listen to any time they choose to speak.

What Klout misses is the dialog that occurs outside of the "big 10" social media sites.  Besides the Reddit, Wired and Technorati sites; there are the thousands of sites where folks interact outside of the public eye.  Somehow I think the folks that really have Klout tend to interact there, not on "main street".  But, for a certain class of influence (think People Magazine, not Nature) I suspect Klout has -- well, some impact.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jim

    Very timely that you write about Klout. I just recently noticed how people on FB are posting their Klout scores (all much higher than mine) and also what they have been receiving in return (free things or access to things/events). I got interested and clicked on the App via FB. Took me to the dreaded "GIVE ME ALL YOUR INFORMATION NOW" page ... I paused and paused. I have never played any games on FB nor added any apps as I am wary of sharing my information there. Anyway, I took the plunge and joined Klout.

    Hooray? I am now cool right? Not so fast. Apparently before I knew I had any Klout and joined Klout, I managed to lose 10 points! 10 points! I am now sitting in a low 20s and where apparently only miserable people are. In Klout-speak that is massive to lose 10 points I think. What did I do? How could I have prevented something I did not know even existed? I was perplexed. I tried to figure out how to increase my Klout but then it wanted more information and more access to all my acccounts, it wanted me to post more things, comment on more things, link to more things, fill more surveys ... ehhhh wait a minute. It was like this little monster that looked so cute at the beginning but then starting to eat everything on sight and grew and grew and now I wonder if it is going to just eat me alive? Arrrrgkkkkkkk.

    So I quickly exited ... I am sure that my Klout# is still plummeting (or am I going to get a point for this post?) but I am OK with that. The fact that you mentioned that Justin Bieber has a 100 Klout score is enough to seal the deal with me that I don't need it. Time to go outside and fly a kite and teach my kids about physics and all these cool stuff in nature ... I still have a lot of clout with them ... I took them to Comicon for Mother's Day ... not bad eh?