Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Unpacking Klout: True Measure of Influence?


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It's an interesting metric, if only as a conversation starter.

Why do we care, though? Isn't it rewarding enough to meet new and interesting people, to collaborate and exchange ideas in near real time?

I signed up for Klout, let it connect to my Twitter and Facebook, and was presented with a score of 40, ranking 70th percentile in all categories. Upon reading the comments above, I saw that the score can be updated by clicking the link bottom right. Doing so *instantly* took me to a score of 15 and 30th percentiles across the board.

And there's the disconnect. Klout still says that I'm an activist looking to connect people with my big idea (although I disagree that Twitter is the perfect medium to do so or that it's MY idea and not OURS), but such a drastic swing suggests they either don't have the bugs worked out yet or it's more social media smoke and mirrors designed to capitalize on our desires to be popular.

Is this a valuable metric? Does it mean anything? Who cares?

Valeria, you will always be a celebrity in my eyes, but that has nothing to do with any third party, Magic 8-ball metric. It's because you consistently share quality information and encourage conversation around consistently valuable topics. You also consistently interact with your readers - however small some of us might be - and make them feel like equals.

Why focus on some (beg your pardon) bullshit metric when you could be focusing on friends, readers, customers, partners? It's a novel distraction, but I think it's a distraction nonetheless.


From what i understand Klout only looks at Twitter, correct? Online influence is certainly much more than Twitter and Elli is spot on with his mention of the @dalailama. Blogging influence is certainly a much stronger measure of influence as everyone's twitter stream if full of noise vs blogging. The company who will manage to pull the entire digital footprint of individuals under an aggregate algo may get a shot at measuring true influence.

@Ike - ego metrics, nice! Well, these companies and scores come and go. The direction here is promising. Getting under the hood would be helpful. I can see you a thought leader, me a celebrity? Hmmm, an interesting association.

@Danny - do they have caves in your neck of the woods? :D There is some sexiness associated with some people. However, to quote myself, the messenger isn't the message indeed.

@Eric - let's say a big part of the measurement relies on content, the terms and expressions you use. Well, that doesn't begin to assess intent, does it? On could take the content of others and stream it all day, play nice with folks, pretend to like them, and all along climb on their backs, so to speak. Imperfect ratios would create imperfect scores.

@Jason - being that they are signing up companies, we may see more posts and articles about those.

@Elli - really good insight on the lack of ties and influence. I won't address it here, as I have doing more further thinking on influence overall. For you, I saw activist... Maybe the site is not stable?

@Foodie - well, yes. It ties it to Twitter because that's where the information the tool leverages connects.

@Bryan - you're making my point about context. Indeed, there needs to be more to tie activity to results.

@Melody - there is a bit of that in every aspect of life, isn't there? Think back to the kids in school. I had two blonds in my class in high school. They were the darlings of every teacher, because they were blond among a sea of brunettes. Did they get favored because they were blond, or did their smarts reflect on their good looks? Which reminds me, we should find out if they included avatar looks in Klout calculations.

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