Let me start this post with a couple of Disclaimers:
1. I am not a klout expert. I haven’t researched it in detail and I will not claim to fully understand it.
2. To follow up on point 1, I am not a social media expert either. (For that matter, I don’t believe it has been around long enough for people to claim to be experts but let’s not get off-topic here).
3. I do not intend to change anyone’s opinion (whatever, it is) about klout. This post is written out of curiosity and free will.
As you may or may not know (and if you have any interest in social media, you ought to know) that Klout recently changed it’s algorithm. Okay, I should cover the basics for anyone who is not a social media enthusiast. What is Klout? In it’s own words: “The standard measure of online influence.” In a nutshell, and to the best of my understanding, it measures the impact of your presence through your online and social media activity; how your content is shared and how often it is shared, and ultimately how it impacts others. Yes, there’s a formula for it and yes, you get a score, a “Klout score.” For a more detailed explanation, here’s their website: http://klout.com/corp/about
As I mentioned, Klout changed it’s algorithm recently and felt the dark side of tweeters, facebookers, bloggers and so-called social media “experts” who all saw their Klout Score go down. Many social media enthusiasts were not happy to put it mildly. For some entertaining reactions, here are a few articles I suggest reading (after you’re done here) 🙂 :
http://12most.com/2011/10/31/12-hilarious-strategies-leading-angry-twitter-mob-klout/ …a funny perspective on leading a mob against Klout
http://www.techi.com/2011/10/klout-algorithm-change/ …why Klout made a big mistake
-11-should-i-delete-my-klout-account-both-sides-of-the-a …both sides of the Klout argument
I think the idea behind Klout is really cool. The opportunity to track and measure influence? Awesome; I am a marketer after all! Yes, it’s a bit of a popularity contest but I’ve never been afraid of a little competition. I also never took it as seriously as some people apparently did. Klout was new to me and as much as I wanted to jump on the bandwagon of looking at my online presence through the lens of a score, I didn’t get caught up in it. Why? For the same reason I hadn’t read all the Harry Potter books when they came out. Because generally speaking “I don’t do hype.” Yes, I like to be on top of things and in the kn0w and even innovate but once I get a gut-reaction of “hype,” I prefer to look before I leap. After looking for some months now, I like Klout. (By the way, I like the Harry Potter books too!) And I admit it, my score only went down 2 points during the algorithm change. I have nothing to be angry about!
In conclusion…well, I am going to reserve that for a Part 2 of this post later this week. Why? Because Chevy and Klout happen to be having an event this week and there will be someone from Klout there. Hopefully I can get their perspective, and reactions from people at the event. Whatever I find, I’m pretty sure that as much as I like Klout, just like facebook or twitter or my blog, I won’t define my online existence solely by the “numbers.” But, that’s just me.