Social Meme

How much ‘Klout’ have you got?

Blog post   •   Nov 04, 2011 09:47 GMT

Influence - the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc. of another or others.

My Klout score lingers around the 50 mark, which I found out recently puts me in top 95th percentile. That makes me feel good… whatever a percentile is?!?! Guess who told me this though? Klout.

I feel it only fair to say that I recently signed up to the Klout site and filled in as much information about myself and my work as I could, to see if it really would have an effect on my Klout score. It seems it has, I’ve jumped 5 points in a week (as I write this, I’m on 55).

There has been a lot of chat about clout or Influence recently and it’s easy to argue about the metrics of measurement but the point I think most people are missing is that your influence is earned and not a right. We live in a world that mostly seeks instant gratification. I have a kettle which boils me a perfect mug of hot water in 15 seconds, it’s my favourite gadget in the kitchen. However, someone made a ‘pot of tea’ at work the other day and however daft this sounds, it tasted better. Why? I don’t know… possibly because I had to wait for it and felt that my patience had been paid off when I eventually took my first sip?

I heard a story at a breakout discussion at the Likeminds conference in Exeter recently about Influence. Apparently, an American airline had a couple of tickets left for a flight but had more than a couple of passengers who wanted these tickets. Rumour has it, they did some background checks on the passengers and decided to let the ones with the highest ‘Klout’ score have the tickets, I’m assuming in the hope that they’d be the ones who would spread the word about the airline giving them the tickets. I’ve no idea if this is true but it was a story that was told amongst a group of ‘Influential People’ and has us talking about Klout once again.

There was also a discussion about a new platform which allows you to add offline activities to positively affect your score. That's all well and good but whats to stop someone from telling a few porkies to boost their score?

I also saw a tweet during the recent #Kloutchat on twitter which said this: @klout Our founder @klup has Klout 56, Twitter founder @ev 57. that’s just plain wrong! #kloutchat

It was from @Peerreach who appear to be a new “transparent and trustworthy influence score per expertise”site. As I’ve said before, lots of people are questioning how these scores are achieved and what algorithms are used. What I think we need to focus on though is the building of the relationships and the nurturing of those connections to build trust. EVERYTHING boils down to this in social media in my opinion… which I then believe leads to a positive effect on my bottom line or a Return On Investment, that investment being ‘time’.

Having said ALL that, I still love having a decent Klout score. It’s in my human nature to want the highest or the best. What I question though is who else believes my score is earned due to genuine influence? If you see my score as being over-inflated, you can simply sweep it under the carpet by dissing Klout and their algorithms. I fear that Klout can’t or won’t win people over but by getting people chatting about it (me included), they’re carrying some ‘Clout’ themselves!