A few months ago I noticed tweets about people getting +Ks.
What was this mysterious letter sign? How could I get one? A little digging led me to Klout.
When you sign up, Klout gives you a score. “The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action,” reads their website.
I write content and publish it. You read it. Klout measures how well my content influences you to do something crazy like share it with others, thus advancing our plans to take over the world.
Klout uses complicated metrics, equations, algorithms, yadda, yadda, yadda. Math. Numbers. Whatever.
I signed up and received a nice, steady score. Even got a coveted +K signifying super influential-ness. All was well in the land of Klout until Klout began naming the topics about which I was influential.
“Klout believes you are influential about Blogging.”
Yes! I knew it!
“Klout believes you are influential about Bacon.”
“Klout believes you are influential about Earthquakes.”
“Klout believes you are influential about Unicorns.”
What? Me, a unicorn whisperer?
My friend Jesse found this one amusing enough to award me a +K for Unicorns, effectively securing it as my most influential topic. Thank you, Jesse. Remind me to return the favor by awarding you a +K for Pirates or Coleslaw.
“Klout believes you are influential about Magic.”
Now I know something’s wrong here.
The topics of everyday epistle range far and wide. We discuss it all because we can. Variety is the spice of life.
Instead of finding the common threads in my content, Klout interprets this breadth as 14 random topics I’m influential about. Adding insult to injury, they dubbed me a Klout Style Specialist.
“Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience,” says Klout. Right.
Maybe they have a point. I need to focus. Pare down. Organize. Search engine optimize. But I still have my doubts.
There are ways to influence your own Klout score, apart from simply creating and publishing great content. Yet there aren’t ways to measure the quality of the content you produce or the quality of your readers and their comments.
No extra credit for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation either. What kind of grading system is this anyway?
Besides all that, cyber terrorists, competitors, or prankster friends can influence your Klout score in undesirable ways. Not to mention the attacks by aliens.
“Klout believes you are influential about Space.” Go figure.
But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point. 2 Corinthians 10:12b The Message
Xanadu to you, Klout, with Magic by Olivia Newton John.
“Think of a mercenary socialite, holding a calculator and trying to figure out who to invite to a party based on import. Then put whatever number she arrives at on every guest’s lapel. That’s Klout.” posted by Nicolas Thompson in The New Yorker